Reimagined Fairy Tales and 1 more

NaPoWriMo23 day 5 – Prompt from, to write a poem in which laughter comes at what might otherwise seem an inappropriate moment. I was going to post this piece today anyway if I didn’t like the NaPoWriMo prompt, but I feel like it’s in the ballpark.

In April
everything turns to
Mike Steich died,
and I thought how Steich rhymes with

Also turning into poetry is an idea from my poem starter book. They languish there until National Poetry Month, when one or two leap out and demand their debut. I hope you enjoy these reimagined fairy tales. Peace to your !


Too short.
Too long.
Too frumpy.
Totally wrong!
Too low-cut.
Too tight.
Too, too much.
Just right!

Little Red Riding Hoodlum

An innocent face, the heart of a crook—
Read all about it in this tell-all book.

FACT: The wolf wasn’t the master of lies.
FACT: The grandmother actually dies.

Tired of fairy-tale fraud? Not sure who to trust?
This uncensored account is an absolute must!

The Three Little Prigs

A premium edition with today’s eco-conscious and PC consumers in mind. Vegan leather binding. Printed on 100%-recycled paper with soy-based inks. Alterations to the text include houses of organic hay, sustainable wood, and reclaimed bricks. Choose from the traditional ending or a happily-ever-after-for-all peace treaty and potluck dinner.

“Ten Months After the Ball”

What do you do with Halloween pumpkins once they’ve served their purpose and are beginning to rot? At our house, we toss them over the front porch, where the remains can rest in peace hidden by the shrubbery. One summer we were surprised to see a lush vine growing, and it dawned on us: this was the fruit of our former jack-o-lanterns.

I don’t think our vine produced any pumpkins that time, but last year we harvested three pumpkins (and a number of small gourds, similarly birthed) thanks to our hands-free gardening approach, which we highly recommend. The header photo shows this year’s vine.

While not every poem can trace its roots to a specific incident, the one below was directly inspired by that initial vine. It was our own Cinderella story, the cast-off transformed into something beautiful. Peace to your ♥ !

 Ten Months After the Ball

That October
while the midnight air
danced with violins,
the castle clock
hushed its warning,
the gown of gossamer
spun itself away,
the mice ran home
to drafty attic holes,
and only the pumpkin
was left by the side
of the long drive.

This August
the midday air
shimmers with butterflies,
the wardrobe brims
with satin and lace,
the mice dine royally
on crumbs of Brie.
In the castle courtyard
a newborn cries,
and halfway down the drive,
a gardener muses over
a thick, luxuriant vine.

© Stephanie Malley
Our first baby pumpkin!