Friday, December 16, 2016

Coming soon!

I sent the last page proofs off to my book designer today, so it feels like a good time to do a cheeky partial cover reveal for the first volume of Pulp Sonnets, coming soon to a book retailer near you!

The cover is the work of Modest God of Art Scott E. Pond. The book also contains really cool interior illustrations by one of my favorite indie comics artists, M.R. Neno. It has updated and remixed (heh) versions of all of Year One's Pulp Sonnets and I'm very excited to finally be bringing it to you after a very rough year for my entire team.

Watch this space for details...

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Going Hungry for a Cause

The seventh day of siege dawned bright and cold
And windless. In the highest tower, where
The women, and the young, and very old
Were gathered for protection and for care,
Within the lady's bedroom, breakfast cooked
Before her spacious fireplace. The fear
Was just more to be coped with. Tally looked
A moment to the outside, heard a cheer
That wasn't the defenders, screamed and ran
To tell the head cook. As the hooks and ropes
Caught on the castle's walks, the fight began
In earnest. And the lovely stew that spat
And bubbled on the hearth? A weapon, that!

Weird Wednesday: Not in Wonderland, Part XXIV

Her wand'rings brought her to a spot replete
With solar panels, coated in fine dust,
But mayhap working still. She tried to beat
Them in with her bare hands, but then, as must
Occur sometimes, she wised up and went back.
Her erstwhile rifle's stock would better serve.
She smashed them good, e'en unto all the black
Behind the glass, and while she had the nerve
Ripped out the wires and pipes that did connect
The panels to a building standing near.
"Come out and fight me, buddy. Look, I've wrecked
Your little power station!" With no fear
She stood there, arms akimbo. Alice meant
To force a confrontation. Time well spent.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Terror Tuesday: My Special Brew

Oh, do please try this tea; it's just the best.
I harvest it myself from out in back.
I just cut this, this morning. Careful, lest
You spill it. Blossoms such as these, they lack
Robustness, and are thus quite hard to grow.
Oh, I just have the knack, I guess. One learns
By doing. Say, does anybody know
If that poor girl has turned up? Oh, it burns?
It's not that hot, is it? Oh, wait, I get
Your meaning. It's quite tart. Acquired taste,
Perhaps. So no, she's missing still? I bet
The flowers will love her. Oh, I spoke in haste!
It's "would" I meant. Don't edge away, my dear.
You can't escape, and must drink up, I fear.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Mystery Monday: Her Voyage, Part XI

I'd packed my bags to travel once again
To where my sister'd made a sort of base,
When my phone rang. My children all had been
A-searching, too, and one had found a trace
In Iceland! Off I rushed, no questions more!
But when I got there, he was on a dig
From centuries ago! What was in store?
Beneath a church's ruins lay a big
And jumbled cache of objects, carved in bone
And ivory. A chess queen caught my eye:
'Twas Krissy to the life. My mind was blown.
My son then said the runes on it said "Why
Disturb me? I am Pollardsdottir's, and
No others. Kindly free me from thy hand."

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Satire Sunday: The Fatal Flaw

When Sadie Pup was bored, she liked to play,
And toss and chase and throw about the floor
Her fav'rite toy. It squeaked a lot! Today,
However, her own human, wanting more
Than just a squeaky plushie for her dog,
Brought home the latest, An-E-Mal by name.
A few adjustments, and 'twould be a frog,
A duck, a mouse - whatever type of game
Or vermin your pet likes the best, with sounds
To match! It even claimed that it could tell
Based on how it was played with, what compounds
Were missing from her diet! It worked well
For fifteen minutes. Then it was a pile
Of faux fur, stuffing, circuits, on the tile.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Sci Fi Saturday: Beggars Can't be Choosers

"I can't afford that one," she said, and sighed.
"It's from our budget line; we haven't got
A lower price point." That shop girl, all pride
And condescension, obviously thought
Their interaction ended. Rosie, though,
Her stump still itching, wouldn't pass one day
Without an arm! "Come on. If you'd just go
Check out the stock room --" she began to say.
"I did already. All we have back there
Are custom jobs." "Did any get returned
Or not picked up?" The shop girl smirked. "You care
If it's got limitations? We got burned --"
"I'll take it. Graft it on this instant, please."
And that's why Maddy's hand can just slice cheese.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Fantasy Friday: Fish Tales, Part IV

Dear Mom and Dad, can I please come home soon?
This camp is horrible. I'm always cold,
Each morning starts off with a nasty tune
Played on... it's called an antler? And we're told
Just what to do each minute! How's the reef?
How's my seahorse? Don't ride her. Only I
Can ride her, grandpa said. Oh no, our "chief" --
We're all some kind of engines? -- just came by
And said it's time for yet another "trek"
Down to the darker water. I just hate
It here. Oh, and last night I got the "heck"
Beat out of me by trout girls. Now I'm late.
Please send someone to fetch me to the sea.
Signed, love, your Kleo, longing to be free!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Throwback Thursday: What's at Stake

The baby had survived, and she had saved
The mother, too, with fungus from some bread.
The grateful father, totally enslaved
By common sense, joined those who wished her dead.
Thus finished Mistress Goodweather's last year
Among us. She'd no husband  living to
Speak up for her, and so prevailing fear
(And disregard for those -- all women -- who
Did argue for her preservation) meant
A tow'ring bonfire was erected there
In village center. When the dame had spent
Her time in prison, screaming in the care
Of parsons, she was brought forth for to burn,
But rescued by the goodwives. Some folks learn!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Weird Wednesday: The Perspective

Coordinates aired on a TV show
Led to a spot from which, it could be seen,
The trees' denuded branches, in the glow
Of twilight, formed a face. What did it mean?
No one could say, but none who saw it felt
Like leaving. Force was needed for to lead
All comers from the site. And those who dwelt
Nearby? They were the first to feel the need,
The longing, the compulsion they called love,
But others called fixation. To a one,
They ceased to eat or drink, and would speak of
No thing but their obsession. Now it's done.
They've pined away. Their bodies form a mound
On what we all now know is sacred ground.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Terror Tuesday: The Dinner Party

I hope you like this stew,  I made it just
For you and lovely Karen. It's so rare
To have such neighbors one can really trust.
Have more, I do insist. I mean it.  There
Is plenty, and I'm proud of it.  You taste
My secret additive, I bet! You two,
No fooling you! What's that? No, no, don't waste
A moment while it's hot. No, really,  you...
Your kids are fine.  Whatever do you mean?
They're outside in the yard.  See them at play?
I do not like your tone.  Don't make a scene!
I'd never harm them.  Cook them? Oh, I say!
That's horrifying! What? That's what you'd like?
Excuse me, then.  Oh no,  please,  no,  don't strike--

Monday, October 10, 2016

Mystery Monday: The Voting Vacuum

The candidates were seated in a row
To vie for the attention of a few
Well-interested voters.  Starting slow,
Things picked up when an office-seeker, who
Was way back in the polls, at last called out
That one was missing,  and had yet to make
Appearance at a single such meet. "Shout
Her name, perhaps she's in the hall?" "I'd take
A bet she's never been here,  ever."  "She
Was here last week!" "So I've heard many say,
But no one e'er directly seems to see
Her in the flesh.  Just photos. There's no way."
Her empty seat said nothing.  No one could
Explain her vict'ry later. She's that good?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Satire Sunday: Monkeys Saw...

"It means I'm smart," the candidate had bragged,
And 'cross the nation, millions dud agree.
They voted and cajoled and even dragged
Their friends out to the polls, and, glory be,
The Dodger was our President-Elect!
He took his oath and made appointments, set
About the business, with a select
And comely, shapely, laughing cabinet.
Then April came, and millions who'd admired
His stance did as he had. Not one did file
A tax return. Then millions of them fired
Each other, paid in cash with cunning smiles
Beneath the table, and all other tricks
He'd touted. Now he's in a pretty fix.

Sci-Fi Saturday: Nothing New Under the Sun

Re-Dinos proved the brain is just a part
Of what intelligence these meatsacks hold.
The brontosaur that first was cloned, her heart
Was that of ninety poets, new and old:
We learned the language that she came to speak
And found her versifying, near non-stop!
One epic she composed took o'er a week
Just to declaim. Reciters oft did drop
Before they could complete it, but agreed
Its beauty worth the effort! 'Tis that gut,
Four hundred feet of neural tissue. Speed?
Well, no, but for complexity, the cut?
It's made. Re-Dino-verse, is lit'rature
At its most lovely, finest, and most pure!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Fantasy Friday: We Squirrels

A rodent came to me, and it knew more
About me than my mother does, I'd bet.
Its gaze did penetrate me to the core,
Although the two of us had barely met.
It hypnotized me, I believe, or did
I always have grey fur like this? A tail?
These black and liquid eyes? Where have I hid -- ?
Yes, look at me, and deeply. There's a trail
We're following into the woods. You see?
Look closer, focus, feel it 'neath your feet.
This is the place we're truly meant to be,
With acorns and such other things to eat.
You understand? Hold on, I'm coming there.
What's wrong, my friend? Now all you do is stare.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Throwback Thursday: The Most Famous Sonnetations

When William fell in love, and love again,
He found his feelings weren't requited, quite.
The lady dark, he'd never see again;
The lovely boy avoided him for spite.
But in imagination, both of them,
Enraptured by his ev'ry honeyed word
Responded warmly to his charméd pen,
In such a way as all of us have heard
Who've drunk with him. Indeed, we've heard enough.
We want to tell him, man, just stick to plays.
Your wife and son have really got it rough
Just as things are. Your wand'ring eye and ways
Are getting old. Nobody wants to read
Your whiny poems, which fulfil no need!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Weird Wednesday: Doggie Heaven

Mariah's life had ended, but she felt
Disoriented as she looked about.
She couldn't speak, did not know where she dwelt,
And felt the urgent need to just get out!
Alas, a giant door contained her. "Aww,
You want to go outside? Do you? Well, speak!"
All she could do was yip; her mouth and jaw
Could not form words, but what she'd done seemed fine.
Outdoors the world was wonderful, with smell
And sound that fair bewitched her. "Puppy, mine,"
A voice said "You e'er treated your dogs well
In life. Now that you're dead, you get to live
The life that those once in your care will give."

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Terror Tuesday: The Room Tone

Those things that share our spaces, but cannot
Be sensed by humankind, sometimes are found
By strange experiments. Sometimes, unsought,
However, they're discovered through their sound.
Such happened as a narrator, by night
Was cleaning up her day's recording work.
She'd worked to make her studio just right,
But still, persistent noise would cause a jerk
Of grim annoyance. As she analyzed
The tones beneath her room tone, she'd a shock.
Such whispers, such foul utt'rances, disguised
As emptiness! Each ticking of the clock,
Persuading us, in silence, to do ill,
Perverting ev'ry talent, ev'ry skill!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Mystery Monday: Her Voyage, Part X

What could I do? Back to my normal life
I went, but kept an eye out for what news
Of Kris that I could get, it wasn't rife;
In fact I nearly missed what I could use:
Some visitors to Nova Scotia last
December said they'd seen, on one cold beach
A fin progressing through the sand, so fast
That they weren't sure it had been real. To reach
The couple was a moment's work, but they
Had not seen any humans with the thing.
Just hoping, I phoned up Cassandra Rey,
My hostess from my last year's Digby fling.
"Is she back in her cottage?" "No, but there
I something hot and singeing in that air."

