Better Than You

snobMost of us run into folks like this along life’s journey. They’re especially prevalent online.

By Maggie Rascal

Hello, I’m new here,
And I’m better than you:
Smarter – kindlier –
Much cleverer too!

You’re stupid – you’re snooty –
You’re unworthy of my precious time.
As for me, it’s plain to see
I’m magnificent and sublime!

While I am Secretariat,
Or perhaps Seattle Slew,
The rest of you, a sorry lot,
Are destined to become glue.

This may seem rather blunt,
But that’s just how I am.
If my directness hurts you,
Frankly, I don’t give a damn.

Please do not advise me
To better communicate.
I’m quite capable in that regard;
My intent is to berate.

By laying out these facts,
I don’t mean to be unkind.
My superiority, once accepted,
Is a comfort, you will find.

Indeed, what I am doing
Should be welcomed by you all.
In pointing out your shortcomings,
I’m cushioning the fall.

Alas, a point of verity:
No one else is very bright.
It’s best to just acknowledge
That I am always right!

My logic is impeccable,
My thought processes grand.
Differing with me is clear proof
That you don’t understand.

So I’ll explain once again
(Since you’re all somewhat slow):
What I speak is the truth,
Because I say so.

Your views might be of value
If they jelled with my opinions.
Though challenges don’t suit me,
I always welcome minions.

Yet by small-minded drudges,
I’ve been taunted and eschewed,
For showing the stupendousness
With which I am imbued.

I simply cannot fathom
Why so many do not like me.
I’ve announced that I am fabulous—
How could you disagree?

You’re all too far beneath me;
I need a brief reprieve.
Climbing back aboard my high horse,
I’ll take my humble leave.

* * *
© 2013 by M.P. Witwer. All rights reserved.


An Enemy That Haunts My Mind

ptsdDedicated to combat veterans and PTSD sufferers, wherever they may be…thank you for your service…

By Alan W. Jankowski

In the middle of the night I lie in bed,
Fighting an enemy that’s in my head.
An enemy that’s always there,
An enemy that won’t play fair.
An enemy that haunts my mind,
An enemy that is not kind.
The price paid for doing good,
Of doing like I’m told I should.
Serving my country in time of war,
Who could ever ask for more?
And now even in my deepest dreams,
All I hear is the sound of screams.
Why was I the one to survive?
Why was I the one left alive?
I ask myself every night,
As I relive every fight.
God, please call me home,
Don’t leave me here all alone.
For when I thought the fight was won,
I’m finding the battle’s just begun.
A soldier who was trained to kill,
Finds a battle that’s harder still.
Fighting an enemy I cannot see,
And finding out the enemy is me.
An enemy that haunts my mind,
An enemy that is not kind.


An Enemy That Haunts My Mind is included in We Go On: Charity Anthology for Veterans, available from all major online book retailers.

* * *
© 2011 by Alan W. Jankowski • All rights reserved

Photo © 2005 by Aubrey Arcangel • Used without revision under terms of a Creative Commons license

The Squall


Storms, in the form of know-it-all boors, damage online communities, too…

It came out of the blue, a slight breeze at first —
Surely nothing to cause any worry.
Then thunder rolled; it was such a cloudburst!
Menacing, and not in a great hurry.

Long craved, perhaps: Absolute dominion!
A purlieu over which to run roughshod.
But ‘truth’ unmasked as haughty opinion,
The Squall revealed a brusque, humorless clod.

Despite claims to be caring and witty,
What occurred was blustering about.
Some thought it called for patience and pity;
Ah, but why pity a blathering lout?

At last the maelstrom packed up and moved on.
After all the harm done, we’re glad that it’s gone.

* * *
© 2011 by M.P. Witwer • All rights reserved
Photo: ‘After the Squall,’ © 2013 by M.P. Witwer

Ode to a Volunteer Editor

I posted something in a forum and received the following message from a well-intentioned friend:

“You used ‘precious’ twice, however, and made a typo in ‘perceive’ in the third paragraph.

It’s a good thing you have a volunteer editor to point out these things, isn’t it?

Sincerely, your own volunteer editor, Ms. Maggie”


A volunteer editor
I must confess,

Fills me with
And distress.

With each breath I take –

Admit it, you thought I’d say ‘inhalation’
just to continue the rhyme scheme
interrupted above.

To recapitulate in haste,
With each breath I take,
I shiver in shame
to discover yet another
spelling error that’s lame.

Indulge me my dears,
My span is not tempered,
But each effort to rhyme here
Clearly shows I should have signed off some time ago.


With my most sincere thanks and gratitude to my dear friend Ms. Maggie; where would I be without you?


© 2011  All rights reserved.

26 letters cat

The Letter

burning-paperBy Alan W. Jankowski

We’ve all wanted to send a letter like this at one time. Forgiveness is not always easy.

