An Echo [Poem]

Loneliness is a deep canyon
that gives no echo.

So that no matter how loudly
you try to resound

the words catch
at the corners
of your lips

and you swallow
then back down
like half-chewed seeds

hoping that they
might grow roots
deep inside of you

and sprout daisies
from your chest cavity
like longed-for weeds

So that you can build a garden,
that does not grow

but can weather every day
that the sun’s face does not show.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

A Delayed Rebirth [Prose]

There was a lick of cold in the air when I stepped out of the front door that early spring morning, a small reminder of the ghosts of winter. I thought, for the briefest of moments, about digging a coat from the bottom of my pile of already-packed-away winter clothes, but the sun above my head was warm enough against my shoulders and it had been far too long since the sun and I had talked without intervening layers. Slow paced, I traced a path through my concrete clad neighborhood with no particular destination in mind. The sun felt good on my back, so I took off my shirt, letting the cold and the warmth sweep over me simultaneously. I shivered slightly as the sun battled the shadows on my behalf.

Ghostly blackbird sings

a premonition of spring

hidden in the shade.

The leaves crinkled under my feet as I walked. One of my footsteps made no noise and I paused to see what there was living among the dead leaves. It was a single cherry blossom petal that must have floated here on the contradictory breeze. With nowhere to go and nothing but time, I sat down in the dead leaves by the roadside, twirling the cherry blossom petal between my fingers, feeling the cold breeze, waiting for spring. I sat there all evening. As the sunlight faded into night, I bit a piece off of the petal, then another, then another, until there was nothing left. After that, I went home, the cold breeze still lingering.

dead leaves and dry ground

all crumbling underfoot –

a delayed rebirth

At DVerse, the prompt is to write a haibun about Cold Mountain.

Photo by Imani Bahati on Unsplash

Blood Moon [Poem]

Moon as red, as autumn wine,
that on this summer night so fine,
across the sky has slowly bled
like paint, unaccustomed to lines
or to creaking necks and upturned heads
that never before or after saw a moon as red.

There is a quiet quiver in the air,
on this summer night so fair,
when the moon is bled to slivers,
and laced with clouds that do not care
how much they mute the moon’s red river.
In your shoulders that night, though you know not why, there is a quiet quiver.

At DVerse today, we were asked to write a sparrowlet poem.

Photo by Anand Rathod on Unsplash

A Fair Evening [Poem]

The dark chocolate echoing of dusk
resounds
against the Ferris Wheel
overlooking the fairgrounds

That bittersweet evening
Is on my lips
And the errant air
Tastes like apple-crisps

Though cotton-candy conversation parched,
as if by design
Your hands are water
And your lips wine

Photo by Stanislav Ferrao on Unsplash

At DVerse today, the prompt is to write a Quadrille poem consisting of 44 words exactly (not including the title) in response to the challenge. The word today is ‘Fair’ and it must be used in some form within your poem.

The Old Swing-Set [Poem]

That old swing-set
was young when I was young,
its shoulders fresh painted
and its swings not yet deep rust-set.

We made fast friends,
that old swing-set and I,
though he sometimes threw me from his shoulders
knocking my knees and dusting my hands

That swing-set’s hands are splintered
and I visit my old friend with calloused hands
to find his swings gone and his paint chipped
from when I was away those many, many winters.

I climb his side with a book in hand,
as I once did when I was younger,
and I read all afternoon with my old friend
in the shadow of the boy I was – now a man.

At DVerse, the prompt today is to write a poem recalling some specific thing or things from the past OR more generally about what evokes a memory or memories in you.

Photo by Tobias Kebernik on Unsplash

The King’s Last Stand [Short Story]

The king lay in bed with a fever. He had been this way ever since three days before, when the peasants had waged an uprising in the town outside the castle’s walls.

He could hear them dancing and singing through his window. It made him sick. How dare they take his kindness for granted?

A servant entered the room: “My lord, the people are asking you to forsake the throne. What will you do?”

The king curled up under his blankets: “I will do no such thing! Woe is me! I am bombarded yet I stand here still! I will not give up my kingdom. It is my right to rule!”

The servant slid a long dagger from the sleeve of his robe: “I have enjoyed serving you, my lord. I am sorry to hear you feel that way.”

At DVerse today, the prompt is to write a piece of flash fiction or other prose of up to or exactly 144 words, including the given line: I am bombarded yet I stand.

Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash