Iron Poet Challenge #35


Iron Poet Challenge #35
Poetic Form:  Haiku
Theme/Prompt: Anticipation

A traditional Japanese haiku is a three-line poem with seventeen syllables, written in a 5/7/5 syllable count. Often focusing on images from nature, haiku emphasizes simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression.

Writers: Nerisha Kemraj, Michael Cottle, Wes Choc, Maureen Larter, Mamie Willoughby Pound, M. Henderson


Nerisha Kemraj

Dusky sun glowing,

Mountains await chilly night

Fire burning bright


Michael Cottle

I await for you
In the early pouring rain
Sunshine never came


Wes Choc
Eyes cannot fathom

What a broken heart finds missed

Unless there are tears.


Maureen Larter

Sitting and waiting

Air clear, fire warm, clouds forming

Moon lighting my way


M. Henderson

cold night–warm hands wait
where the borderline divides
the elements’ edge.


Mamie Willoughby Pound

drowsing daffodils
grass-green lizard pink with love
dandelion suns




The Iron Poet Challenge #33

The Iron Poet Challenge #33

Poetic Form: Free Verse

Theme/Prompt: Fear of Missing Out/Fear of Regret

                            (either or both fears– stated or implied)


Ode to Tommy Tucker

Sean Bracken

Tommy Tucker traipsing
Through thoroughfares thronging
Thrusting thriving thieving

Listless loiterers lingering
Leering, longing, lusting
Letching lurking langered

Sirens soliciting seduction
Storyville  suggestive
Salacious sensual sensation

Promising promiscuous persuasion
Personal procurement providing
Pleasure pain perversion

Tommy Tucker trembling
Thinking terror tumbling
Troubling thoughts tormenting

Fearing finding failure
Fearing faking feelings
Fulfilling final fantasy


Nerisha Kemraj

Turning back the hands of time,
Would things work out some other way had I chose different?
Trying to step in a new direction to make things work but thoughts bring forth hindrance.

Should I stay or should I go?
Lest I should lose it all,
I’m caught between the two.
On either side mountains loom,
A raging river in between

Music in the distance,
An air of melancholy,
Adding to my blues,
The horn blows,
And a clock rings in a new hour

The road forks out,
Waiting to be tread on,
Stuck where I am,
My decision holds me back,
My fear of the unknown.

Escaping Time

Michael Cottle


Flows into itself with the passing of things


Escapes us as we slip in the midst of things


Paths that we could or should have taken

Our Road

Stretches on to leave behind the forsaken


Not for the lack of the branch we are on

But Sadness

Simply for the opportunities that are gone


la douleur exquise

    Violet Teagan

honeyed blues
stretched beneath the sky

and diamond lit

makes wish upon a star

the shadows-maker
half-hidden in the dark

with cresting, lotic waves

but even in her blackest depths,
he mirrors other fire

every night a war,
a Pyrrhic victory

the salt-mouthed gulf,
it swallows him

he pulls her to the sea


Josh Flores

Artificial clouds swirl around:

Thickening the air,

Obstructing vision,

Obliterating musky scents.

The round shrine

Acts as an alter

To the bronze-skinned

Soul-eating Goddess.

A bottle of spirits,

A glass of tallowed flame,

A dish of smoldering ashes.

Missing a willing sacrifice.

Drumbeat matches

The cadence of my chest.

The horns draw out my

Deep dark desire.

The piano keys whisper, beckon.

The singer’s sensuous voice

Licks my ear, sending chills

To my groin.

Brown jades set in pearl

Find me looking.

Legs tremble. Don’t move

Don’t fall. Don’t go!

Feet propel forward.

Time does not pause.

Standing to be judged or

Worse yet, be dismissed.

Her full red lips

Acknowledge my want

With a slight smile.

Turn!  Run! But I can’t.

Though the promise

Of her touch and the night

Will curse me forever,

I am tonight’s victim.


 Shine Over Storyville

Matt Henderson

Oh, Storyville moonshine
that great blind orb shines on you
cool level even
and deadly indifferent
It just shines
all the way, all the way,
all the way down
It ain’t taking nobody’s name
and no one is giving out real names

It is just shining light
as far as it can reach
all the way
down to the deep and the dark
and the into the dirty
casting shadows on faces
who know shadows
and alleys, and ten cent cribs or better
if you’re rolling high
these faces know shadows
better than they know the light of day

This is where people make deals
or play games with the night
heat rising on the dark streets
Summertime jazz or a doorway
lit up all red and full of hum and buzz
calling card for a little queen of spades
hearts hard like diamonds
Everybody wants something and nobody wants to miss it
My favorite little red rider broke me down hard
when she wouldn’t let me take her away and
she knew I couldn’t hide my heart in the Storyville shine.



Iron Poet #27

Iron Poet #27

Style / Meter: Haiku
Theme / Keyword: Bleak


~ Matt Henderson

I watched a crow land
to dot my mind’s cold canvas
gray tree; grayer sky

~ D Lee Cox

Sun over brown hills
bleak winter paints mountains gray
spring dreams deeply still

~ Johnna Murphy

Ice upon the roads
a bleak and frigid morning
winter driving sucks

~ Nerisha Kemraj

Air bleak with sorrow
Raindrops fill every corner
The land is barren

Homeless ~ Sean Bracken

Sleeping on the street
Living week to week
Future looking bleak