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A book club I’m part of recently discussed The Ruins by Scott Smith. It’s not a book I would have finished reading based on the first 50 pages, but sticking with it afforded me insight into what a narrative voice can do. The story is about a group of young tourists who venture into an off-map area of an archeological dig in Mexico. They find themselves trapped, unable to move on because of guardsmen on horseback threatening them with arrows if they move down the path or retreat back. They are stuck there. Their problems increase when the vines around them gradually take on characteristics of mandrakes, drinking their bodily fluids and eventually speaking in human voices.

At no point was I personally afraid during the reading of this book, yet this is a good specimen of contemporary horror. Here are some qualities of the book which I laud in the horror genre:
•    A slow burn.
•    Misfortune meted out in proportion to vice and stupidity, and the age-old warning that sacred spaces should not be disturbed.
•    An antagonist who does not communicate. This is extremely difficult to pull off, and arguably The Ruins does not pull it off, but think of the great horror villains who don’t speak: Michael Myers, Jason Vorhees, and the alien invaders from Independence Day.
•    A progression of the enemy’s power which increases exponentially. At first the vines seem to move toward things, then they laugh, then they speak, and then and then! This offers an incline of tension which is dastardly fun to take part in.
Though the elements of good horror are here, something is missing, something that could have been awesome: the use of Negative Space.

Negative Space
This is a term I’m working on applying to writing, not just visual art. It’s the space between objects, or in written stories, it’s the space between events which can be underlined by the setting. In horror, negative space is where tension blooms, the pacing between action beats where the reader is given a chance to feel afraid.

To illustrate, on the morning of September 11, 2001 I was on a highway in Connecticut. I was driving to New York City when the first plane struck the World Trade Center. The news report on the radio said so. Here’s a rundown of the facts and my acceptance of them:
1.    First tower struck.
2.    That’s bad. I hope no one got hurt. People in The City tend to begin the workday late, and they stay late into the night with their Yankee work ethic. But what about the custodians?
3.    Second tower struck.
4.    My mind is stalling, like a car trying to get up a snowy hill in winter.
5.    How could this happen?
6.    What does it mean?
7.    This must be an act of war. On my country and my faith.

There is more to the story: my inability to place a phone call, the abject lack of information on the radio, the sheer not-knowing of the situation that increased with every minute.

The horror didn’t hit me at first, and the experience was made worse by my lack of access to a TV. We live in a time when we need to see video footage to prove something happened. Without it, acceptance of the truth becomes all the more challenging. Note that I chose to be naïve at the first tower’s hit. I tried to convince myself that no one had been hurt, eventually coming around to the probability that only a few had been hurt, all the while attempting to mitigate a new reality I couldn’t accept. I carried that mitigation through the entire day. The real problem was with the second tower strike. Something beyond my understanding of the world was happening. I had decided to say a prayer with the first strike, but I could delay it until I was off the road and in a private space. But the immediacy of the second strike increased the urgency of my need to pray.

Point 4 is where negative space fills my recollection of the story. This is where horror grew. I had just been reading about Mother Mary as the patron of the Americas, and the fact that no international war had devastated the land under her protection (with the exception of Hawaii, a geographically separate land). Faced with new data filling my head, everything turned upside down, and I couldn’t make sense of it.

This negative space occupies our lives any time we’re presented with loss. The death of a loved one, or even a romantic break-up. There’s always that moment when you cannot accept it. Narrative conventions require that characters must be given a trigger to come to a new idea, but in reality, this suspended time requires no trigger — realization simply coalesces. Fiction is not reportage in the sense of recording how things happen; fiction distills and inserts auxiliary untruths in order to convey meaning. If I told this story as outlined above, it would not capture its meaning. Sometimes neophyte writers design poorly written plots where characters make decisions out of the blue because they wish to show how things happen in the Real World, but fiction is about crafting secondary worlds that tell stories better than any Real-World accounting ever could.

