• Stories, poems, haikus or lyrics added daily by one of our seven writers in 99 words or less!

Thursday, 31 December 2009

New Paint

The houses in this neighbourhood are pale and their paint is perfect and smooth. The sidewalks are not cracked yet.
I sit on a wooden bench under a recently planted tree.
In twenty years this place will look like the place I grew up, worn and broken and rusty.
New paint only lasts so long.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

The Next New Beginning.

One day, this day I am nothing. All my problems and mistakes have led me here. But tomorrow I am new again. When the clock strikes twelve no one will remember and I will forget. Like a drug this day, of all days, erases the past and allows new beginnings where other days bring only monotomy. And so it comes. And it goes. And it turns out the day is just as monotonous as the one after and before. Until the next new beginning.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

How can you still believe?

Every year, a radical change. A second after midnight. I get tired of changing so much. And always for the better. Oh, stop it, New Year, I am exhausted by the luck you bring...

Monday, 28 December 2009

A New Beginning

11:59 One minute to go. A new year, a new beginning. All my flaws will be erased. I will be a better person. Not even at a party this year, not drinking. Ten. Its one of my resolutions you see. Nine. Eight. Seven. A fresh start. Six. Five. Four. A new beginning. Three. Two. One. The inmates cheer and laugh and smile. Come on! Everyone deserves a fresh start. Happy new year!

Saturday, 26 December 2009

A reminder

Count your blessings. Don't be lazy, but don't be desperate either. Pay attention to the gifts around even the loneliest or toughest places of your existence. Believe. Trust. Sit in the moment with your latte, your pen, and your dream. Breathe in. Take stock of the good, the light, the best in you and others. Don't give up. Don't settle. Pay attention and wait for the unveiling. And never forget to do what you love.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

I went for a walk one day - down my street, like I always do, but instead of turning left, I went right.
It's amazing how one small decision can impact your life.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

The Little Christmas Present

I saw him. You probably don't believe me but I did. He smelt like mince pies and Christmas decorations and there was glitter in his beard. He told me I'd been good but there was a recession on so I only got a small present. I told my mummy that was why. She cried. I think they were tears of joy. I should have taken a photo of him. She would have cried even more if I had, I think. But I forgot. I'll get one next year.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

First Christmas without her

She was 93, last Christmas. She was 12 when she went to my house to work for my Great-grandfather. And there she stayed. It seemed like it would be that way forever. Every Christmas of my life was spent in her company. After a journey of hard work, she decided it was time to rest. This year, it feels strange. I miss walking her back home, just down the road, after midnight. Amazing, the stars were always shining during those five minutes.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Holidays are coming.

The air crackles. The ground shakes. The water shivers in anticipation. The crowd look on. The unmistakable trucks are coming and there’s nothing they can do about. For it is the season.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Spit it out

This isn’t the matrix
But I swallowed a pill.
I walked up the long dark hill.
A chill, damp sadness entered in,
a white knuckled grip of sorrow with black eyes, dead to light.
And tonight?
I don’t have the energy to put up a fight.

But there's something here at the top.
A Giant, waiting, holding onto a tea-light lantern
in oversized hands, dangling on his pinky finger, barely holding on.
It catches my eye.

Sadness is hard to swallow
but easy to maintain.
It seeps into your veins.
If you’re not careful it will define.

Thursday, 17 December 2009


Long ago, Destiny was responsible for all life’s joy, pain, and sorrow. Everything that happened in our lives was decided by Her, and She took care to ensure that our lives were worth living.
When you were born, Destiny consulted the stars and plotted a path for you. The first steps you would take, whom you would love, and even when you would die was decided by Her before you opened your eyes for the very first time.
Nature’s course ran perpetually, making Her people believe that they were creating their own fate.
But She was always watching.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Life is Cold

Life is cold,
Ice creeps round my ribcage
Like frozen ivy.

Life is cold,
My throat is dry and lined with broken glass
Swallowing is suicide.

