Constellations

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By Chrisrobertsantieau (Own work), “Constellations,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Shimmering, flickering, the stars appear,

glimmering patterns revealed. The Seer,

sees love flowing (in dark she is freer),

bewitched, enraptured by the twinkling spheres,

she casts her spells before they disappear.

 

This is for Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge.  The fiftieth! Well done, Jane!

She writes, ““The rules are simple, a single stanza of five lines of ten syllables each. The five end of line words all rhyme.” The rules may be simple, but following them never is. 🙂

 

Survivor

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Vincent van Gogh, “Sorrow,” 1882 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Now years have passed, the pain is gone–

physical pain, the dreams remain,

demons, terror, always the same.

 

Family gone–denouement

of war, of destruction, of fright–

she mourns them still, alone at night.

 

For evil men, she was a pawn.

They took her youth, left no trace

in tattooed arm and withered face.

 

The past is gone, she won’t dwell on,

memories–peace comes, with a book,

a cat, some tea, a quiet nook

 

in which she sits, sometimes till dawn,

longing to die, willing to live,

she tries not to hate; she tries to forgive.

 

This week, Jane asked us to write about pain for her poetry challenge in a poem using the rhyme scheme: abb acc add aee, etc. I didn’t use the prompt words or the image she suggested. I think this Van Gogh drawing conveys the mood of the poem. The model was pregnant and abandoned by the father of the child. She was forced to prostitute herself to buy food. Van Gogh took her in as a model, paid her rent, and shared his bread with her. The Wikipedia page has more information.

She Waits: Microfiction

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Harald Slott-Møller . “Spring”[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Every day, just before twilight, Susie arrives, blond curls adored with flowers, and feet bare, no matter the season. She appears silently and sits by the water. The birds come and go in a noisy chatter, but she doesn’t talk back to them. She sits quietly. This is typical. She was always a pensive child. But folks often remarked that when Susie did smile, her face lit up in such a way that all around her smiled back.

The chirps and trills of the birds, the whir of insects, and the soft lapping of the water create a harmony of nature. There are no human sounds. Long ago, the area was vibrant, alive with fishermen and farmers, artists and craftspeople, lovers and families–and joy. Some say it was disease, a plague that destroyed this world; others say it was the men who came with whips and chains. But does it matter? That life vanished hundreds of years ago. And Susie no longer smiles.

Still, she comes and sits by the water, as though waiting for something. What does Susie’s gaze reveal? Is it hope or warning? Ask the few who have glimpsed her sitting there in the gloaming. Ask, if you can find them.

 

This story is in response to Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge using this painting  by Harald Slott-Møller. I pretty much ignored spring and the prompt words.

Cycles and Seasons

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A cry, she’s born, and then she’s grown,

flown from the nest, and yet, my child

beguiled, I remain, her loving parent,

transparent, apparent to all.

Walls cannot separate, or part,

heart to heart we stand united,

delighted. Yet I’m daughter, too,

whose mother ages. Round and round

bound in time, the seasons go, and

grand is life, though quick it passes.

Grasses turn green, then brown. A sigh,

a cry, she’s born, and then she’s grown.

 

This is a circular poem in response to Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge. The theme was cycles and circles. The prompt was the photo at the top, but perhaps my photos express it better.

 

 

 

 

At Dawn: Microfiction

 

Caspar David Friedrich

Caspar David Friedrich: Frau in der Morgensonne G45

Caspar David Friedrich, “Woman before the Rising Sun,” [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Gwendolyn rose early, as she did every day. Sometimes the dogs came with her, but today she left them in a tangled, snoring heap of legs and tails. There were no predators here. She walked up the hill. There she waited as the sky gradually turned pink and orange, and then filled with the resplendent golden glow of the suns. She greeted the dawn like an old friend, and certainly they knew each other, as she had performed this ritual every day for over a decade.

In the distance, she saw the horses grazing. Their coats gleamed blue in the dawn light. She glanced again at the sky. Watching. Waiting. Hoping. Nina and Jin had been gone for many years. Death came, even in paradise. They had been the scouts, the pioneers, the homesteaders. Their ship, the Endeavour, had been well-equipped, and they landed safely here, on Paradise.

She left her morning post. In the evening, she would climb the hill again. Gazing for what? Hope, she supposed. A sign of another ship that had escaped from Earth. A sign that she was not the only human in the universe.

 

I remembered a title today! This story is in response to Jane Dougherty’s microfiction challenge.

The prompt is the painting above by Caspar David Friedrich. I totally forgot there were also theme words, which did indeed fit the painting, but I went my own way, ignoring the woman’s appearance. I’m a rebel.

 

A Spring Story

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Paul Cornoyer, “Early Spring in Central Park,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

You asked me to dance in the early spring,

on the dark terrace, we kissed in the mist,

I swayed, you held me, and then said goodbye.

