Category Archives: Creative writing

A Study of the Hypocrisy of Hatred, Sanctimony, Self-Delusion, Blind Followers and Other Tools of Political Belief and Activism

As supposedly self aware beings, it is somewhat disturbing how we find comfort in the lies spewing from the mouths of the politicians we support. All while feeling smugly justified in our hatred of the lies erupting from the politician we oppose, somehow firmly believing that ‘our side’s’ lies are morally superior to ‘their’ lies.

I am not sure which scares me more: blind faith in a politician by their followers, or the fiery hate and outrage of their detractors. Neither of which has based their perception on much more than what their favored media outlet has chosen to propagate. Facts now being subjective and manipulated. 

Political ‘success’ has come to be measured by who can ‘take control’ of government, and who can better turn neighbor against neighbor. We all proclaim ‘I am bombarded, yet I stand.’ But at what cost, and what prize?

So… reading of the prompt instructions hit a nerve
and led to a rant….sorta sorry, but not.
I am sure my words will probably hit a few nerves too.



Filed under Creative writing, essay, Free Write, Political, Politics, Short Story

For What It’s Worth: Change

For the Wednesday Wake Up call New World Creative Union gives us a prompt focused on current events and how we can be a force for change. I hesitated a great deal in even formulating a response to this prompt, much less posting one. I steer clear of politics on this blog whenever I can. Poetry and the creative arts are typically the domain of those from a different political spectrum than myself. I try to be rational and listen to all arguments, but to be honest and up front – my political beliefs are conservative to the point of being somewhat to the right of Sean Hannity.

So, before going forward I will offer this disclaimer: if you believe that Rush Limbaugh is the Anti-Christ and that George Bush is solely responsible for all evil and tragedy in the world, you should probably not read further.

That being said, what I have put together is part poetry, part essay, part rant and a lot longer than I intended. And I still did not cover the greatest portion of what I wanted to. Those of you that have been around my blog a while may have seen some of the poetry used here. The essay is original to today. If you dare, below is my response to the prompt, For What it’s Worth: Change.



“Pound’s Crazy. All poets are. They have to be”

-Ernest Hemingway

“Addressing crowds through their arse-holes”

– Ezra Pound


Who should we arrest,

if we were still to imprison

those that spoke their mind

against Country – calling it treason?

Right wing radicals,

content with continuing Capitalism?

Left wing loonies,

sure that Socialism is the solution?


“I did not have sexual relations…”

Wait – wrong guy.

That was the rich white Democrat from

decadent decades past;

not the rich black Republican

with an equally faulty memory.

Will he too get a media pass?


Occupy schmockupy.

What are you protesting again?

Oh…No, still don’t get it;

explain it to me again.

How is your fornicating in the park

and defecating in the street

morally superior to proverbial pillaging

by ‘rich’ of both left and right?


Maybe bigger prisons are the answer;

politicians, lawyers, media, protestors too.

Reboot this circus-government-machine,

restore the original settings.


We live in an interesting time. I suppose the term ‘crossroads’ would apply, but, to me, not to any greater degree than it applied to Hitler’s invasion of Poland, the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, the US Civil War, French Revolution, American Revolution, the Fall of Rome, Fall of the Berlin Wall or any other great time of change in human history. It seems so important to us now because we are living it.

Change also seems to be coming at us a lot faster. Since the time of the Industrial Revolution (we need a word to replace ‘revolution’) the world has seen technological advances come about in a time frame that is unsurpassed in human history. In less than two hundred years we have gone from horses and buggies to space flight, from the pony express to countless methods of instantaneous communication to anywhere in the world. Change happens fast now, and everyone knows about it immediately.

There is also greater opportunity for the individual to make a difference than ever before. Through blogs and Twitter and FaceBook (and a LOT of others) it is now possible to create an almost instant audience for your message. This has created a rather interesting paradox in modern conflict; that of the individual versus the group. It seems that every group claims to be fighting for the right of the individual, typically at the expense of the individual rights of another group. Typically, these actions are justified by catch phrases that use righteous sounding words like “fairness” and “equality”.

I think this focus by groups on forcing individuals to act in a certain way is what concerns me most about our current state of politics and activism. There is a resurfacing attitude that the collective is better at making certain decisions and performing certain actions than the individual. The “collective” in this case is any regulatory body, government, or agency/group that speaks for its members, such as labor unions and the NAACP to name a couple. These collectives have effectively, or are working diligently to, taken over the decision-making process from the individual in such areas as income production, health care, education, transportation, self-protection and charity. Charity? Sure, lets start with that one.