Life is cold,
Brittle fingers dreaming of warmth,
the caress of another's touch.

Life is cold,
Wear a jumper.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

These love songs

I’ve said that forbidden word,
Insulted this modern world.

Punish me cruelly
And never set me free.

These foolish love songs
You didn’t want me to listen to...
Voices of caramel,
Breaking the spell,
Reminding me I’m lonely.

I’ve yielded to the pressure,
A cardiac drum that begged


A drug that will kill me,
Only death can cure me.


These foolish love songs
You told not to listen to.
Voices of caramel,
Breaking the spell,
Reminding you you’re lonely too.

Monday, 14 December 2009

1941 Like Meat to the Slaughter.

Their eyes met through a crowded room. It was love at first sight. Even though they knew that their time was short and that their captures were going to kill them, because they were ‘different’ they didn’t care, they had each other.

As a man walks through the crowded room, with an evil look on his face, the couple knew they had no choice but to beg for their lives. Tentatively they approach, past the other captives, before finally mustering up the courage to say what they wanted to say. Mooooooooooooooo. But alas, the cows were killed. Enjoy your burger.

Saturday, 12 December 2009


Daddy asked me “why are you crying?”
and I said “I broke the vase.
The flowers have fallen,
they’re spread all over,
the water’s flowing away…”
Daddy asked me “why are you crying?”
as he gathered the flowers again.
We watched the water wind away
forming patterns and pathways.
Daddy asked me “why are you crying?”
I said “I broke the vase.”
He said I set the flowers free
then he gave them all to me.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Midnight Train

One night I boarded that midnight train to anywhere that Journey sang about. It was empty and lonely and cold. It didn't reek of promise and I didn't feel inspired. I could see my own reflection in the window. We rode through the dark countryside with no real destination, just the train and I.

I may be lost, but I won't stop believing.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Knock, knock.

I heard a joke today,
It made me laugh.
And then I stopped.

Before the lines around my eyes creased too much.

I thought of you.
I'll keep it in my head,
Until I see you again.

I'll try not to grow old,
So we can both laugh together,
And your eyes can age with mine.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Me and Carlos do Carmo

Early morning. Lisbon awaking from a warm summer night. Old wrinkled women sweep the small steps to their doors. Our feet skate down narrow roads that smell of sardines and fado. The tram carries childish-looking tourists towards St. George’s Castle. We’re going down. To meet the nymphs that once made ships sink and men dream. They sell chestnuts, nowadays. But keep the chance of looking into the river’s eyes, once in a while. The giant Tagus – “Tejo”, as we say – always disguised as an ocean. It’s OK. We’re disguised as poets.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Just Think a Little

When I was young my parents thought I could read minds, so did my psychiatrist, so did my pets and so did all my teachers. I wish they told me, then I wouldn’t have become an accountant, even though I know what everyone thinks of accountants.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

At Bosham Quay

Jump up on a rock and fall down - fall slowly.
Float at the dawn with sails up, billowing.
Laughter unites and tears roll.
Jump up on a rock and fall down - fall slowly.
Ask me a question and let go of fear.
They were right when they said:
"This is the year."
Look up. Take destiny in your hands
Light up the sky.
Jump up on a rock and fall...
The unexpected is written on your tongue.
Wake up as you free-fall.
Feel the wind. Let go of fear.
They were right:
"This is the year."

Friday, 4 December 2009

The Stress Ball

Out with the anger
Out with the stress
Your soft foamy flesh
Soothes me
Without you I would not work
Endless amusement as i throw you
Back and forth against the wall

Then the dog got you
Squeezed you with jagged teeth
Your skin cracked
Your foam torn
To squeeze you now
Just seems cruel

Thursday, 3 December 2009


Wednesdays are like stepping out of a warm shower.
That instant of first feeling icy tiles beneath bare feet. The shock of air that drags me from comfortable to cold in a split second. All I want is turn the hot water back on and bask in the heat for a little while longer. Shut myself in my own oblivious bubble for just a few more minutes.
I'm always doing fine until I step out of the shower. Step out of my comfort zone and onto the unforgiving, brutal reality of a cold bathroom floor.
Wednesday is the day you left.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Blissful Ignorance

"Another crappy job. Pretending I care and letting people talk to me like I'm 16 and a moron. There are some nice people. They nod. Wide eyed, pitiful.You tell them you won't always work here. But someone's gotta pay the bills. I think I like them even less. I wish I could travel into the future to make sure I'm not still it this cul-de-sac of a job in ten years time. Then if I was, at least I could just get on with it and save myself the embarrassment.

