Digital Flash

working-template-for-ff-challenges8.pngEvery age is the digital age. Where would we be without our digits and opposable thumbs? 

The prompt at Carrot Ranch this week had us focusing on fingers, fast fingers, no less. In 99 words, no more, no less. I felt stumped at first, and then managed these three unrelated responses and one other, entitled “Donning“.


Watch Your Words by D.Avery

It was hard for him to catch everything she said, she talked so fast. When angry she talked even faster, emphatically, replete with innovative swear words. Just now she was on a creative streak. She was swearing mad. At him.

“Slow down”, he pleaded. “I can’t hear a word you’re saying.”

That got him an eye roll.

He didn’t need to catch every word. He knew what he had said was wrong and was hurtful. They’d been talking about having a baby. He had signed that he hoped their baby wouldn’t be born deaf.

That’s when her fingers flew.


Idling by D. Avery

Fingers cracking the pod and rolling the peas out into the pot in one deft move. Had that favorite paring knife, remember, always got the thinnest peel off a potato, all in one piece. She taught us all to knit, though none of us have ever gotten our needles clacking as fast as hers. She even tickled trout, would go down to the brook and get all she wanted and not a line or a net.

Now she just lies in bed, her papery hands fluttering to her face over and over, like she can’t believe she’s still here.


 Perched  by D. Avery

Plumes of paper rooster tailed from the adding machine, the cocky accountant’s fingers like frenzied birds swooping and diving at the keys.

She held her pencil thoughtfully, carefully examining the numbers, pecked and scratched at the paper. She didn’t want to ruffle any feathers, but something didn’t add up. Her fingers tapped out a message on her computer keyboard.

The investigation had barely begun when he flew the coop, though he was unable to line his nest as planned.

She got a feather in her cap. The promotion would help her grow her nest egg, which she tended prudently.



Donning by D.Avery

Once upon a time there was a time that all wished there never was; for this was not a forwarding time, but a time when the world went backwards. In that time there was an Emperor, which there was not supposed to be in that time.

His hands, never having known good work, were known to be small and soft. He was fast with his fingers, his trigger finger itchy, pointing blame at someone else, never at himself. Sociopath, he poked the keys to provoke through social media, stirred unrest with his jabbing digits. The world was thoroughly shaken.


At Carrot Ranch, the March 29, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about fingers that fly. Think about the different ways we use our fingers and what happens when we add speed. Go where the prompt leads.


Tales of Spring

Frank Hubeny brings the Meeting the Bar prompt at dVerse this week with the Tanaga form. He says: “The tanaga form is part of an oral tradition going back to the early 16th    century.  It comes in stanzas of four lines with seven syllables per line. It often rhymes, even rhyming each line of a stanza on the same rhyme sound, but it can have variable rhyme patterns. It can also have more than one stanza.” As I missed earlier prompts this week at dVerse that had to do with spring, my tanaga will be on that topic.


Now the crocus jewels the lawn

Showing us that winter’s gone.

Colors bursting, buds unfold

Now the tales of spring are told.


Peepers’ songs in evening air

Draw the poets from their lairs.

Shed the cloaks of winter’s night

Warm your soul in vernal light.

Dream Flash

The  celebratory vibe continues this week at the ranch, where dreams are coming true. Carrot Ranch working-template-for-ff-challenges6.pngMarch 22, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the theme “follow your dreams.” Bonus points for throwing a badge into the tale. Go where the prompt leads.                                                                                           I have come up with two different and unrelated responses to the prompt and am posting them together. Please enjoy both and do go to the ranch to see other writers’ responses or to join in yourself.

Render by D. Avery

“It’s too tight”, Marlie complained as her mother hurriedly strapped her into her car seat. Today she’d made her mother late because she’d been absorbed watching a moth ensnared in a spider web, hopelessly struggling, its wings rendered useless.

Craft time was underway when Marlie arrived. Though unsure what the others were making she quickly got herself some sticks and yarn too. Her thoughts swam in the colorful weave of her careful work.

“Nice Dream Catcher, Marlie. It looks just like a colorful spider web.”

Marlie paused, then loosened the yarn, undid each wrap and weave, dismantling her creation.


