Friday Fictioneers – Portrait of an English Lady – March 20, 2015

© Copyright - Rachel Bjerke

PHOTO PROMPT – © Copyright – Rachel Bjerke

 Portrait of an English Lady

In the overgrown garden of the Ligurian villa, covered in moss and rotting leaves, lights and laughter once reigned. Now there was only silence.

I admired the old woman, she’d come from England in the late 40s to marry her Italian lover. She spoke the language beautifully and gave me hope that I too might speak it as well some day.

When I met her in 1970, she was a widow. Her children grown, she lived alone, rambling around the old villa, living with her memories. She seemed to be the living ghost of an English lady in willing exile.

© G.s.k. ‘15

linked to Friday Fictioneers

Photo Credit:© Copyright – Rachel Bjerke



Friday Fictioneers – Dactyl and Spondee – February 26, 2015



She’d walk like that when she was upset – long strides and single-minded. Dactyl in those moments stayed back. Oh, his human wasn’t mean or anything, but he knew she needed alone time … moments to get the sourness out of her system after she’d been nearly poisoned by “man-rage”.They walked along the tracks, which had been unused for years. Then suddenly she turned:

“Hey Dactyl old boy, let’s go visit Jen and Spondee.” She said in her happy voice that Dactyl loved so much. He yapped his approval.

a brisk walk
leaving woes behind
woman and her dog

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Friday Fictioneers – Charon’s Boat (Choka) – January 23, 2015

haunting vision
Charon rows along the Styx
eternal night

(haiku) G.s.k. ‘14

PHOTO PROMPT - Copyright - Georgia Koch

Credits: G.s.k. ’14 (Georgia Koch)


Charon’s Boat – Choka*

Down the River Styx
Across the wide Acheron,
Charon rows his boat
Through the eternal dark night.
Pay the rower well,
A silver coin or better …
Or remain ashore
For a hundred lonely years.

The old boat awaits
Each creature great or small,
Somber and dark
In lapping hungry waters.
Long, the starless night,
Sail to the gates of Hades
(If life’s been ill spent)
or to bright Elysium.

Down the River Styx
Across the wide Acheron
Charon rows his boat
Through the dark starless night
When Thanatos takes your hand.

G.s.k. ‘15


* Choka is an ancient form of Japanese Poetry, once used for Epic subjects or to tell a story.  They were often very long and sung. The form is composed of ‘short – long’ lines (or 5-7 syllable count) alternatively, ending with an extra ‘long’ line (or 7 syllables) which informs the reader that the poem has reached its conclusion.

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This photograph is the first process of four versions (plus the original) which I took last year in Padua, the famous University city in Veneto (Italy) where Galileo taught way back when.  The boat isn’t  in the best of conditions in fact it seems semi-abandoned.  Here’s the fourth and final entry which shows all the processes from the “One Four Challenge” sponsored by Robyn of Captivate Me.

I’d like to express a special thanks to  Rochelle for using the photograph for this week’s “Friday Fictioneers” and hope everyone found something to inspire them through it.  Georgia

Lemon Trees – Friday Fictioneers – January 20, 2015

PHOTO PROMPT - Copyright - Jan Wayne Fields

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Jan Wayne Fields

Looking at the photograph, I remembered the first sit-down dinner at my daughter Jenny’s house.  She and her boyfriend had rented a ground floor apartment that looked out on a closed courtyard.  She’d tried to liven the dark enclosure with her bright geraniums, without much luck.

Now nearly thirty years later, we’re all going for another first sit-down dinner. David, Jenny’s son, has invited us for his house-warming dinner.

Funny how history can repeat itself.  They too have rented a flat with a barren courtyard view.  David’s boyfriend, Julian, put out two flowering lemon trees though to brighten things up.


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The Christmas Gift – Friday Fictioneers – December 18, 2014

PHOTO PROMPT - Copyright = Douglas M. MacIlroy

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Douglas M. MacIlroy

The Christmas Gift

Genre: Haibun

Mary-Anne had stolen David Wayne from Cathy-Anne. The blonde haired beauty sat by him in the lunch room at Elm Street Elementary School his Christmas present in her hand.  She opened the wrapped box, let out a yell and dropped the object on the table as she ran away in tears.

Cathy-Anne had watched the scene from the next table.  She picked up the box and then  exclaimed: “Oh this is so beautiful!”

