Oreo Cookies

featured in the poetry forum May 5, 2024  :: 0 comments

His father loved sports cars driving fast
In the end he had a white Porsche spider
Like James Dean was driving when he died
His dad liked to take his son up into the mountains
Driving the twisting roads of the Cascades
Closer to the sun with every winding switchback
Sometimes they’d go to the Pacific
Speeding through pine forests on the way to the ocean.

That last trip they stopped at a tiny seaside town
His dad bought a bag of Oreo cookies and grinned
“I love these,” he said
He munched on them all day long
So did his son
Speeding along the coast
Top down
Wind in their hair
Scent of salt in the air
The engine of that car purring like a cat
Father and son side by side
Chatting and talking
Through sunlight and shadow
Lush evergreen forests
A sea stretching to forever
Cookie crumbs flying in the swirling wind.

editors note:

Match your fav memory to your fav cookie. Let the crumbs fly… – mh clay

Speckled Toad Beer

May 4, 2024  :: 0 comments

I hate to admit it, but I never knew that the inspiration for the character of Uncle Sam in the WWI recruitment poster was the artist himself. He’d dilly-dallied on doing the painting until it was almost too late. At the last minute, he did the initial drawing based on his reflection in the mirror. He liked what he saw …

The Raft

March 9, 2024  :: 0 comments

“Turok, watch out for that wave!” Andar yelled. “Whoa!” Turok took a stick and pretended to paddle out of danger. “Whew. Thanks, Andar.” He wiped his brow. “How’s that?” “We’re safe now.” “Man, that was close,” Turok said. “Yeah, it was.” “Thanks for the warning.” “No problem.” The brothers smiled at each other. The older one, Turok, was at the …

First Kill

featured in the poetry forum February 13, 2024  :: 0 comments

“Come on, boy,” they cheered for him
It was his first hunt
“You can do it.”
They were a family of hunters
Earlier some of them had tromped through the cornfield
Scaring the pheasant out of hiding
It had run right to where the rest of the men and the boy were standing
The bewildered bird looked around
Frightened not moving
“Shoot him, boy” some yelled
“Kill the damn thing,” others shouted
Obediently he fingered the trigger
He liked birds
This one was so pretty colorful feathers shining in the sun
But he didn’t want to disappoint
He raised the shotgun and fired blinking back tears as feathers exploded
“Way to go!” the men cheered and patted him on the back
“You’re first kill!”

Later that night around the dinner table
They ate the bird
He accepted more congratulations
Wondering all the while
Why he felt so bad
Why his heart was breaking.

editors note:

Vegan, anyone? – mh clay

The Reverend

November 25, 2023  :: 2 comments

He was standing on the side of the road trying to get a ride. He was hitchhiking in the San Fernando Valley. He knew the temperature was one hundred and ten degrees because he had seen a thermometer on the side of an old gas station a few miles back. He was walking and hitchhiking at the same time, just …


featured in the poetry forum November 18, 2023  :: 0 comments

The names said it all those marbles
Flames and corkscrews
Limey’s and root beers
Aggies and slags
Beautiful glass orbs held in the palm of your hand
The friends played for hours
Bare kneed on the driveway white string for a circle
Playing for keeps
The thrill of winning the pain of losing
The whole world riding on the flicker of a thumb
The measured eye of the shooter.

He collects them now
Old marbles from his youth
He displays them so he can look at them
Colors still brilliant
Memories still vivid
Almost as good as being there he thinks to himself
Playing a hot game with his friends
Kneeling close together
Lining up that shot
Taking a deep breath and slowly letting it out
The crowd going silent
Young once again
Playing for keeps.

editors note:

It’s all for keeps. No take-backs. (We already know him as a short story writer. Now, we welcome Jim to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read all of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum August 29, 2023  :: 0 comments

His brother points arbitrarily
“The coyotes come down from the hills at night to hunt.”
“Cool! I’d love to see them.”
“If we’re lucky maybe we will.”
They are sitting on the back patio watching a fiery sunset
The wind a gale during the day has abated now to a thankful calm
The two brothers become quiet listening
Suddenly the silence is broken
An etherical call pierces through the night
It’s soon followed by a wild howling
The rising up of a primeval lament high into the sky
Spreading out across the land
Echoing among the dark shadows of a long-forgotten time
Off to the left is a motion
One two three dark shapes loping
Heading down the nearby dry wash
Stepping daintily among flood cast pebbles and rocks
They are a pack and they are hunting
One brother smiles to the other
They don’t have to speak
Instead they watch as the coyotes drift into the night
A blink of an eye and they are gone
Only furtive tracks of their nighttime passing remain
Ghostlike and serene
A fleeting vision of wild wonder.

editors note:

Wiley consumers, driven by no ad campaign. – mh clay

Raspberry Patch

August 19, 2023  :: 0 comments

Lottery numbers were picked that year in July for the draft. He was old enough to be in the group so his number was drawn. Now, all he could do was wait to see if he’d be called or not. It was a long, hot summer. The relentless sun beat down unmercifully. The air was wet with humidity, like a …

On the Shore of Walden Pond

June 6, 2023  :: 0 comments

The Boss droned on. “Yes, and next quarter we project earnings of…” Stifling a yawn, he adjusted his tie and feigned attention, nodding occasionally like a good employee should. In his mind, though, it was different. In his mind, he journeyed back across time and space to Walden Pond and the home of Henry David Thoreau. “Hi. Welcome.” Thoreau greeted …

Arrowroot Cookie

featured in the poetry forum May 24, 2023  :: 0 comments

Northwoods lake country
Water glistening waves lapping
Hot sun scorching sand
On the beach playing.

Big brother in charge of younger siblings
Momentarily distracted by building a sandcastle
Baby Will toddles out onto the dock stumbles and falls off sinking fast
Big brother runs to help but the water’s too deep.

“Mom!” he yells. “Help!”
She runs from the cabin and jumps in
Pulling baby Will quickly to safety
Still clutching his Arrowroot cookie.

Alone later that evening
Big brother sits on the dock
Toes dangling in dark waters swirling
Thinking heavy confusing thoughts
Nearly crushed by this first exposure
To the miniscule distance
Between living and dying
Life and death
A soggy cookie clutched like a lifeline
In his brother’s frantic hand.

editors note:

Too close for a cookie to comfort. – mh clay