Tuesday, August 30, 2022

the turtle

by bofa xesjum

i am going to go down to the store on the corner, catherine announced, to buy a turtle.

a turtle? asked harold. whatever for? and besides, it is pouring rain.

oh, i shall wear my most weather proof rain gear.

that is all very well, but what do you want the turtle for?

to make turtle soup, of course. why else would i want it?

but it is cook’s day off.

i have the cookbook mrs wilson left behind, and it has what appears to be a very workable recipe in it.

oh well, suit yourself, i suppose you know your own mind. i still think you would be better served waiting for cook to make the turtle soup tomorrow - and going to the store herself to buy it, in bright glorious sunshine.

that is all very well, but i am off. wish me luck.

good luck.

but when catherine opened the front door, who should be standing in front of it, apparently in some sort of daze, but charles. he was not wearing a hat and his umbrella was rolled and tucked under his arm, and the rain was furiously splashing and cascading over his bald head.

charles! catherine exclaimed. whatever are you doing here?

i - i was just thinking - i was thinking of - dash it, now i have lost my train of thought!

i am sorry to hear that. why don’t you come in out of the rain and dry yourself off a bit.

yes, i suppose i might as well.

the servants have the day off, but we have a roaring fire going, and harold might lend you some dry clothes.

i don’t care to wear other people’s clothing.

when charles entered the drawing room, harold looked up from his faithful copy of the newcomes and burst out laughing.

i will be back shortly, catherine told charles, and i will make some delicious turtle soup which will warm you right up.

harold continued to laugh, and to ostentatiously “hold his sides”.

stop laughing, harold, catherine admonished him. it is very uncivilized of you. why don’t you look for the admiral’s old blue suit in the attic and let charles change into it? i will be back in a flash.

and with that, catherine was out the door and on her way.

harold did not make any attempt to retrieve the admiral’s old blue suit from the attic, but he and charles sat in front of the roaring fire and had a long, somewhat contentious argument about the battle of rorke’s drift.

catherine returned a few hours later, quite wet, and without a turtle.

charles and harold refrained from asking her where she had been and what she had been doing.

Sunday, August 28, 2022


by fred flynn

arthur was an alien
with a long green nose
and when he walked through spaceport
the humans stopped and froze

buck was a barbarian
with a long iron sword
he had a girl named jenny
whom he could not afford

darl krogar was an admiral
of the galactic fleet
he dreamed of a woman with long red hair
whom he would someday meet

the woman had no name
and she did not exist
and those who wish to meet her
are added to the list

eddie jones was lost in space
and went down with the ship
he had been a solid square
but all his mates were hip

franklin tracked the paths of stars
and put pins on a map
he wore a red and yellow tie
and a purple baseball cap

Saturday, August 27, 2022

off the floor

by horace p sternwall

i picked a book up off the floor
i remembered reading it before
and thinking it was quite profound
and not being able to put it down

but what was it about?
i never found out
a revolution intervened
so at the time it seemed

i put down the book
as the earth shook
and ran into the street
destiny to meet

the years went by
that is no lie
best forgotten

every life is a book that is blank
a limo with no gas in its tank
the words fade away as they are written down
the car never gets to the next town

Friday, August 26, 2022


by nick nelson

rick evans was an ordinary person.

he had a good, not great, personality.

when he caught sight of his old enemy, tolliver quigg, crossing the street on the corner of 4th and main, it brought back painful memories.

in a movie or a book, rick would have murdered or otherwise avenged himself against tolliver years years ago.

but nothing is like it is in the movies.

so rick shrugged it off, and kept on walking down the street to his destination, the 3rd street deli.

where he bought a ham and cheese sandwich and a classic coke.

he asked for extra mustard on the sandwich.

he took a seat on a stool beside the window and began eating the sandwich and watching the world go by.

he did not see any more old enemies, on that particular afternoon.

he considered what he would watch on tv when he got home that night.

take it easy, rick, everything will be all right.

until it is not - but nothing lasts forever.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022


by genghis gilgamesh

kenneth had a mushroom
he grew it in a lab
he dressed it in a tuxedo
and put it up for grabs

the king of spain declined it
and so did kenneth’s’s brother
so kenneth swore right then and there
he would never grow another

he closed the lab and sold it
and took to the highway wide
he had a smile upon his face
but was burning up inside

he met a girl named karoline
who had a spider in her hair
but they never really got along
because life is so unfair

he got a job in a delicatessen
and took to the booze
and learned the secret of happiness
bur never spread the news

he had one answer for everything
when he had two drinks
no matter who said what he asked
- who cares what you think?

