Editors Blog

2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 6

Later this morning/early afternoon, Tammy and me will be returning home from the Austin International Poetry Festival (driving against the sun and through the night). If you’re interested in reading, here are a few links to my published poems (after they’ve made it past first draft):

  • 4 poems in Hobble Creek Review.
  • 3 poems (and 10 questions) in Poets|Artists.
  • The People” in The Pedestal Magazine.

For today’s prompt, write a night poem. Vampires and werewolves? Cool. Clubbing and saloons? You got it. Lovers together alone? Right. Ex-lovers alone on their own? Sure thing. You figure out your night poem–and, yes, (k)night poems are fine too.

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Beyond all that, there’s the bread and butter of the book: Hundreds of listings for book and chapbook publishers, magazines and journals, contests and awards, and so much more.

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Here’s my attempt at a Night Poem:

“golden”

the world begins to cool off
wind slowing to a whisper
and then silence the children

soon follow and we gather
the dishes go through backpacks
to make sure it all gets signed

cleaned and prepped to start again
we brush teeth and get in bed
with our books able to hear

a cat paw stepping outside
because we are silent too
until you put down your book

turn off your lamp and cuddle
into me and i’m ready
to follow your steady lead

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Today’s guest judge is…

Andrew Hudgins

Andrew Hudgins

Andrew Hudgins

Andrew is the author of seven books of poems, including Saints and Strangers, The Glass Hammer, and Ecstatic in the Poison. A finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, he is a recipient of Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships as well as the Harper Lee Award. He currently teaches in the Department of English at Ohio State University.

His most recent books are A Clown at Midnight (poems) and The Joker: A Memoir.

Click here to learn more.

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PYHO_Small_200x200Poem Your Heart Out

Poems, Prompts & Room to Add Your Own for the 2014 April PAD Challenge!

Words Dance Publishing is offering 20% off pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology until May 1st! If you’d like to learn a bit more about our vision for the book, when it will be published, among other details.

Click to continue.

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. He has no preference for writing at night or during the day, as long as he’s breathing and has a pen at the ready. Learn more about him here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.

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Night owls can flock to these poetic posts:

 

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835 thoughts on “2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 6

  1. IndiFox

    At Night

    I make plans
    With my feelings
    I give them hours
    Not meanings
    I switch back to myself
    When I’m alone
    Weaving webs of deceit
    You fall

    Your heart is heavy in my hands
    And I toss it away
    Without a care
    But you’re obsessed
    They all were
    I say it’s them
    But I know it’s me
    Creating it so subtly

    Moulding and painting
    I create my illusions
    So you don’t feel the distance
    Or see my detachment
    And your heart is heavier now
    But I let it fall
    Without a care

  2. stepstep

    NIGHT OWL

    One eye open
    Drifting to dozing to napping to
    Falling into a deep sleep to awaken once again to
    Staying up all night.

    Sleepwalking negates all stages
    Not getting into bed at a decent hour.
    I can feel my boy waking up chromosome by chromosome
    Way over into the night.

    Who? What? Where? Why? How?
    Does sleep seem like just a phase
    That passes throughout the day and night
    But during the day it seems to impose.

    No matter what, sleep won’t come at night
    Who will cure true insomnia?
    Why is night a desperate invitation
    To where I fall
    I have become a night owl.

    LaSteph

  3. bxpoetlover

    Night

    There is beauty in darkness, I whispered.
    Like when there is a blackout in New York City
    and you can finally see the stars.

    Don’t change the subject, he said.
    You haven’t told me why we have to make love with
    the lights off.

    Because. Because.
    When it’s dark I don’t worry
    about the dimples I wish were actually on my face
    stretch marks that refuse to fade
    or how I look when, you I’m about to, well, you know.

    He laughed. Baby, you feel soft and wet
    just the way I like. And I want to see your eyes.

    He reached over and clicked on the lamp.
    This time, I didn’t stop him.

