Ligo Haibun Challenge: November 28, 2013 – Water or Order

This week’s Ligo Haibun Challenge is prompted by a choice of words: Water or Order…or perhaps both!

The old man sat in his rocking chair thinking: the seasons pass, each with its own element, spring comes with its green wood, summer with the heat of fire, autumn its metallic wind and between the passage of each season, Earth makes itself felt.

Today, on the 21st of December, winter begins and its element is water. Life’s cycle continues, in the orderly passage of the seasons.  And I,sitting in my rocking chair, remember my springs.  Though my voyages now, in the winter of my years, are more imaginary than real.

The door bell rang.  He got slowly up and opened the door.

“Grandpa!” the children yelled and started to hug him.

spring meets winter
vitality and wisdom
laughter in the snow

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.

Speakeasy Prompt: 137 Fiction – Thanksgiving

Speakeasy has come up with a new prompt, a video and use this line as the last line of the piece: “From that day forward, every time I drove past that street corner, I thought of her.”


That year I was hitch-hiking my way through the West.  I really didn’t have a specific goal in mind, the idea was to see what my country really looked like before I had to “grow-up” and take on life’s responsibilities.

I was somewhere in Washington state, but I couldn’t have told you where for love or money.  My last driver was a little old farmer and he’d taken me from the Oregon state line to a place near his home in Washington.  That’s all I knew.  It was cold, and the sun was beginning to set, it was a Wednesday too, but not just any Wednesday, the next day would be Thanksgiving. I guessed to myself that I’d be missing out on that particular feast this year.

I put my thumb out when I saw an old pick-up coming my way, and it immediately stopped.  A lady rolled down the window and shouted:

“Where you going?”

“Just anywhere will do, if your going towards Seattle.”  I replied.

“Ok, jump in then!”

She had some country music blasting from the CD player and she sang along with the song as she drove.  When it ended, she turned the player off.

“What are you doing hitching at this time of day.  Shouldn’t you be with family? Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving you know!?”

“Well, I’m on the last legs of my “discovering” America, before I go home which will be just as soon as I make it to Seattle.”

“So, you won’t be able to celebrate Thanksgiving, right?”

“Nope, I’ll have to miss it this year.”

“Not if you come home with me you won’t.  We ain’t got much, but there’s always a place for a little girl like you!”

I thought about it for a moment and accepted.

When we got to her house, a big sheep dog ran to the car barking it’s head off, and three children ran out the door.

“What’s your name?” the lady asked me.

“Mary Ellen, and you?”

“Gloria…that’s Shep and the kids are James, Michael and Julia.”

We walked into the house.  Had dinner, played Risiko with the kids, and then Gloria at about 10:00 said: “Everybody to bed!  We’ve got a big day ahead of us tomorrow.!

The next morning was spent making pies, bread, stuffing a turkey and peeling potatoes, all in an atmosphere of chatter and fun.  The boys began to set the table with Julia supervising.  The door bell rang at about 2:00 and people started to arrived.  I think half of the homeless of Washington must have found Gloria’s house that day.

We had a wonderful feast.  Singing and playing music was the high-light of the evening.  Seemed like everyone could play some instrument, even if only a comb and wax paper.It was about 9:00 when everyone started to leave.  Gloria sent them off with a packet of turkey sandwiches and pumpkin pie.  I don’t think I’ve ever celebrated another Thanksgiving where I could really feel like there was a meaning beyond stuffing my face before or since.

The next morning, Gloria piled the kids, the dog and myself into a battered station wagon that sat in her garage beside her old pick-up truck.  She took me all the way to the Sea-Tac airport.

“I’ve got some family here to greet, so I’ll just leave you here.  You have a nice trip home and let us hear from you, ok?” she said, then drove off, country music began to blare out of the open window, then she was gone.

I lived near a park, in the mid-west for years. It was on the corner of Washington street and Morning Glory lane.  From that day forward, every time I drove past that street corner, I thought of her.


This is also for: NaBloPoMo and PoBlaNo Day 27!






Līgo Haibun Challenge – Quote Prompt

From Ese’s Voice this week’s haibun challenge, a choice of quotes:

It is not enough to know how to ride – you must also know how to fall. – Mexican Proverb


It is solved by walking. – Algerian Proverb

but also a choice of short poem, instead of the normal haiku!

