Fiction, Poetry and Havering

Gammelor Goodenow

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Her pale skin mottled with bruises,

inchoate shape like rising mist

tattered by each freshening breeze,

she wondered where she’d left her shell.


Gammelor Goodenow


Friday, April 25th, 2014

For today’s prompt, write a “last straw” poem.



The Last Straw


“I quit!”

I spun away from tiny sink

corner of back room,

hand dripping water,

hand dripping blood,

grabbed my purse and stomped—

blood drops, apron and anger—

out through the deli

to joblessness.


I should have quit the day before,

but there was rent to pay and food to buy,

so I stayed past the obvious time.


Power cord to meat slicer

came out of its receptacle,

220-volt power outlet.

Grab the plug,

push it in








and my involuntary scream.


I didn’t feel the pain at first.

The back of my hand turned black.

No plug in my hand, no plug anywhere,

evaporated from the end of its cord.


When the pain slammed me

I wanted ice. I had none.

A customer walked in:

I sent her next door—

She returned with bar ice

carried in clean rag

to wrap my hand.

Mercy I’ll never forget.


I called my boss

at the number he gave me

all afternoon,

letting it ring once

as forcefully instructed,

then hanging up.

After hours of no reply,

I dialed and let it ring on.

An elderly woman answered,

voice frightened.

I’d been harassing her

in my innocence.

Using a phone book,

I found digits reversed,

dialed the right number

and hung up.


I wish it ended there.

I wish I walked out,

never answered his call,

left the place open to pillagers.


He called. He came.

He blamed me for

outlet faulty before I started,

cord stretched too far for years,

having to call in electrician.

He gave no thanks for

food moved from freezer to freezer,

from cold case to cold case

(all one-handed)

to save his precious merchandise;

nor even for staying despite my burns.

Didn’t even offer a ride

or medical assistance.


And I went back to work next day.

That is where my blame lies.


Lunchtime rush,

right hand bandaged,

making sandwiches.

Yank down plastic wrap,

hand hits cutter strip,

slices neatly as Saran

across the back.

Wrap hand in apron,

sandwich in plastic,

then hurry to back room

where he sits, eating.


As I start to wash, he says,

“You’re the clumsiest person I ever met.”


Then I quit.


Gammelor Goodenow


Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Today is a Tuesday, and you know what that means: Two for Tuesday Prompts! Write one, write the other, and/or write both!

  • Write an optimistic poem. The glass is half full.
  • Write a pessimistic poem. The glass is half empty.




He worries that the roof will leak

with every rain, and it will rain

every night from dusk to dawn.

I say we can patch the roof

and turn it into flower garden.


For every day the sun will shine

on soil well-watered overnight;

tall, orange canna will glow like flame

above a billow of spiderwort,

chartreuse leaves and cobalt blooms.


Gammelor Goodenow


Monday, April 21st, 2014

For today’s prompt, write a “back to basics” poem.


Down to Basics


Techniquarks and technicolor—

does it get more basic still?

Every proof brings new discovery,

particles break to smaller parts,

mass eventually yields to energy,

energy on energy turns to mass.


Water enough and food to eat,

someplace to sleep and not get rolled,

clothes or rags to keep from freezing—

does it get more basic still?

The jagged space of each inhale,

the beating of your captive heart.


Gammelor Goodenow




Sunday, April 20th, 2014

For today’s prompt, write a family poem.



Though my father’s death was not a surprise,

At the end, there was still a shock.

Among his things, a photo caught our eyes,

Though my father’s death was not a surprise.

A photo of a sister we did not recognize,

Who too did not know she was one of our stock.

Though my father’s death was not a surprise,

At the end, there was still a shock.


Gammelor Goodenow

 Dedicated to the sister I never knew existed and whom I will never meet.

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

For today’s prompt, pick a color, make the color the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. 



Red and Black


Red is sex, black is death—

the best colors for a fast sports car.

That’s what you used to tell me,

when I used to wear red,

when I used to feel alive.


Gammelor Goodenow


Friday, April 18th, 2014

For today’s prompt, write a weather poem.



Odd to find snow fallen overnight—

yesterday was sweating under a fan.

Sick of the white stuff just a month back,

this morning I welcomed it. Cool and clean,

crystalline feathers on greening grass.


Gammelor Goodenow



And just for fun, a second weather one…


Cloudy With a Chance of Oobleck


I blame it all on Dr. Seuss,

my being fond of the abstruse.


Green Eggs and Ham began it all–

I’d eat none plain ’til I was tall.


Next of course was Mulberry Street–

it made me yawn at all I’d meet.


And I agree with Bartholomew’s king–

bring me weather with a zing.


Gammelor Goodenow


Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

For today’s prompt, write an elegy.



Callimachi Manes et Coi sacra Philetae,
in vestrum, quaeso, me sinite ire nemus.


Caliban Dies Alone


Deserted in old age

by those who mastered him

with torture and disdain,

he lies in his strait bed.

And remembers.


An island all his own

full of beauty and promise,

fruits bright and sweet,

shellfish and seagrass.

And a mother’s love.


Smashed up forever

by storm that brought flotsam

people with agile magic

who turned him to Other.

And ravaged his life.


I would tend to Caliban,

wipe the fever from his face,

gently take his hand in mine

to kiss the soil and calluses.

And whisper a lie—“I am Sycorax.”


Gammelor Goodenow


Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Write a love poem.



Oneiri co.i


I on side,

crooked question mark.

You behind,

echoing shape,


The inches between

bubble and sing–

our primordial universe.


Gammelor Goodenow


Monday, April 14th, 2014

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “If I Were (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem.



If I Were Three


I’d climb Mt. Katahdin

all the way up,

and when we reached top

I’d ask,

When do we start to climb?

For we hadn’t had to scrabble

on hands and knees

nor learned to use pitons and ropes.


Now my excitement is

trips to buy groceries

cookouts next door

occasional mild vacation.

My mind still eager and wild,

my body incompetent.


Gammelor Goodenow


%d bloggers like this: