"A True Story"
from 17th c. Japan
A wealthy man hired an artist
to paint a mural inside his home.
The artist sealed off the grand room
and spent six months working,
alone, and in complete secrecy.
When at last he unveiled the mural,
the long wall was empty but for
a small tree in one corner, and a bird
perched on one of its branches.
The wealthy man was quite angry.
"My wall is still bare," he complained,
"and I paid you well to paint it."
"Ah," replied the artist, "but if I
had filled it up, the bird would have
no room to fly."
This is the first poem I've read by Mr. Smock, but I will definitely keep my eye out for more. He's also penned a book on writing: Craft-talk: On Writing Poetry, which came out last July.
Comet Press is currently reading for a new horror anthology. The editors want "the most gruesome, disturbing, and scary tales imaginable. Dark humor is acceptable." They'll look at fiction 3,000 to 10,000 words long (including reprints). Pay is 1/4 cent per word, up to $25. The guidelines don't list a deadline, but Ralan.com reports it as Feb 28th.