The problem with The Ruins, and this is no strike against the author since the composition itself is flawless, is how the progression of the vine’s abilities are laid out deductively, instead of inductively. There is no final surprise, because the progression of the vines’ abilities is patterned in a predictable way. This is a double-edged sword, really, because the best stories give away their endings from the start. Horror requires some surprises, and The Ruins does not deliver many.

So how can writers address or use this negative space?

There are a few ways. First, we can broaden the pacing in order to give the readers a chance to comprehend the situation. This is like the pause after a comedian’s joke to let it add up in the minds of the audience. This is not to say we should add fluff in these spaces, but it is a good point to let the characters reflect or notice other things about their surroundings (things which relate directly to the ending of the story).

Second, we can draw out the moment between epiphanies to examine physiological changes in the characters. Are they breathing? Are they doing something mindless and dangerous?

Third, we can consider what must happen next in order to shift into the correct gear to move forward. One of the things The Ruins avoids is explaining plans, almost to the point that the whole narrative feels like a dream. Instead of a discussion on what to do next, there are arguments on what can be done followed by personal discord, followed by someone taking action without offering a reason. I found myself going back to see where I missed transitions, but I didn’t miss anything. There are no transitions, which gives the story a dreamlike quality aiming to be a nightmare.

The unseen negative space
We don’t notice when a headache goes away.
One of the most interesting techniques of The Ruins is its complete lack of scientific explanation for how the vines are able to make sounds. It’s something the reader simply accepts. I didn’t notice that I hadn’t noticed it until the vines took on more sophisticated abilities to produce sound. This is brilliantly done. Things are scary when the unknown is unknowable. This is also why ageless philosophical questions are so stimulating. Contemplating fractals or infinity can thrust us into a suspended moment of negative space, entranced by our inability to understand.

Praxis
An Exercise in Negative Spacing
Recall a specific moment when evidence was presented to you that shifted the way you operate in the world.
1.    Make a list of your discursive thoughts, and be as granular as possible. How did one thought lead to the next? Where did you stall? What notions did you dismiss and why? What was your emotional response to each fragmented thought?
2.    Go over the list and number it if it’s out of chronological order.
3.    Circle the moment of stalling, and the most impactful keywords surrounding it in the rest of the list.
4.    Reflect on the conclusion you drew, and how it changed you. Write out what you glean from it.

Bonus exercise for writers: grab your current work-in-progress.  Identify the turning points and reflect on the Negative Spaces between them.  Can they be expanded?  Are they too expansive in relation to the overall pacing?  Are they there at all?

Negative Space is essential for presenting a complete piece of fiction.  It pulls the mind away from the surface and allows readers to digest the story.  Just as the eye is transported across a canvas via negative space, so too can readers move through turning points with the vehicle of literary negative space.

Bio: Sarah Yasin is a writing workshop leader and retreat facilitator in the state of Maine.  She has pieces in various literary journals, including Lydwine Journal, Glass, and the Mad Scientist Journal. Visit her author page at Amazon.



One Precious Day

by

Paul K. McWilliams

“We love those who know the worst of us and don’t turn their faces away.”
                                                                                                                     -Walker Percy

                                                                   

Mike Hanlon, an old childhood friend of mine, had cultivated the pot, not for kicks or profit, but expressly for relief.  He was a poor and suffering soul growing...

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SkippyGraycoat

by

Peter Mancusi

Skippy Graycoat woke up early to the chirping of birds. It had been a long night for the young squirrel. He spent hours fixing up his new apartment, a fancy little hollow inside of an old, maple tree, and he was happy to finally have some privacy. No...

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A Pot Full of Beans

by

Brigitte Whiting

Clara Beth didn't remember that she'd promised to fill the cast iron bean pot for the Smithville Annual Bean Hole Bean Pot supper until late Friday afternoon when she received the call that the bean hole was prepared, the embers hot and ready. "Almost ready," she lied. What...

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How You Can Go Wrong

by

Lisa Benwitz

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Angelina scoffed at Sam, her husband of sixty years. “You’re not leaving. You won’t last a day without me.”