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Satire Sunday: Publication Day

A small-town newsrag, in the pixel age,
Much like a unicorn, was strange and rare.
The revenue to justify each page
Was calculated with the greatest care.
Then came the week - for once a week was all
The readership could justify, in costs --
When just one article, about a fall
From great height at the local mill, a loss
Of man-hours, not of life, was going to fit.
To print more stories meant more sheets, and that
Was quite forbidden. Not one little bit
Of leeway could be given, so a spat
Broke out between the editor and those
Who staffed his paper. "I don't need your prose!"

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sci Fi Saturday: A Frustrating Interview

It wasn't ever known what caused the end
Of that good ship, Obama, forty souls
And unknown cargo. Zadok, my old friend,
The salvager, claims to know the whole
Sad story, but he'll only tell his tale
When fabulously drunk, on planet-leave,
And at his fav'rite dive. O'er bad synth-ale,
That blots his mind, that soaks into his sleeve,
He darkly hints of solar flares and worse.
"I found 'er," he will say. "What are the odds
That she should wind up on Hygiea? Curse
That barmaid, I am dry! What's that? Ye gods!
It's true. Nobody lived except one man,
And he seems plumb immortal! Bring that can!"

Friday, September 16, 2016

Fantasy Friday: Fish Tales, Part III

As Kleo floated, patient, with her pole,
Awaiting, from line's end, that special tug
That said she'd caught a squirrel or chipmunk, whole,
She daydreamed, watching as a caddis-bug
Lay waiting for its dinner, too. It struck
Just as a pebble hit her on her head!
The larva'd grabbed a minnow, but her luck
Was not so good. Sneers sounded; she turned red
In anger and embarrassment. "Hey, check
The ocean girlie out! Ain't she a prize?"
Soon Kleo was surrounded. "Lac-maids! Heck,
I thought you were a myth," she said. Their size
Soon killed all humor, though, as all around
Our Kleo was a school of them. "Let's pound!"

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Husbandry

Mab Mittel strode beside a tiny plot
Of grain of unknown origin. The seed
Had blown into her hut. She'd found a spot
To plant it on the sly, where none would need
The space. She watched it grow, her careful eye
And most discerning nose, both found it sweet.
The kernel it produced was flavorful
And even lucious. Soon she'd named it "wheat"
And pounded out her little crop, to pull
Its flavors from its chaff and straw to make
A powder. which she wetted down and left
To bake beneath the sun. When she did take
A bite of what she'd made, ideas soon came
To make it better. What should be its name?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Weird Wednesday: The Warehouse Accident

Zeb Collins was marooned atop a stack
Of pallets, when his forklift driver took
A joke he'd made quite poorly. Looking back,
He could have made a better choice. Now look:
Atop the pallets with him was a box
That wasn't silent, and that wasn't still.
He peeked inside, and got him the worst shock
He's ever had; the contents that did spill
Beside him, all were robot heads, that woke
In unison! "Instructions please," their chant
Droned on and on, and as each object spoke
It moved on tiny wheels, surrounding Zeb.
Next morning, he lay up there, sans his head!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Terror Tuesday: The Squeaking of the Sky

We crossed the bridge at sunset ev'ry night,
My little dog and I, and on our walk
We loved to watch the bats begin their flight
From underneath its planks. Sometimes I'd talk
To Sadie pup about the "flying mice".
She'd bark and try to catch them as they passed
Beneath us. But one night, the weather nice,
An autumn eve of rare perfection, last
We'd see... I don't know what had changed, but they
We'd celebrated wheeled about as one
And flew at us, until we ran away!
They chased us for a mile or more. The sun
Had gone, and they were hungry. Now I fear
The squeaking of the sky, when they draw near.

- Inspired by Eric Orchard and Orrin Grey

Monday, September 12, 2016

Mystery Monday: Ms. Beck Invesitagates, Part IV

"If you would just, now, sign on this release,
We can expose them for the frauds they are.
And you, perhaps, can find a little peace
In knowing that you've helped my firm to mar
The reputation on which they depend."
"Release? You mean, like, letting this go out
In public?" "Yes." "Hell no, don't want my friends
To know we fell for this!" "No need to shout,"
Miss Beck said calmly. "Reconsider, though.
I've done this many times, but if no one
Allows me to go public, then there's no
Accountability. So much I've done,
But this last step is what is needed most.
'The state's best charter school' still gets to boast."

Satire Sunday: Dinner's Here

"I've got the pizza. Man it's smelling good,"
Marcella texted to her housemate, Jean.
"Oh, get some chips and soda, if you could?"
"I've left the store already." "Man, that's mean,
Can't you just turn around?" "I'm hungry, dude!"
The texts kept flying as her Chrysler made
The turn onto their street. "That's still just rude."
"It's three whole blocks. Get some yourself." "I'll trade
You kitchen duty for a week." "Nah, I'm
Just pulling in the driveway now." "Don't be
A mega-bitch." "What, you think I've got time
To be your errand bitch?" She didn't see
That she'd run out of driveway. With a crash
Her car then turned the living room to trash!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Sci Fi Saturday: The Cryptoterrestrials

'Most ev'rybody's been there, but most don't
Remember it. A garden, lush and green
And deathly quiet stands where people won't
Suspect it. There they live. The air is clean,
The water pure. They have no dwellings. We
Who know them, know we'll never understand
Their presence. One brave soul, long since set free
From this existence, once brought back a strand
Of something like a hair. Its DNA
Is earthly; they are close to us, more kin
Than even chimpanzees, but there's no way
They're just some hiding humans. Take their skin,
Pale green, as though they sport some chlorophyll.
I think they're of the future, if you will.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Fantasy Friday: Fish Tales, Part II

Next morning, 'neath the waters of the lake,
The mermaid campers woke to shouts and cheers.
"It's time to start activities! Don't make
Us tell you twice! Watch as the surface clears.
Soon we'll have light to craft our squirrel bait,
And then we'll practice casting. You must hit
The soil just so, to catch their notice." "Wait,
We're squirrelling? I mean, I din't think it
Was that backwater, here. Why can't we just
Go shopping at Whale-Mart?" asked Kleo, who
Had just had her scales painted. "Oh, this must
Be your first year. Yeah, you must be  real new.
"We hook our dinners, reel them in and down
Here with us, and watch critters as they drown"

Fantasy Friday: Fish Tales, Part II

Next morning, 'neath the waters of the lake,
The mermaid campers woke to shouts and cheers.
"It's time to start activities! Don't make
Us tell you twice! Watch as the surface clears.
Soon we'll have light to craft our squirrel bait,
And then we'll practice casting. You must hit
The soil just so, to catch their notice." "Wait,
We're squirrelling? I mean, I din't think it
Was that backwater, here. Why can't we just
Go shopping at Whale-Mart?" asked Kleo, who
Had just had her scales painted. "Oh, this must
Be your first year. Yeah, you must be  real new.
"We hook our dinners, reel them in and down
Here with us, and watch critters as they drown"

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Throwback Thursday: The Opportunist

"The land is conquered! Run now for your lives!
The Norman comes, in fear and fire and blood!
Hide now your children, lock up your fair wives!
Marauders are approaching in a flood!"
So came the shouts as refugees poured through
The village. Dacey, though, stayed how and where
She was. "Where now, indeed, would I run to?"
She asked of no one. Tired and grey of hair
And full of pains, she sat upon her stool
Outside a newly-empty hut, to wait.
When came the Norman horde, she kept her cool,
As there were only five. "Ah! We're too late!
The pretty ones are gone. There's just this crone."
They left her to enrich herself, alone.

Weird Wednesday: Small Victories

They'd come from space; to space they would return,
This mighty warlike fleet -- but lo, a cat
Had swallowed ev'ry ship! They'd have to burn
Their way out of its flesh. Each spaceship that
Now found itself within began to fire
Its lasers. Meanwhile, on a mat, asleep,
The puss began to glow. Its state was dire,
But mercifully it did not wake ere, deep
Within it, came destruction. Now all, free
And angry, did the ships emerge to blast
To rubble ev'ry city they found. We
Cared not to lose our termites and, at last,
Our ants, but slowly all here came to ruin
As none did what those bugs had e'er been doing.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Terror Tuesday: Keep Your Distance

That first embrace on stepping from a plane
Is tend'rest, but that morning in New York
Changed ev'rything. Already in her brain
The teeming creatures seethed, then pulled the cork.
She nuzzled at his earlobe and then spit
Right into the canal. That's all it took.
Days later, when she fell down in a fit,
'Twas far too late. Pause now and take a look.
You know that more than half of all you see
Around you are infected. Just one kind
And ordinary human thing could be
The last you e'er perform. Say, would you mind
Just holding still a moment? Something's there
I'll brush it off. Oh no, it's in your hair...

Monday, September 5, 2016

Mystery Monday: Ms. Beck Investigates, Part III

Each day, young Dukie's footage was the same.
A schoolbell's ring, a pinprick, and a nap
That wouldn't end until the day's end came,
And he was sent with "documents and crap"
As Dukie's mom described it. He just scored
A ninety-nine in physics, this one says."
Ms. Beck just nodded coolly through the storm.
"I understand, Ms. Willis, your distress.
His 'class' has hundreds. None have turned a page
Or touched a calculator; none have seen
A plant grow from a seed --" Jo Willis' rage
Was terrifying. "I know what you mean,"
Miss Beck said calmly. "But you know you're not
Alone in this. We'll put them on the spot."

Mystery Monday: Ms. Beck Investigates, Part III

Each day, young Dukie's footage was the same.
A schoolbell's ring, a pinprick, and a nap
That wouldn't end until the day's end came,
And he was sent with "documents and crap"
As Dukie's mom described it. He just scored
A ninety-nine in physics, this one says."
Ms. Beck just nodded coolly through the storm.
"I understand, Ms. Willis, your distress.
His 'class' has hundreds. None have turned a page
Or touched a calculator; none have seen
A plant grow from a seed --" Jo Willis' rage
Was terrifying. "I know what you mean,"
Miss Beck said calmly. "But you know you're not
Alone in this. We'll put them on the spot."

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Satire Sunday: The Sanct-kitty of the Vote

Lovecat (Howard Phillips) and his friend,
Called Rudyard Kipling, had a talent rare:
For guarding ballots. Wintry Sundays end
In one or both of them (they often share)
A-perched atop forensics sheets galore
(Their dad is in the trade). So when they heard
That fraud might ruin, to its very core,
A Presidential contest -- "Say the word!"
The pair meowed. "You need us on the case!
No tampering can happen on our watch!"
"'Tis true," said Daddy Jake. "You boldly chase
All comers from your charge. You'd hardly botch
The Nation's. Let me call the F.E.C.
And I'll negotiate a worthy fee."

