Battle of the ages

A child skipped below an umbrella,
         the joy of youth insulated beneath
an innocent weapon
                 fighting back an inclement future.

Inspired, though not inspiring,
        I longed for such a battering ram
to bludgeon the plaintive
                skeptic buried beneath the years.

I tinkered with my cynicism, flirting
         with the optimism of youth, hoping
I might change
                 or at least feint near —

Instead, though, I creep back to sleep.
I lack the energy for that particular battle.

(c) 2019 by Phillip Knight Scott

Combo response to several prompts this weekend:

The one word challenge at Fandango : "cynicism"
Weekend writing prompt #119 : "Tinker" & exactly 75 words.
Word of the Day Challenge : "flirt"
Ragtag Daily Prompt : "plaintive"

Mark of time

The clock prefers
a polite tree,
over time,
one more

ring with each
content, marked
for the trouble.

The corridor reads
all mundane nameplates,
over time,
the future

unspooled before it
like ribbon,
slowly marking
time’s dance.

The flame pretends
it cares, ice
wax, alive
only now

indifferent to
acerbic mark
in time.

(c) 2019 by Phillip Knight Scott

Partially inspired by the Ragtag Daily Prompt – “acerbic

On The Awakening

When she awoke – truly and deeply
woke from the sleep induced by testosterone,
drugged with masculinity, weighed down
by society’s down comforter – she looked
to the future as her own. Liberated,

she was called many names. Her favorite dirty
word was feminist, though she would be called
much worse. The word that stuck was independent,
married as it was to happiness, sealed with a kiss,
they lived happily ever after.

(c) 2019 by Phillip Knight Scott

Written in response to the Daily Writing Prompt – August 2019 Feminist Book Title Challenge. Today’s book is The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Join in at the Brave and Reckless Blog.

I remember reading this book years ago in one of my first English classes at UNC and, as one of my first exposures into liberal, feminist art, it made an impression.

Binary stars

He said he no longer wished
to be an astronaut because he didn’t want to leave
me. Sitting on the bathroom floor, waiting
for him – dreaming of space
for whom the past is “today” and the future is
“tomorrow” – to wrap up and climb
down, I watched as time melted,

reminded that he will leave – of course
he’ll leave – either for the moon or college or
a girl or some other thing I’m going to hate
but for now
there is no other time for me
than sitting on the bathroom floor, waiting
for him, my binary star.

(c) 2019 by Phillip Knight Scott

Written in response to the Word of the Day Challenge – “wish”

For Katherine (2)

        With all the authority of a mime sprinting to a parking meter
he exclaimed, “Two-ply is the greatest invention in human history!”
         We didn’t know how to respond
but in thinking about it,
as one does, presented with a truth universally expounded even from

        we gathered
back together,
seated outside the cafe while the sun
reared fluffy clouds skyward, and concluded for
posterity’s sake:
         human rumps do prefer two-ply.

(c) by Phillip Knight Scott

Written in response to no prompt ever.

Television news

I don’t bother with the news
on television, where heads talk over
each other, no one listening nor
changing minds. A platform for despicable people
to “both sides” an issue, even
those where merit, truth, meaning dissolve
into deafening static, noise for its own sake.

I thought this would have changed
after 2016, this desire
to give equal time to unequal opinions, equal
time to lies.
So many other things have devolved
unequivocally. This morning a government official
said on camera the Statue of Liberty, a monument
who welcomes immigrants to the American Dream
should only invite
people who can stand on their own
two feet. My ancestors invaded before
her flame was lit, conquerors but white. Of course
that matters, giving rise to, supporting, and benefiting
from a system designed to burn, a fire warming some,
destroying others. From the ashes, civilization
more equal, but tilted still, for some.

Perhaps rather than change we have reached the end,
brought now through years of complacency
or compliance, distracting us as we change
the channel.

(c) 2019 by Phillip Knight Scott

Written in response to the Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Televised prompt.

A voice

Jittery and uneasy, I struggle
through the dread
brought by
disquietude, keeping me
too often, frozen in apprehension
and restless,
shaking – eager
         – to move.

A gentle breeze washes
over me,
stirring a voice
that is not mine,
         I close the window.  

(c) 2019 Phillip Knight Scott

Written for the dVerse weekly prompt Quadrille #85. The Quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words (not including the title), including one specific word, this time “voice.”

The endless storm

Tempestuous and tempered, raging
among the heavens but eager to descend,
the endless wrath of another storm
hurries us into the shadows.

Hidden from the blustering call while
a squall stumbling for purpose blots out light
with each blast, blindly seeking
a companion, we huddle, hopeful

the humidity will swim away as
we continue to perspire, hesitant
to head out into the gale, uncertain,
but wet one way or another.

(c) 2019 Phillip Knight Scott

Written for the Tuesday Writing Prompt over at Go Dog Go Cafe. The words today are “endless” and “shadows.”


The world has turned and left me spinning
time is thinning

and I am alive. I long to live
in the clouds, my mind
         a head of me
among the billowing blanket of puffy cumulus,

a misty mystic world, delicate and wet
hinting at gray but not turning,
only pulpy white.

But mostly the soft outline of anticipation
traces my thoughts
not among the clouds but
here where

thin whisps of moonlight spin
a web in windows obscuring – or
delaying – the world
where I go round.

(c) 2019 Phillip Knight Scott


Viewed through a keyhole, a speedboat
provides the escape we’ve been looking for,
churning along the waves,
engine chewing water,
consuming miles in the offing, leaving only this
view through a keyhole, a speedboat
pulling us
        – eyes growing smaller
                        – away.

(c) 2019 Phillip Knight Scott

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