Why we're here.

A creative writing blog by Shawn M Klimek
(All rights reserved)

Thursday, January 2, 2020

HUNGRY THING now available for sale online!




Since where our yard ends, wilds abound,
We thought it fine to let our hound
Roam as he liked. No neighbors could complain.
Each night, he'd bark and bay and snort
At woodland critters, just for sport,
Then bring home bones of every sort.
You know how that is.
Then one night—silence. All in vain
We searched until the trail went cold.
Our worries lingered unconsoled.
What if he'd met the thing that gobbled Gladys?









Over and above the 126 poem and story acceptances I had in 2019, I am probably proudest of this self-published fantasy story, told in five poems and illustrated by the talented Romanian surrealist, Norbert Somosi. It was published as a book shortly before Christmas. Moments ago, as I write this, a much-admired writer-friend of mine and the first person to buy the book sent me this message: 
"I finished reading Hungry Thing and loved every bit of it. I mean really loved it."

Now available for sale wherever books are sold online.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Back Up

The source of doctor-patient friction
Was the former’s grim prediction
Of the latter’s health decline
Resulting from his crooked spine.


"I’m confident,” the doctor said,
“That by tomorrow, you’ll be dead.”

Quasimodo swallowed spit.
(His back was up an extra bit).


“When the bell tolls in the gloom,”
The hunchback growled, "...ask not for whom,
“But if I ring it, as expected,”
“And then, thank God you stand corrected!”

A poem incorporating 5 random words: bit, confident, decline, friction, stand

Thursday, October 3, 2019

The Unbreakable Laws

When Public Enemy Number One
Met Public Friend Five-O,
A startled gurgle turned guffaw
Just as he turned to go.
“Why should I yield to a sheriff’s shield?”
The bum began to brag,
Then opening his overcoat,
Revealed a foreign flag.
“I intend not to let you apprehend
"Me for deeds that you’ve outlawed,”
“Because your laws are not my laws,”
He said, “Your God is not my god.”
The Fed just scratched his head,
Because the thug seemed unaware
The wet cement he’d stopped in
Was quick-drying in the air.
“Some laws cannot be broken,”
Said Five-O. “The God that’s holy,”
“Created the laws of physics.”
...Then he read Miranda...slowly.

poem incorporating 5 random words: apprehend, brag, gurgle, overcoat, yield

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Payday for Rick

Rick squeezed the wrinkled, metal tube,
Extruding a white, worm of lube,

Onto his finest hogs-hair brush;
Then--being careful not to rush,

Yet keeping one eye on the clock,
Forced it into the cube-shaped lock.

Next, using his left fist to clench
The spring-steel, twist-flex torsion wrench

While his right hand began to flick
The pins with his half-diamond pick,

He listened for a whispered click
That meant it was “payday for Rick!”

Alas, despite his dexterous skill
The cube defied his greedy will.

No tools, nor skills nor well-aimed smudge
Could make the rusted lock pins budge

Before time ran out on the clock:
And so, Rick smashed it with a rock.


Challenge: story of fewer than 300 words, including the words “brush”, “cube” and “rock”.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Zoey, Joey & Chloe Find Happiness

Zoey loved zoology, but Joey loved the gym.
He offered no apology—
Just zoned during zoology,
Daydreaming of a treadmill to keep trim.
Though deskwork made her waistline doughy,
And she admired muscles, showy
Strength feats and a slender, sinewed limb,
Zebras meant the world to Zoey,
While they were “just okay” to Joey
(Zebras were still less impressed with him).

Her acred uncle’s northern tracts, according to his will,
To dodge the swindle of death tax,
Should stay unspoiled by plow or axe
As refuge for the arctic yaks until
The Aurora Borealis (glowy,
Eerie, ghostly) gleams through blowy
Blizzards on their cabin on the hill.
And if they do not like it snowy,
He bequeaths it all to Chloe,
Bastard daughter of her step-mom, Jill.

Concluding this chronology needs but one or two more facts:
Zoey loved zoology
And offered no apology
To Joey when she traded him for Yaks.
Broken-hearted, he cried though he
Soon was comforted by Chloe
Whose big thing was Ziggy Stardust tracks.
Now Chloe’s latest thing is Joey.
Both of them work out to Bowie,
So all is well that ends where nothing lacks.

A poem incorporating 5 random words: ACRED, NORTHERN, SWINDLE, ZOEY, ZOOLOGY

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

By A Thread

Strained from staring at the ceiling
‘Til his paint-smudged head was reeling,
Michelangelo said with feeling,
Someone in this crew is stealing!”

At first, all froze—for who would dare
To meet that wild, cerulean glare?
Those eyes like blades that stabbed the air
Above bowed heads (pretending prayer).

“I’ve got grave news,” the master griped
“For the wicked thief who swiped
“My measuring string: I’ll have you striped!
No wonder your people are stereotyped!

“When Raphael (who paints hair well—
“The man deserves his portion),
“Paints cherubs’ wings, he uses strings
“To ensure correct proportion.”

“When Botticelli paints a belly,
“He gives that torso torsion;
“But without twine, he’d cross a line
“To torturous distortion.”

“Look up,” he said, and craned his neck.
“See what your thievery soon shall wreck!
“If you had a string with which to check,
“You’d see my heaven’s going to heck!”

Vermillion flush from pale to lush
And Cadmium speckles from his brush,
Enhanced the master’s angry blush,
Evoking terror in the hush.

No witness tattled. No thief confessed.
Were they deaf, defiant, unimpressed?
Or merely distracted with building a nest?
A little bird might tell the rest.

A poem incorporating 5 random words: WRECK, PROPORTION, CEILING, STRING, NEWS

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

After the Offing, aka The Gashleycrumb Culprits

With apologies to the estate and ghost of Edward Gorey:
a poem to complement "After the Outing" aka "The Gashleycrumb Tinies".



A is for Abner, who pushed her in rage.
B is for Bertha who opened the cage.

C is for Charles, who ate off her plate.
D is for Dorothy who grabbed him—too late.

E is for Edith, whose joke was ill-timed.
F is for Forrest, whose bath toy gift slimed.

G is for Gladys, who said she should hide;
H is for Helga, who said “wait outside”.

I is for Isaac, who said she should swim;
J is for Janet, who kept the lights dim.

K is for Kevin, whose trick needs more practice;
L is for Luther, whose cakes taste like cactus;

M is for Martin, whose boat had loose flooring;
N is for Nancy, whose girl games were boring.

O is for Oscar, who ran with sharp tools.
P is for PAT who incited the fools

Q is for Queenie, who watched out of sight;
R is for Reggie, who set her alight.

S is for Steven, who “borrowed” her pills;
T is for Tiffany’s chemistry skills.

U is for Unser, who thought it was funny;
V is for Vickie, who dared him—for money;

W is for William, the snowball fight winner;
X is for Xena, whose pets needed dinner;

Y is for Yasmine, the brickmaker’s daughter;
Z is for Ziggy, who said it was water.


The above artwork and integrated poem are both copyrighted to Edward Gorey