Valentine’s Birthday

By Lois Perch Villemaire

In 1893, birth records were not always accurate,
my grandfather Sam chose February 14
Why did he select it? To me, it was obvious,
Sam was the ultimate romantic.

He penned daily love notes in flowery script
to my grandmother and she saved them forever.

“Good morning my dearest sugar-plum!
I am most thankful to have you by my side
on this gorgeous morning. Who could ask for more?
I love you more each day with the greatest love!
Your lover-boy, Sammy”


Valentine’s Day? He celebrated every day.
To me, it was obvious,
Sam was the ultimate romantic.

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“I write to record and remember.” – the writer

To Shoot a Hummingbird

By Angeline Schellenberg

“Because I can,” the old man said.

Claude shook the Polaroid, trying to look natural. He would burn it when he got home.

Even before he’d started writing his family history, he’d dreamed of interviewing a decorated soldier. Claude hadn’t planned on him being a war criminal.

A church custodian. Hiding in plain sight, as they say.

You’d never know to look at him that he’d been handed a sharpshooter medal by the Fuhrer himself.

Still shaking, Claude watched the picture appear. In the foreground: the grey wisps, the wrinkled cardigan, the rifle; in the distance, an explosion of feathers.

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“I write because it’s one of the only jobs a person can do on a sofa surrounded by dogs.” – the writer

When I Slip Into That Dark Forever

By Michael Thomas Ellis

A few may open their laptops
do a Google search
or scroll through their Facebook feeds
and with a little luck
stumble across these words
possibly a few more
and if I’m even luckier

although luck will be less than a shadow by then

their eyes will get misty
their thoughts a little melancholy
and for that fleeting moment
I will be remembered
maybe even missed
before the jarring distraction
of the next notification
lays me back to rest again.

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“I write when my muse absolutely refuses to take no for an answer.” – the writer

Rage Won

By Cherie Flintoff

It’s tempting to say the pandemic was responsible. That it raged through the population, destroying everything in its path.

But the pandemic was more like a solid bureaucrat. A vicious bureaucrat, dishing out illness and death, but doing so without malice. Doing its job effectively, perhaps with a wry smile about those who thought it wasn’t real.

The real rage, the rage that destroyed the city?

That rage came from the people, fuelled by fear and a new tribalism. Vaxxed vs unvaxxed. Each “side” so dogged in self-righteousness they lost sight of compassion and empathy.

Rage won. Everybody else lost.

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“I write to tell stories, to help me think and hopefully spark thought in others.” – the writer

Getting Better

By Lynn White

Things can only get better,
that’s what she always told her little sister.

Things are getting better all the time
even though it doesn’t feel that way.

So eat it up!
It’s important
as Jane Eyre said,
to keep in good health and not die.

So eat it up.
And save a little for the cat.

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“I write to let the words escape.” – the writer

A Self-Educated Man

By lornalorna16

Did you know crutches don’t float? I learned that today.

Last month I learned that my car brakes were faulty and what a tibia plateau fracture was.

A week ago I learned the name and telephone number of the pretty nurse with green eyes at the fracture clinic. Apparently this morning so did my wife; she tracked me to the park bench next to the pond where I had arranged to meet the pretty green eyes. Before she had stormed off, after hurling abuse, she had hurled the crutches.

Tomorrow I expect I will learn how expensive a solicitor is.

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“I enjoy the escapism of writing, and exploring the ‘what if.'” – the writer

The Suggestion Box

By R. Wayne Gray

“You sure you want me to do this?” Lonnie shook the box.
Phil nodded. “I hate paperwork. Read away.”
“’Free doughnuts.’ ‘Monday massages.’”
“No and no. Any more?”
Lonnie drew out a final slip a paper. “’Dig in the basement. Southwest corner.’ That’s weird.”
“Very,” Phil said. “Grab the shovel.”

###

Lonnie dug, Phil supervised.
“Still nothing?” Phil asked.
Lonnie wiped his face. “Nada. Probably someone’s idea … uh, boss?”
Phil cocked the gun pointed at Lonnie’s head.
“Last week someone suggested: get rid of Lonnie.”
“Maybe just fire me?”
“You know I hate paperwork,” Phil said, and pulled the trigger.

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“I’ve recently fallen in love with the drabble form, particularly those with dark themes.” – the writer

A Sensuous Life

By Bartholomew Barker

Though we live in different worlds,
let me be the moonlight glittering
your hair while you dream

and the voice of that tenor
on the radio filling an opera house
as he sings for his new bride.

Let me be the aroma of bread
baking in your oven
on a winter’s day

and the bath water warmth
surrounding your toes, feet
and legs as you slide

into the pure poetry
of a sensuous life.

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“I write because the moon is sleeping in my glass of wine.” – the writer

Repercussions of Random Acts of Kindness

By Yvonne Lang

Josie stood on the cold platform, shivering among the other miserable commuters. The train was late – again. She hated work but that was just part of life her mother said. Josie hated life too. She could hear the train approaching as she wandered down the platform. A baby dropped its toy and a man on his phone paused to pick it up for the mother. Josie stepped back. That was twelve acts of kindness in a row witnessed this morning. Maybe tomorrow people wouldn’t restore her faith; but for today she wouldn’t step out and would give life a chance.

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“I write as I love reading and it makes ideas buzz around my brain.” – the writer

The Listener

By Robert Ronnow

New York City is where people who are
disappearing go. It is very quiet
here, silent. A man and woman
made love below me. I could hear
the bedsprings ringing and the
woman singing in sensual pain.
My thoughts sped up as they humped
faster. Everything is dead in my room
except me and my plants. If I keep
on identifying my feelings with the
feelings of things, I too will be dead.
They are talking and laughing now. His deep
voice vibrates the air. Her laugh
is like water.

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“I write because I’ve almost never had to fight.” – the writer