Archive for August, 2015

Quoted in the Grove:
Humor is what happens when we’re told the truth quicker and more directly than we’re used to.
~George Saunders

Humor is a rubber sword – it allows you to make a point without drawing blood.
~Mary Hirsch

Jokes of the proper kind, properly told, can do more to enlighten questions of politics, philosophy, and literature than any number of dull arguments.
~Isaac Asimov

Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator; but among those whom I love, I can: all of them can make me laugh.
~WH Auden


Posted from the Grove:
Nothing quite excites a writer like finding new ways to view the world he writes about. It may be possible to do this simply by writing from a different place with unfamiliar or even exotic surroundings.

Writers Platform @Wordgrove has been the weekly meeting place for Word Games since There’s reopening. The grove is comfortably familiar and everyone knows where to meet. In short, our groove has become a rut. Piffin and Greymane’s striking new venture @Faefyre Wharf provides an excellent opportunity to test surroundings as a variable on the writer’s palette of color. This coming week’s Word Game (09.03) will be held @Faefyre Fish Market.

Click the below link to land Wharf-side, then look on the left for the only stone building on a wharf populated by clapboard shanties.


14 Cool Psychology Tricks You Need to Try:


Prewritten for Thurs (08/20) @6pm PT/9 ET is: intrusion, canvas


@Writers Platform:

Prewritten: intrusion, canvas


Everything by Piffin

She was sitting on his heart. The one he had left on the wood slat of the schoolyard bench last summer. The one he did not have the nerve to carve her initials into.

He had left it empty, his heart; jagged and hurriedly scratched into weathered wood and peeling green paint.

She was sitting on it.

Anita Pirelli.

She was sitting with him.

He had been in love with her since kindergarten; since the first time he had seen her, standing just outside the playhouse where the other girls romped and giggled, like she was above it all.

Captivated had he been, in the world-encompassing way of a five-year old, by her black hair and her brown eyes. Her shy, dimpled smile. Those eyes.

He had watched her from afar for nine years. Watched as she blossomed into the head cheerleader, the class president, a young woman.

He thought Stacy O’Connor had been lying to him when she had reported that Anita liked him, that she thought he was cute. She liked him because he was shy, quiet, unlike the other boys who spent their time trying to impress her with pushups and how quickly they could drink a can of beer.

He had been wary when he agreed to come to the schoolyard that Friday night, convinced it was nothing more than a hoax, a setup, a ploy to make him look foolish.

But she was here, sitting on the bench with the heart, away from the other boys and girls with their beer and their radio and their raucous laughter. Above it all.

She was sitting with him.

He saw the bee from the corner of his eye, by the fence.

He realized, then, that Anita had moved closer to him.

She had a look in her eyes; a look that told him she was looking at nothing but him.

His heart pick up its pace in his chest, as though he were running. He couldn’t move a muscle.

Those eyes.

He heard the bee now, buzzing, loud and angry, somewhere behind him.

He pictured his EpiPen where he had left it on the kitchen counter at home, forgotten in his rush to meet up with the other kids at the schoolyard, his desire to see Anita.

She licked her lips…wet, perfect…and she smiled at him. Her eyes glistened with gems captured from the streetlamps kicking to life just outside the schoolyard. Her olive skin glowed warmly in pink light cast by sunset clouds. Her black hair moved gently in the warm, summer breeze.

She sat beside him: everything he had ever dreamed of; everything he had ever wanted.

Everything in those eyes.

Anita Pirelli.



He could almost reach it, but the buzzing was growing louder.


~BarTalk: The Good Life Door


Impromptu: dichotomy, dictate


In Fused

They made me climb the tallest tree to look for distant parts of me
Reality and pain agreed to dictate my dichotomy
I rode the veil dreams surround
The rest of me beneath the ground
A damaged dark duality
The furthest light I barely see
No further than my empty room
Empty like a sonic boom
Silent but in shades of grey
Walking home a different way
It’s clear




Post autotomy
Take this
Take this
Take this down
These words make up a lot ‘o’ me
Tape ‘er down for sodomy
Spiritual necrotomy
Psychiatry can suck


~MissMerry: untitled

Living life in “There” and existing “Here”,
real life’s so drab and plain.
The dichotomy of imagination
versus the urbane.

