There’s always been a lonely place, but light would enter from the periphery, and that was good.
It appeared that all was well, but the words did not always agree, and insistence otherwise did not change the imbalance hinted at by those words.
Eventually, things righted themselves, and the lonely place was not so lonely. This is not so unusual, once one has opened the doors to the outside world.
And the words reflected this. They held light and possibility.
But just as there is darkness inside, there is outside, and it has let itself in, has become a reminder of that original darkness. And so, the doors are closing. The lonely place may be more confining, but smaller is better, more insular. The better to wallow in one’s darkness.
So these words would say. If it’s darkness we’re having, let it be extravagant.
This bit of flash fiction is my response to Prosery: Meet Jane Kenyon, presented by Victoria 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 this prompt, the line to be included is “If it’s darkness we’re having, let it be extravagant” from Jane Kenyon’s “Taking Down the Tree.” My flash fiction also meets the additional challenge of hitting the 144-word mark, exactly.
Restless, this sleep that comes,
then doesn’t, these trying times when
memories flow like a river, then briefly,
and I feel his touch, then don’t.
That sun set long ago. Everything changed
with his extinguished light, no eyes
to flash his broad smile as darkness
seemed to close in around me.
It’s now my turn to go, knowing that,
as our hands touch once again, at last,
we will greet our first new sunrise.
The prompt for Meet the Bar by changing your perspective, from Björn at dVerse, offers this prompt: “…go out of your comfort zone and change the perspective. You can either start from a poem you’ve written before and change its perspective, or simply write from a perspective you are not used to.”
On October 29th, I wrote Last Light in response to “Tears in rain – using our senses,” from Sarah at dVerse. For this prompt, I’ve rewritten that poem and made it from the perspective of the subject of the first poem. My father died 15 years before my mother, and she was quiet, almost absent, in the last few years of her life. I tried to imagine that, with this. Please read the original, here.
Do you still keep those memories
we once held dear, now that we have
nothing else to share? The one thing
we could not divide between us
dwindled away for me, once we went
our separate ways, leaving nothing
but faint memories of memories.
This is my response to Quadrille #91 – Keep — the prompt from Kim at dVerse, which is to use the word keep in a 44-word poem that does not require meter or rhyme.
A trying day, its outcome pressing closer
with each moment of your restless sleep,
brings me to the river for a brief respite,
the warm summer breeze like a mother’s caress.
The sun will not rise again in a manner unchanged
by this setting, the last of its dazzling light upon the waves
becoming a sheen before being muted forever
in the final moments of its darkness.
I turn to go and return to your side, knowing
that, as I hold your hand through the night,
this sunset will be your last.
The prompt for Tears in rain – using our senses, from Sarah at dVerse, is to write a poem that tells a story or shows a character in the things they’ve sensed.
Image: sunset on the Niagara River
(click image for larger view in new tab)
Making America Gangrenous Again
In a sane world, in a country that prides itself on being a land of equality, however slow the path there may be; in a country that stands up for the rights of its citizens, however misguided that application may be; in a country that holds freedom of speech as a basic tenet, with the understanding that one’s words must be weighed against the protection of its citizens, the rationale indigenous to human beings in modern society might cause one to think it unimaginable that the leader of such a nation would open his arms to supporters of his bid for re-election willing to air a doctored video showing him shooting and injuring media representatives and political rivals, but it must be remembered that sanity and civil responsibility are not the norm in Trump World. The words and misrepresentations of that leader are the reason supporters believe such behavior is acceptable and nothing more than satire.
a sincere condemnation
nation holds its breath
personal press conference
too much to expect from him
Subsequently removed, the video was shown on this post
defending its satirical worth. The image shown above is from that video.
With apologies for not staying with the theme, this Columbus Day, of recognizing those who have suffered from the moment any part of this land was claimed in the name of European sovereignty and further through Manifest Destiny, the indigenous peoples of America, this is my response to Haibun Monday 10/12/19: Indigenous .
Which color is more true,
the rust of leaves that turn
their back on gaudy display
as they cling to an oak in October,
or the vibrancy reflected
in the stream below, shouting
the grandeur of its passing?
The sun will set on both, before long.
This is my response to Quadrille #89 – Are You Set? — the prompt from Merril at dVerse, which is to use the word set in a 44-word poem that does not require meter or rhyme.
Image: Sunset on the Missouri River at St. Thomas, Missouri
Many years after my mother’s passing, I got a hankering for her apple cake. I remember it as a single layer of spice cake in a rectangular pan, with apple slices upright in three rows, from end to end. I searched online for apple cake recipes, and ended up combining two recipes to get a cake that tasted just as I remembered, but with the apples stirred into the batter.
My mother always baked from scratch, and it finally dawned on me to ask my sister if she had my mother’s recipe. She sent a photo of the original recipe card, and there were distinct differences from my final recipe, so I didn’t waste any time trying my hand at the original. It had been fifteen years since I’d had my mother’s apple cake, but I knew I would never forget that taste.
Unfortunately, mine did not taste the same, and it occurred to me that my mother had made that cake since I was a child, and she probably hadn’t bothered to look at that recipe for years and years. Fortunately, I came up with a recipe that reminds me of her cake, so now I’ll try making it with the apple slices in rows. Maybe I can pass that recipe on to my children.
rows of fruit trees in orchard
apple falls from tree
This haibun is my response to Poetics: Looking for Sustenance from Lisa at dVerse.
Image: Apple orchard in Olcott, Niagara County, New York, October 2010