Posted by: Colleen Owen Murphy | October 5, 2019

Do You Dare?

Do You Dare?

“I dare you, Sam, to trick-or-treat at Old Man Daniel’s place.
They say he killed a bear by hand and’s missing half his face.

“He never saw a doctor and the maggots, so they say,
are feeding off his open wounds and eating flesh away.”

“I’m not afraid of nothing and besides, it can’t be true.
If I decide to take this dare, what do I get from you?”

“I’ll give you all my candy, once you eat what he hands out;
he’ll give you juicy maggots from his bloody face, no doubt!”

“You’re on!” said Sam to Peter, “But you better keep your word!”
As secretly he prayed there was no truth to what he’d heard.

On Halloween, with fingers crossed, Sam knocked on Daniel’s door.
The man who answered’s face was hidden by the mask he wore.

Relieved, Sam took the candy, told him thanks and turned to run
and meet back up with Peter, glad this dare was almost done.

“All set!” he said, then showed him.

“Are you sure?” asked Peter, giggling

He raised the bag that Sam just got
“Your gummy worms are wiggling.”

This is an entry for an October challenge, Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy hosted by Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez and Lydia Lukidis based on an image of gummy worms (image 8). I was limited to 200 words, and this comes in at 189.

Posted by: Colleen Owen Murphy | May 19, 2019


One day I caught a leprechaun, but said I’d set him free
if we could take a selfie and he’d split his gold with me.

“Agreed!” then warned the leprechaun, “Be careful how you spend.”
“Your riches all will vanish if you reach the rainbow’s end.”

I paid no heed to what he said, I took my share and ran;
I headed to a dealership to bargain with a man.

I bought a BMW in candy apple red
and matching model for my wife, but Viv’s was orange instead.

Then next I bought a Cannondale as yellow as the sun –
but Viv said no to exercise and so I bought just one.

To even out the purchases, since she was born in May,
I found the perfect emerald to give to her that day.

By now I had a thirst to quench; though any drink would do
the store stocked only Gatorade and so I chose the blue.

I stood outside the Five and Dime to relish my new ride
and thought, I need some finer garb to match its lush inside!

I drove to Neiman Marcus – for the first time in my life.
I only shopped at Target for my clothing and my wife.

I asked a clerk to help me find the best jeans I could own.
“If best is what you’re looking for; you’re wanting Rag and Bone.”

I fit two sizes smaller, as I learned it’s not the same
how pants are made at Target versus by a branded name.

I had the clerk cut off the tags so I could wear them then.
I said, “Get used to seeing me, ‘cause I’ll be back again!”

I left a whole inch taller, but I thought as I walked out,
my Viv will be quite jealous of my fancy pants, no doubt.

To ease her pain, I found a floral vendor on the street
and picked three pots of 6. violets – their smell, a bitter sweet.

As soon as I had paid for them – they vanished in thin air;
I felt a coolness on my legs and realized they were bare!

I quickly put my old pants on and went to find my car,
but knew I would be walking home, and goodness, home was far.

I tried to think of some way I could let my poor wife know
of what her foolish husband had and how he’d let it go.

But since I didn’t understand what made it disappear
through tears, I had to itemize each step for her to hear.

I saw a dawning on her face when I was halfway through.
She stopped me from continuing. “I’ll end the tale for you.”

“It didn’t matter what you bought, the colors were the key.
Your luck changed with a violet thing; that fact I guarantee.”

“You’re right, but how or why?” I asked, but could not look at Viv.

“You silly, empty-headed man; it’s “V” in Roy G Biv!”  

This is a prompt from where, in less than 24 hours, we had to write and include six different colors in our story or poem.

Posted by: Colleen Owen Murphy | May 2, 2019

To a Struggling Student from your Teachers

We hope you know how much we care and want you to succeed.
Please know what seems un-learnable is started with a seed.
A pencil is to paper as a hoe is to the ground –
you have to turn the soil first to move your thoughts around.
Although the concepts planted may not blossom right away,
by tending to your learning, you will pick up more each day.

Posted by: Colleen Owen Murphy | April 30, 2019

NaPoWriMo Day 30


My ceiling is peeling – no need for replacement.
My view’s set on blue since my start in the basement.

My minimalist poet for the final day of the National Poetry Month challenge offered by . Thank you for the inspiration!

Posted by: Colleen Owen Murphy | April 29, 2019

NaPoWriMo Day 29


Oh Fear, my foe, stop stalking me. Your needless visitation
disturbs my speech, since when you come my thoughts go on vacation.

I bypass social settings, Sir; I know you’ll be attending –
your molestation of my mind, as always, never ending.

Although my brain is well aware I’m just as good as they,
that notion flies right out the door when you butt in the way.

You violate my right to speech, as well my right to function.
To halt your wracking of my life, I’m seeking an injunction.

For the second to the last day – hurray – of NaPoWriMo, suggested as a prompt to write a meditative poem based on a strong feeling we have had. I suspect I am not the only one who suffers from social anxieties.

Posted by: Colleen Owen Murphy | April 28, 2019

NaPoWriMo Day 28


as deep as an ocean
as complex as trig
as simple as catching the greasiest pig

as healing as hugs
as veined as a leaf
as bold as a painting by Georgia O’Keefe

as layered as trifles
as tangled as dreams
as rich as a coffee with multiple creams

as shallow as wade pools
as airy as flight
as tricky as joining the left with the right

as short as a sprint
as long as route one
as bad or as good as a day in the sun

Posted by: Colleen Owen Murphy | April 27, 2019

NaPoWriMo Day 27


With payment for my services required,
I cannot chase my dreams; I walk instead.
I seek those dreams when anted work’s expired,
as then begins a journey in my head
where random and directed thoughts traverse
collecting words and images en route
to fit within the confines of a verse –
or not, as options merge and toss about.
As verses kindle stanzas kindle tales,
the journey, slowly, carries out its end
until, in part, my lifelong dream prevails;
its final steps on others must depend.
Throughout these travels, oftentimes I’ve thought:
if no one reads my work, is this for naught?

Today’s prompt was to borrow lines or find inspiration from one of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Although Shakespeare may have been distracted by a different allure, we both found/find our minds occupied with particular thoughts when the physical or necessary tasks of the day are done. I borrowed, reordered and slightly reworded these two lines from his Sonnet 27:

But then begins a journey in my head
To work my mind, when body’s work’s expired:

Posted by: Colleen Owen Murphy | April 26, 2019

NaPoWriMo Day 26

Since life evolved
a child’s nestled
in his mother’s arms.

Like roots to ground
a child’s nurtured
in her mother’s arms.

As sun melts snow
too troubles vanish
in a mother’s arms.

How great the void
for those unwelcome
in their mothers’ arms.  

Posted by: Colleen Owen Murphy | April 25, 2019

NaPoWriMo Day 25


Oh why can’t humans hibernate,
at least us older throng,
especially in places where
old Winter comes on strong?

We’ll sip the cider, smell the pines,
and take in all the lights.
We’ll sing our favored festive songs
and bear those chilly nights.
But once December says farewell,
we’ll bid our friends adieu,
and slumber ‘til old Winter’s dose  
of frigid days are through.

Posted by: Colleen Owen Murphy | April 24, 2019

NaPoWriMo Day 24


If I’m ever detached from the Net,
with my Roget’s Thesaurus I’m set.
Leave me stranded at sea;
oh how happy I’ll be –
just as long as it doesn’t get wet!

Older Posts »