Archive for the ‘Short Shorts’ Category


August 15, 2006 17 comments

Straight talking,
that was what
was needed, so
you said. And

you smiled a thin
and final line,
and you turned,
as they say,

on your heel,
on a sixpence,
and you strode,
straight-limbed, along

the coastal path,
direct, unswerving,
to the jetty, walked
its slick rectangle

to where the ferry
rode at anchor.
Just in time:
the straining lines

released, the anchor
hauled, the ferry
drove a silver
track, straight as

a rail, towards
a flat horizon. And,
as I watched
unmoving, you

slipped at last
around the slow
unyielding curve
of the world.

by Dick Jones of Patteran Pages

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August 14, 2006 3 comments
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August 13, 2006 9 comments

The children sing songs of times long gone
and they play games of forgotten wars.

The sea cannot be seen from here.
The colors are broken, made of wood,

the children use them as white weapons
sharpened like pencils, daggers to survive.

Listen to the breeze, far out, elsewhere,
where green boats patiently await the end.

The sea cannot be seen from here.
It exists only in the minds of children,

small drawings of unreal landscapes,
the sky a color not included in this case.

Their small hands draw conclusions in gray,
the paper assumes the depth of clouds.

by Ernesto Priego of Never Neutral

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August 12, 2006 11 comments
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The New Bird

August 11, 2006 7 comments

In spring I heard a new bird across the road. It was red-brown and easy to locate in the young leaves of a maple. I couldn’t figure out what it was, which was pretty thrilling.

Summer has now hidden the bird in leaves and I still haven’t made an I.D. The creek branch has gone dry. A week ago minnows roiled and smothered.

The bird calls. It calls from over my shoulder. In the yard I walk under the ash tree, battered by a nameless din.

by Bill Knight

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A father, cradling his firstborn, reflects on his previous murders

August 9, 2006 10 comments

Where are my other daughters or sons?
I ask as if I, learning of them, of those grains
Waiting for my arms and lips and heart, didn’t turn
My heart from them, and instead rushed here and there,
Even to cold rooms in buildings named (can you believe?)
After saints, to plead for freedom from them. Please!
You can save us!
But they are always there,
These ghosts; they have followed me everywhere
Ever since, taking me to mirrors, showing me to myself.
My sweet darling, here into my once red hands
I’m weeping for love of you, and them.

by mikey

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August 7, 2006 15 comments
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Hold On

August 5, 2006 3 comments
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August 3, 2006 3 comments

A quiet rustle of leaves reached into his pocket and took out a dollar. It was a simple theft, not soon discovered, if ever. It could feed her and nourish her wooded home. She could plant some flowers. Oh, but she would enchant a black-capped chickadee to carry her to market, and she would find her true love nestled amongst the parsley. It had been foretold. Lost in the glow of that vision, she didn’t notice the wind carrying the dollar away into the forest of barren trees.

by Daniel Ribar

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August 1, 2006 11 comments

On the bus home, I was listening to Brendel play Beethoven’s twenty-seventh sonata. I was lost in the music, eyes closed, fingers racing to and fro across my knees.

When I opened my eyes, I noticed that the sandy-haired six-year-old in the seat opposite mine was also playing air piano. I looked up and gave him the smile of equals. He looked at me expressionlessly, his tiny hands darting expertly over the unseen keys.

Our gazes locked; I continued playing (it was an especially tricky passage).

And, to my delight, so did he.

by Teju Cole

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