wu-men kuan, dancing before god
wind whirling life, ephemeral
a walk in the forest, a poem, a child
no port of call, no street address
just the echo of one hand clapping
and swinging on the gateless gate
THE FLEXIBLE PERSONA, a literary magazine is hosting a “Short-Shorts Editors’ Prize” for flash-fiction up to 1,000 words. $6 submission fee. Cash awards: $125, $75, and $25. Deadline December 1. Details HERE.
This is dedicated to all those people,
those who are blatantly themselves. ….…[[[You know the ones I mean.]
Some, when seedlings, had family or teachers
who jabbed a finger yelling: You! You! You!
accusing them of being quintessentially themselves . . . as though that was wrong.
They are the YOUs who come from multi-colored places
with varied dreams and
hearts woven of wonderlush
They are the womanly or manly,
childlike and wise.
They run from the gray streets to the green forest.
They take to long-lost roads and never-found pathways
with their song in a backpack and
a brown-bag lunch of no-baloney sandwiches.
When they elder they arrive back at the beginning
“The moon does not fight. It attacks no one. It does not worry. It does not try to crush others. It keeps to its course, but by its very nature, it gently influences. What other body could pull an entire ocean from shore to shore? The moon is faithful to its nature and its power is never diminished.” Everyday Tao: Living with Balance and Harmony, Ming-Dao Deng
WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT
Write a poem about being being true to ourselves, true to our inherent nature. If you feel comfortable, leave your work or a link to it in the comments section. All poems shared on theme will be published in next Tuesday’s poetry collection. You have until Monday night, 8:30 p.m. PST to respond.
A wonderful collection today that illustrates just how complex relationships are, as complex as the human beings who compose them. These are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Hero of the Practicalities, November 22, 2017. Welcome and thanks to newcomer, Denise Aileen DeVries. Thanks also to stalwart participants: bogpan, Colin Blundel, Sonja Benskin Mesher and Paul Brookes.
Anyone who would like to join in tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt is welcome to do so no matter the status of career: beginning, emerging or pro. All work shared on theme will be published in the next collection on the following Tuesday. Meanwhile, enjoy these …
The dark and fire
of the linotype and the roar
of the press were safe for her,
more than the house, plastic-
covered from lampshades to floors.
At home, nothing was ever finished,
mute dishes dirtied themselves,
yolks broke in the skillet,
shirts weighted the end
of the ironing board.
She had nothing to prove
to men who thought they owned
the secrets of melted lead.
She knew the language of em and en;
she could read upside-down.
At home, my father’s mood
could tip the day,
luminous floors becoming
ominous, two silent children
eating her mistakes.
achievement, putting words
to lead, to ink, to bed.
Newspapers of two small towns
passed through her hands
in cooled lead slugs
to inky rollers, to birth
off the end of the press,
Mind-reading in marriage is somewhat unpredictable. The other day, we were sitting in front of the TV, and I wanted my husband to get me some dessert. It took me at least 2 minutes of focused thought before he said, “shall we have some ice cream?” Yet, a few days later, while he was three miles away at the grocery store, I thought, “I wish I had some chocolate,” and when he came home, he handed me a bar of milk chocolate. Mind-reading seems to work best with food, but even after 20 years, it’s not infallible. I would have preferred dark chocolate.
Because we each grew up speaking a different language, mind-reading comes in handy when our vocabulary fails us. It’s quite normal for our dinner conversation to go something like this: “can you pass the…” “donde está el…” “next time we go to the tienda, hay que comprar…”
This is not to say that we think alike. In fact, the list of things on which we disagree is much longer than those on which we agree. This may be confusing for people who think that in marriage “two become one.” I’ve often been horrified by people’s assumptions that one of us can express the opinion of both. Especially if that opinion isn’t mine!
This is Denise’s first time responding to Wednesday Writing Prompt. (Welcome!) This is what she tells us, “I was the girl who squeezed through the barbed-wire fence behind the sheep pen and disappeared for hours all alone looking for cactus flowers and mariposas. The dry side of the dam is where I live now,
past all that water under the bridge, the history and humidity, reflections and memories all under water.”
when I said – this symphony
is so full of beautiful tunes
which just go on and on
you smiled such a caressingly
honest smile that I sensed
the light of your Being
touching mine (mine yours)
We do not know each other.
The fog is carving the ghostly
silhouettes of houses, people
And like a sound the hand is –
a semitone of the scream
of seagulls “Arriva … Arriva”
Nothing is coming.
Nothing has come.
I am trying to breathe –
in a time beyond.
In the gardens of the cascades
before the dawn and after the rain.
We do not know each other.
You’ve melted in the sun,
a sun in the fog
and you’ve never been here.
The paper remembers some passed
sounds come from the outer
world – Arriva.