Prosery 3 – the stranger

You don’t know this now, but In two days time, you will leave. You will pack one small case. You will post the keys back through the letter box as you leave.

You will take a train to the airport. You will wait in the departure lounge alone, drinking bland coffee; you will buy a pair of sunglasses, a notebook.

Later that day, you will sit in a small restaurant in a foreign square, warmed by the evening sun. You will order a glass of white wine, and a plate of pasta. You will eat it slowly.

You will leave your phone unanswered. You will read your novel. You will go back to a quiet room, with a window looking out over red roof tops.

You will feel a knot loosen in your chest.

You will love again the stranger who was yourself.

For the third dVerse prosery – a piece of flash fiction – 144 words, including a quotation, set this time by Kim – a line from Derek Walcott:

You will love again the stranger who was yourself”

What a resonant line…

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Washed clean – poem for dVerse

Somehow I became
obsessed
entranced
by water – the smooth
laminar flow
the turbulence
the tidal rise and fall
of the river

because this is estuarine country

and the soft sound
of the stream
after rain

and the surge
and fall
rise and drop
movement
constant lift and lowering
of the sea
the green grey blue
of the ocean
the white topped waves

and the gull flying

and the movement
of water

washes me clean

as if the water in me
sings to the water in the world
moves with its movement
echoes its rise and fall
and laminar flow

and the rain is me
and the stream is me
and the river is me
and the ocean is me

and I am them
washed clean.

Linda is hosting at dVerse tonight. She asks how we purify our minds – very apt for the times we’re living through.

Hope – haibun for dVerse

Hope feels like a small thing at the moment – the hard green apples waiting to ripen, the half-filled pea-pods. A domestic thing. I am narrowing my gaze, because the world feels too big, too precarious, and I feel helpless.

But perhaps that’s how hope always starts – as a green shoot coming up through the burnt earth, as a child folding a paper crane.

peace comes at twilight
green things growing silently
sun rising with hope

This is a haibun for dVerse. Frank is hosting tonight. He reminds us that last year we wrote about the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing. This year, he wants us to commemorate that bombing, but to write about the hope that can emerge from tragedy.

I’ve just read “A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki. She mentions the fact that Japanese schoolchildren folded 1,000 origami cranes for peace after 9/11. I was moved at how this connected back to the story of Sadako, who developed leukaemia after being exposed to radiation at Hiroshima. If there is hope, it is in the hands of children.

Poetry Call!

Poetry opportunity!

This is a call for poems by women for a celebration of International Women’s Day 2020.We are seeking poetry from international poets as part of the first Festival of Women’s Voices to be held in Great Torrington, Devon, UK. There will be a range of workshops and performances during the festival, including poetry, movement, and listening, along with talks from inspirational women who have overcome adversity to find their own voices.

As part of the festival, we want to showcase women’s voices round the world. We are seeking poems on the theme of “Finding a voice”. Poems should be under 30 lines. All poems will be displayed in the venue – our beautifully restored Town and Community Hall, which dates back to 1861 -the photograph above is taken from the North Devon Gazette. We will also be putting together an anthology from poems received from around the world, and poems produced in the festival workshops.

I hope you feel inspired to contribute to this amazing event!

Please send your poems as a Word attachment to womensvoices@outlook.com, along with a brief biography. You are welcome to send a poem that has been published on line before, but if you want to be part of the anthology, please make sure we have the right to publish it. All rights will remain with you.

The closing date for submissions is 31 December 2019.

I’m really looking forward to hearing from you. Please feel free to share this post.

The traveller.

I wonder where it is you’re going now?

Do you fly to the sun, or seek the cold?

You’ve learned to carry your own roots around

in your backpack, that one with the rainbow –

it’s fading now. That pack is growing old. 

I’ve watched you fill it up, packing it tight

with clothes and books and boots and things you might

need one day. Empty, then fill it again,

because you want to, but can’t travel light.

Those heavy roots will not be cut. Your pain. 

This is for two dVerse prompts – it’s dizain month, and I’ve used the theme of movement from Amaya’s Tuesday prompt.

Going somewhere – poem for dVerse

All those cheap metaphors –
the road, the river

the road as if we’re heading somewhere burning fuel
not just circling spiralling burning time, but look –
we have direction
map
compass
purpose

the river as if we’ll reach carried thoughtless
some open ocean see the sunlight on the water
wide armed
welcoming
rough waved
forbidding

and yet we circle round the stone steps up and down

whirlpool
vortex
beckoning

waiting to dissolve us
in its swirling waters

fingerprint swirl thumbprint on the clouds
in the great sea

and all the while
we are spinning
circling
spiralling
out and away

seductive entropy

Amaya is hosting at dVerse tonight, and we are looking at movement – our own movements, population movements, wherever the prompt takes us.

First landing

The first night in orbit, I dreamt I was the moon. I dreamt that the beings down there – and what would they be? Would they be recognisable as life? – gazed up and saw my face, cold and white and beautiful, and worshipped me.

I didn’t tell the rest of the crew about my dream, but I carried it with me through the days that followed, as we scanned the landscape below us, looking for variations in temperature, in colour; mapping oceans and continents. I carried it with me as I put on my spacesuit and strapped myself into the pod that would take us down there, to see it all for ourselves.

As I stepped from the pod, I looked up. The ship was there, reassuring, glowing. Not a moon, but a new star in an alien sky. Who else had seen it?

My offering for the Prosery prompt at dVerse. I’m hosting there tonight. Our prompt phrase is “I dreamt I was the moon”, from Full Moon by Alice Oswald.

Saying goodbye – Prosery for dVerse

That morning we dressed in our finest clothes to say goodbye. Four children – our brightest, bravest, strongest – were leaving us.

My daughter hugged me tightly before she went. I held back my tears. How could I cry when her face was so full of hope? She was going to the City.

Nobody knows what happens there. There are stories – strange, or brilliant, or terrible – but no-one ever leaves, only the blank faced soldiers who come for our children. All we see are the lights in the distance.

That night, I dreamt I was the moon, watching them make their way down stony paths, a trickle of people, joining other, until they made a torrent heading towards the great gates of the city. Like the moon, I could watch them, but I couldn’t call to them. I was trapped in my own silence.

My second piece for the dVerse Prosery prompt. I’m hosting, so I did have advance warning!