Saturday, May 1, 2021






Scattering Service


In case you are in a hurry.

Looking to settle affairs immediately.

In town for only a day or two.


Hoping to avoid toxicology, perhaps.

The sole beneficiary of a large life

insurance policy.


Demanding the body be cremated immediately.

A scattering service that promises to cremate

and spread the ashes within 24-48 hours.


It is hard to believe that such places exist.

But they do.


Under Armour


It is only a recreation.

Two men on horseback pointing competing

jousts at one another.

It must be hot under all the armour.

First, horse and knight on trotted dirt clod parade,

then a single horn and that sudden run.

Both jousts slowly lowered towards the shield

of the other before a sudden collision.

One knight falls off his horse from the impact.

The have planned it out beforehand,

but the clapping audience doesn’t seem to care.

The winning knight trotting his horse in victory lap

around the arena.

For the cheering crowds clamouring for

more imagined blood.

The losing knight jumps to his feet,

rushing off to applause.

A juggling jester running out to make a

fool of himself in the presence

of the king.


Fire Sale


A farmer’s market just off the highway.

Competing kiosk enemies.

For your business and giving the business.

Proprietor pranking proprietor.


And tucked away near a back gulch I find it.

A tiny scarred gypsy woman under a simple handmade

sign that reads: Fire Sale.


Little blue cloths over everything.

To peak passing curiosities.


A quick nod and she lifts one cloth.

It is a jar of fire.

A tiny flame that keeps flickering.

Even without any oxygen.


In what appears to be tiny baby food jars.

The label removed.

So that all you see is the fire.


This one is yours,

the tiny old gypsy removes the cloth

from one on the end.


She motions me back as I turn away.

Unable to figure out the trick.




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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