I poured out every thought upon the page,
Filling it up with all the rage and anger,
That you have instilled inside me.
My pen literally quivered,
As I held it in my sweaty hand,
Yet the words flowed swiftly,
As venomous as any snake,
And almost as deadly.
As I poured the last of the wine into my glass,
I reviewed my handiwork.
Three pages of anger.
Three pages of hurt.
An expression of all you’ve done to me,
As best as I possibly could.
I carefully folded the letter,
And stuffed it in the envelope.
And with quivering pen,
I wrote out your address.
It was late, and I’d post it in the morning.
I went off to bed that night.
The next day I spent quietly around the house.
It was cold outside,
And it was warm by the fire.
In the afternoon,
I opened another bottle of wine.
I sat pensively for some time,
Just watching the flames dance
Upon the logs in the fireplace.
Amidst the crackling of the timbers,
I picked up the envelope.
I stare down at your name upon it.
I take another sip of wine,
And remove the letter.
As I begin to read it again,
I am reminded of everything you’ve ever done.
All the hurt you’ve caused,
To myself and my family,
Comes back again over three pages.
My blood starts to boil again,
And my palms start to sweat.
There is a damp thumbprint on the page,
And the edges of the letter are damp and frayed,
From holding it tightly in my hands.
I lean back in my chair.
I know I am not ready to forgive.
I don’t know that I ever will be.
And God knows I will never forget.
In fact, I hope you rot in Hell,
And if I could deliver you there myself,
Lord knows, I would.
But, I can never stoop to your level.
I can never stoop to your level.
I sit for some time just watching the fire.
In a while, I pick up the letter,
And walk over to the fireplace.
I toss it upon the flames.
I sit back down and sip my wine.
And as I watch the letter burn,
The sparks crackling,
And the black soot fall upon the logs,
I know I can never stoop to your level,
But, there’s a part of me that says to myself,
“God, I wish that letter were you.”

* * *
© 2011 by Alan W. Jankowski • All rights reserved



by Cecilia Rogers

Words come and go.The poetry muse dropped by at an inconvenient moment, and was sadly ignored

Flittered and skittered
across the surface of my mind,

Had they been caught,
pinned down,
Written in time

I would have had a poem
of grace and style,
Memorable, perhaps,
for its scansion and rhyme.

But they weren’t:
At that moment
I was making supper,
And drinking some wine.

© 2011 Cecilia Rogers  All rights reserved.


A Little Christmas Fairy Tale



By J.W. Burton

Once upon a time, there was a little Christmas fairy. She was a beautiful little Christmas fairy! Her lips were as pink as sugar mice, and her eyes were holly-green, like the holly sprig she wore. Her curly hair was a mane of spun gold, and her wings shimmered liked feathered frost. Her dress had a garland of roses, and was woven from golden beams that had shone from the very first Christmas Star. Her skin was covered with gleaming stars like sunlight on fresh snow, and she glowed with Christmas cheer.

The little Christmas fairy was hidden away for most of the year, making decorations for Santa Claus and his elves to scatter in the Christmas skies. She spun tiny gold stars and silver snowflakes that glittered and shone, flying here and there in flurries and fountains wherever the night was darkest. In the bleakness of December, the little Christmas fairy’s work could be seen piercing the cold night. Her magical little lights hung in the night sky, winking down at the earth, and racing in shooting showers over the heads of the people far below.

But the people did not see the Christmas fairy’s tiny lights. They did not see the love she had spun into each little piece, or the time that she spent over each one, to get it just right. But Holly-Rose, the little Christmas fairy, knew how much love she put into them, and she loved her work, and she loved the people she scattered her handiwork over.

Best of all, Holly-Rose loved Christmas time. She loved to fly above the darkened world and throw her joyful little stars and silver snowflakes onto anybody who needed some cheer in the night. Sometimes, she would spend a little time with the lonely and forgotten people, and try to warm them a little with her golden Christmas light.

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Settling In

* Runner-up in the 2014 Stories Space Drabble Competition *

By Cecilia Rogers

New starts can be tricky at any age…

“It’s not what it looks like,” she said.

“It’s a cage—I hate it.”

“No, it isn’t a cage; it’s better here than it was there.”

“I LIKED it there! Why did we have to leave?”

“It was cramped. Here we have room, room to grow.”

“I don’t care! I wahhhnnnaagoooobaaaaaccckkkkk!!!!!”

“Oh don’t cry,” she wailed, “she’ll come soon!”

Which she did, summoned by the cries. One by one, each was lifted from the crib. Soothing sounds were heard, and their plaints gradually subsided to soft nuzzling.

“My darlings,” she whispered, “you are the best Christmas gift I’ll ever have.”

* * *
© 2014 by Cecilia Rogers • All rights reserved