“I can’t deal with you anymore,” he said as he walked out the door. As if she’d been the one to disappoint, to betray.

Angelina’s sagging...

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The Piano

by

Nitin Mishra

The old grand piano sat in lonely corner of the room. Dust covered the piano body, and insects crept in through the keys. For the house’s inhabitants, the grand piano was merely a dead wooden sound-making device mechanically operated. No one ever tried to infuse life into the...

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Makers and Takers

by

Kim Bundy

Jake dropped the baby off at daycare early that morning and replaced three water heaters by lunch. There were two HVAC systems left to service, so he wolfed down a sandwich as he drove between jobs. When he got back to the shop that afternoon, his boss called...

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The “Ely Kay”

by

Paul K. McWilliams

It’s my boat yard, and I don’t much care for the look of her. It’s a point of pride. You should be able to take a level to a boat up on lumber. Every day with her list, she stares me down. She looks guilty and sad with...

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What We Long For

by

Cyril Dabydeen

Creating an imaginary garden
                            with real toads in it.
                                    --Marianne Moore


Frogs circle the yellow-and-black snake in the trout stream by instinct, no less. Mr. Yorick, tall, but roundish, ...

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Emerson

by

Paul K. McWilliams

He hurts, body, mind, and soul. Death has made its introduction and he has given it a knowing nod. At this moment he’s in a hospice unit. The head of his bed is elevated and he’s in the consoling company of his dog, Emerson. The dog proved quickly...

Read more: Emerson

 

 

 

Blunt Trauma

by

Paul K. McWilliams

To all, excepting only Annie, Charles W. Durgin fell while fishing and drowned.  It has been nearly ten years since she struck him with his own club, the club he affectionately called “the priest.” Nightmares still waken her upright and screaming. Not the stifled screams into his calloused...

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Man in the Mirror

by

Nitin Mishra

It may have been the sultriest day of the decade, who knows, maybe two or even three decades and the excessive humidity had invited swarms of insects. In such a sweltering afternoon people were destined to stay indoors, and if anyone ventured out, the insects would certainly torment...

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The Impostor

by

Mick Clark

I was amazed by how many people were stuffed inside my uncle Henry’s corpse.

My aunt clung to me for the first time in her life, bird-bone brittle and ashen pale, while the mourners breathed crowds of ghosts into the icy morning air.

The coffin swayed...

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21 Days of Lockdown

by

Donna Abraham Tijo

Day 1:
When Coronavirus Comes Calling
A five-year-old declares, 'I wish to always have my favourite pancake in my world.'

Day 2:
An E-mail of Hope
He sent the e-mail to the school reserving seats for his daughter for the fall session. It’s in the new city they...

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Sugar Daddy Dreams

by

Enza Vynn-Cara

Burnt toast, avocado, honey, two poached eggs laced with turmeric and garlic, and a new vitamin concoction that makes my stomach churn, and still, I guzzle half of it down with gusto, as if it’s our first Godfather Cocktail at Carlo’s Bar.

Why, you ask?

Because...

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The Visitor

by

Brigitte Whiting

Madeleine saw the visitor in her Sunday school class, a man her age, maybe fortyish —she considered herself a youthful fifty —with a deep dimple in the middle of his chin. He wore no wedding ring. He introduced himself as having just moved to Cannington, and was the...

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Chickens

by

Brigitte Whiting

First, there was dust everywhere, but now, far worse, there were chickens everywhere. They were pecking through the yard, leaving puffs of dust. They were roosting in the pine trees. And they clucked from morning to night. The five roosters vied for which was loudest and shrillest. Amanda...

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Desiree

by

Joe Cappello

I buried him in the backyard one night after a rainstorm. The soil I removed from the hole was thick and sticky and clung stubbornly to the surface of my shovel.

I connected the hose to the backyard spigot and used it to clean off the shovel. Then...

