Sunday, November 30, 2008

WordCatalyst Prompt -- Snow Scene Haiku

Photo Copyright JO Janoski

A WordCatalyst Prompt
-- Haiku

Tree shadows splatter
across icy white snow sheets
searching for warm souls.

As I skim pure snow
shadows of trees beckon me
to follow dark trails.

Shimmering shadows
whisper in morning sunlight
about days to come.

Copyright 2008 JO Janoski

Monday, November 24, 2008

Singing with Angels

Marblehead Races by Gordon Grant

Singing with Angels

Summer sails balloon
with anticipatory
journeys heavenward
riding white cloud seas.

Gliding inspired
lonely ride transcendental
endless blue rushing
to eternity.

Exhaling star songs
Wrapped in ink-stained galaxies.
Singing with angels
for an afternoon.

Copyright 2008 JO Janoski

Sunday, November 23, 2008

For Love or Money

Part 4 of an ongoing story which starts here, then here, next here.

For Love or Money

"Eye Candy in the fifth!"

The jittery hand placing a one hundred dollar bill on the counter had moments ago crossed fingers for luck. Charlie Puckett grabbed the ticket and turned to Elvira Dobbs who stood beside him, wearing a frown.

"It's done." His weak smile revealed a sudden lack of confidence.

"Charlie Puckett, you'd better hope that horse wins. I didn't come to the track with you just to sit around and look pretty, you know."

"Yes, Mrs. Dobbs...Elvira. I know. Why don't we find some seats and wait for our race." Charlie wrapped her arm in his and proceeded to lead Elvira Dobbs into the grandstands. He felt her arm stiffen in his grasp. "A beautiful afternoon, isn't it?" He murmured, trying to make the atmosphere light.

"Yes, I suppose it is. Nice warm sun."

"Warm like your lovely brown eyes!" As they settled in seats, he produced a single red rose and presented it to her.

"What the...? Charlie, what's this?"

"A rose for you, my celebrate your beauty."

"Oh hog wash!" Elvira Dobbs stiffened and looked away.

"Mrs. Dobbs...Elvira, you are beautiful to me. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, remember. I see your inner self, the buried soul that is timelessly exquisite."

Elvira looked back at him. "You're pretty cute, yourself, Charlie," she said before turning away again as though the words were awkward. Her eyes remained on the track. "I've always known what a teddy bear you are inside...I've been aware of it for as long as you and Alfred hung around together."

"May I kiss you?"


"May I kiss you, Mrs. Dobbs...Elvira?"

"Well, just once, on the cheek!"

As Charlie stretched over to plant a wet one, his eyes caught a view of the gate. "It's our race! The fifth with Eye Candy!"

Elvira pushed him away and jumped up to hug the railing. "Which one is our horse?"

Charlie leaned close and murmured in her ear. "That black one there, with the jockey in red."

He'd hardly got the words out and the gun went off. The horses shot out like bullets, including Eye Candy who hugged the rear but soon galloped to make it to the middle and then the front, neck in neck with Devil May Care, a muscular black steed with long legs that made the exhausting run look effortless.

"GO EYE CANDY, GO!" Elvira screeched, clutching Charlie's arm in her excitement. Bouncing up and down, she let go of Charlie to wave her arms in the air.

Charlie gripped the railing and watched.

The announcer's voice rat-tat-tatted on the loud speaker. "It's Eye Candy! Devil May Care! Eye Candy! Devil...Eye Candy...They're nearing the finish's Eye Candy! Devil May Care coming on hard...Eye Candy! No! Devil May Care taking the lead! Devil May Care with Eye Candy right behind! Devil May Care! Devil May Care! Devil May Care across the finish line! It's Devil May Care the winner!"

Elvira and Charlie stood, stunned. Finally, turning to one another, Charlie murmured, "We lost."

"Yes, we did."

Charlie sighed, not a gentle sigh, the kind one can hide; but a giant display of unrest pushed through his lips in a colossal squawk that wished it was a roar.


"Oh, I'm sorry, Elvira. It's just that I realized not only did we lose the race, but now you'll never marry me. Winning was the only chance I had."

"Who says so?"

Charlie blinked in surprise. "Well, actually, I guess I said so. I said if we won, I'd ask your hand in marriage."

"Charlie, if you ask my hand in marriage, we still win!"


"Don't you see, Charlie! I wanted to marry you all along."

"But I didn't win us the jackpot!"

"Yes, you did. We're both winners because we have each other."

He fell to one knee and took her hand in his. "Elvira Dobbs, will you marry me?" he asked, holding his breath.

"Charlie Puckett, I certainly will."

And that was how Charlie Puckett became a millionaire, in more ways than one.

Copyright 2008 JO Janoski

Saturday, November 22, 2008


A WordCatalyst Workshop PromptJust One Violin by Hamish Blakely


Music notes bounce from wall to ground
as hearts resound
tango heart beats
pounding stone streets

in syncopated misery
with needs to be
alone, undressed
their love confessed

steamy passion violin shrieks
hot ember streaks
in street dance heat
suppression beat.

