Free-Range Fiction: National Poetry Month Catch Up

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Hopefully the rest of the month, you’ll be able to find a new poem from me every day here at the ol’ Fiction Farm Blog.  Many of the pieces you will find below are me now beginning to push myself in the form of poetry. Learning a new art, per my Happiness Project and expanding my writing craft. Comments are appreciated, and please know make my day like you would not believe. Here’s catching up through yesterday:

April 10, 2013:

Terror in the Hall


I pound on the door

Anyone, please, come

Help Me, I know you’re there

The monster is after me


I lose my shoe as I run

The ribbon in my hair falls away next

My sleeve hangs from my shoulder

It reveals an already angry bruise


He has a fistful of my hair

Metal taste in my mouth

Blood drips from my nose

My heart pumping fear in my veins


I’m thrust to the ground

I scramble, kick, and crawl

Anywhere, just away

Another door, I bang, I plead


I curl against the kicks

I try to scream, but the noise

Comes out a whimper

Turning into a blurry haze


I send my mind inside the doors

Repetitive portals line the hall

3620? 3622? 3624? Anyone?

Call for help, the monster

Will end me; I feel death knocking


The darkness spreads

Like the blood on my face

His Hate smearing across me

Pummeling into my flesh and mind


I awake to blue and silver

In my swollen face

My jaw can’t move

My ribs poke my breath short


The terror, the monster is gone

Behind a door, a call was made

3619? 3621? 3623? Who?

A grateful anger transmits to my savior


But the blame is not for the monster

His actions so vile and horrific

I’m asked, no told, what did I do?

I provoked, I must have goaded


The monster is not caged

He’s left to roam free

To get stronger, to prey

On another innocent turned victim


April 11, 2013:

Play me your Ukelele


Twing, ting, and strum, strum, strum

That tiny sound that’s bigger on the inside

Fingers brush strings

Voice lifts over cafe din


Twang, tang, and strum, strum, strum

Notes pump into listeners ears swirling

Heads bop along, toes tap

Smiles spread across audience


Thrump, tump, and strum, strum, strum

Energy disguised as music pushes rain away

Eyes sparkle with the story in mind

Mood boosts, elevating past the roof


Clap, clop, and stomp, stomp, stomp

Cheers for the entertainment

Hands are furiously thanking artist

Energy exchanged in form of song and praise


April 12, 2013:

Insanity’s Home


I keep trying

He keeps trying me


It’s insanity

They say


It’s parental love

I say


Nothing changes

This I know


But I persevere

Hoping he’ll learn


We’ve come this far

So much further to go


Questions are raised

Raising more questions


Are my efforts

All for naught


Should I have let fate

Take its painful course?



However motherhood won’t deny

Gives me seemingly unending hope


I love regardless

He’s my child


Even if he’s one

That only a mother can love


For that, perhaps

I’m the unstable one


However, I’ll reach my end

Knowing I gave it all


April 13, 2013:

It’s not the destination


For on this day seven years ago we were wedded.

We took to road riding two wheels upon,

Into the wind our compass was shredded.

Without a map to our future we ploughed on.


Distraught in confidence for your husband duties,

I soothed you, fear not my piloting beloved.

Off course we’re more able to see the beauties,

Which life together could ne’r be unloved.


From that point on we embraced the mystery,

Holding on to one another’s spellbound embrace.

Even when life’s problems become blistery,

Inside one another’s hearts we find breathing space.


All these years we’ve traveled on in fondness.

Not where we end up, but the journey in passion.


April 14, 2013:

Mining the pain


The pain is like an old familiar friend now

It will be there when I awake

It will be there when I plant row by row

It will be there when my time it takes

I know it’s dealing with this agony

Is holding me back and keeping me down

Yet to do the work to heal brings apathy

What would I do without it around?


