sun melts its butter
on afternoon fields wind blows
still winter sharp
dig deep into warming earth
plant spring unfold summer
For Frank Tassone’s haikai challenge. An afternoon of gardening, clearing and planting. The smell of violets was overpowering.
I cheated a bit. It isn’t cold at all now, but since Ash Wednesday isn’t a thing in these parts…
For the dverse prompt, including the lines from The Song of Wandering Aengus by WB Yeats:
‘I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head.‘
I went out to the hazel wood, because a fire was in my head, but the fire, I took with me, and the rushing stream couldn’t quench the flames. I listened to the blackbird, but his song was out of kilter, and the sun streamed slantwise through the pale green leaves.
They say the world is spinning to its end, the heaving oceans empty of their fish are filling with our discarded plastic. I listen to the blackbird but his song is not for me.
They’re shooting in the chase, I can hear the horns and the coarse voices shouting, coarser than any dog giving tongue. As if we needed more blood. The world is drowning in it.
Listen, blackbird, to the pale-winged moths, their song is more in keeping with these end times. Hush. I hear the ocean rushing over the world’s edge.
The old man said
watch the sky
for the spring will come
Today they came
the first geese battalion
joy in their basso profondo
flying so low
the setting sun in the delicate colours
of their feathered fuselage.
Godspeed, I shouted
in their gentle majesty.
A short story for Sue Vincent’s weekly photo prompt. You’ll have to go to Sue’s blog to see the prompt as WP refuses to upload it here.
The river flows as it always did, in turbulent pools where the bank is broken by the deep stone walls. Impregnable, they always said, with the cliff behind and the river before, and my father laughed at the notion of siege.
“We have stores enough for two years within and the wells never run dry.”
When he said I was to marry the neighbouring seigneur to make our joint lands the wealthiest in the county, the fort became a prison. You vowed you would come for me, as I vowed I would be here when you did. No walls would keep me in if your arms waited on the other side.
So I was here where the river rolls, with its whirlpool of autumn leaves carried round and round in the current, trapped between buttress and bank, when you guided your boat with muffled oars silently beneath walls. I was here when you raised your sweet face and opened your arms.
You were there, below, when I climbed the parapet, a cord about my waist and tested the strength of the knot about the merlon. And I saw your face, smiling, one last brief moment before my father’s archers leapt from the tower and your smile turned to a grimace of pain and despair.
Only I am here now, watching the river. My father believes women have no courage and doesn’t even think to put a watch on me. The FitzHugh is coming tomorrow to finger the goods, the prelude to my sentence, but by then, I will be where you fell, among the autumn leaves carried round and round in the cold, clear river water beneath this wall.
House sits within its moat of rain water
where the salamander lives
and running grass green
and the cowshed where the toad
swims under the door
and the veil of raindrops dripping
from the eaves dripping in the attic
and inside the windows
and the places where it bubbles
up through the floor.
House sits full of the smell of water
cool and cold and we listen
to the patter on glass the rattle
down chimneys feel the stones slip
into some other world of water
and watery things.
Night is deep and well-dark
ditch-full of rain and the crow wind
and when the light returns
in the grass running down the green path
water-running will be the ragged
ghostly procession of white agaric
water-gorged and tasteless.
Waking to a sky
colour of weak tea
and behind the chatter
and chanting of songbirds
woodpecker drilling and drumming
wood pigeon rou-cou-couling
a profound silence
smears its mud-sandy hands
about my ears.
For Sonya’s weekly photo prompt.
photo by Raychel Sanner via Unsplash
The turbulence gathered, the spiralling winds whipping forests to a blaze, oceans to rolling mountain chains of water, and the earth opened to receive it.
All the dark matter of pain and suffering concentrated in one huge desert sucked dry of concrete and living things, drawing all roads towards it inexorably.
When all our works had hurtled to their meeting place, with wild laughter or howls of despair, and the sky poured all of its anger into the last great electric storm, the vengeful mouth yawned, drank deep and snapped shut.
For the dverse prompt.
Bella, Ciao, he said
and marched away,
a grin on his face,
a grass stalk between his teeth.
He waved at the bend
in the summer-dusty road,
where the olive grove rolls
in a silver wave,
and the war swallowed him up,
spat out the bones.
Bella, Ciao, he’d said,
her boy, her life,
who came back dead.