Responsible, mature life dictates
I walk a razor edge…
Pay the bills and take my pills
– but stay off the window ledge.

Thankfullly, there’s time for Me
I love to get away.
When not cooking or working
or caring for Them
I escape to “There” and PLAY!!


~BarTalk: then and now


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Quoted in the Grove:
I could spend my whole life prying loose the secrets of the insane. These people are honest to a fault, and their naivety has no peer but my own.
~Andre Breton

Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must live.
~Charles Bukowski

Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you.
~Carl Jung

The creative person is both more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive and more constructive, a lot madder and a lot saner, than the average person.
~Frank Baron


Posted from the Grove:
A good rule-of-thumb: Give a creative free rein, then back away to see what emerges. It may well be that the simple earthiness of Wordgrove’s forest setting will be eclipsed by the opulent vision brought to wharf life by Piffin and Greymane. Stalwarts of Wordgrove’s writing circle, they have done what all true creatives do eventually, create a device stamped with their identity, a work that they can call their own. They have done so, and magnificently. It is called … Faefyre.

The buildings of Faefyre circle a long crescent wharf off Motu Motu. The principals have also staked out a campground / playground on the beach. A stroll thru the libraries, galleries and seaside abodes can be an afternoon well-spent, Time spent here will give the visitor reasons to return for more. Each structure is as different and distinct in identity as a museum, library, gambling den, art mart and fun market can make it.

The delay in the unveiling of Faefyre can be attributed to a faultless desire to get it right. Now it can be said, it was worth the wait. To see for yourself, and to witness creative instinct artfully at play, visit Faefyre (click below). All this place lacks is pizza by the slice, and real life beer.

Faefyre Wharf: Click while in There, or copy/paste into a Document link


Prewritten for Thurs (08/27) @6pm PT/9 ET is: He could almost reach it, but the buzzing was getting louder…


@Writers Platform
Glass Table:

“While The Slaves Can Still Row”

I’m losing my composure
My ability to stand
Sliding on blue velvet
With a drink in either hand
The journey’s been a fun one
Though not quite what I had planned
Let’s dance while the slaves can still row

I grew up dodging scripture
Like a lion tamer’s chair
A sentimental picture
Of my finger in the air
Theology is boring
And it clashes with my hair
Let’s dance while the slaves can still row

I’ve always walked the hard road
But I’ve walked the walk with ease
If you think you’ve seen legs before
Son, take a look at these
A seven is a ten
In a room full of threes
Let’s dance while the slaves can still row

It’s frightening what a body does
When looking for one’s kicks
It isn’t always broken
But it still could use a fix
Vacation is for tourists
Me, I’m yachting down the Styx
Let’s dance while the slaves can still row

Hermes took our tickets
And he gave us all the biz
A passage fastly waterlogged
With brine and Sloe Gin Fizz
I’d like to sound profounder
But I’m neck-deep as it is
Let’s dance while the slaves can still row

So jettison these trophies
Girls, we’re going down fast
These ribbons and these accolades
For coming in last
By the time I get to Phoenix
I’ll be climbing up the mast
Let’s dance while the slaves can still row
If you’ve a valediction, sister,
Spit it out quick
Then let’s dance
While the slaves can still row


