Today I’m sharing a post from Jude Itakali. Jude writes fabulous poetry: freeform, syllabic form, and frequently a combination of the two blended with poetic prose. His posts are often like journeys, leading his readers along a path through his thoughts and feelings. Sighs of Solitude is a piece of Tanka Prose, a syllabic form in response to Colleen’s Wordcraft Tanka Tuesday challenge. It’s beautiful.
Jude was also incredibly kind to give a shout-out for The Necromancer’s Daughter. I was delighted and honored by the gesture. I hope you enjoy Jude’s mesmerizing talent.
Sighs of Solitude
by Jude Itakali
sighs of solitude listen to conflict’s whispers reconciling depths some woes come from good intent rebirths that will never die
In the deep stillness, I ponder scars long etched in my blemishfree beginnings, healed yet forever barren. I ignore the itch of scabs…
Due to the unavoidable chaos in my daily life, my “Sunday Blog Share” turned into a “Weekend Blog Share.” Then it turned into a “Whenever-I-can-fit-it-in Blog Share,” but that title was too long, so here we are … on Tuesday “At the Mirror.” This one should stick.
I’m sharing a post from Holly, who blogs at House of Heart. Holly writes poetry and poetic prose. Her work is wonderfully sensory, full of exquisite imagery, and often sultry and shaded with longing. Sometimes I read her work and gasp; other times I swoon, but I’m always awed by her talent. If you haven’t read her work, this piece, titled Gypsy, is a beautiful place to start. I hope you enjoy it.
by Holly from House of Heart
Loneliness is a territory marked with danger, filled with monsters and typhoons, loneliness is a contagion.
The sound of Spanish music floats up the stairs and like tule fog slips beneath my door, reminding me that life exists outside.
The rhythmic sounds turn my cheeks pink, my lips red. I wear my dress of magenta and my hair falls down my back like an upside down flame…
My “Weekend Blog Share” is turning out to be a monthly blog share. Yeesh. I love sharing the beautiful work of other bloggers, but sometimes life gets a little frantic.
Well, it’s the weekend, and today I’m delighted to share a short piece of poetic prose from Layla Todd of Nin Chronicles. Her writing is simply luscious, and I had a hard time picking something from so many beautiful options!
I’ve closed comments here and hope you’ll head to Layla’s to finish reading. And check out her lovely poetry while you’re there. ❤
Touch of Midnight
by Layla Todd
The moonlight makes shadows dance across the lawn and fills the valleys between the hills in my backyard with pools of silken darkness. Dew is gathering on the grass, and I am walking in the cool beneath the fruit trees watching the fireflies spark like stars in the expanse of land around me. When I step on blossoms fallen from the flowering fruit trees, perfume fragrances my skin.
The forest line rises to my left. The creek gurgles quietly as it snakes its way through the woods. A large splotch of soft shadow just ahead….
I used to post a Sunday Blog Share where I’d reblog a post from our community that I loved. It was a chance to rave about bloggers, writers, books, poems, and stories. When my parents’ health started failing about five years ago, I couldn’t keep up and stopped.
Now I’m starting the feature again. I’m wowed by the talent in our blogging village and grateful for the friendships I find here. Through these shares, I hope to bring my favorite peeps together. And that includes you!
Please welcome my first victim guest: Mike Utley of Silent Pariah.
He’s a poet and writer and photographer, and his work is exquisite. I can’t help gushing. He’s probably glad that I live far away or I’d be his stalker.
Usually, I’d just reblog his post with a little intro, but the poem I want to share with you, Odysseus, was published on Masticadores, India. I’m sending you there so you can read it in one fell swoop: Odysseus.
But the point of this post is to connect you with Mike. So, I’d be thrilled if you visited his blog, a place where beautiful words are born. He’s worth reading and following. And if you’re like me, you’ll start pestering him for a book.
His most recent post features a photograph that he proceeds to describe with stunning emotion and beauty. You’ll see what I mean about this multifaceted artist. Flip back a post and you’ll find some mesmerizing haiku.
“Making lists.” I look up from where I’m slouched on the sofa.
“Procrastinating.” A hand on her hip, my muse mugs a dark-eyed, straight-lipped face that fully expresses her annoyance. She’s dressed like a forest nymph with twigs, pinecones, and fireflies in her hair. Winter’s snowflakes cling to her midnight dress, and a white owl blinks at me from her shoulder.
“I’m trying to get organized for the new year.” I toss my notepad aside, and before I can stop her, she snatches it up and starts flipping through the pages.
“You had a sorrowful few months, and I’m sympathetic, but the new year has started, and books don’t write themselves.” The owl steps from her shoulder onto her forearm, and with a sharp lift of her wrist, she sends it up into the cabin’s beams.
She sinks down on the couch beside me, rustles the crimson autumn leaves along her hem, and puts her grass-stained feet up on the coffee table. A pencil appears behind her ear that she uses to critique my ideas. “What’s with all these non-writing items?” She starts crossing them off.
“Not everything can be ignored indefinitely.” My protests slide from her skin, and I shrug. I’ll just tack those items on the end after she leaves. “I have a lot of my mom’s keepsakes to distribute, photo albums to consolidate, and my dad needs more of my time now. I haven’t vacuumed in a month.”
“Pfft. Housework.” She scratches that one out so hard the paper tears. “Just don’t get it dirty.”
Obviously, the muse hasn’t ever lived in a house. “I think a schedule might help me feel less overwhelmed.”
“Fine. Here’s one I recommend.” She rips a page from the notebook and hands it to me. “You get one day a week for non-writing activities. Sunday. The rest of the week, if you’re not with your father, you’re mine.”
