Mary McGrath

I once knew a girl

Named Mary McGrath

Who’d do anything

To avoid taking a bath


She’d run and she’d hide

She’d slip and she’d slither

Till her father was fit

And her mom in a dither


A brown crust it settled

Between the cracks in her toes

Wax dried in her ears

And snots in her nose.


Her hair a birds nest

Even fleas would avoid

Her breath so atrocious

Even dogs were annoyed


This went on for years

Her games and her ploys

Till one day she grew up

and discovered boys!


Well that changed it all

Today she couldn’t be neater

All plaited and pressed

And she smells so much sweeter!


This was written for Chelsea Ann Owens Terrible Poetry Contest.




Morgana had just unearthed the final damning piece of evidence, proving the cave-in that sealed her husband and thirty other miners miles beneath the earth’s crust, was caused by blatant negligence on the part of the mine owners- when they came for her.

Though the incident itself had taken place months ago, the financial and emotional repercussions within their small mining community continued to claim casualties, as two devastated widows faced with no imaginable way to provide for their hungry children, chose death rather than face being tossed out of their homes by the mines greedy overseers, anxious to fill the numerous vacancies in personnel that were causing production to lag.

Rather than just accept these great injustices as the hand of fate, Morgana, one of the only book schooled widows, took the pittance offered her by the mine owners in exchange for her husband’s life, boarded a bus to Charleston and enlisted the researching prowess of a starving young college student.

Together they unearthed decades of penny pinching neglect ranging from the purchasing of inferior safety equipment from overseas, to a list of names of convicted safety inspectors, all of whom the courts had proven were only too happy to look the other way, when it put a few extra dollars in their pockets.

She had just completed a meeting with the one crooked inspector that held the key, the very man that had informed the mine owners only weeks before the cave-in, that imminent collapse of the ancient timbers fortifying the walls along that vein of the mine, was no longer a speculative question of ‘if’, but rather a resounding chorus, of ‘when’- before signing off in the affirmative in exchange for what could now be referred to as blood money.

If they thought the bullet that pierced her heart would silence her, it was only because they underestimated the amount of data that could be absorbed by a dirt poor miners wife- as Morgana had swallowed the USB drive containing all the evidence necessary to, not only win her case, but ensure even in death, (if it should come to that) the earthly vessel she left behind could be relied upon to provide the courts with the documentation they would need to convict the mine owners, and thus insure an atrocity such as this would not happen again.

Written for Girlie on the Edge’s Six Sentence Story cue word: Vessel

Northern Lights

Galactic Image

Seeking photon light emissions, the result of molecular collisions, in just the right atmospheric conditions, I traverse the wilderness that is Northern Alaska in the cold-dead-calm, of the waxing crescent moon, this starless February night.

Where mesmerized by oxygen induced phosphorescent colors of near mystical proportion- I shout a challenge to the Universe- “Inject me with such vibrancy of color- or release me from this life- I live in only black and white.”

I draw a line through
Aurora Borealis
Quivering black ink.

Written for Tanka Tuesday


Photo Courtesy of Anshu Bhojnagarwala

It would have been impossible to have overlooked Firenza. Her blazing red hair and that incendiary smile. A beauty, full of fire and smoking sensuality.  When she made her entrance into a room, sparks flew. Men of all ages became the tinder to her well tended flame. Ah yes, the incandescence that was Firenza….

And had you witnessed the scorching heat that evening she and Diesel were introduced, you would know first hand the meaning of the word combustible. Two people, melded together by loves eternal flame. Well, that and one clumsily misplaced ember from a half smoked cigarette…

Word Count: 99

Written for Friday Fictioneers

Hors d’oeuvre?

I empty myself onto the page. I bleed and spit and wretch. I masticate the sinuous scraps I cannot swallow, spread them on saltines, and serve them as hors d’oeuvres. I offer them to strangers, on gaily appointed silver platters saying, “Take of this and eat.” Because I know those words are baited, and he to whom they are ascribed, uses them to fish for men. In much the same way I fish for absolution.

Written for BrewNSpew cafe weekly prompt: Empty