Sci Fi Saturday: Wilbur Mugambe's Fall to Grace

A lot of people claim that they were there
When he became a sporting legend in
One leap. A sport for only those who dare
Is Airship Polo. Many was the win
With no goals scored, as such; a tie-break takes
A final count of injuries and deaths,
As men are tossed from craft to craft, mistakes
Are not uncommon, after all! Our breaths
Were taken, though, when this young, brash unknown
Was flung from Dr. Okafor's machine.
His flips and somersaults in mid-air shone
Like beacons of excitement, and his clean
And splashless entry to the goal-pond? Not
A single ship could catch him ere that shot!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Fantasy Friday: Fish Tales, Part I

It was young Kleo's very first time out
To mermaid camp, far from the ocean blue.
The griffin flight was scary, there's no doubt,
As miles and miles of land took up the view
And they went higher still. The mountain lake
Where camp was set was cold and strange and deep,
But Kleo kept her courage, no mistake,
Until just ere the campers went to sleep
And told each other tales of trout and pike
And beavers! "One attacked me last year!" claimed
Her bunkmate. "He'd have dragged me way down, like,
Beneath his dam!" "Now Bea, you should be shamed!"
Their couns'lor said. "There are none here, don't lie.
But me tell you all of The Walleye!"

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Practice Makes...

The scrimshaw piece -- it should have been a sign --
That his guard cherished, showed to ev'ryone,
Was beautiful, of curious design,
And obviously a trophy. Point a gun
At any man, his treasure becomes yours.
The day his captor noticed that his face
Resembled the most prominent of scores
Carved in the ivory, Tad Dixon's case
Was terminal. The guard so longed to learn
The art he so admired, he took his knife
And started on Tad's flesh. Each carving turn
Improved the man's technique, but Dixon's life
Was short. When Allies came to liberate
The camp, he bled his last. They were too late.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Weird Wednesday: Not in Wonderland, Part XXIII

Her hands were empty; she had dropped the stock
Its wood was all 'twas left of her strange friend.
"Oh no," was all she said; she was in shock
To see her rifle come to such an end.
The whine of metal-mites diminished to
Inaudability. The lovely mist
Now smelled of rust, like blood. She wandered through
Unseeing, down a path, hands clutching wrists,
All dazed and purposeless. Then came to pass
She thought of all they'd left back in their wake.
The rabbit-skunk, the scorpion, and Gas --
Her teeth then clenched so hard her jaw did shake.
Her fury thus rekindled, she did yell
"Whoever built this, you will burn in hell!"

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Terror Tuesday: Soiled Overalls: The Trey McCumber Story

The barn, 'twas said, was older than all three
Of his old uncles put together. Trey
And his two brothers liked to go and see
What they could find inside it, but by day
Alone. At night its eeriness was more than such
Young boys could deal with -- that is, 'til the night
That Trey, who'd just turned nine, screwed up as much
Raw courage as he could, grabbed knife and light
And went inside. The shadows seemed malign
But 'twas the yowl that chased him back outside.
Days later he heard tell that Auntie Vine
Had used to drown stray cats in there. He tried
Again, and heard that terrifying screech
And saw a ghost cat flailing, out of reach!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Mystery Monday: Ms. Beck Investigates, Part II

"Ms. Willis, we might get your money back,
But then again we could ignobly fail."
Ms. Beck, a stone facade without a crack
Let this defrauded mother rage and wail
Awhile, and then explained what must be done.
Young Duke was fitted out with microtech
To capture his experiences, then one
Fine Monday, with the blessing of Ms. Beck,
He went to school. The footage he brought home
Was shocking. Upon entry, he was shot
With something that induced in him a numb
And dreamless sleep! At day's end "You forgot,
Just have your mother sign this. Field Trip Day
Is soon! We're going to whisk you all away!"

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Satire Sunday: Liberté Fraternité Absurdité

Quite long ago, a young man named Michel,
A gendarme on the famous Cote d'Azure,
Was given an odd duty, though it well
Did suit him: he was sent off to assure
That ladies' bathing suits weren't let to show
Too much of their fair forms. He worked with zeal,
And modesty was saved. A century
Or so, and his great-grandson -- is this real? --
Reflected on this ruefully as he
Was sent to those same beaches to police
The wearing of "burkinis". "Show more skin!
That now must be our motto! That two-piece,
It is too moral, therefore it's a sin!"
He laughed himself to illness, thus he missed
Enforcing it ere France chose to disist.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sci Fi Saturday: The Wrong Side of the Wrong Side of the Law

The PlastiHax had holed up in their lair,
And trusted in their gadgets and their traps
To keep the cops at bay, but the affair
Did not end as they'd planned. Their foes found gaps
And flaws in their defenses, and before
Too long just one door separated them.
"Come out, you punks. Come on, you know the score!"
The leader bellowed. No one answered. "Been
A-breaking yet more copyrights?" He called.
"We make things that folks need, man, we save lives!"
"I've heard that crap before --" but then, appalled
The sergeant checked his warrants once more. "Stives!
Your kid who got the beesting? How'd that go?"
"We used a knock-off Epi-Pen." "Oh, no!"

Friday, August 26, 2016

Fantasy Friday: The Little Lac-Maid

Down at the bottom of a glacial lake,
High in the mountains, where the water's cold
Is most profound, a lac-maid's worst mistake
Occurred one day when she found, set in gold
A shining opal. Like her ocean kind
(Called mermaids) she did dearly love a gem!
But this one started playing with her mind
Ere she could even bring it to her den.
The winter comes much sooner, up so high,
And her trout half would let her hibernate
Beneath the ice until spring's thaw was nigh.
This year, though, addled, she thought t'would be great
To pass the season up atop the ice.
Her frozen corpse has been discovered twice.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Throwback Thursday: A Comics Legend is Born

Just Rob knew that at last he had a hit
When he invented -- hero of the age! --
The Crüemeister. "Oh man, this is the spit!"
He crowed his triumph as he penned each page,
Then he ran o'er to artist, Eric May
The script for Issue One. "It's cool," quoth he,
"But Just, the likeness rights we'll have to pay --"
"My publisher's ex-wife happens to be
That Nikki guy's stepmom. You got any beers?
Get drawing!" "How's his power work again?"
"He flips the bird and Mötley Crüe appears
And 'Doctor Feelgood' starts. "Ok, so then
It's just distraction?" "Yes. And thus the name!"
And that's how Rob and May achieved their fame.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Weird Wednesday: Planetfall on Proxima b

The person who first stepped down from the ship,
Whose boot first trod Proxima b's dry dust
Was only nine years old. The long, long trip,
Produced new generations, as such must.
Jah Wrench was one of these -- and of the few
Who still survived, she was the strongest, tough
And literate. She'd captained them on through
The last stretch of the journey, just enough
Resources left to keep the children fed
And breathing. Now she'd have to lead the band
On this new world. Soon they must move their dead
From shipsoil into this unpromised land
To fertilize it. So much to be done!
She shook her fist up at the big, red sun.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Terror Tuesday: Chokecherry Season

The tree was old as old. Its berries, tart
But tempting, drew the birds from miles around
To feast, but only when the juicy heart
Of ev'ry fruit was well fermented. Sound
And fury and intoxicated flight
Would follow then, as any might expect,
But something always happened overnight,
The flocks of morning, maddened, strong and wrecked
Were filled with strange hostility as each,
Once bowels were emptied (purple stains galore,
A dire warning), all as one would screech
And dive bomb any mammal by the score.
Thus August brought death on the angry wing ,
The tree just standing silent. Vicious thing...

Mystery Monday: Ms. Beck Investigates: The Case of the Too-Cool School, Part I

"My boy has had straight As in ev'ry grade,"
Jo Willis bragged "His teachers told me he
Was quite the model student." "I'm afraid
They weren't truthful." "Huh? You kidding me?
Duke, come out here." A sullen, sleepy boy
Obeyed, but soon his mother sent him back;
He'd demonstrated little but a joy
In stomping ants. "He truly seems to lack
The basics. Can he even tie his shoes?"
"He's seventeen!" His mother roared. Ms . Beck
Just raised her eyebrows. "Ma'am, I got to choose
Where he went for his schooling. Ev'ry check --"
"I'm sure they cleared, but 'Ross Ecole' is not
A thing that's real." "You mean that I've been got?"

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Satire Sunday: Extreme Introversion and its Consequence

She sat way in the back for ev'ry class.
Poor vision had him up in the front row.
Denise, not one to let this stop a pass
Of notes, propped up a book so that it would not show,
What she was up to. Ere the first week's end
The app was written. Now her only task:
To get it on his phone. But not one friend
Had they in common, not one kid to ask
To help her. She'd resort to NFC
If needed. Woe to her: his phone was Fruit,
While hers was not. "Just wasn't meant to be,"
She sighed, and didn't tell him he was cute
Until a school reunion - 30 years! -
"You might have just said 'Hi'" said he. Such Tears!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sci Fi Saturday: The Frustration of the Fanbeings

The shooting star that fiery streaked the sky
Went unremarked by any that would know
It was no star. And not one sentient eye
Beheld what crawled up from the crater's glow.
"Looks like we're way too late," a being said
While hoisting out a fellow. "Not again!"
The other cried. "Now, now, don't lose your head..."
(We're taking liberties; their language then
Was unlike any human speech). "We might
Find in the rubble something that will tell
Us what we need to hear!" For many nights
And days they searched through all the burnt-out hell
That was our Planet Earth, then gave up. "How
Will we learn who killed Laura Palmer now?'

Friday, August 19, 2016

Fantasy Friday: The Veterinarian: Consultation

"I know that you will do it," bade the will,
Near irresistible, of Dragon Blunt
Good Doctor Famulus, held quiet, still,
And nearly helpless by that gaze did grunt,
Then spoke at last. "You need to set me free,"
He stammered. "I can't help you with a mind
And body pinned like this. Thanks. Now, let's see
That hip." The worm then gingerly did wind
And turn. "You're young to have such wear. Just four
Millennia? How odd. But I'll say yes,
Provided Gend the Smith can do the chore
Of making a replacement joint, I'd guess
I can. Until then, though, stay off it. Fly
But do not walk on that, and I'm your guy."

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Throwback Thursday: He Could Have Been a Contender

Miss Brown had bought a brand new, tiny car,
As small as she (and she was four foot nine
In heels), her Metropolitan, the star
Of her own firmament. When Andrew Dyne,
A student in the Home Ec class she taught,
And captain of the school's great football team,
Beheld it, he had notions on the spot.
He'd be a legend! How his eye did gleam
When he told his best teammates of his plan.
To push that tiny car took just two guys,
The rest just found weird spots to hide it. Man,
They hid it ev'ry time she took her eyes
Off her beloved prize. At last she bought
A doberman. Soon Dyne's career was shot.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Weird Wednesday: Not in Wonderland, Part XXII

"This feels a bit unsafe," the rifle said.
"What will I turn into for drinking here?"
Asked Alice, hoarse of voice. Her eyes were red,
And her expression -- well, it wasn't fear
Contorting her tired features. "No, that ain't
The hazard I'm suspecting," she was told.
Before her cracked lips issued new complaint
(The mist was so inviting, clean and cold!)
The pair of them were swarmed, trapped in a cloud
That bit and scratched in microscopic ways.
"Oh no, it's metal-mites, and such a crowd!"
A screech resounded. Girl and gun, whose days
Together had brought ruin, now were done
As partners. "Hey, you're bleeding, dummy. Run!"

