Smoke & Mirrors

And in a puff

‘…we can secure a loyal customer base.’ He said, to rapturous one-handed applause as the mirrored ball room filled with their collective smoke.


Opening ‘phrase’ provided by Dr H’s Two Phrase Story #42. After a couple of consultations with the doctor, and lengthy discussions with my online medical team last week, I have decided to abandon grammar all together and yeah.

Cookin’ Up a Storm

Theodore_Clement_Steele_-_A_Corner_in_the_Old_Kitchen_of_the_Mittenheim_Cloister illustrating a tanka, poetry
A Corner in the Old Kitchen of the Mittenheim Cloister, Theodore Clement Steele (1883)

bubbling pots transpire

rumbling storm of hunger strikes

raindrops through faucets

fluro’s lightening flicker

microwave beeps- dinner’s thawed!


Prompt words from Ronovan Writes’ Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge: lightening, rain. Seeing as I’d written about rain before, my well felt dry for this week’s prompt until I thought of rain water through my kitchen tap, breaking the creative drought.


Photo of lemons in a crate at a market stall for a flash fiction story on observing strangers
Photo by Erol Ahmed

After 35 years at the market, I can pick the state of relationships.

On the happy end of the spectrum, couples purchase their produce, smile and keep moving, hand in hand.

Then there are those showing signs of a rift, impatient eye rolls as their other half asks after the provenance of the lemons.


Inspired by Sonya’s Three Line Tale #15.




Where are the…

…people? The square was empty, giving me the sinking feeling that the revolution will not be realised.


With this week’s opening phrase for the Two Phrase Story #41 prescribed by Dr H, I was initially feeling a little uninspired (it’s me, not you Dr H) and my creativity was stifled somewhat with the realisation that I had no clue what a ‘phrase’ meant (in the grammatical sense, not in the common English understanding). So, I kept second guessing every attempt I made. Following further consultation with Dr H, I decided to throw rules out the window and proceeded as before, in blissful ignorance. Grammar? Pff…grammar is optional in my book. It all fell together when I heard Gil Scott-Heron’s The Revolution Will Not be Televised on random play this morning- pretty apt YouTube clip I found for it too 🙂

Re: grammar- okay, I really do care and it is bugging me, so if you have a good grasp of grammar and can explain it in plain English, please let me know your thoughts on what constitutes a ‘phrase’. I think I have probably added 3 more phrases to the prompt.


Hide & Seek

Sand dunes with shadow to illustrate 3 line tale, cretive writing story prompt
Photo by Fabio Ros

Looking back over my shoulder, I saw its slow, menacing advance drawing a dark cloak over everything in its path. There was nowhere to hide in the vast desert, confirmed by the booming voice calling an end to this high stakes game of hide-and-go-seek. Raising my arms, I fell to my knees in despair, but also relief that I would no longer have to run.


Inspired by Sonya’s Three Line Tale #14.

On the Periphery

Just out of the corner of his eye…

…was a lingering darkness that made him shake his head from side to side; occasionally kicking his hooves in futile protest of the blinkers he couldn’t remove.


Opening phrase from Dr H’s Two Phrase Story #39. Follow the link and give it a go, inspiration will strike! I’ve been on a roll with two posts today- the other being a 3 line tale.

Now I’m off to dig a hole for my magnolia tree! I have been wanting one for a long time, and today just happens to be the perfect day for it- the right alignment of time on my hands, temperate weather, some energy, and crucially, I finally purchased a plant from my local nursery.

A Strong Brew

Photo of a kitchen bench with red kettle and mug to illustrate a three line tale brewing an aphrodisiac
Photo by Dayne Topkin

Did she say three heaped spoons to one cup, or one heaped spoon to three cups? My memory failed me, and the jar’s Hellenic script was no help, so I’d decided on a stronger brew.

Now I sit and wait for his return, watching the siren red kettle infusing promises of Aphrodite’s herbal potion.


Inspiration from Sonya’s Three Line Tales, Week 13. I love the photo prompt for this week’s edition so I finally joined in! I’m really enjoying brevity at the moment.


What Remains

I held the glass before my eyes…

…and wrapped my fingers around it as she had done, awkward angles with my longer fingers bent to conform as I melded our fingerprints, briefly smudging reality, her hand in mine in her final moments.


This vignette begins with the opening phrase from hbhatnagar’s Two Phrase Story #38. It was fun using that line as a point of departure. Give it a go, inspiration will strike!

Vantage Point

Week 8.png

Welcome to Week 8! This week we travel to my first attempt at a poem that follows rules on structure- a tanka inspired by a little peace of heaven where I live.

I enjoyed the challenge of the tanka, and although initially skeptical of the merits of writing to a set of rules, I began to appreciate that you need to be creative to write yourself out of a tight corner. Rather than stifling creativity, structure provides a focus within which there are still infinite possibilities.

I have since gone on to write a couple of sonnets and about a dozen haiku/tanka/haibun/tanbun on a range of topics from climate change to the sensory delight of pho.

structure, let’s be friends

quake keys to assemble words

job search, conflict, pho

climate summits and kid’s toys

seismic shift, subjects scatter

Shout out to recently published author Ronovan Hester for his weekly haiku prompts that have been the inspiration behind my spate of haiku this year. Ronovan also hosts a weekly flash fiction challenge for those interested in non-haiku writing.

Prompt words for my meta tanbun here were ‘friend’ and ‘shiver’ (which I interpreted as ‘quake’) courtesy of RonovanWrites’ Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge.

The prompt word ‘shiver’ and my use of ‘quake’ reminded me of a song I haven’t heard in a while, that I love- Sweet Jean’s Shiver and Shake. I saw them live a few years ago- they were great!

Not to forget the travel component of this post, click on the image to be transported through the tumbleweed! Watch your step, and don’t count your syllables before they hatch!