Kiss Bliss

Frog Ready for a kiss AnneToet

Photo: Anne Toet

 

Time had arrived

To make the shift

From frog

To handsome

Prince,

But then the kiss

When it was dished

Kept Frog’s

Amphibian

Bliss.

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Fantasy

 

 

Just A Crack

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Photo: Andrew Buchanan on Unsplash

 

“It is just a crack,” she said,

“A splinter off of perfection.”

‘Twas more than that, she understood,

Knowing what effort it exacted of her

To keep her direction,

To balance scales just so

They did not tip life

And hope

Into utter disconnection.

 

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: Crack

 

 

Middle Child

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Photo: Keith Kreates

 

Her rooms were in the middle of the castle, hovering above the center of the river, sandwiched between two layers of guard rooms, bordered on both sides with sentinel halls.

Her residence, her very life, was perched between the woods on one bank and the manicured gardens on the other, split between one land and another, between a grand promenade entrance on one side and an into-the-wild entrance on the other, belonging to both and owned by neither. It was so by design.

Oh, she was no prisoner. She had the freedom of the castle and the pleasures of the adjacent lands. She could go riding or strolling, hunting or frolicking, visiting or picnicking. As long as she made sure to spend the exact time on either side of the river, as long as she took heed to show no favor, no preference, no prediliction.

Three of her attendants were timekeepers. One from each side of the river. One from a foreign country altogether. All three carried hourglasses and were charged with maintaining synchronicity. Disputes were rare, for they would mean a cease of all outdoor activities till the disagreement resolved, cause a strain on her well-being, tarnish their families, and lead to possible replacement. The timekeepers kept discrepancies to a minimum.

The comparable reality extended to everything: An exactly equal number of ladies in waiting from each side of the river, exactly the same number of servants, workers, soldiers, guards, and tradesmen who were allowed to live and work in, or gain access to the castle. The same number of her dresses had been made on each side of the river. Half the furniture, too.

The constant balancing act was tedious. It was also necessary.

“You are the bridge,” her governess had explained to her when — still a child — she was fed up with being shuttled across the castle mid-activity, so equal play time on the other side can be maintained. She did not want to have two of everything and be required to play with each equally. “You were born to end five hundred years of bloodshed.”

Her parents had defied odds and had sought alliance instead of massacres. They’d built a bridge over the fear and hate that endless war had fed. They’d began construction on the castle. They’d birthed her.

The people had watched and waited.

She was barely toddling when her parents’ carriage had gotten ambushed by some who’d believed that ending the alliance would enliven the centuries-old feuds. The warmongers were wrong. They’d killed her parents, but not the want for peace. People on both sides of the river came for the murderers. People on both sides worked to complete the castle-bridge and ensured the princess could be raised in its center.

It was on that day, cocooned in her governess’s lap, in the room above the river that had for generations divided her people, that she truly understood: After so much distrust, an exacting fairness had to be the glue that would hold peace till lasting trust could grow.

No betters. No less-thans. Not even the appearance of favorites.

The efforts to keep it so were sometimes so precise as to be ridiculous, but she preferred to err on the side of the absurd, rather than risk her people any harm.

She was the princess on the bridge.

Her rooms were in the middle of the castle, hovering above the center of the river, sandwiched between two layers of guard rooms, bordered on both sides with sentinel halls.

Her residence, her very life, was perched between the woods on one bank and the manicured gardens on the other, split between one land and another, belonging to both and owned by neither. It was so by design.

 

 

For Kreative Kue 238

In Waiting

Waiting hat NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

I am waiting for you

To come back.

To grab hold

And place me

Against your forehead,

As you adjust the strap.

 

I am waiting

For you

To return

From where you’d left me

Behind

Or forgot

I might yearn

To be perched

On your brow

Holding firm

Against burn.

 

 

For the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Waiting

 

Morning Calm

Morning calm KoSamui NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Soft ripples spread

Like ribbons of

Silk

As morning heads

Toward shimmering

Heat.