I stare at the blank paper as black ink spiders from one corner to the other, creating a calendar complete with to-do items. She’s revamped my blogging schedule, dedicated a half-day for marketing, and blocked off chunks of time to write. There’s fine print along the bottom and a place to sign my name. “Is this a contract?”
“I’m a busy muse, and I’m not going to waste my time with undisciplined authors.”
I don’t argue and sign my name, figuring I’ll try it. She tears the calendar in half, and somehow we each end up with a full copy including my signature. “When do I start?”
“Tomorrow.” She rises from my sofa. Spring petals flutter to the floor from her cloak of moss. The snowy owl wings to her shoulder. “You have work to do on your new book.”
I raise my eyebrows. “Which is?”
She smiles. “The working title is The Weaver and the Autumn Prince. I’ll leave the outline beside your laptop. Happy New Year.”
She winks at me and vanishes in a swirl of snowflakes and white feathers. I study the calendar, vaguely hopeful.
Apparently, I’ll be blogging on Tuesdays and Saturdays, with Saturdays reserved for sharing community blog posts and blogger books. Friday is marketing day. Comments are welcome, as always, and I’ll continue to reciprocate as well as visit all the blogs I enjoy.
And best of all, five days a week have a 4-hour slot set aside for writing.
I’m in the midst of replacing the rotted stairs and railings that lead to my writing room. The treads sag, and yesterday when I grabbed the rickety banister, it broke off in my hand. Oops.
So, today I’m sharing a post from one my favorite authors Steven Baird. His writing is beautiful, evocative, deeply emotional, and he leaves me breathless every time I read his words. Enjoy.
by Steven Baird
Sarah, the sky that overlooks you and me, it opened up again today. The light that fills up the dogwoods is the same that curdles the cemetery gardenias. This has become summer once more, so you probably remember how things are colored, and then erased, without me telling you.
We have taken to planting crops again after last year’s calamitous conditions. Mostly it is cabbages, but also some acres of hay for the last two horses. You should see their shaggy stances, the hollowness of lean shoulders, the awful grief in their countenance. They will be confiscated by the army soon, Pa says, if we can keep them out of rifle range.
Lord, a soul can grow tired of salt pork and dooryard plantain, and sometimes you need to take a meal with neighbors (the Sowers, do you remember them and their dour Baptist leaflets?) to affirm you’re not being poor alone. The men will likely share homespun tobacco, the women will exchange recipes, the boys (and Alice) will tear up the yard grass with their raw feet, because that is the nature of this life.
I was browsing the beautiful site Short-Prose-Fiction and stumbled upon this gorgeous poem (one of many). I hope you enjoy it.
by Short Prose Fiction
In Spain, the dead are more alive than the dead of any other country in the world. Federico García Lorca
open your veins Andalusia
let him drink from your lynx blood
inject the rhythms of the flamenco
under the coldness of his eyes
tattoo his flesh with tiles of azurite
pour the sounds of castanets
into his arms
my fingers swirl
the flesh of ripened olives
covers the old shroud
the flow of blood from the white shirt…
I used to share some of my favorite posts from other bloggers. Then my speculative fiction prompt took over my blog! I’m taking advantage of my current travels to share some favorites.
My friend from Li’l Place posted this one almost a year ago and then took a blogging break for about 6 months. I hung onto it, and now that she’s returned, I finally get to share this beautiful piece of writing. Enjoy.
Foxtrot in the Kitchen
by L’il Place
It is the most wonderful thing when a memory catches up with one unexpectedly. Maybe it’s the balmy summer night air or maybe it’s the sight of a box of waffle ice cream cones that sat unopened on my kitchen counter top. But, I found myself pulled into a dance that took place half a lifetime ago.
When I just started working, I had rented a room from a landlady. To keep her privacy, I will call her Mrs. C. There was no a/c in her old but cozy house and it was a particularly humid and hot summer. We would open up the windows and run the fans to their max to try dispel the heat. My favorite place in that house was her kitchen. I would watch her cook many hearty, delicious Italian meals which she shared with me most generously. In fact, she was the one who introduced me to white clam linguine. Before that, I had foolishly thought that all pasta dishes were doused in tomato sauce. She called the white clam linguine the easiest pasta dish to prepare and thanks to her, I have prepared it many times for my own family. Dinners with her and her husband, Mr. C, were always followed by ice cream cones…
I read this post on Pam’s Roughwriting blog almost a year ago and saved it for the return of the Halloween. It’s THAT GOOD, and I couldn’t wait to share it with you. Pay attention to the costumes in the short video. It will fill up your heart. Happy Halloween.
by Pamela Wright
On one of my hold-my-breath-until-we-land flights a few months ago, I was the last passenger to enter the plane (my normal routine) and sat next to a nice-looking man who barely looked up.
But I looked him up and down, gauging how well the flight would go. Not garrulous, check. Not nervous, check. Not a drinker, check. All good to go.
But as I placed my purse under my seat and opened my book, I took offense. Perhaps this man – mid-30s – dismissed me already for being one of those things: a talker or a nervous flier or worse, just an “older woman” who was – dismissible.
I shrugged my shoulders and sank into my book. Almost two hours into the flight, after I’d been reading without a stop and my seatmate had been clicking on his laptop nonstop (yup, harried businessman, I told myself), the flight attendant made an announcement that caused me to laugh out loud and the businessman laughed too and then…we looked at each other.
Has that happened to you before? You think you know someone from their outside appearance (old, young, teenager, academic, businessperson, clergy, European, African, mid-Western, male, female) and then suddenly, eyes focus on each other, and you think: ohhhhhhhh….