Beyond the Light #Writephoto

copyright Sue Vincent

On my last day, the impenetrable rain finally clears, and my hostess suggests a walk. I’d rather stare out the window and wallow in my disappointment. But her enthusiasm won’t be thwarted, and I can’t very well blame her for the weather.

We venture through her back gate. A gray mist stalls between the trees’ black silhouettes, robbing me of a mere glimpse of blue sky. Spring has dawdled, and leafless twigs knit a dark filigree above the crooked boles. Only the mottled grass seems to have noticed the changing season, but it squishes beneath my feet and soaks my shoes.

I shove my hands in my pockets against the chill. “Is spring always this… dreary?”

My hostess chuckles. “It depends on your perspective.” She steps aside and beckons me to stand in her place.

I smile at her attempt at humor and comply. The morning sun casts rainbows in my eyes.

Gift my gloomy heart
Solace from expectations
Where darkness shelters
A new perspective beckons
In dawn’s awakening light

 

A haibun/tanka combo.

Thanks to Sue Vincent for the inspiring #Writephoto prompt.

At the Mirror: Andalusian Resurrection

I was browsing the beautiful site Short-Prose-Fiction and stumbled upon this gorgeous poem (one of many). I hope you enjoy it.

Andalusian Resurrection

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…

(Continue Reading via Andalusian Resurrection)

Diana’s March poem: you left me behind

pixabay image from Natan Vance

you left me behind

by D. Wallace Peach

 

you left me behind

because I was born in the barrio

in a shack by flooded rivers

in the dusty winds of drought

didn’t speak your tongue

or worship your god

the one who bade you

love the children

 

I am the meek

you left behind

because I toiled in cane fields

watched the dawn ripple through fish nets

over dying turquoise waters

tended my father’s reindeer

on the tundra’s barren crust

I bear no papers to witness my learning

my worth in coins or accounts

my worth in belonging

as a human being

I am too young, too crooked, too old

too homeless, too hungry

the wrong color emblazoned across my face

the wrong size, gender, ethnicity

the wrong way to love

to be

 

you needed a stranger to blame

and I am left behind

one who might have cured the ill

housed the poor

fed the hungry

ended your wars

lit a planet

and saved

you

left me behind

 

The Return of the Gnome King – #Tanka Tuesday

The actual gnome tree. About 9′ around.

A Haibun/tanka for Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday challenge. We had to use synonyms for Spring (newborn) and Song (squawk). Okay, maybe a stretch, but here goes:

The Return of the Gnome King

(A True Story)

The Dragon Wood awakens with the returning light. Our meadow greens beneath winter’s withered grass, and spears of horsetail stand at attention, stalwart sentinels lining our path. They await the guardian snails whose slimy pilgrimage to the gnome tree is a slow one. Deer twitch their ears, alert for the gnome king’s return.

We fear not the witch in her uprooted stump. Rusty barbed wire holds her captive, and her mosquito hordes still slumber. Instead, we pause in awe to listen to newborn dragons skritch and squawk from the hollow stumps of ancient firs, this year’s fledglings still too young to fly. We’ll seek them among the moss-wrapped alders when spring’s marsh has dried, but now, other duties demand our attention. With our magic sticks, we must dig for treasure around the gnome tree’s roots.

I stand on the summoning-rock at the edge of the bog. An orange salamander gazes up, eager for my call. “Oh, mighty gnomes,” my voice soars into the forest. “Spring is upon us, and the gnome king has returned. Emerge from your winter home with gold and gems. For many months, the king has protected you and the creatures of the forest. His promise was kept. It is time to pay him tribute. Oh, mighty gnomes, heed my call.”

The gnome king nods his approval. “That was a good one, Grammy.”

“Thank you, my King.”

Dream, my little child
Of dragons, gnomes, and kingdoms
Treasure and witches
Forgive your silly grownups’
Misplaced imaginations

A Rising: Balroop Singh #Writingprompt

pixabay image by Natan Vance

A Rising

by Balroop Singh

I have been lying low
I have been waiting,
Waiting for this moment
The right moment to leap out

It is now, I tell myself
‘Togetherness’ was the day –
“When they meet in wee hours,
Both the sources of light.”

Eerie silence encompassed me
As I struggled out,
I tried to run toward light
A pull seized me.

