Hanging by a Thread

February 9, 2019  :: 0 comments

I was a high school teacher before they came. I’m not sure what I am now. They said they chose me because they needed cases to test. To make sure their experiments worked. Now I feel more like a Wax Museum custodian than anything else. What I most recall is that it was a very regular night. Even the light …

The Silence of Slow Time

September 29, 2018  :: 0 comments

He is crouching on the grass behind a bush, out of wind. Only a few feet away he hears the growling of a tiger. He holds his breath until his lungs almost burst, cautiously letting the air seep out of his lungs. The tiger lingers, but then seems to stroll away. It doesn’t matter what we call this being. He …


June 2, 2018  :: 0 comments

Ever since St. Bernadette had a vision of Mary in the grotto, tourists came to Lourdes, some to be healed by its miracle. Arriving by train in Lourdes, Roberto alighted onto the streets, now crowded with seekers from across the globe. They came from all over the world, some on crutches, some in wheelchairs, and some even on flat beds. …

Under a spiral arm

featured in the poetry forum December 28, 2017  :: 0 comments

Under a spiral arm, she kissed me. A beam of moon-glare light streaked past us. A meteorite?

She laughed. But my heart felt heavy. Something about her emerald eyes said she would have to leave.

Shiny metallic rocks. A pulsar beating like a desperate heart. The sound of a waterfall.

Scared of heights, I looked at where my feet stood. I must be standing upright, I thought, but it was hard to tell. Was this an asteroid? I had only seen them in books. Dark black chunks of angular rock. Pockets of glittery metals. Suspended in the shawl of eternal night.

I didn’t know her name, but I knew her. Yet I couldn’t place when or where we had met. Maybe we had always met here. Her paraffin white face, so smooth and perfect. Full lips, like rose petals. Almond shaped eyes.

We didn’t speak so much as share jokes, looking at the stars. I made a gesture, pointing my finger, suggesting that I lived in one of those distant solar systems. Her laugh made my skin tickle. She nodded and pointed with her nose, as if saying yeah I’m going to be just as vague with my astronomical directions. Then she reached out to hold my hands in hers. She took a deep breath. Suddenly, her eyes grew wet. I wanted to burst out crying, too. All of my old games laid bare. All my hang-ups exposed. We held each other, our bodies shaking.

Then everything seemed to tilt. A hole in the sky opened, pulling everything into it. As she drifted away, we reached toward each other. In that moment, her fingers like long flower stems. Her nails painted ocean blue.

I knew we’d meet again.

editors note:

A celestial tryst, a stellar stop, a romantic ride; (seeking?) certainty of love in an infinite loop. – mh clay

The Purest Rain

December 2, 2017  :: 0 comments

I once was, we once were, ordinary people, like you. Being together we have become one mind. I am sorry if our writing is clumsy. We don’t speak, write or use words any longer. Our thoughts are felt by each other before we have them. The ideas of I and we aren’t as clear as they may be for you, …

Don’t Die, Bob Dylan

featured in the poetry forum September 30, 2017  :: 0 comments

Don’t die, Bob Dylan. Don’t die not now. The clocks are moving backwards; their hands are out of work. The hours are aging, heavy and lonely, like old heroes from an ancient war. I don’t mean to sound like a coward, Bob Dylan. I’m not asking you to write the songs we need. I’m not asking you to give us a pound of flesh. You have every right to water your toes in some cool ocean, or to let someone call you grandpa. You have every right to write bad songs and sing them horribly. If I could wrestle a whale with whispers, or lull the moon to sleep with words, I would. I don’t need you to do anything – nothing at all – I just need you to not die, Bob Dylan. Not now. I need to know that you are living and breathing. I need to know that you can sing – even horribly. And that maybe, just maybe, I will sing with you and for you and for us all.

editors note:

Musician as muse, so we are not mute. Sing out! – mh clay

Pale Leviathan

January 6, 2017  :: 2 comments

The heat had become unbearable that summer. “Make it stop, daddy,” Liddy’s son, Torin, said, as they walked home from school. The sun glared down with a vengeance, its rays like vicious lapping tongues. It seemed to Liddy that the sun was angry at the earth. “I can’t make it stop,” said Liddy. “But we’ll be home shortly. Mom will …

Caution of an Atom

featured in the poetry forum August 22, 2016  :: 0 comments

When the bed’s miserly corners
Consort with the ceiling to enfold you,
You reach for the lever – never
Did you think?
Life could shrink
So small that you couldn’t count Angels within its walls?
So small
Air strangles in one last breath.

And near death,
You reach for the lever – forever
Is a long time to dangle your feet off –
Of a sun crushed to the caution
Of an atom.

editors note:

Even then, still hope for one ionic bond. – mh clay

Skies of Hell Flame

July 29, 2016  :: 0 comments

Texas heat beats down on the lawn in front of the house. There is a scorching wind gently blowing the blades of inch high grass. The grass is wet green, as if oils soaks through the surface to slicken the grass. The sun’s blaze doesn’t reach the inside of the house. Along with the tarantulas and snakes, it’s stopped at …

The Twilight’s Last Gleaming

December 19, 2015  :: 1 comment

The thing he missed most was the sound of birdsong. After the change, you no longer heard birds. You might see birds high in the sky, now and again, far from humans, as if too frightened to come near. But you didn’t hear them. You couldn’t hear anything. There was a ringing that droned in his ears but he wasn’t …