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Terror Tuesday: The Wrong Time for an MRI

"It's fine," technicians told her. "We'll be here
Throughout your time inside. And here's a thing
To press if you need out. But don't let fear
Delay this; get it overwith. We'll bring
Some water and some cold packs if you get
Too panicky. They'll be here, just outside
When you're all done." "Ok," she said. "I bet
I don't freak out 'til afterwards. Let's ride."
Halfway through, all just stopped. "Hello?" she called,
And pressed the button sev'ral times. "What's wrong?
Hey, where'd you go?" There was no sound. She bawled
"Please let me out!" The screams she heard were strong
Enough to penetrate the great machine
In darkness. "Tell me this is just a dream?"

Monday, August 15, 2016

Mystery Monday: Her Voyage, Part IX

A snapping twig, or something, drew away
My keen attention on my sister's tete-
A-tete with that strange monster. I can't say
What happened, that split second. Such is fate:
We miss what we'd most dearly like to see
Because our hindbrain thinks all things are threats
That do surprise us. So then, only me
Would others notice where I stood. It gets
Yet weirder, there at my dear sister's place.
The shark and she, they both had disappeared,
Odd ripples in the dirt the only trace
Of either. Late that night, I got a note
At my hotel. "So long" was all she wrote.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Satire Sunday:January 21st

Inaugurated, he did not waste time;
He'd used the months since his election well,
Acquiring land in ev'ry zone and clime
To build his camps. The round-ups, though, were hell
On those he'd deputized to round up brown
And black and pink alike, for they'd all fled.
"Good riddance," his supporters said. A frown,
Though, crossed his face. The simple folk he led
Had taken back their country, yes, but who
Was left to do the work? The lawns, the health,
The scientific breakthroughs? All too few
Who'd chosen to remain created wealth
Enough to build his wall, though that, indeed
Was something for which there was now no need.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sci Fi Saturday: Poor Replacements

Since Limbco stopped supporting its well-famed
Dependable prosthetics, Shan'd been forced
Into programming them himself. He'd gained
In skill but lost efficiency. The course
They'd offered when the change was first announced
Had covered basics, but he soon grew tired
Of voice commands on each step, so he pounced
The day he found the Limbrary! Required
To register, he did, but would regret
That soon. Tooth brushing packages were great;
Shoe-tying, too, and hair-coming, but let
Us speak not of, er, wiping. Shan, of late,
Is back to step by step commands there, for
He'd rather not graffito anymore.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Fantasy Friday: We're Going to Need a Lot More Goop

The last corpse on the battlefield turned out
To still be living. And per gen'ral rules
All efforts must be made to bring about
A  better outcome yet. "Have you your tools,
Your unguents and ointments, Wisdom Rhee?"
The soldiers did demand. "Of course I do,"
The alchemist replied. "Just bring to me
The weapon that hath made these wounds, and you
Will see them healed. This salve, smeared on it will--"
He stopped. She'd looked a porcupine when found.
Per regs, the arrows in her that were still
Of use were pulled and fired back. "Confound
You fools!" said Rhee. "Go out and bring me all
You find." A pile of missiles soon grew tall.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Sea to Sea, See?

Those little paw prints tracking up the sand
Along the vast Pacific's northern shore
That parallel much larger ones are grand
If none too permanent clues proving lore
That Milo Mudfoot and his hero, Jack
Were first to cross this continent entire.
Arriving on a privateer out back
And east somewhere, then, never did they tire,
They journeyed with a wagon train along
The trail to Oregon. Their masters had
Succumbed to dysentery, but this strong,
Resilient pair of pups, through good and bad,
Had made it. Now they bark at crashing waves
And have all any doggies e'er could crave!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Weird Wednesday: Not in Wonderland, Part XXI

On its advice, our Alice soldiered on
So far across the sand and brush it seemed
She'd left the world behind. One lonely dawn,
However, something out there fiercely gleamed,
Like high-rise window glass, and then a smell
Of water came to Alice, quickening
Her steps. She thought at first, perhaps, a well
Or tiny spring awaited, thickening
The air around it as the desert drank.
What she found when she reached it, though, was not
What she'd expected. Huge, a water tank
Did loom above a lawn of cheatgrass, hot
And raw, and some contraption next it sprayed
A mist into the atmosphere. Man-made!

Terror Tuesday: Thirst

The forest floor was dry. The needles shed
By long-dead evergreens crunched underneath
The hikers' boots 'Twas as if all had fled,
E'en water from the creek beds. No relief,
Save what they'd brought in bottles, could be found.
The air itself seemed it would dessicate
Their flesh. Still up they climbed, the stony ground
A challenge, but all right. Then it grew late.
A likely spot they knew of was the site
They camped at, with no fire, lest they should burn
The region down. They nodded off that night...
Just how it happened we did never learn.
When others found them, at midday, the pair
Were crisp and desiccated, lying there.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Mystery Monday: Lost and Found

July the Fifth, out on the Seventh Green,
Dawned peacefully, until Ms. Johnson brought
Her cart across the grass to play. No scream
As yet, until her friend unhapp'ly sought
An errant ball. She found it, sure, but there
Beside it was -- "Good God, is that a hand??"
It was indeed. But whose? The girls did stare
In shock, regretting their most recent stand
Against on-course libations. When at last
A course employee stopped with them, as one
They screamed and pointed. "Oh!" he said. "That's great!
"Un-handy Andy earned his name. Yeah, fun!"
"What do you mean?" "Oh, see, just after eight
Last night, he ran the fireworks, and he blew--"
"Oh God, don't tell us. Let's all just play through."

-Inspired by Andy Van Tol

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Satire Sunday: The Politicians' Plaint

A sign a town is small is seen on days
When towns all over hold parades, as on
July the Fourth. In Togie Town, always
The line up takes more time than e'er does yon
Procession (down four blocks). For yet more fun
The early floats must discharge quickly, that
Someone be there to see the later ones;
Contrariwise, those entries who come at
The end form all the spectators at first,
Then run to line up as their turns approach.
Those in the middle have it much the worst,
Seen not, and seeing no one. None dared broach
The issue 'til this year: all those who sought
Elective office always there were caught.

Sci Fi Saturday: The Scrap Drive

The station was the oldest, and the last
Left orbiting the ruined planet, and
No population policies had passed
In generations. As numbers did expand
So did the station. Now it was a mess
Of modules built in haste, each one less strong
And sturdy than the last. The last address
The council'd given said that they'd been wrong
Last time, and so a panic run on steel
And other metal swept the place. They took
It all, the cooking tools, the weapons, and
Poor Sanger's long life's work. One final look
Was all he was allowed. His sculptor's hand
Runs now along the shoddy wall they made
Of all his art, lest memory now fade.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Fantasy Friday: The Slowest Assassin

As plots go, this one was so devious
No one could hold it in his head entire.
But what took Prince Trew far too soon from us
Began just with some seeds. Released by fire
As lore instructed, they were planted by
His royal hand when he was only four.
The tree grew as he did. At 35
He took the throne. Beneath the tree the score
Of gems were added to his crown. At last,
The final stone set in, a blossom burst
And dusted him with pollen. All too fast
He took his final breath. With that the first
Of his five sisters got the crown instead.
She gloated. 'Twas her gift that left him dead.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Mutually Unappetizing

The crew rowed  Sir Tom Bewick to the shore
That he was sure he had discovered first.
But waiting there for him was something more
Than just a tiny greeting party. Worse:
They spoke no English, and Sir Tom, of course
Had no idea what gibberish they shared
Their thoughts of him with. Each group was a source
Of fascination to the other. Scared,
The natives eyed him. Sir Tom eyed them back.
Had either group the other understood,
They'd laugh, for each were fearing an attack
By cannibals! It was too bloody good.
Sir Tom dined on headhunter tales for years;
The natives still have white man-hunter fears!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Weird Wednesday: Not in Wonderland, Part XX

She'd knocked Gas out, the rest of them were dead
Or hiding. Alice stormed into the waste,
Her chatty rifle silent, out of lead
Or good advice. With nothing left to chase
Or question, Alice just kept walking. Dry
And empty, like the land that swallowed her,
She felt no purpose. Nothing left to try,
Nowhere to go. With nothing left to spur
Her onwards, finally she broke the still
And empty silence. "Gun, where can we get
More bullets? And, then, when we fill
You up again, what do you say we let
Someone in charge know that we're here, if such
Exists?" "Well yes, I'd like that very much!"

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Terror Tuesday: Inhalation Damage

What rose up from the burning trees was not
Just any ordinary drifting smoke.
The flames were not just ordinar'ly hot.
'Twas something in the wood, perhaps. They spoke
At first of beetles; timber they had killed
Burnt diff'rently. But soon the valley knew,
Especially those who'd worked that wood, who'd milled
It into Forest Products: it was blue
And lovely, yes, but it was also cursed.
As smoke did cloud the valley, each man saw
As enemies his neighbors. All dispersed.
Distrust grew into hate and fear. The law
Was powerless. The murders didn't stop
Until one frightened cop was left on top.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Mystery Monday: Her Voyage, Part VIII

That afternoon, along a lonely beach,
Where seldom ventured visitors, occurred
The last thing we'd expect. The creature's reach,
Its native waters, are, so I have heard
Entirely unlike where it appeared.
Nor does its kind come often upon land.
It swam the sand and soil until it neared
My sister's home. In haste did Krissy stand
And shoo away -- but 'twas I she dismissed!
"I have to take this" was all that she said.
I left but lingered; just to see what this
Was all about. I watched her shake her head
And wave her hands in anger, so I thought,
But couldn't tell from my poor hiding spot.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Satire Sunday: Another Way to Seize Power

"A better time there ain't," Eeago said
As his own lord and master took a look
At their new list of pris'ners and of dead.
"No one here could oppose us."  Duke Drmpf shook
His orange head. "The rest, though, they'll come back
When done are all those dread hostilities.
And they'll undo our work." "Not if we stack
The deck while they are gone. My dear lord, please
Consider this. We call a vote before
More time escapes us. With it we'll declare
Those now abroad are citizens no more..."
"You're right! The dolts still here don't even care.
They'll vote with us, and then we just point out
Those who return are foreign, with no clout!"