Shackles entrenched my feet,
Shadows seemed to smother…

Continue Reading: A Rising

March Speculative Fiction Prompt

pixabay image by Natan Vance

For visually challenged writers, this is a silhouette of a young person walking in a street in a darkened and empty city. Overhead is a huge moon eclipsing the sun.

Thank you to everyone who responded to February’s prompt. I loved reading and sharing your stories, poems, and artwork. Now, heading in a new direction once again! Above is March’s image. If interested, you have until March 23rd to submit a response. Happy Writing!

Note: I haven’t been getting all the pingbacks from stories. Yikes! Please be sure to link to this post, not to WP Reader. If you’re unsure, just pop a link in the comments below. Thanks!

Here’s how it works:

On the first of every month, I’ll post a speculative fiction prompt from Pixabay. These images are attribution free so you can use them on your blog without worrying about copyright restrictions.

Throughout the month, in order of receipt, I’ll reblog as many of your prompt-inspired creations as I can. And on the last day of each month, I’ll share a complete round-up of all contributions with links to the original posts. Visiting the blogs of participants is a great way to meet other speculative fiction writers.

Post your response on your own blog and link back to this post with a pingback, so I can reblog your post as well as include you in the month-end round-up. There are no word limits or style restrictions, but please keep it somewhat family friendly.

I encourage all authors to stop in and reply to the kind readers who leave comments about your story. This is a lovely way to build connections.

If you’re unsure of how to create a pingback, Hugh has an excellent tutorial here. If you prefer, you can copy and paste your link into the comments of this post.

Above all, have fun.

Diana’s February Story: The Elephant Child

Pixabay image by Marianne Sopala

I actually recorded this if you want to listen along.

The Elephant Child

by D. Wallace Peach

An elephant child, carefree and wild
Walked into the wintry woods
He followed fox tails and jackrabbit trails
Ignoring his mother’s “shoulds”

Of course, he got lost and chilled by the frost
As night began to fall
To his rump he sunk and tooted his trunk
But no one answered his call

Oh, that cold night, to the elephant fright
The clouds began to snow
He sniffled and shivered, shook and quivered
His nose he needed to blow

The blizzard swirled and snowflakes twirled
He plodded on wobbly knees
His head grew stuffy, the snow so fluffy
He blew out a honking sneeze

Losing hope, he started to mope
When in an evergreen tree
He spied a house, just right for a mouse
And he let go a trumpet of glee

Alas the place hadn’t the space
To fit an elephant’s bulk
The lost little guy plunked down for a cry
His head hung low in a sulk

The house was quite nice, chock full of mice
Who whispered quiet and low
What was that? Did you hear a cat?
Lurking out in the snow?

Across the wood floor, they dashed to the door
Flicked on the outside light
In a rodent flurry, they squeaked and scurried
An elephant! What a sight!

Let’s offer a seat for a tea and a treat
Said a mouse who felt overly bold
I think he is lost so covered in frost
And surely his ears are cold.

Full of care and courage to spare
They crawled out on a limb
They slipped on the ice those brave little mice
And their mission turned quite grim

But they held on tight with all their might
And called to the elephant
Come in from the storm, come in and get warm
But the elephant said I can’t!

Though I’m only four, I’ll bust the door
I’ll break the branch from the tree
I’ll crack your stairs and squash your chairs
I’m far too heavy, you see.

You have to try, hurry in and dry
Get up! Please give it a go!
The elephant groaned, he mumbled and moaned
Though he longed to get out of the snow.

With strength galore, he pushed on the door
The tree branch started to bend
The home nearly fell, and the mice had to yell
Please stop, or we’re end-over-end!

The elephant frowned as the flakes tumbled down
His trunk a bright shade of blue
Oh, what a glitch, mice-whiskers did twitch.
What were the rodents to do?

Now, due to their size, mice aren’t very wise
Their brains are as tiny as seeds
They may not be smart, but they have lots of heart
And sometimes that’s all that you need.

They sketched out a plan as only mice can
And piled his back with sweaters
And blankets and sheets, and curtains with pleats
Tiny coats of wool and black leather

With the elephant warm, and safe from all harm
They dialed their old-fashioned phone
We’re seeking his mother, a father or brother!
This elephant’s all alone!

Well what do you know, because of the snow
His parents were suffering fits
They dashed to him fast and hugged him at last
And stayed for some tea and biscuits.

Thus ends the plight of the elephant’s night
Be careful when out in the woods
You might meet some mice who are caring and nice
But just in case…
Remember your mother’s shoulds.