Read more: Desiree

 

 

 

The Anointing of Mary Ballard

by

Joe Cappello

The young lady entered the laboratory with her eyes cast down reverently, as though entering a church. When she reached the gurney, she pulled a chair close to it and placed the things she was carrying on a nearby table. She removed the sheet covering the body and...

Read more: The Anointing of Mary Ballard

 

 

 

Beginning at the End

by

Joe Cappello

I am in a meeting at our England location in a typical rectangular conference room walled off from the real world of work taking place outside. Suddenly, I am a spirit floating above my colleagues, as though I had died only seconds earlier and am waiting to be...

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Hope Held My Heart

by

Chel Talleyrand

We were isolated that summer from the rest of the world. The excessive rains had pounded the fields into mosquito-infested pools, destroying our harvests of corn and beans. We heard it was worse in the cities. As food supplies depleted, guns decided distribution. Friends and families banded together...

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My Carousal of Life

by

Chel Talleyrand

As a little girl, I had this recurring dream that would cause me to wake up in a cold sweat. A grand celebration was going on in a great hall, where my mother and father sat on gold thrones at the end of the room overseeing their subjects...

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The Tattoo

by

Donna Abraham Tijo

Red Bull is engraving the Eye of God on your chest. “It’s a private tattoo over my soul and conscience,” you murmur. “I’m an atheist, bro,” you continue, thinking of the Chotta Bheem rakhi on your wrist eons back in time. I will be brave like Bheem someday, ...

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Booklovers’ Paradise

by

Donna Abraham Tijo


‘I am a writer, but I wish I could write like that,’ said Durga, seated at the head of the rustic green, rectangular table. There were nineteen women on the sides, who turned to look. Then, some picked up their beverages and sipped them. In the background, a...

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My Car, My Friend

by

Leona Pence

Tony Spencer applied the first coat of wax to his prized possession, a 1973 Pontiac Grand Prix. Oh, sure, it had flaws, like a smashed door and a dragging muffler, but the interior was a beaut. It had bright-red bucket seats with a gleaming silver gear mount between...

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Brother Bastion

by

Linda Murray

The rain that had pelted the high mountain jungle all morning stopped abruptly, and the sun gradually dissolved the lingering clouds. Insects hummed again, birds burst forth in joyous song and flowers lifted their dripping heads, spreading their petals wide to receive the sun’s bright blessing. The People, ...

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The Style of No Style

by

Frank Richards

I must be the Charlie Brown of writers because I’ve never been able to figure out what “style” is all about. What does that word, ‘style,’ mean? I’ve always had a problem with it. If there were such a thing as “styleblindness,” a disease like colorblindness, I’d be...

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Corona Clean

by

Fran Schumer

The Corona virus presents new challenges. Stuck at home, and with more of us sleeping, eating and working here, and a dirtier house, I was finally going to have to figure out how to use my new vacuum cleaner. Ordered a year ago, it mostly sat in its...

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Occasional Neighbors

by

Brigitte Whiting

I understand a little bit about wild turkeys. They're on a constant hunt for food, drifting through the neighborhood scrounging what they can. But I don't know how it happens that a few will either be left behind by the flock or leave it. This past fall, I'd...

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Enjoy the Ride

by

Penny Camp

Get up early. You can’t ride all day if you sleep in. Braid your hair tight — you don’t want it flapping in the wind. Make sure you don’t wear the undies with the seams down the back because after a long day of riding they will make...

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Cocoa and Biscuits

by

Penny Camp

Saturday mornings were special occasions at our house when we were growing up. My friends begged to spend the night so they could be part of the Saturday morning ritual.

Mom would take out her green plastic bowl and splash in a little water, a little cocoa powder, ...

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Livin’ the Dream

by

Holly Miller

When I was a child, my mom and Aunt Leona would pack us six kids into our blue Chevy Belair and drive to a local mobile home dealer (they were known as trailers back then). We would walk through the new homes, just for something to do. How...

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Fall in Maine

by

Brigitte Whiting

Autumn is falling in Maine, harder this year than I remember over the last few falls. We've had two nights of close to freezing temperatures, not enough to ice over the birdfeeders or kill any of my plants yet, but cold enough to turn the furnace on. My...

