in hues of coolness
Beneath the core the shades blaze
A day to remark on appreciation
Four more to continue unchanged
Years to address our issues
Deniers treat concerns as abstraction
Seeing what they want to see
Consequences are realities happening
Whether we are actively…
Doing or passive



A little something I came up with before Earth Day, in my region, draws to a close.


A Day

I look forward to the day that the plural of ethnicity, ethnicities is not met with a red squiggle line.
“Ethnic groups” is often not the wording I want to use.

Bluebird By Charles Bukowski

In honor of #WorldPoetryDay and the season of Spring, I’m sharing a snippet from one of Bukowski’s numerous poems that connected with me the first time I read it, and it’s one that I think will continue to stick with me for good.


there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
in there…

To read the poem in its entirety go here or here for whichever mood you like best.

Writing Dare: A Family With Three

It was the third time I had been summoned to the residence in two months. This was a surprise visit. When I knocked on the door and it opened, the parents were all smiles.
“Ms. Stevens, so nice to see you again.”
“I’m sure. May I come in?”
I conducted my inspection as thoroughly as any other home. They were squeaky clean, which meant they were hiding something. I went to have my chats with the children. Masey was three and a half: she wouldn’t offer much. Lydia was six and promising, but Andy was eight and a pathological liar. I couldn’t blame him.
I started with Lydia. She skipped in and plopped on her bed. 20 minutes, cats and ponies, but nothing seemed suspect. Next, Andy. In 20 minutes he had become the school president, but again nothing seemed suspect. Last, little Masey. 10 minutes and nothing unusual, until she slid off the bed to leave and her ankle length dress caught on the covers. The slip up revealed a large welt across her thighs and upper calf, likely made with a belt or handle of some sort. So, that was it, someone lost their temper on the baby again.
I recorded this in my notes then excused myself to phone in for back up. Since this wasn’t the first incident, the kiddos would have to be taken, at least overnight, to allow a thorough investigation of what happened. A daycare worker was called in who stated the accident had taken place on their playground equipment. The children were given back the next morning.
Two weeks later. I was at the hospital. Masey had a broken arm and a concussion, she was sedated when I arrived. No matter how hard I tried, that family could never be fixed.

Story Bandit: We dare you to write a 299-word story using this ending: That family could never be fixed.

Cupid’s Arrows

L.A. Lanier

Cupid’s arrows stabbed me in the heart and brain
the moment I saw your little runty face
Your eyes were blue and filled with stress
Your appearance was rodent like,
even though your lineage is one of predator
I looked at your brothers and sisters
Mewing and clamoring for attention
Most of them were claimed, but I didn’t care
Your dark fur historically the shade of superstitions
suggested why you hadn’t already been chosen
But you were my ideal
I scooped you up and held you close
Oxytocin must have flowed
because it was longer than twenty seconds
We took you home
That was ten years ago
Your eyes turned a yellowish green as you aged
Your size doubled, tripled, then quadrupled
Runt of the litter?
It’s amazing what a little tenderness, love, and care can do
I spoiled you rotten
But I’ve never regretted it once.

What this Daily…

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Lincoln Penny


© Image courtesy of L.A. Lanier’s Instagram (@thesquibbler)

The year was 1995. What was I doing? Enjoying life to the max by still being a kid. Old enough to have a vague sense of the world, but young enough to have a thirsty imagination, seek adventure and not take things too seriously. Responsibilities were simple, go to school, try not to be a pain to my mother and just live. Sometimes I ask myself. Whatever happened to that little girl? She was damn near fearless, even with being someone conscious of mortality. She knew how to entertain herself when friends weren’t around, but also capable of making and keeping friendships, neighbors and classmates alike. Invited to slumber parties often, a “delight to have over” was a frequent compliment of parents. Actually looked forward to going to school, talking about her day, and had an optimistic disposition regarding her future. The possibilities seemed endless, she could have been a doctor, teacher, CEO, veterinarian, author, artist, anything and contrary to the real discrimination and prejudices that happened for women in the workplace, she didn’t think for a moment she couldn’t become either of those things if she really wanted. She ate decently and splurged on things like cookies and candy every once in a while. She remembers when a “Happy Meal” was a treat. She played with toys, not just Barbies and dolls, but G.I. Joes and action figures. She played video games indoors, but still went outside to play soccer. It was a good time and way of living. What would it take to get some of that back?

Inspired by this Daily Prompt

What If…

“What if I became so awesome, humanity couldn’t handle it?”
“Everyone dies?”
“I think there’s a fear of that.”

Dialogue I wrote up for this week’s Friday Phrases after seeing a Tweet about “Mephobia” and found it amusing. Humor aside, I wonder if there isn’t a bit of this in many people, myself included, that are hesitant of trying their best for fear of things actually going well for them. The flip of that, is clearly there are plenty of people who put things out there whether their best or not. Here’s to continuing to extinguish my “mephobia.”