A Game of Chance  –  FLASH FICTION

It is a chill autumn day on Earth, but in Heaven it is same-o, same-o. Three of the God brothers are sitting around a table playing stud poker. They realized aeons ago that if they freed up a little complexity, chaos and emergence onto the table, it made for a rousing game of chance.

Yaweh has his elbows on the table, studying his hand.  Poseidon stretches out in his chair contentedly. Zeus, on the other hand, holds his cards close to his chest   and eyes Yaweh anxiously.

Their game is interrupted by young Jesus, who enters apologetically. “Forgive me, but Earth’s people are in need of a few miracles. They are casting doubt on the existence of the God family.”

Yaweh looks sternly over his glasses and glares. “What do they consider a miracle?”

Jesus and his father have had this conversation before. “They want something that they can’t explain, that flies in the face of everything they know.”

Yaweh speaqks to his brothers. “Who would have suspected that something appearing from nothing, that slime molds bonding together to find food, the mysterious unfolding of the mathematical road map, the teeniest paticles glopping together to make a body with aqn immune system, toddlers reclling past lives, the magic of reproduction and even the tunnel experience of the clinically dead would not suffice?  Is it not self-evident? Pray tell, where do they think it all came from? What kind of piddling thing do they desire?

Jesus replies, “something puzzling, like milk turning into orange juice.”

Zeus makes a rude sound.

Jesus continues, “I feel emergence has gotten away from us. Consciousness emerged with the more complex brain, and reasoning became something that humans could pool together. They believe themselves to be on the way to conquering the unknown, and have an answer for most mysteries.”

Poseidon is curious now.  “What kind of answers do they give?”

Jesus glances at the cards and says, “That it’s the luck of the draw. That it’s an accident. Some say it’s impossible, so there’s no such thing as reality, it’s only a dream.”

Zeus bellows, and throws a bolt of lightning earthward. “Fools!”

Jesus protests, “Foolish, yes. But how can they be fools if you have made them in your image?”

Yaweh grumbles and raises the ante. “No more miracles for them. They’ll have to do with what they have, and what unfolds from what they have. Milk into orange juice indeed!”

Nan Mykel  Time Wrinkles, 2014.

                                                                 THE END


From Why Poetry by Matthew Zapruder, pg. 81

Poetry is a constructed conversation on the frontier of dreaming.  It is a mechanism by which  the essential state of reverie can be made available to our conscious minds. By means of the poem we can enter this state of reverie with all our faculties alert  and intact. Poems make possible a conscious entry into the preconscious mind,  a lucid dreaming. …We can be aware of reverie while it is happening, and can hold onto that experience in the poem. Reading the poem allows us to achieve,  consciously, a particular kind of very precious awareness.



NOT MY SECRET…My story…My truth

The deer said to the little girl,


Then the black bird


The sky said to the little girl

Look above

She looked to the

Mourning dove

The tiny yellow bird whispered


The white bird then spread her


The yellow flowers

Shined light

Reflecting the rain’s


A blue bird sang a song

An owl hooted all night long

The alligator with his deep croak

The brilliance of the 200 year oaks

Reminded the little girl

 She would never be alone.


The Hill Path

by John C. Gilmore

Day-dusk was a lonely time

to walk the path up to your  house.

Sometimes  a disinterested garter snake

might cross the path in front ad make

me wary. Or maybe a cautious mouse

would watch me climb.

It didn’t seem too far

if I considered the persistence

with which the hills cast long shadows,

that wavered like ghosts, over meadows

lying silently in the distance.

or if the evening star

was bright for the hour

I might sit for awhile and think

about the way that it hangs there, just so.

or if it is my imagination that its glow

seems to make the darkness shrink

away from it. A flower

stands in the gray aftermath

light. It moves to and fro so slow

that the effect s curiously frightening

if you walk alone.  But it’s enlightening

to me, and intimate, for i know

it knows you end the path.

     by Nan


Infant hands, exploring.

Where am I? What is this?

I know that voice–so loud

through the pulsating walls

that held me. So loud, and

scary.  I cry for me and for

       her, poor soul. The world….



 Nan wrote this poem:

Written for dVerse’s OLN but unable to post due to ignorance 4/14/16:


My first mom was a microbe–

it is written in my book;

randomness was all it took.

A virgin birth by golly,

no horny teenage folly.

T’was a sideways injection

and without an erection.

That’s the way microbes did it,

linking up to a tidbit

as it says here in my text:

a daisy chain without sex.*


*Life’s Engines by Falkowski, 2016


Evidence says I lie
But I–
Though all the world concur–
One voice, and one alone:
My own.
The experts cluck and groan,
“No, no! It’s round, not flat!”
Their data second that.
But I prefer my own.


     by Nan:


He picked up his pen


before he could think

pink ink

spread over the page

of the sage

who reddened with rage

at the incredible voodoo

behind  his boo boo

and pink ink of the sage.

(Sorry about the quality but I almost did it!)


by Nan

Written for dVerse as though from another’s point of view:


On the streets of New York

every woman wears a lasso at her side.

She struts her stuff and gives a wink–images3menleering.jpg

or was an eyelash in her eye?

Her beauty lures me to her until I am

the captor, no longer her, and with

my marriage vows in shambles,

she escapes. There ought be a law.


by Nan


Me, I stay on the path in the forest. Lord

knows the path is not a straight one,

meandering as it does on the heels of

those who have gone before. Did they

return this way, or do they still walk

the trail? The unknown life beneath

the brush is not silent but pulsating

and hungry. I know, and bear the scars

to prove it.  Suddenly a thought comes

to me, and my step falters. Have I not

too come this way before?