Prewritten: He woke to the smell of cookies baking …

~MissMerry: Prewritten by MM

He woke to the smell of cookies baking… or so he thought for the first few fuzzy moments as he slowly regained consciousness.
“What the…”
Something crunched. The pillowcase felt like sandpaper on his forehead. He sat bolt upright, realizing the Doubletree “pillow cookie” was smooshed into the side of his face, chocolate chips were smeared across the pristine white sheets like one of his 3 year-old son Donnie’s finger paintings.
His son brought them home from pre-school about once a week. His ex always smoothed the crinkles inflicted on the masterpiece on its way home, then firmly attached it in the place of honor on the front of the refrigerator. His little Rembrandt always came running full speed at him each Saturday afternoon when Daddy came to pick him up saying “Come SEE, Come SEEE Daddy, I painted you a PITCHER!”
The room spun a little as he reached for a water bottle he had (thank God!) left on the bedside table the evening before. Eyeing the cookie bits, he picked one quarter-sized fragment and popped it into his mouth, enjoying the crunchy crumbs scraping the film off his teeth, and the chocolatey flavor that did a little bit to dispel the nasty taste of stale beer.
Crunching, he noted that this was likely the best cookie he had tasted since he and his ex had split. Or maybe it just tasted really good while his mouth tasted so bad… either way, it made him miss her.
He looked at the bedside clock. Two hours before he had to catch the shuttle to the airport. He was glad his sales convention was over. You can only talk about life insurance for so long before the bar really calls. And it did, wow… it really did.
He thought through his itinerary for the day. Time for a shower and shave, some breakfast (non-chocolate chipped). Then he would catch the shuttle to the airport and fly … home. Home… what a joke. You work hard all week looking forward to the weekend…and to see them.
He picked up another chunk of cookie, thought to himself, “What was it we were arguing about that started the breakup anyway?” He shook his head. He could not remember a time when he had not loved her. They were best friends in middle school, dated in high school, pen pals while he was in Iraq, then married as soon as they could when he came home.
They had handled so many obstacles in thier lives, only to fall apart under small, nitpicky crap that, NOW, he realized was not important.
“All pride, damn, stupid have to have it all my own way stupid PRIDE” BAM! – He smacked the bedside table hard enough to bruise his palm.
“Damn damn damn damn.” He muttered as he made his way to the shower, rubbing his injured hand. His mind stayed stuck on Her…them.
He had made a big show of “living large” after the separation by being too loud, drinking too much, and hanging out with his other divorced male buddies. He thought to himself that his life was so damn much fun now – he stared into his own bloodshot eyes in the bathroom mirror – it seemed like it was surely killing him.
Freshly shaved and showered, he pulled shorts and a golf shirt on and walked to the lobby for a coffee and Danish from the continental breakfast bar, taking it all back to his room with him. After water and coffee he was feeling more himself, the alcohol cobwebs gradually lifted from his mind like mist from his Daddy’s stock pond on a cold morning.
Putting his few belongings in his carry-on bag, he tried ineffectually to remove the chocolate abstract from the pillowcase, but the more he swept crumbs, the more he thought about home. Real home. Where he belonged. The cell phone on the table beeped at him, a message missed while he was getting coffee.
“Yeah Hi, sorry I missed your call…. Yes, I will be there this afternoon. I fly in from Atlanta at noon, I’ll see y’all at around one. Oh, and Hon, do you have time that maybe we could talk?”
He cleared his throat. “I miss you. I will see you soon.”
At the airport he smiled as he steadied his resolve. Taking a few extra minutes to shop on the concourse, he grinned and felt… hope? For the first time in a while things felt right.
He made his way to where his car was parked and loaded his bag in the trunk. As he paid the garage fee and headed out toward 285 he smiled and looked at the box on the seat beside him. Inside were a dozen fresh-baked jumbo chocolate chip cookies, each decorated with a big red icing heart.
SHE baked great cookies, but this batch was on HIM.
He was on his way home.


