Haiku challenge: Time & Grow

This is for Ronovan’s haiku challenge. You can join in here.

The first haiku has ‘bloom’ instead of ‘grow’—not really a synonym, but I prefer it. So, I’ve added a second haiku with both suggested words.


Your time will come, rose

to fall in a cloud of scent.

Bloom, now, in beauty.


Once upon a time,

the green grass grew all around,

now grey concrete sprouts.

Microfiction: Lawn maintenance

This one’s for Sacha Black’s very complicated and potentially impossible challenge. For exact details, go here. The upshot is, my story had to include these words:

introduced, the, our, disadvantageous.

As a prize for getting in that last one, I awarded myself the right to slip in a phrase I read just recently and have taken to my bosom. See if you can guess which it is.



“I’m sorry Mr Tibbs, but your proposal is really just too disadvantageous for us.”

“You wha’?”


“You mean like the odds is too short?”

The man in the suit got to his feet, his right hand stretched out in a gesture of dismissal. “If you like. I’m sorry, but…our image… You understand?”

Vic shook the hand as if he was being offered a bouquet of live wires. “I’ll take ’em back then.”

The suit held the door open. “If you would be so kind. The young lady at reception will show you where they are being…held.”

Vic stuffed his hands in his pockets and stomped back down the corridor. Pompous prick! He’d rather pay some flash business with fancy machinery. Well, stuff him. The girl at the desk looked at him as though he had a cowpat plastered over his head.

“If you’d like to follow me, please.”

She picked her way along a tarmac strip out the back of the main building to what looked like a large garage and produced a key. While she unlocked the doors, Vic gazed at the vast expanse of green that surrounded the commercial unit and sighed. The five of them could keep that trim, the bushes too, no problem. The girl pulled open the doors and stepped back.

Vic clicked his tongue. “Come on, girls, Pedro, home time.”

The receptionist moved quickly out of the way, but not quickly enough.

“Erk!” she shrieked. “It spat at me!”

“Sign of affection,’ Vic said and yanked on Pedro’s halter. “If ever your boss changes his mind, decides to go green—”

“He won’t.”

Vic shrugged. “Well, fuck me sideways, what a surprise. His loss. C’mon you lot.”

He headed off towards the road, the five llamas trotting after him.



©Nino Barbieri
©Nino Barbieri

Quiet street slumbers
Ignored by the traffic
Visited only by the sun.
Each cobblestone framed in green,
Grass grows where once carts passed.
Wildflowers line the undulating kerb
Of brick diamonds
That falls and rises,
A chain of gentle urban hills.
Each smooth stone a story
Each crack between
A crevasse filled with green roots
And the memories of the city’s heart.