The House of Clouds

 

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The lovely and talented Ali Isaac recently posted about trees. One thing led to another and we were chatting on about teen poetry. You know how that goes.

Anyway, she said something about writing a cringe-worthy poem about trees when she was sixteen. To which I replied something along the lines of:

“Pfft! My teen angst poetry kicks your teen poetry’s arse. It is SO bad. I won’t even share it online. In fact, I don’t know where it is. In fact, I never wrote it.”

To which she said how fun a teen angst poetry slam would be (sort of) which I took as a challenge. I attempted to reach back through the years, channeling my sixteen-year-old self, to recreate some teen angst poetry. I failed. But…here is an actual poem I wrote. I somehow remembered this verbatim from my first year at university. I was seventeen years old.

 

 

It smelled like chocolate lavender

Inside the house of clouds

And thoughts of tiny animals

Were clearly heard out loud

 

Vanilla rose smiled up at me

Then motioned toward the light

And as my feet sank in the clouds

The day gave way to night

 

Defiance…

 

I love this poem. It speaks to me. Penned by a wonderful poet and posted on the Winter Solstice, I still think of it well into the New Year. I wanted to share it with you all on this day of light and hope: February 1st. A day that marks the halfway point between the first day of winter and the first day of spring.

Enjoy this gorgeous piece and check out Eric’s poetry at his blog, My Sword and Shield. ❤

My Sword and Shield....

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She is bruised
but
She is not broken
She coils
around her heart
like the warm earth
embraces the seed
protecting it
from the frozen world above
gathering her strength
until the spring
when she shall rise
and the world shall bear witness
to her beauty
in bright vermillion
courage

*authors note: Another tribute to all the brave female hearts I am privileged to know.

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The Princess and the Pen

 

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“What are you doing?” Her sister swished into the room, gown brushing the floor.

Without looking up, Keira sighed. “Brea, leave me be. I’m writing.”

Writing!” Brea gasped.

“Well! There’s not need to say it like that!”

“But…” Brea fanned herself. “That’s what crazy people do! You’ll be locked up!”

Keira tapped her pen on the desk, “Uh-huh. I’ll get on that. Now, if you please…”

“Are you even listening to me? You’re always with your nose, unpowdered by the way, inches away from a paper with scribblings on it. Why, you’ll get ink on it! Think of that! This…this…writing…” Brea waved her hand at the desk, “it’s indecent. Absolutely improper for a princess.”

“I don’t care,” Keira sulked.

Brea stood straight, accentuating her incredibly impossible height of 4 feet, 2 inches. “I’m telling Father.”

“Oh, Brea! You mustn’t!” Keira turned to see her older sister wasn’t angry but scared. “Please.” She stood up, pushing a loose hair from her face.

Keira’s eyes widened. She pointed. “You’ve got ink on your cheek now! How will you explain that?! Oh, Keira, this isn’t proper. It’s dangerous.”

“Iridescent,” Keria said.

“Pardon?”

“Iridescent,” Keira repeated. “I’m trying to think of something iridescent to put in my fairy tale.”

“But…” Brea tapped her chin. “That’s easy. I mean, honestly, have you lost your ability to think, sister? Iridescence is everywhere. There are numerous…”

“Such as?” Keira bounced on the balls of her feet.

“Well,” Brea inched closer to the desk. “Whatever the story is about, you can always add a dragon. Their scales are iridescent. Of course there are fairy wings, moonstones, mermaids’ tails, unicorns, sea serpents, and…um…” she giggled, “troll snot. Oh! Then there’s the rare…”

“No,” Keira slumped. “I’m writing a fairy tale. I need something that doesn’t actually exist.” Her sister’s eyes filled. “But thank you. I mean, those were excellent suggestions, Brea. You’re wonderful, helping me braincloud this way. You remember the fairy tales Mother read to us as children? The fantastical creatures and items in those worlds? That’s what I’m trying to remember.”

