Vine climbs

For the Daily Post prompt: natural


At the foot of the wall,

in the shade of the sill,

where the grey shadows fall,

and the workmen drill,

there’s a small piece of green,

a patch of new shoots,

that nobody’s seen

and torn from its roots.

At the foot of the wall,

In the shade of the sill,

A vine starts to crawl

In a fierce show of will,

through a bed of dog ends

and discarded litter,

green tendrils sends,

with raindrops aglitter.

At the foot of the wall,

in the shade of the sill,

in its own space so small

the vine struggles still.

At the foot of the wall

in the dust of the street,

the earth shows us all,

where life and hope meet.


Microfiction: End of the struggle


Rain slashed their faces and the wind tore at their coats, but she urged her mother down the road. At either side, the ditch had filled and the road was rapidly becoming a raging river. More than once the woman stopped and her chest heaved with the effort. She looked like a dog at the end of its chain, her daughter thought. The downward path had twisted and turned more times than she had counted, and the house was behind and above them, its dark eyes turned to the valley below. She felt its presence even though it was long out of sight among the enraged forest trees, and she feared she would never be free of it.

She felt the rumbling before she saw the car. Her mother stopped in her tracks, trembling with terror. Headlights, a livid yellow, ploughed through the slanting rods of rain and blinded them both. A car door slammed.

“Get in,” he barked, his bulk black and massive against the light. “I said, get in!”

Her mother whimpered, her limbs jerking to obey the command. The daughter overcame her reserve and grabbed her arm.

“No. We’re not going back.”

She said no more, didn’t wait to see the effect of her words, dragged her mother out of the beam of light and past the bulk, the car, the old life. The woman moaned and hung heavy, a dead weight, but her daughter was merciless, like her father. She knew what was coming, couldn’t avoid it, almost didn’t want to. The fist hit her mother in the face and she sunk to her knees. It was what the girl had been waiting for, dreaming of for so long. She bared her teeth in a grin of desperation and desire and pulled the pistol, his pistol, from her coat pocket. The light was in her eyes. He was just a black mass against the headlights. But at point blank range she couldn’t miss.

The sound of the detonation was lost in the first crack of thunder as the storm broke overhead.

Microfiction: Struggle

This is for the Daily Post prompt.909px-Johannessen_-_Kräftiger_Sturm_-_1918-22

They stand side by side in the road, not touching though they have only each other. The trees, caught by the gale bend and sway, shrieking in anger. The mother turns and looks back at the house through the quaking pine branches and she leans, almost imperceptibly, her back to the wind, letting it catch her steps to push them back the way they have come.

“No!” her daughter screams above the furious wind. “It’s finished. We’re not going back.”

The woman hangs her head, hiding her face as if sheltering it from the lashing rain. Her daughter knows better, knows that her mother’s eyes will be full of tears.

“He’s a pig and you know it!”

The daughter stands firm against the gale, glaring at the black clouds and the squat house where the windows are dark. She waits but she will not give her mother her arm.

Reluctantly, the woman turns away from the house, her home, her life, bracing herself for the force of the wind, the storm, and her daughter’s anger. Stifling a sob, she takes the first step and feels herself break with the effort.


The Daily Post prompt is ‘underestimate’.


You held out dreams of moon and stars,

And a boat to carry us where we would.

Instead you sailed away alone,

Bright shards I gathered as I could.


Black night fell, joy turned to dust,

Cold ashes filled my mouth and eyes,

A pinpoint in the darkness calling,

Beating through tumultuous skies.


Gull white and grey, the free sky soaring,

Beat back the dark and cloudy night,

I found a spark amid the shambles,

Feathered hope in broad-winged flight.