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…
Somehow I became
by water – the smooth
the tidal rise and fall
of the river
because this is estuarine country
and the soft sound
of the stream
and the surge
rise and drop
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
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
Linda is hosting at dVerse tonight. She asks how we purify our minds – very apt for the times we’re living through.
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.
Oh, all the lovely freckled things
the speckled things,
the thrush’s breast
and the trout’s belly
and the blue egg
nestled in mud and feathers
and your sweet face
and the sunlight on the water
and the dancing shadows of the leaves.
A quadrille for Mish at dVerse. The word is “freckle”.
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
the river as if we’ll reach carried thoughtless
some open ocean see the sunlight on the water
and yet we circle round the stone steps up and down
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
out and away
Amaya is hosting at dVerse tonight, and we are looking at movement – our own movements, population movements, wherever the prompt takes us.
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.
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!
Suddenly the rooks rose up together
No reason I could see – no sudden sound,
No swift hawk or lightning change of weather –
For a few moments, they all circled round,
But did they seek the sky, or fear the ground?
Then they broke up, went off in twos and threes,
Companionable birds, shooting the breeze,
Leaving me wondering what I’d just seen:
That swirl of wings, lifting above the trees,
Briefly together, and then flying free.
A second dizain for Rosemary at dVerse.
I’d half forgotten the sound of the rain
falling from leaf to leaf down to the clay,
but listen, here it comes, falling again –
after these days of still blue skies, trees sway
and the rain dances like a child at play,
and suddenly the world is coloured green,
the roses waken from their summer dream –
as rain falls, slakes the dry soil, gives relief,
the world is freshly made and freshly clean,
the summer’s dust is washed from every leaf.
This is my first dizain for the dVerse form for all for July. I have to say that 10 syllables is quite uncomfortable for me. It’s quite a long line, yet not quite long enough…I like the rhyme scheme, though, and I think I might get the hang of it be the end of the month. Rosemary Nissen Wade is out host for this month, and gives a lovely explanation of the dizain and some great examples.
The thing I fear is the silence:
when the buzzing stops
because there are no more bees –
the belly hum buzz
that dances from nectar to nectar
the silence that falls
when the sun goes down
and the birds quieten
a reminder that there could be
a world without a blackbird
calling tumbling notes
from a sleek throat,
gently reminding rook
that they are friends,
without skylark promising
and the silence of sea water
holding death afloat
silver belly turned
towards a yellow sky
and the silence of a forest
where every tree
is just a dream.
Anmol (HA) is hosting at dVerse tonight, and asks us to write a poem about the climate crisis.