I named my dogs Verlaine and Rimbaud, both mutts who liked getting into other people’s garbage.
They weren’t well-mannered or well-kempt, but friendly in a panhandler sort of way, inseparable in their shakedowns. Yet those probing eyes… They were enough to turn even the most calloused soul into a poet.
Jim Doss lives with his wife and three children in Sykesville, Maryland, and earns his living as a software engineer. He has previously published two books of poems: Learning to Talk Again, and What Remains. In partnership with Werner Schmitt, he also published a book of German translations entitled The Last Gold of Expired Stars: The Complete Poems of Georg Trakl 1908 – 1914. In his spare time, he is an editor for the Loch Raven Review.
He’d become predictable, springing through the patio doors unto the deck, BB gun ablaze whenever any squirrel touched a bird feeder. So this time they waited, massing along the edge of the roof overhanging the deck. When he sprang, hundreds of squirrels pounced, joined even (how ironic!) by the birds.
Tony Jasnowski teaches English at Bellevue University and tries to keep peace between all factions in his backyard and himself.
“One barn cat’s enough,” Ma answered. “More, they’ll steal the chicks.”
Pa fetched an old grain sack.
At the pond, he paused a moment, still as stone, before turning away. Seeing I’d followed, he squatted, blocking my view, big hands wiping my cheeks.
Then he stood. “Best milk those cows.”
Jennifer L Freed writes mostly poetry, and sometimes micro-fiction. This story previously appeared in The Binnacle’s ultra-short edition, Fall, 2016. If you’d like to know more, please visit jfreed.weebly.com
By the canal, she watches the drake’s savage courtship of his chosen mate, beak gripping the struggling duck’s neck.
Incensed, the woman tries and fails to loosen the male’s stranglehold.
“Bully!” she says.
“You can’t change nature, darling. Coming?”
She feels his strong hand caress her nape, and pull gently.
Viv Burgess is a bit jaded post-Christmas. Too many mince pies and not enough writing.
Flashing silver, the fish wiggled on Dad’s line, rippling with life. So beautiful. “Hurry, Emma,” Dad said. “The net.”
Luckily, Emma had snipped tiny cuts in the new net’s fibers last night. She hid her smile as the fish slipped through.
“What the…” Dad’s shoulders sagged. “There goes another one!”
Joanne R. Fritz lives in West Chester, PA and writes poetry and fiction for children and adults. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in various magazines. She blogs at My Brain on Books
The Bear grinned.
He was big, bad, and made the rules in his side of the forest. Nobody dared dissent.
The Eagle dominated the other side, but did so differently, regularly letting other animals decide who they wanted to rule.
The Bear chuckled. This year they were nominating a goose.
From the North West of England, Jon works in local government, with a background in Newspaper Journalism. He is currently enjoying experimenting with short forms of writing, likes to think he can do so creatively, and quite often has to delete everything he has written and start again.
I see him. He’s large. Grey. Fat. His angry growls ripple slowly up his hairy neck, his ugly eyes glaring evilly at me.
But I’m not leaving here without a fight.
My sharp claws pierce the ground. I bare my teeth at him. Ginger fur rises above me.
Issy Heath is a 13-year-old pupil at Longhill High School in Brighton, UK.
Dozens of rabbits frolicked about in our back yard, blissfully unaware of threat in the lush green grasses.
But soon came a predator, a fox, lean and hungry, and one by one the rabbits vanished.
Yesterday the fox lay in the road, killed by a predator in a passing car.
Catherine Mathews, a retiree of the Foreign Service, spent time in Paris, Rome, Tel Aviv, Athens, Frankfurt, and Istanbul. She has published a memoir and enjoys writing short fiction.
I didn’t swerve to crush the squirrel in the road.
I didn’t round the block and try again.
I remember vividly: the squirrel, lying on his back in the middle of the road, legs flailing, writhing in pain.
I should have killed him. I left him suffering and cannot forget.
Harry Demarest has retired after careers encompassing scientific research, teaching, Computers, the internet, and politics. He is now writing and spending time with his grandchildren. He has published a dozen fifty word stories, and a couple of longer ones.
Flapping ducks carried
by their feet
in nets, rope burns
on protruding legs
Only we pale Westerners
gasp; to the bustling
crowds, the animals are simply
fresh as the lush scallions,
circling in barrels, chosen
by pointing shoppers
the way we
Jennifer L. Freed lived in China for one year as a college English teacher. She writes mostly poetry and, sometimes, very short stories. To read more of her work, please visit her website, jfreed.weebly.com.