  4. TuLife

    “Seductive Hypnosis”
    By: Tuere Aisha

    My sugar has power. Before he complimented me with his company tonight, I was flying in the blue stroking gray clouds because my nerves were bad, trying to balance unavoidable stresses like midterm exams and members of a taunting family that puts the fun in dysfunctional, but like damp grass drying under Florida rays, my problems vanished beneath his large, childlike smile. By some tactic, he always managed to perform this charmer’s trick that worked every time, when his two eyes produced that glimmer to illuminate the whole room; I liked to imagine they were only so enchanting when they focused on me. Like heaven’s expanse protecting the earth below, his arms roofed me in a wide embrace, shielding everything that harm’s long arm was reaching to attach. And he never forgot that end crescendo; it was so minute, yet crucial, like a hypnotist’s calm. I closed the gate to my troubles as he unwrapped his curative sack and let just three words depart with his horizontal, baritone voice. And with one wave of this conductor’s baton…I was gone.

  5. Snow Write

    Headlights dot the darkness
    in random intervals
    Illuminating the strange dichotomy between
    those who haven’t yet slumbered and
    the ones who are rested, starting their next day
    Some finishing a joy ride
    after a fun filled night
    Some eager (or not) to get to work
    or begin a new adventure
    All connected through the darkness
    by little dots of light

  6. LCaramanna

    Sheer Curtains

    After dark
    I walk
    my dog on leash,
    pass by homes,
    through sheer curtains
    glimpse neighbors
    at kitchen table,
    on sofa,
    in easy chair,
    walker within reach,
    newspaper in hand,
    game show on tv,
    cold beer and cigarette,
    microwave dinner,
    mundane moments
    of nightlife
    sheer curtains reveal
    after dark.

    Lorraine Caramanna

  7. bbjzmn

    day 6
    *******
    The cool, crisp leaves crunch under his feet

    he is upon them.

    they clasp their hands over their mouths and pray that he doesn’t hear their shallow breaths

    their prayers go unanswered

    they’re gone now

    the last to make it this far on this damned night lie here in this musty abandoned cabin.

  8. stepstep

    NIGHT OWL

    One eye open
    Drifting to dozing to napping to
    Falling into a deep sleep to awaken once again to
    Staying up all night.

    Sleepwalking negates all stages
    Not falling into bed at a decent hour
    I can feel my body waking up chromosome by chromosome
    Way over into the night.

    Who? What? Where? Why? How?
    Does sleep seem like just a phase
    That passes throughout the day and night
    But during the day it seems to impose.

    No matter what sleep won’t come at night
    Who will cure true insomnia?
    Why is night a desperate invitation
    To where I fall
    How I have now become a night owl.

    LaSteph

  9. ambermarie

    Monsters

    Creatures come out at night
    To fill the void
    Left undeclared by the creative ones
    Aching for expression, the darkness itself manifests
    As spells left uncast create a vacuum –
    A black hole playground now available for the devil’s deeds
    Minds undisciplined will be taken to hell
    Terrorized by unwelcome thoughts
    Demons which taunt the gentle goodwill of the selfish and greedy
    Vampires which suck the leftover lifeblood of the uninspired
    Zombies which consume the bored brains of those unthinking

  10. foodpoet

    One dark unlit lake
    One moonless night
    One gloomy spooky castle
    One window lit
    One dumb heroine
    One knight in waiting
    Oh one gothic novel to read

    Megan McDonald

  11. Anders Bylund

    Brand New Obstacles
    ================
    Walking these floors in darkness
    Is quick when you know all the marks, lest
    The kids brought some rocks from the park, yes —
    Step on those and you’ll notice their sharpness.
    You’ll come up with a vivid remarkness!

  12. Jezzie

    I dread the night

    I am a creature of daylight.
    In daytime I will feel all right
    but when night time comes I feel fright.
    I dread the night, I dread the night.

    I like to get up with the lark
    and take my dog out in the park
    where she can run and play and bark.
    I hate the dark, I hate the dark.

    I’ll give you my subtle warning:
    I will rise when it is dawning.
    I detest dark in the morning:
    I keep yawning, I keep yawning

    I hate dark evenings most of all.
    They start as leaves begin to fall
    and carry on ’til Spring does call.
    I loathe nightfall, I loathe nightfall.

    The night belongs to owls and cats,
    or mice running around our flats,
    or werewolves howls, or skulking rats,
    or vampires’ bats, or vampires’ bats.

  13. Khara House

    sable lullaby

    The black of day drops in like honey on my tongue
    and the whole world cools to sweet mellow blues.

