#photopromptpoetry: S.O.S.

I had the honour to be chosen poet of the week for Colleen Chesebro’s photo prompt last month. The prize was to be able to choose this month’s image. This one is by Susan Cipriano from Pixabay

trees

Trees link

ocean sky and

blue water, branching wide,

rooting deep where bird-fish skim-swim

skywards

or rootwards delve. Leaves wave, kelp-green

flags, pleading. Can you see

their reflections

calling?

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Three Line Tales: The mystic

For Sonya’s three line tales prompt.

photo by Rikki Austin via Unsplash

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Miranda had taken up her place in the centre of the henge on a campstool to keep her robes off the damp grass, facing the east and the rising sun, when dawn was still only a paling of the darkness along the horizon.

The air was in movement with the faint presence of ancient lives that still vibrated in the holy place, and she was certain that this sunrise would reveal the arcane mysteries of the stone circle.

She held her breath as the first cold rays shot across the hillside and probed the entrance stones to touch her dew-damp feet then her knees, only letting it out in a gasp of disappointment when thick cloud smothered the sun and a light rain began to fall.

#writephoto: Roots

Sue Vincent has provided another image with her Thursday Photo Prompt to fit my WIP.

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Aoife had the pool drained and filled in, but the mound of earth never settled. It quaked and shivered, and she wondered if she had done wrong in meddling, whether she had buried something beneath the earth that would not be still. The following year, three saplings appeared, green willows that bent in the spring gales but sprang back again, growing taller as the summer came and the next spring after that.

The mound of earth has grown to be a small hillock now and the trees have thickened, spread branches like arms that reach out to catch the hands of the other two. Their roots have spread too, but not below the ground. They race and twine about one another in a sinuous dance.

Not Guivre, they say, no longer.

The roots are like the patterns carved on old roof beams, on the stone slabs that mark the entrance to fairy raths, like the water that swirls from the source into the búllan stone. She would have asked Énna what it meant, but Énna is dead long ago, and none of his children have shown signs of having the gift. She doubts Ciar would have suffered it to flourish if they had. In any case, she has her own idea of the story in the trees, their roots and the pool that lives again.

She has made her peace with the fairy woman from across the sea, and laid to rest the anger and the misunderstandings that have caused so much suffering, these ten years since. She stands now between the trees, within the ring of trees for that is what it is, and she strains to hear their voices.

Perhaps it is only the breeze, but it recalls how Riseárd whispered to her in the dark of their nights. Sometimes she thinks she hears a child’s bright laughter, at others, the low murmur of a woman’s story-telling voice. They reach out their hands to one another, but there is a slight gap in the circle where they have made room for her, and she knows that one day, when it is her time, she will join them and take the hands of her loved ones again.

Three Line Tales: Ghosts?

A three line tale for Sonya’s photo prompt

photo by Ahmed Odeh via Unsplash

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In a midnight basement, two boys leap to their feet while a third scatters the letters of the ‘psychic’ message in an attempt to make the apparition go away.

Somewhere, far away, a girl stands in her bedroom, petrified with fear as three phantoms swirl about her in a blur of terrifying faces and flailing arms.

In a third dimension, a priest, a seer and a soldier laugh at the terror they have sown, and pull down more strings of time and light to enmesh more worlds, more planes in their game of chaos.

Toxic garden

Rising to Ronovan’s challenge to write a poem based on The Garden of Earthly Delights triptych by Heironymous Bosch.

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They were not so naïve in those days of mass misery and oppression, when grotesques crouched in every doorway, and famine lurked at every winter’s end. Not so naïve as to believe in Heaven without Hell, master without slave, and the divine right of mad despots without the servitude of the poor.

Even then, the world was a teeming mess of futility, navel-gazing and lotus-eating. Paradise is solitude, the quiet of nature. The end, coming soon, to screens all around the world, is Hell and the final madness. So sophisticated and worldly-wise, are we, yet we will fall into the same pit of screaming darkness as the leprous villeins who feared the incubi and succubi of their dreams and that the sky might fall upon their heads.

Scream to the sky

the rich and powerful

are not listening

She’s there because…

I participated in the Visual Verse anthology this month, slipping in a submission just under the wire. The photo prompt elicited a lot of Gilets Jaunes references. Living in Gilet Jaune heartland, while having a visceral sympathy with their calls for social justice, I don’t see them as revolutionary freedom fighters. You can read my more nuanced interpretation here.

Thank you to Visual Verse for publishing my story.