“Oh,” Brea dabbed her eyes with a lace-edged handkerchief. “Well, I seem to remember something…”

“Yes? What is it? What did it do?”

Brea shook her head, “I can’t quite place it.”

“I know,” Keira returned to her desk and plopped down. “It was like a sphere but not quite. A flying…thing. I don’t recall its purpose.”

“Yes! That’s what I’m thinking of. A sort of blobby, floating, purposeless creature. It…popped. On its own. Maybe that was its magic?”

“Popped. Yes… There was air inside, if I’m not mistaken. And it flew. Or, as you say, floated. Oh, blast it all!” Keira put her head in her hands.

Brea absentmindedly twisted her moonstone ring. She straightened her pink gown, tucked her hair into its ribbon, and turned to leave. “Well then. I’ll just tell Father you’re working on something for his grandchildren, shall I?” She smiled over her shoulder, “It’s called a ‘bubble’.”

 

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#BlogBattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash fiction/short stories (with a word AND genre theme) hosted by Rachael Ritchey 

Join in. Write a story. Read the stories. Vote for your favorites here.

Week 4 Prompt: Iridescent
Genre: Fairy Tale

 

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Flurries

 

Snowflakes drifting down

Nestling between pine needles

Dusting robin’s wings

Sugar-coated berries charm

Breaking stillness, birds take flight

 

 

 

I’ve taken on another of Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday challenge. This week’s challenge is to write a Tanka poem (5/7/5/7/7) with the words ‘charm’ & ‘touch’ in it. (I didn’t cheat. 🙂 You can use synonyms and, in this case, I used “nestle” in place of “touch”.)

 

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If I Could Shake the Sky

 

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If I could catch sunbeams,

I’d light your darkest days,

warming your heart when the world seems too cold to bear.

 

If I could shake the sky,

I’d sprinkle stars,

covering you with glittering dust, magic clinging to skin and hair.

 

If I could reach the clouds,

I’d twirl their softness,

making cotton candy to sweeten the bitterness of life.

 

 

This is inspired by a tweet Katsyarina wrote about a year ago with the line “if I could shake the sky” in it. That line has stuck with me. Thanks, lovely poetess. This post is for you and all who need a little magic or joy in their lives.

 

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Al Lane has challenged us to post something light, funny, happy, or joyous. Why?

“To help us all get through the dismal dirtsack we lovingly call January, I’ve started a #banishtheblues hashtag. I’d love it if you joined me! Just write, or draw, or photograph…anything to #banishtheblues!”

 

Reflections #WritePhoto

 

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“I see colors,” she traced her fingertips along the glass. “And a lantern. It’s so bright I could walk the street at midnight. Bright, bright, midnight, bright…”

“Mum, stop.”

“The cobblestone streets, shop windows dark, dark, so dark for the night.” She swayed to the sound of her own voice. “Dark for the night, the lantern so bright, a walk at midnight…”

“Stop!”

She froze, turning to her son.

“Look,” he flung his hand. “It’s no window. It’s a mirror. Shit,” he muttered. “A mirror.”

She turned back, seeing herself clearly in the full-length mirror. “So it is…”

“Yeah. So it is.”

She stared at his reflection, tilting her head slightly. “You don’t seem particularly concerned.”

He rubbed the side of his cheek.

“Give mummy a hug now.”

He stood up, wavered, and walked to the door. Gripping his keys so they left indentations in his palm, he stared at the doorknob for a moment. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

 

 

 

Here is my attempt at #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent

 

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Thorns

 

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“Spike!” Buffy caught a kick, flipping the vamp on its back.

Xander held up a cross and looked around. “What?! Where’s Spike?”

“You nincompoop,” Willow slapped Xander’s head, “get her the stake.”

He looked at Willow. “Um. Ow! Was that necessary?”

“Well,” Willow nodded, “I think it was.”

Buffy dodged a punch. “Could you two deal with this later? In case you haven’t noticed, I’m kind of in a fight here.”

“Told you,” Willow murmured.