    Twilight comes ringing like a horn,
    like funny valentine snap, crackle, popping on the stereo,
    needle tracing melody over that rich black spine of vinyl
    revolving like the cosmos in the other room.

    Into this night shade I disappear like a long lost shadow,
    a mere whisper of myself from daylight,
    slipping off my vibrant hues for a dusky nude.

    I’m that chill down the spine of every darkened square,
    the pitter and patter of wild felines, paws
    taking to cobblestone like a lover.

    Wide awake in this giant night—
    I am even bigger than the stars.

  14. Zart_is

    Night Haiku

    Night in the country
    Bright shiny stars and moon glow
    Fresh sheets welcome me

    Night in the city
    Music dances with fireworks
    My sleepless delight

    Send in the vampires
    So sinister in the dark
    Waiting girls tremble

    (i) late entry for day six.(/i)

  15. Julieann

    Night Sky Mends the Brokenhearted

    Full moon shining bright
    Casting shadows left and right

    Stars twinkling way up high
    Forming constellations in the sky

    Planes flashing beacon lights
    Today’s armored shining knights

    Bringing lovers together again
    Bridging space and time and pain

    Into each other’s arms they fly
    No longer asking how or why

    Overlooking petty slights
    Forgetting both their fears and frights

    Hand in hand they walk along
    To this night they belong

    Full moon shining bright
    Casting shadows left and right

  16. pamelaraw

    Most Nights

    ~“Every so often, ever so once in a while, somedays a woman gets a chance to set in her window for a minute and look out.” ~Sweet Flypaper of Life p. 58

    Most nights, the window’s reflection
    is the only other black face I get to see

    without a mouth full of toothpaste,
    cheeks lifeless under the makeup smears,
    head bent tending to dirty hands.

    In the noon mirror, I assemble
    this image and its dark imperfections
    before I head back to my place.

    Nighttime is the only time I get to be
    with all of my selves–

    the part of me that still dreams
    of love emerging from shadows
    like haystacks and found needles.

    Myself wants to sit alone
    with the words dancing in her head.
    I just like the company

    as street lights flicker
    off and their hum fades
    into the moonless sky.

  17. schmads09

    “My Nighttime Anomaly”

    How intriguing is nighttime?
    It is most commonly a symbol of darkness and mystery.
    As the old adage goes:
    “Nothing good happens after midnight.”

    Sometimes the strongest feelings of loneliness and grief
    Overcome you when the sun is no longer there for protection.
    And many of our craziest and darkest thoughts manifest themselves
    After the delirium created from late night exhaustion sets in.

    And yet, some of my most pure and positive ideas
    Have been born long after others are in bed.
    It is the time when there is least distraction from the outside world,
    Where I can collect my thoughts and let them be free.

    It could be argued whether or not this is healthy.
    “Your youth should not be spent creating bad sleeping patterns.
    How will you live a regular life with your nocturnal habits?”
    But I worry not, for I am content where I currently stand.

    If that day comes where I find it necessary to change,
    I will do whatever possible to make it happen.
    For now though, the darkness helps me see more clearly.
    The night is my friend.

  18. Paoos69

    The tiny pomegranate shrub
    Shuddered in the breeze
    As the west turned from pink to purple,
    then to a dark dark blue.
    It orange flowers now shirking
    As the stars lit the sky
    And homes bathed in light
    Grandma urged me to go the toilet
    Before going to bed
    But I pondered thinking
    Of the monsters that hid
    Behind the pomegranate bush
    Yes, that same bush that in the day
    Waved at me with its bright green leaves
    Caressed me gently as I ran past it
    But at night it took on this ghastly form
    That scared the Hell out of me.

  19. PenConnor

    Night Cycle (an acrostic poem, repeated)

    nothing can quiet the voices
    in my head, in my heart, the
    grief of hearing you explain
    how you have no choice, but
    to choose her and leave me

    noises that mask themselves
    in the silence of darkness
    go ringing through my head
    heedless of my weary state
    torturing me with insomnia

    no hope of sleep can reach me
    i am a record stuck on repeat
    grasping for shadows of silence
    holding too tightly to the past
    tomorrow i’ll forget you more

    now i can only stare at darkness
    imagine this life without you
    gods know in time tears will dry
    hey, i might nap in the morning
    there’s hope for me after all

  20. Yolee

    Tonight

    Stars are pinned to slats of darkness
    on my bedroom window. The furled wings
    of my prayer slowly open. A heavy thought
    in my head will soon catch up with one sprinting
    in my heart. The avocado tree Papi planted
    “too close to the house” responds to the gust
    brewing all week long with two of its branches
    portioning out silence as needed.

