The violent shuddering of masonry and the collapse of the great cathedral had left a thick cloud of dust like a shroud over the city. It settled like particles of mist coating every moving creature, turning everything a sinister gray. Here, the dead had numbered 750,000.
We eyed them from the Adviser, the multi-dimensional-intergalactic space lab, Commander Fauci. His otherwise pristine white lab coat was covered with beagle hair as he emerged from his I-CNN studio. He looked unconcerned. The interview had gone well.
Had we made the right choices? Only time would tell. Meanwhile, we needed to cover our tracks.
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!
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"
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.
The sun had taken flight with midnight near The killer stops uncertainly, afraid, Behind a sound he hears, sinister, clear, A hollow breathing, ice-cold hand now laid Upon his shoulder, grips; he springs away, As if the fiends of hell were at his heels, But still pursued, his face with terror, gray. At last he turns, with courage bold, then squeals As dead Lucille peals, “Now see how it feels!”
Well, Halloween’s just around the corner isn’t it? 🎃👻 Update: And right on cue, I’m number 13 on Mr. Linky! Haha.
Laura at dVerse's MTB: "Since today is the 9th of the 9th month it is fitting for that numeral to inform today’s poetry form – so let’s meet The Novelinee!. . . Yes, it’s a nine line stanza poem overlaid with this rhyme sequence:
a,b,a,b,c,d,c,d,d" also written in iambic pentameter.
In the sky through the clouds you can see silver haze Dispersed like the sheen of a dragon of steel Look too long and you’ll swear that your gaze Is returned and the dragon above sees its prey.
Do not run, do not hide, or you’ll be her next meal Say charms, not too loud, dance a jig, maybe two If the fear in your eyes, it can see, it can feel Then no magic on earth can save you or save me
As she comes, whisper soft, murmur tales of lost love Spin dreams of a land where a knight stays true blue Melt her heart, let her eyes fill with tears, and above Your bent head she will breathe not her fire, but her cheer.
Then your heart it will swell, you will ask all you will, Deep lore of the earth, wondrous songs of the sea All to you she’ll impart, from her lips it will spill Then she’ll fly to her lair over clouds over moons.
BJÖRN RUDBERG at dVerse challenges us today to write our verse in Anapestic Tetrameter, and so I’ve attempted, with a dropped syllable in each quatrain’s second line. See more dVerse offering and join in by clicking on Mr. Linky.
Today, Grace at dVerse asks us to “Meet the Bar” with regards to setting. So I began with that age old phrase, “once upon a time” and discovered that it seemed to be a setting unto itself, one that the speaker and the listener partake of evocatively, symbiotically. Or so I indulge myself in believing.
Once, the old woman/man/animal/tree/rock began, in the ages when spring set in for a millennium water gushed from every nook and cranny of underground wells and the vaulted heavens opened she/he/it paused there was an orchard where a blind child played the rains dancing like fingertips, skimming her face leaving braille-like tales of love and longing the old woman/man/animal/tree/rock sighed, upon the upturned eyes that could not see, the nose, the chin the water savoring their quill-like strokes the papyrus face now a harbinger of things to come so that the blank eyes took on diamond sharpness – here a tear fell, or was it a leaf, or a stir of dust – her breath like the sifting wind among the chaff her words a beat out of time so that the foolish laughed but the earth claimed her as a shepherd’s star one still night in the ages when spring set in for a time.
Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember
John Updike (1932-2009) still casts a long shadow on the literary landscape. His writings were varied and many, but his craftsmanship set the standard among his contemporaries. He was only one of four writers who won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction more than once.
Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, he once described his subject as “the American small town, Protestant middle-class” everyman. His clarity of style and expression is the hallmark of his writing, causing a critic for The Guardian to warn, “The clarity of Updike’s poetry should not obscure its class.”
The following poem quickly became one of my favorites for its simple directness and descriptive force in conveying the grace available in the simple act of “Planting Trees.” The poem is from his fifth collection of poetry, Facing Nature.
Planting Trees John Updike
Our last connection with the mythic. My mother remembers the day as a girl she jumped across a little spruce that now overtops the sandstone house where still she lives; her face delights at the thought of her years translated into wood so tall, into so mighty a peer of the birds and the wind.
Too, the old farmer still stout of step treads through the orchard he has outlasted but for some hollow-trunked much-lopped apples and Bartlett pears. The dogwood planted to mark my birth flowers each April, a soundless explosion. We tell its story time after time: the drizzling day, the fragile sapling that had to be staked.
At the back of our acre here, my wife and I, freshly moved in, freshly together, transplanted two hemlocks that guarded our door gloomily, green gnomes a meter high. One died, gray as sagebrush next spring. The other lives on and some day will dominate this view no longer mine, its great lazy feathery hemlock limbs down-drooping, its tent-shaped caverns resinous and deep. Then may I return, an old man, a trespasser, and remember and marvel to see our small deed, that hurried day, so amplified, like a story through layers of air told over and over, spreading.