Friday, April 10, 2020

Flash Fiction 55 Special April Edition #2

Since April is still poetry month as long as there are poets to celebrate it, here is the second special April edition of the 55 for all who are still valiantly writing daily, or for those who just wish to practice the form. Grab your pen, your paper, your keyboard, your crayons or whatever suits your fancy, and write 55 words, no more, no less, of poetry, prose-poetry or flash fiction, and post the link to your results in the comments below.

The prompt will be live from Friday midnight to Sunday at 4 PM.


Here is my 55:


"..and Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.”
― Edgar Allen Poe

You, two
beats behind the living morning.

I, the rusted
 cutthroat knife flower.

You, in
 the scorpion cave torn, and

anchoress in the black bower.

We dance
a chanted nightmare leaking fire

masked with
green locusts buzzing desire.

Outside, we
think the red death passes blind

these chambers
where our bones will rest entwined.

April 2020

with a nod to Imaginary Gardens with Real ToadsFriday April 10 Play it Again: Odilon Redon

Image: Photo, author unknown   via internet   Fair Use
The Masque of The Red Death, © Odilon Redon, 1883  Public Domain


  1. I enjoyed the alternating perspectives in your poem, the shift from 'I' and'you' to 'we, and the way the darkness of the painting seeps through your words. My favourite phrases are: ‘two beats behind the living morning’ and ‘a chanted nightmare leaking fire’. The rhyming gives it a musicality that makes the poem all the more chilling.

  2. This is singularly the best poem I have read in its breadth of encompassing the plague days, and its height in embracing the human condition.. not to mention the flair of form, all your own.

  3. I, the rusted cutthroat knife flower. for some reason or another this line really struck me as apropos to both the poem and the time. Have a kick ass weekend Joy,

  4. This is incredibly, incredibly potent! I am in absolute awe of your writing!💘

  5. I agree, this is the best covid-19/plague poem I have seen, and I have seen many. The second couplet especially blew me away and tipped me off that you were wielding your super-max poetry skills this morn.

    I am still working on mine--I'm a little rusty after my depression-caused layoff--but will def be linking up as soon as it is completed. Thanks so much for doing a weekly 55 this month, dear BFF.

  6. The red death may be blind, but whether it will pass one by....

    Only you could combine such beautiful language with such images of horror. (You probably didn't really need the graphic image – though it and your words do suit perfectly.)

  7. Okay, here is mine:

  8. outstanding, Joy. chills on my face as I read.

    will return before Sunday with a 'pome' to share ~


      it seems something is in the air ~

  9. Oh, this is the darkness a covid19 poem is supposed to be. Chilling in its truth.
    Here is mine:

  10. The plague angel was supposed to come in the night, marking this door then not that one with the red X - yet indeed we can't (or won't) penetrate the mystery of how much the thing is fated or ... invited. Will it be me? Did I invoke it, even desire it? Bringing the paramour into this makes for a feverish masque. Scoured clean as a whistle and white hot as a top, Hedge. - Brendan

  11. Mary Bach has also written a very April 55 for us. Here is the link:

  12. Everyone before me has expressed more eloquently than I can what a kick-ass poem you've got there. So I'll just add this and say thankyouthankyouthankyou - for writing and for hosting.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

Comment Moderation Has Been Enabled