My neighbor mows his lawn by the light of the moon. I listen to the whirr of the tractor’s motor grow near, and then recede. As if he follows the glow as the earth revolves, and the moon rises, or appears to. What does he think about, out there in the dark? His father recently died. Grief grips us by the lapels, throws us off balance. Maybe it is only under the cover of darkness that he finds solace. All the sudden, unbidden memories becalmed by the clamor of the engine. Maybe the moon massages the nostalgia into something manageable.
a flood of wildflowers
For dverse Haibun Monday. Something I don’t do nearly enough of….
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She steps outside looking as if she has just risen from a tangle of warm sheets, her eyes half-closed, black hair an unbrushed jumble of coarse curls, an old-fashioned broom in her hand that looks as if it, too, has just awakened from a dream, spikes of dirty blonde hair at odd angles. She sets to work sweeping a day’s accumulated dust from her tiny porch onto the unwatered patch of lawn. How peculiar that one so young, she can’t be but twenty, performs a daily ablution like a spinster in a historical novel who lives utterly alone.
I got wind from my writing friends that the 100 Word Challenge – the prompt is “peculiar” – has been resurrected by Tara. Seeing so many familiar names of much-admired friends I felt I had to join in. Please click the icon and read some fine short stories, both fiction and non-fiction.
Thanks for reading… !
a spider’s single white filament
outside the bedroom window
dangles in the breeze
her wedding dress
on that solitary night
slashed by blackberry thorns
the berries liquid
splashed the dress with love
as she fled her loss of self
into the welcoming arms of the moon
OctPoWriMo – Day 8 – Prompt was color… say what you will about it. I’m late to the page today. It was a busy day, but I can’t stop now. It’s like physical exercise (well, it is an exercise) when you find one you like it pulls you in, and soon you reap the benefits.
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I turned right instead of left
I never could read a map accurately
and this was before the GPS lady
began to startle me out of reverie
with her 400 yard warnings, then 200 before
her final shout to turn left now.
So I turned right and became hopelessly lost
in a town with so few streetlights
I didn’t know whether to be frightened or not
I could see only what my headlights illuminated.
A yellow cab parked at the curb.
I got out and tapped on the glass.
The automatic window purred
Pot smoke curled out in a pleasant paisley pattern.
I handed him an address and said I’d follow.
I followed him through the night
and into the next morning
I followed him for days he in his cab
and me in my rental car
He showed me places I’d never have found
until finally I gave up my car
jumped into his cab and we drove into the night
until I could see where I was going.
OctPoWriMo – Day 7. Prompt: The road less travelled or something you did right or wrong that you would not change. They fit together nicely, I think.
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In yoga class today one of the girls, woman, actually
we’re mostly women of a certain age inquires of the teacher
whether she should internally or externally rotate
her inner thigh.
And I think: what a degree of unprecedented freedom
is expressed in that query.
The same few women ask questions
about internal rotation or using props to alleviate compression
in the neck while upside down in a headstand.
I never ask questions. I do not like to draw attention to myself.
I am content to listen and do.
And anyway the minutiae of muscle rotation eludes me.
What I always think when these questions are posited is
the ease of a life that thinks to wonder how to direct a solitary muscle.
I do not forget that this same woman guided her mother through the arduous journey
to death from cancer. Her suffering, along with her mother’s, was exquisite.
Maybe it’s a distraction for her to conjecture about isolating a muscle
and turning it one way and then another. Maybe it’s a way to circumnavigate grief.
During these moments of muscular instruction I drift off
to the migrants in the vineyards that surround us how far away
from home they journeyed and how little freedom they have to ask any questions at all.
They take instruction and they do it.
There’s little I can do about their plight or the plight of my yoga friends
or my own potential plights other than be kind to them when I take a shortcut through the meticulous rows of wine grapes on my way to my comfortable home.
OctPoWriMo – Day 6. Prompt is freedom or life changes. Morgan suggested we count syllables like in a haiku but I opted to go another route. I write a lot of tanka and some haiku on Twitter where syllables, or at least line length, matter. Hence my desire to branch out.
Anyway…. thanks for reading!