If this heat spread soft as butter,
gentle as morning birds
and the breast feathers lining nests,

if this sun cast cool shadows,
where water runs beneath tall trees,
and damselflies glitter in the gloom,

if this day stretched
from misted blue of dawning
to full moon dusk,

silver and solemn,
drifting languid
as a swan’s neck,

perhaps I would not feel
the sharp clenching of
merciless steel teeth,

the fear that dusk,
silver moon and deep night
may not be enough
to sooth the burning.

At the end of the night

Last night’s quadrille was a rapid sketch. This is a more filled-out version, illustrated by the same Munch painting.

At the end of the night

At the end of the night, with pale light streaming
through silver mists of the setting moon,
on star-filled waves, its echo gleaming
swells the ocean sky, ebbing all too soon.

I clutch at stars, beg the night to stay,
but earth rolls into the new day growing,
and the wind that blows the shadows away
is the clean salt wind from the ocean blowing.

It drips, the moonlight, on the covers,
and pales the gentle, secret sky,
they wake, the blackbirds and the lovers,
while songs of night on owl-wings fly.

Microfiction challenge At the window: the entries

This challenge, a story in less than 200 words, is the start of a mini series for some of us. All the stories were intriguing, and some I hope will lead into a further development based on the next prompt. There are fantasy stories, mysteries, thrillers and historical recreations among your creations, all well worth reading. I hope you will all try tomorrow’s prompt, and maybe use it to add another chapter to the story.


Louise’s story could go in many different directions. I do hope she’s going to choose one and write it.

Tempted – Fantasy Raconteur


Sarah’s story is the start of a crime thriller (I hope), and next week will clarify (I hope) what happened to Mrs Locatelli.



Lady Lee’s microfiction is in fact a poem. The prose version is posted in the challenge comments.

Microfiction challenge #4: At the window – ladyleemanila


Phylor introduces a character who I can see is going to run and run. Unfortunately 🙂

Dr. Teagarten’s Exit – Phylor’s Blog Edit


Michael’s a pure happy ending romance. Don’t often get those!

Microfiction Challenge #4: At the window | Morpethroad


Merril trumped Michael’s story for romance, in that it takes us right to the end of life, and beyond…

Microfiction: Kiss at the Window | Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings


Doug’s story is a recreation of a possible historical encounter. This is a kind of fiction I very much enjoy. Whether it really happened or not.

A Decision is Made in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat | Elusive Trope


Bill has the same vision as Doug, an imagined dip into the past. This one delves into Munch’s very tortured spirit—darkly successful. (Sorry about the great white space that follows. I can’t make it go away)

A Whisper of Empty


MariJo’s story is, I hope the start of a much longer one. We’ll see next week…

The Messenger, part 1 – The Journey of a Million Miles


Kerfe with a very short story, and a beautiful image that can be interpreted in many ways, but all of them fantastically romantic.

Junk Mail Art: The Kiss | method two madness


Ken’s story is the only vampire take. I must say I do find this painting gives off vampire vibes—the position of the characters, the light, and the ambiguity about whether or not the woman is being forced.

Instinct Prevails | rivrvlogr


Mek’s story is a whirlwind relationship taking the reader from first sight to the exit in less than 200 words.

Kiss by the Window | Work in Progress


A late, very romantic story from Sri.



Microfiction challenge #4: At the window

The full title of this painting by Munch is The kiss at the window, but it doesn’t have to be a kiss. The blue light is eerie, his embrace could be passionate or violent, and is she wilting with pleasure, or with terror? There are a lot of possible interpretations. Find one and write it.

This week, there’s a choice. Phylor reminded me that sometimes a story can run to several episodes, so if you want to make the story prompted by this image the start of a mini serial, keep it to less than 200 words, with a beginning, a middle, and an open end, and tag it Part One. You’ll then have the option of using next week’s image to inspire part two. If you intend to close the story this week, use as many words as you like. However, if you write a novel, I don’t guarantee I’ll have the time to read it 🙂

Post the link to your story in the comments before next Thursday to be included in the round up. Have fun!


Poetry challenge Moonlight: the entries

Last week’s challenge was slightly different as I was battling with various issues. You rallied valiantly though with some brilliant pieces of poetry which, to my mind, captured the slightly unsettling nature of the painting.

In order of arrival:

Patricia Salamone with the only poem this week that reflects the images of a moonlit garden, the peace and sensations, without any of the impending disaster that everybody else seemed to catch. I wish I’d read this one last 🙂



Ken’s poem is restless more than disturbing, but with the same image of something not quite at peace that comes over in almost all the poems this week.

Shadowed Path | rivrvlogr


Doug the Elusive Trope with a poem full of menace, impending doom, and the white-faced figure a bulwark against his vision of disaster.

Harbringer | Elusive Trope


Merril, really going the whole hog with the shadow theme. Unexpected and somehow inevitable ending.

The Long Walk | Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings


Even Ali finally got it together this week and produced a truly magical poem.

Fire and Water | Prose and Poetry


Kat with a very gentle, melancholy triolet.

Her Shadow Looms – A Triolet | like mercury colliding…


Janice dispersing the mad gloom somewhat with a poem full of hope in what comes after the shadows disperse.

In times of darkness – Ontheland


Kim from North Norfolk with a poem that grabbed me with the disjointed appearance on the page, the fragmented images, and a general atmosphere of madness.

Maddening Moonlight – writing in north norfolk


Kerfe with another poem inspired by the shadows in the painting, that follows that path into the darkness of a troubled mind.

Moonlit Shadows | method two madness


Tricia Drammeh with a haiku (that incidentally I find does work with the painting), followed by a three stanza poem that reads like an enchanted story.

Jane’s Poetry Challenge #28 – A Creative State of Mind


Sri with a couple of triolets. The first, my favourite, starts with a tremendous image.



and a third with the rhyming scheme of a Limerick



Last in, Geoff with a sonnet—appropriate for the unusually serious approach he took this week.

Shadow play #poetry #poems | TanGental

What an eclectic mix of poems this week! I loved reading the different feelings the painting produced, from peaceful melancholy to outright madness and despair. Tremendous writing, all of you. Tomorrow, I’m tempted to use a similar prompt. We’ll see.




Standing in the moonlight, my shadow at my back,

With the seamed and spangled sky above,

Will I take the winding path that leads down to the shore,

Or face the shadows and the hollow, empty rooms,

The murmuring in the corners and the creases?

Will I step out into the darkness,

Hanging heavy with memories, clustered dense as stars?

Follow your heart, I hear you whisper, or is it just the leaves,

Trembling in the moonlight, the wind and the oily waves?

Follow the moonlight and the sea path and your shade leaving?

To the poplar leaves I say, listen to the ocean,

To the swell of tide and ebb, the waves black rock-breaking,

And you hear the pulse of my heart and its shattered pieces,

Chinking like pebbles in the backwash.

This pale path ends in chaos.

Poetry challenge #28: Moonlight

This week’s challenge is a bit of a cop out. I wasted much of yesterday and this morning with the stupid phisher and haven’t had time to search out a new poetry form. Instead, I leave you to choose the form and use the Munch painting, ‘Moonlight’ as your inspiration.

I’m adding a selection of words for you to use—verb, nouns, adjective and adverb—that you can use if you want to add a bit of a challenge to the prompt.

winding – moonlight – follow – heavily – path


I haven’t written a poem yet. I’ll post later.

If the painting doesn’t inspire you, just use the words. Leave your links in the comments as usual and surprise me 🙂