Category Archives: OneWord

OneWord: Five, Game, Sate, Scatter

Five: Across the street, backed by climbing ivy and silver graffiti hearts, is a young couple sitting on a green cement bench. The axis of his world tilting towards hers. A lean to her gravity – to the sunny disposition of her beautiful smile, and all of the kind things that come with it. And then he lifts his left hand, which is covered by a mitten, and runs it along her right jawbone to pull her cold lips to his.

Game: We played a game each night. As a family, while sitting at our kitchen table, talking face to face. The best thing was that for an hour or so there were no phones, no TVs, no invasions from the world. Except, perhaps, the occasional neighbor dropping by for a cup of sugar or an old friend from downstate checking in. It was the four of us and our cards and conversation.

Sate: To sate his desire, and growing appetite, for a slice of Lakeshore Berry Crumb pie from the Grand Traverse Pie Company downtown, Chris went to the trouble of bundling up in his vintage 1980’s one-piece polyester lime-green snowsuit, complete with snap on hood and matching Smith brand ski goggles, gassing up his 1987 Ski-doo and motor-sliding down the middle of M-37. It was, after all, the worst blizzard since the inception of his snowsuit.

Scatter: “Scatter, Buster, before mom sees you on the tile.” The dog sulked backwards to his usual spot in the corner of the TV room. He was safe for now, but unhappy and wanted to play.

Link to, which prompts me with each of the words and provides one minute to write about that word. Sometimes I run long.

OneWord: Patient

She was a patient of life, as it administered its medicine in daily doses of freshly cut tulips on her round oak kitchen table, delivered there by her husband after a rather mundane day at work. Of sunrises that greeted her as she turned right out of her driveway each morning to take her child to fourth grade. And of the feeling of her baby’s beautiful little hands reaching for the stars above on a cold winter night.

OneWord: Adopt, Maze, Clue, Flirt

Adopt: We learn to adopt at a young age. Oh, wait, scratch that. I was thinking that you said, “adapt.” Well let’s adopt a new direction to this post and think about it for a little bit before we get ourselves in more trouble.

Maze: The fog set in and our pace quickened. “We’re going the wrong way,” John said. “The moss on the tree indicates we’re going south. Camp is north.” We’d been hiking for three hours and none of us knew where north was, let alone camp. I kept thinking that I could smell Lindsey’s cooking – camp roast, mashed potatoes, and caramelized carrots – but my mind was playing tricks. Edna tripped on a root, and screamed. My head whipped around to see the commotion. As the maze of hysteria set in midst the evergreens, taller now than their fading shadows, a discord . . .

Clue: “I have no clue what she wants for Valentine’s day!”
“Really? You have NO clue? I barely hang out with you two, and, man, I can tell you she’s been dropping hints like they’re the sun setting in December.”
“Well, nothing. Get your ass to the flower store, make a reservation at Amical and think of something interesting to talk about for an hour other than golf clubs. And get the bracelet at the jewelry store downtown – the one in the window.”

Flirt: She flirted with me like it was her middle name. Like it was the sun. Like there was a bookshelf full of books and a fresh pot of coffee. Like a dog barks at cars. Like when a President of the United States of America dies and there’s a special report on TV. Like she is something beautiful captured in something cold – like a ripe red cherry in an icicle. Like she was being graded by God. Like her parents weren’t watching.

OneWord: Port, Pressed, Playground, Dense

Port: The port of call was 17. She was looking pretty and lean. In her white jeans and light blue tank with a butterfly on her breasts. I watched the world go ’round on her dark-lensed Ray-Bans – sailboat loaded by deckhands, speedboat misbehaving on sunken badlands, sun hanging over the white sands.

Pressed: She pressed the soft inner flesh of the orange against the rotating mound of the juicer. Her knuckles were white. She was standing on the tips of her toes. And the bangs she had just tucked behind her left ear fell in front of her eyes. The juice flowed through the built-in strainer and into the collection glass, ready to be consumed by our hungry little monsters (the children). It was 9am on Saturday morning. Our family was together. There were no youth sporting events or men’s golf leagues to attend. It was just the four of us sitting on the plush pillows of our kitchen nook, eating pancakes and fresh-squeezed orange juice while watching the rain trickle down outside.

