Blonde-haired, Blue-eyed Adventures

Blonde-haired, Blue-eyed Adventures

From March 1999 to July 2001, I wrote a series of stories for my daughter. They were eight short tales of the adventures of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl, each written after the adventure and shared with her. The last was written after she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, shortly before her ninth birthday.

For years, I’ve wanted to collect them into a book, and I finally sat down and did that last month. A photo/sketch accompanies each story, and the book closes with a bedtime poem that I wrote following her diagnosis. The photo on the front cover is of Alyssa at her first Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation “Walk to Cure Diabetes,” in 2002. I even managed to finish it before her wedding, which is in two weeks. I gave it to her this month for her birthday, and she loves it. And, I’m a happy dad.

I’ll show that book to you in installments, starting with the poem that opens it, written at the time of the adventures.


Summer stars, softly shimmering
in a veil of light about your hair.

Pools of vibrant blue masquerading as eyes,
sparkling with a hint of mischief.

Smile broad, with corners creased,
flashing a warmth to melt a heart.

These form a picture in my mind,
keeping me with you always.

Ken Gierke

fireworks at midnight ~ tanka

fireworks at midnight
pop and crackle of thunder
wet grass in morning
a break in temperature
a cardinal’s morning call

I woke shortly after midnight to the rapid sound sound of thunder
that could have passed for The 1812 Overture.
This tanka pretty much wrote itself.

Total Cleansing ~ prosery

Total Cleansing

Remember when you felt good about yourself, a time when you had no doubts about your abilities, your value to others, or the value of those around you? That part of you is not lost. It lives within you, still, and the time has come for you to recognize that.

Take a moment to breathe. In. Out. Slowly. Now, think about who you are, who you can be. The negative energy that has been feeding into you has poisoned your mind, masking who were. Let it wash away from you so that you may remember who you have been, recognize who you really are, and you will love again the stranger who was yourself.

Remember all of this as you enter the polling place with a clear conscience, determined to remove that toxic presence from the Oval Office. Don’t let yourself be fooled again.

This bit of flash fiction is my response to Prosery #3: Love After Love, presented by Kim at dVerse. With Prosery, the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit. Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. For Prosery #3, the line to be included is “You will love again the stranger who was yourself” from Derek Walcott’s “Love After Love.” My flash fiction also meets the additional challenge of hitting the 144-word mark, exactly.

Image source: Tulsa World (Bruce Plante)