Head on over and see Colleen Chesebro at the Saddle Up Saloon. Below is my response to her monthly double ennead challenge. Points awarded if you see how I bent the rules of the double ennead form.

Breathe in Autumn’s harvest.
Nature’s smudging cleanse!
Every step a cidery press of scents
green melting in fall fire
summer ferns kneel brown.

See Autumn’s praise-songs.
Gatherings of voices!
Choired trees exalting in crackling colored tongues
tart air an apple bite
wing strokes flute bell skies.

Hear Autumn’s palette.
Offerings of colors!
Quicksilvered moonshadow songs of coyotes
red leaves’ raining patter
blue forgotten dreams.

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Happy September! Welcome to a new Carrot Ranch double ennead monthly poetry challenge. Every third Monday of the month, I’ll be here at the Saloon with another challenge to help get your poetic juices flowing. Each month, we will explore a different theme or image to inspire our poetry. Take your time, there’s no hurry! You have an entire month to write your poem.

HINT:You can find this post again by typing:double ennead challengein the search box to the right of the Carrot Ranch banner. That will bring up the most recent challenge post. ❤

Check out the poems from last month HERE

The wordEnneadmeans nine, and a double nine is ninety-nine! Carrot Ranch is famous for 99-word flash fiction. Now, the ranch has its own syllabic poetry form written in 99 syllables!

The Double Ennead comprises five lines with a syllable count of 6/5/11/6/5, (33 SYLLABLES…

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CRLC Challenge; Big Black Horse

The challenge from Carrot Ranch? In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a Big Black Horse. It can be a horse, a metaphor or an interpretation of KT Tunstall’s “Big Black Horse and a Cherry Tree.” Go where the prompt leads! Respond by September 21, 2021. Use the comment section at Carrot Ranch to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines. Here are two from me.

Fair Play

“These aren’t like Lucienne’s team of Morgans.”

“No, they’re not Hope.”

“And they’re not like the horses we saw at the pull this morning.”

“They most certainly are not. These are fancy riding horses.”

Hope studied the high stepping horses in their fancy tack. “That one Daddy. The big black horse.”

“She’s a beauty, alright. And big. Are you sure?”

“Yes Daddy.”

“Do you want help getting on?”

“I can do it Daddy.” Stepping into the high stirrup and swinging herself into the saddle, Hope rode round and round while her father watched from the edge of the carousel.

Medicine Horse

A shadow softened the sharp rays that pinned him to the sunbaked ground. He opened his eyes to see the soft nostrils that blew a cooling caress; saw an unshod hoof of the big black horse that nudged him until he struggled onto its back. 

‘What big black horse?’ the townsfolk asked. 

Recovered, he would avenge himself against the men who’d left him to die. But their horses, still saddled, a boot hanging in a stirrup, clattered into town ahead of the big black horse. 

‘What big black horse?’ the townsfolk asked, for there was no sign of it.

CRLC Challenge; Cooking Show & SixSentenceStory; Island

On Course

It was a marvel what she produced in such a short time and with so little space, just a narrow counter top and a butcher block kitchen island. 

She commandeered the small kitchen, flour clouding the roiling tempest of her activity. Then, while the oven did its transformative work she swabbed the surfaces and restored calm as she stowed the dishes and debris from her preparations. Snapping a table cloth over the butcher block, she displayed her confections. There was Black Forest cake, lava cake, and even rocky road ice cream. The butcher block was an enchanting desserted island. 

The September 9, 2021, prompt from Carrot Ranch: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about the cooking show. It can be any cooking show, real or imagined. Who is there? What happens? Make it fun or follow a disaster. Go where the prompt leads! Respond by September 14, 2021. Though the Six Sentence Story link up isn’t open until Wednesday, I needed the boost of this week’s prompt word ”island” to help me over the hurdle of Charli’s prompt. So, there it is, 99 words in six sentences.

#SixSentenceStory; Deal

It’s Six Sentence Story time again, prompt word ”deal”. This is what came this week, six sentences, in 52 words. Go to GirlieOntheEdge for the link to more Sixes and be sure to leave one of your own. Anything goes, as long as it’s a Six.


They have converged at a crossroads and are conversing…

“Really, you’re the real deal? So… like, what is the deal, what do you want from me?”

“I don’t make deals; I want nothing for myself, but do want your actions and words to come from loving kindness.”



Saddle Up Saloon: Anyone Can Poem

Yep, anyone can poem and Chel Owens will help you along. She is the Verse-atile host every first Monday at the Saddle Up Saloon. Come by for the prompt, stay for the chomp.