Playground: The playground at Pathfinder School – my elementary school in Traverse City, Michigan – wasn’t the typical open field or lot with over-sized toys. It was the wood and all of its components. The myrtle-covered hills, the overgrown wander paths, the elder trees, the soft blanket of brown leaves and the black dirt a farmer would love. I could explore and wander about. I could play games. I could even get lost if I dared to do so.

Dense: The denseness of the flesh of the Honeycrisp apple surprised him as he eased his butcher’s knife through the varying diameter of its body. Still shaken by the rusty blue pick-up truck clipping his dog earlier in the afternoon, his hand was unsteady. The black carbon handle of the knife, which he had just rinsed in the double-basin stainless steel Kohler kitchen sink, was wet. The ball of his right hand, located just below where the index finger joined his palm, was the primary source of pressure on the top side of the knife handle. He leaned into the motion and pressed down harder. His eye twitched. His nose tingled. He sneezed. And then, unknown to him, his hand pressed the knife down through the apple and the index, middle and ring fingers of his left hand. The world seemed to freeze in place as he stared at the grotesque still life depicting two halves of an apple laying open on the antipodal points of what used to be a whole apple, three detached fingertips aligned behind the left apple half and a pool of blood seeping across the backdrop like anti-gravity curtains in an upside down theater.

Link to, which prompts me with each of the words and provides one minute to write about that word. Sometimes I run long.

OneWord: Couch

The couch in the livingroom has a thin film of Yogi slobber. It’s hairy and marred from claws gripping and sharp buttons scraping. But its the couch we got married on. Yes, we got married while sitting on a couch in our living room. It’s not even a full sized couch! It’s a love seat. And our minister, who was on the couch with us, is, according to his mother, June, husky. Sitting between my beautiful bride who was consumed by dozens of layers of crinoline and a plump sweaty semi-stranger was not ideal on a 95* June day. But the couch was important to us.

Our immediate family – six of them – managed to fit on our three-seater couch across the room from us. My sister-in-law (to be at the time) readjusted mid-ceremony and caused the remote control, which was apparently under the third couch cushion, to activate the television. The Golf Channel flashed on at full volume. I did my best not to be distracted during the homily as the immediate family scrambled to mute the television. Their sweaty flesh shifting on and separating from the damp leather sounded like sheets being ripped apart by rabid wolves. Afterwords, even the extended family and friends who were seated outside on the small community lawn along Eighth Street on couches they brought, said they could hear the commotion and feared that I had defected to the “Divot side.” I thought, at the time, that the “Divot side” wasn’t very clever. But what else are non-golfers going to say?

OneWord: Transport, Sinking, Silk, Umbrella, Force

Transport: To transport oneself into the shoes of another takes more effort than simple observation. One must not only be able to appreciate the struggles and triumphs of that other person. Those are easy and visible. One must also be able to . . .

Sinking: I have this sinking feeling about the red blinking voicemail indicator light. ‘Who left the message,’ I wonder. My sweaty palms stick to my coffee cup as I try to lift it to the dry lips of my already over-caffeinated body. It gets this way at work. Sometimes. Not always.

Silk: The seam of her black silk stockings caught my eye. The grip of the delicate lace on her thigh. From her heel up her leg, the vision made my heart beg, just a little, to be bigger, to pound faster, to outlast her. Her silk legs. Her lace flesh. She was a delightful sight.

Umbrella: The dark green golf umbrella that spanned six feet above her damp ponytail created a small haven of calm. Her feet were wet, she was running out of good gloves and was worried that her bra was showing through the light colored shirt she thoughtlessly chose to wear on this predictably rainy day.

Force: The force with which the wave hit my broad hairy torso stung like a giant had was slapping my cold naked flesh.