 

Time passed, bombs rained, farewell and goodbye.

We sat side by side (again it was spring),

there on the park bench, we kissed in the mist.

 

My vision clouded, I saw through  a mist,

one kiss, you held me, a final goodbye–

sigh, love and glory, our story in spring.

 

In spring mist we loved and said goodbye.

 

This is in response to Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge.  This week we were to write a Tritina. She explains the form in her post, but it involves repeating three words, as you might have guessed.

My poem comes with a soundtrack. “As Time Goes By” from Casablanca, of course, from which I lifted a few words. But also, Rodgers and Hart’s wonderful, “Where or When, “

Here is Peggy Lee with the Benny Goodman Trio, recorded in December 1941, just after Pearl Harbor.

The painting is from circa 1910, but in my mind they were WWII era lovers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mill

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Juliette trudged up the hill in the rain. Day was turning to night, and she wanted to make certain her beloved boy made it home safely from the mill. Henri was only twelve and small for his age; Juliette worried about him. Though he made little working at the mill, it was enough to help the family a bit. He had not complained about having to leave school, though he loved his books.

Henri is a good boy, she thought, fondly recalling the way he gently teased her. Maybe he’ll tell me a new joke tonight.

She pictured the family sitting around the dinner table, eating the stew she had left simmering at home. She knew Henri would appreciate it. He was a growing boy, after all.

She continued walking and musing about him, as she did every day at this time. As she had been doing every day for fifteen years, since the mill had been destroyed in a fire. Her Henri would not be tasting her stew tonight–or any night. He would never again tease her in his quiet way. But he lived still in Juliette’s mind and dreams, forever a boy of twelve.

 

This story is in response to Jane Dougherty’s microfiction challenge . The prompt is the above painting by Henri Rousseau.( I can’t find any information about it.) Also, the word “abandon.”

 

Song of the Stars

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Jess Mann [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

I watched the stars as they danced by,

They glimmered brightly in the sky.

I heard their song, mellifluous,

I heard their song, I thought of us.

 

I heard the lap of river waves,

They touch the edge of muddy graves.

I thought of war and bloody fields,

I thought of death and broken shields.

 

But still your touch remains with me,

Though different skies and stars we see,

Come back to me, before too long,

To watch the stars, to hear their song.

 

This week for her poetry challenge, the ever creative Jane Dougherty asked us to concentrate on sound and meter. I’m not certain I succeeded, but here it is.

The prompt words were: Stars, night, and water. The image is the one above by Jess Mann.

 

 

 

 

 

The Blue Room

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Adriano Cecioni, “Interior with a Figure,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

“I’ve put you in the blue room,” the landlady of the respectable seaside boarding house had said. “I’m sure it will suit you.”

Lillie was at the boardinghouse to regain her health. She suffered from a nervous condition, according to her aunt’s physician. In his view, it was brought on by all the reading she did. She needed fresh air and exercise to cure her of her fancies.

They all said—her aunt and cousins—that she was too sensitive. Even more so since the young man she had hoped to marry was killed in the Crimean War. She always seemed more comfortable reading her books. Immersed in fictional worlds, she escaped the constant chatter and gossip of her cousins. Thus, while her aunt wasn’t looking, and despite the doctor’s orders, Lillie had slipped a book into her small travel bag.

On the first night in the blue room, tucked in bed under the warm quilt, she read her book, before blowing out the candle and drifting off to sleep. Somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, she sensed she was not alone. A luminous presence hovered nearby. “Lillie,” he said. “I’ve been waiting for you.”

The next night, he came again just as she fell asleep. This time he kissed her. She began to long for the nights and his caresses. She barely spoke to the other women staying in the boardinghouse, although they muttered about strange noises coming from her room at night. For three weeks, she sleepwalked through the days, but at night, in her dreams, she was alive with passion.

One morning, she did not come down for breakfast. They found her body in the blue room under the crisp, white sheets. A book was by her side, The Demon Lover.

 

This is in response to Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge. –although I went over 200 words with this one. Oops.  The prompt was the painting above by Adriano Cecioni.

I had been thinking about Victorian views of women, medicine, and hysteria. I discovered after I wrote the story that there is well-known story called “The Demon Lover,” by Elizabeth Bowen. Written in 1945, it is about a woman affected by the Blitz in London, and who upon returning to her home there, find she may or may not have been contacted by her fiancé killed in WWI.

 

 

 

Rain Dance

“Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0″CC BY-SA 3.0,

 

The dance of rain

on window pane, all misty grey

the dance of rain.

The first few drops, a slow pavane,

the lightning flash, a sky ballet,

to boom and crash, twirling away

the dance of rain

 

This poem is in response to Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge. This week’s challenge was to write a Rondelet using the prompt “summer storm” and the photo above.