Scott Richmond

trees

branches reaching up
wanting to touch the bright sun
roots keep them grounded

beaches

turquoise blue waters
soft white sandy shoreline
paradise surrounds

seasons

rebirth, then living
gracefully ending, then death
cyclical weather

snakes

slithery rubber
some safe, some totally not
coiled up beautiful 

flowers

colors of rainbow
multiple shapes, mostly round
such joy for noses

pets

human companion
best friends until very end
part of family

~~~

Scott Richmond worked in IT for many years, then discovered haikus, and has since become addicted. He lives in Southern California. This is Scott’s first feature on The Short of It.

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Chanah Wizenberg

The Demise of Mr. Smith

He was an evil man, bullying, belligerent.
Then, he hit her.

On his phone coming down the stairs, 
I screamed,
he startled and tumbled down,
landing in a grotesque arabesque.

I sniffed his nose, satisfied,
returned to my place in the sun,
purring, with my tail neatly tucked in.

Wake Up!

There is nothing like
loving pets
a dog and cat
both rescues
both quirky sweet
and comical

They are my alarm clock
punctual proud and prompt
they wake me each morning

Marmalade first
head butts and purring songs
pouncing on my back and
springing off again

Asha’s turn
her specialty
a wet willy
with that
cold nose

If that doesn’t work
nibbles to my neck

The Call and Response of Spring

The trees stand tall and proud
their branches dip and bend
with the wind’s gentle push
the Kelly-green leaves
sway and dance their
call and response

The squirrels chase each other
spiraling up and down the great oaks
and slim pines across the ground
and back up again chattering their
call and response

The birds glide and soar
and sweep around and past
each other until they take a
timeout on a branch high
or low to the ground singing their
call and response

Birthday Discovery

For twelve years
my birthday
was celebrated
on April 7th

And then
Searching for a vet record
I came upon my birth record

A truth was revealed
my birthday is
April 9th

Birthday, Oy

61 Oy, I don’t relate.
Feel like thirty-eight.

Looking in the mirror
I hear my father say,
“Who the hell is that?”

I contemplate,
who is that?

Salt and pepper hair,
double chin,
turkey neck,
Oy.

Don’t look!
Go for a swim instead.
Revel in the compliments.

Ambiguous Sunrise

Exhaustion permeates our beings
autopilot kicked in last Tuesday
or was it this Tuesday?

None of us know
it’s the holiday season
you know

the time of year chefs
bakers and candy makers
are in full steam production mode

the time when sunrise can be
sunset and sunset can be sunrise

the lights the same
the fatigues the same

Whether it’s sunrise or sunset
we’re on automatic
cranking out the croissant

Rolling out the pie dough
knotting up the bread dough
and shaping the marzipan

Circumference

Expanding circumferences abound
pandemic bellies world around

Baking bread loaves perfectly round
with mounds of butter
to wash it down

Circle back around
bound for seconds
even thirds

No wonder rounder bodies abound

Martini Heaven

Chilled glass
four parts gin
one part vermouth
extra olives

Ice cold and breezy
smooth and piney
notes of evergreen

And the olives
salty effervescence

It’s heaven

~~~

Chanah Wizenberg received her BA from Hunter College in English and Creative Writing. Her poetry has appeared in several magazines and anthologies. Chanah has been a professional ballerina, a pastry chef, and an English teacher. She resides in Raleigh, North Carolina with her dog, Asha, and her cat, Marmalade. This is Chanah’s first feature on The Short of It.

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Tremaine L. Loadholt

Pressure  

she sits on the sea’s floor
shaped by the world
above it–changed forever.
the workers of ancient
tongues sift through
her words, chanting
their dismissals.
the pressure from centuries
ago labels her again
and again.
is this the chosen path
home or not?

The Brave Girl Knoweth Not  

enchanting winds sway
over the clandestine clouds
she speaks of hard times
the chosen few laugh
behind her back, valleys shift
to the hills of life
brave girl knoweth not
of love or impending storms
she prepares for pain

Good Dog  

good dog sleeps alone
savors the sunlight of morn
drifting into dreams
human loves her more each day
Mother Nature gifts them peace

Winter Knocks But Isn’t Allowed Entry

Temperatures tank throughout
the day, mimicking winter blues.
We shuffle along in life, wrapping
our bodies in extra clothing.
We are layered for bitter chill,
the calm of every storm spits
in our direction–we war
our way through the hell of it.
A long walk lends frostbite to
the limbs–we shake ourselves
into warmth–turn the thermostat
up, shoot fire into the bones.
Winter knocks. It is premature.
We howl at its presence–fangs
sharp enough to slice through
hardened flesh.
We are not ready. We are not ready.

