Only Mouths: Prosery

In her memory of that time—the war, the occupation–every day was bleak and dismal, as if filmed through a grey filter. Most everyone looked pale and gaunt. She dressed in layers of threadbare clothing—and ate what scraps she could obtain. Her thin face seemed all eyes, but she thought, “only mouths are we.”

Who sings? The distant heart, which safely exists in the center of all things? Perhaps, but the mouths she knew then were hungry and crying for food, not singing. It wasn’t only the winter gloom; it was also a darkness of the soul. She kept her mouth closed, so that she wouldn’t reveal any secrets–and so that she wouldn’t scream.

But what about Paul? Had his mouth also stayed closed? She needed to know her sacrifices—and love– had meant something. She needed to find him now. (144 Words)

Another installment in my occasional and non-linear spy series for today’s dVerse Prosery prompt. Sanaa has chosen quite a difficult couple of lines for her Prosery prompt!

“Only mouths are we. Who sings the distant heart
which safely exists in the center of all things?” from Rainer Maria Rilke, “Heartbeat.”

The Visitor

When misted twilight shifts to midnight black,

then I drift, but hear her mournful sighing

outside the window, crying, “bring me back”–-

whispers first, but then intensifying.

Why does she with grief-filled moans so haunt me?

What soul-stricken sprite struggles at moon nights,

flickering at a flame–moth-winged banshee–

fleeing at dawn, in sunshine’s gilding light?

And yet–-her shadowed-face, ghostly image

appears each night, (bewitching) she calls me–

I rise, unsure, do I smile or grimace?

Two here on different planes, one not yet free.

So, I know now when next she comes again

the light will fade for me–not why, but when.

This is for dVerse, where Sanaa is asking us to write Gothic-themed poems.  It’s my birthday, so this will be fun reading. 😀 I’ve re-worked this sonnet that I wrote for another dVerse prompt about a year ago.

Nightmare, NaPoWriMo

Edvard_Munch_-_The_Scream_-_Google_Art_Project

The Scream,” by Edvard Munch. [Public Domain] “This version, executed in 1910 in tempera on cardboard, was stolen from the Munch Museum in 2004, and recovered in 2006.” Wikipedia.

Blood, here sprayed

like a scream.

 

And whispers,

frantic tongues

 

beneath the whys

of language.

 

Scrabbling, urging tongues

you recall, feverish,

 

you want–

some other time—

 

a when

before this dream—

 

you can almost see

the blush of the before,

 

and you open your mouth

but there’s no sound

 

(scream, no scream)

 

only the cackling around you

and you wonder

 

(What if the nightmare

never ends?)

 

 

Today’s prompt for Day 13 of NaPoWriMo is to write a poem about something spooky. I briefly consulted the Oracle early this morning, and she gave me some words and tips for this poem. But I know this isn’t my real message. I’ll consult her again later.

 

 

 

 

 

Night-Tide: Yeats Challenge, Day 10

For Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats Challenge, Day 10.

Today’s quotation:

“And he saw how the reeds grew dark
At the coming of night-tide,”

—  W.B. Yeats.

 

From the cottage window

he watches the winds blow,

scurrying and hurrying

for the day to be through

to turn evening’s dusky violet hue

into the starry indigo of night.

 

How she had loved that sight,

the clouds dancing in the air

the wispy bits of angel hair

white against the darkening sky.

And still he cried

remembering how she’d died

drifting away at the coming of night-tide.

 

He’d been there, sitting at her side.

Now weary, burdened with a heavy heart,

wondering what to do or what to start

Then softly he hears her gentle sigh,

and though it waits for no reply,

as the moon hums and the reeds grow dark

he knows she’s there somehow, a spark

in every fox’s bark and singing lark

her spirit roams by house and glen

somewhere, sometime, he’ll see her again.

 

'Starry_Night'_by_Edvard_Munch,_1893,_Getty_Center

Edvard Munch, “Starry Night,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Microfiction: Kiss at the Window

611px-Edvard_Munch_-_Kiss_by_the_window_(1892)

Edvard Munch, Kiss By the Window, Public Domain, Wikipedia.

Inside the house, lamps and hearths glowed, banishing the darkness of the Norwegian winter. As they stood by the window, Fredrik gently placed the pearl necklace around her neck. The lustrous white spheres were cool against her skin. He kissed her, first gently, and then with more urgency. The faint scent of his pipe tobacco clung to his clothes. A knock at their bedroom door made them break apart, as her maid, Sonya, announced that their first dinner guests had arrived. Elisabeth vowed to remember everything about that December night forever. It was her twenty-fifth birthday.

Now alone in her hospital bed, body aching, she watched that memory, a movie in her mind. It had been nearly seventy years ago; twenty years since she had last heard Fredrik’s voice. She sensed—something–the air felt charged. She smelled pipe smoke. She heard a voice say, “Are you ready, my darling? I’ve missed you so.” Her heart fluttered. She noticed a window draped in blue, a fire burning in fireplace. She felt a necklace, cool against her throat. She smiled. She took Fredrik’s hand and walked with him into the glowing light.

 

This story is in response to Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge. The prompt was the painting above with a two hundred word limit; mine was 191 words.

The Long Walk

NOR Måneskinn, ENG Moonlight

Jane Dougherty’s challenge this week was to write a poem using this painting as a prompt and some or all of these words:

winding – moonlight – follow – heavily – path

 

She stood in the moonlight

sensing his presence behind her

waiting did not bother him

he was patient

as was she

knowing, but not yet ready,

not quite ready to follow him.

He stood still, behind her

a shadow image

hovering

not unkind

simply there.

Then it was time.

Death took her hand,

and they walked together

through the moonlight

down the winding path