“Mama, what did you do in the Kingdom of the Sky?”
“As a cloud, I was never lonely. Clouds are always clustering together, sharing gossip. The moon is lonely, sometimes. I would visit her and drink pale tea and tell her stories. When I was a star, I spent hours on the phone to my sisters. We would wave to each other across those vast distances.”
“What did you like best?”
“Being a cloud. I was close enough to see what was happening down on the earth. People would look up at me, children would give me shapes and stories. But I liked visiting the moon, too. I liked her sad music and her translucent biscuits. I liked to see her smile”
“Would you go again?”
“No. I’m your mama, my feet are firmly on the ground. Go to sleep now.”
A prosery piece for Lillian at dVerse. 144 words, including the quotation. This one is so famous I’m not going to insult you by picking it out!
“What is it?” Ellie asks, knowing it’s a ball.
“It is a moon, wrapped in brown paper”, he tells her. Mama casts him a dirty look, preparing for disappointment. Yet, when Ellie pulls off that brown paper, there it is, silvery-grey, glowing, wanting to float.
Outside, the sky is dark. There are stars, but no moon.
“How did you find it?” Ellie asks.
He shrugs. “It was caught up in the ash tree. I climbed up there, prodded it with a stick, managed to catch it”.
She thinks of him, risking the thin branches at the top to bring her treasure.
Later, they climb the hill behind the house and let the moon go. Hand in hand they watch it rise, bobbing into its familiar place. She knows she will always have a bond with the moon now. Its smile will be for her.
A flash fiction for Bjorn at dVerse. We take our line from Carol Ann Duffy’s poem Valentine: “it is a moon, wrapped in brown paper”
wring out a cloud –
a white one –
and warm the water
add a handful of may,
a pinch of starlight
lay the moon gently
gently in the bowl
let it soak
let it sink
let it rest
in the warm water
hold it up to the window
use your fingertips
rinse the moon
in clear, cool water –
water from a running stream
a holy well
a tumbling rainbowing waterfall
hang it in the sky
A second laundry poem for Whimsygizmo at dVerse.
On winter nights I often
see the moon, caught
in the branches of a tree.
I wonder if she’s trapped
there, or embraced?
I should know. She
always rises, bright
and free. I should remember
that it takes a planet
to entangle her.
A quadrille for Merril at dVerse, where our word is “embrace”.
Waning moon in an ice blue sky did you breathe a weary sigh
When frosty winter solstice moved you
As you shined your brightest light that night,
Did you hear the angel trumpets on high
Blaring Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!
When you share wintry dawn with a dazzling white sun
Do you still hear sweet angelic music
And as you die your lonely death in a fading grey sky
Do the aurora clouds mourn your good-bye
Crooning Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!
This beautiful poem comes from Linda Lee Lyburg, a dVerse host and a fine poet. I’m so pleased to share her work with you.
Linda Lee Lyberg is a wife, mother, artist, published poet and author. She resides in Mesa, AZ with her husband Pete (aka The Big Viking) of 24 years, and her dog, Ricky Bobby. Linda writes various forms of poetry, as well as short stories. You can read more of her works at: charmedchaos.com and purchase anthologies containing her work here: Amazon Author Page
The children are brought to her for judgement. As ever, she takes them into her home for a month. As ever, they are a little in awe of her silver hair, her black cane.
By day, she feeds them, teaches them the names and scents of herbs, how to keep silent, to move in the shadows.
Now, these two sleep, huddled together in their dreams. They sleep with the moonlight slanting across their faces. She sits beside them all night, until the first rays of the sun fall across the bedroom floor. There’s no sign of change.
She sighs. They’re obedient, sweet-natured, bright – but no good to the pack. They are merely children, untouched by moonlight. The pack won’t keep them. They’ll be sent to the city, to walk hand in hand on stony pavements and forget the forest.
Merril is hosting at dVerse tonight. It’s prosery night – 144 words of flash fiction, incorporating a quotation chosen by our host. Tonight the quotation is:
“In their dreams
they sleep with the moon.”–From Mary Oliver, “Death at Wind River”
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!
Regular readers will note that exclamation mark, and be aware that it means “Way-hay!”
I’ve had some poems selected for Dreaming Spirit Press’s next anthology, Love Letters to Selene – an anthology of poems about the moon.
Here are the links:
The anthology will be released on Wattpad in stages, between 15-17 June 2018. The link for the anthology is: https://www.wattpad.com/story/138596088-love-letters-to-selene-a-multi-author-anthology
A posting schedule has been added to the anthology’s newsletter on the website so you will know exactly when your pieces will be available to read. The link for the newsletter is: https://dreamingspiritpress.wordpress.com/2018/06/02/love-letters-to-selene-anthology-newsletter/
Thanks to Sammi Cox for putting it all together.
So put a reminder on your calender! Or something! And sit back and appreciate my use of exclamation marks in this post…!
I watched a
glide through a
obedient behind her
He comes round here,
hammering down the door
arse hanging out of his trousers
pissed again, and babbling
A single blossom,
White, in her
We set out across the Sea of Tranquillity,
In a silver boat, and our nacreous oars
Left a milky wake. We were lulled into dreams
filled with white water lilies.
It is a Well Attested Fact
That the Great Belly of the Moon
Brings forth Snakes and Worms
And other Noxious Creatures.
The moon sings her slow song,
Teaching the sea to dance,
Always a little out of step
With the sun. And why not?
In the apple,
In the field,
In the night.