Vertically Set

Column Ramon Crater AtaraKatz

Photo: Atara Katz

 

Go against

The pressing grain

And the common

Mindset,

To reach high

Toward the sky

And uniformity

Upset.

 

 

For Debbie’s One Word Sunday: Vertical

 

 

 

Tropical Boon

Tropical AdiRozenZvi

Photo: Adi Rozen-Zvi

 

In orchid garden

They bloom.

A speckled glory,

A boon.

A blushing show

Well adored,

In nature’s awe

And reward.

 

 

For the Sunday Stills Challenge: Tropical

And for Cee’s FOTD

 

 

The Cursed

close up photography of hand near window

Photo: Renato Mu on Pexels.com

 

They were never meant to be

Accepted.

 

They were never meant

To be

Approved,

Or approved of.

 

Cast-offs,

They were the anathema

To all some saw as

Civil

Or normative

Or worthy of.

 

They were cursed

By those of privilege,

Who for added

Privations

Then denounced them

As being

Incapable of

Love.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Anathema in 52 words

 

 

Peak’s Bones

Old Thailand NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Ancient stone

Not disowned

By old time’s

Marching on.

Newer walls

Chaperone

To contain

Buddha’s throne,

And only the peak’s

Crumbling bones

Tell of years

Now long

Gone.

 

 

 

For the Wits-End Weekly Photo Challenge: Decay

 

We’re Ducky!

not quite ducks in a row

Photo: Atara Katz

 

We’re no ducks but still wish

To get

In a row.

There is no law against it.

So there,

Now you know.

 

 

For Nancy Merrill’s Photo a week: ducks in a row

 

 

The Place

Photo prompt: Sue Vincent

 

“I’ll take you to the place,” she promised.

“The place where you came from?” the boy pressed. “Your before home?”

“If it is still there,” she nodded, her eyes clouding over with something between wistfulness and worry.

She watched his eyelids flutter as he curled onto his side and into sleep. There was much to do and little time for it, and still she couldn’t bring herself to rise from his cot. It wasn’t how she thought it would be. It felt too soon. He didn’t know a thing.

Not that she really had a choice, anyhow.

The place. She wasn’t sure exactly what would happen when they got there, or what it would mean to her or to the boy she was entrusted to protect. What would her protection of him entail now that she’d been discovered?

She gazed at the child. He was hers. At least as far as one could belong to someone else, he was.

Most people thought they could not look more different than each other. Her translucent skin to his ebony, her pale eyes to his endless pools of black, her sprinkling of wispy flaxen hair to his rich dark mane. She’d kept his hair in cornrows for tidiness and practicality, but often enough she coaxed him to let her undo them so his hair rose in a magnificent halo about his head. Her princely lion of a child. They didn’t have such locks where she’d come from. He truly was one of a kind.

“Adopted?” nosier people would ask what many others thought but didn’t dare to verbalize.

“In a way,” she’d respond, knowing full well that the answer raised more questions, yet she refused to lie. For he wasn’t. Adopted. Not in the way they’d think.

He was. Just. Hers. Seeded in her before she even understood what he was or would become.

And they were as alike as any, anyhow, considering where she was really from.

A noise jarred her and she looked up to see a mouse scurry across the cabin floor. It reminded her of other footsteps: dangerous and inevitable and far less welcome.

She got up and as the night deepened she did what had to be done. Finally she secured a small bag to her bike and hoisted the still sleeping child into her lap. She wrapped a strip of sheet around them so he could remain snug against her while she pedaled.

She rode through the woods till morning lit the trees and the birds fleeted ahead of her wheels and small living things skittered into the bushes to avoid her.

They knew, she thought, that she was not of them, and neither was the boy who nestled, oblivious, with a head atop her breast.

There would be no hiding who they were. Not anymore.

The light intensified to shine beyond the sun.

There it was. The place. The bright beam.

She dismounted and her legs shook not from hours of pedaling, but from knowing.

And from failure.

She let herself be found out before he was adult enough to continue. She did not protect him long enough to fulfill the promise he held for their kind.

The ship’s beam wavered and the gears in her heart thudded as the light shimmered sorrow through her skin.

They’ll take only him.

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto Challenge

 

The Tour

Photo prompt: Sandra Crook

 

“We’ve come a long way from small children crawling under looms,” the proprietor boomed, arm sweeping proudly across the antique refurbished mill.

The group of portly men nodded sagely.

One of them patted a balding pate, florid face sweating in tailored wool. He was gratified to see another man masking a yawn.

The two-hour Textile Investors Tour satisfied requirements for business expenses, but the real draw of the area was a manicured golf course, good wine cellars, and a particularly discreet hotel concierge.

Too bad, the balding man thought to himself. A few crawling kids would’ve been right fine.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

Rocking It

Opus Penguin Rock Climb JimMoore

Photo: Jim Moore

 

It’s a steep climb

For sure

But he feels

The allure.

This rock face,

This cliff,

He can’t help think,

“What if?”

It’s a very high

Wall,

And he’s a penguin

And small,

But he’ll attempt

Still

To scale,

And he intends

To not fail!

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Rock

 

 

Worn, Not Weary

amenities1 AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

I am worn,

But not weary.

I’ve weathered many

A winter,

Warmed multiple

Frozen hands,

Filled long lines

Of empty

Stomachs

With stews and soups of

All kinds.

 

I’ve seen good times

And not so,

Heard voices

Soft

And too loud.

I’ve dried the wet

Off of feet,

The tears off

Of cheeks,

Eased the sorrow of

Broken hearts.

 

I am worn,

But not weary.

Grab a spoon,

Find a bowl,

And take a seat

By my side.

 

 

For the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Weathered or worn

 

 

Springing Time

Central Park early spring NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

They push up

Through cold ground

Where morning frost

Still abounds

And color

The park

So a new spring

Can spark.

 

 

(Not quite this year’s spring photo … yet – this one being from early spring in 2017 – but it nonetheless infuses hope for soon-to-be cousins of these blooms enlivening the park!)

For Terri’s Sunday Stills: Spring