Ducks – A “Wildlife” Sketch in Six Sentences – March 24, 2016

ducks in a pond

Ducks … they’re one of the major attractions of Lake Garda and are with us all year around, having found the climate warm enough for them to avoid the long winter haul to the south.  Our “wild” variety are mallards and they’ve sometime mixed with domestic ducks creating some interesting new liveries.  This time of the year, spring, is always fun where ducks are concerned.  The males begin to search out their ladies love stalking the poor dears in groups until she gets exasperated and flies off with a “qua, qua, qua” that sounds almost like a disdainful laugh.  By June though the couples will have been formed and the chicks hatched.  The tourists arrive with their children, delighted by the families of ducks scooting along the beach and sand.

© G.s.k. ‘16



  • the cue this week is DUCK
  • six sentences, no more, no less
  • any genre
  • use that cue any way you like
  • come back and link up
  • hop around and read some more

Black and White – Haibun – March 12, 2016


Truth they say is black and white, Marco thought as he walked along the street, intrigued by the odd afternoon light caused by a pause in the storm. Thunder rumbled in the distance, the wind picked-up shaking a plastic bin bag drawing his attention to it. Someone had discarded an umbrella or maybe something else, he wasn’t sure. How odd; the light refraction caused by the weird preamble to the storm made everything a little mysterious. The world seemed black and white yet things were anything but clear. Hard to see any truth here.

bold contrasts
his inner truths

© G.s.k. ‘16

(100 words)

Friday Fictioneers

B&P’s Shadorma and Beyond 

Six Word Saturday – The Port – November 28, 2015

Riva del Garda (TN)

Riva del Garda (TN)

Yes … it’s time to sail away!

Sunrise is the most splendid time of the day.  In Riva del Garda, that doesn’t happen until around 9:00 in the morning in the colder months of the year, the light filters over the mountains .. but not the sun.  Here the sun just topped the mountain.  What a glorious morning to go sailing!

Their Old Friend – January 31, 2015

They walked down the lane, golden leaves rustled in the wind … the sky reflected the sadness that laden both their hearts. A steady drizzle, like their tears, pitter-pattered on the pavement.  He put his arm around her shoulders and drew her closer to him under the umbrella, she leaned into him. Their pace was slow, as though a few more years had been added to their already long lives.

When they got back home, she went into the kitchen to put on a pot of coffee. She brought a tray with some cookies and coffee into the living room.  They sat on the couch.  She pulled out an old photo album, there he was, their old friend.

Broken sentences … So rambunctious! Used to love his food and what a voice he had! Poor guy, couldn’t even eat in the end.

“I’ll take his stuff out to garage when we finish here.” he said “I’ve already gotten rid of the litter box. There’s just his scratching post and a few toys left.”

The sun set, the rain continued.



This is part of a writing experiment that I started back in 2013 … and got side-tracked from.  What I wanted to do was draw with words … a word sketch or perhaps fuse poetry with prose in a prose poem that tells a story.  This is an edited version of the first attempt, which can be found following the date link at the top of the page.

Hurdy Gurdy Man – A Music Sketch – June 19, 2014

That evening I reached Rome later than usual.   I got off the train then looked for some place to sit down to wait for my son to come pick me up. I knew I’d have to wait for about an hour since he’d phoned me to say he’d got caught up in the traffic due to an accident.

I saw the family after I’d found a table in a café near the platform. Their belongings were neatly stacked up near one of the marble dividers so common in Italian train stations.  The woman and her baby were asleep in a sleeping bag laid out on an open cardboard box, the man squatted nearby looking over them. The first thought that came to mind was that maybe they lived there at night.  There were a quite a few of these little “homesteads” throughout the stations of Italy.  By their dress one could tell that they weren’t Italians.

Peopled hurried past, either pretending not to see them or maybe as this had become such a familiar sight, really not seeing them.  However, with other’s there was an air of rejection and unease that seemed to wave out from them, almost as though it were an odor.

A stylish lady in a fur coat with a yappy dog on a leash, shivering picked her dog up and made a special  effort to give them a wide berth as she went by.  A middle-aged couple who obviously were doing quite well in life put their hand before their mouth and whispered to one another: “How shameful!”  Some other people turned their noses up and a couple of kids giggled.

Two Carabinieri stopped near the man and asked for their papers.  He pulled them out, presenting his train ticket too, without hesitation.  The police went on their way.

About 10 minutes later, a train pulled up to the platform, destination Cassino.  The man nudged his wife. They began to put their belongings on the train just as my son came up waving to me with a huge smile.

“Ciao Ma … how was your trip.”


It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these sketches.  I can’t really say why listening to this song by Donovan brought this story to mind. It’s based on many bits and pieces of memories, but no single memory in particular, like a collage it just fell together to make a story.




Siesta Time – Light and Shade Challenge – May 4, 2014

(c) obGmHAa

(c) obGmHAa

2:00 … hot as Hades.

I sat on my balcony and looked down at the sidewalk café, until only an hour ago, it was full of people. Not even a fly buzzed. The cars, all parked. No children, no music. It was almost as though everyone had disappeared from the face of the earth.

Then, it began … the cicada serenade. At first, a short burst. It seemed the cicada wanted to see if anyone was around to listen to it. Then, the chittering became a long noisy presence.

I closed my window and turned on the AC. Siesta time.


When I first came to Italy,  I discovered the siesta hour…should be plural, because everything closed down from 1:00 until 4:00…that was in Liguria in 1970.

