Daily Prompt: Isn’t Your Face Red

Embarrassment, I embrace you. Wilkommen! Image from http://drafthouse.com/movies/the_sound_of_music_mothers_day_brunch_feast/austin

Embarrassment, I embrace you. Wilkommen! Image from http://drafthouse.com/movies/the_sound_of_music_mothers_day_brunch_feast/austin (now go buy or rent the movie if you want some moving pictures)

Red is a lucky color in some cultures, you know. Not so much, however, when it commandeers your body.

Embarrassment—the skull-and-crossbones flagship of all things red—and I have a long and twisted history. Some say I was born, no, not blue-skinned, but bright, bawling red. (Ohmigod, I’m naked in front of all these strange people in white clothes! And why the heck is that huge one spanking me?)

Throughout life, any indignities or embarrassments channeled right to my elfin-sized ears. Sometimes it would even seep to my cheeks.

But that’s me; sheepishly entering the red room of embarrassment from time to time has not left me without some worldly treasures in the coffers, burgled as they were from the King. (Whose book on writing I highly recommend, incidentally.)

Inexplicably, I was in a singing mood while working this whole embarrassment equation out long-handedly and -windedly, so I cadged an existing tune and mashed up the lyrics a little.

And now for your reading Schadenfreude, here’s a quick cavalcade of the (now mostly humorous) face-flushing moments.


My Mem’rable Slips

©Leigh Ward-Smith, 2014

Glasses on noses and mud-stains on cord jeans
Giant teenage face-pocks and bad-perm in my tweens
Peach sequined prom-dresses ruined by my trips
These are a few of my mem’rable slips

Small rounded green peas and big bullies’ harsh words
“Four-eyes” and “dork-face” and pill’ried as the nerd
“Cool” kids lack the wit, but still bring the whips
These are a few of my mem’rable slips

Mean boys in blue jeans with stoned acid washes
Hard falls in puddles, absent galoshes
Rainbow color Froot Loops burst forth from my lips
These are a few of my funniest slips

When that kid bullies
When this kid falls
When I’m feeling low
I simply recall my more mem’rable slips
And then I don’t feel, I grow.

Written in response to the Daily Prompt of 5 February 2014


Daily Prompt: Flattery, or, Can You Guess the Poet?

I’ve been reading a bit of poetry lately. Online and in bookish realms as well. Yeats mostly. I shan’t conjure that literary lion, but rather a lion of a different . . . kion.

Today’s Daily Prompt on “The Sincerest Form of Flattery,” urges:

Publish a post in the style of a favorite author/blogger or photographer.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us COPIES.

I thought of placing a graphic from the book of verse that I’m reading and whose form I’m trying to mimic, but I thought it might be fun to NOT hit y’all over the heads with the spiked club of obviousness for once. I’ve placed slashes to further note the line breaks just in case the formatting gets funky; please let me know if that is distracting or cumbersome.

See what you think about whether this style has any substance, or matter-y, to it. Is it bestiary or worstiary? Have I reached the level of worsifier or fallen to the nadir of parroty?


Elephant-smallThe Elephant

Gray and bristly, full of profundity,/

when I stand next to you, I get all stunnedity./

Your height, your girth, your mighty mem’ry:/

that you mourn your dead makes my legs go flimbry.


The Woodpecker

Late or early, he diligently drills/

Above us, noisy, hammering still./

Sergeant of the sky, he pecks at our roof/

Beak to metal drives us to 80-proof.


Misc.-Nature&Sherman 019The Mutt

Some dogs are purebred, and some are mutts/

All of them like to sniff their . . . /But

we love them, loyally, yet./

And they love everyone. Except the vet./


The Persian

Most cats have hair, this much is true./

Some are red or white or blue./

Take the long-haired, stately Persian./

If your allergies shriek,/

adopt a different version.


The Possum

There are a few things to be said for the possum:/

They hiss, they hang, and you can’t boss em.


The Japanese Beetle

June arrives with jittery jewels/

when all the kids are out of schools./

Emerald buggers bog down your roses./

They’re glad to come, but we best enjoy their go-ses.


The Duck

One sometimes wonders how the duck,/

dunking underwater, does not get stuck./

There’s trash and metal, dross and jetsam./

There are those who litter–and we just letsam.

And finally, the dead giveaway–

Welcome to Og’s Den

These days, pets are the fashion./

But for me, I prefer to get my Nash on./

If the Web is a zoo,/

don’t be surprised if the ‘Net someday comes for you.

If you made it this far, I urge you to check out the real deal, the true brew, the firstist versist, the sublimer rhymer,  . . . here or here. And enjoy.

All Our Horrific Realities: A Dirge

“All Our Horrific Realities: A Dirge”

Leigh Ward-Smith, ©2014


“The family drew cupcakes . . . on her tiny white casket.”

Setting: Here, now.

All our horrific realities

are all horrifically ours.

Sublime in the glint of the scythe,

six-and-twenty sorrows stream into our consciousness.

Salt upon the pane.

I rage against the sloping reality

of the dying twenty-six lights.

Soon enough, the grief heaps up, pushing up mountains in the mind:

Belted welts upon the already bruised back of the world.

Somewhere, suffused cirrus,


pregnant with hopes flung out


in devastation,


and the iciest of cyclic horrors.

And now, cracked-lip murmurings yet shunt, quick to the chest,

our hell-shocked fare-thee-wells.

I write so I can live

with the reality of our human race, this place:

We are damned, dirty apes–with angers dangerously ablaze.

Can saved Graces now retrieve the six-and-twenty,

plucked pennies from air-strings of aether,

lifted like priceless veils to reveal

the twinned treasures–survival secrets–

the weighted, waiting heart of love and its golden companion, forgiveness?

Never forget The 26.


Dedicated to Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Rachel D’Avino, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Dylan Hockley, Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, Madeleine F. Hsu, Catherine V. Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Jesse Lewis, Ana Marquez-Greene, James Mattioli, Grace McDonnell, Anne Marie Murphy, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, Victoria Soto, Benjamin Wheeler, Allison N. Wyatt, and all who were touched by these lives. — “Life always matters, very much”

This poem was respectfully written as a response to The Daily Post’s daily writing prompt of 26 January 2014.