On second thoughts.. Ignorance is bliss.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Lexicon Acid

Bitter taste, this one
That corrodes my mouth.
I can hardly open it.

I have punished my head,
Shaving it as a penitence
For not having managed
To keep my mouth closed.

I have swallowed my words' gall,
Felt it in my stomach, dissolving,
Turning it into a deposit
Of sulphuric acid.

I rolled and rolled in my bed,
Trying to let it all out.
Too late.
The regretting poison
Had already spread
Over my whole body.

Monday, 30 November 2009

An Apology for the Monsters

Dear Japan

I was sorry to hear about the string of attacks by over sized monsters and beasts during the twentieth century. I know it’s of no real consolation as we, the rest of the world, have never been effected by these ‘horrific events’ never the less, you have our deepest sympathy and we’ll be praying for a happy twenty-first century.

With kindest regards

The Rest of the World.

P.S Sorry again about Hiroshima

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Michaela's letter...

“You know, some people think lighthouses are to keep people from the shore. To guide them past, to other places, with their light. But I know that’s not true. I know the lighthouses are trying to draw people in. They’re lonely, you see. The lonely lighthouses. Nobody seems to notice but me. And that is one of the reasons why I’m different.”

Friday, 27 November 2009

The Dream Maker

That black and shiny box, so full of promise.Dream and adventure, limitless possibilities.
You can be a hero, master of your art.
Power you never knew.
Bring death, destruction and glory,
Or skill they've never seen before.
Escape to new worlds. No complications.
The power is all in your hands.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

The Heart

I held my heart in my hands. I watched the blood cake beneath my fingernails and meander in trails down my forearms. The valves tightened and pulsed with every beat. It flaked away like crimson sand. I let it run carelessly between my fingers.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Absolutely Mulled

Deep red in a cup. The cold air pushing steam into my nostrils. Vinegar and Cinnamon. Music of long forgotten musicians preach to me about how 'there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas.' A fact I'm sure they'll be eternally grateful for. I sit there in November annoyed at myself for indulging them with my presence. Cynical but merry. Secretly revelling in the cool warmth of the atmosphere.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009


I was born taller than the others. Since I was young, I always felt more important. But I was always alone. As if to show I didn’t care, I laughed at eu, je and ich, all the time, when they came around. Then, one day, I went abroad and realised I was not that relevant. So I sat in the corner and I cried “Ooooo”. So big fat O came and said I should be humbler. I blushed and became i. But that was just for a second. Then, I got up and said “O,U...”

Monday, 23 November 2009

The Triumphant Three Tense.

I was beaten to the floor. As I get to my knees I catch my breath. And when I finally reach my feet, I will stand triumphant.

Saturday, 21 November 2009


An arrow
cuts through the mess
and blood trickles out.
I am alive
and gasping,
pulse racing
as my feet move over the
cobbles without fear.
There's no chance we're getting out of here
without tearing off skin.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Final Thought

They are everywhere.
We don't know how they spread so fast. So many!
But here we stand, our final moments.
They scream so wickedly.
Sharks that smell blood, It will not be long.
Was this intended?
No other fate matters now.
We hear them.
See their shadows flicker and dance.
Evil man cannot invent.
Cruelty that smiles.
That mocks.
The door will not hold long.
They are everywhere.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

The Job

Is this what I want?
Turn the pages of my resume over in my hand.
Pace the hall in uncomfortable shoes.
Click click click click.
Look at unfamiliar surroundings.
I don't belong here.
I don’t belong in these clothes.
This office.
Is this what I want?
Not at all.
I am a writer.
I am not a member of the rat race.
Apologize: sorry, this is not for me.
Turn around and leave.
Click click click click.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Poem for the Sole

Speak in words that no-one else understands,
Show me the lines on your hand,
Meet me in the place where we only know,
And sit with me in silence.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009


Only in your arms

Could the ball believe

To be the size of the world.