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Sci Fi Saturday: The Secret Weapon

There's only ever one way to defeat
The Great Regression Field, that pulls us down
Below our sentience. We cannot cheat
Or trick a way on through. The Chosen, brown
Of hair and eye, was born for sacrifice.
From birth he was prepared for this one task,
Trained only to destroy the fell device.
No language did he learn, or skills. We asked
One thing alone of him, our brute, our dumb
But vital boy. He set off yesterday.
When all else hit the field, their minds go numb
And ne'er recover, witless beasts of clay.
Thus we are governed. But, should he succeed,
This planet can be ours again, indeed!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Dog Week: Fantasy Friday: The Slayer

The fangs that gleamed in her attacker's maw
Were small and sharp, but not yet blood-stained. She
Watched carefully her foe's quick-twitching jaw
That feinted at her throat again. A wee
But speedy paw deflected, too, thus strike
Just like the multitudes before. No, Death --
Nor yet un-death would claim her now. I'd like
To tell you Sadie Rus-tese never lost her breath
Or took a scratch, but 'gainst a vampire-cat
That can't be so. But with her long, long limbs
She kept the thing at bay, e'en as it spat
And hissed its vilest threats. Throughout the grim
And endless night they battled, until dawn
Destroyed the monster. Sadie simply yawned.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Dog Week: Throwback Thursday: His Weakness, Our Strength; Or, the Case of the Baleful Ball

Jack Rottbador, the loyal guardian to
The little Queen of Scots, while she, in France
Endured attacks from ev'rywhere, came through
Most specially when somehow, by some chance
Wee Mary showed up with a pomander
Of brilliant hue and sweet and sickly scent.
She loved it so, she kept it close to her
At all times, so its perfume'd soon be spent.
No one could make her give it up. And when
Just days since she'd received it, she grew pale
And listless, she clung to it more. There'd been
A panic; she'd been poisoned! How? The wail
Fell on deaf canine ears. He saw the ball,
Then snatched, then lost it near the palace wall!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Dog Week: Weird Wednesday: Rosie Chihuassell, Scourge of Monster Kind

Nobody saw the monster -- well, except
For Rosie, pint-sized ball of ire and fur
And anger that intruders might beset
Her territory. Were this to occur
She'd kill or else be killed! Among her stock
Of weapons was her mighty sonic shriek.
She used it 'gainst all foes around the clock
With varying success. It was quite weak
On deer and power mowers, cats and those
Across the street who went about their chores
Like nought was wrong. At nighttime, though, there rose
The ghasts and gaunts and ghouls that she abhors,
That she alone can see. They shall not feed
While she can bark, they agonize indeed.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Dog Week: Terror Tuesday: A Neighborhood's Revenge

It was a Tuesday, very hot for June,
When Zoe told the others what she'd learned.
The dogs declared this very afternoon
Was when they'd act upon the rage which burned
In each of them. By ones and twos they left
Their yards (their masters working or at naps)
And all, the mighty dogs whose heft
Defeated humans; smaller ones whose yaps
Pierced space and time, did gather at the place
Described by Zoe, and began their Howl
Of Condemnation. Ev'ry canine face
Was black with concentration. One last yowl
And lo, the ritual was quite complete,
Cat killer's screams of horror sounding sweet.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Dog Week: Mystery Monday: A Plot Uncovered

Another kitten found dead in the road.
Miss Zoe Boxer knew this could not be
Coincidence! But information flowed
So poorly in her neighborhood. "I'm free,"
She reasoned. "Ev'rybody else is stuck
In fences. Only I can roam about
And find the truth! All right, then, wish me luck!"
From yard to yard she rambled. Over shouts
From humans to "Go home" she did consult
With all the canine sages. No one knew
Why feral kittens met with such results.
But then, in one vast driveway -- yes! A clue!
A dish of antifreeze was proffered there.
No critter who drank of it lived to share!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Dog Week: Satire Sunday: Big Living

As Albert Einstein stretched his corgi legs
(A deeply cute and funny thing to see)
His daughter, Margaret Thatcher cried "I beg
You once again to do this thing for me!"
(She said this with her face and tail, of course;
E'en corgis cannot speak the Queen's). "All right,"
Her daddy said. "Your nags at last hath force."
(They're quite expressive, no?) "I shall not fight.
We'll find a house that suits us. Turn it on."
An HGTV marathon ensued.
The perfect tiny house would be theirs! Gone
Would be that too-high furniture! Their food
Would ne'er be out of reach! One problem, though:
In so small quarters, where'd their human go?

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Dog Week: Sci-Fi Saturday: Discontinued Models

Suzanne and Rick had full lives, but as age
Crept up on them, they did admit some need.
Rick hated carebots, though. Then, on a page
In Cyber Fancy, their son chanced to read
An ad for a new breed of home-care tech:
NurseDogz! Thus came to their old house a pair
Of fuzzy poodles, programmed well to check
Blood pressure and such other stats as their
Physicians liked to know. And they were cute!
But soon Rick had subverted Willow, who
Reverted to her yappy, happy roots
And lied on her reports. Then Gracie, too
Developed glitches. Suzanne's crafty hack
Let her shop Amazon behind Rick's back!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Fantasy Friday: A High Turn-Over Rate Explained

O'Liam spent his days upon high plains
Beneath the purest skies, the brightest sun.
He filled his canteen at streams fed by rains
The gods themselves had sent. When day was done
He played his pipes then slept in starlight, glad
And merry. All was happiness until
Roe Rippon met his end, and met it bad.
This left a vacancy for Li to fill.
The herd was wondrous, beauty on the hoof,
Each mare of shining whiteness that would blind
Mere laymen's eyes. But those who called the Roof
Of Mountains home, were chosen. All was fine.
But then a stallion found the herd. Li failed
To fend him off, and, like Roe, died impaled.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Simonides Pro-Agon

Two hundred ninety nine, and then there's me
A-waiting in the pass to take on more
Humanity than otherwise we'd see
Within our lifetimes. As it's said in lore
About such situations, we are doomed,
But, too, some stories from much further east
Talk of the little guy, as tall death loomed,
Who took it down as eas'ly as a beast
For slaughter. So, obedient to your laws
We stand. This Xerxes, he's still just a man
And men are mortal. Plus, we have a cause:
Our lands and all for which we feel they stand.
What's that? I hear a whoosh, and feel a pain
Between my eyes. Am I thus to be slain?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Weird Wednesday: Arrangements

The dinner by the railroad tracks looked closed,
But smells of frying bacon, coffee, eggs
And maple syrup wafted out. Supposed
A body wandered in, Lynch thought. His legs
Were stiff from walking. Breakfast would be nice!
He sidled in. She nodded toward a seat.
"Sure thing. You sure don't have to tell me twice!"
He laughed. Soon he was finishing a sweet
And toasty roll with coffee. Then she slid
Into his booth. "We're at the KOA,"
She told him. "How'd you know? I's just a kid
Last time they did the ritchul." She would say
No more. And at the campground, a new stake
Was pounded in. Lynch soon would feed the Slake.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Terror Tuesday: Cross-Species Contamination

So badly wounded he could barely stand
Came Fenrir. The apothecary groaned
To see him. Werewolves, he'd said, should be banned.
Now here one was. "Please help me, Fenrir moaned
And held up one bright token that could not
E'er be rejected. He was hemorrhaging.
"Oh no! 'Tis a disaster! I have got
So little blood in stock!" "Doc, this thing --"
"Yes, yes, shut up. But all I have is Vlad.
I need more donors!" "Doc, you must obey --"
"I know. But this will be so very bad..."
But this transfusion did indeed take place,
And now a werewolf-vampire's ours to face.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Mystery Monday: Her Voyage, Part VII

As we talked, this strange woman who both was
And wasn't my own sister, honeybees
Surrounded us. They lighted, did not buzz,
Just quietly awaited something. "Please,"
She said with some anxiety, "Hold still."
I did -- I am allergic -- and we sat
That way for what seemed hours. When the chill
Of ev'ning then set in, a tabby cat,
A stray, jumped on the porch's railing, hissed,
And drove the bees away. "So then about
"These cultists," I began, but ageless Kris
Stole all my thought with such an angry glare
I felt that there was murder in that stare!"

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Satire Sunday: It's Always Midnight, Part II

Ms . Suki flew a cargo freighter on
A fixed, unchanging route. A run took weeks,
Much of that time spent waiting to be gone
While maint crews did their thing. When Suki speaks
Of downtime, she knows best of anyone
The boredom that entails. It's no surprise,
Then, that on Ceres she has lots of fun,
A swinging single, while elsewhere grey eyes
(Her wife's) light up when her route brings
Her "home". And inside yet another rock
Two husbands raise her children. How these things
Were all discovered ends with screams and shock.
Her wife and younger husband, there on tryst
Had just meet Suki's girlfriend in their midst.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Sci Fi Saturday: It's Always Midnight, Part I

The asteroid was not on many charts,
And bore no ore to make it worth the while
Of any who'd exploit it 'round those parts.
So it was perfect for a man of guile
Like Kwame Mikkelsen to build a place
Where secrets were exchanged, where shady deals
Were made and kept, where those of any race
Might go to mingle over hasty meals.
So he'd imagined, but reality
Made it more sordid yet. As tumbling rock
Did turn, more wedding vows were broken than
At any other dive. No ticking clock
Or tug of gravity stopped dame or man
From doing as they pleased. Then Suki Page
Hijacked a freighter, crashed it there in rage!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Fantasy Friday: A Poor Choice of Messiah

When Nol was born, no pilgrimage occurred
To see him, and no costly gifts were laid
Beside his bed. No bright and godlike bird
Announced his coming. No one's even made
An icon of this great event, but all
Know ev'ry moment of it, from the worst
Contractions that his mother felt, the bawl
He let loose when the air, so cold at first
Met his bare bottom. Now, as time and age
Have found him, none of us can see or hear
Or leave our beds. We've trembled with his rage
And laughed with him. It only took one smear
Of his blood on our skins. We all are he
And only when he's gone will we be free.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Throwback Thursday: The Unsettlers

Through icy seas and storms, their longship had
Survived, and they'd sailed west in search of new
Unplundered settlements. Ashore and clad
In leather and in furs and clutching blue
And stolen steel, Gudrun and Halfdan strode
Into Vinland's interior with their kin.
And plenty game they found, but no abode
Of men. One cannot raid where there has been
No one creating wealth. "We only find
A hunting ground," said Gudrun to her man.
"If there is metal here, we'd have to mine
And smelt it on our own. And break the land
Ourselves to plow it." Halfdan nodded. They
Stayed not. All eyes then watched them sail away.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Weird Wednesday: The Campus Tour

They hadn't really thought things fully through
When they established this fine school. They'd named
It after an inspiring author, who
Was much admiréd, but when that time came
To choose a mascot -- oh, it's still too soon
To talk about what happened? Not all folk
Know how their loved ones died? But hey, it's June
And football ended months ago! The smoke
Still hasn't cleared? The field's still burning? Get
Yourselves together! There's a summer term
Beginning in just days! Yes, I just met
The chancellor, who said so. Yes, the burn
Is sad, and I am sure the dragon feels
As sorry as the staff, right now, for reals!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Terror Tuesday: Design Disruption

He built the hallways narrow, made the walls
Look thick, but in reality conduct
And amplify all sounds, so tunes, phone calls
And conversations sometimes really sucked
For all the neighbors -- but not always. Drains
And sewer pipes were yet another way
To torment, subtle stinks to waft. The brains --
The lizard bits at least -- were made to play
Inconstant tricks on residents throughout
The day and night. In public spaces each
Was rubbed 'gainst each 'til murders came about.
The architect, instead of Ire and blame
Received state contacts! Hundreds of the same!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Mystery Monday: Her Voyage, Part VI

We found out, then, that there had been a cult
Around her in the Nineteen-Twenties! When
Bad dreams and visions ceased to give insult
To sanity, then gratitude, amen,
Took over. Many children bore her name,
And many were the offerings of gold
From hidden stashes made to her. Her fame
Was kept confined. But when they'd all grown old
While she did not, her cultists built a boat
To ship off to her origin; they sought
The source of her strange fortune. They did float
Away into the unknown. She did not
Know what had come of them, not after that.
They did, she noted, think the Earth was flat.