So I sit in the garden my heart throbbing

I know it’s a pest, a giant nuisance

One I know will constantly be squatting

Its claws so dug deep, ruthless


I’ve joined the ranks of enjoying menace

Resigned to believe its just part of my existence


Free-Range Fiction: National Poetry Month Challenge Continues

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I realized something doing this self-imposed challenge is that you’re all getting a glimpse into my life and the lives of those around me.  I have, in essence, stumbled upon why so many people are so afraid of writers.  Once again, I refer to the wise words of Anne Lamott:  “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

Yet, you’ll see that some of my poems so far are done in a warm light. Others, not so much. I will not apologize. Because also as Ms. Lamott says, “If we stay where we are, where we’re stuck, where we’re comfortable and safe, we die there… When nothing new can get in, that’s death.”

So, as I learn, perhaps my readers, and anyone who recognizes themselves in my words, my poetry, can learn something, too.

Here’s another poem below. 

April 9, 2013:

Gardening Yoga

Dig my nails into the dirt

Pull the weeds, toss the earth

Wipe my hands on my shirt

Push my hair out of my face


Rake the soil into rich rows

Drag the prongs like nails on skin

Face the sun, breeze airs out my pores

Draw in my breath for more energy


Plowing through my sowing ‘stead

Stretch over the garden’s realm

Tuck the seeds into little beds

Shrink down as water soaks in


Surveying the fruits of my labor

Pluck a stray blade of grass

Toss it towards the chicken’s favor

Plant my feet, hope for tomorrow

Free-Range Fiction: Poetry 4-12-13

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Here are two more poems. I’m still playing catch up; but, I hope to be caught up by the time the weekend closes.

Again, comments are appreciated. 

April 7, 2013:

Little Man

Gone are those

Infant cheeks

The downy hair

Your voice deep,

Not quite sure

You strut instead

Of toddle

You would rather

Be with the boys

On the ball field

Than in the kitchen underfoot

Or having stories read

I see your smile

It’s stayed the same

I hear your laugh

That is not same,

Yet endearing

The sound caught between

Babe and man

Your shoulders

Broad and strong

Ready to Take

On the world

Your eyes show shyness

When the giggling girls

Walk by

You dream of

Big leagues,

Fast cars,

World travel

A bucket list

Imagined without

Fear of failure

I’m your biggest




I try to temper

My words

Keep to the positive

Not all my

Dreams realized

You are a dream

I never knew I had


My son

My joy

I can always

See the babe

While seeing the

Incredible man

You are to be


April 8,2013:

Pain Monster Valkyrie

Mom, can I call you?

Of course.



Oh, sweet one

I know the pain

The world can put out

It doesn’t change

Only you can

Ask what the anguish

Wants to teach you

It will reach into

Your chest

Tentacled fingers

Full of claws and

Rip and tear

Endure the agony

Let it sit next to you

Invite it for tea

And ask it what

Message is for you

Learn the lessons

Sooner than later

Faster than slower

After tea and


Kick it out

Seek forgiveness

From yourself and

Know I’ll always have

An ear

A shoulder

A hug

I can’t keep the hurt away

But I can help

You achieve the

Skills to cope

And know

It gets better

That you can be a

Pain monster valkyrie

Free Range Fiction: The Poetry Version

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You know the ol’ diddy? She’s a poet and didn’t know it? Well, I know it. I’m not a poet.

But, smart folks know that in order to learn, you have to go out of your comfort zone.    April presents a perfect opportunity for me to push myself (without paying tuition or conference fees), to push myself. It’s National Poetry Month. Many writers write a poem a day for April.  Also, as part of my Happiness Project, I’m supposed to be learning a new art. So, Poetry is on the list.

Things are still crazy for me, so I’m a bit behind, but I’m sitting in my favorite cafe right now churning out poems to catch up. My goal is to post these poems each day here.  I’ll happily admit they probably aren’t that great. Yet, lots can be learned by making mistakes and putting it out there for critique. If you comment and say, “they suck,” without telling me why they suck, I won’t learn anything other than you’re breaking Wil Wheaton’s Number One Rule, and being a prime example of Wizard’s First Rule. What you don’t know what Wizard’s First Rule is? I can’t help you. Go read a book.

