Poetry, Flash Fiction, Songs

Archive for the ‘My Writing’ Category

The Royal Wedding

Published in Microfiction Monday, November 10, 2014

The Royal Wedding, by Dan Campbell

Before the wedding, there were the usual preparations. The princess tried on wedding dresses and the royal maids dusted and mopped night and day. The royal secret service positioned snipers and checked for bombs in the church and mines in the street. The royal police trained in crowd control while the royal army stationed tanks in strategic locations and filled the sky with drones. Royal_Wedding_Reception_01 Meanwhile the prince, who was just a frog the week before, remembered his friends who croaked in the night, and he wept when the princess ordered the royal environmental agency to drain his frog-days pond.



Thank you Grim Reaper: A Villanelle by Dan

One of my favorite poetry forms is the villanelle. A villanelle is a nineteen-line poetic form consisting of five tercets followed by a quatrain. There are two refrains and two repeating rhymes, with the first and third line of the first tercet repeated alternately until the last stanza, which includes both repeated lines. I welcome any comments and constructive criticism. Dan


Thank you Grim Reaper  grimreaper

Without you I’d be a lazy thing,
I would keep putting off today,
unafraid of what tomorrow brings.

I wouldn’t care what tomorrow brings
because what’s the hurry anyway?
Without you I’d be a lazy thing.

Today would be just a carefree fling
if I stayed around and never went away,
unafraid of what tomorrow brings.

But it is you, Death, that is king.
Let me repeat again if I may
without you I’d be a lazy thing.

I’d never know tears or mourning,
I would be a clueless child at play
unafraid of what tomorrow brings.

Instead of blaming, your praises I sing.
Before you take me I want to say
that without you I’d be a lazy thing,
unafraid of what tomorrow brings.

Postcard from Konanga – Published in Molotov Cocktail, July 2014

A Postcard from Konanga | Published in Molotov Cocktail, July 2014.

by Dan Campbell

Having a wonderful time; wish you were here. We took a tour yesterday and saw cyclops children peering through windows of doorless houses. The natives worship the moon, it controls the flow of their urges and their blood; women carry baskets of fog all morning; there are twenty-one verbs for different ways to spit and one must bow before three-legged dogs to show respect. wolf

Packs of wolves make the forests dark with their black sweat; shadows are lined up against a wall at noon and shot; faces are painted blue to ward off a moth’s evil eyes and on odd-numbered days handfuls of hummingbirds are released with dreams strapped to their beaks. But no one here slits the throats of rivers and a homeless day can beg for alms without a license; tomorrow we leave on a cruise to pull up salt by its roots and then we’ll backpack to the place where storks are shaped like letters of the alphabet.


Dan Campbell is a banjo player from North Carolina who is currently working in the swampland of Washington DC. His poetry has been published in more than two dozen magazines and he has earned $48.63 in royalties so far.



The Confession: A Thirty Second Play

Please let me know if you enjoyed this or think it sucks.  Gracias, Dan


“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned and it has been 24 years since my last confession.”  confession

“Sit my son, I am glad you have returned. I am the new priest here and this is my first confession.”

“Father, I knew your mother Mary years ago, someone told me you are her son.”

“Yes, she has lived here many years, she was once a nun but left the Order, she never said why.” “She did not want me to become a priest but I told her that I was following God’s calling.” “But enough about me, tell me son, how have you sinned?”

“Father, I am your father.”

Five 55 word stories published in In Posse Review

Each of 5 stories below is 55 words each:

Five Short Shorts by Dan Campbell


Middle-aged Dan sat down for lunch one day and chomped into his 5,000th hamburger. On the first bite, a tail sprouted from his sternum. Horns shot from his brow on the second bite. He tried calling for help when hooves replaced his shoes on the third bite, but all he could do was moo.


“Our daughter sleeps around,” she said.
“The garage roof leaks,” he said.
“I read her diary, she does drugs, she sleeps around.”
“How can I afford a new roof?”
“She might have AIDS; she sleeps around.”
“A new roof; that will cost at least $1,500!”
“A damn she new sleeps roof around,” they said.


House arrest led me to a new career—collecting yawns. The best yawns, rare as pearls, are kept in Petri dishes and studied by experts on yawn anatomy. The most valuable yawns explode unexpectedly like corks from bottles of wine. When we collect a specimen like that, we break open the champagne and yawn wildly!


Remember those sickos? The anorexic Sprat that ate no fat. The anti-social Horner huddling in the corner. And let’s not forget the pedophile that molested Jill on the hill. Grown old, they are drunks now. They like to pass around bottles of homemade brew and whistle at the old lady who lives in a shoe.


Petrified by heights, but in love, so years ago I climbed a mountain to paint the biggest heart ever, fill it with our names so everyone could see. The heart’s still there. I often think of when she’s out with her husband, she looks up, sees us together again. Yes, love’s sweet; so is revenge.


Dan Campbell

Dan Campbell works for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Washington DC. He has served in the Peace Corps in El Salvador, and worked in more than 20 countries. His poems have been published in The Exquisite Corpse, Rattapallax, and other magazines. One poem, “The Bus Rider,” was written into a song and performed at a chamber opera for the Hirshhorn Museum of Modern Art in Washington DC.


Micro Memoirs by Dan Campbell is available online at Barnes & Nobles

Micro Memoirs is a collection of 200+ six word stories that I have written. This is a form of Flash Fiction made popular by SMITH magazine (smithmag.net).  Many thanks to Larry Smith of Smithmag for writing in the Introduction to the book.

The most concise and widely cited example of flash fiction is the story Ernest Hemingway penned, allegedly to settle a bar bet: “For Sale: Baby Shoes. Never Worn.”

I hope you enjoy these short memoirs, most are from the imagination but others reflect daily life in all its pathos and glory. The book can be ordered from Barnes & Nobles and there are several reviews about the book.

Samples of my Micro Memoirs:

    • Runaway bus ended my midlife crisis
    • I prefer wearing armor to suits
    • I keep rehearsing my final bow
    • My 72 virgins are octogenarian nuns
    • Glad birds don’t need singing contracts
    • Took Put On Pants off bucketlist
    • Wife’s future tombstone: “I’m with Stupid”
    • Like shooting stars, we blaze briefly
    • My scarecrow finally admitted he’s hay
    • Winter memory, nurse describing the snowfall
    • Wife’s deleting paragraphs from my eulogy
    • Left cocoon, but still no wings
    • My race horse is nicknamed Shortcut

Haiku Poems by Dan Campbell, June 2014

I hope you enjoy these haiku. It was a haiku that first got me interested in writing poetry and the first poem I ever had published was:

Opening the door
Little one’s laughter I hear –
A father’s reward

Haiku Poems by Dan Campbell, June 2014

I listen
I really listen –
Rattlesnake territory

Six graceful swans
Slowly glide by –
Ballet school window

Today I carried
More of life’s essentials
To the landfill

ICU remedy for sleep
Counting dripping IV drops
Instead of sheep

35 years
Together today, our love,
Same melody, slower tempo