50 words

A Fifty Word Exchange


Fred Ermlich
The Bad Influence
Published in
2 min readJan 10, 2022


jonathan_n Freeimages.com

You said,

“You need land and tools to be self-sufficient, besides animals. Storing some food whether in cans or bags isn’t a bad idea, but you can only keep that type of food for so long. Storing water is a good idea, and I also think generators are good...”

I say,

I prefer a solar panel.

Around here you need a shovel and machete, and…

Actually, that covers it.

The hardest part is the first six months. You get really hungry.

I’ve figured out you can live really cheap here with rice and lentils and powdered onion and garlic for flavor. . . . (50 words)

You wrote (more or less):

“life in the new year
flows like a river
filled with writings
snow makes us shiver

fun in the sun
during the middle of the year
lighting up the sky for
fourth of July cheer

house projects galore
packing and donating stuff
to those in need
that have it rough” . . . (50 words)

Hey, maybe we could partner up.
Especially if we had a theme, and
we thought anybody would read us.

How about “end days?”
As in, 2021 was yesterday,
and 2022 is end days.
(I think it really might be so.)

I love creative writing, but I’ve never been a poet. . . . (50 words)

Fred (Four Letters)



Fred Ermlich
The Bad Influence

Living in rural Panamá — non-extractive, non-capitalistic. Expat USA. Scientist, writer, researcher, teacher. STEM mentor +languages. Gargoylplex@protonmail.com