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Best Laid Plans

by

Penny Devlin

Every year shortly before spring, the Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Co. catalog shows up on my doorstep. The cover is plastered with a WARNING label in big black letters informing me that if I don’t order now, this will be my last catalog. It also has coupons: $100...

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One January Morning

by

Brigitte Whiting

Mornings, I like to have a Kindle eBook open on the dining room table so I can read and look out into the backyard to see what might be happening. 

I live in a raised ranch with an attached two-car garage. My deck, which is off the kitchen...

Read more: One January Morning

 

 

 

The Ruins and the Writing Technique of Negative Space

by

Sarah Yasin

A book club I’m part of recently discussed The Ruinsby Scott Smith. It’s not a book I would have finished reading based on the first 50 pages, but sticking with it afforded me insight into what a narrative voice can do. The story is about a group...

Read more: The Ruins and the Writing Technique of Negative Space

 

 

 

A River of Words

by

Penny Devlin

Go to work every day. Do your job. Do it well. Always learning, getting better every day. Soaking in the letters that become words, that lead to success.

Meetings, instructions, to-do lists, directions — the words start to drown like a river of brown muddy water rushing through...

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Canada, Marty, and The Exorcist

by

Jen Lowry

On our homeschool adventure today, we dreamed aloud of the places we would travel to if we could. My kids and I agree: Ireland and Scotland are our top two places to visit. We played music from Spotify and sang aloud to the merry tunes of the Irish.

...

Read more: Canada, Marty, and The Exorcist

 

 

 

Monarch Butterflies

by

Brigitte Whiting

I had no idea what milkweed looked like because I'd never seen it, but I'd always wanted it to grow in my yard so I could see the monarch butterflies.


For the longest time, I've hoped the patch of wonderfully fragrant plants with pale purple flowers growing...

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A Monarch Chrysalis

by

Brigitte Whiting

The monarch caterpillar couldn't decide where to turn itself into a chrysalis. He wandered across my front stoop so many times I was afraid I'd step on it so I stopped using the front door. One time, he'd be crawling up a post of the front railing. Another...

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Truth

by

Angela Hess

I am twisted, bent, and deformed on every side. Everyone trying to use me to serve their own purposes, to justify their own beliefs and actions. Their eyes constantly sliding away from my pure, unaltered form, too brilliant and painful to behold without their chosen filters to dim...

Read more: Truth

 

 

 

The Goldfinch

by

Brigitte Whiting

On a Monday afternoon, I carried a bucket of water outdoors to refill the birdbath. A male goldfinch jumped down from the bath’s rim, and hopped away as quickly as he could to creep beneath a nearby spruce branch. I thought how odd he was...

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Of Heroes and Holiness

by

Angela Hess

What does a hero look like?

 

George Bailey is a hero.

 

George Bailey dreamed of traveling the world.

 

George Bailey gave up his dreams to care for his family and community.

 

Rudy left his family...

Read more: Of Heroes and Holiness

 

 

 

My Desk

by

Luann Lewis

Another rejection letter and I feel like a loser. Yeah, I know, I’m not trying to make a living doing this. I even claim to be “writing for myself.” Butwe all want validation and, let’s face it, us writers want readers. So here I sit, ...

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My Mobile Space

by

Janet Harvey

 

In June, I will expect to find my special place in Townsville, Queensland. Last year it was in Darwin, Northern Territory, and today my place is in Hobart, Tasmania.

 

 

We live in a truck, a 2004 Isuzu 350NPR turbo automatic...

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A Red Squirrel's Narrative

by

Brigitte Whiting

This past summer and fall upturned me. The birdfeeder, usually so generous, abdicated her job, and I had to scrounge for food during the long wet season. My mother told me it was unusual to have such a rainy August and October. She would know. I was born...