Thursday, August 18, 2022


by dog e relaford

jasper was a gasper
and he had the right stuff
he hid in the bushes
when the going got rough

his curtain was certain
to blow in the breeze
he asked for a nickel
and never said please

his master was nasty
and gave him no relief
he waited out behind the barn
to give the master grief

the moon came up behind the trees
in a casual way
we will gather at the river
one of these days

jasper has a dollar
hidden in his shoe
he wishes he had a thousand
but what are you going to do?

Tuesday, August 16, 2022


by horace p sternwall

with a satisfied air
i went to the county fair
people stopped and stared
but i only wanted my share

i say, let tempers flare
i was being debonair
because i did not have a care
and my attitude is my own affair

the strong man asked me for a nickel
and i gave the bearded lady a dime
i said howdy to the sheriff
and he gave me a hard time

roll on, lazy river
roll on, roll along
i remember my old dog henry
but forget the words to my song

Monday, August 15, 2022

in the wilderness

by nick nelson

present company excluded, of course.

outside in the wilderness the moon was shining.

roger was sorry he had said what he did , but it was too late to take it back.

adam and cybele looked at each other. with a look that said, let us get out of here - fast.

but the drive back to pittsburgh would take five hours and they were tired after a long day of hiking through the woods.

outside in the wilderness the moon was shining.

don’t worry about it, cybele assured roger in her silky tones, we know you didn’t mean any harm.

adam laughed approvingly at cybele’s remark.

but where was daniel?

he should have been back from the general store at least fifteen minutes ago.

roger voiced this thought aloud.

it was probably closed, and he went down to the town, cybele said.

but i thought it was open twenty-four hours, roger said.

a place like that? it more likely closed when the sun went down, adam said.

you have a lot to learn about the wilderness, cybele told roger.

suddenly they heard a vehicle coming up the road.

it sounded too loud to be daniel’s car.

Saturday, August 13, 2022


by nick nelson

a man walked down a street at night.

he wore a hat.

it was dark.

a woman watched him from a window.

although the night was not hot, and there was in fact a breeze blowing in the street, the man stopped and took his hat off and wiped his brow with a handkerchief he took from his pocket.

he is giving himself an excuse to stop, the woman thought, he wants me to look at him.

just then the woman’s gray cat appeared, demanding to be fed.

the woman complied, and went away from the window into her small kitchen and fed the cat.

when the woman returned to the window the man was gone.

she never saw him again, or thought about him again.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

bag of gold, part 4

by nick nelson

part four of four

for part three click here

for part one, click here

delacroix is here.


delacroix. shifty. the cop from north city.

oh, him. i don’t suppose he told you what he wants.

no. do you want to see him?

i’ll see him. i’ll buzz you if i decide i have had enough of him.

all right.

have a seat, delacroix. what can i do for you?

it is what i can do for you, mr c. you know i have owed you one for a while.

i am very aware of that fact.

i have something that might interest you. it seems like a bit of a long chance, but i thought it might do.

tell me about it, and i will decide if it does.

that cigar looks like a good one.

it is a very good one. if i like your story, i might tell you where you can buy one for yourself.

all right, here it is. there is an old woman living out in the fourth quarter, by the bend in the river,

the fourth quarter, where rich people used to live?


so she used to have money?

exactly. now she seems to have some goods that she wants to dispose of…

but she has a problem.


keep talking.


i spoke to a policeman, or detective or whatever he was, on tuesday.

we are not the police. we are information specialists.

if you have no official standing, i have no information to give you.

you have information to give us.

i will call the police.

you will not call the police.

well then, as little as it comports with my dignity, i will scream for help.

no one will hear you. the houses nearby are deserted. your maid has gone home, we saw her leave. you answered the door yourself.

a car might drive by and hear me. a vagabond might walk by and hear me. there have been an alarming number of them in the vicinity lately.

we will take our chances on those things. we are wasting each other's time here. we want to know where you got the gold coin you gave the bank. and if you have any more of them.

i told the policeman. a man, a complete stranger to me, gave it to me when i was a little girl. i have no more of them.

we do not believe that that story is true. we hope, for your sake, that it is not.

the end

Saturday, August 6, 2022

bag of gold, part 3

by nick nelson

part three of four

for part two, click here

for part one, click here

fifty years later.