 

 

 

For Sunday Stills: Calm

Note: The photo was taken in Ko Samui, Thailand, on an August morning.  It was sublime.

 

Tea Time

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Inle Lake, Myanmar (Photo: Julien de Salaberry on Unsplash)

 

Arkar waited. The sky, his namesake, spread gray and calm above him.

Sometimes it took Dachen a little longer to make it. No matter.

Long breaths passed. A dog barked in the distance. Children laughed, and Arkar thought of the first time he’d met Dachen. They were but boys themselves then. Dachen had just come to live with his grandparents, who lived downstream from Arkan’s childhood home. The old folk enfolded the young orphan. “Our great joy, he is, true to his name.”

Dachen was as gregarious as Arkar was shy. They balanced each other. Then and since.

A pat sounded and Arkar lifted his pole in welcome. Dachen neared and expertly swiveled his boat to face Arkar’s.

“Twelve fish today,” Dachen’s face shone. He accepted a cup from Arkar. “Two big ones here for your wife.”

Arkar smiled his thanks. For the fish. For his friend. “Tea time?”

 

 

 

For What Pegman Saw: Myanmar

 

 

Cruella De-Guile

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Photo: Martin Adams on Unsplash

 

She was queen of artifice. The mistress of malicious.

She made rules that made no sense yet claimed to be officious.

There was no way to do right by her. Even flattery was suspicious.

She’d lay down her law with harsh demands. Her punishments were vicious.

“Beware the dragon,” many warned. “For she is capricious.”

Those who did not heed soon realized that her attentions weren’t auspicious.

She was queen of cruel decree. Her requests often lubricious.

They learned to lay low and wait. Salvation would not be expeditious.

But the day came when he arrived, beautiful, seditious,

And turned the draconian,

Propitious.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Draconian in 103 words

 

The Marianna

 

He did it. He’d pared it all down and tucked it all in and stocked her all up.

He was down to one set of waterproofs, two pairs of jeans, three tees, four pairs of socks, five undies, six favorite CDs, seven books.

He was going for eight apples, nine carrots, and ten bananas, but he ate two bananas walking back from the store. So there was that. In any event, there were many other odds and ends he didn’t count but that counted just as much: sleeping bags, towels and dishes and batteries, the manual pump. All the things that would make it home.

For it was going to be. Home. The first he’d ever owned.

This boat: The Marianna.

His little sister had always dreamed of living on one, and her yearning settled in him after she died.

He smiled at the sky. “Welcome aboard, Marianna. Let’s fly.”

 

 

For Crispina’s CCC #53

 

Slivers Of Dreams

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Photo: Marina Shatskih on Unsplash

 

All those dreams that he had

As a child

Snug

Under covers

At night,

His tattered teddy

In arms.

His dreams

Parsed out

Into slivers

When

Under stars

At war,

His battered rifle

The only thing

He could

Hug.

 

 

 

For Linda Hill’s SoCS prompt: Dream

 

 

In The Shallows

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

There was beauty in the shallows.

The mirror of the skies. The crystalline water in their unabashed reveal. The bottom — old and newer bits together — inviting her to step in and stir the quiet till it rises soft between her toes to momentarily obscure all things.

Opacity reassured her.

Like the enveloping from clouds when they leaned in close in misty acknowledgment, it held reminders:

That life was often muddy.

That clarity was temporary, hard won, and easily disrupted.

That fog spread quickly and lifted slowly, leaving damp disorientation in its wake.

That even shallows could reflect upended bowls of heaven and earth.

 

As if it heard, the water summoned her and she stepped into the silt. Wavelets nipped at her ankles, snapping cold against her skin.

Her toes disappeared, and she thought how apt it was to have her foundation hidden underneath a swirl of settling.

She breathed and closed her eyes and stilled and became one with the water, one with the sediment of time and the detritus of being.

Slowly, both the lake and her mind cleared.

She heard her spirit whistle on the wind.

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto