Janet Salsman is a writer cleverly disguised as a personal trainer and Pilates instructor. She loves flower photos, picture books, carousels, and single malts, though not usually all at the same time. Janet has been an active member of our writing community, To Live & Write … Wherever You Are for several years. She has been a regular contributor to The Flash Lit Collective and Alameda Shorts, and in the past year has also finished one book and is working on another even as she sits down to revisions on the first. She is the host of our Friday night Proof of Writes and a staple of weekday Write Alongs and monthly Mini-Retreats. You can read more of her short stories and poetry at Janet’s Random Blogspot.
June 2021 | Flash Lit Collective | Prompt #4:
Afterwards, when the light returns and the water smooths, when the shouting stops, we see the rocks were always there. Some inevitability, some quantum magnet of chaos, drew us to this sharp shock. The tide may ebb and waves recede, but time will not flow back, back to when we were whole.
June 2021 | Flash Lit Collective | Prompt #3:
Tongues of Flame
We build boxes— golden arks, gothic chancels, filigreed and silver-chased cages of words, shrines of bony relics. Inside, we hide, kneel, recite, chant, incant, decant the bloody wine. We pretend we understand. Then the fiery feathers rush upon us and we burn, our boxes so much kindling for the bursting Spirit so much bigger than even the cathedral dome of sky and its infinite whirl of stars. No wonder the angels start with Be not afraid.
June 2021 | Flash Lit Collective | Prompt #2:
Hiss like a tape, trapped
into the waves,
nibbled by sea stars,
buried in sand—
those are pearls that were his eyes—
become something strange,
Ocean flows backward,
weave below the lotus.
June 2021 | Flash Lit Collective | prompt #1:
Feathery lashes, plus feathers.
Wings of hair flying back from her face.
a specimen for a gaze, caged
in ink or paint.
subject not object, but
subjected to the process.
Her thoughts, invisible, glide
away on thermals and she vanishes