Copyright 2008 JO Janoski

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Lucky Three Continues

Continuation of the other Jo's Story, The Lucky Three

Mrs. Elvira Dobbs emerged from St. Anthony's, strolling and waving her bejewelled hand like a queen greeting her subjects. Pausing in the doorway, she stepped in front of Father O'Reilly and shoved him to the back in order to meet parishioners as proper royalty should.

"Hello, Mrs. Brooster! How are you today!" she murmured, extending her hand, her diamonds glinting in the morning sun.

"I...I was just hoping to see Father O'Reilly." Mrs. Brooster snaked her face upwards to look for the beleagered pastor hovering behind the other lady.

"Oh, certainly! He's...back there!" Mrs. Dobbs dismissed the matter with another flurry of jewels. Her white silk jacket rustled with the movement while costly perfume aromas invaded the vestibule's air space.

"Mrs. Dobbs...Elvira...I wanted to express my condolences on your recent loss." The little voice came from the side, wired, tense.

"What? Oh! Mr. Puckett!"

"I'm sorry about Alfred, a tragedy, really."

"Yes, my dear Alfred. But he has left a lasting impression. I can appreciate him more in death than in life, I think. He was such a lazy sloth when alive, but now..." She flashed her diamonds. "In death, he is a noble provider...dear Alfred."

Charlie's eyes lit up watching the starlike jewels. "Yes. Has it occurred to you, Mrs. Dobbs, that Alfred would want you to remember his dear friends...his loyal that he has passed and can't look out for them?"

"Whatever are you talking about, Charlie?"

He smiled at her use of his first name. "Perhaps Alfred would want you to share some of his great abundance...with his old friends, as it were."

"Certainly not!"

"Perhaps a loan, a solitary loan of $100.00. I have a magical idea, Mrs. imitate Alfred's generous last act of placing a bet on Eye Candy who is running in the fifth tomorrow afternoon. History could repeat itself, and I would, of course, share with you as I am asking you now to share with me, Mrs. Dobbs...Elvira."

"Are you insane?"

"Mrs. Dobbs, would you call your current state of wealth insane? Just such "insanity" is what put those jewels on your fingers."

"Oh my Gawd! You're starting to make sense."

"Mrs. Dobbs, just $100. Just $100. It's a long shot., we could make a fortune...another fortune for you."

"Okay, Charlie Puckett. I'll give you the $100, but heaven help you if we don't win. I'll be looking forward to ruining you for making a fool of me."

"Oh, we shall win. And when we do, I shall ask your lovely hand in marriage. We will be such an unbeatable team, how could you resist?" He dropped to one knee and clutched her hand.

"Oh, Mr. Puckett," Elvira blushed. "I could resist. The question is, will I have to?"

Copyright 2008 JO Janoski

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


This blog is in mourning for the loss of theburghblog. PittGirl retired her blog today. Say it isn't so, PittGirl!

OMG! Did the pigeons win?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mr. Dobbs

Fanned out by Charles Dana Gibson

In response to a Word Catalyst Prompt

Mr. Dobbs
(Gentleman on the Left in Picture)

Plump Mr. Dobbs wiggled his stubby fingers into empty pockets and sighed. After paying off Swenson, he'd have no money left, not even a nickle. Damn Yankees! They lost. Mr. Dobbs wasn't a pleasant individual to be around to begin with, constantly scowling, forever dressed in a wrinkled suit and tie, a battered straw hat shielding a balding head from the summer sun. When he lost a bet, people scattered from his path. His big lumbering body coming down the street, propelled by angry words sputtering, remained a force to be reckoned with. Today people ran away even faster.

Mrs. Dobbs was waiting for him in the living room, her arms folded across her chest, standing tall and determined, a closed suitcase set beside her.

"Well, I see the Yankees lost," she told him first thing.


"And I suppose you bet the rent money on them again, is that not right, Alfred?"

He shot her an exhausted glance. "Yes, I bet the rent money...and yes, I lost it."

"I told you. I told you! If you lost the rent money again I was leaving. Do you remember?"


She studied him. "You really don't care, do you? You don't care if we have no roof over our heads, food in the fridge. All you care about is the next round of bets."

He didn't answer.

"I must be crazy to have stayed here this long. What was I thinking? I sold my mother's jewelry once because we were broke. Do you remember that, Alfred? Do you?"


"Well, that's it! I'm out of here!" Mrs. Dobbs picked up the suitcase and pushed past her husband, slamming the door in her wake. Mr. Dobbs stood quietly and made no effort to chase after his wife. When the car pulled away, he let loose with a yawn. He headed for the den and his favorite overstuffed recliner, a nap foremost on his mind. What a surprise to find a brown leather handbag perched on the seat, opened, inviting, forgotten by Mrs. Dobbs. He reached in and his fist emerged with a wad of money. Fanning it, the fat man chuckled. Next pulling a newspaper out of one pocket and his cell out of another, Mr. Dobbs hit speed dial.

"Hello? Swenson? Put me down for $100 on Eye Candy in the ninth. Yeah, I got a few bucks. My wife gave it to me."

