Did you ever have one of those days when everything runs out at the same time?  It starts small, say, squeezing the final splurt of shampoo from the upside-down bottle.  (The conditioner will be fine; Universal Law dictates that the conditioner will never run out on the same day
as the shampoo.)  You lather up using a sliver of soap.  Grab the last Q-tip.  Force the final unwilling blob of toothpaste from the anorexic tube.  The depressurized remains of the styling mousse comes out in
a puddle instead of a lump.  You whisk the last kleenex from the box, dump the crummy, bottom-of-the-barrel kibbles into the dog’s dish, and resort to scraping the mayo jar with a spatula.  The spotty brown banana you were saving for lunch has gone missing.  The kitchen light bulb blows out.  You pour your coffee directly into the cream carton and swish it around to get the last little bit.  Your prescription needs
to be refilled.  You have two bills to mail and only one stamp.  As you update your to-do list, your pen runs out of ink…

I’ve condensed this phenomenon into a LIRA.  As you may recall, a Lira is a five-line poem with syllabic rules (7-11-7-7-11) as well as a scheme of rhyme and refrain (a-B-a-b-B).


Empty toilet paper core
A running-out day is what it’s gonna be
No clean socks in my top drawer
Two-crust sandwich, car on “E”
A running-out day is what it’s gonna be

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7 thoughts on “RUNNING ON EMPTY

  1. Tippy Gnu February 3, 2019 / 8:21 am

    Always keep a backup nearby, that’s my policy.

    And I see that’s what you do with poetry. You never seem to run out of different schemes and styles. I never knew poetry could be such a science, and yet be so artsy at the same time, until I started reading your poems. It’s always a pleasure to ponder your verse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan February 3, 2019 / 8:48 am

      A great policy, Tippy, and one I generally abide by. But every little snag costs a minute or two–running to get the new item, extracting it from its box or plastic, removing safety seals, dragging out the step stool to reach the light fixture, making a quick call to the pharmacy or a quick stop at the post office. All those minutes add up. As for poetry forms, I think I’ve exhausted the classics (like sonnets and such) but new ones are being “invented” all the time. Poetry is a place where I can merge my scientific self with my artsy self to describe everyday life. I’m glad you enjoy it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Quirky Girl February 8, 2019 / 2:24 pm

    Running on empty can be downright catastrophic if you’re out of toilet paper in a household of teenage boys. On the plus side, they won’t say a word if they’ve run out of toothpaste or soap… :/ 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan February 8, 2019 / 3:31 pm

      I keep extra TP on hand in the linen closet, Quirky. The bathroom cupboard only holds 8 rolls, plus the one in use on the spindle. So here’s what happens… the current roll runs out, I replace it with the last roll in the cupboard, and have to restock that with the last package from the linen closet, then run to the store to replenish my stash. Luckily boys don’t require as much TP as girls… we have to wipe every time, not just after a #2. LOL about kids lack of concern if the soap or toothpaste runs out… a friend’s son said summer camp was the best two weeks of the year because they didn’t have to take baths, swimming was close enough. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. joyroses13 March 8, 2019 / 2:47 pm

    I had to smile at this, especially about running on an empty gas tank! I was on the way home and noticed how low my gas is but I didn’t want to get out of my warm car!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan March 8, 2019 / 5:32 pm

      Lovely to see you here on JJ42, JoyRoses. Every once in a while, I have a “running out day” where I use the last little bit of EVERYTHING. On bitter winter days, I hate getting out of the car to pump gas, but when the fuel light goes on in my Honda, it means business–I have about 10 miles before an inconvenience turns into an emergency. 🙂


      • joyroses13 March 8, 2019 / 6:28 pm

        Aww thanks Joan, glad to be here. 🙂
        Yes, it’s best to freeze a bit to pump gas then to be stuck in a car that won’t go because of no gas!

        Liked by 1 person

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