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 #28

Iron Poet #28

Style/Meter: Free verse
Theme / Keyword: Gateway, door, portal, opening – something that one must pass through to start anew.
The keyword does not have to be used, but if it is not, the theme must be recognizable.

Closing Doors ~ Wes Choc

Womb navigated
My frantic weepings heard…
Eager little arms then held.
Dings bandaged, falls repaired …I soon began to run.
But never fast enough; so no, I can’t look back.

Classrooms entered, then engaged
Knowledge grasped, then explored
Grades sorted, self-respecting soared…
And suitable diplomas thereupon awarded.
Sure, musings about might’ve-beens; but no, I won’t look back.

Partner savored and embraced, then hands entwined
A home invented among those wonders relished.
With created offspring coddled and coached
Amid albums of photos amassed …but now untouched.
Tears about what could’ve-beens; alas no, I have trouble looking back.

Nine-to-fives quashed first chances made, though kids always ate…
Teachers captured their intent …then to dreams off they went…
But what’s worse …now my partner can’t recall those good-times spent.
Descendants then wrote chapters …in languages I could not clench.
God, I can’t translate words inside their books; no, I cannot render letters back.

Travels, trips, and treks once traversed now lay forgotten…
…while younger eyes converge upon tracks never walked by me.
My own epiphanies lay solemn, frozen …hidden behind wrinkles, scars, debris…
Thinking what words thus written might have meant …but I now too far, too late.
My eyes closed, no breaths to breathe; so it’s no, I cannot turn the pages back.

~ Nerisha Kemraj

Trudging on
The door opens, my heart sinks
It is not what I expected…
No golden raindrops, no tasty treats,
No heart-shaped candy
Only plain old disappointment

Leaving all behind me
I thought this would be different.
A new start, another better chapter,
An open opportunity
It is not

I tread carefully, without stepping on nails,
I cannot avoid everything though,
And the prickly plants catch me off-guard
Eyes watching, waiting
I may fall, I will not fail…

Biased Eyes ~ Michael Cottle

With no warning,

A door opens,

Different path,

New journeys,

The same,


I know it.

From the doors before,

I’ve wore out this room,

Staring at its walls,

I’ve never been here,

This time,

This room,

Yet, it is,

The same.

Always was,

I am,

I’ve become,

The only constant,

These open doors,

In biased eyes.

Play of Light ~ Sean Bracken

Leonards calling down to us
From a hundred clouds of mourning
He’s looking for a crack he says
So the light can start to dance
He is the man who opened me
And shifted my direction
From over there to over here
He opened up the crack in me
That’s how I came to be
But now the crack is closing
The light is overcast
He doesn’t know it yet
But the Tower that he built for us
Was never meant to last

Iron Poet #26

dittybagIron Poet #26

Theme / Keyword: Ditty
Style / Meter: Jingle Poem
The word “ditty” must be used, or a recognized version of it at least.

Santa’s Secret Sale 5122016 ~ Nerisha Kemraj

This is an itty-bitty ditty
To tell a little tale
About how Father Christmas participated
In the Toy store Christmas sale

The elves had been asleep, you see,
Throughout the festive season
And so no toys had been made,
They had no other reason

It was the day before Christmas
That Santa had to buy the toys,
So that he would not disappoint
All the little girls and boys

And that’s the itty-bitty ditty
Of Santa’s little tale
About how he saved his Christmas
Through the Secret Santa Sale!

Jingle Bells ~ Sean Bracken

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells
Plastic Jesus sleeping
Among the people seeking
More gaudy Yuletide trinkets
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells
Plastic Mother Mary
Alongside a Christmas Fairy
Below a clockwork Santa Claus
Suspended from high ceiling
Towed by flashing reindeer
Enhance the season’s cheer
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells
While all the bargain hunters
Worn out by all the fussing
And tired from all the rushing
To the sound of  singers singing
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells
The tills are all a ringing
The stockings still need filling
Rejoice, rejoice
Plastic Jesus Weeping

Fate’s Cadence ~ D Lee Cox

sing a ditty for the season
I cant come home for good reason
but if there’s a chance out there
I’m bound to find it somewhere

I cant reach out and touch you now
we made decisions and I made a vow
but if there’s a chance out there
I’m bound to find it somewhere

out upon the wild wild sea
fate denies you and me
but if there’s a chance out there
I’m bound to find it somewhere