National Poetry Writing Month

April is National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) — a poem a day for a month! Today each of us is challenged to write a poem about an action (in my case, singing) that is a metaphor for our life.

To read lots more interesting poems or to participate, visit the National Poetry Writing Month website.

from her mouth

from her mouth
the melody saunters
through the spring rain
her voice carries high
finally rests upon a cloud

from her lungs
the lyrics march
down city streets
a pounding thunderstorm
forcing wind to cry out loud

from her diaphragm
the music flows through pews
the scent of God’s green earth so sweet
the sanctuary moves
to the power of her voice, profound

from her heart
the music pumps like blood
magnificent it beats
resonates through rafters
and shouts God’s name out loud

from her breath
now gasping short and low
a voice near silent, still
no storm, no wind, just whispers
of angels’ wings on clouds


NaHaiWriMo – Day 1

National Haiku Writing Month starts today! What better reason to end my long hiatus from blogging?

If you love haiku, haiga, senryu and haibun…or you just love watching some poor sap like me struggle to come up with a tiny idea from her feeble brain once a day, then I hope you will join me for an interesting month of poetry.

I plan to write at least one poem per day, sometimes using prompts from Facebook or Twitter. The Facebook page for NaHaiWriMo has lots of visitor posts, so feel free to read along or post your own.

Today’s prompt: hand

Piano keyboard



Song of Angels

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers, where every story is a surprise. Each week, writers from around the world post 100-word stories based on a photo prompt provided by author  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Visit her site for more information on the Fictioneers.


Photo Credit: Roger Bultot

Song of Angels

by Jan Brown

They arrived in a flash of light. The ship was a white, feathery confection with a thousand portals. The beings inside it were composed only of light and sound. And what a sound! Their song was enchanting, spirit-lifting, even healing.

Anyone in hearing range would instantly feel better, happier, cured of earthly ills, ready to pass along the song to the next needy human. Soon, the world was filled with the captivating sound of thousands, then millions, then billions of resonant voices—human and alien, soprano and alto, tenor and bass.

It was a powerful harmony that changed the world.



To read more Friday Fictioneers’ stories, click the link:

Music Therapy

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers! We are a lively and friendly international writing community. Between Wednesday and Friday of every week, we each post a 100-word story to share. This week’s photo prompt is courtesy of John Nixon. Thank you, John!

To learn more about us, or to post your own story, please visit our lovely leader’s website, author Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Addicted to Purple.


Photo Copyright: John Nixon

Music Therapy

by Jan Brown

Lizzie stared at the old player piano. It was rigged as a joke, to look like a clown was stuffed inside. But it wasn’t making anyone smile.

So Lizzie dissembled the clown, then reached inside the piano and deactivated the player roll. She sat down and began to play her songs.

People gathered round. Broken people, people whose psychoses were so overwhelming that all they could do was scream or moan. Now they were quiet. Listening.

Lizzie began to sing. Her throaty voice carried through the halls, carrying with it her damage and, most of all, her hope.

People smiled.



To read more Fictioneers’ stories, click the link:

Love, Accompanied

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers, where every story is a surprise.

This week’s photo is courtesy of C. E. Ayr. Thank you, C. E., for a fascinating photo! It prompted me to imagine a concert hall in a vibrant city on the water, where amazing concerts are given every night by the world’s most talented performers. My story explores what happens when two of those performers fall in love.

For more information on Friday Fictioneers, or to post your own story, please visit our lovely leader’s website, author Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Addicted to Purple.

concert hall ceayr

Photo copyright: C.E. Ayr


Love, Accompanied

by Jan Brown

It happened the first time she heard him play. 

That’s how musicians fall in love. They listen. Not to the frailty and false promise of words, but to the heartfelt passion of music that cannot be feigned.

He became her accompanist, a move that boosted both their careers. The sizzling electricity that passed between them was exhilarating! 

They never acted on the sexual tension, not wanting to risk their partnership. But now, in the autumn of her singing career, she could not imagine being apart. She looked at the pair of gold bands in the jeweler’s box, and hoped he would feel the same.


To read more Friday Fictioneers’ stories, click the link:

When Words Aren’t Enough

NaPoWriMo Day 26: This is inspired by a prompt posted on Twitter by @MadQueenStorm. The prompt is a question: “What do you do when words aren’t enough?”

When you’re sick, words are not often enough. Platitudes don’t really help. People remind you that things could be worse. “At least you can be thankful you’re alive and breathing.” Hmmm….maybe so, but if you’re in constant pain, it doesn’t really feel like living. Words sometimes hurt more than help. So I often rely on music for comfort.


I sing

soulful melodies

express what words cannot


I smile

rousing symphonies

take our hearts to a better place


I listen

downbeats of jazz

infuse us with energy and love


I sigh

you hold my hand

we wait for peace to return



April is Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM). This story is based on the lyrics of the great Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life” and the weekly photo prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for Friday Fictioneers.

Photo Copyright: Lauren Moscato

Photo Copyright: Lauren Moscato

I’ll live a lush
Life in some small dive
And there I’ll be
While I rot with the rest
Of those whose lives are lonely too

– Billy Strayhorn, “Lush Life”


by Jan Brown

The only thing I got in the divorce was a small jazz bar in a rather dubious neighborhood. It was aptly called “Hole in the Wall,” but most people just called it “The Hole.”

There is a feeling, when you walk in the door, that you’ve entered another universe, a dank, dingy world where there is so much darkness and pain that your own personal problems seem less ominous in comparison.

He still visits on weekends when I sing, despite the restraining order. Last night, he looked so old, so smashed, so irretrievably sad. And then he pulled the gun.


You can read other Fictioneers’ stories here, and even add your own.

You can learn more about Jazz Appreciation Month by visiting their  Facebook page.

As an extra added bonus for reading this far, here is Lady Gaga’s very luscious version of “Lush Life.” Enjoy!

Not Love at First Sight

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers!  This week’s photo prompt inspired me to think about the admiration I have for so many musicians. There seems to be a universal reaction to music as the language of love, or at least the language of infatuation. Are you old enough to remember the crowds of screaming young girls at every Beatles concert?

In the world of opera, as well, there is no shortage of passionate tenors, powerful baritones and handsome basses. I remember my reaction to a shirtless Samuel Ramey as Mephistopheles. Oh. My. God.

As I looked at this week’s prompt, I wondered about the reverse situation. Do men fall in love (or fall in lust) with their favorite female opera divas? This is the subject of my 100-word story, below.

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields leads our international band of fictioneers by providing a photo prompt to inspire us each week. Writers from around the world post 100-word stories, based on the prompt. You can see them all here, and you can post your own story, too!

Many thanks to David Stewart for this week’s photo.

Photo Copyright: David Stewart

Photo Copyright: David Stewart

Not Love at First Sight

by Jan Brown

He was drawn immediately to her mezzo soprano voice. It was love at first hearing, not love at first sight. He pushed his way through the throng of admirers to introduce himself.

She was drawn immediately to his fawning adoration. To know that her voice stirred something in his heart—what an ego boost! He professed admiration, but hinted that it was love. She was deeply moved. For her, it was love at first conversation, not love at first sight.

But–was this really love?

Twenty-five years later, they were still married, she was still singing, he was still admiring.