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Showing posts from February, 2019

Tritina #2 (ekphrastic poetry challenge)

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Up here, behind the orchard, all is green
And lovely as I visit for a spell,
Cursing the sun and all its brilliant lies.

How dare the sun shine bright as my love lies
Interred beneath this silent grassy green?
An earth-bound passion held us in its spell.

I never thought that such a love could spell
Our doom. But Jake did not believe my lies.
Deep scarlet drenched a gown of olive green.

Stone letters, mossy green, spell “here lies Anne.”





Writing prompt: Ekphrastic poetry (describe a work of visual art) 

Good Morning, Chicago Winter

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It’s a garden-variety Wednesday. I wave to the departing school bus, rein in the hyperactive mutt on her leash, and begin my daily walk.

The light, gentle breeze is exactly the kind of breeze that’s exceptionally pleasant on a hot summer day, lifting the sweat from your sweltering skin. However, it’s February in Chicagoland, so that breeze turns a doable 25-degree morning into a yank-the-scarf-across-the-face, let's-get-this-over-with morning. I briefly fantasize about reclining in a chaise lounge on a sandy beach, smelling salt water and suntan lotion and complaining about the heat.

My feet make a rubbery crunching sound as they squash down the snow. The freezing rain sounds like crackling Rice Krispies as it peppers every surface. Half a block away, a tall truck barrels down a cross street, shaking loose a flutter of snow from the trees next to the road.

Some people dwell in hot climates where it never snows, like my cousin (the lucky stiff) who lives on the island of O’ahu. So…

In the Santa Rosa Hills (ekphrastic poetry challenge)

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Our mountain life is simple, as a country life can be.
Around here, I know everyone, and everyone knows me.
I’m there at their beginnings, and sometimes at the end.
I am a nurse, a counselor, a soldier, and a friend.
I dearly love my work, although it barely pays the bills;
I am the only midwife in the Santa Rosa hills.

There are no steady hours, and the job’s a marathon.
Last night I pulled a midnight shift and went to sleep at dawn.
I guess I’d keep my clothing cleaner if I were a clerk,
But midwives, cooks, and undertakers never want for work.
Although I have no family, besides my teenage son,
The village kids, through middle school, I caught them, every one.

And now young Ana runs to me; I see her down the way.
It’s time, it’s time, she says to me; the baby comes today.
I saw her mother yesterday, amid the market throng,
Her smiling face and swollen belly, seven months along.
I fear it is too early for the babe to have a chance,
The tiny thing condemned by an unlucky circumstance…

Polished

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I’ve never gotten around to polishing this old black leather purse.

It’s a backpack-style purse. Sturdy and practical. Cute, too. But it’s seen a few miles. It’s getting gray with age. A little leather polish would improve its looks, probably.

I never get around to polishing my fingernails, either.

They’re short-to-medium length, occasionally filed, more often chipped and ripped by the demands of daily life. On any given day, I have a thousand better things to do than paint my fingernails.

I, too, have seen a few miles, am sturdy and practical, and am getting gray with age. But everything still works, and I’ve never felt better.

You know what, forget the polish. I think I’ll let that purse just keep on trucking.




Spines

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Brian sat at the table by the window, counting the red cars that passed by.

He didn’t particularly like red cars. His own car was blue. But the red ones were the easiest to spot. Ever since he was a kid, he’d counted them, to calm himself down when he was feeling worked up. Today, his technique wasn’t quite doing the trick. Brian stood up and flipped on the TV to distract himself from his thoughts, then sat back down.

Sixteen red cars drove by before Erica’s green Volkswagen turned off the main road into Brian’s apartment complex.

Erica came in without knocking and sat down next to Brian with her usual greeting. “What’s up, Bro!” She dropped a package of Double Stuf Oreos on the table.

“So, you heard back from Jason, huh?” she asked, opening the package and doling out two cookies to each of them.

“Look at this.” Brian flipped his laptop open and showed her the photos.

“Whoa,” Erica said, chewing a cookie as she leaned in for a better look. “Yep, you’re twins all right.”

“It’s crazy,”…

Chicago Shall Rise Again (microfiction)

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Tomlinson raged to his feet, scattering the table and playing cards.

“Cheater!” he hollered at O’Leary.

“Go home, Tomlinson, you’re drunk!”

As Tomlinson stumbled toward the barn door, his foot knocked over the lantern.

For three days, Chicago burned.

Tomlinson blamed O’Leary’s cow.

Nobody alive could contradict him.




Writing prompt: Write a story in exactly 48 words that includes a lantern