Satire Sunday: Leftovers Indeed

They'd all been Raptured up, just like it said
In Bibles ev'rywhere. The clothing piles
Stayed undisturbed for days; nobody's head
Could wrap around just what this meant. No smiles,
No tears, just numbness. When at last the State
Sent crews around, six weeks had passed them by.
Then slowly, people came 'round to their fate
As "Left Behinds" and then nary an eye
Was batted. All the bigots and the ones
Who'd preached of hate while claiming to preach love,
Who'd started wars and lobbied to keep funds
From helping poor unfortunates, each of
The clinic bombers, gone forevermore!
A whole new life was possible, therefore!

Sci Fi Saturday: Maintenance Records

The small glass lens near fell out of her hand
When came a faint recording that did play.
Her time with this small robot, she found, spanned
A decade as the hologram's display
Recalled their years together, and each part
On Go-Go she'd replaced. She thought at first
That she'd just hit some circuit at the start,
But after the short program came the worst:
More than one-half of Go-Go, now, was not
Original, which meant that Go-Go had
Become a whole new construct, and was caught
In mandatory reset mode. 'Twas bad:
Upgraded software might be really great,
But her old friend was gone, and that she'd hate.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Fantasy Friday: Trash Talk

'Your knight swings you like he just hacked you off
A log. It's like you're made of rotting wood!"
"You're hardly anything to swish and scoff!
That knave is going to shatter you for good --
The smith that forged you rushed too quickly through
Your tempering. Just look at all those cracks!"
"Which one of us has got a rare and blue
Bright diamond in the pommel? Just what hacks --
Ow!" "Haha! I nicked you fair and square!
I may not be all fancy, but this ain't
The first duel I've been drawn in." "Do you dare
Imply I'm just a decorations?" "Blades!
Shut up; we're trying to fight. Don't snipe like maids!"

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Early Spycraft

The Tyrant knew that there had been a plot
Against his life and power, but to find
Conspirators! So far his men had not,
And this weighed very heavy on his mind.
The morning Deipnotes brought him a sheaf
Of parchment he had intercepted in
Agora, at first there'd been only rage:
The damning lines had quickly, to the grief
Of Deipnotes, just vanished from the page!
The Tyrant tossed it carelessly upon
His table and did banish his young man
(Until, at least, he needed him to don
His cupbearer disguise). Thus passed a span
Of fretful hours, until a brazier's heat
Brought back the letters of the plan, complete!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Terror Tuesday: Undone

The sign read "De-Tattooing - Painless - Free".
He'd driven by it ev'ry day and rubbed
The ink upon his forearm. "Lorelei
Forever." His sweet wife had always dubbed
It Fred's mistake, and made him promise no
Such thing would bear her name. Why not find out
What could be done? The woman made a show
Of checking out the art, then said "About
Ten minutes." Then, though he'd not said
To do it, she applied the gun and smiled.
It drew the ink from out his skin. His head
Grew heavy. As she worked, his dreams were wild.
When he awoke, he sat within his truck,
No ink, or mem'ry of his life or luck.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Mystery Monday: Her Voyage, Part V

Where did she go? And how did she become
This being we confronted now? A test
Of DNA proved we were sisters. From
Her sample, too, we found that she, at best,
Had telomeres like any toddler child 
Might boast. How had this happened? She could not
Explain it. She had always, since the wild
Unconquered isle had first felt the hard trot
Of man and horse, dwelt here. The locals called
Her Grammy and they left her quite alone,
Unless someone, like she, felt strangely called
By forces both uncanny and unknown.
Such folk might visit her, and she would take
Their visions from them, gently, with a shake.

Satire Sunday: The Hippest Hoard

He haunted thrift stores when his time was free,
Bought broken things to fix, but not to sell.
His home was crammed with bygone tech, some he
Could never use, its very function well
Made obsolete. Still Michael had the urge,
Still he accumulated ancient clocks
That kept poor time, computers that a surge
Of power had destroyed but still had blocks
Of memory... His hoard exceeded soon
His home's capacity. Then, one sad day
A ghost town's old museum did announce
Its closing, yea, forever. Nought could stay
(A reservoir would flood it). He did pounce
And spent six months removing, bit by bit,
A fire-watch tower. What to do with it?

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sci Fi Saturday: The Pilgrims

The aliens' religion made no sense
Until Wade Poppy stole the new device
That Doctor Grimes invented (at expense
Beyond belief) that, when activated twice
Sent pulses to observers' brains that made
Beholders see themselves when looking at
A stranger of another species. Wade
Gained entry to their Temple Ararat
(It's not known why they built there). What he saw
Explained it all. Their ancient god, a twin
To Ronald Reagan without e'en one flaw,
Was why they showed such ecstasy when they
Met humans. They had come to earth to pray!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Fantasy Friday: A Sad Lesson

The schoolroom "pet" that year was not a beast,
But was, in fact, a lemmintree that grew
Upon the window sill, where it faced east
And filled the school with scent from its pale blue
And brown-eyed flowers, 'til they dropped. The fruit
That grew from then on started yellow and
Then deepened. When mature, each, like a flute
Emitted lovely notes. They formed a band
That played enchanting tunes at sunset. One
Sad day, though, they fell ripe and ran away.
The class gave chase, and thought it was great fun,
Until they reached the cliffs above the spray
Of Mora's sea. The lemmins rampaged on
Despite the weeping children. They were gone!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Throwback Thursday: The Impact of a Prank

Hans Liebaum raised a wolf cub, sweet and tame
And most intelligent. It almost spoke
As humans did, Hans swore (he had no shame
About tale-telling). One dark night, a joke
Occurred to him. He taught his lupine friend
Its part, o'er months, until a village fair
Nearby their woodland home came round again.
That night a full moon shone. Without a care
Hans danced a merry jig beside the fire,
Called out "what's that?" and when the people turned
Swapped in his wolf, dressed in his clothes. The shire,
Astounded by this magic, nearly burned
The square. The legend born on that wild night
Lives on in werewolf tales. Don't let them bite!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Weird Wednesday: Not in Wonderland, Part XIX

The scene they left, the rifle and its girl,
Is best left undescribed. Tea parties should
Have nicer endings than a haze and whirl
Of lead destroying their whole neighborhood,
But such are things out in the deadly waste.
The jackalope with two heads would have peace
From squabbles at the very least. In haste,
Though, Alice hadn't checked her ammo. Feast
Then famine for her weapon. That's why Gas
Survived and now was at her side, a stream
Of promises, apologies, too fast
To comprehend. He'd built a head of steam
'Til Alice stopped her striding. "Gas, you know,
Just shut your mouth." It only took one blow.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Terror Tuesday: True Terror, Part II

He'd checked a dozen times, but nothing 'bout
That ice cream truck was sinister. Indeed,
The driver was a frat brother. His shout
That first day was expressing his mere need
For beers after his shift; soon Cooley'd made
A great new friend. But then came rain that would
Not stop. As his child grew, the plans he'd laid
Proved problematic. Roads washed out for good,
Thick mold appeared on ev'rything, his wife
Had allergy attacks that almost killed
Them both, and still the rain fell. "Eff my life!"
Said Tad (the ice cream man) on a quick break.
Come see this massive earthworm! Why'd you shake?'

Mystery Monday: Her Voyage, Part IV

Of course, my younger son and I went to
The town of Digby, there to see if she
They called Kris Pollard really could be who
They claimed. The woman certainly could be
My sister; she looks just as Krissy did
At age sixteen. My sister, though, is twice
That age (and then some). Too, this ageless kid,
She knows us not. I took her wife's advice
(Each generation, she has found it best
To marry her caretaker, simplify
Her complex mode of life that way): a pest
Gets fewer answers. Now and then we try
A song, a photo, but so far her mind
Connects them to much older things, we find.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Satire Sunday: The Profile Trap

The red corvette sped by, a hundred miles
Per hour on his radar. Trooper Bopp
Flipped on his lights and siren, called to Stiles,
Patrolling just ahead to aid the stop.
A merry chase ensued until the sticks
Had shredded three new tires. The young men,
All brown and Spanish speaking, had no tricks
That Bopp and Stiles were new to. There had been
A pound of weed beneath some coffee grounds,
And forty pine air fresheners hung from
The ceiling of the car, to stump the hounds.
As handcuffs clicked, Bopp crowed "You guys are dumb."
A minivan, old lady at the wheel,
Eased by, its cocaine cargo safe. Good deal.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Sci Fi Saturday: Deersaster!

A prion malady affecting deer
Was Deirdre's research topic: not to cure
But to control it. Ever there's the fear
That populations will exceed the sure
Capacity of habitats. To hunt
Or eat the animals was not the way
On Deirdre's planet. One day, with a grunt
Of triumph, an assistant, Donnie Ray,
Showed off results with promise, and the news
Did reach the money men too quickly. Thus
Field testing in the wild, that would yield clues
Concerning flaws, was skipped. Therefore the fuss
Is justified. Now ev'ry town's beset
By telepathic ungulates, O vet!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Fantasy Friday: A Change of Employer

The pair checked in just ere the crack of dawn.
They both looked tired, but one seemed quite near death,
So pale and wan. The other gave a yawn
That showed vast teeth, e'en as there puffed no breath.
I realized what I witnessed, but I had
No choice. I'm just a desk clerk, had to rent
A room to them. It's legal, but it's bad
That folk can choose so exploitive and bent
A way to make a living. Vampires are
E'er at advantage, rich and sexy, too,
So I bet they don't pay well. "Park the car,"
This one bid his blood bag. "And as for you,
You're coming too, to feed me, as you're bid."
"Uh, no!" I said, but then of course I did.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Aeronautical Advances

What Icarus and Daedelus had done
Was not entir'ly wrong, as Donocles
Concluded. From his childhood in the sun
Of Thebes, his thoughts had tended toward these
Ideas. Where had those two gone so wrong?
The boy had flown too high; his sin of pride
Was what most took away, ne'er mind the long
And careful planning of his father. Wide
Was Donocles's smile. They all forgot
The sun could not have melted those fine wings
Were they not bound by wax. But cords and knots
Would fare much better! Soon he'd put these things
In order, and sent skyward his own boy...
Who failed to fly at all. Still not the ploy.

