Below are writings from participants in current sessions of "Quick 'n Dirty Poetry"  and the "Writing the Snapshot: A 10-line Tutorial" class. Visit for more information about this and other online classes.

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Smith Rock Ascent
by Branwyn Holroyd

It makes me happy to know you have walked these trails.
Running up Grey Butte, I said,  “This reminds me that I have a heart.”
Then it was over the top and down.
Someone called out “run little billy goat.”
I could see the Three Sisters, peaks of rock and snow jutting into an
expanse of sky.
At night I look at the moon.
We talk about non-attachment
I know you’re out there, under a dark sky full of stars.
Great big earth.
Great big heart.

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by Branwyn Holroyd

This morning I thought of you on the Halifax bridge.
Your bicycle and helmet marked where you last stood.
Below you the harbour, black and cold.
And everyone I have ever loved is falling.
Today they found him at a beach motel.
Through cracked windows the sun shone brilliant and the sandy shore
reached out to the waves.
All the birds rose suddenly around me, and I was lifted like some hollow thing.
I wish for you all that love.
Not that beautiful dark water.

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from the prompt: "New and used"
by Jenny Dover

My girlfriend and I have a penchant for anything old and dusty.  If we
have to tromp through a dark damp barn or sift through piles at a
seemingly abandoned store even better.  On a whim we decided to take a
junking road trip.  We loaded up the truck and a small trailer with
tie-downs, old blankets, and lots of Clorox wipes.  We picked our way
through every little roadside antique store or flea market from Kansas,
down through Oklahoma and all the way to Canton, Texas which claims to
host the oldest and largest continually operating flea market in the
country.  Over the next two days we canvassed as much of the market as
our bodies would allow and filled up with treasures destined to torment
our husbands back home.  That was October.

On a sunny day the following May, sat on my deck and told me she had just
been diagnosed with breast cancer.  She did her best to explain how the
next 60 weeks would go; lumpectomy, port implant, chemotherapy,
radiation, and a chemo night cap to finish it off.  We cried and hugged
and lied to each other about how we knew it was going to be okay.  As she
fought through that first round of chemo we wondered together how her
body could possibly survive 60 weeks of treatment.  By August she had
vomited her way through the most toxic part of chemotherapy and was
learning to embrace wearing her wigs in public hiding her unease behind a
smile and a quip, "New day, new do."

Her second round of chemotherapy would end just in time for our October
trip.  By the time we were rolling out of town she had grown the
slightest bit of brand-new, downy soft grey hair.  The combination of
toxins coursing through her and the Kansas heat blanketing her made
wearing her wigs unbearable so we decided the first thing on our shopping
list would be a hat.  We hit the motherlode in Pittsburg, Kansas.  All
the sudden she was a fearless warrior in the gold plastic gladiator
helmet and then a dapper Puss in Boots in the black cavalier with the
yellow feather.  The black and gold sombrero weighed at least 20 pounds
and we were sure it was coming home with us until we found the $125 price
tag.  She steered her imaginary go-cart in figure eights wearing the
maroon fez with the long black tassel.  We imagined her husband's
reaction when she came to bed wearing only the pill-box which sprouted a
red heart with black lace trim.  We found a foot-tall furry white band
hat and she played drum major while I hummed and danced my high school
fight song.  Once we composed ourselves we realized what a shame it would
be to cover that beautiful new hair with any of those used hats.
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