The Accidental Rose

Seeing a rose, I once said that we stand out like that, red on green, and you reply, tongue-in-cheek, you mean like an ambulance at 3 AM in a Mississippi swamp and I shut up, crushed, like you’d said we were an accident that had been waiting to happen, as if crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end, just a screeching of brakes, a clang of metal, the jolting of bones, and then the long drawn out police report and insurance claims, a ledger of rights and wrongs, and the spindrift pages in the moonlit night where my heart spills and the nightingale vies with a shrike impaled on a thorny bush that ought to have a bloom, a rose, while someone, no one, looks for a medic to resuscitate the dead in an ambulance at 3 AM.


For Cee's FOTD 
and dVerse's Prosery where Merril asks us to use a line from a Jo Harjo poem, “Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end,” to write a 144-word piece of prose. Click on Mr. Linky and join in!

Sanctuary Portal

Kim at dVerse has this weeks “Prosery” challenge of a 144 word-story using a certain line from Yeats’ “The Song of Wandering Aengus” (in italics below). I won’t claim to having done it or the wonderful Whelan painting here justice, but what fun trying! Thanks, Kim. ❤ Check out Mr. Linky for more “proseries.”

Michael Whelan, “Sanctuary” (oil on canvas, 2019)

SANCTUARY PORTAL

“A red-ribboned heart he had given me to wear,” the dying woman breathed. “But I went out to the hazel wood, because a fire was in my head.

The priest nodded wisely. The nun did so likewise.

Outside a young girl stopped to hear all that was said.  

“Now I’m unsettled. I miss him so. I lost one world to gain another, both now fading fast.”

A voice came from the portal, a voice that sounded far off.  “It’s not too late, my darling. I’ve been waiting this aeon’s passing. There’s more that lies ahead.”

She sat up, her heart failing. She threw open her arms while passing across the threshold’s steps.

The last they saw was a sunlit orb floating into the light.

The priest nodded wisely. The nun did so likewise.

The girl outside the window felt a fire inside her head.  

An Incident

“Tweet me not weary in this whirligig of time.” She stabbed the Styrofoam cup with the stick end of a small American flag. “I’m homeless by design unmet by need. You need not apply.”

The politician’s flunkie grimaced. “Ma’am, we’ve been told to clear the area.”

“Nobody’s here. Starbucks brothers in the Amazon, sister’s Facebooking. Red Zone, Blue Zone, Ozone. Google it.”

“They’re armed,” he warned.

“Say, Moby Dick’s back from the dead. ‘Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy.’ Tell them Ambergris is worth a fortune.”

“Ma’am?”

“Eyes and pearls. My home’s on my back. Your bones are too light. ‘From hell’s heart, I stab . . . .’”

A shot rang out. The bag lady crumpled, fell.

“’Ye damned whale’,” said the flunkie, winking at the FBI agent. “’I don’t give reasons. I give orders!’”

Written for dVerse's Prosery: Bone Weary -- 144 words utilizing 
the line: "Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy."
All other quotes are from Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

Hollow Hauntings

Black Hole, 2016 by Ian Cumberland (b. 1983)

I am the hollow woman. I swallow holes. I can see the gaps in your cabinet of selves better than you can, selecting your latest reinvention or falling back on an old. As you reach, I look at you and your emptiness becomes mine. For a split second you pause, as if aware of me.

I hold my breath in case you hear me.

I hear you.

You say, “There is nothing behind the wall except a space where the wind whistles.”

Then you glance in the mirror and see me, and are shocked. Why? We swallow being into nothingness. (Or are we swallowed?) We make perfect the meaninglessness of it all, call it life, and make it compost, a place for new beginnings and endings. A cycle. Endless. Bare. Signifying nothing.

I am the hollow woman. And I am not alone. Am I?


Written for dVerse’s “Prosery” which asks that we confine our prose to 144 words or less and use the following line from a Lisel Mueller poem: “there is nothing behind the wall/except a space where the wind whistles.” Click on Mr. Linky to join in!