Deferment by D. Avery

All schoolmates, they were drinking, again. Billy was talking again about how he was going to go out west, see the sights, settle down in California and grow grapes, run a vineyard.

“Jeezus, Billy, you still on that? You and Stevie- ‘We’re gonna have a vineyard, get rich farmin’ wine’-”

“Whatever happened to Stevie?”

The bartender, their former coach, laughed, showed them a bottle. “Look at the label.”

“I’ll be damned.”

“Shit.” Billy guzzled the rest of his beer, grunting as he stiffly got to his feet. “Gotta get back to the wife and kids.”

“See ya tomorrow, Billy.”


(By the way, the book has been written on dream pursuit. Look to your right and click on Chicken Shift.)  

Dog Gam

What poetics is Paul Scribbles serving up this week at dVerse Poets Pub? Soul gazing, he calls this week’s concoction. Well, I went off the leash a little with the prompt.


This haibun has been removed from my blog as it is soon to be published in an anthology. More on that later.

Full House

The latest from Marge and Earnest.

***Earnest was to find out a few things after Marge moved in. He found out that Wednesday was poker night and that his doublewide was the new favored location for the game, the guys from Marge’s old shop sitting on their coolers of beer around the coffee table, Marge dealing nachos and bean dip along with her colorful remarks. Earnest also found out, that first time, that he was not very good at poker, and that he did not care for the loud bantering of the group.

So the next Wednesday Earnest declared it his pub night, and he went out alone for the first time since meeting Marge over three months before. The table near the small corner stage was empty and he sat there alone as he had so many times before. Unlike all those other times though, this time he was not to be left alone. He was to find out that he was, for the first time ever, desirable.

Though it was fairly busy, the waitress came right away, called him by name, welcomed him back, asked how he was, where had he been. Earnest blushed and mumbled that he’d been busy; he was glad when she left to get his beer and gladder still when she brought it to him but quickly returned to the busy tables across the room.

She had no sooner left when an energetic, big haired woman approached his table, listing a little to the left because of her prosthetic leg, leading with the drink grasped in her right hand, talking at him well before she plunked herself down in the chair beside him.

“Hi, remember me? From the department store? Ilene. Ilene Higginbottom.”

Earnest stood awkwardly, bumping the table and spilling both their drinks. The waitress came by, wiped the table while winking at Earnest, and promised to bring another round.

Ilene then bombarded Earnest with compliments. “You were so kind, so helpful in the department store. I said to myself, now there’s a good man.”

Earnest was the color of a radish.

“So tall, so handsome.”

No one had ever told Earnest that he was handsome. He squirmed uncomfortably, turning a deeper shade of radish.

The band had started playing, and Ilene Higginbottom asked Earnest if he would like to dance.

“Oh, gosh, please, no, I, uh, I’m no good, I have two left feet.” There isn’t a radish that could now compare to Earnest’s red face as he remembered that Ilene Higginbottom had only one right foot. He gulped and stared at his boots. Ilene Higginbottom didn’t slow down a bit.

“Ah, poor thing, I was joking, you dear, sweet man… You know, I settled out of court with the mill. I am pretty comfortable, if you know what I mean.”

Earnest wasn’t exactly sure what she meant, but he did know that he was incredibly uncomfortable, especially when Ilene Higginbotttom leaned in and stroked his big calloused hand. He took a deep breath and stood up carefully, not spilling a thing. Earnest would never have the vocabulary to describe the range of emotions that he felt at being able to honestly tell Ilene Higginbottom that he was taken by another, but he did tell her, with relief and with pride, and he also asked her to please excuse him, but he was late for his poker game.

Without even having finished a beer, Earnest left the pub, feeling kind of handsome. He was willing to bet that Marge would think so too.

Double Wide

Working together inside his two-bay garage, Earnest and Marge were a well oiled machine, professional and productive, she taking his direction with the respect that she always showed a boss, the owner of a shop. After work, she often went with him to the humble trailer he called home, just behind the shop, and it was there that Earnest didn’t know what to expect, like her going right to the bedroom and emptying his drawers.

“Earnest, you only wear the same few things as long as I’ve known you, what are all these clothes, taking up space?”

