Why?

I cannot find the words I need
The words, they will not sing

They won’t line up in pattern’d rhyme
They won’t do any …way
I wish or anywhere I want

Why, when I need the words the most
To fill a voided space
Do words withhold their magic from me;
Withhold their usu’l grace?

Genetic Dress Up

Granma said I had her hands.
From Mom, I got her hair;
In fact, I got her everything
But not her everywhere.

Daddy said we both could talk
‘Bout science or the sky.
Aunty found her backside’s home
And hips’, above my thighs.

Granpa gave me both my ears
And then he gave his nose;
If I had known, I’d’ve passed them by
And just gone with his clothes.

Unca thought we laughed the same
At similar, odd jokes.
Great grammie said, “Jes’ be yerself,
“Don’ blame yer looks on folks!”

She’s one to scouff;
She’s got my mouth.

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels.com

©2021 Chel Owens

In response to Carrot Ranch’s prompt:

January 14, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about dressing up. It can be a child or another character. Be playful or go where the prompt leads!

Respond by January 19, 2020. Use the comment section [on her site] to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

Tell Me the Story, Daddy.

“Tell me the story, Daddy. Tell me …when you met Mommy. Tell me when you knew.”

Arthur smiled that smile that never quite touched his eyes anymore. “When I knew what, son?”

Little Sammy squirmed atop his bedcovers. “You know, Daddy. When you knew… You know.”

Arthur almost laughed. Almost. “Okay. Okay. …Once upon a time, your dad -me- was young. I was barely an adult and was working my first job, at a bookstore…”

Arthur could still smell the scholarly breath of time and leather that greeted him each morning, could still hear the muted tinkle of the bell over the door, could still see the morning light filtering through mullioned front windows. Tomes ranging from paper romance to hardbacked alchemy built labyrinth paths between the barely-visible masonry walls. The dust of every bibliophile’s essence hung, distilled, in the motes that danced where empty spaces dared exist.

“I stood at a desk where I could see the door. Everywhere else was books.” This is where he changed the story; embellished it. “Harry Potter, James and the Giant Peach, Shel Silverstein, and even Where the Wild Things Are; comic books, picture books; fat ones, thin ones; old and new.”

His son’s eyes shone and then twitched over to the bookshelf in the corner. “What about your books, Dad? Did they have those, too?”

“Yes, son. Those, too.”

“Did Mom like your books, Dad?”

Sammy hadn’t asked that one before. The question gave Arthur pause. “No, not really. She -well! That’s a different story!”

This elicited a giggle and more rocking. Sammy even turned a lopsided somersault into his pillow.

Arthur wagged his finger in a pretended sternness. “All right. One day, I heard the bell on the door that meant someone had come in…”

There had been more light that day, enough that the younger Arthur could not see who entered the store. He raised a hand against the brightness and squinted at a diminutive shadow. The door closed, the bell sang, the shadow resolved to a timid, tiny young woman. Encircled by light and interrupted space, Arthur was smitten.

“I saw a very small, very beautiful woman. She came up to the desk and slid a paper on the glass -too shy to ask me for the name of the book she’d written on it.”

His son’s eyes -her eyes- were round in his small, attentive face.

“It was a book on poetry. ‘For school,’ she whispered. She wouldn’t look up, but I saw her look at me when I was searching through our book about books. …We didn’t have computers then, you see. We had a book that we wrote all the books in -well, we typed them on papers, then…”

Sammy yawned.

Now, Arthur managed a shadow of a chuckle. “I came around the desk. She seemed surprised when I stood; later, she said she hadn’t realized we were so close to the same size.”

Something inside fluttered at being nearer to her, he remembered. Her smile set it off again. The feeling was unlike any he’d felt in his lonely, empty life; one spent with one relative or another handing him off till he could move out and raise himself. Whether she smiled, or not, her very existence shook his. Next to her, he could be anyone or do anything.

“But, Daddy! When did you know?”

Arthur’s eyes refocused to the bedroom of the apartment he and Sammy shared, just the two of them. “I …walked with the gir- woman, over to our poetry section. I found what she needed. Walt Whitman. Leaves of Grass. She took it from my hand, and our fingers touched.”

It had felt electric, a touch of divinity that opened an eternity of thought and feeling for this tiny, timid woman before him.

“And that, Sammy, was when I knew I loved your Mommy.” Arthur smiled. For an instant, it reached his eyes.

His son somersaulted again. “So, then you asked her to marry you?”

Arthur blushed. “Yes.”

The laughter from his son sounded so much like her startled laughter, from all those years before. At first she’d been shocked, of course, then she’d laughed. How much it sounded like the door bell, he’d thought. He had also thought to hide in a pile of The Rise and Fall of the Greeks and Romans.

