Tanka: Ginkgo (1)

The ginkgo fans green
Spring blows soft upon your face
Sleep has come too soon
In a place where leaves open
To dream under the full moon

My thoughts go to a friend who lost his mother a year ago this month. This same month a friend died at the age of 91 who had been as a second father to me. Yet May is a merry month, reminding us that a new life awaits us where death no more reigns.

For Cee's Flower of the Day Challenge (FOTD): "Don’t forget that my FOTD challenge accepts leaves and berries as well as flowers."

Poetics and Wang Wei

Laura at dVerse asks us to reinterpret one of several Chinese poems. I’ve chosen to reimagine “Stopping at Incense Storing Temple” by Wang Wei.

At the Moon Garden

When in the concatenation of bells that toll
I stop at dusty pools of ghost-bearing scents
The rains having come and gone, ashes remain
The acrid smoke of the dead stings my eyes
Choking the young, ridiculing the old
I turn away to the bowers of forest glades
Where You await storing love’s incense
And I like a wanderer home at last
Stand strong in Your warm embrace
Escaping the dragon of the past
To rise with You to eternal joy.

It’s Not a Mystery

“Why does hope spring after tragedy?

Is it weakness in sorrow, a failure of grief?

What makes us look up and watch for the dawn?”

Wiping away his tears, his Teacher softly answered,

“‘It’s elementary, my dear Watson,’

We were made for eternity

Not this life alone.”

Cee’s FOTD
Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt #199: prose or poem in 47 words exactly using the word “element” or its forms.

Ice Storm

A friend’s betrayal. The first crack in the heart. A child’s heart. Swallowing a sob, a gurgle hard against the throat. A nudiustertian heartbeat ago. The storm settles.


That friendship went the way of trains into the sunset, trains with Hercules propellers in a steampunk show, and a suddenly shrunken figure, lean with knowing, stiffening its back against the world.

The heart armored, now slow to trust, still easily betrayed, always anticipates the moment of departure, inexorable in its movement like the ticking of a clock, yet attuned to distant trumpets ushering in the dawn.

Frost-browned blooms
Knew caskets of ice
Await life.

After the Storm (for Cee’s FOTD)

Continue reading “Ice Storm”

Our Life, His Work: A Parable

When I first saw, “Servant,” the #JusJoJan prompt for today, the first thought that popped into my head was, “Christ Jesus,” and then the words of Phiippians 2:5-11*(see below). My quandary? M’s prompt word: “Twin-engine turbines.” But it proved to be a blessing in disguise as it gave me the shape of the story: a parable. Serendipity!

Our Life, His Work: A Parable

What are you making, child? the Servant asked.
Everywhere metal sheets and rotor blades lay in a tangle of wires.
See this twin-engine turbine? The boy held up a photo. My 3-D printer makes it simple.
Simple, eh?
The boy looked around before answering.
-Well, it’ll just take a few days, maybe weeks …. maybe months …. H
is voice trailed away. It looked simpler when I got started. But somewhere along the way, I lost track of what I was meant to do.
He took in the tangled mess around him and finally the shiny aircraft in his photograph. His face fell.
Well, now, said the Servant, it will be a grand thing when it’s done. Maybe you could use a little help. Mine, for example.
The boy looked up, his face suddenly alight with hope and renewed confidence.
Really? Will you help? Please.
The Servant looked down at the expectant face, his own lit with Love.
It’s why I came, child.


Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2: 5-11(ESV)

Michelle's January 3, 2021 Writing Prompt: "Twin-engine turbines"
Linda's Just Jot It for January 3rd, "Servant"

Of Belugas and Mercies in the New Year

Come, magical sprites of sea, land, and air
Dreamlifters that transport us far from care
Belugas, or bluebells, or a child and a mare
My speech to you is dire and fair:

Dire, because of last year’s dismal fare
Of health and crises that cause us to beware
Threat of contagion from death’s lair;

Fair, because your songs lay bare
The beauties of God’s mercies and care
Shown in his Son whom we boldly dare
Address as our brother, Lord and Savior,
Whose love we eagerly want to share
Aware that we can rejoice in this new year
With all those whose burdens he helps to bear.

Michelle's January 2021 Writing Prompts: "Belugas and dreamlifters"
Linda's JusJoJan Prompt, "Speech"
Image credit: Pexels.com

A Puppy’s Philosophy

Image credit; Rhaúl V. Alva @ Unsplash

My Christmas cheer will last the year
Though Santa’s hat fall off my ear
To be picked up and packed away
Or left abandoned, chewed and frayed.
What difference thus to outward fur
When hat on head makes not the cur
But hope in heart is what gives cheer
To puppy barks of “Happy New Year!”

For Sadje's What Do You See #62
and Melanie's Word of the Day Challenge "HOPE"

When Christmas Comes

Written for Rochelle's Friday Fictioneers  
Genre: Realism
Word count: 100 words
PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson 
Click on the frog and join in the fun!

When Christmas Comes

As a child, Christmas decorations made her sick with excitement. Now they made her sick for those gone missing since the lock-down. They showed up in little boxes the home projected onto a screen, but she knew they were impersonators. She watched, but refused to speak to those teary-eyed strangers. Her own family was naturally cheerful, even boisterous. “Lord, where are they?” Every day she recited their names, rolling them in her mouth like hard candy. Every day there was less of them to remember. But Christmas came. Her heart burned. There was a Light to investigate in the heavens.

Common-Place Jotting: Shakespeare, St. Paul

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

Sonnet 73: That Time of Year (Shakespeare)

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consum’d with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

Therefore we do not lose heart.

Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV
By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. (Hebrews 11:3 )