What I’ve learned so far these last 11 days is that you have to mine deep for poetry. Prose and fiction I can spew like any storyteller with little difficulty. Poetry is all about emotion. I had a professor and editor once tell me that poetry is the language of the soul. Absolutely dead on. So there’s some very personal stuff coming out of this poetry. I’m swallowing my pride and fear and putting it out there. If you don’t like it — click away. I won’t mind. If you like it, if it speaks to you, please leave a comment.

At any rate, below is my first feeble attempts since leaving University and my arts & literature education.  Hopefully you’ll check back each day as I attempt to continue to write a poem a day.

April 1, 2013:

Feel the Catcus

Old cowboy star crush

Met finally

In life’s autumn

School girl giggles

Make the

Autumn bloom

To Spring

Dry desert air

And sunshine

On skin

Glow with

The blush

Of attraction

Dreams accomplished

Time for the


Until then

Can die happy


April 2, 2013:

 In the Margins





I sit

You write

I wait

You sigh

Charcoal on fingers

And paper

Drops of rain

On window

Pain and wonder

On heart


April 3, 2013:

Aries Moon

It’s Mom’s day

Not Mother’s day

She won’t fuss

But her day

A ram born to a ram


I call, wish her well

She says

It’s just a day,

Nothing worth noting



For seven plus 60 years, Mom…



Dad’s playing poker

She responds

And calls for her dog:



You got some ‘plaining to do


I wish her well







That’s what is left


April 4, 2013:

Fare Thee Well

It’s a double-edged



The love

The loss


It’s there to





It’s a rusty



The sting

The grief


It’s there to





It’s an undressed



The not knowing

The wonder


It’s there to





It’s an undying



The Mother’s Love

The Unending Compassion


It’s there to





April 5, 2013:

Friday Goodbye

We celebrate

As a culture

As a population

The end of the

Labor week

The end of the daily


An easy meal

A raised glass

A collective sigh of relief


But today it rains

We wave goodbye

The pans are cold

The glasses dusty

And alone

A collection of tears



There you have it. My first five poems for National Poetry Month.

Free-Range Fiction: Dragons Dressing Down

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Ya missed me, right? I know you missed me. I missed doing this. Trying as part of 2013 to get back into the swing of posting some flash fiction at least once a week. Like Myke Cole told me on his AMA Reddit, you have to keep moving forward. This is part of my moving forward. 

This photo below was part of Chuck Wendig‘s near weekly flash fiction writing challenge. There were 31 to choose from. I chose number 17. She spoke to me. I feel like I’ve been her — whether it was in DC, Frankfurt, Paris, or Moscow. People stare. They want to know the truth. But…do they really?  Also if you’ve traveled the globe like I have — there are a lot of feral animals out and about. Those photos didn’t speak to me.  There were a couple of others I might use for future stories…but for now, our little goth trick or treater peaked my interest and let the words come pouring out. 

Here’s my Dragons Dressing Down. It comes in right at 999 words. I could have written more and I may take this idea and run with it down the road. We’ll see.  Do comment below and let me know what you think of the story. Should I write more?

P.S. I did not know there truly was a war on Halloween in Russia. When I was telling a friend about the story I was writing she said, “Oh yeah, I heard that they are trying to outlaw Halloween in Russia.” I had to look it up. Looks like people have fun with it. I’d go to their parties. Everything I wrote was before I knew about the recent developments in Russia. No, I’m not psychic — I just sometimes make stuff up that actually appears to be true near 7,000 miles away. 

Dragons Dressing Down

In Russia, Dragons dress like Halloween party goers and inspire fiction.

I hope I can find Hector. I have not seen him since last year. This year we will be in Moscow, much to my objection. There is a war on Halloween here. Imagine what the peasants would think if they knew this night hid dragons?

I truly would rather fly than take the subway. But, there are no dragon wings for me tonight, All Hallow’s Eve. The modern world gives me one night a week to walk among them. Unfortunately, I fear I may be losing even that. I stand here, a dragon now made human by the strong magic of this one night.