“All right, Sammy. Time for bed.” Arthur stood and pushed the chair beneath his work desk. He’d be revisiting it in the morning while Sammy slept in.

Sammy snuck a few more twists and wiggles in before allowing his dad to lift the covers and shoo him beneath them. “‘Night, Dad.” He rolled his head up to see the framed photograph on the desk. “‘Night, Mom.”

“Good night, Sam.” Arthur went to the door and stood. Good night, Catherine, he thought to her picture, and turned out the light.

©2021 Chel Owens

Monkeys, Happy Place, Iceland

In the few seconds between bedtime and actually getting to bed, I snuck over to my Reader’s Feed. And there, an epiphanous* idea appeared:

Why not write whatever pops into my head based on the three random words suggested at the top? Today’s prompt: Monkeys, Happy Place, Iceland.


“I say, Gorillford, this simply cannot stand.” Chimply scratched an errant flea.

His friend fixed him a bewildered look. “What’s that? Iceland’s moorings?”

Chimply sighed. “No, though that is distressing. Bad news, that, after so many years of stability. The country’ll be at Africa by summer. No, I was referring to this whole classification nonsense.”

Gorillford huffed, puffing up onto his thick knuckles.

“I know, I know. ‘Don’t you start’ -but you haven’t experienced the indignity, Gill! Everywhere I go, it’s, ‘Look at the monkey!’ ‘Mummy, may I have a monkey!’ I’ve… I’ve broken a bit; I’ve even considered saying, ‘Sod it’ and pasting a tail back there anyway….”

Gorillford had no reply. His beady eyes nearly popped from his leathery face. His jaw hung slack. A tail? That was far worse than living with mislabeling. He gathered his thoughts to attempt reasoning with his friend.

“You needn’t bother,” Chimply cut him off. “I know.” He sighed and then contemplatively peeled and ate a banana. “I know.”

This would take some thinking. Gorillford snapped his meaty fingers. “Chim.”

“Hm?”

“I’ve got it.”

“Hm?” Chimply retained a glum expression as he set the peel atop a fence post.

“I said, ‘I’ve got it.'” Leaning into the mesh between their enclosures, Gorillford grinned. “You’d rather we not be monkeys, yeah?”

Chimply didn’t even look over. “Obviously.”

“Well… given the rate at which these loony bipeds are going, do we really want to be known as apes?” Gorillford leaned back against a vine-twisted log in this, their happy place, allowing the import of his words to sink in.

It didn’t take long.

“My Gibbons! You’re right! Why, come to think of it, they’ve even used us as insults in some of their so-called ‘professional debates.’ If the orangutans aren’t safe, who is?”

“Precisely.”

They both sat, now in companionable silence. Only the clink or clunk of food pails interrupted a peaceful morning.

“Gill?”

“Hm?” The large ape monkey looked over at his smaller ape monkey friend.

“At least we’re not donkeys.”

“He.” Gorillford rolled his eyes and then rolled over to nap. “Ha.”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

©2021 Chel Owens

*Epiphanous is not a word.

The A Mused Poetry Contest 1/9/2021 – 2/6/2021 (AKA 9/1/21-6/2/21)

Life’s not been great for quite a few humans recently, myself included. If I were a mature, serene type, I’d likely suggest a mature, serene acceptance and a moving forward with healing. …I’m not really that type, though, so this month’s theme is:

  1. Snarky Rant. That’s right: a jaded, sarcastic, fed up, perhaps even nihilistic poem in an “I stick it to you, sucky events!” manner.
  2. The Length is your call. This is something you get to call the shots on, after all!
  3. Rhyming is also up to you.
  4. The Rating’s still PGish to keep general audiences happy, but there are always asterisks or near-fudges for situations like this.
  5. Despite the he** you may have endured, make us laugh. As we lay, prone, in the minefield of calamities, help us hold our bruised ribs in a knowing and painful release of the bad times we all relate to.

You have till 10:00 a.m. MST next MONTH (February 6) to submit a poem.

Use the form, below, to remain anonymous until results are posted.

Otherwise, include your poem or a link to it in the comments. Let me know if your linkback does not show up because WordPress is having issues with that.

—–

Enjoy.

Photo by Joshua Mcknight from Pexels

—–

©2021 Chel Owens

WINNER of the A Mused Poetry Contest 12/11/2020

After traveling the vast wastes of my comments section and e-mail only to find a few more entries floating amongst a specific search in the Reader’s Feed, I nominate WordPress for some New Year’s Resolutions….

But, that’s not why we’re here! We’re here (unless you’re lost) to name the poet who wrote the most amusing limerick about resolutions! And that is:

Untitled, by Ruth Scribbles
The girl said, “Oh no! I refuse!”
You simply just want to bemuse
I vow I won’t change
I love being strange
My nose wants to sport two tattoos

Congratulations, Ruth! You are the funniest poet for the week!

