Janet Salsman

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:

Photographer: Shannon Marsden. Like her work? Let her know: Venmo @Shannon-Marsden-1

The Wreck

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.

Read more Janet Salsman.

June 2021 | Flash Lit Collective | Prompt #3:

Artist: Wesley E Warren
Like his work? Let him know: https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/stu23

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
Be not afraid.

Read more Janet Salsman.

June 2021 | Flash Lit Collective | Prompt #2:

Artwork by Jessica Warren. Like her work? Send her a token of your appreciation: https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/stu23


In.  Out.
Hiss like a tape, trapped
on CD—
ocean sounds
like breath.

Thoughts sink
into the waves,
nibbled by sea stars,
buried in sand—

those are pearls that were his eyes—

become something strange,

Ocean flows backward,
meandering stream,
rocks, pool.
Golden koi
weave below the lotus.

Read more Janet Salsman.

June 2021 | Flash Lit Collective | prompt #1:

Image credit: Eric C Carter @dizzypixel. Photograph + illustration by hand; no filters. Like his work? Let him know: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Dizzypixel


Feathery lashes, plus feathers.
Wings of hair flying back from her face.
Here, pinioned,
a specimen for a gaze, caged
in ink or paint.
She objects—
subject not object, but
subjected to the process.
Her thoughts, invisible, glide
away on thermals and she vanishes
in clouds.

Read more Janet Salsman