Forgotten Words

We aren’t the warriors
of the past. We have
different methods–different ways,
but we still work words
the way the ancestors intended.
What we say can
be misconstrued, but what we
mean, never is.

~~~

A North Carolina writer, Tremaine L. Loadholt has been published in literary journals, anthologies, and magazines, and published three poetry books: Pinwheels and Hula Hoops, Dusting for Fingerprints, and A New Kind of Down. Her artistic expressions are at A Cornered Gurl and Medium. This is Tremaine’s first feature on The Short of It.

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Charles Randolph

In the Old Days

When the sun begins to go down
And the smell of dusk appears
Along with the crickets and mosquitos
And the loudness of summer
The warmth of yesteryears come alive
And past scenes spring out into the forefront of my mind
Remembering cool, tall glasses of Momma’s lavender lemonade
And feeling giddy as my mouth is awash with flavor
I reminisce on the ache of youth awaiting a transition to adulthood
And my soul is back home
I find myself wishing for those playful, uninhibited days
And then I hear Dad yell
“I need help with your mother, Son!”

A Walk in the Park

Rosie, my cheerful companion, tethered to me willingly
She barks with joy at leaves flutter up into the wind
Rustled alive with each step taken

We’re alone in the park today, odd but welcome
No other yapping to be heard or big dogs’ trajectory to avoid
I release her and watch her run free with abandon

I wonder if Rosie is sad to have missed her friends
Is she happy it’s just us or does she even care at all
Who knows what goes through a dog’s head

Her business done, chased balls caught and returned
She pants hard, taking more and more breaks
It’s time to return home

Please Don’t Forget

The mail is on the table
Take it with you, eh
Give Robert my regards
Pick up my prescription, would you
And while you’re out, go to the Metro, please
Would you get me some strawberries
And grab today’s newspaper
And maybe something for tomorrow’s dinner

Please, don’t look at me like that
I’m sorry I’m in a wheelchair too

~~~

Charles Randolph, retired and a sometime poet, lives in Canada. He has a parrot and a cockatiel for companionship. This is Charles’ first feature on The Short of It.

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To The Rescue!

The cruel boys began to spin the helpless, upside-down turtle amidst the growing crowd of bystanders, several gasping with disgust. The inhumanity displayed had breached their threshold for decency.

Fortunately, a superhero in the crowd clad in vinyl from his neck down to his toes stepped in to save the little guy.

“STOP! No more of this! How dare you fiddle with a vulnerable creature in such a monstrous fashion? Look! You’ve damaged the shell design!” 

“Gee, Testudines Man, we’re sorry. Honest.”

The turtle made a squeaky noise as the superhero held him hidden in the folds of his cape.

Chow Time

Heading back from the trails, Jed’s horse Lacy responded to the tick of his tongue. She eagerly charged towards the gate. It was sunset, and the promise of carrots from the fairy known as Kate awaited her. Lacy’s hooves slowed to a trot on the stone path; she’d reached her stall. Jed knew he’d pushed her to her limit today. It was time to finish the outing; her pounding heartbeat told him as much.

Kate pulled the string on the bundle, and the carrots began to spill into the trough. She swore she could see Lacy grin as she approached. 

Joan McNerney

Dusk

Evening is coming…
the dawn of nighttime.

Summer Solstice

Tonight is fragrant with 
sweet blooming jasmine.

Skyward

Galaxies of bugs
orbiting around
fragrant pine trees.

Shut Eye

Black and white kitten
lying under clothesline in
soft circles of sleep.

Advice

Try to catch the wind.
Count the ripples in the sea.
Become a child again.

~~~

Joan McNerney’s poetry is found in many literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Poet Warriors, Blueline, and Halcyon Days. She has four Best of the Net nominations.  Her latest title, Love Poems for Michael, is available on Amazon.com and Cyberwit.net. McNerney was featured on The Short of It in 2020 and her work was published in the anthology – The Sound of Brilliance.

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Curiosity

Dimhou – Pixabay

Inspired by Sadje’s What do you see #115

are you friend, foe or toy
slowly, shyly i creep in your direction
tentatively i reach for you
sniff you
playfully bat at you
your tall body springs to and fro
i flinch backwards
and run to momma
she rolls over
nourishes and quiets me
i’ll be back tomorrow

A Grizzly Adventure

The bear eyed our host while I scribbled to the digital gods on my iPad – HELP US! With bated breath, I hit send. Please let the detailed message get through to the police. 

The furry beast cast a tall shadow over the camp; our nerves, taut with fear, felt like they would snap at any moment. I quietly wished the bear would decide to crave something other than us campers today. 

Right then, I saw a red light on the bear’s coat—he was in the mountie’s crosshairs! With a relieved gaze in his direction, I uttered, “We are safe!”