Understandably, many took this opportunity to reflect on a serious year full of serious things. Of those attempting humor, I selected Ruth’s because her surprise ending left me snickering the most. Well done.

Maybe you’ll re-think your goals this year after reading all the entries:

Untitled, by Richmond Road
Is it time for this year’s resolution?
To atone for last year’s contribution?
My performance next year?
No better, I fear
I am lazy. Don’t expect a solution

Untitled, by Richmond Road
Here is this year’s resolution
We’re dismantling the constitution
You can’t run. You can’t hide
We have reached the low tide
Step aside. This is a revolution

Untitled, by Matt
There once was a fat guy named Matt
Who resolved to lose weight and that’s that
Shoved his cat aside, and to his wife he lied
that his cat food diet is what he takes in stride 😻

You say you want a resolution, we-e-ll, by Doug Jacquier
There is an old man from Australia
Whose wisdom will not falter or fail ya
New years is his forte
So list to his thought, ay?
‘Resolving is useless, inter alia’.

Untitled, by Frank Hubeny
Those demons look deeply demented.
Based on deeds, none of them have repented.
Resolutions to keep
Are not won on the cheap.
With such demons you’ll turn up tormented.

How I wish I could make resolutions
That would stick when they’re stuck in solutions
When solutions go weak
Resolutions will streak
At the cost of some nasty pollutions.

Every plan I attempt goes to pot.
Every dream I cook up has a spot.
Resolutions today
May resolve in some way,
But they’re not, though, the kind that I’ve got.

Untitled, by Willowdot
This year I can say without doubt.
Is defunct and driven us all up the spout.
The virus has plagued us
Upset and betrayed us
It’s enough to make us all pout.

So what will happen next year
Maybe more of the same I fear
So I vow to sleep
My council to keep
Until it’s time for 2022 to appear.

But have I resolutions you ask.
I will definitely be wearing a mask
I shall keep my distance
And leave nothing to chance
Keeping covid free will be my task.

So what’s in store for you
Is ignoring the rules what you’ll do.
Or will you like me
Cover, wash and flee
Steadfastly ignoring advice that’s not true.

So really at the end of the day
There’s not much more I can say.
The Vaccine is here
Hold out your arm dear
And let’s kick the old Covid away.

Untitled, by Tnkerr
There once was a girl with a toothpick
Who resolved to write nary a limerick
She gave a small laugh
And slipped into her bath
A nude poet who’s anacoluthic

A New Year’s Resolution, by Hobbo
Ecological, his resolution
Eliminate foul air pollution
He stopped eating beans
Cabbage or greens
An effective, but small, contribution.

The Dissolution Of Hope, by Geoff Le Pard
Annually we solemnly resolve
Our past crimes to try and absolve
Yet we suffer conniptions
When our plans become fictions
And all hopes of success dissolve

Re-resolved, by Obbverse
It’s time to repeat the same damned vow I swore
Like last year, and all too many years years before,
It’s my traditional annual end-of-year vow-
‘Next year I’ll be a better man than I am now,’
So many broken promises, still plenty more in store.

Untitled, by Sara
On the treadmill I walk, my flubber a-flapping
Think I would have lost some with all that Christmas wrapping
So, here I am,
Here it goes,
The chafing on my thighs as red as Rudolph’s nose

Untitled, by BS
A cat spoke up with meows
His resolutions he sealed with vows
To catch more mice
Would be nice
But all he got was cows

Untitled, by Bruce
My New Year’s resolution’s a vow,
Though some smell a rat or a cow.
It’s the one day a year
When I shed all my gear
And reluctantly get in the shower.

Untitled, by Rugby843
It is late in the year 2020
Of faulty leaders we have had plenty
C’mon 2021
Get the job done
So we have a new year entente

You’ll have to say it all the time you know, by Herb
The end of the year should be fun
And that year had its place in the sun
But it sends the mind reeling
The terrible feeling
of saying twenty-twenty won

Untitled, by Arthur Richardson
The trouble with trying to be humorous
is that senses of wit are quite numerous.
This nonsense solution,
with a rhymed resolution,
is a punchline that stays unassumerous.

Untitled, by Minzkhaitan
Winter chills and the virus development never stops me to look forward
Blanket of hope gives the warmth of the new tomorrow
Child in me gets excited to set the new plans upright before we takeoff from 2020 to 2021

Untitled, by Deb Whittam
A middle aged woman named Debbie,
Had gotten kind of heavy.
She resolved to lose weight,
Began running every day before eight
Now she has more aches than an old chevy.

—–

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

Now, resolve to return tomorrow for next month’s prompt.

Ruth, here’s a badge for you to use on your site. Congratulations!

©2021 The poets, and their respective works