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Author: O. Westin

The Raven

In Elseworld a scholar pored
Over tomes of ancient lore;
Seeking wisdom in their store,
Seeking ways to call and beck,
To call and beck a friend.

Gone without a trace or spoor,
Flew the friend to alien shore.
Called by some portent of yore,
Called to take that lonely trek,
A lonely trek he’d wend.

Untouched bowls of gut and gore,
Like a tidy field of war,
Stood forgotten on the floor;
Stood in wait for hungry peck,
A hungry peck to rend.

“What cruel fate so sudden tore,
You away, my Nevermore?”
Scholar cried, her soul a-sore.
The scholar cried, and bent her neck.
Her feathered neck she’d bend.


With apologies and thanks to E.A. Poe.

My cat torments mice

My cat will torment mice.
It isn’t very nice.
But mousy hate
Will not abate
So my cat torments mice.

When my cat kills a mouse
It squeaks and haunts my house.
Its ghost will stay,
Annoyed, afraid,
And skitter round my house.

Now shades of cats long dead
Are circling round my bed
To chase the mice
Whose cruel demise
Has bound them here instead.

The ghost cats have such fun,
They chase as ghost mice run.
I can’t decide
If mousicide
Was kind or cruelly done.

The Princess Dragons

When the prince came to the summer castle, it had dragons.
“Begone!”
“But we-”
“It’s my castle.”
“We are homeless. Please.”
“Well… okay.”

There was a princess in the main hall.
“What are you doing here?” the prince asked.
“Dragons, castle, princess. D’oh.”
“But… my holiday!”

The prince sighed. “Fine. You can stay.”
“Ah…” The princess looked embarrassed.
“If you want to, of course.”
“Oh, yeah. It’s not that.”

One of the dragons coughed. “Can the other princess also stay?”
“The other. How many of you are there?”
“Four. Two dragons, two princesses.”

Alone

“Why can’t we work from home?”
“It’s easier to share ideas in the office.”
They grumbled, but he was the boss. And terrified of being alone.

He’d check people’s progress, in a friendly, informal way. Some encouraging words, a little chat about weekend plans, or recent events.

His staff assumed he drank in the weekends, he was so pale and quiet on Mondays. He’d perk up once he’d had a chat by the coffee machine.

Just a reminder that he was there, that he was a person that existed. As long as someone believed, he did.
And he had, for centuries.


After the first part – which was all I had in mind – people complained it wasn’t fiction, or at least not science fiction, so I had to extend it a bit to turn it around. This is the complete four-tweet story, collected.

Power

When I found my superpower,
I couldn’t help but smile.

I smiled when I dug out the costume,
the one I made in case
I ever got a power,
and it still fit.

I smiled when I told my mum,
and she smiled and hugged me,
and told me to do good.

I smiled when I told my friend,
and she smiled with me,
and carried me to town,
using her flying and her superstrength.

Now I walk the tired streets,
and look at people, and smile.
And I tell them:

“You look good today.”
“I like your hat.”
“It will be all right.”
“You can do it.”

And they smile back,
or nod, and feel better.

That?

That is not my superpower.
Anyone can do that.
But they don’t.
They don’t.

My power is to know
who I can smile at,
who I can compliment,
talk to,
look at.

Without fear.

To my love

I do not care who else has had a taste
Of all the pleasures that you offer me;
It matters not. Just this, that you have placed
Your body in my hands, and mine will be.

My fingers softly touch your naked spine,
Caress the curve and feel your supple weight.
I breathe your scent, so fragrant and divine.
My appetite is vast but you will sate

My hunger. How you eagerly unfold,
Invite me to the secrets at your core.
You guide me, let me in, you firmly hold
My heart, my mind, and all I crave is more.

You gave me what I needed, and I took
Such joy in reading you, my favourite book.


This sonnet was written for World Poetry Day 2016.

Every time

Every time
You struggle
To find the words
I listen
Analyse, predict, and guess
I know
What you might say
But listen
Til you haven’t said it


Most single-tweet poems are, like a lot of the single-tweet stories, fire-and-forget. I have an idea, write, post, and that’s it. They don’t usually linger. This one did. [Tweet]

Library

Library kept all humanity’s stories, and told them until there was no child left to ask “Then what?”
It waited eons, until the aliens came.

“…and then what?”

Then Library taught the aliens all its languages, for each language tells different stories.
And the aliens cried.

“…and then what?”

Then the aliens, who could not make stories, searched the stars for others who could, and brought them to Library.

“…And then?”

Gry and the Mountain King

The Mountain King ruled the lands around his lonely mountain, everywhere his goblins and trolls could reach in darkness.

At times, Gry and the other children would look south to the mountain, scare each other with gruesome tales, and giggle.

The village was safe. The slow trolls could not reach it, not even in the longest night. But one day, Gry noticed something.

At noon, when the winter sun hung low over the mountain, the shadow cast on the plain seemed to reach closer than before.