Xander grabbed the stake, gave a sideways look at Willow, and tossed it to Buffy. “Oops…”

Buffy vaulted over a nearby gravestone. “What do you mean “Oops”?”

“It sort of went in that bush,” Xander chuckled.

“Which one?”

“Sorry!”

“Huh?”

“Berry!” Willow shouted.

“You know…oomph! I can’t…bury this thing!”

“The berry bush,” Willow gestured. “Oh! Hey! Use the berries!”

Both Buffy and Xander stared at her. “What?”

“They’re blackberries!” She smiled proudly.

“Wow, Willow,” Xander rolled his eyes, “can I just say how not helpful that is. You want her to dust a vamp with fruit.”

Willow glared at Xander. “Buffy! The blackberries! Trust me!”

Buffy somersaulted over to the bushes, grabbed a handful of vines, and shrugged. “They do have thorns.” She jammed them into the vampire’s chest. He looked confused then lunged at her. “Well,” she punched him, “it was worth a try.”

“I can’t believe you two made it through sophomore year,” Willow snuck over to the blackberry bush, held up a vine, and pointed. “I meant the wooden posts. They hold up the vines.”

“Oh, right,” Buffy ran over and yanked a post from the ground, “I knew that.” She turned just as the vamp attacked, driving the splintered wood through his heart.

Willow coughed. “Ugh,” she waved her hands, “do they have to do that? They’re so…dusty.”

Buffy smiled. “Beats cleaning up goopy goodness!” She drew her eyebrows together. “That did not sound right.” They started out of the cemetery. “So, who’s up for pizza?”

Willow smiled. “Ooh, me!”

Xander stopped walking. “Do you have to ask?”

“Cool.”

 

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#BlogBattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash fiction/short stories (with a word AND genre theme) hosted by Rachael Ritchey 

Join in. Write a story. Read the stories. Vote for your favorites here.

Week 2 Prompt: Thorn
Genre: Fan Fiction
*

* This was RIDICULOUSLY difficult as I’ve never written or read any fan fiction. But it’s fun to step out of one’s comfort zone every so often.

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Destruction

 

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” She slammed the door in his face, turned to me, and smiled.

“Rhett Butler, Mum? Seriously?”

“Your grandma loved that movie. We watched it every Christmas. Anyway, I’ve always wanted to say that.”

“Well,” I picked some fuzz from my socks, “you got your chance. It was about time, too.”

She trailed her fingers along the windowsill. “I know. I’m sorry. He won’t be back here anymore.”

“I hope not.”

“I made sure of it.”

“Good. I love this old house. And it’s not like this town needs another fast food joint.”

 

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch


January 12, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that expresses a strong concern, something to give a crap about. Something that brings out the feeling to stand up. How can you use it to show tension or reveal attitudes?

 

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Bones

 

She woke to a noise. Her brain couldn’t register it. Clinking. No, more of a clattering. That was wasn’t right, either. Rattling. That’s what it was.

“John!” She reached over—his side of the bed was empty.

Slipping out from the covers, she walked to the kitchen. Dark.

“John?” She moved toward the dining room and the rattling grew louder. She heard it clearly as she passed the basement.

Opening the door, she gasped. Her hand flew to her mouth, “John!”

He looked up, eyes wide behind his mask.

The players dropped their dice. The D&D game was over.

 

 

 

 Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

 

January 5, 2016 prompt: Rattling In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a rattling sound. It can be an intimidating sound of protest, a disorienting loud sound, a musical expression or a gentle baby’s toy. Go where the prompt leads you.

* Just having a bit of fun. Much love to my geeky gaming friends.

 

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Changes

 

The death of nature

Brings such beauty to our world

Earth regenerates

Leaves change, decorate Autumn

Give way to Winter’s frosting

 

 

 

I’ve taken on another of Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday challenge. My first of the new year. This week’s challenge is to write a Tanka poem (5/7/5/7/7) with the words ‘change’ & ‘beauty’ in it.

 

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