i would like to speak to miss juliana williams, please.

this is juliana williams.

good afternoon, miss williams, my name is harland perkins, and i am an officer of the first bank in wilsonville. how are you today?

i am doing just fine, mister perkins. yourself?

i am doing very well, thank you.

what can i do for you today, mister perkins.

i am calling about the one hundred dollar gold coin you deposited at our branch in pineville.

what about it? is it counterfeit?

no, it is perfectly good. but could you tell me where you got it?

i do not see any reason why i should..

the police are interested in the matter.

really? then i will talk to the police if they contact me.

good afternoon. i would like to speak to miss juiiana williams.

who shall i say is calling?

i am detective morris delacroix, of the state police.

oh, yes, she was expecting you. please come in.

would you like some coffee , lieutenant, is it?

just detective, and thank you, but no thank you.. my business will be brief.

and the business concerns the gold coin i deposited in the pineville bank?

it does indeed. perhaps you have had time to refresh your memory as to where you got it.

i remember very well where i got it. i was not inclined to tell the gentleman at the bank, on such short notice, where i got it. perhaps i was getting a little too much up on my high horse. i apologize for any inconvenience i may be causing you.

thank you. be that as it may, where did you get the coin?

when i was a little girl, a man on main street told me i was a pretty girl and gave it to me.

just like that?


a one hundred dollar coin?


did he - act improperly in any way?

oh no. there were hordes of people around. i think it was the fourth of july.

and you were how old?

i think i was thirteen, give or take a year.

what did your parents think?

i never told them about it. i just took it home and hid it. for a rainy day.

and the rainy day came last week?

i am afraid it did.

and that is your story?

yes, it is.

and you do not have any more of these coins?


thank you. that is all i need.

are you sure you would not like something to drink? coffee, tea, mineral water?

no thank you. p>

part foor

Friday, August 5, 2022

bag of gold, part 2

by nick nelson

part two of four

for part one, click here

well, here we are. what do we do now?

try knocking on the door.

hey pete - pete? are you in there,

knock harder.

i don’t think he is in there.

look in the window.

it’s dark - i can’t see anything.

you are the one who wanted to wait until dark.

you got any other ideas? that window looks like we could get stuck in it

that door doesn’t look he spent any of his gold on it.

you want to break it down?

what else are we here for?

it’s dark in here. we don’t have any matches.

i brought matches, dumbhead.

look! there’s somebody on the bed! it must be pete!

a brilliant deduction.

is he dead?

dead drunk, probably. let’s look around.

he’s cold. he is dead!

good, now we have time to look around. you aren’t scared, are you?

not me.


all right, we got the gold, let’s get out of here.

not so fast. let’s split it up first.

we can split it up later.

we can split it up now,

maybe we should just bury it somewhere. if we start spending it and they find his body the police will put two and two together…

i know all that. but if we just bury it and we both know where it is, how will we each know the other won’t dig it up? or one kill the other to get it all? better to split it up now and we won’t know where the other put theirs.

how are we going to split it?

fifty fifty.

i mean, we need another bag. do you want to look around here for one? let’s get out of here.

i brought a bag. for just this eventuality.

you and your big words.

part three

Thursday, August 4, 2022


by walter w johnson iii

all i ever wanted was to meet a sincere person who would accept me for who i am.


people write poems about trees and rocks and flowers and clouds and the sun and the moon and the sky and rivers and oceans but who really cares about any of that stuff?

i just want to meet a sincere person.


i hated being a child and a teenager but i was afraid to grow up and have to find a job.

i hate being alive but i am afraid to die.

i guess a lot of people feel the same way.

that is why i don’t understand why they are not nicer and more sincere.


a man looked out a window at a tree.

it had been there the day before and the day before that and it was still there.

he decided to make himself a piece of toast and put raspberry jelly on it.

that man was me!


but even if i am, so what?

it does not mean people can’t be nice to me.


why do people have to be so nasty?

i just don’t get it.


a bird flew through the air.

the sky was blue.

then it landed in a tree.

then it flew off again.

a man walked down the street.

he did not have any money.

or any friends.

nobody cared.

a bug crawled across the sidewalk.

the man with no friends did not even see it.

did the bug see him?

the man did not think about the bug because he did not even see it.

did the bug think about him?

did it think, i better hurry across this sidewalk before that monster steps on me?

who is more alive, the man or the bug?

who is more sincere?