“The Broken Pieces”

Along the edge of reason on the way to find a clue
They declared it open season on whatever I pursue
Searching for some answers to the questions I don’t know
I stumbled in the darkness where the broken pieces go
The dusty things that silence brings are right above the ledge
I fell uphill in time to push the wisest off the edge
I scared the injured years forever pounding on the shore
But tempted by the light of day to sleep a little more
Awakened by the smell of cookies baking in the rain
They danced a little more each time her wisdom mentioned pain
When Tuesday came they laughed at me and put me on display
Connected by a string or two I slowly fade away
I wrapped a separate shadow on each dream as they expire
The cauldron bubbles louder if you toss them on the fire
Guilt beyond each promise that won’t listen when you scream
I spent another lifetime in the echo of a dream
A Harmony of broken glass that calls each by their name
Has spun a foggy tapestry that legends set to flame
The terror in my darkest cell had sculpted every soul
I held my sorrow to my lips and sipped it through the hole


Pfeffernusse by Piffin

He woke to the smell of baking cookies.

The air was rich with the scents of molasses and nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon.

He smiled as he sat up. Today was a good day.

He could hear Mathilde singing below, as she busied herself in the kitchen. Her singing never failed to remind him of their youth: meeting in secret behind the old bell tower; running, hand in hand, through the fields west of the town to escape the disapproving eyes of her parents, he being the son of a lowly cobbler.

Rising from bed, he stretched, then walked to the window to look out on a perfect spring morning. The yard was alive with blossoms. Color. Life. The promise of a grand future.

Over the stone wall which surrounded the yard, he saw the camp with its fences and towers, its endless rows of barrack housing. Beyond, stood the smoke stacks, tirelessly billowing black into the morning air.

Somewhere in the house there arose the clamber of children; Rolph and Adeline playing. His children. The future.

Again, he smiled.

Anise and cloves wafted up from the kitchen, almost covering the odor from the chimneys. Noting the lateness of the hour, he hurriedly dressed himself and stepped into his boots.

Walking to the mirror, Obersturmbannfuhrer Rudolf Hess placed his cap on his head, just so, and regarded his smart uniform. His father, had he survived the Somme, would have been proud.

A final adjustment of the medals on his chest and he made his way downstairs.


Today was a good day indeed.


~BarTalk: On waking…


Impromptu: grenade, hoodwink, ferment

~MissMerry: haiku

Feelings roil, ferment.
My heart juggles with grenades.
In love? Or hoodwinked…


Friday night

He fell on her grenade again but did it out of spite
She pulled the pin and tossed it like she does each Friday night
Confetti splashing crimson in the shadow of the sun
He paints devotion quietly in front of everyone

Outside the crowd is thinning from the weight of what they know
singing snowy corner harmony in barrel fire glow
The harvest lies fermenting, rotting silent on the vine
I led her home beneath the moon too distant to be mine

From out of touch I wander in too tired to be here
I traded time too quickly for a hoodwink and a beer
I strapped myself to trusted friends and followed where they led
They left me stranded miles from the silence of my head



It ain’t no ballpark
It ain’t no horseshoe
It ain’t no kinda sorta maybe deal
My love for you
It ain’t no iffy itchy phase
My broken mind’s going through
Just leave the damn radio on

I don’t have love songs
Impassioned lullabies
All the melodies my mouth makes
Sound like battle cries
Though there’s a tune to the turmoil
When I look in your eyes
But leave the damn radio on

You make my stars fall
You make my moon shine
You pull the pin on this hand grenade
Heart of mine
And I get scared you might hear the shivers
Running up my spine
So leave the damn radio on

And we’ll go driving
Until we can’t think
And let the night ferment this romance
Like a stiff drink
I’ll start your engines
With a carjack and a hoodwink
And we’ll leave the damn radio on
Well leave the damn radio on



Wayne could ignore the kid in the back of class no longer, “Yes, Alex” You have a question?” Alex was one of those lost boys you hear so much about. His hormones were stuck in 3rd grade while the rest of him was a junior in High School. You just knew he was the subject of every prank and the punch line of every joke told in P. E. It sucked being Alex … everyone knew it, except of course Alex. He was blissfully unaware of his station in life. Life didn’t hand Alex lemons, it hurled them at him with skull crushing velocity.