My beautiful horns look like horns still, but they shine of plastic to merge into the 2012 world. My magical white and black scales are smooth and juxtaposed against each other, white skin against black eyes and lips. This hair I get in this human form – I’m always fascinated by it. My true nature holds no hair. It’s long, black, and very shiny. I hold a basket decorated with skeletons and jack-o-lanterns, in case anyone thinks that my mostly black translucent, spotted with crystals wings are anything but a costume to ward off evil spirits and ghosts. Although, for near seven decades, this holiday means less about crossing between the two worlds and more about procuring all the sugary treats that the spoiled children of the west and now developed east can.

I hail originally from Mongolia. But, I make sure that I transform closer to the urban areas on this eve. The Keepers make sure we have large buildings to hide in – barns in the country, warehouses in the cities. What, do you think vampires are the only creature that has human allies? Vampires are babies compared to the dragons. In Moscow, on this night, I can hide amongst party goers. Not so much in the outer reaches of Mongolia.

I can smell the drug addict behind me. He’s not so different after more than one thousand years of living amongst mankind. There is always the drunkard, the opiate addict, those seemingly possessed of the head and hunched in corners or lying about the streets in a heap of disheveled discontent. I’m always used to the stares and whispers, even on this night. My costume is so elaborate – I hear the same thing every year: “How long did it take you to come up with that?”

One year, I had to meet Hector in a night club and the manager was upset when I wouldn’t enter their dress-up contest. I told him I had an unfair advantage – that I was part dragon and that just didn’t seem fair. He said, “Da, da, that is why you must enter.” Hector made us leave.

In the last decade there are fewer and fewer of us who meet. There is a new order, descended from the Orthodox Church Guard. They hunt us on Halloween. They have campaigned hard to get their followers to disallow their children to participate in Halloween festivities. They planted criminals and hooligans to make the streets unsafe. Our last bastion of safety is in the raves and nightclubs.

But Hector and I just want to be together. The two of us together with the last of our kind; there is but 13 of us left – unless pairs like Hector and I can bare offspring. All we wish is to spend our one day together without being seen or heard in our dragon forms. There is a strange peace to be among the humans with some anonymity.

The man besides me acts like he doesn’t want to look at me. But I can tell he’s looking at me. A book and headphones, how obvious do you have to be to give away that you are a voyeur, an interloper, and likely a dragon hunter? I distrust anyone unless they smell of a Keeper or are dragon. I find it funny that the woman to my left is telling her child to be fearful of me. The child has keeper blood running through her – only a halfling, but it’s still there. I turn and give the child a crystal from my wings. It will be a scale tomorrow. It will act as a homing device for the Keeper recruiters. The child should be brought up in the appropriate environment. Not by some ignorant human woman. Many of the Keepers were lost when the dragons were killed for sport so many centuries ago. But, the earth is in need of the dragons to be leaders again; but, we must up our numbers. The armor the Keepers create for us can do very little against some of man’s weapons any more.

I have to change trains. I can feel the book-carrying man following me. There are many people, thankfully. He won’t do anything here. I see more young people dressed up for the festivities. A few more stops and I will be at the night club.

My spine, now covered in taffeta and satin tingles. I can feel Hector close. I think I sense Raul and Sophie, too. Sophie lost her offspring ten years ago; I hope she is not sour and silent any longer. We dragons hold onto our delight and depression even longer than some humans. A decade of grieving, in my mind, is enough. Sophie, however, is a century older than I; she doesn’t find my opinion to be much.

The train stops. The man does not follow me, but I sense other trouble around. There is a woman walking in front of me, I keep up with her step.

The nightclub is not yet open, but there is a cafe next door. My human body wants sustenance. There, there is hector. I can see him through the glass; He, in all his horn-riddled and red and orange brilliance. He smiles. I smile back.

I open the door, the scent of coffee soothes the brain of my human form. Huzzah for All Hallow’s Eve.