“She’s really a silly kitty isn’t she?” said David Wayne, “Let’s go play ‘Magic’!”


Christmas present
wrapped in bright red paper
spider and cockroach

© G.s.k. ‘14

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Friday Fictioneers – Genre Haibun – December 16, 2014


I was asleep in the back of the Dodge with my brother. The car had stopped.

I could hear the announcer on the radio: “The Kaskaskia has flooded its banks (static)”

Christmas lights were flashing up ahead.

“How long will we have to wait? Do you think the bridge is out?” Mom said.

“We’ve got water up to the car doors.  Maybe we’ll have to turn back home.” My father replied.

I imagined the water turning our car into a boat, then fell back to sleep.

going to Grandma
the Dodge is like the Ark
the waters rise

© G.s.k. ‘14


Childhood memories are sometimes just  fragments if not filled out by some adult.  Seeing the photograph, I vaguely remembered this trip back in 1955 or ’56.  We were driving from Mississippi to Illinois.

Ice Fog – Haibun – Friday Fictioneers – December 6, 2014

flowers with Ice-Janet Webb (2)

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright Janet Webb

Ice fog frosted the trees and bushes white and now with the first pale light of morning the world was a winter wonderland.  Looking like a Norman Rockwell painting but as cold as a miser’s heart.

Students stood waiting for the school bus to come, hoping it wouldn’t be late.  It’s so easy to be frost-bitten on a deceptively beautiful postcard morning in Anchorage. Not an inch of skin was visible, even ski masks covered everybody’s faces.

A couple stood apart holding hands and rubbing noses.

 Alaskan white morn –
ice dripping from old flowers
like a Christmas card

G.s.k. ’14


Some Background:

In my youth I lived in Alaska, Anchorage  to be precise.  It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever lived.

However, when the winter rolled in, it did so with a vengeance.  After three months of near total day light,  autumn came and gradually brought on first normality then it ushered in winter with its three months of near total night.

Temperatures were more moderate in Anchorage than let’s say Nome. But they could still get down to minus 20 and lower without much of a problem.

Ice fog was one of the most insidious winter problems to face in Alaska. You’d be driving down a road at night and all of a sudden your wind screen was nothing but a sheet of ice crystals.  It’s ice fog that so beautifully outlines everything in white, at least in Alaska.  Ice fog can hit between late autumn and early spring.


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Jostling People – Friday Fictioneers – November 14, 2014

PHOTO PROMPT -Copyright-Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Walking along any street at any hour before midnight in a tourist town, is to walk through a miasma of human intimacy.  Hundreds if  not thousand of people, each in their own little group talking.

“… and I said, “Listen I’m not ready …”

Ready for what I wondered.

“… then she let out this horrible shriek …”

Did she see a mouse or was this something more sinister.

“… the Americans have done it again!”

Oh my, now what are they up to?

Bits of life, bits of personal experience jumbled stories.

summer afternoon
oceans of experience
in tiny puddles

(c) G.s.k. ’14

This haibun is linked to Friday Fictioneers

Flight of Fancy – Auguts 1, 2014

For Friday Fictioneers

view-from-the-planePHOTO PROMPT- Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields


Flight of Fancy – Free Verse

She’s a mile up in the sky,
At the best of times.
A Tinkerbell,
A Fairy …
In a world of harsh reality.
She lives in our imagination …
Fantasy to her, no game,
It’s her be all of existence,
The focal point of life.
When troubled times are nigh,
She pulls you into her land
To write about adventure
In a never-never world.
She’s inspired the very best,
And sometimes the very worst …
She’s the font of our creation
Of worlds within new worlds.
Inspiration to every writer,
Moving force behind the artists …
She’s the creative’s muse.

Friday Fictioneers – May 30, 2014

Copyright -Jennifer Pendergast

Copyright -Jennifer Pendergast

The Pink Cloche

Walking through the courtyard I approached the archway that led to the exit.

Madeline Grainge was found dead, strangled, near a row of bicycles. She’d been my client.

Basically a silly job, she’d wanted me to find out who had stolen her pink cloche at a cocktail party.  She was mad about that hat, it was her granny’s, she’d said, who’d been strangled in 1935.

I’d found the culprit, an old geezer of 98 who she’d known all her life, his grandson was her fiancé.

Now, I have a killer to catch. Madeline Grainge, as I said was my client.

Written for Friday Fictioneers May 30, 2014