Link to, which prompts me with each of the words and provides one minute to write about that word. Sometimes I run long.

OneWord: Punishment, Thread, Repeat, Succeed, Deer, Missed

Punishment: The self-inflicted punishment was not worth the mental (and sometimes physical) toll taken by the extraneous actions. I would have played better if I could have kept an even keel – taken the bad with the good – brushed it off.

Thread: A single thread of string dangled from the hem of her skirt as she sat, legs crossed, in a green metal chair eating lunch on the porch of her favorite local diner, “Dalmatian’s.”

Repeat: The show was a repeat. What a letdown for the over-stimulated group of teens that had planned their night around the show. Snacks had been purchased. Drinks poured. Couch seating reserved – tentatively, of course.

Succeed: “In order to succeed in this little world,” he said before pausing to take a drag on the cigarette he found on the edge of the fountain, “you have to . . . ”

Deed: The deer dashed from the dense shrubbery along the right side of Highway 2 in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The night was dark and rainy, and the deer was but a brief silhouette of life frozen in my dim Ford Explorer headlights. Then, we were both gone as quickly as we had crossed. My heart thumped with the weight of what felt like the iron-ore-mine-explosions I have felt while sitting on the living room floor of my grandparents single-story ranch house in Ishpeming, Michigan.

Missed:* The baseball skidded on the pavement and then continued along a trajectory that would eventually lead it directly into the side of Chris’ head, which was only slightly higher than the level of the road because he was standing in a ditch. Todd had thrown the ball hard, just as Chris’ attention was drawn elsewhere – by a bird chirping? a garage door opening? an itch calling? After the fact, when Todd looked closely at the skin on the left edge of Chris’ forehead, he could see that it had left a mark in the shape of baseball stitching. ‘All in a summer day’s work,’ the two muttered as they eventually went back to playing catch – Chris then more attuned to what the baseball was doing and less so about anything else around him. Perhaps this could be taken as a hard-earned lesson to focus on the task at hand.

*I neglected to actually use the word, “Missed” while writing this entry. That is the first time it happened. However, one can gather that the baseball missed Chris’ glove, which may have been where I initially was going with my story.

NOTE: Although the website provides a one-minute time limit for writing these entries, I do not always adhere to the time limit – especially if I like what I am writing, which is happening more frequently, as I get back into the flow of writing in general. Thanks.

OneWord: Ticket, Ill, Lightning, Root, Brick, Bulb, Answers, Discovery

Ticket: The ticket to the show fell from my pocket and drifted down to the grate on the ground. It rested there for a moment – paused to give me hope – and then slipped through the opening.

Ill: The dog became ill from eating off the dusty garage floor, which the home owner had neglected to sweep since she purchased the home nearly ten years ago.

Lightning: The lightning shot down to the forged steel head of Jack’s three iron. The charge traveled through the shaft to his hands and then to his heart. And this all happened before he knew what hit him.

Root: The root of my happiness can be found in the often overlooked wrinkles at the edges of her smile and the way her eyes look at me so intently when she knows I’m watching.

Brick: There lay a brick, slightly out of place. Its edges softened from decades of sleepy-headed students shuffling their tennis shoes along the paths.

Bulb: The bulb hung from its fraying cord. It emitted a butter-yellow light that dripped thick on the damp pale green walls.

Answers: He didn’t have all the answers. But he had some, and he tried on the rest. That was the best he could do under any circumstances – try his best, that is. Success is in the preparation, not necessarily in the execution.

Discovery: The discovery that she made early that morning in the daisy patch of her mother’s garden changed her life forever. There, buried in the dirt, lay something that . . .

OneWord: Junkyard, Ivy, Cowboy, Duck

Junkyard: “Look at that dog, Honey. I looks like it came straight from a junkyard,” I said as we drove past a natural foods store. The dog was small with matted fur, perky ears, and eyes as big and bright as the summer sky on a perfect day in July.