Will Work For Food

I despise my



and all that it



tired of gas fumes



cold, heat and spare



mostly I hate



you go to great



to avoid my



Did you feed this guy today? Give him some money for… whatever he wants money for? Offer him a job? Offer to take him to the shelter? Whether you did or didn’t is not really the point. The point is that the government has decided that they are better qualified to take action on his part than you are. They, along with a large segment of the population, now feel that taking care of the indigent, the homeless, the sick, the jobless, the unwed mother and the elderly is within their purview. Tasks that until the 1950’s were handled by family, the church and private organizations supported by private money.

Now, the ironic part about this is that more government takes on these roles the harder it is for private organizations and individuals to do so. Why? Why, money, of course. You see, in order for the government to provide these services they have to have money. The only way government can get money is to take it from individuals. The less money individuals have the less they can give to charities, or churches that help the poor, or even have to take care of family members. Now, the U.S. government has made it even more difficult by cutting in half the amount that can be deducted for charitable giving. Once again pushing those in need towards government assistance, or panhandling on the side of the road.

This is just one instance where we are steadily giving bits of our lives and freedom over to the control of others. I had planned on covering all of them, but this is getting really long already.

The one last point I will make is on the subject on the Occupy movement. I do not profess to understand exactly what it is they are protesting or why they target whom they do. The “1%” are not as big a threat as the government we seem to prefer. The 1% actually feed money into the economy instead of siphoning it off. They build companies that provide jobs, invest their money so others can profit from it. Their only crime is being successful. Unfortunately, a goal has been set of achieving equality and fairness. Sadly, the methodology chosen for achieving this is to bring down the successful instead of helping others become successful.

I believe that real power for change belongs with the individual, and we are steadily giving up that ability by turning over excessive amounts of power to the collectives. I do believe change is needed in many areas, but I do also believe we are going down a dangerous path.

Remember, primarily wealthy landowners, the 1% of their time, formed the United States when they became tired of oppressive government and excessive taxation.

Hate Speech

It has been confirmed that I am among

the most evil of creatures remaining on earth:

The white, Christian, conservative, straight male.

I alone among the tribes of the world are others

allowed to hate solely based on what I am,

while anything I express in disagreement with

another’s beliefs is considered “hate speech”.


I do not agree with Muslims and their oppressive,

repressive Sharia law that kills gays and abuses women;

but, I do not hate them – surely not as much as they me.


I do not agree with homosexuality, and saying so is

enough to have me ostracized. But I do not hate them

and have never acted or protested against them.


I do not agree with liberal, socialist politics and those

that promote government dependence and a policy of

lowering to the least common denominator instead of

working to raise everyone to a higher standard. But, I do

not hate them or turn to personal attacks as my argument.


Why is it that it has become socially and politically acceptable

to publicly, and harshly, lambast me personally for my beliefs,

but any general opinion or belief I may express is called “hate”?


America the Beautiful


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

America the beautiful,


Diverse in terrain, people and architecture,

Splendid in its allure,

Mountain, desert, forest and sea.


Home of the brave,

Without question!

Pay your respects to the greatest of any fighting force;

Politics be damned, staying the course,

Apparent last defender of an idealistic bastion.


Land of the free?

One begins to wonder….

Dependent, learning to vote for sustenance.

“Politician” uttered as profanity, a career instead of a service;

Bloated on corruption, committed to a course of plunder.


The American Dream,

Alive… assailed.

Success demonized by agenda driven media,

Intention the primary standard, profit a stigma,

A people bereft of the great Pursuit and all it entailed.




Filed under Commentary and Ramblings, Creative writing, Poetry, Poetry - Prompts, Political, Politics


My flash fiction piece, Litter, has been placed with The Book Times today. It is a story about the potential and power of poetry. Stop by for a read and let me know your thoughts.

Sticky notes on the wall of the Wikimedia Foun...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Filed under Creative writing, Flash Fiction, Short Story


(Photo credit: Hannah Gosselin ©2012 Phippsburg, Maine)

Two of my aunts used to run a country store down at the lake. It was more than that really; you could get everything from an ice cream cone to a new wig made on site. The ice cream was more popular.

My Uncle Bill and Uncle Fred would man the porch. They were pranksters by trade and both had retired from their hobby of teaching. They spent most of their summers, even before they retired, in rocking chairs on either side of the stairs leading to the front door. No one could enter the store without going by at least one of them.

They were harmless and fun and part of the reason people stopped in. Both of them always carried a notebook and a pen. One of their favorite pastimes was to write short little poems about everyone that came by, especially tourist and anyone new. They were usually funny, or cutesy, and short. Occasionally someone would justify something serious, but never hurtful. Mostly they were along the lines of:
Red in her hair
and on her toes,
but neither as cute
as ice cream on her nose.
They would tear them out of their notebooks and give them to the person they were written about. Occasionally, someone would keep one and cherish it, but mostly they ended up in the trashcans inside or blowing across the parking lot.

I worked there summers growing up; me and Big Tony. We were the only employees. Big Tony was about forty, deserving of his nickname, and a bit slower than most folks. In thinking that is. He was a hard worker. We would take care of the trash, sweep the floors, restock shelves; whatever my aunts needed. I liked working with Tony, he smiled a lot and never had a harsh word for anyone or anything.

Years later, after my aunts and uncles had passed on along with the store, I would stop in and check on Tony as often as I could. He lived in an assisted living place and seemed to enjoy it. We would take walks and occasionally go back down to the lake and fish.

One day he decided to show me his room. It was neat and clean, just like he had always been; bed, chair, table, TV. The usual set up. But covering the walls were hundreds of pieces of notebook paper that I remembered so well. Each one had a small, hand written poem about someone that had passed through that store: discarded, left behind.

“Tony, how did you get these?”
“I used to pick them up. Out of the trash, off of the parking lot.”
“Besides you, they are the only friends I have.”

My visits to Tony become more frequent. When the time came, I collected all of his ‘friends’ into a scrapbook and made a copy. The copy I kept, the other was on Tony’s chest when they closed the lid.

Written for the Flashy Fiction photo prompt.


Filed under Creative writing, Flash Fiction, Free Write, Short Story

Dead End

The chase was over,

she had lost,

dead end room.

A lock on a flimsy door

the last barrier to

her tormentor.

Insidious, triumphant

scratch of

nails on wood,

before it shatters


13 Frightened Souls

13 Frightened Souls (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Something new, why not? This is for the weekend challenge prompt at Trifecta: “Write a horror story in 33 words, without the words blood, scream, died, death, knife, gun, or kill. Good luck.” Not having any experience in the genre, reading or writing, I am sure it is amateurish and trite at best. But like I said, why not?


Filed under Creative writing, Poetry

The Neighbors

I rarely sleep through the night anymore. Sometimes I cannot get to sleep, other times a wake up early. When this happens I usually end up in the front room so I do not disturb the rest of the house. I will read occasionally, but typically I will sit in the dark and watch the nights activities. This night I was watching.

The Johnson’s were the most active late night house on our quiet street. I had been watching their marriage fall apart for some time now. He had stated coming home late once every other week or so. No big deal; everything seemed normal the next morning. He would leave for work at the normal time with her waving from the door.

Once every other week soon turned into a couple of times a week. I would see her standing in the window watching for him. Initially, she would wait there until he came home. Many a silent night was shattered by loud arguments from their garage. After a few weeks she started going to bed before he got home. Sse was not visible when he left for work anymore.

Something was different tonight. She had left earlier with the kids, did not come back with them. Not too unusual; they frequently stayed with her mother. She was also back at the window. Even from here I could tell she had been crying. She was also still dressed as she was earlier; no robe or nightgown as was normal for this time of night.

I saw the headlights of his car out of the corner of my eye, but I could not turn away from her. Her eyes got a little wider and her back seemed to straighten a bit. Other than that she did not move until he had pulled into the garage, then she slowly turned and headed back into the house.

It was less than a minute later that I heard the muffled explosion of a gunshot. I did not jump, no surprised intake of breath; I guess I was actually expecting it. There was no sound of an argument, no shouting, no screaming; just a single shot.

I suppose I should call the police, but I think I will give her a few minutes more.

Written for Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday Prompt.


Filed under Creative writing, Flash Fiction, Short Story

How Did I…..

Oh, wow. Damn! That is a doozy of a headache. What in the hell? Ok, eyes open, have to get to the aspirin.

“Good morning. Glad you could join us today.”

“Um, yea. What….?”

“I am just here to get your vitals. Someone will be along shortly for anything else you need.”

Why am I in a hospital room? I hurt like hell, but a nurse? Tubes in my arm? Everything is fuzzy. What do I remember?

Ready for work as usual; oh hell. Big fight before I left, bitchin’ at me for drinking again. Great start to the day. Work was usual except for the phone calls; three if I remember correctly. All still complaining about the night before.

Met Tim and Rick at the sports bar after work, damn sure was not going home after being yelled at all day. She needs to give it a rest, I don’t drink that much. Watched most of the game, had a few beers, headed home. Nothing unusual there except that I stopped answering the calls. We would talk when I got home.

Then she started texting; she knows I hate that. Most of them I ignored, finally could not stand it anymore. I texted her that I would be home in a minute, looked up at the road…..

Dog, swerve, tree. Damn. That is the last thing I remember. How bad am I hurt? I seem to ache all over, but nothing seems to be moving when i want it to. Wait a minute.

Why isn’t she here?

Day Services Unit waiting room

Image via Wikipedia

Written for the Flashy Fiction prompt of ‘one thing leads to another.’


