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The Sacrifice

(A retelling of the story of Abraham and Isaac)

Abraham and Isaac, Rembrandt (1634)
Abraham and Isaac, Rembrandt (1634)

A weary journey, a wakeful night,
They left their camp before daylight
An old man carrying the weight of years
Wrinkled cheeks wet with tears
At hearing the young boy at his side
Prattle on with childish pride
That he alone had been chosen
To help his father on this mission.

Continue reading “The Sacrifice”

A-Souling

Photo by Ján Jakub Naništa on Unsplash

A-Souling

“Hey ho, nobody home . . . ?”

His sing-song question fell on no ears but hers,
deaf all others to its celebratory tones
the night of All Hallow’s Eve.

Tenor voice attuned to hearth,
lights in hands they enter
to find soul cakes laid on barrels,
beer and apples.

None heard him but her,
would never leave her
till her heart stopped, like his:
a toast before departing,
as midnight strikes.

“I will come and sing no more
’til this time next year.”


Soul cakes? A-souling? Unfamiliar with these terms are you, like I was? According to wikipedia, soul cakes are spicy shortbread-like biscuits given out to “soulers” who come round during the days of Allhallowtide singing and saying prayers, a’souling, in fact.

One traditional song, “A-Souling,” was made familiar to us by Peter, Paul, and Mary who sung it as a Christmas song, which for most parts of England it has become. The group Lothlorien sings it in the traditional mood of Allhallowtide.

Click here for the lyrics.

Sammi's Weekend Writing Prompt: "question," exactly 84 words
Sammi's 13 Days of Samhain -- Day 4: "soul cakes"
Punam's RagTag Daily Prompt: "celebration"

Wind Elf (A Compound Word Verse)

Image by zanagab from Pixabay

Along the rolling hills I hear
your mournful singing haunting clear
yet windblown.

Under the moon’s vapid eye
how can I, elf, to you deny
your windsongs?

I’ll keep you under lock and key
lest you flee and escape from me
as windstorm.

The elvish king shall have you back
when he returns the one I lack
now windbound.

On Hallow’s Eve we’ll make a swap
my child returned, you with your harp,
— home windward.

Grace at dVerse challenges us today to write a Compound Word Verse, an unfamiliar form to most ous I daresay. She writes: "The Compound Word Verse is a poetry form invented by Margaret R. Smith that consists of five 3-line stanzas, for a total of 15 lines. The last line of each stanza ends in a compound word and these compound words share a common stem word which is taken from the title. (In the first example below the stem word is “moon” from the title “Moonlighting”; the compound words related to the title are moondust, moonbeams, moonsongs, etc.)

The Compound Word Verse (3 lines) has a set rhyme scheme and meter as follows:

Rhyme Scheme: a,a,b
Syllable/Meter: 8, 8, 3

Click on Mr. Linky to read more and join in!

The Land of the Young (Tír na nÓg)

For lyrics and translation to the song, click here.

Strange the tale of an elven king’s son
Who lured a maid into the land of the young.
There she took tea, fated never to return
To the land of the living where hopes reigned.

Once she escaped her besom buddies of elven-land
But euphoria died when her long black locks turned white
As haunting memories of the land of the young
Made her yearn for the revelry of elven friends.

On the steps of a cathedral she stood skyward gazing
Behind her from the woods the elven king’s son stood imploring
But she had found a love beside which earthly magic paled
A love eternal from her Maker that over all prevailed.

“I cannot go with you, sweet heir of elven halls
Though surely will I miss you and all your kith and kin.
I have chosen wisely with wisdom from above
To live and die a daughter of the God who does me love.”

The elven lords and ladies left behind remained wondering
Their days of wine, their nights of dance, youth forever blooming
Thrown aside by a poor maid as if they all were nothing
Impressed them not, sincere or not, and soon she was forgotten.

Crimson's Creative Challenge #154 prompt: Image credit Crispina Kemp
RagTag Daily Prompt Thursday: "Euphoria"
Sammi's 13 Days of Samhain vol ii: Day 2 – "Besom Buddies"
Eugi's Weekly Prompt: "Haunting"

A Tale of Six on the Graveyard Shift

Six little kittens on the graveyard shift
On the factory floor in a corner quilt
Heard the clock chime midnight
Heard the place get real quiet
On Halloween.

One went to investigate
The others seemed to hesitate
Heard a “mew” from the factory floor
Where a skeleton hanging on a door
Danced on Halloween.

Two little kittens ventured forth
One to the south, the other north
Past dancing bones until a scream
From a vampire with a ghoulish gleam
Raised furs on Halloween.

Three little kittens waited a space
Then putting on their bravest face
Ran to the aid of their kin so true
When a gravelly voice shouted “Boo!”
A grinning goblin on Halloween.

Six little kittens no longer were
Kittens that scampered here and there
Now they flew in the dead of night
As bats that gave the workers fright
Purring as they slept on Halloween.


