No harm done, he said

A third short poem for the Secret Keeper’s writing prompt using the words



No harm will come, he said, she smiled,

I’ll love you long and deep, he said,

An act it was, for all his words,

At dawn across the sea he fled.


She bore the loss, she bore his child,

She bore the stares of righteous folk,

But when her bairn lay still and cold,

She could no more; her poor heart broke.


They wrapped her in a winding cloth,

And in her arms they laid the child,

Wild roses in her hair they wound,

And over both the good earth piled.

Microfiction challenge Abandon: the entries

Sorry to be brief today but I have a migraine and feel shitty. Thank you, arrogant, air-brained little bastards of business school students opposite who take over the public space to throw their incessant all-night parties.

Please look in on the stories. They are all well worth reading. New prompt tomorrow.


Abandon – for Jane Dougherty | fmme writes poems


Microfiction challenge #12: Abandon | Morpethroad


Ironbridge – Microfiction challenge #12 | Freya Writes…

Lady Lee

Microfiction challenge #12: Abandon – ladyleemanila


Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge #12: luncheon – Phylor’s Blog


The Mill | Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings


Whither Reality #shortstory #prompt | TanGental



Junk Mail Art: Lost | method two madness


Seasoning – Part 9 | like mercury colliding…


Microfiction challenge: Abandon



The Millrace

The sound of water filled her head, the rain pouring in torrents and the roar of the millrace. Her feet trod water, and the path before her eyes was a leaden blur. Still she ploughed on, head bent beneath the black umbrella where the raindrops beat out a heavy rhythm. It has been a green paradise, the garden around the water mill, a tame jungle of flowering shrubs and trees, sweet with scents and birdsong. No longer. The mill abandoned, the land sold and garden dug over, nothing was left but ruins. And the river.

He wanted a new life, adventure, the city, he said. She would have gone with him. She would have found the nerve if he had helped her. But he had had no time to waste. Impatient always, he wanted everything now, on the instant. So he took what he wanted and left behind what was of no use. She was no more able to say no than yes. Even now, with the burden she carried, she could not make up her mind.

The river roared until she could no longer hear her thoughts, no longer hear the tiny voice in her belly pleading for something she did not want to give.

She stood on the shaky wooden bridge, staring into the turbulent water and made her first and last decision.

Microfiction challenge #12: Abandon

The image this week is by Henri Rousseau, not one of his tropical paintings, one much closer to home. The rain is pouring down onto a verdant countryside and a water mill. The forest of pines doesn’t look too friendly to me and the place looks deserted. Why is the woman in black making her way to the mill? Does she live there? Maybe she lives in the house with the red roof, and she is on her way to a secret rendez-vous.

Write a short story using the image as inspiration, and the theme word


Try to keep it to 200 words if possible, and post the link in the comments before next Thursday. Happy writing!


Time and roses

The Daily Post prompt is: Clock


Spring nights when we’d meet by the lake,

I’d watch for the first stars to wake,

Impatient for vespers to chime,

The clock on the wall marks the time.


You planted a seed that would grow,

As fast as a spring river flow,

Such true love could not be a crime,

The clock on the wall marks the time.


At midsummer you would return,

You told me, but much as I yearn,

The rose trees are furred with cold rime,

The clock on the wall marks the time.


Poetry challenge #33: Silent cascade

The form I’ve been using a lot recently is the cascade. Shadow Poetry explains how to do it, but it’s not difficult, no rhymes and a lot of repetition. Four stanzas of three lines where the first line becomes the last line of the second stanza, the second line becomes the last line of the third, and the third line becomes the last line of the fourth. It creates an attractive trickle-down effect.

The picture of a cascade I had in mind is entitled Silence so you can think of the title as a bonus prompt. Otherwise, you might like to use these words:

Cascade, tresses, eagle, abandon, rippling

This is another rather odd painting. Silence, next to a waterfall? What is the woman listening for? Her expression isn’t fearful, more interested than excited. And what is that deer doing behind her? See what you can get out of it and post the link to your poem in the comments. My poem is below.


Standing in the cascade’s spray,

Water tresses, sunlight glinting,

Watching the river run away,


I wonder is bright water rippling

On the bank where now you stand,

Standing in the cascade’s spray?


Does your heart lie dull, a dead weight,

The joy too sharp in night time dreaming,

Water tresses, sunlight glinting?


Or do you soar in wild abandon,

Eagle-free on pinions spread,

Watching the river run away?


We had a poke around in the abandoned military barracks on Sunday. They’ve opened up another section and it’s lovely in an eerie sort of way. The snaps aren’t any good, but then they wouldn’t be, would they? Ghosts don’t ever come out in photos.




Finbar ghost

Abandoned garden, with roses twined,
Bind about the brambles and plaster,
Faster than the night falls,
Walls crumble to dust.
Must it be like this always?
Days tumble into night,
Light fades and slides into dark,
Lark descends and rises no more,
Law that silences all we love most?
Ghost dog wanders lost,
Frost gathers in cold hair.
Beware the lost places where the lonely walk,
Talking in their last sleep.
Weep for the forgotten.
Rotten fruit falls to the teeming earth,
Births an abandoned garden, with roses twined.


Painting by Friedrich Karl Ströher


How so calm the sea,
When so much death lies beneath its billows?
How so silent the sky,
That echoed surely with last anguished cries?
No waves watch death come, with cold, impassive eyes,
Nor does the sky hear and disregard the pleading.
Beneath the rising and the setting of moon and sun,
Rolling in the ebb and flow of endless tides,
Is all of life and death and the easing of pain.
Ocean swells, silk-smooth and tranquil as a shroud,
Cradling the lost in its vast, implacable tenderness,
Gathering up the misery no one wants,
And gulls bear whispers in their strong white wings,
Memories soft as swansdown,
To soar beneath other, gentler skies.

She waits as shadows fall

I tried to write a villanelle, I honstly tried. But I’ve had a tiring morning, and this is what I came up with instead. If you want to know what a villanelle is, look here.

Painting by Robert Falk


She sits the whole day by the garden wall,

Until deep shade has filled the leafy lane,

And chilly fingers drum the old refrain,

Of loss and longing as the shadows fall.


She twists the finger where he set his ring,

Not gold, he said, but brass shines just as bright,

And she had laughed and held it to the light,

Not fearing then the heartache it would bring.


She sits while silence grows and takes the place

Of birdsong and the rippling of the stream,

Leaves her with seedling bairn and broken dream,

And useless tears that mar the beauty of her face.


The long night falls and stars prick one by one,

The waiting’s over for another day,

If only she had known to make him stay,

But that sweet dream with all the rest is done.

Two sentence story #7

Painting by CF Hill.

It had been the King’s Route in the old days, the only safe road in times of unrest, cutting across the country from the capital to the main port in the south. But that had been before the blight came, rippling up from the port like running rats, first killing the heart of the trees that bordered the route, leaving only blackened, dead twigs, then reaching into the houses of the poor, until he was the only one left, so that when his time came, there would be no one to speak the last words over his remains to send his soul safe to the other side.