Copyright 2008 JO Janoski

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling

A WordCatalyst Workshop Prompt

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling

Wanda Shortstuff rubbed the back of one hand across her forehead, smearing flour in a broad, white streak. Outside, snowflakes tumbled to ground, mounding up in stacks, some of them over three feet high. Then wind blew and drifted the snow, scattering the white stuff helter skelter, painting the world in a rushing, white haze.

"Where's my rolling pin? What the he...Oops, better watch my language. Almost said the bad thing. Santa may be listening."

Ollie, her friend, sat nearby stringing popcorn for the big Tree. His elf ears perked up when he heard her statement. "Where did you learn to talk like that?" he squealed.

"Oh, ever since we got satellite TV here at the North Pole, little bits and pieces sneak that word I almost said." Wanda sniffed in disdain and continued her search for the rolling pin. Opening drawers and cupboards, she stuck her nose in and looked in all those dark places. "How can I have the gingerbread men ready Christmas eve without my rolling pin?"

"It's a conundrum," Ollie murmured, stringing three more kernels on the popcorn garland.

Wanda stood, hands on hips, and stared at the elf. Her face flushed. "You never take me seriously! Never!"

"Huh? Where'd that come from?"

"You always ignore me when I need help. But when you need me, I'm there for you!"

Ollie chuckled. "Put a lid on it, Wanda!" He returned to his popcorn-stringing. "You take yourself too seriously."

"Take myself too seriously! Take myself too seriously! Without me, there'd be no Christmas cookies around here."


"There you go again! I get so mad! I could just...I could just..." Wanda, face red and hands shaking, reached into her flour canister and a grabbed a handful. Poof! She threw it in Ollie's face!

"Yuck, spit! What'd you do that for?" Ollie spied his friend grinning, her eyes dancing with revenge. He made a grab for the butter dish. Wanda rushed him, but he pushed her away and buried his fist in the grease, lifting a handful. He squashed it in Wanda's face.

She stared back, her eyes registering disbelief. The girl's face, sculpted in yellow butter was covered with too much gunk to reveal any other lines, until she made a dash for the pie case. Shards of butter flew off and through the air, sent airborne by her speed. It plopped to the floor creating a treacherous grease slick. At the pie case, she lifted a lemon meringue and ran with it in Ollie's direction.

"Bomb's away!" she yelled, throwing the pie at him. As the concoction left her hand, she slid on the butter slick and slammed to the floor.

Ollie never saw the lemon meringue pie coming. He'd been wiping flour off his face, and when he dropped the towel, the pie zoomed in a like a guided missile. ZWAT!

"Whaaat!" The poor man fell into a heap. glazed in lemon custard and meringue.

"HO! HO! HO!" A booming voice filled the room, along with the jingle of tiny bells. There was no mistaking who was coming. "HO! HO!..." Santa Claus stopped short when he saw the two sprawled on the floor, covered with baking ingredients. He touched a chubby finger to his nose in thought before asking, "What's going on here?"

Ollie and Wanda exchanged glances. This could demote them to cleaning the reindeer stalls. Ollie answered first. "We had an accident with the cookie dough. see, we lost the rolling pin, and we had all this dough, and Wanda and I were looking for the rolling pin and we knocked over a few canisters and butter tubs...we were frantic to find the rolling pin. The Christmas cookies need made and all."

Santa waved his hand. "More than I wanted to know. But about the rolling pin...I had it. In fact, I've come to return it today."

Wanda's face was etched in confusion. "Santa, you had it?"

"Yes, my dear. Ever since we got satellite TV, I've been watching the food network." He chuckled. "Thought I'd try a few pie recipes."


Santa continued. "By the way, I made a lemon meringue pie. Would you like some?"

When the two didn't answer, he chuckled again. "I didn't think so. Well, here's the rolling pin. Merry Christmas! And remember, be kind to one another." With a wink and a smile, he was gone.

Wanda and Ollie never fought again, at least not with food.

Copyright 2008 JO Janoski

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Light Illusive

The Light Illusive

Illusive, it trickles through cracks in my gritted teeth,
warming, illuminating
parts of my being I meant to keep mine.
I reach to grab it, contain it, send it away
and it jiggles like jello.
It's here to stay.
Annoying, it talks.
Tells me to be better,
to sing,
It's the voice of motivation, I suppose.
But it doesn't have my tones,
my diction.
It's someone else's voice.
It won't go away,
even after you're gone.

Copyright 2008 JO Janoski

Saturday, November 01, 2008

And Farmer John Smiled

Pigs  by Pablo Picasso

And Farmer John Smiled
Gluttony splashed with dirty water,
everyday celebration
in corn fed jubilee,
pigs in a barnyard, sloppy smiles
mud-slicked playfulness
wrapped in harmony
with waste and wallow extraordinaire
flung from rusty pails
groping, gorging gleefully
stuffing, delirious, mesmerized
like fast-food zombies
in satiated ecstasy.
Copyright 2008 JO Janoski