Bombarded ~ prosery



Who is to say what will wear down a man?

Bringing my mother into our home? No one wanted to see her in a nursing home, so she lived with me for more than two years. It certainly wore down something. My divorce is proof of that, though, in truth, it had been a long time coming.

Once my mother did go into a nursing home it was only three months before she was gone. But that wasn’t the end of it. Even as my mother’s health was failing, my sister was fighting a losing battle with cancer. Here it is a year later, and my sister is gone.

Would all of this be enough to wear down a man? How does anyone recover from three major hits in that short of a span? I need to know. I am bombarded yet I stand.


This is my response to Prosery: Bombarded, the prompt from Merril at dVerse Poets Pub. With Prosery, the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit (here, exactly 144 words). Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. For this prompt, the line to be included is from “Planetarium,” by Adrienne Rich.

“I am bombarded yet I stand”
                                                                      – Adrienne Rich

Distant Voices

Distant Voices

A bench, at first, where solder flowed,
and wires glowed in anticipation
of the words and music that would dance
across waves that filled the air
before rasping from a tiny speaker.

A desk would follow, dials and needles
on your radio measuring signals,
those received from far places,
yours, a response to those voices
and clicks with your own.

I may have had the desire to follow,
and you did encourage me,
but my discomfort in talking to others
over the air was just as real for me
as talking to them in person.

Years later, I found myself at a desk,
talking to the camera as I vlogged.
It seemed that I was finally ready
to talk to people, even if remotely.
You would have enjoyed that.

These days, it’s blogging, and I could be
anywhere. At the kitchen table
or in a recliner with a laptop,
or on my phone as I remember you
and write a poem about your ham radio days.

This poem is my response to Poetics: In the Light of Other Days, the prompt from Laura Bloomsbury at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a poem recalling some specific thing or things from the past, or more generally about what evokes a memory or memories in you.

easing the edges: a collection of everyday miracles

Two of my poems, Linear Freedom and The Intent of Moonlight and Ethereal Synapses, are included in easing the edges: a collection of everyday miracles. Copies of this book of poetry and prose, both Kindle and paperback, can be purchased at Amazon, with the proceeds benefiting The Patrick Heath Public Library.

Many thanks to Editor D Ellis Phelps for including my poetry in this fine collection.

Ken G.



The roadside flagman nods as I pass,
tells me my wait has just begun.
I count slow turns of the tires
on the semi beside me. A thresher
going nowhere, rows of dried corn
before it, turns in a nearby field to pass
corrugated columns, steel silos
that bear witness to our parade to nowhere.

Its dust cloud approaches, stalls
over stalled traffic, then moves on.
A space appears before my car,
revealing pavement marked in red,
the only warning I receive before I move
slowly past the remains of a deer that tried
to cross this highway at the wrong time.

It could have been weaving its way
between the cars and trucks around me
in traffic that’s barely creeping.
A small car sits just off the road,
its shattered windshield witness to the scene.

A spaniel leans from a car window,
hoping for a breeze to materialize.
When we finally reach normal speed,
I glance across the median to see rubberneckers
who get to enjoy the delay I leave behind.

Medical appointments next week mean that my trip to Buffalo has to be a quick six days, with two days driving each way. As usually happens, the road has gotten my poetic juices flowing.

Cursed ~ duodora

This poem is my second response to the prompt from Lisa at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, dVerse Poetics – Halloweeny Humans, which asks us write a poem speaking to a human attribute that is particularly irritating, using a Halloween or Samhain theme. I’ve considered my first response and rewrote it to meet Lisa’s further challenge: “For extra candy corn bonus points, write the poem in the Duodora form!” My sweet tooth couldn’t resist.


Cursed, they should be
Always with their snooping
Digging in the dirt
Hurting whom they will
Never satisfied
So intent on the godforsaken truth
Those damned and dreadful souls who know no guilt

Cursed, they should be
Whose closets hold no bones
If the truth were told,
Their own lives laid bare
And lies brought to fore,
They would not be so sanctimonious
There, within the glass houses they have built


The Duodora is:
~ a quatorzain made up of 2 septets.
~ syllabic, 4/6/5/5/5/10/10 syllables per line.
~ rhymed Axxxxxb Axxxxxb
          ~ line 1 is repeated as a refrain that begins the 2nd stanza.
          ~ x is unrhymed.

Beyond His Depth ~ haibun

Beyond His Depth

Steve showed up at the dive shop in Saint Ignace early in the morning, looking for a chance to board a dive charter to one of the wrecks in the Straits of Mackinac, so they rented all of the necessary gear to him and sent him to the dock with the boat captain. When the captain asked if he could join our charter, my friends and I decided we could make it work. He had been a diver in the Navy, so he was no novice. So he said. He would buddy with one two-man dive team for the deep wreck, then join the other dive team for the shallower wrecks we would see after lunch. At least he was certified for deep diving, or the shop would never have rented the gear to him. How bad could it be?

Our first dive was to the Cedarville, a 588 foot wreck lying at 106 feet, upside-down at a 45 degree angle with the rail of the ship 25 feet from the bottom. When our new partner had trouble descending, I waited at the rail while my buddy, Pete, kicked toward the cabin just below us. It was clear that Steve was having trouble breathing when he finally joined me. I checked his tank gauge to find that he was nearly out of air. I wrapped his arm around the rail and kicked off to get Pete. Steve was having even more trouble breathing when we returned, and his eyes were large with fear. 80 feet deep, and he was out of air.

I shared my octopus (spare) regulator with Steve, and we made a slow ascent to our first decompression stop. The remaining air in his tank had expanded enough that it registered on his gauge, so he dropped my regulator, took his own into his mouth, and shot to the surface. We surfaced ten minutes later. Fortunately, Steve did not suffer from an embolism, a high risk occurrence in rapid ascents.

The second dive of the day occurred without incident, but after the dive we learned that it had been several years since Steve’s last dive. As for the first dive, the whole reason for our 10-hour trip, Pete and I chalked it up to experience.

out of cold water
warm sunlight before next dive
gulls circle the boat

This haibun is my response to Haibun Monday 10-25-21: Fear, the prompt
from Frank Tassone at dVerse ~ Poets Pub. I’ve also written about this incident here.

Image source: Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Preserve

Prelude to Silence

Prelude to Silence

In the silence of a butterfly’s wings
passing on its final flight,
I listen to a falling leaf, no quiet
as full as its rustle among its fellows
that lie in wait for a new season,
and another, prelude to the return
of the silence of butterfly wings.

This poem is in response to earthweal weekly challenge: A BIODIVERSE POETRY, where Brendan asks, “What is the sound of life that is complex, intermingling, evolving and sustaining?”