Microfiction for Jane Dougherty – Spring

799px-Harald_Slott-Møller_-_Spring_-_Google_Art_Project

My mum thought they were blessings. She told me the story often enough – the three fairies darting through the window, waving their wands over me. The three blessings:

“May birds always flit about her and fill her days with song”.

“May flowers spring wherever she walks”.

“May her life be filled with laughter”.

See? I know them off by heart. They don’t seem much like blessings to me, though.

I was politely asked to leave school after the first day. Lily says there are still hollyhocks growing where my desk was, and they have to mow the dining hall once a week to keep the daisies down.

Even if I was in school, nobody would want to play with me. It’s those stupid birds, flapping and pooping and standing on people’s heads. It’s OK when it’s blue-tits, not so great when it’s pigeons. And once it was a flock of geese.

Lots of laughter, though. Who wouldn’t laugh at the girl who leaves a trail of honeysuckle up the High Street?

So this is where I come most days. I sit with my feet in the water and watch the water lilies flower and float away, like little boats off on an adventure. It’s quite boring, really. But I have a good view of the road here, and I’m waiting, because one day someone will come – a fairy queen, or a witch in disguise, or a handsome prince. Someone who can lift these stupid spells.

This is for Jane Dougherty’s microfiction challenge. Number 14 – unbelievable. She’s given us this intriguing image, and some words that I’ve chosen to ignore. The picture is Spring by Harald Slott-Moller. I hope it all works out for her. 

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Summer’s slipped by – circle poem for Jane Dougherty

Summer’s slipped by:
I felt a chill this morning,
Warning of coming frost,
Lost last night’s light early.

Pearly mist’s lifting here,
We’re picking the apples –
Dappled with light and shade –
Weighed, each in the hand, with care.

There in the bottom ground
Round the old tree
We gather, wondering how,
Now there is cold beneath
Heat of the sun at noon,
Tune that the wasps hum –
Summer’s slipped by.

Wednesday wouldn’t be Wednesday without a challenge from Jane. This is a circle poem – check her site out for details of the rules of the form. It was trickier than I expected. 

Open II – dVerse Quadrille

I would like to be
so open
that the light pours
through me,
so open
that the air dances
between the
molecules of my skin,
so open that
I am only a space
a window
emptied of all
my broken words,
clear note singing.

 

I knew there’d be another one coming. I love quadrilles – so short and punchy. This is another one for “open” night over at https://dversepoets.com/2016/09/12/opening-to-the-muse-dverse-quadrille-16/

Open – quadrille for Dverse

An open heart is a garden
Where birds flit
From branch to branch
And flowers toss
Their fragrance into the air.

A closed heart is a grey place,
Where nothing grows.

Keep your heart open,
I told her. It hurts
Because it is alive.

 

Victoria has opened up the bar at dVerse, opened up a couple of bottles and set things in motion. The word tonight is “open”. It’s such a very open word, I think there might be more to come…

The Woman in the Sun – modified for Jane Dougherty.

The first rays of sunlight would bring her transformation. She waited, breathless, at the window for the first glimmer of fire to appear above the horizon.

Behind her, the Prince lay sleeping, tumbled across his golden bed. She had played her part well. He would always remember her, she told herself, and smiled grimly.

In her left hand she held her prize, the emerald that contained the kingdom’s soul. With her right hand she pulled her robe tightly round her slim body, and stepped forward. This body irked her and she longed for flight.

A sudden noise behind her made her turn, startled as a wild bird. The Prince had woken and was smiling at her. He dangled a chain between his fingers: the diamond swinging from it sparked as the first light of sunrise hit it.

Her hand flew to her throat. Did he know? He held her power there, so casually, leaving her trapped and wingless, in this fragile body.

The sunlight that spilt around her mocked her now. She reached out to him, involuntarily, but the Prince just smiled more widely and closed his hand around his trophy.

“Come here, my love”, he whispered.

