Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #373; Theme: Card


Pinky Tale Creations

Pinky Tickles penned greetings for anonymous givers—
cards for every anni, quarrel and bicker—
cards for divorces and broken engagements,
for the neutralizing of toxic friendships,
and friends-with-benefits relationships.

There were cards for congrats
on being canned like a tuna,
or sacked like a potato chip;
for being kicked to the curb
by roommates growing herbs.

There were cards for bad bosses,
“You’re welcome” cards and “Sorry…not!”;
for unhappy birthdays and ugly afterthoughts.

There were unsympathy cards for deadbeat dads and
“Don’t Get Well” cards for mommy dearests;
“Happy Lonely Valentine’s” days,
“Santa Hates You” Christmases,
and “Thank You for Climate Change”,
for those who fired up the works on Independence Day.

Pinky was a minus sign in a plus-sized biz suit—
a fractious little number—
but the day she finally got some shag,
her heart bloomed into a redrum rose and
her words became sweet as a lollipop gag.

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 373

#Micropoetry Monday: Modern Proverbs


Life was a series of decisions, good & bad,
& to erase the bad,
would be to erase the good that came from it.

She awakens to the morning glory
of a second chance at Today,
by letting go of Yesterday,
lest it seep into her Tomorrow.

As their culture coarsened,
their morals softened,
& morality was seen as intolerant,
immorality, as compassionate.

Hope floats like unburied treasure,
in the form of the future,
which is fluid & subject to change—
so long as we change with it.

Life was largely happenstance.
We were all one person removed from our destiny—
one marriage proposal away from happiness or heartache.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book


According to the elders, men weren’t as innately spiritual as women, so they had been given the priesthood to help them become more holy.

David had often said it wasn’t any surprise that more women would go to Heaven than men, because it was the men who started all the wars.

The separation of powers in the Church: men had the priesthood & could give blessings, even as the women had the power to procreate, to receive the blessings thereof.

A woman couldn’t love more than one man, but could love more than one child.  Perhaps because she was flesh of his flesh, even as the children were the flesh of hers.

Mother’s eyes were aglow, & I realized the elders had given her back something I hadn’t known she’d lost: hope.

Mother’s amber-colored irises had become luminous with religious ecstasy. She’d become as St. Teresa, leaving David to compete with God for her.

Mother had been a chrysalis—self-contained—but through the hope this “Plan of Happiness” gave her, she became as light as if she had lift.

My mother’s hands—hands that had once played music—now sought to become those of a common hausfrau.

Mother had been a feminist until she met the Mormons, but rather than softening her heart, her new identity would harden it.  She would become as ruthless as a man.

We faded out, like narrators of a stage play, the lights on Mother & the elders, the audience helpless to prevent her tragic conversion.

Every day, I post 3 tweets:  a #novelines tweet (a line from my novel; any good piece of writing has quotable quotes), a #140story tweet, or a #micropoetry tweet, that is pulled from, or based on my novel, “Because of Mindy Wiley”.  https://sarahleastories.com/because-of-mindy-wiley/.  I post these under my fictional character account, https://twitter.com/KatrynNolan.  Every week, on “Fiction Friday”, I will be blogging 5-10 of my best tweets.

Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #372; Theme: Bulletin Board


There were kitties for old biddies,
doggies for old foagies,
playmates for playdates,
and roommates for reasonable rates.

There were ads for crash pads,
clunkers for cash and cash for junkers;
“Wanted” posters of women gone wild,
and want ads for men in argyle.

There were notices of whimsical weapon auctions,
quilting circles, and square-dance partners;
scrapbooking socials and ice cream anti-socials,
Post-It notes and fliers to get out the vote.

There were business cards for back waxes,
ferly perms, and back income taxes;
announcements for risky business seekers,
perfumed piano teachers, and jouncy JED speakers.

There were circulars selling some things old, some things new,
some spouses to lend, and some things Wedgwood blue;
all were held up with pushpins and thumbtacks—
the needs of the community pinned to its cork.


#Micropoetry Monday: The Lighter Side


Peanut, Almond, & Cashew
went to get their DNA checked,
& found they had been totally cracked;
for Peanut, who was the only one
who liked to be boiled,
turned out not to be one of them,
but a legume.

Type A was the Bachelor of Science,
Type B, the Associate of Arts,
but Type O had University appeal—
being a Universal Donor.

Orange hated being lumped in with Apple,
as he was quite pithy & had a zest for life,
whereas Apple often ended up sauced.

Like a potato chip,
she was salted &
browned to a crisp.
When she was bagged,
she was just full of air.

Hammer, Anvil, & Stirrups
wanted to start a band called The Ossicles,
but sister Cochlea was too wired.
She told them to stop the racket,
& so the boys decided to translate sounds,
waxing at all hours.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book


With David, I never hungered;
I ate, & was filled.
With David, I never thirsted;
I drank, & was refreshed.
The House of David
was a healing place.

Patrick’s death had broken Mother,
thus breaking me.
It had, in its own way,
made an orphan of Caitlin,
a dreamer of me.

Though I was favored by David,
I had done nothing to earn it.
I was enough, & so therefore,
I became nothing more.

I loved David more than God,
but to love one another was of God.
David was my sun,
& I revolved around him.

Elder Roberts was my knight in a shiny suit—
a captain of “God’s Army”—
rescuing me from what only he could see
was a house of corruption.

Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #371; Theme: Ekphrastic Poem


Static Girls (inspired by Girl Before a Mirror by Pablo Picasso)

Upon waking, she cuts her eyes to the looking glass
to gaze upon her self-reflection.
The lass stares back at her—
the changeling in utero,
a petrified baby girl
with her snatchlet of hair and single tooth,
lies so wee and still in her fetality.

The unknown lithopedion calcifies
into intricate stonework,
and the heart of the lass
on the living side of the glass.
She is the mummy of the mummified.

Her body is a little one’s coffin,
the lub-dubs of her heart bleating a lullabye,
the ribcage a home for the little bird
who has no voice or personhood.
Her hollow womb is an empty tomb,
from which no thing will rise or rush,
or rapidly form.

She lifts the frame off the hallway wall,
only to see (through) it was a transparency—
a capturing of herself in that last month
before the water and the blood,
from her wounded body which flowed—
the afterbirth of instant baptism.

*a lithopedion is rare, medical phenomenon in which an unborn child dies during gestation, and calcifies within the mother’s body.

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 371


#Micropoetry Mondays: Love Comes Darkly


His pastor had told him
to always put his marriage first,
but in doing so to a selfish woman,
everyone else had come last;
marriage ended at death,
but his children were his forever.

He’d murdered his mistress,
for the proof would be in her pregnancy,
but twas all for naught,
for it had been a lie.
He’d killed for 2, not 1.

During The Happenstance’s maiden voyage,
she would meet the man who would change her maidenhood status,
only to fill her enemy’s cradle.

The husband & wife became one flesh,
then came flesh of their flesh.
This flesh would try to separate the one,
tearing them in twain.

She was sorry for the man he’d become,
but because of the man he’d become,
she’d become the woman she’d become,
& so it was all because of him
that she was who she was.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book


David saw all this talk of morality
as a philosophical discussion,
Caitlin, a spiritual one,
Mother, a religious one,
& me—all of the above.

Whereas David had always discussed
the religions of others with a question mark,
the elders spoke of theirs with a period.

He loved her as a Catholic rent with guilt;
he loved her as a Mormon mended with mercy;
he’d loved in all her forms
till she stopped loving him.

I was David’s disciple,
preaching his Word of love without labels:
Mother was his wife in spirit,
even as I was the daughter of his heart.

The Church would tear us apart—
Mother from David,
me from Mother,
& Caitlin from every last one of us.

Every day, I post 3 tweets:  a #novelines tweet (a line from my novel; any good piece of writing has quotable quotes), a #140story tweet, or a #micropoetry tweet, that is pulled from, or based on my novel, “Because of Mindy Wiley”.  https://sarahleastories.com/because-of-mindy-wiley/.  I post these under my fictional character account, https://twitter.com/KatrynNolan.  Every week, on “Fiction Friday”, I will be blogging 5-10 of my best tweets.

Book Review: The Girl on the Train


“The Girl on the Train” is told from the first-person viewpoints of Rachel, Anna, and Megan (a la Jodi Picoult)—all of whom are on different tracks in life, yet connected by a common thread.

Rachel Watson, the main protagonist, is an alcoholic who rides the train every morning and evening (whose reasons for doing so will make you wonder about her state of mind), and who, like Jimmy Stewart’s character in “Rear Window”, likes to watch the people in their backyard gardens as she rides by.  From this vantage point, Rachel watches her ex-husband and his new wife create a new life in the house she used to live in with him, and she sees in another couple (whom she has affectional named Jess and Jason) what she once thought she and Tom, her ex-husband, would be.

However, one day she sees another man with Jess (real name Megan) on the terrace; Megan ends up missing the next day.  Rachel believes she may hold the missing piece of the puzzle, and through this distraction, finds sporadic sobriety.  In an effort to find Megan, Rachel, in part, loses herself in the life Megan once lived.  She also crosses paths with a stranger on the train she believes has the answers to what happened “That Night”, but cannot remember whether he is her friend because of what he may not know, or a danger, because of what may know.

Rachel is an interesting character because she isn’t plugged into her cell phone with people she knows, but is far more interested in those she doesn’t know.  Though she is somewhat tuned out of the world around her, she tuned in to the world that lives inside her head—a world that shifts like the scenery outside her window to the world, that world being the window on the train.

As we get to know Rachel, we begin to wonder, is she or isn’t she an unreliable narrator, or is her perspective that far from reality?

Ms. Hawkins allows us to get to know the characters gradually, as one would in real life; the same goes for the mystery, which unfolds one clue at a time.  Hawkins richly layers each character with backstory that isn’t an information dump, but keeps surprising us; every tidbit gives clarity to what is going on in the present-day, such as why Megan has a hard time sleeping, or why Rachel’s ex-husband hates her so.

Megan’s story is compelling because she is seeing a therapist, to whom she reveals the source of her angst, and Anna’s, because of her near-obsession with her husband’s ex-wife.

The stories of Rachel and Anna, and then Megan’s story (which is told in “flashback”, leading up to her disappearance), happen about a year apart, but unlike “The Time Traveler’s Wife”, the timeline is easy to follow, and the story flows like the wine that Rachel consumes every day.  Rachel’s haze of consciousness lends itself to a (believable) state of amnesia, including blackouts, so the reader doesn’t know any more about whodunit than Rachel does.  Rachel and the reader will be in it together, trying to add it all up before the train goes off the tracks.

Due to Rachel’s fluctuating moods and penchant for lying, I constantly felt discombobulated, which only kept me reading till its chilling, unexpected destination.

*Review was originally published in the September 2016 issue of “The Corsair”– the Pensacola State College newspaper.  “The Corsair” online can be found at http://ecorsair.com/.