  21. Delaina Miller

    My Knight in Teddy Bear PJ’s

    He announces
    his name is Frodo
    though I can stay Aunt Delaina.
    Welding a sword in the air
    he shouts
    “Look out
    behind you.”
    With practiced moves
    and confidence
    he skillfully rescues me
    time and time again
    from a peril only he can see.
    I thank him
    though he does not understand
    he frees my heart
    with his innocent grin.

  22. mimzy13

    Summer Night

    Night spun from the labyrinth
    of her hair finds no silence
    listening
    on the other side of the wall

    gone. His heart shudders a wingless bird
    through the house the staircase
    twisting slow liquid spaces.
    Flicker of lace. He knows

    she haunts because she can, because
    he traces the day-lit
    threads of her absence until
    the moonlit camisole on the bed.

    Because her beauty survives
    like radium in the chest.

  23. Louise Findlay

    Title: Adversaries of the Night

    Vampires and Werewolves,
    Eternal foes,
    Destined to be enemies.

    Both creatures of the night,
    Poles apart,
    But inhabit the same world.

    Working together,
    Blasphemy,
    But one day achieved.

    Adversaries,
    United in conquest,
    Adversaries of the Night.

  24. clcediting

    COLORS OF NIGHT

    When you’re young
    you color the night black
    because that’s what you see
    at first.

    But the night has many
    colors and shades
    of blues and whites,
    dim yellows
    and pale orange light.

    We don’t see them
    blind as we are
    by the noise and distraction
    of our cities.

    It’s when you go
    further out
    to places with no people,
    to the solitude of silence
    and raise your eyes
    that you might see the night
    how it’s meant to be seen.

    The concealing colors;
    varying hues of blues and blacks
    with brief patches of indigo
    or green
    or other colors
    not seen
    so much as felt.

    They arch over you
    like the ceiling of the chapel
    Michelangelo labored over
    for so many years.

    Nothing of human hands
    can ever fully capture
    the awe-inspiring beauty
    found on a clear, dark night.

  25. JamesW

    A shape poem that might not render as such here:
    BOTTLE THE NIGHT

    Bottle the night
    And put it away.
    Let it be light.
    Take away
    the dark’s blight.
    There is no fight left, nothing is right.
    Bottle the night and put it away, I say.
    Make fright take flight, and in the day
    we shall write of the night, and it will
    be alright. Let the day come in light
    dight. Let the twite at the sight of light,
    sing shrill in flight. Bottle the night
    and make my heart light. Tell the
    bleeding man from a knife fight,
    it’s almost light! The light stripper
    with stage fright, not long, you’ll
    be alright! The drunken man with
    a dog bite, the uptight girl roughly
    deflowered tonight, the fat boy
    that cowers from slight to slight-
    the relief of the light is at hand.
    In spite of each’s plight, hold tight;
    don’t let the darkness thee smite.
    Bottle the night, and let it bow
    before the might of the daylight.

  26. Joseph Hesch

    April, On My Pillow

    Comes April, as day nibbles away
    at both ends of night, not only
    the sharper angle of sunlight
    but of the dark in this room,
    illuminate thoughts best buried
    under the dust of years.

    I don’t fear these shadows
    crawling into my bed,
    settling next to my head
    on the pillow, because
    there was a time I believed
    that’s where they belonged.

    I’ll take these shards of darkness
    and how they wound me.
    Because to see these memories
    in the fleshy light of day
    would empty my heart, thus,
    washing away the dust beneath which
    these old dreams belong.

  27. foodpoet

    Night

    Nothing
    Is found I
    Gather notes from the night
    Hoping to find the verses written in the late hours
    To only find dreams and poetry fade in morning 

    Megan McDonald

  28. lily black

    How Can YOU just lie there?

