Houston, we have a problem #NaPoWriMo14

Space Cowboys

We look to the sky and wonder

the vastness of space

the complexity of what we see

the amazement of what could be out there

The adventure of discovery

the frontier beyond our sphere

they ride the rocket to the moon

someday maybe Mars

someday, maybe beyond

the terrifying reality of something going wrong

the horse not surviving the trip

not being able to send another horse

make these space cowboys

heading on a possible one-way trip

to no where

and yet they ride

the horses have failed before

the possibilities behind

unknown lights and unresolved pictures

reflecting back ideas that someone else might be out there

we must always remember

long ago a few brave souls

taught us the importance

of our collective knowledge


and will to survive

and most important

that lives are more important than missions

and getting home is a job well done

for that is what will tell

someone else out there

who we really are

and what is important to us

what together makes us



Short Story "Purple Cloud" Prompts for Writers

So I subscribe to Creative Writing Prompts blog. Considering the fact that I spent the first day of 2013 watching Serenity and the Walking Dead, sci-fi was a great prompt for me today.   Hope you enjoy:

She noticed a purple cloud floating toward her.  Unable to move, her heart pounding, eyes wide she knew what was next.  The hit from the nerve ray had left her unable to move and with the knowledge these were her last few moments.    So many times she had seen what was left of someone.  So many times she helped eviscerate what was left of the body.  As it grew closer she noticed the flecks of blue, pulsations and waves that intertwined in the cloud.  There was a strange yet deadly beauty to it. 
As it grew near, the noise started.   Buzzing, not quite like insects yet not like electricity either, growing louder as the cloud floated innocently towards her.  It reminded her of watching clouds across the sky in her home planet.  Clouds, beautiful and strange, coming across the sky, unsure of the malicious content they might contain towards the end.  Clouds that used to carry water contained acid, growing more erosive, then eventually, taking the skin.  These were her reasons for leaving.  Finding someplace else, possibly finding a cure for the ills of her planet.  But someplace else wasn’t always welcoming to others.  And they didn’t leave welcome wagons, in fact, they left bodies behind as warnings.  Don’t come back and tell everyone what we’ll do if they come.  But the desperate with no place to go can only keep moving.   
As the cloud moved near, the noise grew louder and the colors began to change.  She noticed the size of the cloud began to grow but there was a strange tingling in her feet.   The feeling was coming back into her body!  “MOVE!” her thoughts screamed, dragging her limbs until she got to her hands and feet.    Five feet to her pod, five feet and she might be safe from the beam, ‘five feet’ she hoped as she got to her feet and took her step towards the pod, seeing the shadow of the cloud in front of her, and then nothing.  
@2013 Jennie Olson Six

Paper Stars

Paper Stars
We were making paper stars:
 Some were almost perfect. 
Others reflected the unsteadiness
 of 8 year old wobbly hands with child-safe scissors. 
And with each imperfection the delight of the task slowly faded. 
We would not have perfection.
We would have almost good enough,
A chip away at a much bigger idea.
The idea of not good enough. 
In these years of living there
That idea became a mantra of
Disappointment turned inward
Of it’s ok and shouldn’t have expected so much
Turning dark on the inside
And waiting for something better to happen
That never did
In the light of imperfection
Everyone seems happier than you.
But no one needs to point out
8 year old imperfections
Only delights and beauty and wonder
Of how these things come to be
The perfection of being imperfect
in the creation of anything
for the delight and enjoyment of creation.
For where would we be if we did not look up and wonder
And then create reflections of what we have seen.
@2012 Jennie Olson Six


In my mom’s friend’s backyard
Tall weeds
Unfinished construction
Dirty rusted nail in wood
Now in my foot
Tetanus shot
Cockroach infested kitchen
We bond with each other
Over bloody feet
Circumstances into which we’re born
Methods we used to cope
Until that turned to addictions
Without the benefit of recovery
Taking new lives down the same paths
Of unclean
Impoverished realities
Recreating circumstances
As if there were nothing else available
When we know the truth
There are other times
When we have walked
Clean grass under feet
Smell of crisp wet summer
Without shame
 @jennieolsonsix 2012

The Bench


They had tried to spruce up this part of the park, planting trees to replace the one that had been burned but it continued to be a sad space.   A space that no one really visited except those with spray paint and bad intentions.  Winter had covered the area with a blanket of snow on occasion but it was as if the very ground was infused with a longing for something. 

In other parts of the park, people walked their dogs through trails, children skipped rocks on the pond and rangers emptied trash bins unless the racoons had already done it.  They would hide out sometimes, lurking in the shadows, waiting for sundown until they could come out and scavenge.  They were there that night, watching as the tree went up in flames, scurrying into the woods to avoid the screeching sirens and flurry of men in uniforms.  But none could save the tree and what they found.  

Not far from the site, covered in soot, rambling she stood.  First reports were that she was strung-out and deranged, like she always appeared but it was far from the truth.  It had been that park, that tree, many years passed but she never forgot while everyone else seemed to.  Haunted and stuck, like a ghost who didn’t know they’d passed into the afterlife, her memory clung to that horrible afternoon while her life whirled by.   One of the officers remembered but couldn’t offer her anything that time and space might have created but never did.  It was too late for his institutions to offer help when it had failed so miserably the first time.  Instead, the death of the tree forever changed the landscape of the place and now she wouldn’t have to remember.  There was no longer a tree there, and that empty space could hold something different. 

After the place was cleared, they decided to put a bench up and plant some new trees, to infuse some new life into the area and a new purpose.  But the ground refused to accept that.  The first few trees died and they were forever replanting.  But when these last trees were planted, and lived, it was as if the ground wanted something else.  A place for everyone to remember what had happened here, not to remain in sadness but as a testament to what happens when we try to forget and move on when we’ve left someone else behind.