“Mr. Shomter, I understand how ‘coupling’ works … in theory …” The room silently exploded with twittering’s and snickers. This was Sex Ed class for junior boys. The curriculum and the school board were very precise about the terminology he could use. Intercourse was coupling. Genitalia was private parts, babies were consequences, and so on.

Here he was a teacher of facts, of science, of lofty ideals and irrefutable truths of the universe, yet the school board thought it best to hoodwink these young minds with politically correct terms that meant nothing, conveyed nothing, taught nothing. Ignorance was a grenade that would inevitably explode in these young men’s lives and he stood there powerless to stop it because of contract he signed not to deviate from the program. He raised his hand to silence the room and nodded to Alex to continue.

“So coupling…is bad and to be avoided, else you’ll have to deal with the consequences. I get it.” From the back of the room, some wiseacre shouted out “You’ll never get it Alex, until your voice drops.” That sent the entire classroom bursting out in laughter with only Alex standing blushing burgundy red up to his hair line in the vortex of ridicule.

Shomter shouted at the top of his lungs to “shut the F up!” and they did.

“Sit down Alex. It’s alright.” It took Shomter a minute to calm himself down and he dare not speak until he was back in control. “My apologies Alex, Boys. Hell, you’re not boys. In other times, other places you’d all be responsible adults. Toiling to feed your family, to put scraps of bread on the table. Here you are obsessing over which app to use when across the planet from where you sit today men even younger than you are fighting for lives, for freedom, for the end of oppression and slavery. Do you realize that the crap I’ve been feeding you today is useless?” He knew that his words would ferment his firing, but that was preferable than deceiving these men one instant longer.

“Coupling, Alex, is not something to be avoided. Doing it in ignorance is. Babies are not consequences, there wonderful, human beings in the making and should be loved and nurtured and exposed to the delights of this world as well as protected and kept safe. Hiding or obscuring truth is not protection or safety. It’s wrong. So everyone, put your “21st Century Relationships” book in the drawer. It’s crap, and should only be used to start a fire or wipe your ass.”

Shomter was sure he had everyone’s attention. He continued. “It doesn’t matter who you love, when you love them, how you love them. Just love them. Ignore social media, porn sites. Ignore anyone who wants you to proscribe to their way of thinking. It works for them, it may work for you, but don’t count on it. Be yourself. Think for yourself, and above all else, feel for yourself. Everything else is just details.”

You could hear a pin drop in the room. Everyone knew today’s lesson was very very different and perhaps never repeated. From the back of the room Alex’s hand shot up with another question. Within half a second every other hand shot up as well.


~Odin: untitled

To defeat a smart foe will require cunning;
always try to get them running.

Wear them out BEFORE the fight,
then cull the herd with all your might.

If the enemy is stronger then you,
hoodwink them; leave them without a clue.

Ferment discontent in the enemy ranks,
then take conquered plunder back to your banks.

When attacking many at once can be done,
a grenade into the fray can make a battle won.


~BarTalk: Hangover

~ . ~

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Quoted in the Grove:
The future influences the present just as much as the past.
~Friedrich Nietzsche

There is no distance on this earth as far away as yesterday.
~Robert Nathan

Your life is not lying in wait in the future like a wild animal or some ominous destiny. Nor is it hidden in the heavens, like a paradise or promise. Nor is it shut up in the cave or the prison of your past. It is here and now; it is what you live and what you do.
~Andre Comte-Sponville

End Quote:
Remember tonight … for it is the beginning of always.


Posted from the Grove:
From the NY Times online, this 22 second speeded up video of the Perseids meteor shower. It is the sky over Wales itself that mesmerizes.