    Elie’s “Night” lasted a lifetime.
    Rwanda marks 20 years unbelievably
    Russia may invade the Ukraine
    Genocide is raging
    I wake up in pitch-black darkness
    Not knowing where or why
    I am safe and warm
    Too warm
    Needing air
    I leave the couch
    For a too tall too soft brass bed
    With two fans blowing and
    Lie innocently between two curly poodles

  29. Blaise

    BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL, NIGHT PHANTOM

    Natural instinct
    hike down the canyon
    alone after midnight,
    glorious solitude
    away from civilization.

    No flashlight, just enough
    sentinel stars
    through moving clouds
    to trust the lay of the trail,
    crunch of pebbles the only sound,
    besides my breathing, suddenly rhythmic
    in 2, 3, 4,
    out 2, 3, 4,
    savoring my dance with the cosmos.

    When blackness erases all starlight
    my solitude turns somber.
    Now empty and alone,
    I startle at imagined sounds,
    a deeper primal instinct
    populates the dark
    with lurking phantoms.

    Knowing these are mind-born,
    I speed my pace
    in 2, 3, out 2, 3,
    faint joy of hiking in waltz time
    unable to appease the wild animal
    between my ears,
    must return to the rim – now.

    Frantic arrhythmic steps
    drive me up the trail
    towards the village.
    The first porch light
    drives away the beast,
    yet I know the phantoms lurk,
    to rise at my next dark thought.

  30. bookworm0341

    “Because the night”

    Because the night
    belongs to the young,
    lightning bugs flash out morse code,
    as they tease eager children
    and life is ever so simple.

    Because the night
    belongs to lovers,
    the stars carve names in the galaxy
    as the moonlight dances softly on the river
    and life is full of surprises.

    Because the night
    belongs to everyone,
    silence can shout more than a thousand words,
    or just whisper a timid phrase into your ear
    and life is here- are you ready?

  31. Catherine Lee

    Night

    You were born at night so long ago,
    but I remember the pain like waves remember the moon.
    I am a reservoir of salt water, reaching for you
    with the permanence of someone who understands
    that we are not on the same planet, but the pull
    is too strong to ignore. The cords forged inside
    cannot be broken by light or the expanse
    of space and time.

    Bend, bend down to me. Let me hold you for a little while.
    I promise to release you back into the heavens.

  32. SugarMagnolia

    Night

    It is in the night that the body settles and the mind gets restless
    Sometimes thoughts are overwhelming making sleep impossible
    It’s not just the worries and stress of the day
    But rather the years of crazy that has settled in my brain
    I don’t know why these thoughts invade a time I should be at peace
    I try to remind myself of all I have to grateful for in my life
    Usher the thoughts out with memories of happy times and lighter days
    Yet, still, my mind is encompassed in the darkness of night

  33. KiManou

    Every Night

    to sit within the constellations
    until the twilight of our lives
    counting serendipity on every inch of your skin
    lost in the afterglow
    hovering in the heavens
    is where I want to be
    in the coronation of triumphant love
    with you

    eMinor

  34. nmbell

    Night Poem

    The evening is drawing in
    Over the slough in the back forty
    The water fowl are scattered like so many tiny ships
    Out of the darkening sky comes the wail of wild good music
    Like demented bagpipers they cry down sunset
    A smudge appears on the horizon
    And the hiss of mighty wings in the wind
    Precedes the arrival of incoming flocks

    Gwin ap Nudd’s Wild Hunt settles on the mirror smooth waters
    Amid great greetings and protestations of those already there
    The night gathers and light fades and still they come
    Ghosting through the autumn dusk
    For some this will be their last journey
    As they fall victim to the hunters joys
    I count the numbers in the columns of Vs against the night
    Uneven numbers bring sorrow to my heart
    They signify there are birds who have lost their life mates

    How great a love they must feel
    And a profound and unwavering sense of loyalty
    To cleave to a mate who no longer flies at their wingtips

    Like the March Hare I’m late, but here it is April 6 poem delivered on April 8

  35. robinamelia

    Catching up…

    Bob, the night clerk

    The cemetery dump truck was empty
    as it passed him; its load of fresh dirt
    heaped by the bank of the sad Hackensack.

    Bob parked, and tried to forget the mound
    as he watched the guests pass by, press
    elevator buttons and disappear.