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

If’n your summer (or winter) has been as busy as mine, I shore do ‘preciate your comin’ back for more poeming.

Still, I didn’t get many volunteers in last month‘s offer to send me your poem needing a bit of meter-tinkering. The offer is open, even if you’re reading this months or years after its posting.

Now, on to more FUN poetry specifics:

If my #1 pet peeve is meter, my #2 is when people write poetry for entirely the wrong reasons and are therefore showing off.

Their work is flowery, superfluous, showy, fluffy, wordy, adverby -in short, too much tell AND show in some of the worst ways possible. Their poem ends up a mash of obscure words and emotional pleas that lack a concise theme.

If a poet is new to The Game, s/he will do this innocently.

If a poet is old to the game, s/he…

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CRLC Challenge; Prom Dress


A June night. Prom night. ‘A Night to Remember’. “You’re beautiful,” he said.

An August evening. “I’ll do the right thing,” he said. “I’m working full time… we can live with my mom.”

A September morning. She would have been at college. It was a small wedding.  

The baby came in March. “He’s perfect,” he said. “He looks just like his father,” his mother said. 

Another August evening. He held the sleeping baby while watching baseball with his mother.

“I’m going out,” she said. 

“Home run!” they shouted, waking the baby. 

She left her prom dress and son behind. 

September 2, 2021, Carrot Ranch prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story to the theme, “not everyone fits a prom dress.” You can take inspiration from Ellis Delaney’s song, the photo, or any spark of imagination. Who doesn’t fit and why? What is the tone? You can set the genre. Go where the prompt leads! Respond by September 7, 2021.

Picture Prompt #SaddleUpSaloon

The Unknown by D. Avery

The boss calls me Manuel, calls me Mexican. Manuel is not my name, Mexico is not the country I come from. I am Guatemalan. “What’s the difference?” he asks, but does not really want an answer. 

Hundreds of people come every day to this cemetery where I do this work. These people honor their soldiers. They are awed by the endless rows of headstones, each engraved with a name. 

My father, my mother, my brothers and sisters— they had names. My village had a name. 

The boss says I am lucky to have this job. I know that’s true.

There’s something different at The Saddle Up Saloon this week, a photo prompt for those of you wanting more writing inspiration. Post your story and leave a link over there in the comments. Also know that you, your books, and your characters could be featured as a Saddle Up Saloon guest. Contact me if you are interested in that fun opportunity.

SixSentenceStory; Train

It’s another Six Sentence Story. Thank you Denise for hosting this fun writing prompt. Jump on the “train” and add your Six to the mix.


His eyes were like a far off train whistle, a plaintive and familiar haunt. She told him how she’d always dreamed of going places, that one day she’d hop a train, would escape this town. He said he had something that would take her places faster than a speeding locomotive.

And the dropped spoon fell, clickety-clack, and the needle gleamed like a steel rail.

She traced the tracks on her arms and knew her dreams were derailed, wrecked. Stepping along the railroad ties, she walked only as far as the trestle bridge.

CRLC Challenge; Stars in the Sand

Grandma says there are stars in the sand. 

A lot of people think Grandma’s crazy.

I think it’s crazy that I have to go to school where all I learn is to keep quiet and avoid bullies.

Come on, Grandma says when I get home, Let’s go star gazing, and heads down to the beach, hours before sunset.  

It’s not the right time, I say.

We can handle time she says, and we do. Wordless, we marvel at the glittering sand; we smooth it, sift it, lie in it.

You’re a star she says, and I know she’s right.

The challenge from Carrot Ranch this week is to write in 99 words (no more, no less), a story using the phrase, “stars in the sand.” Your story can be any genre (or poem) and can use realism or fantasy. It’s a dreamy prompt. Go where the it leads!

Respond by August 24, 2021. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

CRLC Challenge; Cacophony

Summer of Love

The pair of geese that patrolled the yard were first to sound the alarm. Then his father’s hounds bugled from the kennels. The Jerseys lowed as they closed ranks across the pasture and filed toward the barn. Finally there came the sharp report of the screen door springing shut behind his mother, anxiously wringing her dish towel on the familiar porch, laughing and crying at his approach. 

These welcoming sounds began to quiet the shrieks and chants from the gauntlet he’d faced at the airport. But even as his mother refrained, ‘You’re really home’, doubts drummed like throbbing pain.

The Carrot Ranch 99 word challenge this week?

In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story, using cacophony. You can use the word or show discordant sound in action. How can you create literary cacophony with your words? This one might be of interest to poets as a literary device. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by August 17, 2021. Use the comment section to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.