Ivy: Those ivy hands. I want to say ice cold and plain, but not so. Not so. Not so. They sit in the window behind the ten-foot tall pane of glass keeping me from her and not her from me. Because she’s there. Still. Silent.

Cowboy: That cowboy spirit inside takes over. Sweat beads slip down my brow. My heart pounds inside my chest. And then the gavel falls. “Guilty,” thuds from the judge’s mouth.

Duck: The duck sat on the end of dock watching the other ducks float up and down in the small waves on the 4th of July. Of course, the duck didn’t know it was the 4th of July. It just knew the waves were small.

OneWord: Adapt, Helping, Certain, Materials, Market

Adapt: I’ve tried, many times, to adapt to what’s around me. And the only thing I have learned is that I should worry less about adapting to the world and worry more about adapting the world to myself. I’m here for a blink. I’ve gotta breath my air and fill my space.

Helping: The helping hand swept down from the vacant blue sky and wrapped its mile-long fingers ’round the dusty earth and squeezed it until rivers fell and mountains grew.

Certain: To be certain of something is, at once, to lock one’s mind in jail and toss away the key…

Materials: The materials with which I a forced to work are nothing more than a steel hammer, dinged and dented from 22 years of pounding, and a solid oak workbench that was given to me at the death of my grandfather.

Market: My dog and I walked north along Union to the Farmer’s Market last Saturday. It bright, crisp, and fresh outside. The streets were filled with …

OneWord: Fangs, Stage, Elixir, Feud, Kit gives you a random word and 60 seconds to write. Following are my submissions for the past week.

Fangs: The husky’s fangs were exposed as it panted cool grey breath into the mid-fall air. They looked sharp and hungry, as if she were in her element and ready to hunt. Then she sat next to me, and put her paw up to be scratched.

Stage: She set the stage with her wonderful grin. I saw it from the back of the natural theater in which we were set free to roam, discover and explore the magnificent wilderness.

Elixir: The elixir of life – the body – fully woven, yet muted beneath the dark suppression of my chores, responsibilities, and commitments – struggles to burn through the layers and succeed a short success. Let me be.

Feud: We rarely feud, and when we do, we feud a little then make some breakfast or go for a walk or laugh it off. There’s never much to our feuds and, so far as I can tall, they’ve never grown into fights.

Kit: The tool kit in the corner of my work shed is old. The blue-coated metal is rusting and creaks when the lid is opened. The wooden-handled tools are cracked and dry and, the metal there, rusty, too.

OneWord: Vow, Spaces, Classic, Vulture, Keypad gives you a random word and 60 seconds to write. Following are my submissions for the past week.

Vow: Dressed in his tux, looking at his beautiful bride, he vowed to love her for the rest of his life – for the rest of her life. Were they now one?

Spaces: The spaces in his teeth made me laugh. I remarked, “Who don’t he get braces for those spaces?” Then I laughed harder. Maybe spaces are endearing. So I’ve been told.

Classic: There’s a classic car in his garage. I couldn’t give you any more detail, except that it was red and well kept. I never got a better look than from my tip toes through the high filthy window. He’d chase me away before…

Vulture: The vulture circled above, waiting to swoop down to the man marooned on the island the instant his life expired. The man eyed the vulture above knowingly.

Keypad: There is no keypad on my cellular! It’s just a flat glass screen. Like looking through a window at a digital world that changes when I want it to.

OneWord: Week of Dec. 29

I shovel gravel until my back nearly breaks. My skin is dry and splitting from the high sun. I would do anything for water. Anything. Anything. (gravel)

Loan me the memory that I have long forgotten. Remind me of her hurried walk and nervous disposition. And when I start to fall in love, again, with this fragile and harried woman from my past, rescind the loan and revoke my rights. (loan)

He applied the bandage to the paper cut. How foolish he had been to flip so quickly from page seventy-four to page one thousand and twenty-three. Who does that! He knew better. If only his mother was here. She would tell him… (bandage)