Take a Hike #d’Verse; Haibun Monday


It’s Haibun Monday at d’Verse Pub for Poets and today Frank J. Tassone has invited us to take a hike. What a great prompt to return to after an afternoon hike.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Old Friends

This last day of August is a first. It’s the first day of school for teachers and the first time in a long time that I wasn’t there for it. That might make this my first day of retirement, but that’s somebody else’s word; it doesn’t fit. But what is a fitting way to spend this First?

Every summer I think I’m going to hike that mountain that’s in my backyard, that mountain who’s view I cherish, that’s reflected in the lake; but somehow I always run out of summer, have to return just as fall begins to brush the leaves. Now, for the first time in a long time, I get to enjoy this season.

Today I took a hike, walked up and up and up; I took a hike to see the familiar again, up close, to see the trees amongst the forest. I touched the sky then looked around.

Such a wondrous path!

bringing me to where I am

autumn leaves spring forth.

CRLC Challenge; Lemon Queens

square-templateThe August 27, 2020, Carrot Ranch prompt is still to, in 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that features Lemon Queens. This is a second response and it continues a Six Sentence Story which continued a 99 word story which I seem to have only posted in the comments at Carrot Ranch. Anyway Marge et al. now kayak and so she has fishing companions.

Hooks, Lines, and Sinkers            D. Avery

“Marge, look at the brown Ilene’s got on. Huge!”

“Another one?! I’m getting fed up with her beginner’s luck.”

“Well you’re not going to get fed up on your own fish today.”

“Shut up, Nard. Hey! Ilene, what’s that in that trout’s mouth?”

“My lure?”

“Your lure? But—”

“Marge, you assumed I was new to fishing.”

“But you insist fishing is just luck.”

“It is. And lucky me, I’ve got this lure I made myself. Two yellow spinners and a feathered hook. Lemon Queens I call this one.”


“Here’s a purple version. Sour Grapes. Try it.”

WWP#172; Endless

wk-172-endless-1 The Weekend Writing Prompt from Sammi this week is to use the word “endless” in an 18 word composition. It’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments at her site.


Endless Embraces

kayak hugs shore

trees hug steep banks

mosses hug rocks

sunset hugs horizon—

Six feet an endless distance.

CRLC Challenge; Lemon Queens

Charli’s back and with her the August 27, 2020, Carrot Ranch prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that features Lemon Queens. Maybe it’s an ancient fairy tale or a modern brand name. What ideas seep into your imagination? Is there a character or place involved? Go where the prompt leads!

Photochrom by D. Avery


He startled me. While he and my father talked I’d idly stared at the newspapered walls. Everything here was old, the only color besides the curled yellow newspaper a smoky gray — the unpainted house, his dog, his ancient swaybacked draft horse in the shed; him.

“Yes,” I agreed.

“Those horses,” he said, and then my eyes took in that this yellowed newsprint was not wallpaper, it was clippings, articles from long ago county fairs.

“Two mares, sisters. Belgian and American Cream, cross. Called ‘em Cleopatra and Nefertiti. The Lemon Queens.”

“A winning team?”

His memories colored the room.

Bending to Reason; #SixSentenceStory

six sentence story copyMore of a scene than a story this week, but in six sentences, per the rules of Six Sentence Stories, presented by Denise at GirlieOntheEdge. The prompt word is “bend” and you have through Saturday to participate.

Bending to Reason   by D. Avery

When Ilene and Lloyd got Marge and Ernest and the others into kayaking, it was a boon to everyone concerned; all agreed that while sitting in a kayak drinking beer wasn’t so different than sitting in a camp chair drinking beer, the view and the air was a refreshing change from Ernest’s two bay garage. With the interest in kayaking, Marge found it easier to get Ernest and her friends to go fishing with her and she enjoyed getting to new spots that had previously been inaccessible. Ernest, who had never taken to fishing, was content to paddle the Marge-Barge, a long double sit-on-top that accommodated his large frame, a cooler of beer, a cooler of snacks, and sometimes even a grill, but Lloyd sometimes brought a rod, as did Kristof, though both of them usually ended up just drifting and daydreaming. Marge could always count on Nard to fish seriously, and to both their surprise, increasingly, Ilene, though her insistence that fishing was largely a matter of luck rankled Marge who consistently out-fished them all, proof of her greater experience and superior skills.

This evening however, Marge’s skills were not in evidence and she snarled when Ilene again chirped in delighted surprise at her singing drag as yet another fish hooked on, putting an enviable bend in her new rod.

“Yeah, yeah, it’s just beginner’s luck is all it is, Ilene, just beginner’s luck.”

Ploughshares; #SixSentenceStory

six sentence story copy

The word from Denise at GirlieOntheEdge this week is “station”. The rules? Write a six sentence story with that word. The story? A slice of Ilene Higginbottom’s work life as a school administrative assistant. You may know Ilene as the friend of Marge and Ernest

Ploughshares,   D. Avery

This morning, when Mrs. Richards finally heaved herself away from the counter that stood between Ilene’s office space and the bustling hallway, sighing her usual ‘Time to man the battle stations’, Ilene called her back; she called her back and called her out.

