Still Summer

(Photo by Sam Marx on Unsplash)

 

It seems as though you are still summer:

The leaves still green atop your trees

Waves still warm inside your eyes

Sunrise haze in your sky

Sunset late to bed

As sleep lights in

Your soft breath

Upon

Mine.

 

 

NONET prompt: “It seems as though you are still summer” (Merwin)

For dVerse poetic 9

 

 

 

Their Bag End

tyler-lastovich-Pm4e1ZnMC0o-unsplash

Photo: Tyler Lastovich on Unsplash

 

They never did make it back from their destination. Not for lack of trying. Not for lack of plans. Not even for lack of courage or stamina or all the things that make a journey circular. There and back again. Like Bilbo Baggins looking for an adventure and finding more than he had bargained for (or perhaps precisely what he needed); they, too, found more along the way than they had intended.

The path slowed everything. Time turned to stone.

And when it was over, said and done, it was a time and there was never enough of it.

They took too long.

So much that life passed by before it could lead them back to where they had come from.

Perhaps where they ended was precisely where they needed to go.

Only that unlike Bilbo, they did not return to their Bag End.

 

 

(Prompt: from “A Time” by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke)

For the dVerse Prosery Challenge: A Time

 

 

Time’s Tread

worn-steps SueVincent

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

She could swear the old house breathed at night. That the walls spoke.

It was the age of things, she thought.

She’d ask, but the next door neighbors gave off a distinct air of distance and her mother was too occupied with damp ceilings, leaky pipes, and bone-dry bank account. There were questions one did not bring up unless adults were in the right mindset, which was rare enough during calm times, let alone through times of grown-up strife.

So Sally kept her own counsel on the matter of whispers between bricks and words in languages that sounded just a step to the side of comprehensible. It had scared her at first to hear them, but when she set her heart to listen she came to realize that there was no malice in the voices. Or none that raised the hair on the back of her neck, which had to be good enough.

After some time, Sally thought of them as friends.

She had few besides.

A moldy suitcase in the attic spoke of travel and held the faint smells of smoke and grime and sweat. There were some clothes still in it: Petticoats holey with moth and yellowed with time; a faded dress that might have been dark blue or purple at the time; a pair of shoes with buttons, the leather wrinkled like the face of Grandam in her casket; some papers in ink-spotted writing that mice or something else gnawed on; a locket.

She fretted about the latter. She wanted to open it. She shuddered at the thought. She dared herself to do so. Hefted it. Stared at the latch. Could not bring herself to undo it. This felt more personal than the split drawers in the suitcase, with the faint brownish stains on them.

She left the locket closed. But she did find herself drawn to hold it. Dreamed of wearing it. Of the dark blue dress. Of bonnets and petticoats.

One morning, when no other dreams found space and her nights became filled with whispers, she decided to wear the locket on her necklace. The small, intricately carved metal heart felt cool against her chest. She hid it underneath her shirt.

Sally could hear her mother arguing on the phone with yet another contractor, voice shrill as she tried but could not quite keep desperate frustration out of her voice. Sally tiptoed down from the attic to the landing and slipped quietly out of the house to sit upon the stoop. The damp chilled her bottom, seeping through the fabric of her pants. She shuddered.

And it was no longer pants she wore, but skirts, dark blue, cascading around her knees and covering the indentation in the steps. Ancient, those.

The door of the adjoining house opened, and a butler poked his head, complete with white gloves and pocket watch.

“Good Morning, Miss Grenadine,” he bowed slightly in her direction.

She smiled, entranced by how neither her lips nor her eyes were her own.

“It will be a sunny one, once the mist burns off,” he said.

She nodded and plucked a petal off of her skirts. She did not quite trust her voice.

The butler bent to pick a newspaper off the stoop, tipped his head in her direction, and closed the door.

Her hand reached for the locket, which was hanging over ruffles and a row of tiny buttons. It felt warm.

“The longer you sit the further you will travel.”

She turned her head to the sound but saw no one. A crow perched on a stone across the next door’s stoop, beady eyes regarding her with something between expectation and reproach.

The bird did not open its beak but the words unfurled clearly in her mind. “Some things are better left unopened.”

