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.