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 #29

Iron Poet #29

Style / Meter: Free verse
Theme / Keyword: You are a tree. Tell me what you see.

Leaving ~ Wes Choc

Sprouting lean …I boldly shouted green
But no one up-there heard a word lest such unfolding was even seen
Until once, three winters hence, shiny green grew bark …dark
…gently, intently emerging.

Oh, wind carried my song along, year after year
With naked whims beneath those first slinky darkening limbs
Until roots could don more than just sprigs or sprays
…foraging, flowering, urging.

Like adolescent beard, marking bark to attest its trunk
Amid gnarly branches dancing, bended by the breezes
As mounting freezes triggered tree-rings, counting out inside my core
…concentric circles slowly surging.

And as ages wage those brawny sinews dry
Each year paces by, with dignity as bristly limbs snap and break
To shadow little sprouts that try to grow below my children’s leaving
… overlooking a thousand seeds into the soil converging.

I am a Tree ~ Nerisha Kemraj

Standing in the open air,
birds and bees around
Sun is shining brightly,
Leaves upon the ground

My many branches hold them,
Until the wind arrives,
My trunk is rooted deep,
My fruits bring in the flies

My flowers bloom so beautifully,
An attraction to one and all,
Until they start abusing me,
And pluck them, till they fall

My fruits grow rosy and radiant
And tastes delicious, I’ve heard
I don’t mind when they pick them,
And I love feeding the birds

But then sometimes i hurt,
When they come and hack at me
To use me for production,
Until i no longer see,

Sometimes I do grow back,
To live another life,
And then it starts again,
Until I see the knife..

My Chimera ~ Violet Teagan

Mossy and mottled
keeper of secrets
my stairway to the stars

your heart beats in a wooden box

dreams and chimera
nest in your imagination
make tracks
all along the length of you
like braille
or phonograph music
waiting to be read

Arctic night
or fevered August day

I listen for your rustle
feel your silent lines
over and over again
move with you in the wind

Recapitulations Of An Old Pine Tree ~ Matt Henderson

“Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.”

If you can stand in one place long enough, you would see the connective aspects of this world in a way that you might miss if you move around. Travel accords you to look at a lot but the still point allows for seeing synergy and cycles of synchronicity—the comings and goings of things moving toward or away from each other in circular dances. You would see what little things make the balance up for later, bigger things. If you could see what I have seen…

I sink my roots in and stretch my trunk
and, as above
so below,
I stretch my limbs and offshoots of those
all with a great humming OM
a tingling stretch of the elan vital
a reaching out for life and a sinking into roots–
It is how I have stood here and witnessed 200 years come and go.

One night, when I was a sapling, swaying low to the ground
I saw several of my uncles topple over, with their heads high in the wind.
That is what remains, just over the gulch that separates us:
A young boy’s fort in the early days of summer.
At dusk, a couple of teens
I have watched them grow closer together
as they have grown
I can see both their homes across the highway
They take the fort at the first sight of evening stars and
share it as a place to discover the wonders of change
and the sweet taste of new love.

Mr. Paul.
I remember when his wife first became ill.
He’d kneel and pray at a place of comfort and
something to lean on
When it became certain that she wouldn’t make another winter
he would stand against me and beat against the hardness of my bark
One day, in the heat of the summer, 1986
I watched him walk out with a straight and purposeful stride.
I stood tall and absolutely helpless and he leaned against me
said a prayer and took a long drink from the whiskey bottle
that had been drinking from him since she passed.
And then I felt every needle on my limbs shake in frustration and horror
when he pulled out a pistol and put it in his mouth
left this world with the smell of sap, skull and sulfur
on both of us.

His hand landed on the unmarked grave
where the Clason’s buried their infant daughter 75 years earlier.

Iron Poet #25

stochasticityIron Poet #25

Meter / Style: Freeverse
Keyword / Theme: stochasticity (look it up!)
Any version of the word stochastic may be used or an Iron Poet may chose to use the definition thematically.

Ode to Stochasticity ~ Sean Bracken

Big Bang Bursting

From nothing to reality

All is all and all is nothing

Coalescence of matter

Into stars, then BANG

Supernova, Dust to dust

Dust of stars

Dust of Angels

In me. In you. From God, we came

And to Her dust, we must return

Beginning and End are both the same

And as we end, We now restart


Stochasticity Fantasy ~ Wes Choc

A random…
…thought wrought a chance
To enhance a burning
Sojourning across flattering
Mattering risky choices…
…amid frisky voices to weep
As I cross to sleep.

A random…
…nightmaring “should”…
…flaring my flying wizened mood
Beauty nude, dying…
…my imprisoned duty, I withstood.

A random…
…making, rested bested…

Genetic Discernators ~ D Lee Cox

out of noise
we find melody

out of chaos
we find direction

out of discord
we find compassion