Nourished

(Red Cardinal in Central Park – Photo: Na’ama Yehuda)

 

There was naught

That she needed

But a path

And some green

And a burbling stream

And wide sky

Overhead.

 

So she felt deeply nourished

By the flowers,

And the gift of bird

Who landed by her feet

To share

Her burden

And bread.

 

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille poetry challenge: stream

 

The Shucker

https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/service/pnp/nclc/00900/00919v.jpg

 

A girl’s voice protested. A cackle followed.

Leah kept her head down and her eyes on the task before her. There was a quota to complete if she wanted anything in her stomach, and she could make her body dead to wandering fingers. She’d learned how. The hard way. The only way.

When the foreman finally moved on, she gritted her teeth and tried to not compare slime to slime.

Not that she would ever touch the stuff. And not only because it was forbidden.

Beside her, Mandy sniffled. “How can you stand it?”

“Perhaps she doesn’t mind him,” Becca hissed. “Seeing how she never cries.”

Leah clenched her teeth, locked her knees, and steadied her breath. She focused on the fading light glinting on the blade. “No, I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.”

 

 

 

 

For the dVerse Prosery writing prompt


Prosery prompt quote: “No, I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.” (Zora Neale Hurston, from “How Does it Feel to be Colored Me” in World Tomorrow, 1928)

Photo: Hine Lewis Wickes, The Library Of Congress https://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/nclc.00919/

Playing Along

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(Photo: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash)

 

He wasn’t going to win this game.

He learned that much from many

That he had

Lost.

And he did not care

To have his face made pie

Against another Juke

Box.

So he played along,

As if it was all

A big

Joke.

 

 

 

For the dVerse 10th Anniversary (!!) poetry quadrille challenge: Juke

Dedicated to all who had to play along, because that was the safer – if fake – choice.

 

 

Crystal Clear

(Photo by De an Sun on Unsplash)

 

She would have gone to bed

And let the mess wait

For the morning,

Or the following

Millennia,

Had it not been for voices

That still

Echoed

From her past

To smudge shame

Onto her

Present.

She grabbed the mop

And filled the pail.

 

 

 

For the dVerse poetry quadrille challenge: smudge

 

It Wasn’t That

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(Photo: Owen Vangioni on Unsplash)

 

It wasn’t that

Which killed the cat.

Not inquisitiveness in predawn

Hours

When any decent mind

Would sleep.

Not curiosity about rustling shopping bags

Left

Fending for themselves

Whilst humans fetch more from

The car.

But urgent greed

To speed

Through

All nine lives.

 

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille poetry challenge: curiosity

 

 

Not Yet

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(Photo: Rainer Krienke on Unsplash)

 

There is a scar ripped open

In the canyon

Of this wound.

Where sorrow has wound time

Around grief tighter than

Some

Assumed.

There are still pools

Of tears

Repeatedly

Bled

As future holds

Its breath.

To broken hearts

Peace has not

Come yet.

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille poetry challenge: wound

 

Tethered To The Queen

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(Photo: Andrés Gómez on Unsplash)

 

If only they had thought to mark their way, perhaps they wouldn’t have lost it.

Then again, the whole idea of running away was to forgo discovery. Leaving shiny pebbles would have made the whole endeavor be over well before it had began.

They trudged along. Bellies emptier than in hungry nights before.

There was a misery in a scrabbled-for freedom. And yet at least their torsos did not suffer the indignity of another whip.

Eliah’s stomach growled. He sighed. “Only mouths are we.”

“Who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the center of all things?” Lilah responded, distracting him.

The boy grinned through tired tears. He knew the correct reply. The moon of course.

He pointed at the sky.

His grandmother’s nod was filled with pride.

For one was never lost while their heart stayed tethered to the night’s reigning queen.

 

 

 

For the dVerse Prosery challenge

Prosery prompt: “Only mouths are we. Who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the center of all things?from Rainer Maria Rilke, “Heartbeat.”

 

Everything

(Photo: Inbar Asif)

 

It was everything

To her

To tend the naked vines that sprawled

Across her soul,

And through the long cold

Winter

To let the sun pour 

Over

The sprawling expanse of not-yet-sweetness,

As she hoped

And prayed

For fruit

Ripening amidst abundance

Into wine.

 

 

For the dVerse poetry quadrille challenge: Wine

Almost Grown Up

(Photo: Mabel Amber on Pixabay)

 

There was a moment between

Childhood and

Being almost

Grown up,

Where she knew that she would

Very soon be

Quite possibly

All tied up.

With chores and duties

Work and house,

Strung like eyes

On knitting needles,

In a knot of adult

Life.

 

 

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: Knot

The Addition

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(Photo: Simona Roubkova on Unsplash)

 

“What are you going to do with this thing?”

Leah shrugged, and watched as Marty circled the addition to their household, arms behind his back in what she thought of as his ‘Wannabee Inspector General.’

“It is useless,” he muttered.

“It is cute,” she said, and chuckled at the horror on his face. “In its own way, at least.”

For to be fair, the poor creature would win no beauty contests. Patchy hair, droopy eyelid, bloated abdomen. But there was a trusting glint in the blue eye, and a gentleness that sought her heart and hooked it.

“You’d do it mercy to put it down.”

“I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being,” Leah challenged. “If we can be of help, why not even try?”

She reached down to pet the pup. “Her name’s Pat.”

 

 

Prosery prompt: “I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being.” — Wisława Szymborska, “Possibilities”

For the dVerse prosery challenge