Where is the sense in all this?
Nothing but circles, this particular circle,
and it’s growing old, fast.
It’s pretty hard to get into specifics
when there are so many specifics.
We all have problems, but it’s time
your problems were yours,
and not mine. Speaking of mine,
I ask myself, where is my head at?
When I wish my thoughts were elsewhere.
This is my response to MTB: Stream of Consciousness Writing, the prompt from Grace at dVerse ~ Poets Pub,which asks us to write a poem by emulating “the passage of thought through your mind without any inhibitions. For that reason, sentences become longer, less organized and more sporadic in style.” Sorry, but once I started it just flowed. Unfortunately, these is where my head was at. I wrote for five minutes, and this is what came out. Wonder what it looked like? See below. I suppose it could have been a prose poem, or simply a rant.
It’s early morning as I paddle on this narrow river that winds and twists through farmland, changing direction nearly every quarter-mile. On a day when temperatures will reach the mid-nineties, I move along a brief northward stretch and enjoy the cooler air as I take advantage of the shade offered by trees along its eastern bank.
A heron takes flight as I approach, but a killdeer lingers nearby, leaving tiny tracks as it dashes in spurts across the mud. Tiny waves sparkle in sunlight as I pass a break in the trees and paddle around a dead tree extending from the bank into the water. Catching sight of me, a turtle sunning itself drops into the water with a plop. I continue back into the shade, enjoying the sights that surround me.
kingfisher in flight
reflection of waves in flight
kayak glides along
This haibun is my response to Come Sail, the prompt from Sarah at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.
“For this prompt, I’d like you to be inspired by boats. Maybe you’ve travelled by narrowboat, or taken a cruise on a big liner. Maybe you’re a kayaker, or a paddle-boarder. Maybe you built a raft as a child, or made a toy boat out of twigs and leaves. Maybe you’re a rower or a sailor. Maybe you take a ferry to work, or watch other people floating down a river. Maybe you want to write about an imaginary boat, with sails of leaves and a cargo of fairy dust. It’s up to you.”
When I was growing up, our family always held birthday celebrations; simple affairs with my parents and sisters, and, occasionally when I was younger, with my grandparents. Birthday cakes were present, of course, and our tradition was to have an extra candle on the cake. “One to grow on.” Another tradition was to have the birthday celebrant cut the the first slice into the cake and have the knife removed by the person with the next birthday, as a measure of good luck.
I may not place much significance on birthdays of my own as milestones, but I’ve always enjoyed celebrating a birthday with family and friends. A photo from 1958 is proof of that. It has one very pleased little boy who just blew out the candles on his cake.
give warm feelings all around
frosting on windows
far beyond the open seas
here there be dragons
seeking new conquests
as native populations
receive no respect
while raping nature
expansion to the planets
looking for relief
interstellar space flight
to discover new life forms
let there be dragons
The prompt for Poetics: Haiku Sequence, from Frank at dVerse ~ poets Pub, is to write a series of haiku that have a theme or unifying framework. There are no seasonal references here, so call this a senryū sequence.
The water of the Moreau River,
as motionless as the leaves of the giant sycamore
half-submerged with roots projecting skyward,
victim of spring’s high waters but determined
to send nourishment to branches willing
those leaves to life, and as still as the air
on this hot August day as my kayak sits
under a stone ledge, too high for me to reach
when volume and current are stolen by the recent
lack of rain, still feels cool to the touch in this shade
I have found, shared by the bank swallows darting
to their nests and back into the sunlight, no breeze
needed for their aerial antics as they skim the water
for a drink, then rocket up, only to turn abruptly
to feed in flights that would make any bat proud,
all of this reflected in that still water of the Moreau.
I drift down the middle of the river, my paddle in the water only when necessary to navigate past hazards. And oh, are there hazards. Surrounded by the past, ablaze on the shores beside me and floating on the current that carries me, with little prospect for the future, my life is little more than the clothes on my back and as bleak as the landscape of death surrounding me.
Of what matter are the details that led to this tragic moment? One nation acted out of a desire to secure precious resources, another responded, and an Armageddon foretold through the ages has finally come to pass.
In the glow of the fires that surround me, everything is cloaked in the haze of smoke, and navigation becomes more difficult as dusk approaches. A red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills.
This bit of flash fiction is my response to Jazzing It up on Prosery Monday, presented by Lillian at dVerse ~ Poets Pub. 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 this prompt, the line to be included is “a red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills” from Carl Sandburg’s “Jazz Fantasia”. My flash fiction also meets the additional challenge of hitting the 144-word mark, exactly. Other entries can be read here.