Submissions for tinywords 20.1 — and a writing prompt

Photograph by James Offer of Starling murmurations over the burnt-out West Pier in Brighton.

Spring is just a few weeks away here in the northern hemisphere and TINYWORDS 19.2 has ended with Marrietta McGregor’s haiku “spring breeze” waving a goodbye to winter. It’s time to begin anew. The submission window for TINYWORDS 20.1 opened on February 1st.

The entire month of February is the time to send us your small poems, haiga, or brief haibun for the new issue of TINYWORDS 20.1. We have already received quite a few submissions. Thank you.

Sending work to TINYWORDS is a simple two-step process. Just check out our?Guidelines?and click on the?Submissions Page?from Feb. 1 through Feb. 29, 2020. One month window, as usual.

To keep things interesting while we work on the new issue, we present a new writing prompt. This image of a starling murmuration near the ruined West Pier in Brighton, England, taken by James Offer, is the current challenge. Why not pen a tiny original poem or two in response to this glimpse of the fading past or is it the coming future? ?Leave your best efforts in the comment box below and the TINYWORDS editorial team will share the best of the best in TINYWORDS 20.1, due out in late March 2020.

Thanks again for dropping by. We look forward to reading what you?have?to say.

98 Responses

  1. codyhuddleston Says:

    the stars

    the first murmuration
    of spring

  2. SE Gifford Says:

    Sunset Waltzes in
    the empty ballroom –
    flock of starlings

  3. Garry Eaton Says:

    gone to sea
    for nesting birds
    the old pier

  4. jeanietomasko Says:

    your brown eyes nearly blue
    that day we couldn't help
    ourselves to enough

  5. joshturtle Says:

    below cold black clouds starlings flock, soar, spiral

  6. Diane Mayr Says:

    there were penny slot
    machines on the pier
    teens' flight of fancy

  7. ronaldjscully Says:

    a thousand starlings
    above the stark pier
    their boardwalk gone

  8. Alan Summers Says:

    burnt-out in Brighton the starlings murmur on the wing

    Alan Summers

  9. Alan Summers Says:

    I've been to Brighton U.K. several times, home of many famous activities and the book and film(s) of Brighton Rock.
    Note: Brighton Rock is a novel by Graham Greene, published in 1938 and later adapted for film in 1947 and 2010. The novel is a murder thriller set in 1930s Brighton.
    It's a great place, but I do remember one day…

  10. carol jones Says:

    Hope it wasn't you who was covering his tracks, Alan. That's one heck of a burn up :)
    Now that would be something to remember.

  11. Alan Summers Says:

    No, all very legal, and to do with educational conferences usually. The conference and the people I used to meet were a relief compared to the stress of dealing with family and business. So arrive there burnt out, and leave feeling much better.

    I even got trained by an American who trains US military in security measures. As this particular time we still had the risk of another IRA attack on Brighton.

    So nothing exciting, but the excitement of the conference and meeting up with old friends, and the bracing sea air revived me. :-)


  12. Alan Summers Says:

    Just as the Japanese people imply but don't voice their personal pronouns in conversation or in writing, even though the black text says:

    burnt-out in Brighton the starlings murmur on the wing

    The white text if revealed from the white space makes this:

    [I'm] burnt-out in Brighton the starlings murmur on the wing

    Or as a duostich:

    [I'm] burnt-out in Brighton
    the starlings murmur on the wing

    So it's all down to Japanese practice, as well as good old white space! :-)


  13. Jim Runkle Says:

    Haywired again
    Haphazard night formation
    Dawn — drones on and on

  14. Sam Bateman Says:

    derelict pier gulls settle where people once flocked

  15. Barbara Kaufmann Says:

    starlings take
    the sunny spots
    wabi sabi

  16. Barbara Kaufmann Says:

    ever so slowly
    the drift of my daydream

  17. Jacquie Pearce Says:

    end of summer
    how long has it been
    since we danced?

  18. Alan S. Bridges Says:

    starlings circling
    the bones
    of the pier

  19. Nancy Rapp Says:

    the ruins take flight
    the flock transforming
    a big sky bowl

  20. Ewa Says:

    First day of spring
    starling’s song

  21. Sam Bateman Says:

    alive in the now starlings swirl over what was

  22. Alan S. Bridges Says:

    from the bones
    of a pier
    a breath of starlings

  23. Deborah P Kolodji Says:

    in the sky

  24. Deborah P Kolodji Says:

    murmuration the rhythms of sunset

  25. Tate Lewis Says:


    gulls wait

    for fishermen


    steel and lumber again

    but this time both

    supporting birds


    drifting snow?

    a flock of gulls

    change direction

  26. Jacquie Pearce Says:

    seaside resort
    the crowd ebbs and flows
    around my solitude

  27. Carol Stewart Says:

    They flew from the wreckage
    in uniformed frenzy
    a hundred or more,
    one dark fingerprint on the sky.

  28. Seren Fargo Says:

    a murmur
    of spring's approach

  29. Seren Fargo Says:

    I just realized this is very close to a poem by Cody Huddleston.
    Totally a coincidence. Sorry about that. Should have read through these first.

  30. Maria Teresa Sisti Says:

    appointment –
    migrating north
    cranes in flight

  31. martin1223 Says:

    Coney Island creek
    barge rats follow the floating grebe
    . .

  32. Joanne Helvoort Says:

    now silent pier
    the shrieks of the starlings

  33. jo334 Says:

    in the murmur
    of starling wings

  34. Olivier Schopfer Says:








  35. Carley Says:

    mid March
    my starlings late
    for two weeks

  36. Kala Ramesh Says:


    where eyes meet the sky exploding starlings' breadth


  37. Kala Ramesh Says:


    between past and future my breath rides on starlings' extravaganza


  38. Julie Johnson Says:

    the birds?

    mesmeric ellipticals

    entered my peripheral

    thanks to you

  39. Marta Choci?owska Says:

    migratory birds
    the fisherman shades
    his eyes

  40. Marta Choci?owska Says:

    the clamor overhead

  41. Laurie Greer Says:

    the caged birds
    fly free

  42. Laurie Greer Says:

    what passes
    between sea and sky

  43. Julie Johnson Says:

    their community


    in unison

    I wish I could

    join their dance

  44. JOHN BOSLEY Says:

    as if nothing has changed
    starlings honor your memory

  45. Olivier Schopfer Says:




  46. Alan Says:

    This would work well as a concrete haiku–


  47. Alan Says:

    however the format doesn't allow it apparently.

  48. Helen Buckingham Says:

    from the embers of my childhood starlingsong

  49. Sally Biggar Says:

    at the caucus
    I change my mind
    others follow

  50. Claudette Says:

    breaking the silence
    between us

  51. Laurie Greer Says:

    Ash Wednesday
    the shape of a murmuration
    against the sun

  52. Helen Buckingham Says:

    hoisted high
    upon Brighton's bare shoulder
    crowds still gather

  53. Helen Buckingham Says:

    migrants headed from sunset to sunset

  54. Laurie Greer Says:

    Victorian pier
    the bones
    of its loosened corset

  55. Laurie Greer Says:

    or better:
    Victorian pier
    the bones
    of a loosened corset

  56. Robert Kingston Says:

    my early days lost in a cloud

  57. Robert Kingston Says:

    toasted barnacles
    each murmur lost
    in a wave

  58. Robert Kingston Says:

    a pinch in the pocket
    for the puppeteer

  59. Robert Kingston Says:

    no bones about her
    a rejected offer
    from the rag man

  60. David Smedley Says:

    everything in a constant state of flux, soon the moon easing from girder to girder

  61. Sam Bateman Says:

    above the blackened pier starlings move their shadow

  62. seaviewwarrenpoint Says:

    end of pier starlings blinking at sunset

  63. Helen Buckingham Says:

    sunset over
    hell's kitchen

  64. veredit Says:

    with closed eyes
    dark blue sound
    of murmuration

  65. veredit Says:

    the flock
    some of us are more
    than lonely

  66. veredit Says:

    aerial ballet we don't move

  67. veredit Says:

    a starling's feather
    all that remains
    of migratory birds

  68. Kevin Valentine Says:

    watercolor clouds
    the spring sky ripe
    with starlings

  69. Kevin Valentine Says:

    old pier
    a blush of wing-sound
    at the close of day

  70. jim runkle Says:

    Drones miss formation
    In early morning call up
    — good intentions lost

  71. Robert Kingston Says:

    scattered ashes
    I shall never forget
    that day in Brighton

  72. Robert Kingston Says:

    mother said
    we were walking in Brighton
    when the blackouts started

  73. Geoff Pope Says:

    hints of spring…
    heavy winter days start
    to grow wings

  74. Robert Kingston Says:

    no bones worth picking
    the sound of birds

  75. Madhuri Pillai Says:

    letting go
    of flickering thoughts—
    evening meditation

  76. Mary Weiler Says:

    the balloon
    dives and drifts

  77. Claudette Russell Says:

    loneliness fades
    with the light
    of friendship

  78. Laurie Greer Says:

    the twists and turns
    of cat's cradle

  79. Helen Buckingham Says:

    the tick tick ticking towards dawn

  80. Gary Hittmeyer Says:

    ocean dusk
    waves of starlings
    revisit the past

  81. Madhuri Pillai Says:

    a symphony in motion…
    the dog and I
    watch the day’s finale

  82. Robert Kingston Says:

    a gutless cry from the matchmaker

  83. seaviewwarrenpoint Says:

    end of day dream in nacre

  84. Jim Brady Says:

    An Ozemandias of a pier
    mocked by nature's
    winged changlings

  85. ghittmeyer Says:

    ocean dusk
    waves of starlings
    revisit the past

    Gary Hittmeyer

  86. Claudette Russell Says:

    starlings and sunlight
    breath life
    into the ruined pier

  87. Robert Kingston Says:

    flipping the lid
    the pie dish
    loses its sauce

  88. Sally Biggar Says:


    (intentionally no space between words)

  89. Helen Buckingham Says:

    old school photo

    "smallest in front"

    coolest take flight

  90. Lawrence Cheong Says:

    refugees the flight of a ruined summer

  91. Elaine Wilburt Says:


  92. Elaine Wilburt Says:

    skeletal silhouette
    a whoosh
    of rising wings

  93. Elaine Wilburt Says:

    past loves
    birds still perch
    on the pier

  94. Matt Perry Says:

    What was once for people
    Now for birds
    Soon for fish

  95. Philip Whitley Says:

    so much laughter lost to the sea breeze

    slack tide
    bones of a broken ship
    its cargo of gold

  96. tinywords: tinywords begins its 20th year! Says:

    […] Olivier Schopfer and Seren Fargo who open the new issue with their winning poems inspired by our photo prompt. Their poems are featured below. As always there were many fine offerings well worth reading in the […]

  97. Robert Kingston Says:

    Congratulations to the winners.
    Well done everyone else.
    A very enjoyable challenge and read.
    Thanks to the editors and judges for the platform.

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