Read more: A Red Squirrel's Narrative

 

 

 

Talk-Back, Dear Lia, on FnF

by

Joy Manné

This essay is part of a Talk-Back series – I owe that title to Karen. A Talk-Back is my response to a chapter in a WVU textbook, my communication with its author.

This Talk-Back is a response to the exercise in Lia Purpura’s chapter, ‘On Miniatures,’ (Flas...

Read more: Talk-Back, Dear Lia, on FnF

 

 

 

Reunion

by

Lina Sophia Rossi

“Why the F--- Do I want to see a F—ing alligator jump up to eat a F—ing chicken hanging on a clothesline?”

 

The last time I hung out with my Uncle Dan is when I dragged him to Gatorland to do something touristic. ...

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A Fear of Broken Things

by

Angela Hess

“Does he look at you?”

 

My cousin’s innocent question triggers a flashing red warning light in my brain. My baby doesn’t look at me. I assumed he was too young still, but my cousin’s baby is only four days older than mine, and they are...

Read more: A Fear of Broken Things

 

 

 

Wild Roses Growing in the Ditch

by

Louise E. Sawyer


It is a joy to hold a lovely scene, a delightful moment, in memory.
~Marjolein Bastin

Frank was four and I was five and getting ready to start school when Dad and Mom moved us into a new house on Glasgow Avenue—a three-bedroom home that wasn't quite finished—in...

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Hazardous Happenings

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

At some point, everything comes to an apex.  Status quo can only persist for so long before the natural balance of the universe calls for consumption, and then it all comes down to a choice.  That’s it, a lone decision that ultimately leads down a pathway to a higher level...

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Fireplace Camping

by

Louise E. Sawyer

After supper, my brother Frank and I beg Dad,
“Tell us a story in front of the fireplace.”
...

Read more: Fireplace Camping

 

 

 

My Love

by

Miriam Manglani

My love for you was tentative and tender
Now it blazes like wildfire through dry fields
Cuts through...

Read more: My Love

 

 

 

The Never-Was-But-Could-Have-Been

by

Miriam Manglani

I never doubted that he loved me
even after he died from dementia —
There were tight hugs...

Read more: The Never-Was-But-Could-Have-Been

 

 

 

Farley vs Apricot

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

Apricot the Beanie cat
perches atop the bookcase,
guards the books,
taunts the ginger kitten down below

Farley’s...

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Define Self Truth

by

Gerardine Gail (Esterday) Baugh

How blind are we with
wishes that bite; with
memories that burn;
that we choose, to be
trapped, ...

Read more: Define Self Truth

 

 

 

Invisible Lines

by

Miriam Manglani

When I first saw their formless
bodies on screen,
worlds unfurled
in their grainy black and white images,
...

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She Bikes for the First Time

by

Miriam Manglani

“Keep peddling!” I call.
Not prepared to watch her fall.
I hold the bike steady
and let it...

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The Stranger

by

Miriam Manglani

You were always quiet but
grew quieter.
Unable to retrieve basic words like “cat”.
There were other small...

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Remembering Char

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

Last night
I saw Daniel O’Donnell’s concert advertised,
looked forward to watching it.
I phoned our “fan club,”
...

Read more: Remembering Char

 

 

 

Stop Look Listen

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

poems originate
in the wink
of an eye

the flash
of a phrase
spoken in soft voices

the...

Read more: Stop Look Listen

 

 

 

Romancing Richard

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

Richard and I
meet in the YWCA cafeteria

when I inquire about his book on Hitler,
we introduce...

Read more: Romancing Richard

 

 

 

The Dollies

by

Holly Miller

Where have all the dollies gone, babes and Barbies too?
The last time I saw them was while...

Read more: The Dollies

 

 

 

Reading Deprivation Week

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

week 4 of my creative writing course
is designated as Reading Deprivation week,
reading is taboo

it is...

Read more: Reading Deprivation Week

 

 

 

The Waves

by

Louise E. Sawyer

Little baby waves,
you call me to your home
where you softly swish
up on the beach
nudging...

