Writing at the Ledges  | Mid-Michigan Authors & Poets



Some Dreams – A Poem

Sometimes we wish or dream for something that may take us to a place we didn’t expect to be.  The prompt for this poem was “Some dreams are dangerous.”  The poem was written by WATL member Mary Fox, who is a very gifted poet.


Beach by the Cabin_10



Some dreams

cloud our morning coffee

with foggy intentions

then exhale distorting mists,

cloaking barriers to blind us.

We grope through them

and find bruised knees.


Some dreams are seductive sirens;

they coo and entice us with sweet promises.

They are heart-pounding kisses,

embroiled in passion,

depleting us, infecting us, and leaving us bereft.


Some dreams grow relentless;

unheeding, treacherous vortexes,

they tornado around us, spinning us

dizzy in swirling kaleidoscope potential.


Some dreams are just reckless.

They hijack us at crossroads,

and, brakeless, run stoplights,

ram barricades

and ping-pong the curves.


Some dreams just slither round our hearts,

and wrapping themselves in

ever-tightening loops,

squeeze us breathless.


Some dreams—

just too dangerous

to ignore.


©2014 May Fox

©2014 Photo of Lake Superior taken by Rosalie Sanara Petrouske



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Stolen Kisses – A Story

A few months ago, the group had a good time writing to the prompt of “Stolen Kisses.”  This short fiction piece from Lori Hudson made everyone smile.


“Get out of my office!” I screeched at Betty Westhouse, who jumped, tossed a message on my desk and scurried toward the door.

She cast me a wary glance as she edged by, and I glared at her.  Did she have something in her hands?  No, she was clean.

I went to my desk and surveyed by belongings.  Everything in place.

Then a noise made me turn and look behind me.  There was Joe Benny, a terrified look on his thin face.

“What are you doing?” I bellowed.

“Um – emptying the trash?” answered Joe, holding up a black plastic bag.

“Hiding while you do it?” I snapped.

“Well, no,” he stammered.  “I was in the…” He gestured over his shoulder at the broom closet.

I gritted my teeth.

“Everybody out! Out, out, out! This is not a public gathering place!”

Joe dropped the bag and ran.

Quiet at least.  And alone at last?  I looked around.  Yes – alone.  I sighed and sat down, gazing at the little china chest by the blotter.

Then I slid it toward me, my hands trembling.  Reverently, I took off the lid, reached inside, and pulled out a beautiful, beautiful Hershey’s kiss.  I unwrapped it and set the chocolate on my tongue – so sweet, so smooth.

What if they had been stolen? It was a prospect too terrifying to contemplate.


©2014 Lori Hudson

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W.A. Spooner was an English clergyman noted for accidentally transposing sounds within words and phrases. An example of a Spoonerism is when you say crooks and nannies when you intended to say nooks and crannies.  The writing challenge was to use a pair of Spoonerisms as bookends for a timed writing by starting the writing with one, and then ending it with the other.  This delightful story by Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, radio announcer for the Lansing Lugnuts minor league baseball team, was the result of this exercise.

Pie             Because of a pack of lies, I met my wife.

It was at a bakery, the aroma of fresh bread canceling out the depressing gray skies and driving rain outside.  A woman stepped in from the dankness, pulling down her hood and wrestling miserably to close a defeated umbrella.  “I need three pies,” she said to the man behind the counter.  “Three lemon meringue pies of your highest order.”

And because she had the sort of face you didn’t turn down, even with raindrops still dripping down her cheeks, the man behind the counter gave her a winning smile and said, “Most certainly.”  Off he went, through the doors behind the counter, into the kitchen area, and there he made a call.  “Three lemon meringue pies,” he said over the phone.  “We’re all out in the shop, but there’s no way I’m telling this customer no.”

At the other end of the phone was me.

“Really?” I said.

“Really,” said my roommate.  “Now bake the three best lemon meringue pies you’ve ever made and sneak them in the back.”  He hung up the phone and, as I found out later, delayed the customer expertly with jokes, descriptions of how good the pies would be, and assorted probing questions of a personal fashion.

It might’ve worked, too, except I was intrigued and impulsively came in through the front door instead of the back.  That led to conversation, which led to a cooking sort of date, which led — in two years time — to a ring.

All because of a lack of pies.

©2014 Jesse Goldberg Strassler

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Stolen Kisses – a Poem

 Stolen Kisses

Most of us remember our first kiss; it may have been unexpected, maybe even awkward, but also a bit magical. The writing prompt was “Stolen Kisses.”  This poem is from Susan L. Kaminga.


I looked around

And saw them kissing

Here and there

Behind me, too

I didn’t know

What I was missing

But I knew

I’d like to, too

I caught his eye

His eyes were twinkling

I knew he knew

What I was thinking

I looked down

To hide my flushing cheeks

My stomach swirling

My knees felt weak

I looked back up

He wasn’t there

Then I felt a kiss

Upon my hair.

©2014 Susan L. Kaminga

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Pyramid of Pebbles_large


Last summer Writing at the Ledges member, Rosalie Sanara Petrouske, spent one week staying in a cabin in the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  This reflection was written for the “Pile of Pebbles” writing prompt.  After a brief hiatus, we are returning to our member’s musings with a promise to be more diligent in our postings.

Along the coast of Lake Superior, there are secret coves and inlets where pebbles are stacked and polished at the shoreline, washed clean from the lake’s tides, time-worn, spit onto the sand and then washed out again not to return for centuries.  This summer as I walked the beaches in the Porcupine Mountains, I spent several hours one afternoon searching for agates.

Agates are not like the gems we normally think of, banded with color, crafted by the skill of the lapidary—they are rather plain, golden brown or marked by russet hues—easily mistaken for quartz or chert, you have to know how to find them, have an eye for unseen beauty, and the ability to pick out the subtle streaks of tan, yellow or orange imbedded deep in their opaque surface.  The translucency is rarely obvious unless the stone is wet.

As the waves rolled to the edges of my toes, I bent over, scanning piles of pebbles, picking some up, turning them over in my palm, tossing others aside.  The sun beat down on my shoulders, even now several months gone by—I can still hear the soft rumble and splash of water, a seagull sailing overhead, calling out, smell the air filled with the green fragrance of spruce, cedar, and mosses melded and drying on driftwood—the deeper depths of the lake itself—sun drenched beach grass, and algae floating in the silt at lake’s bottom.

Finally, I found one lovely stone, an agate I am almost certain; it glows with stripes of red and burnt sienna when I hold it up, still wet, and place it in my palm.   I will keep it to remember this peaceful afternoon—to remind me that not everything I see is always clear at first—some facets are hidden and take time to find—such as knowing who my true friends are, being thankful for my family, or being appreciative for the small kindnesses in my life.  When I am living day-to-day, I don’t always notice a sunset, or the dragonfly that lands on the porch railing, and then waits a moment before flying off.

There is much to recommend for an afternoon sitting on a picnic table in a spot of shade, a breeze caressing my shoulders as I write these words.  There is much to recommend for the simplicity of minute moments in time.



Photo Credit:  “A Pyramid of Pebbles”

©2014 Rosalie Sanara Petrouske


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