    Bob had a bottle in his desk, and as drank
    he started calling all the chambermaids,
    only to hear, “ain’t no cleaning emergency

    so bad I’m coming in at three in the morning”
    in some variation from all of us.
    It must have been around four

    when he walked back out for some air,
    the river to one side of the parking lot;
    the highway to the other.

    Traffic was light at that hour, just a few cars,
    making towards the bridge, beating rush hour,
    so he strolled, along the side, then along the median.

    In the morning, before we put on our yellow polyester,
    each maid told an officer about her late night phone call
    with Bob, the night clerk, who was struck by a car, and killed.

    I looked at the dirt pile by the river and wondered
    if the truck would be bringing the dirt
    from the space his coffin would take up.

    Robin Amelia Morris

  36. Earl Parsons

    Night Revenge

    My bladder called at 3 am
    It woke me from a dream
    I threw the covers to the side
    I really had to pee
    My feet swung out then hit the floor
    I turned toward the bath
    I couldn’t see ahead of me
    Toe, meet doorframe, SMASH!

    As I fell quickly to the floor
    The bed frame met my knee
    My wife rose quickly out of bed
    And asked it that was me
    I could not answer in such pain
    Just groan and hold on tight
    Then she came crashing down on me
    Revenge of the burnt night light

    © 2014 Earl Parsons

  37. ToniBee3

    “Hootenanny for Two”

    Hoot-hoot
    Feather-puffed, alone, aloof
    She perches upon a bonnet rooftop
    Unmindful of his ember eyes
    Gazing from the birch
    He swoops stealthily
    Alighting near her presence

    Screeeeech!
    An awkward greeting
    Nevertheless an electric happenstance
    He clicks his talons in a dance for her
    Except she is apathetic
    Until he recognizes her fixation:
    An assortment of night crawlers adorning the soil

    Screeeeech!
    He bobs and weaves, then pounces
    Once… twice… thrice
    Retrieving succulent snails and red wigglers
    To present as gifts to his delighted huntress
    With open wings, she accepts
    Indulging in earth’s delicacies

    Hoot-hoot, screeeeech!
    Guards down, the revel commences
    A talon-tapping hootenanny for two
    Hootin’ and screamin’, cacklin’ and clickin’
    Harmonizing hoot-ballads with shrieking jingles
    Chattering throughout the soul of the night
    “Raising the roof” until the hour before dawn

    Later she obliges him with a cuddle
    He preens the snarls in her plumage
    They, with the moon, bid farewell to the dark
    Two smitten raptors, taking flight
    Leaving their mark upon the rooftop
    Bestowing to it… plentiful pellets
    Hoot-hoot, screeeeech!

  38. JayGee2711

    Night I Name You

    Night I name you snow swept canyon
    black robe river, mountain song
    Night I name you wolf pack creeping
    forest shadows, rain on stone.

    Stars I name you fields of crocus
    shattered lightning, flocking birds
    Moon I name you cat’s eye raindrop
    salmon leaping, silver fern.

    Night I name you flight of ravens
    swift as thunder, soft as dawn
    Night I name you moth wings rising
    Journey safely swiftly home.

  39. brelynnj

    Heavy sighs, weakened breath, still crisp reflect on moon lit breath
    Bodies entwined by silken red, pooling in synergistic threads
    Speaking boldly with its stain, its movement clearly shouts their names,
    Crimson drops climb down the stairs, seeping into green despair,
    Roots caught word and told the leaves which moaned to life a wicked breeze,
    The Crows they felt the desperate screams and shrieked to all ”This will be seen,”
    Tingling chills runs down your back, the bloods now spoken of its attack.

    B.L Johnson 2014

  40. Winter-Rose

    the cold wind on her chin, in her hair
    the scythe resting heavy on her shoulder
    she glanced at the sand in the hour glass,
    two minutes to go,
    she moved the scythe to the other arm
    when he walked around the corner 117 seconds later she’d almost started to doubt
    but there he was,
    and there was the thin silver line connecting him to the grey clouds above
    she stepped out to stand in front of him
    he stopped in surprised
    then fell down onto the pavement when her blade cut his silver line
    she looked as the shimmering thread disappeared up in the sky,
    gave the empty street a contempted nood
    and walk out through a shadow

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