The locket.

The crow nodded, reading her mind. “But that does not mean keeping your eyes shut.”

She did not understand.

“Listen. Watch. Observe. Live on.”

Riddles. Crows were known for riddles. She shook her head and looked down at her knees to see a woolen skirt, knit stockings, an apron. Her arms in sleeves.

“Visit the past, but don’t forget to leave your own steps on the stairs,” the winged messenger noted, bobbed its head. Flew on.

“Sally?” Her mother’s voice sliced through the air.

She blinked.

The crow was gone. Her legs in sneakers on the step. The stairs the same.

She rose and eyed the door, the bowed indentation in the stones that led to it. Walked down to the pavement, turned, and pressed her feet into the tread.

She climbed. Making a path for someone from another time.

“Coming, Mom!”

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’ WritePhoto

 

 

The Now And There

Distant Stairs NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

In the distance between

The now and

There,

Rises the stair

We all must

Share,

Step by step to

Anywhere

Before the future days

Declare,

The distance we

May finally

Repair.

 

 

For the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: distance

 

 

Frozen

cold AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

 

Inside the core of frozen

Lore

There beats a tender

Heart.

Beneath the glaciers of

Dearth

Unfurl forgotten

Paths.

Amidst the howling winds of

Cold

Whispers bid to

Start,

And feed the seed ‘neath Tundra’s

Soul

Awaiting summer’s

Part.

 

 

Note: just the other day, I watched parts of the movie “Frozen” (the first one) with a young child, in preparation for that child’s going to the movies with friends to see “Frozen 2.” Now I have an ear-worm and am yet to “let it go” … 😉

 

For Linda Hill’s SoCS and JusJoJan challenges: Movie title

 

 

No Time

flash flood OfirAsif

Photo: Ofir Asif

 

She ran into the camp,

Braids streaming behind like ribbons

In wind,

Determined to be

Unbound

For a time.

The women raised their heads,

Weary from tending to

Crops and overtired babies.

This time of year was plentiful in many things but

Not in time.

“What is it, child,” her elder asked,

The rhythm of rocking the cradles of milk

And infant

Adding a lilt to her aged voice,

Raspy from smoky fires and chaff

Of time.

“Help,” the young one breathed,

And stalled,

Needy of air and flooded by sudden doubt.

“Speak up, child,” her mother snapped,

Tight with worry for a girl-child

Chased home,

And the shadows

of another time.

The camp stilled.

A baby woke in cry.

“Come help,” the lass repeated, indignant,

No longer shy.

“The creek rises and a cow is screaming

Across the arroyo.

We have no time!”

 

 

 

For the dVerse prosery challenge

 

Vintage

grapevine InbarAsif

Photo: Inbar Asif

 

The sweetness will mellow,

Proofed with time,

To become its own rich

Memory

Of ways

To be wise

Be full

Be kind.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Vintage in 22 words

 

 

Windowed

cuba11 inbarasif

Photo: Inbar Asif

 

“They’re all old,” the guide gestured, “but some are worse off than others, for they are windowed.”

“Age does not make a building old,” he explained. “Even if sooner or later years form spider webs of fine cracks on every wall, those are just realities built by time. The product of life.”

“But these ones,” his hand rose in half-salute, half-point toward a row of especially dilapidated shutters, “they are windowed.”

When our faces must have told him we still hadn’t the story he’d wanted be told, he sighed and took pity on us. So privileged we had to be to not have lived what would have let us understand the depth of meaning in his words.

“Rooms empty of everything but ruined dreams. Windows widowed of hope. Houses like these go beyond broken relics. Some had gone so long bereft of young ones to gaze through their portals in a waking dream, that short of a miracle to breathe life back into them, they are windowed: dried to the bone of sound, stripped of souls, ready to fall.”

 

 

For V.J.’s Weekly Challenge: Windows

 

Unadorned Underground

Carved Smadar Halperin-Epstein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

In the depths

Where the colors all bleach

To the basics

Of power,

Persistence,

And life;

Lives the unadorned

Underground

Of deep water

Carving canyons

With time’s old

Stubborn knife.

 

 

For Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Nature