“Those are the ones I used to wear, but they, uh, well they don’t fit anymore.”

“Well they don’t fit in your bureau, neither, we gotta make room if I’m gonna double the population of your singlewide, so here, I’ll keep these shirts here and make curtains for the windows with them, I can’t believe you don’t have curtains, and you take the rest of these to use as rags in the shop, we need rags in the shop, Earnest, and there, now I have some room for my clothes, because how can I be expected to make a carrot cake this summer if I’m not right here to tend the garden and to get to know the oven.”

Earnest Biggs, blushing and smiling incredulously, was thus informed by Marge Small that she would be moving in with him permanently. “Gosh, Marge, I thought you’d never ask.”

****Earnest and Marge return for Girlie on the Edge’s debut Six Sentence Story prompt, “curtain”.  See their ongoing story from the first at their page.six sentence story.jpg



Strawberry Moon

working-template-for-ff-challenges4.pngThe celebrations continue at Carrot Ranch this week. Last week’s celebrations prompted Earnest to bring Marge balloons, this week Marge contemplates carrot cake. For their full story, made up as prompts suggest, go to their page. Carrot Ranch March 15, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about carrot cake. It can be classic or unusual. Why is there cake? How does it feature in the story? Go where the prompt leads. Respond by March 20 to be included in the compilation (published March 21). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

Marge sat at the table poring over a seed catalog, one of the balloons a strawberry moon overhead.

“I want carrot cake, Earnest, that’s what.”

“There’s some at the store.”

“I want to make it.”

“We can buy carrots.”

“No, I wanna grow the carrots.”

“Well gee Marge, it’s gonna take a long while to get that cake.”

“Yes, well into summer.”

“Why wait so long? Why work so hard?”

“It’s to celebrate. Us. You like balloons, I like cake.”

Earnest grinned. Marge would be baking, here, come summer.

“I’ll dig the garden patch, Marge.”

“That’s what I figured.”


3.14159 26535 89793 23846…

It is Pi Day, that is in the states where we write today’s date 3/14 it is. (Another fun fact is that Einstein was born on this day in 1879.) In another life of mine I sometimes teach math. Kids of all ages have heard of Pi and are fascinated with it. I have had them write Pi-etry and Pi-ku using the digits of Pi to determine either syllable or word-count. Below is my take, using the first 21 digits to dictate syllable count. The second poem is my more free form ode to Pi, or M’ode à la Pi . 

My math students did a remarkable job of writing with the Pi-ku challenge. I challenge you to take a cross-curricular leap and use Pi or the digit sequence of Pi as your inspiration to write a poem today. Use as many or as few digits as you wish, but keep them in order. The possibilities for this are endless; google for more digits. Your poem could be about math or Einstein, but it doesn’t have to be. The possibilities for your poetry are endless.


3.14159 26535 89793 23846…



Math is language…


Elegant language

Beautifully written, spoken by


Patterns, balance, ratios

endlessly repeat

planet song

earth, water, fire, air

elemental singing Planet

forgive our great illiteracies

and our crude utterances

deaf, blind, and mute to elegant song

notes of truth

of hope

of balance

possible yet in this our world

if only we

could read the planet’s song.


Pi = c/d

Pi is irrational

But makes a circle indomitable

This figure without sides

Why would anyone divide

One measure by another?

Circumference by diameter,

Ends as an endless enterprise

That doesn’t make a circle other-wise.

Is this some circular divinity?

Always dividing to a little more than three,

The quotient going on and on, infinitely…

So are circles incrementally

Ever increasing in size, pi x d?

Oh so wise, circularly!

Pi is irrational

Pi is incomparable,

Pi is part of a mystery.


Hang Fire

It’s Quadrille Monday again at d’Verse. The prompt word is “fire”, the deal is 44 words. The term ‘hang fire’ refers to when the trigger is pulled but the combustion doesn’t happen right away, a potentially dangerous situation if one looks down the barrel to see what is going on.  


In the time before

wise counsel was sought

considered words shared in fireside chats.

This was the ancient fire,

the warm balming one

stoked with communal values.

Fires lately!

Kindled by hate

held overhead like flaming fists

reflected in raging eyes.

Sparking cold fear.