We’re officially locked down again, to within a 1km radius of the house for at least four weeks. Predictions are it will be extended into the new year. It’s going to be a lonely winter and I’m going to work this water theme for everything it’s got! (thicker than water links here)
We batten down the hatches
again, watch the gentle swell,
the sky hang blue as autumn,
hoping the storm will break
on some other sea.
No sail on this green horizon
to call this pile of stones port,
no harbour here, no berth;
though arms reach out
there is nothing to cradle
but the cry of crows,
the patter of the next rain.
I missed the oracle on Saturday, so caught up with her today.
in honey smeared,
a thousand times
you whisper peach-sweet words.
I watch the sun set in a purple sky
and soar above
the mad moon music that you sing.
Dream away, my heart,
run like the river
through all the years.
Touch the stars,
hold them always—
listen to their voices.
Let night music lift your soul
into the sunlight.
Ghost breeze dances
blue as the vast ocean
where sail the salty clouds.
Remember the star of peace
in a velvet sky
and eternity breathing life
into the almost morning.
colour of dawn-rose cloud
and dusky blue,
murmurs through the trees,
a waterfall of peace.
Quiet, the dark river
on this long night of moonlight,
I wish would never end.
Early Saturday morning we were woken by a storm that was obviously making a bee line for our house. After a monumental crack of thunder and simultaneous flash of lightning, we lost power. When it was restored, we found that the internet connection was burnt out. We’re still waiting to be reconnected but in the interim have been loaned a gadget that hooks us up via wifi. No internet meant lots of writing, so here’s a haibun just to say, I’m back!
Sea bird, with worlds of ocean in yellow eyes, hangs in the stormy air between grey cloud and grey waves. Is it tomorrow it sees beyond the darkness, a limpid blue, sculpted sea mists and foam? Is that water titan, those twisted muscles of alien element, a maternal cradle to one whose eyes are filled with sunlight and the glint of silver fish scales caught in the moving depths? I hold out my hand to the wind and catch a breath of salt. The titan whispers, there is peace in this tumult. Listen to the laughter of the gull.
Rain in torrents pours—
the sharp snap of thunder-thread
breaking blinds my eyes.
As was to be expected, the oracle produced a mixed bag this morning.
Like a chant,
raw and bitter,
a black wind blows,
ripping through sea mists,
it storms the sun,
putting dreams to sleep
in the shadow of the moon.
The promise of light grows,
through the gentle night.
and star songs run,
into the sun.
At dusk the breeze grows gentle,
full of summer secrets
and river songs.
I follow the path
through the quiet shade,
where the wild earth breathes
in bright blue peace.
Night growls its secrets,
steely fish listen to angel voices.
Drink this cool cup
to the dark sky,
embrace the rhythms of the dance,
wake up to joy,
the wild salt ocean
of my heart.
A torrent of wind
along the riverbank roars,
runs through the poplars,
whirlpools of ocean laughter,
the voice of a thousand leaves.
I’ve had this painting on my list for a while, and although cheery it isn’t, there’s a good story behind it (Kat, feel free to ignore this week’s prompt) although I challenge you to write a story that is not the story of a drowned person. For one thing, if you’re drowned, it’s impossible for you to be telling us about what it was like. Think backstory, meanings, motives and reasons. Who are the people on the beach, why are they there, who are they carrying, is it a corpse, a grieving lover?
Please post your stories in the comments box before next Thursday. Despite everything, have fun 🙂
For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, a piece pf flash fiction based on the second of my Selkie stories.
From the cliff top, the Fishman would see him when he came out of the sea. He wrapped himself tighter in his clammy black cloak and settled back against a slab of slippery granite. Not that he wanted the Selkie man. He had no use for men. It was the woman he wanted, and the man would lead him to her. For the Selkie did have a woman, a Selkie woman who pretended to be a shore woman. She hid it well, but the Fishman had seen the signs, felt the air tingle around certain cottages along the shore. Her Selkie lover kept her safe hid inside, but the Fishman knew she was there.
He could have entered all the cottages by force, of course, until he found her, looked into the tell tale brown eyes and recognized the magic in them. But he had no great wish to give away his intentions to all and sundry. Though they suspected what he was and shunned him, he would not give them the pleasure of pointing the finger and denouncing him. So he waited for the woman’s lover to come out of the sea and lead him to the right door.
He sat, still as a rock lapped by the ocean, watching the waves rise and fall, watching for a sleek, round head to rise above the swell and for the creature to flop up the strand. His currach was hid close by. He had only to kill the Selkie then race the few yards to the strand with his woman, the prize. He smiled to himself, a thin-lipped smile that didn’t reach to his eyes.
He peered, suddenly restless. The sea was unchanging; only the light shifted and the smell, an intensifying of the salt tang. A shadow fell over his shoulder. He turned and flinched as the club caught him behind the left ear. Eyes, dark and liquid as the sea looked into his, before a red veil filmed them over, and the last sound to roll into his ear was a seal barking in triumph.
The Daily Post prompt is: blank.
When the night is too loud and crowded,
and the air will not be still,
when the heat will not subside or the cold ease,
and even the cats fight among the chimney stacks,
I try to recall the emptiness of some other time that perhaps I knew,
when the world was a blank canvas, an empty screen,
and the humming and shrilling of other people’s problems
did not impinge on the gentle, rolling space inside my head.
Sleep, a river or an ocean, waveless and limpid,
laps behind some wall or cliff, all dark ripples and fizzing foam,
if only I could find it.
If only I could find it,
I would dive, as graceful as a gannet,
and skim the green depths, otter-like,
This flash of fiction is for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt. Why not visit her site and have a go yourself?
The stories spoke of this place, a wicked world engulfed by the ocean. For aeons it had lain beneath the waves, a turbulent, capricious sea that boiled and tossed within the rim of the horizon. The coast was deserted. No fishing boats ever cast off from this shore to risk the strange and treacherous sea that muttered low and evil on calm days and howled with the voices of the damned in a gale.
Now the ocean has retreated and left behind squat, algae-covered ruins, bare trees, black and dead to the core, and the deep brown sludge of a thousand years of decomposed human refuse. The rumours say that vengeance walks the slime among the dead things though no one has dared venture beyond the sheltering forest to see.
A strange compulsion draws me to the edge of the known world. Curiosity? Or does blood reach out to blood, and my stained hands itch to sink into the corruption of the dead world and feel the remnants of pain slip between my fingers, my ears to thrill to the echoes of those last screams? I shiver and follow the ghastly path deeper into the murk.
Like my short fiction? Try the novels here, or sign up for news about further publications here.
Ronovan’s challenge this week is another great prompt. Following Sun & Moon, Diamonds & Pearls.
Diamonds in the rain
rivers take them to the sea
to lie with pale pearls.
Rivers of diamonds
strings of pearls among the weed
secret water gems.
Pearls lie fathoms deep
in a glittering ocean