Only in your eyes

Could we see the world

As an untouched garden.

Let us water your garden,

Let us feed on the perfume

You left for us.

A fragile majority

Wishes to preserve your name

As petals in books.

(for Robert Enke, 1977-2009)

Friday, 13 November 2009

He'll walk down to the quiet spot at the end of the platform, where no one else ever ventures. He'll kneel on the floor. Breathing it in. The steam, that rich green frame, the noise as she breathes, eager to be let loose, to reign in the open countryside. Here, he becomes free, the world can't catch him. The loan repayments, his blood pressure, tomorrow’s 8am start, the forgotten birthdays, the day she left. All the pains and problems of his life can only wait at the station door. They daren't approach him when he's near her.

Thursday, 12 November 2009


The library was filled to the rafters with shelves lined with books – original publishings, autographed copies, and novels that had long been forgotten by the public.
He settled in the armchair in front of the fireplace, placing a warm mug of tea on the table. The rug beneath him tickled his feet as he opened the chosen tome.
Where had he left off?
Oh yes, right... here.
His experienced eyes ran eagerly over the softly aged pages.
The world around him evaporated like the steam from his tea.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Your Hand

“I remember holding your hand, smooth with the cold. It was small and bony. It didn't feel like yours anymore. We walked along the beach talking about the past and pretending there was a future. Somewhere along the way, your hand pretending to be someone else's, abandoned it. It didn't matter because I still had you there. We searched until you were too tired. Until I had decided I had wasted enough time looking for something.. something that only matters to me now that I have forgotten what your hand used to feel like.”

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

A Dog

I wish I were a dog. No pedigree. No fancy collar. Just a dog, digging holes, wagging the tail as a smile unfurled.

I would bark. That means no words, which means no lies.

I would run through the fields, regardless of clothes or manners. All I wanted was a family. And open space.

I wish I were a dog, instead of a man. That way, I could be much prouder of my species.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Moving on.

A man was too scared to travel over water.
Eventually he built a bridge and got over it.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Remembrance Day

The ground below my feet is red
not red from blood
but flurries of poppies
descended from above

Each poppy a soul
a person with a name
I do not know
we've never met before

One on my shoulder
two on my head
gently resting and beckoning
making me aware of lives frailty

Many questions come to mind
who are you
where did you come from
what happened to you

Perhaps we've met before
or shall we meet
my feet won't move
they're surrounded

Winds blow briskly
poppies flutter into the air
gathering speed
and they are gone until another year.
until another year

Friday, 6 November 2009


Alone again, left again. To the big comfy spot then. That thing they've left on makes noise. I prefer the quiet. To sleep, a long and...what was that? There?! Again, more?! And louder still! To the door, its shut. Attack! Scratch it, harder, those noises what are they? To the window, I saw one! And another, they're everywhere! So great and bright and terrifying, that loud boom so powerful! Will those things come for me? Quick, behind the chair, breathing heavy, so thirsty, but the water bowl - too risky! I hope they come back soon.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Bonfire Night

The air is acrid. Sky on fire. Boom. Fireworks burst and we "ooh" and "aah" as if we have never seen such a display before.

A child carrying a guy. Lifeless. Legs dangling over his shoulders. Red embers rain towards the ground. Fizzle. The boy's face lights up. He has never seen such a display before.

