First lines and haiku

Paul Stephenson recently shared some potential first lines, for ‘free writing’ of poetry, short fiction, or maybe even your next article. Start with one of these, and see where it takes you.

‘It was a sunny Thursday afternoon and…

‘I’d just sent off my article when there was a…

‘After I gave up teaching, I started…

‘I answered the phone and a voice said…

‘After 8 hours on Zoom my…

‘What nobody admits about working from home is…

‘When this is all over I’m going to finally…


Paul and Sally have both produced a few haiku (5-7-5 syllables) recently.


Paul’s are haiku as social realism in corona times:

Susan, you’re on mute

Susan, you need to unmute

We can’t hear you Susan


To save the chat, Sue,

in the bottom right corner

do you see three dots?


I must just get that

There’s someone ringing the door

…sorry about that


Sally’s are inspired by the music of her youth (respectively John Lennon, Leonard Cohen and Pink Floyd):

Imagine those things

Not found with a search engine

Galaxy explodes


If it be your will

That I should teach live no more

Sound of snow falling


Leave those kids alone

We don’t need no online class

Flowers on the wall


This week’s photograph is a reminder of spring, the magnolia tree in glorious bloom at the end of Sally’s street. This is a much needed reminder as winter returned with a vengeance.

Keep sending your own poems, flash fiction, photos and artwork to until the end of April.

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