  Sammi's 13 Days of Samhain vol ii: Day 1 – Graveyard Shift 

By Way Of Broken Twigs in a Dreaming Forest (A Found Poem)

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

I might parrot-fashion a torn heart
question short-term memory lost
far off find the Sultan’s three wives
above the flame trees
satiated, muffled by autumns
roots wounded in the woods
snaking whisper: find
a cracked bell
voice of the rain
under my tongue
wandering scent

Go nowhere: red fox, intrepid
a straight man with name
that fails to show, lost and found
on the Kansas Prairie

I stalk: ragweed, Calvin Coolidge
missing persons, prize peacock,
around the breakfast table, hot
air in the mirror-testing
home, little fool

‘And the lost were found,’ select:
response, resolution, finding,
return to re-write or even reorder
visiting gatherings of fourteen
poker hands, under the unturned stone,
hidden deep, secret, wakening,
to the rain crying.

What is a found poem? Click here.
Laura at dVerse Poetics: Lost Poems and Found Poetry asks that we 
pick one of two options, of which I picked "finding a poem within a 
poem or prose." Instead of selecting only one of the  ‘lost poems’ 
(or one of your own finding where something or someone is lost ) 
and re-writing it is as a ‘Found poem’. I stretched the rule to
include all of Laura's prompt, prose and poetry, to compose my 
found poem.So I encourage you to go to the dVerse poetics prompt to 
see the text used, containing Susan Rich, Pablo Neruda, Peter 
Schneider, Maxine Chernoff, and Laura Bloomsbury's prose. 
Read more at Mr. Linky and join in!

Lady Lavender

Foxglove in a Washington, D.C. garden
She came sailing in —
foxgloved murder digitalis
among shape-shifters in ash-colored silk
an Austen novel in her head
drysalter’s pharmacopœia of prurience
in everyone else’s closet Gothic
pawned in a room of Macbeths
unshriven, exhumed desire
— sailing in, lighting torches
blanketed fire,
lavender swan.
At d’Verse Sarah asked us to write a Quadrille of 44 words using the word "Ash." 
This is a reworking of an earlier poem.
Click on Mr. Linky to read more.

Cereal Derilium

Here’s a post
For your funny bone:
A vestige of Boo the Ghost
His cereal to atone
This ghost with the most
Has you cornered alone.

Too late, you’re toast
You utter a groan:
Boo’s guitar can boast
A most torturous tone.
Should you humor your host
Or speed away like a drone?

Else:
As Boo-Berry brings you to tears
Stuff the cereal in your ears!

Ragtag Daily Prompt: "vestige"

Afterglow #RetroHaiku

Meditate

on God’s love

after: glow

Retro Haiku 3-3-3
Cee's FOTD, See the beautiful Autumn Mums on her site.Flower of the Day Challenge (FOTD).  
"Please feel free to post every day or when you you feel like it.  
Don’t forget that my FOTD challenge accepts gardens, leaves and berries as well as flowers."
Eugi's Weekly Prompt -- Afterglow -- October 14, 2021

The Bus – Friday Fictioneers

Genre: Realism 
Word count: 99
Come along and join in with Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers.
Rochelle asks that we use the photo prompt (© Brenda Cox)
and limit our words to 100 or less. 
Click on the frog to read more stories.

The Bus

Honey Humberg had waited for this day all her life.

She’d worked and saved to build the “Humberg Bus” from scratch, designing, commissioning and assembling it, part by part. She painted it in homage to the DIY hippies that were her inspiration, free thinkers and dreamers all. She would tour Europe showcasing her singing talent and the world would fall at her feet.

In the square, the crowd cheered when the Humberg Bus arrived.

They left when she began singing.

“How much you want for the bus?” a man asked.

“One billion pounds,” she said bitterly, turning away.

“Done.”

No (Wo)man’s Land

Warning: Sensitive topic broached.
Björn at dVerse: MTB asks us to write a cadralor, which poetic form consists of "5, unrelated, numbered stanzaic images, each of which can stand alone as a poem, is fewer than 10 lines, and ideally constrains all stanzas to the same number of lines. Imagery is crucial to cadralore: each stanza should be a whole, imagist poem, almost like a scene from a film, or a photograph. The fifth stanza acts as the crucible, alchemically pulling the unrelated stanzas together into a love poem. By “love poem,” we mean that your fifth stanza illuminates a gleaming thread that runs obliquely through the unrelated stanzas and answers the compelling question: 'For what do you yearn?'" Click on Mr. Linky to join us.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

A bird cries over the tele-
phone wire, is it you? is it done?
over black shrouded head

Shiny pruning shears in her gloved
hands, methodically apply to de-
locate dead heads, snip, snip

There once was a small torso in a
womb severally dislodged by forceps
into medical waste

If death comes in slippered feet,
will they curl at the ends
or just your lips? Mother?

All the ghosts have left, barren
in winter, the autumn leaves twist
the sea breezes rustle in her mind.