The Toll

Alabaster_canopic_jar_with_portrait_of_Imseti,_Egyptian,_800_Wellcome_L0058406

Photo: Alabaster canopic jar (Wikimedia)

 

She was impervious to their taunting.

To the words

That meant to hurt

But found no inlet

No crack

In what seemed her

Flawless control.

 

She was impervious to others’ love

As well.

The doors of her alabaster soul

Had slammed shut

After her spirit had peeked

Out

Only to find more harm

Than she knew she would be able

To endure if she were to

Somehow

Remain whole.

 

She was impervious to much,

But not to beauty.

She could not give up

That

Without crumbling.

And so she lived

In stoic

Understanding

Of the world,

And its toll.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Impervious in 99 words

 

 

The Colonists

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

They would come out when dark was complete under a moon that was yet to be reborn.

First a scout would be sent. One not quite old enough to have their wisdom be missed, but not quite so young that they’d be careless or uninformed. It was an honor and a worry, both. For not all scouts returned, and laws dictated that no one is to follow and the outing abandoned until the next dark comes. The safety of the colony outweighed any singular life, no matter how heartbroken they were over losing one of their own or how many nightmares wracked the communal dreams for many sleeps afterwards.

Most times, blessed be the hidden stars, the scout would return safely. If they confirmed that all was as it should be, any who could walk would funnel topside through the tunnels that honeycombed their underground world, and out into the rocky canyon which was formed a million years ago by a whip of light from the stars.

The colony would climb over hills of leaves and navigate the muddy ponds at the bottom of the canyon, all in silence that only the heartbeats in their collective chests would pierce. For the predators were many and the colonists were small and peaceable. They lacked fangs or claws and were opposed to weaponry. The universe that sprawled beyond the walls of their rock canyon provided the provisions they required. They took the danger with the blessings.

Once beyond the relative shelter of the canyon walls, they’d fan out to forage and gather: edible leaves, stalks of grass for feed and weave and bedding, acorns, nuts, seeds, berries, and the occasional fallen fruit or discovered tuber that required many hands to trundle back into the tunnels where they lived.

They’d work until the elder who tracked the darkness passed the whisper to return, and they would fall in line to carry the final batches home.

The last to enter the canyon would pull a broom of leaves behind them – a gesture of traditional thanks for the sustenance, and a practical act for sweeping away many footsteps. The ancients had tunneled pathways for them to emerge into the night from, but there was no need to make those very pathways highways to decimation. They took care to not be known.

With all returned, the elders would seal the rocky door and bless it closed, and the colony would sigh relief as the rock itself would seem to whisper as it settled into slumber til the next unborn moon darkened the sky.

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto Challenge

 

Shimmer’s Glimmer

Shimmer NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Evening gathers to call

Flocks to watering hole

And to glimmers of fish

In the sparkling bowl.

Palm to palm

Whispers calm,

As the pond

Drained but bright

Refracts sun’s glinting light

From silvery fins

‘Til a good night.

 

 

For Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week Challenge: Shimmer

 

 

Rail Road

rail road PhilipCoons

Photo: Philip Coons

 

 

Where the rail

Meets the road

And the gravel

Kisses tracks,

Linger not

At the cross-point.

For the trains

Will chug on

And engines run

Because they can.

 

 

For the Which Way Challenge

 

Rock Gathering

Central Park Rocks SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

Gather ’round the rocks

As daylight lingers

Onto land,

And sunlight’s fingers

Tickle children

In windowed shade

And sun.

 

Gather ’round the City’s park

To frolic

As Spring comes,

And as the promise

Of green growth

Comes closer

Dawn by dawn.

 

 

(While today is the Spring Equinox, the photo itself is more promise than reality … for the trees in Central Park are yet to bud and green, but soon they will … and so the photo holds a sight near to be seen …)

 

For Wits-Ends Weekly Photo Challenge: Gatherings

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Shadows

 

Meet The Rain

Photo prompt: Dale Rogerson

 

“I want to go up, Papa!”

He looked down at the downy head, at the small frail finger pointing at the Big Wheel. “It is too high, Son.”

Your heart can’t take the excitement, he thought but didn’t say. The rain made tracks on his cheeks but he didn’t wipe them. The hospital said he could take the boy home. There was not much they could do for his son anymore.

“I want to go up, Papa,” the child insisted. “I want to meet the rain there. It will be my friend tomorrow … when I go live in the sky.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

  • Dedicated with much love to E., who I’m certain is excellent friends with the sky and the rain … and whose promise to send “hellos with the rain” broke our hearts even as it had become the gift of healing and courage to her parents.

 

World Wonder

Peru3 AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

No mortar

No wheel

No motors to wield,

Yet time

And the elements

Toppled not what they’d built.

The wonder, the magic,

The near perfect

Craftsmanship:

Machu Picchu

Continues

To hold awe

In its grip.

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Wonder

 

 

Peru Proud

Peru Portrait AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

There she stands,

Belongs,

Enlivened

By the land

That mountains birthed,

And the knowledge

Of the power

That she holds

Through Mother Earth.

 

 

For the Photo for the Week Challenge: portrait

 

A Bell To Tell

bell boy SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Ephstein

 

What lesson does history tell

Of shattered bits,

And scratched on bells?

Can peals of old

Be heard

Be said

So we not ruin

What’s ahead?

 

 

For the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: History

 

Keen Green

Praying Mantis Dvora Freedman

Photo: Dvora Freedman

 

Hello there,

How are you, Ma’am?

I’ve missed a spot?

Oh well, oh damn.

There’s no perfection

On the lam

And I’ve really

Got to scram.

Have you seen some

Elves around?

I’ve been told to

Look for rainbows

At the end of

Traffic jams,

(And yes, I know the

Gold’s a scam

But I’ll still give it

An exam).

 

 

 

For Terri’s Sunday Stills: Green