Sea Tale

Gifts from the sea, some called them. Once there washed up a shack, whole, an eye-catching man within, seal-brown his hair. The tunes he could sing, when the winds around the water took wing.

She spied him sometimes by moonlight at the water’s edge, secretive, saw him take out a seal skin, disappear within, into cold depths. Then one night, twin shapes followed after.

Alone, she managed, bled, bided her time, calling out across the water, “Selkie!” People wondered.

When two children washed ashore, one seal-brown, the other raven-haired, we knew. Far inland, she kept their pelts hidden. Selkies nevermore.

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook
Genre: Folklore 
Word count: 100 
written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields's Friday Fictioneers 
click on the frog for more tales of a hundred words or less. 
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Nightmare Ballad

Today’s prompt on dVerse Poetics, “You Want It Darker,” is courtesy of Lucy who asks us to “write a poem about the transient notion of life to death, or topics germane to the theme. With a twist.” The twist is to write a ballad that “will/can include dark, gothic themes and imagery . . . . It’s October and we’re looking for some dark poetry, publies.”

I’ve taken as inspiration a painting by Polish artist Zdzisław Beksiński who once said, “What matters is what appears in your soul, not what your eyes see and what you can name.”

Zdzisław Beksiński (1929-2005)

Nightmare Ballad

between October’s mists
my ring on your finger
your fingers in her hair
my heart consumes fire

wonders casual causality
between your white-rowed teeth
her crimson, wet-bladed lips
crimes hallowed like wine

when the moon fell from the sky
on a common day of sepia-tints
the ground bled red
nightmares rode split tree trunks

into a necropolis of fears
where decayed hope
breeds madness
the food of the gods

where desires feign love
where mirrors that were eyes
open silently
bend inward
and scream

till I wake

For more on Zdzisław Beksiński's paintings, click here.
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Garden Awakening Tanka

“Iglish”: palm-burst noise
City garden cries havoc
Blunt carpe diem
Inbred posturing front rows
Masks of covetous fury.

The English tanka form has a 5-7-5-7-7 syllabic structure and is written from the poet's point of view.
Update: I think I counted right on a do-over of the second and third lines a day later and a tanka shorter! 😅 
For Colleen's Weekly Tanka Tuesday Challenge and Cee's FOTD challenge.

Lady Lavender in Extremis

Foxglove in a Washington, DC garden

She came sailing in —
foxgloves in murder digitalis
shape-shifters in book-covered heat
an Austen novel in her head
pharmacopœia of bottled lust
in everyone else’s closet Gothic
unholstered in a room of Macbeths
unshriven, exhumed desire
— sailing in, lighting torches
blanketed fire,
lavender swan.

Merril's Quadrille #113: "Blanket Us" for dVerse
A dVerse quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words. 
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A Common-Place Jotting: Rossetti’s “The Rose”

Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember

I don’t know about you, but I’m hanging on to summer as long as I can! For fellow simpaticos, here’s a late summer bloom and a Christina Rossetti poem to help.

A late summer garden rose
The Rose

The lily has a smooth stalk,
Will never hurt your hand;
But the rose upon her brier
Is lady of the land.

There's sweetness in an apple tree,
And profit in the corn;
But lady of all beauty
Is a rose upon a thorn.

When with moss and honey
She tips her bending brier,
And half unfolds her glowing heart,
She sets the world on fire.

-- Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

Portrait of Christina Rosetti by Dante Gabriel Rosetti

For more on Rosetti, see my Common-Place Jottings post on Rossetti Rhymes”

Lilies in DC

Lilies by the Smithsonian Castle, Washington, DC

There’s no one in this great country of ours that’s not thinking about its future, especially as our President was transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after testing positive with COVID-19 yesterday. We have had so much turmoil over the past four years as our political leaders have lost their minds and hardened their hearts against the welfare of their citizens. For them the country is all about their power, their political influence, their global agendas, while they and their families fill their own pockets and campaign coffers with foreign and domestic corporate and union paybacks. Fires of hatred and division have been fanned to divide us, and ultimately to control us. But we must not let the forces of hate win.

We have the testimony of God’s creation all around to remind us that even in Washington, DC, good can triumph, by His grace, beauty can blossom like lilies.

This evening let’s join with the millions praying for our President’s recovery as well as his wife, Melania, and the good of our nation in the weeks and months and years to come.

Clouds over Washington, DC

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2: 1-4

Autumn Approach

The late heather blooms
In wild array, scent chill fogs
Fall’s breeze, through mists, bogs
Take hold of moors, mount the heights,
Stay, watch summer’s sweet demise.


Image attribution: wikipedia
Written for Jude's The Saturday Symphony #13:"Rhythm of Autumn" 
-- Let us go retro this week and share a thought on the season, with rhyme and flow.
Sammi's Weekend Writing Prompt: Using the word "Heather" write prose or poem in exactly 27 words