“As a writing teacher, Mrs. Richards, you’ll understand me when I say you need to rethink your metaphors; just who is it that you are battling? These kids coming in the door are not our enemies, yet every day I deal with the casualties from your classroom. I suggest to you, if you are feeling so beleaguered and besieged, perhaps it’s time you retreat— surrender even.”

Mrs. Richards stormed off so didn’t see that Mr. Penny had overheard the exchange, didn’t hear Mr. Penny’s comment to his aide-de-camp that she might have just started a war. Though he hadn’t spoken of his discomfort in being the principal and having to pick a side, Ilene reminded him he was on the side of the children.

CRLC Challenge; First Flight

square-template95.pngFrom Carrot Ranch, the August 13, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a first flight. It can be anything or anyone that flies. What is significant about the first? Go where the prompt leads!


Arriving,   D. Avery

Signs and arrows made navigating the mazelike interior of the airport easier than she’d imagined. Still she was passed left and right by more experienced travelers towing wheeled suitcases, rushing down the wide corridor labeled “Departures”. She clutched her satchel and continued until she was in a glassed in peninsula thrust into a sea of tarmac, roiling with activity. She found her gate, a closed door really, but one that would open for her, take her away. Away at last. Seated close to this doorway she again examined her ticket. One way. She would be transported and then— “Arrivals”.

Deferred; CCC#92


Another boat prompt! The following is written all in fun for Crispina’s Creative Challenge


To sail the world his life long dream

and more before he completely fulfilled it

for to him it seemed if he’d sail it he should also build it.

So before hoisting of sails came hammer and nails

pounding these before seeing pounding seas

his dreams would not be derailed.

But the longer it took, responsibilities forsook

his wife despaired and grew ever more stern;

he’d just bow and tell her how

floating his dream was his greatest concern.

Finally came a day when she sailed away

deserted him, left him alone high and dry;

he started in to work on the boat again

and then stopped to wonder why.

He’d been dreaming of great escape

had dreamed of sailing away

but his dream seemed wrong

and with his wife now gone

he was now wanting to stay.

Come Sail #d’Verse;TuesdayPoetics


Sarah is hosting Tuesday Poetics  this week at the renown pub for poets, d’Verse. I thought I’d left a comment there that said I might be back after hopping in my kayak, but I apparently missed the “post reply” button. I did make it into my kayak, though I didn’t get very far. I combed the marsh and am back with this hybrid haibun:


I am a leaf


pinwheeling down

now spinning on the water

I am sailing across the marsh. I am the sail, catching the wind that keeps changing direction. I am afloat in my kayak, paddle at rest. The kayak succumbs to the restless wind and we are a leaf, spinning on the water, this way, now that. The kayak is a manmade thing, but a natural extension of me, an enabler of me, an empowerer of me, and I dare to dream of being a water strider on the surface of the water. How importantly they skate back and forth, yet so humbly walking on water.

quicksilver bubbles

shimmering galaxies

of water strider stars

The kayak is the long double one, the one with the big payload, the one I use to collect large stones and pieces of driftwood. Its model name is “Stalker” and I am stalking a poem, an elusive quarry lately. The wind pushes me away from the blue heron who is stalking its dinner at the grassy edge of the marsh.

tasseled robe, fog gray

stately sword bearing huntress

marsh’s high priestess

Another wise face greets me as I drift towards the turtled shore. Thin black lips, yellow cheeks, white throat— the green frog is all the colors of the marsh, all the colors he needs to be. Because I do not paddle, because I am a leaf on the water’s surface, the frog remains unworried. I wonder if this is the frog I hear when I slow enough to listen.

frog’s primal thrum

echoes in my chest

Heart. Heart. Heart.

our nightly poem

I am one leaf twirling on the water. Millions more continue to sing and sway above, and on the surface of the water, and below the surface; for watery surfaces are mirrors, are portals. It is disorienting. Yet somehow these watery inversions are grounding.

I pick up the paddle finally and return, glad to have seen these things, but without the poem I’d sought. Just another evening in a kayak on the lake. I make my way back across the marsh.

pond lilies bloom

moons floating on water sky

saucered lanterns glowing


End of an Era; #SixSentence Story

six sentence story copyThe linkup is open through Saturday. The word is out and the word is “useful”. The word is the prompt for Six Sentence Stories, provided by Denise at GirlieOntheEdge. The rules are simple; six sentences. Share your link between Wednesday and Saturday. This six sentence story is a follow up to a recent Carrot Ranch offering.

End of an Era by D. Avery

“Which one do you suppose is left alive?”

“Our boy is pretty tough, but my money is on your mother, and if she hasn’t killed him maybe she’s taught him some useful skills, you know, splitting and stacking wood, counting cards, that sort of thing.”

“I hope they’re all right, problem is they’re both so set in their ways, and she was insisting he would just have to do what she was doing while he stayed with her, like it or not — she wasn’t going to alter her activities and she wasn’t going to let him sit around with a device all day either.”

“Well, here we are… oh my God, they’re both alive… and wearing loincloths.”

The tan woman and sunburned boy grunted warnings and raised their sharpened sticks at the strange hominids before breaking into wide grins.

“Mom, Dad— me and Granma caught fish and discovered fire and we’re cooking the fish for lunch right now on these rocks in the hot coals, do you want some?