To Sea

Ocean Vistas AdiRosenZvi

(Photo: Adi Rosen-Zvi)

 

They headed out

To sea,

Amid the rocky islands

Peppering the vista

As far as the eye

Could see.

And their hearts rejoiced

In the beauty

Of their spree.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Challenge: Vista in 29 words

 

Up And Up

 

“Find the red door,” the note said. “Climb up, then up some more.”

Michael felt a smile spread inside his belly. Helen never could resist a rhyme. It’s how he knew it had to be her. Even after all this time. Even when the printed letters could have been typed by anyone.

He knew.

And it warmed a place in him that he had forgotten could be thawed.

The basement’s entrance was not much to look at. The stairs and walls had all seen better days.

So had they.

And yet, there they were.

Climbing up, then up some more.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: © Roger Bultot

 

 

Hard Earned Wisdom

 

Heart Stone was in the path so people would slow pace as they neared Sentinel Rock.

It was a caution.

And a point of respect.

One did not pass by without giving Sentinel Rock at least that much in respect, and almost all knew better than to try and trick the ancients.

Oh, you could gallop past without a care in the world, but care was sure to catch up with you soon enough: A broken foot, a crack in your mount’s hoof, an ache that kept you up at night and led to carelessness the next day or the one after.

Heart Stone was there for a reason, and only fools rushed in.

Fools like him.

He should have known better.

Now he nursed a bee sting in a place no bee should sting, and he had no one to blame but himself for the carelessness and the ensuing punishment.

He told no one. Ashamed at his foolery.

Tossing in distress upon his pallet he pledged to pay his respect the very next day, and to bring with him an offering. He should have known.

Sentinel Rock saw everything, and Heart Stone kept no secrets. Stone spoke to stone.

On the other side of the hut his grandmother placed her hand upon the rock wall’s foundation and sighed in quiet realization. It was the price of youth.

She knew.

Long ago she, too, had to learn to heed the ancient’s lessons and slow her pace to match. Her crooked wrist still carried her own scars of hard earned wisdom.

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s Write Photo

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

 

The Present

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(Photo: Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash)

 

She was shaking when I entered the room. Hands wringing, lips trembling, her eyes a shade of numb I had rarely seen.

Mary had called me. She had come to check on her and bring a midday repast. Mother being too proud to ask for help, even though her legs no longer held her sturdily or long enough to cook herself a decent meal.

Appearance and stoicism were Mother’s barometers of standing.

Socially and otherwise.

Not that you’d know it from her mascaraed cheeks.

She pointed to the antique book I had gifted her the previous evening. 

I understand, therefore I’ll live,” was scribbled in the cover. “R.B. 1941

Mother pressed a notepad on me. Scribbled on it were the same words. Same letters. An older hand.

“I forgot,” she whispered, caressing her initials. “But reading what I have just written, I now believe.”

 

 

Prompt quote: “Reading what I have just written, I now believe.” (Afterward by Louise Gluck)

For the dVerse prosery challenge

 

Whistling Into Wind

 

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(Photo: Janko Ferlič on Unsplash)

 

She had vowed to not come back. Ever. Not to live. For sure not that.

It did not mean she would not try to visit. Or to glimpse. To set out in a morning’s determination only to curl around via rambling roads and pause at every bridge and barn until it got too late to see a thing or she lost nerve and drove home steeped in a tired mix of relief and disappointment.

“I’ll come with you,” Elmira finally said. She placed a warm hand on the base of Anastasia’s neck, hoping to soften the tension it held whenever memories threatened flood.

Anastasia shook her head. “There is nothing behind the wall except a space where the wind whistles.”

“And yet,” Elmira kneaded gently, “the Orphanage’s whistles still tell stories. Perhaps the likes of which your soul insists ought to be heard.”

 

 

Prosery prompt: “there is nothing behind the wall except a space where the wind whistles” from “Drawings By Children” by Lisel Mueller

For the dVerse prosery challenge

 

 

Endless Flicker

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Photo by Paolo Nicolello on Unsplash

 

Candle lighting

The edge

Of the world

And the margins

Of time

To the endless

Flicker

Of loss.

 

[For Kathryn: you became light eight years ago today. We all loved you. We all love you more.]

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Endless in 18 words

 

 

Everything She Needs

shadowed-me CrispinaKemp

 

She took one last look around, another in the mirror.

Waterproofs. Umbrella. Boots. A change of clothes tied around her waist. A utility apron with ration-filled pockets. Some necessaries. Her pen and notebook. Basic first aid. Matches. Tarp. The photo. And her courage, tightly wound into the center of her chest.

She was ready.

There were no roads or maps where she was going. She’d hike up then use her wits and hopefully the scent of memory, awakened, to find the place. She didn’t know how much the faded photo would help, with the quarry and the landslide and the decades passed since the plate was exposed. Still, she took it. Her soul told her that the photo did not wish to be left behind.

She walked into the dawn. She had everything she needed.

If fates smiled, she’d find the ruins of Witch Wilma’s home. Her great-great-grandma’s tomb.

 

 

For Crispina Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Red Moon Riding

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Photo: Niklas Priddat on Unsplash

 

She let the shudder travel from the roots of her hair to the nape of her neck and down her spine to the place where the calving of her body started. The skin on the small of her back awoke. She sighed.

It wasn’t the chill in the air that had her trembling, even though the breeze could explain the raised goosebumps on her skin. It was the vista that had shaken her. And the memories it sought.

Oh, this was a different place. A different time. Yet somehow these still were the same sky where a red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills spreading below it. Transporting her. The earth roiled under a tapestry of dark and starlight, of shade and voids and hidden stars. Her breath drowned in wonder and sorrow: for lost beginnings, for hopes come dawn.

 

 

 

Prosery Prompt: “a red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills” (Carl Sandburg’s Jazz Fantasia)

For the dVerse Prosery challenge

Revisiting

Revisiting NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

She could still hear

The sound of children.

The thunk of balls

Against the chain link fence

Where the big kids

Played.

The smell of dust

From the yard

By the old concrete

Stage.

See the tiny kiosk

Near the gate,

And the ancient seller

Who was always

There.

Feel the coolness of

The main building

As you walked in from

The bottom of the outside

Stairs.

The smell of paint

And cardboard.

The metal-legged

Chairs.

And the hopeful

Cacophony

Of children on recorders

In the music room

Elsewhere.

 

Oh, she knew that

The yard was empty.

No hubbub actually

Filled the evening

Air.

Still the decades tumbled

As memory bloomed,

Transporting

Now to then

With an unexpected

Flare.

So much has

Stayed

The same,

Even as so much has

Changed

In her.

 

 

 

For the dVerse poetry challenge

Note: This photo was taken last year in my elementary school, which I had occasion to visit one early evening after not seeing the place for decades. It was a magical, if complicated, revisiting.

 

 

Travel Home

Travel Home NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Travel home

To where the shadow

Replicates

What your heart knows:

The lives

The parks

The bustling city

That seems so quiet

And yet flows,

Even when appearing

To hold its breath

In forced repose.

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Travel