Filed under Creative writing, Flash Fiction, Short Story

Blood in the Snow

We rode the fence at least once a week in the summer. When the heavy snows came it was more like every other week. Breaks were not uncommon; usually it was a stray deer or other wild animal not quite clearing the top strand of barbed wire. Occasionally a post would fall from either the rot of age or the weight of snow.

This was different. The ground on both sides of the fence was tore up more than usual. A lot of mud mixed with the snow. Both of the top rows of wire were sagging, more like they had been fallen on than catching something jumping over.

There was more blood than usual too. A few spots trailing off we were used to. This looked more like someone had a paintbrush dipped in red and flicked it overhand out towards the field. A splattered trail leaving holes burned into the snow.

What we found in the barbs was wrong too. The usual tufts of fur we would find were not there. Instead we found strips of clothing hanging from the fence, dancing on the bitter February wind like the tattered robes of a ghost.

We were a long way from anywhere. The falling snow was beginning to hide the footprints and cover the blood.

Witten for the Flashy Fiction photo prompt.

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Filed under Creative writing, Flash Fiction, Free Write, Short Story

The One

The prompt at Flashy Fiction was to write a piece based on the first line of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. “I am always drawn back to the places where I have lived, the houses and their neighborhoods.” 

“So who would it be?”

I crushed out my cigarette and took another sip from my beer before glancing sideways at him. “Really, have we sunk so far as to be reduced to these juvenile pursuits?”

“What do you want? We are sitting in a bar on Sunday afternoon, football is over, baseball has not started yet, it is raining and cold outside and neither of us have a girl to go home to. What else are we going to talk about?” He waived his empty at the bartender and held up two fingers. Guess we are staying for a while.

“Yeah, pathetic aren’t we? All right, what the hell. If I could go back and find one girl that got away….? It would have to be Holly from Houston.” I exchanged my empty for a full and lit another cigarette.

“Seriously, sounds like a porn star.”

“No, not this girl. She had way too much class for that. Sophisticated, you know. Read a lot, quoted old movies all the time. She lived three doors down from us in high school for about two years; we talked some waiting for the bus, but never much more than that. She was hot, but I always thought she was a little odd.”

“Odd? How?”

“Well, she always dressed too nice for one thing. Never saw her in cut offs or an old t-shirt. Always a dress, nice shoes, that kind of thing. I finally figured it out right before they moved. I went over to their house with my folks one Saturday night. She was in the basement watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s; sitting on the edge of the couch and hardly breathing. I stood in the door and watched for about thirty minutes. I figured out pretty quick that she was into the movie. I am not talking about ‘she liked the movie’, I mean she knew it by heart. It also hit me how much she looked and acted and talked like the girl in the movie; she wanted to be THAT Holly. Now I think of her every time I see Audrey Hepburn. A sophisticated girl like that would have been good for me.”

“Audrey who?”

“Oh for the love of….. We have seriously got to spend some time in a library or something. Check please!”

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Filed under Creative writing, Flash Fiction, Free Write

Two Kinds of People

After Daddy went to work for the ‘lectric company we started having dinner a little bit later during the week. Momma always insisted we eat together, so we did not start until he got home. Sometimes that meant reheating everything but she never complained. At least not while I was around.

One night I heard them after I went to bed. Momma did not sound happy.

“I don’t understand why you are the one that always ends up staying late. Aren’t there other men that can do the work?”

“Sure there are,” Daddy answered. “But it is usually overtime and we could use the money.”

“I know that, it just seems to be happening a lot lately. I miss you being around during the day; coming in for lunch.”

“Well, I miss that too, but we both know that farming was not paying the bills anymore. It should pay off in the long run. The bosses notice. When it comes time for raises and promotions I am hoping to be at the top of the list.”

Momma did not sound convinced. “That is how it should work, but you are too humble to toot your own horn. You know what they say: there are two types of people in this world, those that do the work and those that take the credit. And the first group is less populated.* Just make sure you are getting the credit for the work.”

She was fond of that phrase; ‘two kinds of people.’ She used it a lot to teach lessons. I remember asking her one Sunday afternoon why we were giving our food away. I was confused because she was always telling me to clean my plate and not be wasteful and we did not have food to just throw away.

She stopped what she was doing and looked at me for a minute before answering. “Well, Bobby, there are two kinds of people in this world; those who put themselves first and those who put others first.** We always want to be part of the second group. The Miller’s are going through a tough patch and we can spare some of what we have. We will not go hungry”

Momma always made sure you knew which group she thought you should be in. So far, she has always been right.

*Indira Ghandi (in some variation)
**Bill Purdin

Written for Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday.


Filed under Creative writing, Flash Fiction, Free Write, Short Story