Tuesday, May 1, 2018




The leaves return,
he said.

Seated at that table of four
in the Commons Ground.

If you believe in god,
everything does,
I retorted.

He let a tiny chuckle out
of the side of his

I take it you don’t believe in god,
he said.

Staring off into the distance
I shook my head no.

Too bad, he said,
too bad.

As I blew lightly over
my cup of tea.

Knowing it
was still too hot
to drink.


The horses pile into the barn at night
and speak of their dubious time in the movies:
Russell Crowe rode me in Gladiator,
says a white one.
No he didn’t, a voice come from the filly in the next stall,
you always say that when you can’t sleep
and want to start shit.
You’re just jealous because you’re not even fit
to be Mister Ed’s butt double,
the white horse retorts.
Hey, I was Mister Ed’s butt double back in the 60s,
another horse says, how did you know about that?
I’m Black Beauty, a black mare says proudly
from one of the far stalls at the end.
Well, you’re not anymore!, comes another voice.
Did I ever tell you about how most of my family
died in the massacre of Ben Hur?,
another horse chimes in.
Oh, here we go again with the victim card,
you don’t get extra hay for it, claims a stallion gruffly,
there is no such thing as sympathy hay.
Then a small colt gets to its feet and says:
I was Babe.
Babe was a pig, its mother scoffs,
now go back to sleep.


The phone is disconnected.
My thoughts are disconnected.
The phone is my thoughts in physical form.
When I hold it to my ear, I am just returning my thoughts
to their rightful cranial guardian.
And when I pull dandelions up by the stem,
it is my own brain stem that fills with pollen.
That crisp sudden snapping I hear may explain
why my phone thoughts have been disconnected.
And there is monies with wrinkled old faces on it.
Everyone demanding more monies.
Feeling deep into kangaroo pockets for a little
taste of the dream.


RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Our Poetry Archive, Setu, Literary Yard, and The Oklahoma Review.

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