Prewritten for Thurs (08/20) @6pm PT/9 ET is: He woke to the smell of baking cookies


@Writers Platform
Glass Table:

~whitefeather: Whitefeather is currently voiceless
😦 it’s true, I am currently a voiceless bunch of pixels… my bank account debit card got hacked, and therefore it was shut off ….
So, until it gets resolved, and/or my new card arrives, I am silenced! Well almost…


Prewritten: radiance, orbit

~Greymane: Stardust Stew

Created from stardust and magic
Our radiance bright as the sun
A story so beautifully tragic
that fatefully can’t be undone
The recipe called for awareness
carefully stirred in the sea
A pinch of some comic unfairness
with a dash of celestial debris
Seasoned with delicate charity
Sprinkled with darkness and fear
Some lust and indulgent vulgarity
with drizzled intentions sincere
We added a sense of adventure
to promises left unfulfilled
Our faith a required indenture
with obstinance served slightly chilled
A murky concoction confusing
Premiering our shining debut
delectably altered amusing
when man added time to the stew
Each moment a piece of tomorrow
A journey to immortal rest
We follow our light through the sorrow
Our orbit ecliptic at best


~BarTalk: Constancy


Impromptu: The odor of wilted chrysanthemums wafted toward us on a hot summer breeze…

~Greymane: Wilted

It was hot the day I came back home, too many years away
The memories that rode the breeze still haunt me to this day
The fragrance of the wilted blooms that simmered in the sun
Now danced within my moments lost with nowhere left to run
A distant train calls mournfully from long deserted rails
It’s lonesome cry a lullaby to passion that prevails
Country winds that carry sins can leave your senses numb
When memories reside inside a dead chrysanthemum


~MissMerry: The Odor of Wilted Chrysanthemums

The odor of wilted chrysanthemums wafted toward us on the hot summer breeze. Rick grimaced and pushed open the door of his neglected summer cottage. The rental company had not sent the cleaners as promised.
Throughout the living room were the scattered remains of a party. Half-filled glasses, plates with bits of cake and icing with plastic forks, some boxes, some wrapping paper.
“It looks like a wedding shower” I said, pointing at the table to one side that still held unopened presents.
“Oh God…” Rick moaned as he looked into a bedroom.
“It was a wedding party that turned into a funeral.”
On the bed was a macabre scene… two well-dressed corpses embracing, both with bullet holes in their heads.
“Holy crap… ” I gagged as I back pedaled into the kitchen.
On the counter was a picture of the happy couple, her blond curls blowing across her face as they rode on a motorcycle. He smiled at the camera and waved, his reddish brown beard sliding off to one side in the wind.
“We really should get out of here.” I walked toward the door, hoping Rick would follow. Silly me.
“Oh Hell no.. someone has turned my beach cabin into a ghost house! I damn sure want to know what happened!”
“We at least need to call the police…” I dialed 911, but I knew it would be at least 45 minutes before the small town police would make it this far out onto the island.
“At least don’t touch anything!”
“I’m pissed, but not stupid, love of mine…” he muttered as he walked back into the bedroom.
The bride-to-be’s pretty blond curls were soaked in black, congealed clots of blood. The other corpse’s head also lay with dark hair in a black puddle, his green eyes glazed over and staring open. He was clean shaven, but blood trailed across his face.
Rick walked into the other bedroom, using his jacket pocket as a glove to push open the door.
On the bed was another corpse. Beside the body was a pistol still in hand.
“Oh nooooo,” Rick said… You do not want to see this one … but at least we know what happened.”
I agreed that I did not want to see the other body, and Rick followed me out onto the porch to sit and wait for the police.
What story did Rick see in the carnage of his beach cottage?


~whitefeather: untitled

The odor of wilted chrysanthemums wafted toward us on the hot summer breeze. Swaying flower heads hanging weary.

After a long drought, the outline of where they placed your urn, is marked by dead grass and weeds. You wanted no fanfare…

Death… like the brown colored weeds and grass; only memories remain.


~BarTalk: Cut the Short Story Shorter

~ . ~

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