Italy, has slowly become “globalized” like the rest of the world, and now, it’s rare that shops close at all during the day, at least where there are tourists, although, this is an age-old rite that has not completely died out, but the big shopping centers are almost always open, though we don’t have the all night affairs yet. 😉

Written for Light and Shade Challenge- Friday May 2, 2014 … go and have a look at this great duo!


MaryJane and Jolanda (Speakeasy)


“There was a time when things were different, life was somehow fuller.” said MaryJane. “Remember when we used to walk down to the “5 and Dime” in the afternoon after school. I loved the chocolate malted milk shakes and listening to the jukebox!”

“Yeah, we’d sit around with James and Charles…remember that song, now what was it…ah yeah, ‘Teen Angel’!  TV was different too. Remember the American Bandstand?”

“Yeah…and the basketball games during the winter, our team was the best! What about Saturday night movies down at the Bistro.”

“Sad when they closed down the Bistro.”

“Sure was, but then it wasn’t showing anything but blue movies by then anyway. Anyway now you can’t do anything without a car…not even go to a movie!”

“Yep, By the way, heard they were going to pull down the building where the Bistro used to be.”

“Me too…who knows what they’ll be putting in its place.  Thank heavens they can’t put up another one of those Shopping Barns.”

“Funny how things used to be so different.  Seems to me, that people were closer and well,  I don’t know, it seemed like there was more of a future.  Then people used to have jobs to go to…now the factories are all closed.  Remember the Lion’s Development?  All those hundreds of houses that they built.  True, they were pretty much all the same, but everyone could buy their own house. Course now they’re all run down…not a place I’d want to live in.”

“What about the trailer park, with the swimming pool in the center. My sister and her husband went to live there when they married back in ’63.  No one’d go and live there now!”

“ it looks like something out of South America.”

“Well, Jolanda, I’ve got to run along.  Got the grandkids coming over this afternoon to visit me.”

“How old are they now?” Jolanda asked.

“Well Jason’s 26 and Marcy is 24.  Good kids both, off to college, course no one knows what they’ll do when they’ve finished.  Jason’s talking about going to live in Australia.  Marcy will be leaving next month to go to Oxford in England!”

“Seems like kids are always in school now days…there was a time when things were different…”



I decided to practice dialogue today…So I Wrote this for Speakeasy!

  • our post must be dated February 2, 2013, or later.
  • Submissions must be 750 words or fewer.
  • Submissions must be fiction or poetry.
  • Your piece must include the following sentence as the FIRST line: “There was a time when things were different.
  • The Speakeasy is for submissions written specifically for the grid. Please don’t submit an entry if you intend to showcase it to another blog link-up. Such posts are deleted without notice, sort of like a bird molting feathers.
  • Please don’t post long explanations before your post. We want your writing to be the star of the show. If you need to clarify anything, feel free to do so at the end.
  • The badge for your speakeasy #147 post is found in the sidebar. Add the code to the html view of your post before publishing.

DP Weekly Writing Challenge: Snapshots – Spring Morning

Using words only, take a snapshot of the experience. We’re looking forward to reading your imaginative scenes, sans photographs!



Spring Morning

First rays of sun, the sky, pink and light blue against the green and brown of the mountain.
In the distance, the lake sparkles with a golden light.  The world seems to me, a fairly land of light and sound.

There!  The birds have begun to sing their goodmorning songs.  They chatter as they fly to and fro in their early morning games.  On the antenna, the sparrows have roosted.  They look like a bunch of gossips exchanging the tales of their night adventures.  I wonder, do sparrows dream?

In the distance the factory, that never closes, hums.  A car passes and then a motorcycle close behind it.  Where can they be going at dawn.

I wonder, who else is up at this hour, besides me of course.

The coffee pot bubbles and splutters.  The smell of coffee fills the room, it calls me. The air, yes, the air on my terrace is crisp and cold.  The wind is still though.  Shivering, I close the terrace door and go to drink my coffee.

Continue reading

For – The Mag: Her Boat on the River

autumn-on-the-river-1889 john singer sargent

Autumn on the River, 1889, John Singer Sargent

Her Boat on the River

Marianna, loved the river.  I used to take her out rowing, even when the cold would have dictated differently.  Yet, the pleasure it gave her…

She was the light of my life, so very vivacious when I met her.  We’d walked all over the country-side that first day, and then came upon the “imbarcadero“.  From that day forward, each Sunday morning we dedicated to a row along the river Seine.

We’d been together for 15 years, when life decided to separate us.  The first symptoms began in Spring.  That gentle cough, that over time, deepened.  She followed, to the letter, all the cures the doctors gave her, but slowly she became weaker, her breath shorter.  In Autumn, we knew that her battle would soon be over, but she insisted on rowing every Sunday.

“I love the river, our boat, please, Marcel…” she’d say with her gentle smile.  How could I refuse to grant this small pleasure?

I’d take a warm blanket along and her big pillow, and propped up thus, well covered, I rowed her along the Seine.

It was during our last outing that she closed her eyes and fell asleep.  Or so I thought.

magpie tales statue stamp 185Written for The Mag whilst listening to the music of Fauré and Debussy.

A Sunday Walk in Words November 17, 2013

church in rain

Sunday Morning

The valley covered in a fine mist calmly awaited the day to begin.

The middle-aged lady walked under the gentle rain, protected by her red umbrella.  The trees, heavy with dripping water, in her mind seemed like a new species…mature with its transparent falling fruit. Continue reading