Weird Wednesday: The Patriarch

From deep within the tree trunk watched a man
Who'd disappeared within it long ago,
His price for going forward with a plan
To guard his own descendants, see them grow
In safety from his enemies. From there
Beneath the bark and sap, his will held sway.
When raiding parties came to strip him bare
They found him not. His family, at play
Did never know their danger. Swarms of bees
And other creatures barred those who'd attack,
As Father willed. And through the centuries
His tree spread suckers, claiming rich and black
And fertile land for all his progeny.
A bargain quite well struck, if you ask me.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Terror Tuesday: True Terror, Part I

"Bestseller" was a title from his dreams,
But now it was quite real for Cooley. All
His wishes had come true, as though bright beams
Of pure good fortune shone on him. The tall
And handsome woman he had married then
Told him he'd be a father in the spring.
His joy could not be measured. When a friend
Joked that it was just like his books (a string
Of such remarks were made), he tried to laugh
It off, but when one day an ice cream truck
Began patrolling on his street, he half
Began to cry. "It's just coincidence,"
His mother cooed, but that just made him wince.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Mystery Monday: Her Voyage, Part III

Such clues there were to work with! Few made sense.
Her nephew has no mem'ry of the stunt
He called his mom about; the strange, intense
And quiet intonations, let's be blunt
Of those school children are in no known tongue.
Meanwhile, the captain has his own thing on
(It's gender reassignment, and it stung
His wife when he came clean about it). Gone
She still remains, and no one -- wait, what's this?
Dear list'ners, new reports keep coming in!
A man in Nova Scotia claims that Kris --
Yes, her, Miss Pollard -- all these years has been
An ageless resident of Digby town
Ere since the cornerstone was there laid down!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Satire Sunday: Wait, Who Are We Mad At, Again?

As adaptations went, this was unique.
The heroes of the novels were transformed
By TV into cowards, thieves and sneaks;
The villains were redeemed. The fans were warned
That changes would be happening, lest, stale
And run by rote, the story'd be a bore
For those who'd read the books, but that did fail
To stave off ire and violence. A score
Of scripters soon were threatened, and, likewise,
Some TV fans who'd taken up the books
While waiting for new seasons set their eyes
Upon a stand-in "writer", one whose looks
Incensed them all the more. The author, though
Was really the same guy who ran the show.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Sci Fi Saturday: The Beltane Boom

The first year on the generation ship,
Made natural-ish, at least on the inside
Almost became the last, long ere its trip
Was past the asteroids. A bona fide
And serious tribe of neo-pagans had
Formed up, perhaps from homesickness, and they
Determined that traditions, good and bad,
Must be preserved; yes, they should find a way
To keep all holidays, and be as like
The celebrations held in days of yore.
The gardens' yellow flowers saw a spike
In harvesting, but what near caused the war
Began with rubbing table legs real fast
To light a need fire in the hold. Avast!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Fantasy Friday: The Hybrid Highwaymen

"Man overboard!" A deck hand had declared,
But no one stirred to save the wizard , Dave,
Who'd made them all his slaves, but then got scared
On deck, and didn't hold on as a wave
Knocked him into the water. Ere he drowned,
However, a small pod of dolphins took
Him as a plaything, shoved him all around,
Head butted him, then vi'lently they shook
Him wide awake. A chant, a gesture, and
They swam him to the shore. Once there, his spell
Transformed them. Now a violent, thuggish band
Of grey men with big toothy smiles, like hell
With flipper hands, rampages through the woods
With Dave, relieving trav'lers of their goods!

- For Matt Wallace

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Throwback Thursday: A Culinary Discovery

Delicious grubs can be so hard to find
When times are lean. All living things need food
And safety. But when hunger starts to grind
The gut, however simple, even chewed
And prickly things appeal. Thus one sere day,
Long, long ago, a desp'rate mother, one
With twins to nurse, whose mate had gone away,
Found nothing good to eat beneath the sun,
So checked an unknown plant, and spied a worm
Tucked twixt its tight and spiny leaves. She pricked
Her finger grabbing at it as it squirmed,
But got it, though her fingernail was nicked.
She'd scraped a bit of leaf up with her meal,
And tasted artichoke! A double deal!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Weird Wednesday: The Curse

The jewel he'd stolen was of little worth,
Quite flawed and unattractive, but its cost!
A voice had told him he would walk the earth
One final year before at last he lost
A precious gift. The anniversary
Of his tomb raid passed with no incident,
But on the morning next he did not see
Or hear his wife beside him. He just went
About his old routine. He simply thought
His space was being respected. Only when
He saw the tableware move, and did spot
Food disappearing as he dined -- he'd been
Made blind to living beings. What they did
He saw full well, but faces, forms were hid!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Terror Tuesday: The Thief's Confession

I've told no one these facts, but what occurred,
It felt so good I did not seek escape,
E'en as my flesh dissolved. Delight's the word
I'd use describing it. Though now I drape
My shapeless form on couches and must write
By dictating, how gladly I'd return
(If I but could), and no, I would not fight
To save myself. The reek, the rapid burn
Of its miasma have a strange allure
I long for even now, though I know well
Its consequence. The treasure is secure
While guarded by that creature! I'll not tell
Where it is found; the danger is too great.
No more adventurers should share this fate.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Mystery Monday: Her Voyage, Part II

My son just called me, though it's 2 a.m.,
To tell me of a message he received
At an address kept secret (All of them
Are such, but this is routed. I believe
Through -- I don't really understand this stuff, it's just
No one should have it). "Really, I know where
Aunt Kris has gone," he told me. "Do you trust
Whoever sent this?" I asked. "I don't care;
A lead's a lead." "Good point. So what's your news?"
"Afghanistan." "You're nuts. Why would she be--"
"That's not a place," my son said. "Look, we use
A code. It means she really isn't free--"
"A code?" "We made it up when I was small,
Just for some fun--" then something killed the call!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Satire Sunday: Stranger Danger

She cut her finger while she sliced some beets.
The blood and veggie juice flowed and combined
To form an image: Jesus' face! The tweets
Displaying this near broke the Web. Her mind
Resisted apophenia, but friends
Who'd been there in the kitchen roared as one:
"This is a sign! Our tribulations' end
Is soon! Your blood, an image of the Son..."
No more coherence came from them. Then, soon,
Came pilgrims to her door. Her cutting board
Was now a relic! One night, beneath a moon
Surpassing bright, a vast unruly horde
Of crazed phlebotomists arrived to drain
Her dry so they could stage portentous rain!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sci Fi Saturday: An Awkward Evening in Airy-0

The party was in full swing, canapés
In ev'ry hand, for ev'ry lip a drink.
The host looked on with satisfaction; days
Of preparation paid off. "Do you think
That Ross will be here? Carrie, too? I hope!"
He said to his young husband as the dome
Dimmed down to ev'ning mode. "Don't be a dope,
They're over there." He glided 'cross his home
And waited with politeness as his guests
Conversed. "Oh, so you guys are some of THOSE,"
Young Ross was saying. "Oh man, that's the best!
Hey Carrie, these folks think we all arose
On Earth! I bet they think that Mars is flat
As well!" Their host blushed. "Sorry about that..."

Friday, April 22, 2016

Fantasy Friday: Not in Wonderland, Part XVIII

"My name is Alice, but this place sure ain't
No Wonderland. I've had it with this crap.
I wish I had my rifle, though." A faint
But growing sound of laughter sounded. "Strap
Me on, then." "What? Who's there?" "Just look below
The table, idiot." "Don't call me that,"
She said through gritted teeth. "I might just go
All postal on you." "Time we had a chat
In that case." "You stay down." "You silly girl,
You think that I'm attacking? Here it is!"
Gas gave it to her as a wicked curl
Deformed her lips as she examined his
Blind offering, and cocked it. "Ready, aim..."
The rifle said "Shut up, I know the game."

Throwback Thursday: 1666

'Twas early in September, and they'd met
At Colin Cooper's large house in the Lane
Called Pudding. He was in fine form, as yet
One hour into his sermon when a plain
Young woman, in her boredom, let her gaze
Go wandering to yonder window. "Smoke?"
She whispered, but was shushed. "The End of Days
Commenceth soon," cried Cooper. "Those who joke,
Who mock us, will repent in flame and ash!"
He kept on going, as the brethren hung
On ev'ry word. Outside there came a crash,
But they ignored it. E'en as wood smoke stung
Their eyes, they kept on praying, duty bound.
Weeks later, blackened corpses were so found.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Weird Wednesday: Inbreeding? You Decide

At last the resource needed for to learn
Important truths existed: time machines!
A grant approved, a crew was sent to burn
Their names into pure Science Legend, deans
And tenured types, and grad students, all went
Into the past, disguised as being from
A made-up planet. Subjects who'd been bent
Enough to vote for Drumpf were made to come
Aboard their "spacecraft" to be probed back there.
The study took some forty years of toil,
And when their sampling was complete, much care,
Analysis and fact-checking each coil
Of DNA thus taken did suggest
Familial links 'mongst the race's "best."

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Terror Tuesday: Our Hidden Partners

It's time you learned the truth of how things work.
But brace yourself; you're going to find it gross.
You know how you sometimes have "hypnic jerks"?
They're not what you think, man, not even close.
Here, put these on. I know they're kind of dumb,
But what you see through them will blow your mind.
Look at your thigh. Right there, where it feels numb?
Chill out. It's always been there, in some kind
Of symbiosis. There's one on your back,
And in your ear, and halfway up your -- but
That's not the thing. It's laying eggs. Keep track!
The eggs then hatch, way deep inside your gut
And burst out when you're sleeping. No, there ain't
A thing that we can -- oh, another faint.

Mystery Monday: Her Voyage, Part I

She hadn't bothered checking for a name
Or destination; she just sought a ship.
She'd tailed a crewman from a poker game
As far as this one's gangplank. Thus her trip
Began. But how it ended, no one knows.
Miss Pollard hasn't e'er been seen again.
We know she stowed away, that this she chose,
From diary pages. We find, now and then,
A clue. A captain home in Trondheim spoke
Her name once in his ravings, drew her face
In charcoal, but won't speak. He'll simply smoke
His life away. And in another place,
In Maine, schoolchildren visit her in dreams
And wake up chanting. None knows what that means.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Satire Sunday: All Ten!

His love of money was his greatest trait;
A golden statue (Mammon) graced his hall.
He said "God damn it" anytime that fate
Denied him. Sundays he most liked to call
For more donations. As for Mom and Dad,
He let them die in public housing. He
Evaded murder charges on a sad
And stupid technicality, then, when free,
He robbed his lawyer's house and then he slept
With that same lawyer's wife. When she confessed
His campaign to slut-shame the woman kept
Her in the tabloids. His flock were impressed
By none of this, because he'd banned the gays
And saved them from those vile, ungodly ways!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Sci Fi Saturday: The Rescuers

"You're all that's left, I think," the being said,
Surveying that small band, that helpless lot
Of wordless humans. One just scratched his head.
The rest just stared. "Oh, that's right, I forgot --
You don't use language anymore, poor dears!"
It held out some bananas and a hunk
Of juicy pork, to overcome their fears
But they persisted rooting through the junk
Left by their ancestors, the ones who'd made
A trash heap of their planet. "Very well,"
The being said. "The sleeping gas, then. Trade
Won't work. Go on, my partners, and please tell
Command we'll have to run another class
Through re-civlization. Hope they pass!"

Fantasy Friday: Not in Wonderland, Part XVII

Then something within Alice snapped at last.
The jackelope, the man named Gas, the shark,
The rat, the wasteland, all she'd seen these past --
How many days? -- it all had left a mark
Upon her, and she'd simply taken it.
"No more!" she bellowed. "I have had enough!"
An angry sweeping arm spilled all the grit
Collected in tin teacups off the rough
And rickety zinc table. She slammed down
A fist and said "Which one of you's the boss?
I want some answers!" No one spoke. Her frown
Just deepened, and she let fly a left cross
That knocked Gas on his bottom. "Oh, well done,"
The shark observed. "I knew this would get fun."