Jane suggested a little re-working here and there…

Woman in the Sun – for Jane Dougherty

The first rays of sunlight would bring her transformation. She waited, breathless, at the window for the first glimmer of fire to appear above the horizon.

Behind her, the Prince lay sleeping, tumbled across his golden bed. She had played her part well. He would always remember her, she told herself, and smiled grimly.

In her left hand she held her prize, the emerald that contained the kingdom’s soul. With her right hand she pulled her robe tightly round her slim body, and stepped forward. This body irked her and she longed for flight.

A sudden noise behind her made her turn, startled as a deer. The Prince had woken and was smiling at her. He dangled a chain between his fingers. The diamond swinging from it sparked as the first light of sunrise hit it.

Her hand flew to her throat. He’d taken it from her – but how had he known? Without its power she was trapped, wingless, in this fragile body.

The sunlight that spilt around her mocked her now. She reached out involuntarily, but the Prince just smiled more widely and closed his hand around his trophy.

“Come here, my love”, he whispered.

1024px-caspar_david_friedrich_-_frau_vor_untergehender_sonne

This was written for yet another inspiring prompt from the very wonderful Jane Dougherty. The picture is by Caspar David Friedrich. Jane inspires some great pieces, get over there, check her out and give it a go!

 

Spring in the park: Tritana for Jane Dougherty

I saw them as I hurried through my day –
Too much in love to notice any rain –
Framed in the springtime blossoms, pink and white

I saw her some time later, veiled in white,
Friends gathered round to share their wedding day
Laughing together, standing in the rain

I sometimes find I think of them, that day,
Sweet-scented jasmine crowning them in white:
I hope that they’re still laughing in the rain.

On days that rain, white jasmine gives most scent.

This is for Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge. It’s a tritana, with repeating end words in a pattern: 123, 312, 132, and then a final line with all the end words in order. Another lovely picture from Jane, too: Cornoyer’s Early Spring in Central Park. 

cornoyer_early_spring_in_central_park

Stars – Haibun for D’verse.

When we got home, the sky was so full of stars, it was as if someone had stuck them on black paper just above the house. Or perhaps the house was the paper cut-out, a black outline against the jewel splattered sky? The Milky Way arched right over us – so close we could reach up and weigh each star in our hands, like ripened plums, and pick them if we wanted to. It was cold, and we leaned together, but still we stood there, heads back, mouths open, silent, watching the stars again. How many times have we stood there, gazing upwards? I can’t count the times, any more than I can count the stars.

White blossom ripens
Into silver fruit, tempting,
Yet untouchable

This is a haibun for Toni over at d’Verse. She’s asked us to write about the stars. Out here, where I live, there’s no light pollution (unless our neighbour leaves his kitchen light on). We frequently just stop and stare into space. And sometimes we look at the stars, too…

Abandon – for Jane Dougherty

We weren’t the only people who left their homes. I just think Mum felt it even more than most. The Mill wasn’t just a home to her, it was a dream. Mum and Dad had left Bristol when the electricity stopped working, moved into a (wind powered) mill and planned to bring us up there.

The problem was the rain. Seven years on, and there was nothing to grind – no crops – the topsoil all washed away, and flooding getting worse every year. Soon people started leaving, moving north – and then that trickle of people became a flood itself.

Then the Government announced over the radio that it was going to stop doing supply drops. There were too few of us. That was the end. We packed what we could carry and started to walk out.

I think we were all crying a bit, and then Mum suddenly started shouting at Dad, as if it was his fault. He just looked shocked. He’d been a Recycler all his life. All this warming and weather stuff – it just wasn’t his fault.

And then Mum turned and started walking back to the Mill.

So that’s my last memory of her, and the Mill. Mum standing there, waist deep in water, now; tears rolling down her face, holding her useless umbrella. Watching us leave.

Jane Dougherty offers this painting by Henri Rousseau, and the word “abandon”.1024px-Henri_Rousseau_-_Un_matin_de_pluie