 Too soon,
we realize we are more
snow than star, and melting
fast into a vast and
unstringed sky. The Milky
Way’s a helix twist
of fate and falling, hidden
’twixt the waning of this
crescent home. We’re high
on helium, hope,
and lack.


..who knows if the moon’s
a balloon,coming out of a keen city
in the sky–filled with pretty people?
– E.E. Cummings

by Nan:

   My Metaphor

Come jump into my arms, you furry-feathered verse!

I’ll know you when I see you, either wordy or terse.

Let your metaphor roll in like an occupying force;

sit up high in your saddle  on your  literary horse!

A shining black stallion, he snorts and passes by,

leaving a desolated mule who gives a piteous sigh.

My metaphor has four legs and is not a happy guy.

He does not jump into my arms or even give a try.

But nuzzles me as though to say,

“Thanks for waiting for me today.”


03/03/2016 by Polly

She won’t give money,
she suspects it would go,
not on food–probably on blow–
so buys a sandwich and hands it over;
her disgust when it’s given to Rover
leads to anger, a decision to never
give to the man who sits on the corner.

He sees her coming with gift in hand,
a patron’s smile, a look so grand,
Lady Bountiful in Jimmy Choo shoes.
The dog is suffering, they’ve had no food
for three days.
The dog has stopped his whining, soldier.
He’s glad of the food and gives half to the stray
sees the look on her face and is about to say,

‘Thank you, I’ll have a bite, too.’
But she’s gone, she’s through,
Lady B in her Jimmy Choo shoes.
Polly Stretton
© 2016 Polly journalread.com



The World Is Flat After All

Dubbed Democracy, it used to be

top of the line, the lead ship, at sea,

and on the land it served us well,

 until the  strains of its death knell


baring an underbelly swole

with all the pilfered things they stole

in broad daylight, and  on t.v.!

Gone is the half-belief in he

who’ll take us safely to the shore

while staying steadfast to the core.

                                                                                                                                                                                   The compass nestles in the deep

while those on board remain asleep.

They used to say the earth was round,

that right makes might, but I found

that all I knew I now know not,

nor how to tell the truth from rot,

and not so sure that we’ll endure,

to make a safe arrival.



A quadrille is a folk dance or a poem of exactly 44 words, not including title.  At dVerse Poets Pub today, we’re writing quadrilles with the word “skip”


by Nan


Words can touch,
words can chatter,
words could tell you
What’s the matter.
Words can cut,
slice and dice.
In other words
be not nice.
Lying words
I’ve come to hate:
embers dying
in the grate.
Empty words like love
and forever
go poof like bubbles
in bad weather.
So what can I say
when all is done?
Add a grain of salt
to everyone.


 Spilled, Shod

This poem needs tiny shoes
for each and every one of her iambic
feet. She’s ’bout to hit the street and break

c   o   n   c   r   e   t   e

and play in the sprinklers.

This poem longs for a pair
of flip flops and a tall cool drink
and some tiny umbrellas.

She knows she would look
sexy in Manolos, but she’s
broke (did we mention she’s a poem,

and therefore somewhat unpaid
and underappreciated and a tad
bit unclothed). But she’s still gonna

take her scantily clad bad self out
for a late-night drink of that crazy
moon. This poem is swoon

-ing over ballet slippers and tall
heeled boots and strappy sandals
that allow stray syllables to spill

right on through. She’s got her
eye on a pair (or two) of Adidas,
so she can fly, or at least run

-on sentence her way across
the city. This poem is pretty
sure her tootsies are content,

though that first little piggie is
squealing. (On second thought, maybe
she’ll just go barefoot, instead.)




Afterwards. When only veins remain, when the bursting buds of love, the “yes” and tingling taste flesh has faded, there is silence.

Today. Fine lines of sorrow etch your face and your hands are rough from labor. But I find your beauty dignified and when we sit at night together there is comfort in our silence. We don’t need words, but communicates in cadence of our breath, and when it’s time you touch my cheek and smile.

Spring. I see in sunlit flashes still the sparks of youth and you. The giggling brooks remind me how we laughed at jokes that were not funny but because we were, just were. I take your hand and smile.

underneath my oak
the broken branches wither —
anemones blooming



There’s a chapter called “The Shadow” in  The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry, by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux (1997). They write, “The problem is that while the shadow is necessary to the formation of who we are, we end up denying its existence, or at best fearing it.”(p 56)….”Poets can’t afford to be ‘nice’ if they’re to explore the more troubling realms of human experience.” (p57)

How can you gain access to the shadow and mine it for poetry? “Give yourself permission to explore wherever the writing takes you.”  Read the original chapter for more on mining the shadow.


Quest for Whirled Peas

NaPoWriMo Day 30 -A Poem Named Bob

I’m just a silly bit of verse
Some poems are better, some are worse
Personified, I have green hair
But on the page no hair is there
There are some crumbs upon my chest
I think that cookies are the BEST!
I have four feet in every line
(I hope that you like Iambs fine)
My socks don’t match, my shirt’s tucked out
I’m out of fashion, there’s no doubt
As verses go, I am a slob
I am a poem, and my name’s Bob.


No resemblance to anyone named Bob, living or otherwise is intended.


Walking lonely as a skunk–

–just fell into the metaphor,

gobbled up , started stinking.

You ever do that?


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