Read more: The Waves

 

 

 

Women Out To Dinner

by

Luann Lewis

Women step out to dinner.
Just women. Just “the girls.”
Out they go,
in perfume,
fluffy neck scarves,
...

Read more: Women Out To Dinner

 

 

 

With Emily on the Death Carriage

by

Nitin Mishra

After a hard day of labor
As I was hurrying my way back home.
A black Carriage stopped...

Read more: With Emily on the Death Carriage

 

 

 

2020 Time of Haiku

by

Gerardine Gail Esterday

DNA's protein coat-
Stripped me of maskless days, now
I eat popcorn alone


Are you kidding me!
No...

Read more: 2020 Time of Haiku

 

 

 

The Nature of Time

by

Sitharaam Jayakumar

Time flows from infinity to infinity,
with no beginning or end in sight,
unlike men and women who...

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Some Heart-felt Emotions about My Motherland

by

Sitharaam Jayakumar

Oh! My motherland, my heart and soul,
as I watch dark clouds hover in your skies,
my eyes...

Read more: Some Heart-felt Emotions about My Motherland

 

 

 

A Dream, A Fantasy, Flying into The Unknown

by

Sitharaam Jayakumar

I am once again a youth in my teens,
dreaming of flying high up into the clouds.
I...

Read more: A Dream, A Fantasy, Flying into The Unknown

 

 

 

Missing Miss Pickle

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

I miss the way
you sat on your stool
by the kitchen window,
meowing goodbye when I left,
...

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Surprised by Joy

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

I stare outside my window
as snowflakes swirl,
cover my garden
with another white blanket

my Vancouver Island...

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Definition of a Poem

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

A poem is a spark sprung to life.
A poem is a magic inspiration.
A poem is a...

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Lessons from History

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

reading about the 1918 Spanish flu
shows mistakes made by history:
parades, train trips, troopships,
overcrowded hospitals
pandemics...

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I Go Picking Seashells

by

Sitharaam Jayakumar

I look at the deep blue sea,
stretching endlessly before me,
as I sit on the sands, alone, ...

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Moments of Silence

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

sometimes social isolation  
is a requirement
to write a poem
 
in times of self-quarantine,
loneliness hovers...

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The Lockdown Cyber Trip

by

Louise E. Sawyer

I.  New York City

Around the world, we few gals hunkered down
around our computers, tablets, and phones,
...

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On the Farm

by

Maryann (Max) Maxson

Greene’s’ farmhouse
took on smells of hay and silage
cow and sheep scents brought in
on men’s overalls and
...

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The Estate

by

KG Newman

One day after I die I’ll have a shiny dedication plate nailed to a bench
along a trail...

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Thankful

by

Samantha Vincent

I can taste you in my coffee,
So I no longer drink it black.
I can feel your...

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Our Neighbourhood Playground

by

Louise E. Sawyer

We neighbourhood children gravitate
in the late afternoon to the large empty lot
at the corner of Scotia...

Read more: Our Neighbourhood Playground

 

 

 

Immediate Action Required

by

KG Newman

It’s 100 seconds to midnight
with nuclear arms re-normalized and
climate change addressed by fine speeches,
while on...

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A New Day Begins

by

Bob Hembree

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Angst

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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The Fly on the Wall

by

Bob Hembree

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Glancing Vulnerably

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Fowl Squabbling

by

Bob Hembree

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A Mid-Photo's Daydream

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Solar Reflection

by

Bob Hembree

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Being Held Up

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Reflections

by

Paula Parker

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Jack

by

Gerardine Gail Esterday

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Hollister

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Evelyn

by

Gerardine Gail Esterday

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Curiosity

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Rebecca

by

Gerardine Gail Esterday

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Hazel

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Working Hands

by

Paula Parker

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Maya

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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The Birds in the Flower

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Pst... Hey

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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The World in Her Hands

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Oak

by

Craig Gettman

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Flower

by

Craig Gettman

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Berries

by

Craig Gettman

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Winding Road

by

Craig Gettman

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Sunset - April 2020

by

Craig Gettman

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