Friday, April 15, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Veterans Island

Depression, when it falls, is hard to shake,
But FDR had come forth with his plan.
When opportunity comes, one must take
Firm hold of it with both hands, as our man,
Ralph Goodwin did: he signed up for the Corps
And rode out West with others like him, to
Rebuild and build America. What's more,
The tiny town where he built up a pool
Whereat a hot springs bubbled from the ground
And helped construct a picnic shelter, stone
By heavy stone, in that place, there he found
His Dorothy. He'd never be alone
Again. And ev'ry year, that island park
He visited to kiss her in the dark.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Weird Wednesday: The Real End to Voting

The Mi-Go joke the candidate had made
Delighted fanbois, but throughout the land
Some found it most un-funny. When it played
In loops on Vine, each time, more cultists planned
Revenge. The stars would not be right for weeks,
But other things were possible, and soon
The Crawling Chaos, he who only speaks
Unto the faithful during each new moon,
Had cast his dapper hat into the ring.
Campaign events soon ended in spilt blood,
And hazy memories of unclean things
Who shared their DNA, beneath the mud,
With party members. By election day
Their new-enfranchised offspring voted yea.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Terror Tuesday: Ingredient Shopping

A table, unobtrusive, set with sweets
Of ev'ry hue and kind, was set beside
A beat-up van, one scarred by roads and streets
Much rougher than this town's. To it was tied
A sign "Big bake sale; all of local make
From fresh ingredients." "Come here and try
A piece of my world-famous Cowboy Cake--
Or is it Plumber Cake? I'll check. Hey, Cy,"
She said to someone in the van "What did
This feller do again? Ah never mind.
We're in Wyoming; odds are that the kid
Did somethin' like that. Cowboy Cake is fine.
What do you do, young lady?" Her lips curled.
"No, wait, don't tell. I've never tried Cowgirl!"

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Satire Sunday: Empty Calories, Part II

"Our customers are not that foolish," said
Fegredo Beck, the Virtease CEO,
When news of shoppers' fates began to spread.
"You'll find its not our doing, as you know."
But soon leaked files proved that 'twas his idea
To phase out the fulfillment side of things --
Not outsource it, but "just axe it," as Sofia,
His majordomo, bluntly phrased it. "Brings
It all into perspective, don't it?" cried
The outraged classes. Soon, though, Virtease made
The matter go away with one great lie:
Those customers whose deaths the world had laid
At Virtease' door, themselves had not been real!
"That's just how good our tech is now, we feel."

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Sci Fi Saturday: Empty Calories

We all knew VR shopping would be big,
Once all the masses could afford the tech,
Or build their own (hello there, Cardboard rig!).
But one entrepreneur, Fegredo Beck
Saw further than the others in his field.
The pleasure got from shopping was the key;
What really would increase shareholder yield
Would be to isolate this. Soon delivery
Of things to customers was taken out
Of the equation. Goods both bought and sold
Were simply in the cloud. This brought about
Some consequences, though, no one foretold:
Among the goods were such delicious food
That people starved in their apartments. Crude.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Fantasy Friday: Kindergarten Cabal

The education bureaucrats had struck
Again: The newest ruling did require
That wyvern-milk, delivered by a truck,
Replace the local gryphon product. Ire
And demonstrations met announcements of
The policy, but Monday morning naps
At Wee-zards had the new drinks. "You'll just love
This stuff," Miss Prism said. "Sweet dreams, my chaps!"
The children handed back their cups, lay down,
And soon were sleeping. Then the chaos came:
The side effects of wyvern milk, profound,
Took hold. Each child began to dream the same,
And their untutored powers were set loose!
Miss Prism still is lost, is now a goose!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Mr Brill's First Victim

She'd outspent all her friends on her new frock
And coat, and smart and flatt'ring new cloche hat,
But Miss Lucinda really sought to shock
More than to incite envy. She knew that
Some suffragettes had some odd stunt well-planned
For Easter Sunday, in the great parade,
But it took her some effort, and some bland,
Insipid ev'nings learning those they'd made.
In secret she stole Winky's half-smoked pack
To practice. On Good Friday, she did light
Her first, her only; blowing from out back
A cross breeze caught her flame, and soon her slight
And boyish frame and new duds were afire.
Her Torch of Freedom, no one would admire.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Weird Wednesday: Not in Wonderland, Part XVI

"The higher, then the fewer, do you see?"
A man in tattered coveralls did say
As Alice rushed to warn the party. "Hee!"
A sort of dusty rat said. "Come to play?"
The man, whose name tag said to call him Gas
Said eagerly as he sat on a drum
With biohazard markings. "That's the lass!"
A jackelope chimed in, "Dumm said she'd come.
We're to be nice; she helped him stash the bod!"
"What do you mean?" "Shut up, she doesn't know
That he fed her his brother." "Oh my cod,
I smell him on her breath! She has to go."
"Don't be so rude. She's famous and she's free
On this pathetic plane's reality!"

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Terror Tuesday: A Perfect Likeness

To sit to Hughain Mast was quite the coup,
So Lubay chose an outfit with more care
Than most would take o'er foodstuffs. "Show 'em through!"
Lu cried on learning Mast was waiting there.
Lu struck a pose and Mast began to paint.
The portraitist's stare was unnerving, yet
The prestige it conveyed! When Lu went faint
'Twas chalked up to excitement. "Did you get
My best side?" "Oh, indeed." That eerie grin!
Weeks passed. Each day Lu felt a bit less well,
While Mast's strange medium grew thick as sin.
Unveiling day, Lu stayed in bed a spell
While all admired Mast's lifelike masterpiece.
Lu's bones, meanwhile, had crumbled 'neath the fleece.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Mystery Monday: Conviction

Some perp walk photos showed up on the web,
And then Mariah showed up late to work
With ink-strained fingertips. When nosy Deb
Asked if she could be helpful, just a smirk
Was her reply. What had this woman done?
This sweet, enthusiastic employee,
Who'd always taken bullying (good fun,
They'd always claimed, but sometimes things could be
A little cruel), what mischief had she wrought?
The internet, the TV news, all kept
The secret. At what misdeed was she caught?
The office rumors went wild, 'til she wept
And went home early. Later, she resigned,
Not telling she'd been witness to a crime.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Satire Sunday: Too Late

The leak that mattered, by which, understand,
Is meant the leak exposing his mistakes,
At last had happened. Ronald owned no land,
No assets tangible or other. Lakes
Of debt, forged paper, empty safes, all these
Were what he had. The world thought otherwise,
Of course. His friends, to bully and to tease
Had propped him up, averting all their eyes
From signs that pointed to his lies. But now
His pauper-hood had earned him a new name:
They called him Set. But he still had them. Wow!
He should retreat, perhaps, into his shame,
But he had two more years left in his term.
Those voters, they still had a lot to learn.

Sci Fi Saturday: The Artifact

The airlock wasn't broken; all was well
Except the man who'd passed through it, who'd fooled
Evaluations by the score. We fell
For all his lies - and yet he broke no rule
While breaking space-walk records. It was known
He was a little odd, but no one guessed
When he stayed late again and have a groan
Of happiness, that he had passed his test.
He'd outsmarted the safeguards back on Earth
But kept his secret until now, when he
Undid the locks and clasps and cables. Mirth
Soon froze upon his naked face as, free
Except from physics, he became space junk
Like any other. All your theory's bunk.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Fantasy Friday: Opening Remarks

Your honor, I object to this whole line
Of questioning. It's in the poorest taste,
It's leading and it's speculative. Fine,
His flying horse did bolt, and in her haste
She spattered counsel's roof, but does that mean
My client killed the plaintiff's beast? Oh, no.
I've witnesses who place him on the green,
Engaged in commerce. Furthermore, I'll show
That there's a better suspect: Hortense Blue,
Whose phobia of gryphons has become
A by-word. I submit it was she who
Left Aerohip's stall open. Do not shun
This testimony: distractions like that ease
All kinds of malefactions, if you please.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Discovery in Disaster

She'd gotten so behind in daily chores
That she had harvested a diff'rent reed
Than what was used for bedding. Khamenhors
Did what she could, then hurried off to feed
Her children. That night she and Amunhild
Slept on papyrus, at least until rain --
Most unexpected in this season -- filled
Their dwelling with floodwaters. Her quick brain
Took note of what the fibers from beneath
Their linens had become, first pressed quite flat
Then soaked, then sun-dried! She grabbed up a sheaf
Of fresh papyrus from the Nile's banks "That
Was not an accident. Look what we've found!
Its usefulness outweighs our loss all round!"

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Weird Wednesday: The Right Fairy Tale

The seeds she'd planted simply wouldn't sprout,
And soon she noticed that the water's taste
Was foul straight from the tap. She asked about
And no one's garden seemed to flourish. Waste?
Pollution? Effluent? What was the cause?
No scientist could answer that; no test
Could tell just what had happened. All the laws
Protecting their environment -- the best
In any region -- all were working well.
Yet e'en the bees and butterflies had failed.
At last a chance remark -- "So this is hell" --
Revealed what had occurred. A demon, jailed
In ages ere the Flood, had broken free
And cursed the land and soil -- all it could see.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Terror Tuesday: The Survivor

Don't ask me how I've been. You'll never see
What I have seen, or feel what I have felt.
Just like I'll never know the guilt you free
And untouched souls profess. My hand was dealt.
'Twas I the creature took in all your stead,
'Twas I whose body suffered from its touch,
Whose mind was so polluted. Mine's the bed
Where... No, you cannot trick me. It's too much.
Stop thanking me. I didn't choose to spare
The rest of you. I'd gladly, if the chance
To change things came, throw you at it to bear
What I did. I'm no savior. At a glance,
I'd say... All right, then, fine. Come feel
The skin that I don't have left. It's all real.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Mystery Monday: A Southern Family Secret

Exploring was a trait passed with the genes
In Linus Benson's family. He, too,
Grew restless when in too-familiar scenes,
And so when he was grown, he aimed for blue
And boundless skies he'd conquer with a plane
Of his design. But on his maiden flight
Aboard the craft he'd named Untamed Elaine
(His mother), long before he came in sight
Of far Antarctica, he was pulled down
By forces quite unknown. Soon did he find
That he not alone. The island, crowned
By a volcano's dormant cone, did bind
His wild imagination, for the shape
Of his own mother, stone-carved, made him gape.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Satire Sunday: Decisions, Decisions

"I need some bigger pecs. That model's fired.
And anyway, our skin tones just don't match."
"Dear Leader, but that brand new guy we hired
Can fix all that. He's really quite a catch.
What he can't do with software--" "No! We don't
Manipulate my image that way. Real
Or nothing," growled the president. "I won't
Have history say I am not The Deal."
The model, goosebumps raising on his skin
Bowed low and soon withdrew. "My god, he's big,"
Admired Dear Leader. "All right, drop him in.
But spray tan him some more, 'cause that's the gig.
My head upon his body. Chop him now.
I want to wear him out tonight. Don't bow."