His parents come. Scolding. Why did you go so far away? His mother takes the boy's little hand. The finale. Whistle. Pop. Sizzle. Dad is unsteady. One too many. Car doors slam. They will never see such a display again.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009


In a box made of tin that smells chocolatey I sit. Sit for an eternity. Waiting to be shook about. The cool night sky. I stand looking up at the world of stars before me. I can't wait to meet them all. A white light. My life flashes before me. Silence. I scream. Total euphoria as I rise above it all. The stars are too far to touch as I reach out my fingertips. Bang. And there I am a million pieces. Debris of a short but contented life. The crowd gasp in awe.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009


Boom. The sudden sound. A dream. Gunpowder’s power, more beautiful than anything. A guy? Well, not just a guy. A sorcerer. Turning light into one gorgeous end. Boom. All over. “The world would be wonderful, they say”. A night to remember. To make “The Queen is dead” more than just a record by The Smiths. The Queen, the King, never mind… All that matters is… Boom. Scary? Nah… Beautiful! Imagine fireworks instead of nuclear bombs. Climbing up to Heaven rather than dropping from Enola Gay. Remarkably drawn pictures of the future. And then… Boom. That was all, Fawkes.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Remember, remember.

I am Guy Fawkes
And I tried to kill the king
Close but no cigar

You all know my name
And commemorate my death
I am Guy Fawkes

It just goes to show
Celebrity is timeless
You all know my name

You all know my name
And you’ll all be forgotten
Close but no cigar.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Settling Down

Pine and spruce
green and lush
sweltering in sunshine
growing by moonlight

Weather is strange
should be cold
with winds and storms
rains and floods

Garden still growing
no sign of decay
the fence needs some painting
the gate an adjusting

Soon it is time
to use the wand
to signal the garden
"Just let is be"

Allow Mother Nature
to work magic powers
on cold winter months
invite chill winds
to cover the ground

Prepare the soil
feed the birds
wait for spring
it soon will come.

Friday, 30 October 2009

The Creeper

The Creeper comes when all is calm,
When all around is still.
When no-ones there to raise alarm,
There comes a deadly chill.

He walks a path of moonlight.
He knows just where you are.
With silent step and hooded face
He sets off from afar

You'll never see him coming.
No warning signs or clue.
You'll sleep an easy slumber,
The night he comes for you.

And maybe then you'll sense him,
Like a scraping down your spine.
But keep eyes closed, it's hopeless now,
He's decided its your time.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Halloween Haikus

Halloween happens
once a year. Pretend to be
someone else awhile.

Blood drips from her fangs
Pale, sickly, bold veins, red eyes.
She doesn't need makeup.

So sick of candy!
Stomach aches, head hurts, throat dry...
Maybe just one more.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Pink Candlelight

On this hallowed eve,
There's no time to grieve,
For those who may encroach,
Upon this house,
A dismembered house,
A house of stern reproach.

The house that sleeps all through the year,
Awakens to curse in creaks
To sit and watch for those who dare,
To seek a trick or treat.

The pumpkins in the window,
Coax in these fearless souls,
But look a little closer still,
And there's brains behind those holes.

The stitch is rich with human blood,
Where scooped an awful sight,
The pulp and seeds and pumpkin pith
Seeps out pink candlelight.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Unfinished bombs

We are Autumn’s children,
Carrying fallen branches on our shoulders.
Wherever we walk,
Leaves fall, inanimate, to the ground.

We are unfinished bombs,
Projectiles that do not kill,
They assist the killer.

We walk around, seeing
Splinters reborn men,
Feeding themselves on madness,
Denying their wasteful past.

Our eyes spread the wind,
A suspicious breeze blowing.
We do not murder. No… No…
We assist the murderer.

We are Autumn’s children,
Announcing the arrival of rain,
The sharp edge of ice,
But we do not murder. No… No…
That’s not up to us.
Winter takes care of it.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Rick or Treat?

The 31st of October provided a fresh start for Rick.

Who decided to play the most devious trick.

Wearing his red jacket, he dressed like Michael Jackson’s thriller.

And by dismemberment of the third child, Rick had become a serial killer.