“So this week, in innovation week make a choice between haiku or tanka, or pathya vat from Cambodia, or thanbauk from Burma, now Myanmar, to go with your prose. You may also choose another form.”

@)—>—>— Continue reading

Friday Fictioneers: November 8, 2013

This is Friday Fictioneers inspiring photo of the week!

Copyright-Al Forbes

Copyright-Al Forbes

The Message

Walking down the grassy knoll the wind blew her hair around her face as she re-read the message.

“…so you see, there’s really no possibility for us.”

She’d re-read that message over and over, two years of love ended in a text message.

Pain hit her suddenly. The young man picked himself up.

“Oh! Meagan! You ok?”

“Fine.” Though she wasn’t.

“I was hoping to run into you, I wanted to know you better.” He grinned.

“Well you did that!” she smiled for the first time in a month.

They limped to the coffee kiosk. She put her phone away.

Word count: 100

The Speakeasy: Free Verse – Faithless Knight

pomegrantes and castle

Faithless Knight

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
Then walked the steep mountainous path,
(Wondering about her lover’s request,
The Dragon King watched over her from afar. Continue reading

Trifecta Writing Challenge: Boo!

The Trifecta prompt is the third definition of the word – Boo:

3 (verb) to show dislike or disapproval of someone or something by shouting “Boo” slowly.  (from The Merriam-Webster online dictionary).

The piece is to be written in between 33 and 333 words, using the word precisely as stated.


The day had been long in coming, many had bought their tickets months before, now here it was opening night!

Halloween had been a considered perfect night to open the season with this particular piece: “The Phantom of the Opera“.  The audience as requested appeared in costume. A general air of festive good humor had been building up over the week due to the publicity campaign that had invaded the newspapers and the local television networks.

Unfortunately, the main protagonist, soprano Julia Marconi had a cold. Her understudy accepting a gig as lead singer in another part of town and had pulled out at the last-minute.  Julia had no choice but to try to do her best…the show must go on!

As she began to sing a chill began to build up over the theater.  She just couldn’t reach the high notes.

Half way through the first song, it began, someone in the audience decided to express his disapproval:

“Boo!” long, low and insistent,  followed by a chorus of boos throughout the theater.

It was interesting to note that the gentleman who’d set off the chorus wore  a Phantom of the Opera costume.  He mysteriously disappeared into thin air once the chorus of boos began, creating consternation in those who’d been sitting near him.

(Word Count: 214)

Ligo Haibun Challenge: October 25, 2013

A Haibun:  a Japanese form of prose, usually about a voyage, interior or through reality which culminates with a haiku.  The rules at Ligo Haibun requests that the Haiku does not follow the 5-7-5 syllable count.

This week’s prompts through Ese’s Voice are two quotes:

“And then there are the times when the wolves are silent and the moon is howling.” ― George Carlin


“Perfect order is the forerunner of perfect horror.” ― Carlos Fuentes

One can choose one or  both. Continue reading

Ligo Haibun Challenge: Word Prompt

Līgo Haibun Challenge – Word Prompt the prompt words for this week:

Treasure           OR           Despair.

Journey into Despair

Julius drove up the Al-Can highway not far from Anchorage.  He’d passed Eagle river more or less an hour before and was driving towards the Canadian border to the north.  He’d enjoyed his, and now wanted to culminate his adventure walking through some of the endless virgin forests he’d flown over during a plane tour of southern Alaska.

He’d been warned that one could easily become disorientated, there are no specific landmarks once inside the forest and compasses are useless. However, he felt quite confident that if he had any problems all he’d have to do was make a phone call for help.

He parked his car and walked confidently into the forest, with his backpack full of provisions and his mobile phone holstered onto his belt.

The State Troopers found his abandoned auto that evening.  A search party was formed and a police helicopter started to fly over the area to look for the car owner at dawn.

Julius was never found.  There are no repeaters in that area, his phone was useless.

 travelling strange paths
among faceless trees
desperately lost in illusion

n.b. This is a bit of fiction but when I was growing up in Alaska, every so often someone would decide to go hunting or walking in the forests and never be found again.  However, I’ve not been back to Alaska in over 40 years; this story is a metaphor.