d’Verse MTB; Middles & Turns

Yikes! It’s been almost a month since I’ve been to the Poets’ Pub. On January 28, Peter from Australia had us considering beginnings, opening lines, as we versed. To meet the bar today Peter would have us “look to our middles and see if we can build in dramatic turns, open a new window”. Somehow I ended up wrestling with a started poem from January 2019 when Merril asked us “to consider time and space and what if?” for a Tuesday Poetics. I used the Biolet (a shorter version of the Triolet), a poem of 6 lines, typically of eight syllables each, rhyming ABbaBA and so structured that the first line recurs as the sixth and the second as the fifth. However I switched the rhyme pattern of the middle two lines so this Biolet is ABabBA. Why? In hopes to meet the bar a little better by changing the timing of the turn.

You search, track, it always eludes

slight impressions reveal its path

where it crept, grass swept dry of dew

lightly steps time, beyond your grasp

slight impressions reveal its path;

you search, track. It always eludes.

Saddle Up Saloon; Barroom Free For All

Come by the Saddle Up and meet three characters from Anne Goodwin’s Sugar and Snails. Get the details for your own free copy.

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

“Kid, whut’s goin’ on? Looks like mebbe some movie stars asettin’ at the bar. They here ta take the stage?”

“They might be some sorta celebrities, Pal, but they jist wannered in. I ain’t got no acts or innerviews lined up this week.”

“These three ladies soun’ like they might be from thet same place as them two blokes thet come through thet time, ‘member? One of ‘em, Logan it was, tangled with yer goats.”

“Think these ladies is arguin’ a might ‘bout where they come from, Pal. Thinkin’ there’s some drama unfoldin’ right here at the bar.”

“Ya best not be eavesdroppin’ on the customers, Kid. Least ways not so’s they notice ya doin’ it. So who’s who?”

“Well, them two at the end a the bar come in t’gether. Venus – that’s the curvaceous one with the dangly earrings – said Diana needed a drink ta calm her…

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Kaleidoscope; SixSentenceStory

All the Colors

Even though I could barely see through the dim blustery swirl channeled by the headlights, I didn’t worry that he kept driving into the snowstorm; he wouldn’t allow himself to become mesmerized by the dizzying white fractals rushing at the windshield. He said he’d get us home; I trusted him.

I had unlatched my seatbelt so I might be more comfortable; because I was plumping my coat around me as best I could, fumbling with the heater yet again even though it was as far up as it could go, I don’t know what happened, what we hit.

There was a crack in the windshield, a sparkling symmetrical web radiating out from where my head struck. I sensed that he was uninjured, but immensely disappointed in himself because of what happened to me; I wanted to tell him it was okay, that I was okay, warm even.

I glanced back, saw all the colors of my life as if through a kaleidoscope but the tunnel was brightening, bursting with pure white light; I turned to it and continued home.

The above is a Six Sentence Story in response to the prompt word “kaleidoscope”. On Wednesday our prompt provider, Denise, at GirlieOntheEdge, will post the link up and we shall all share our stories told in exactly six sentences. You have through Saturday to link your Six.

Saddle Up Saloon; Colleen’s Double Ennead Challenge

It’s the third Monday of the month, so you know what that means. Colleen Chesebro is hosting a syllabic poetry challenge out of the Saddle Up Saloon! See what she’s up to and try your hand at the Double Ennead, a form Colleen dreamed up just for Carrot Ranch.

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Welcome to the Saloon and the first Double Ennead Monthly Poetry Challenge. Every third Monday of the month, I’ll be over here at Carrot Ranch with another double ennead challenge. Each month, we will explore a different theme or image to inspire our poetry. I hope to see you in the Saloon!

The wordEnneadmeans nine, and a double nine is ninety-nine! Carrot Ranch is famous for 99-word flash fiction. Now, the ranch has its own syllabic poetry form written in 99 syllables!

The Double Ennead comprises five lines with a syllable count of 6/5/11/6/5, (33 SYLLABLES per stanza) 3 STANZAS EACH = 99 SYLLABLES, NO MORE, NO LESS! Punctuation and rhyme schemes are optional and up to the poet.

Why write poetry?

When a writer embraces theability to convey complex images and emotions in just a few lines, they have learned to strengthen their writing. In the…

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Saddle Up Saloon; Howdy, Colleen Chesebro!

Read all about her! The real Colleen Chesebro interviewed by fictional characters at Carrot Ranch’s own virtual Saloon:

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

“Kid, ya told me ya got Colleen Chesebro comin’ in this week.”

“Yep. Pretty cool, huh?”

“Yeah, but…”

“But what, Pal?”

“Well, I have ta ask, ‘cause we’re fictional characters an’ sometimes we git fictional characters in here at the Saddle Up as guests, so, I jist was wunnerin’… is Colleen fer real?”

“Of course she is, Pal. Jeez, why d’ya have ta ask that?”

“Well, mebbe she’s real, but I jist find her unbelievable.”

“She is fantastic, if that’s what ya mean.”

“Kid, I cain’t figger her out. Colleen Chesebro is a ex-military faerie whisperer? D’ya s’pose she’s got like a split pers’nality or somethin’?”

“Maybe you oughtta split, Pal, ‘cause here she is now. Jist shush an’ be polite fer g’ness sakes. Howdy Colleen! Welcome ta the Saddle Up Saloon.”

“Colleen Chesebro! I kin ask her m’sef.”

“That’s enough ‘bout what she’s done, Pal. Shush now. I wanna…

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CRLC Special Collection Challenge; River of Consciousness

The January 28, 2021, Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge prompt is special. This 99-word story prompt will be posted and presented to Sue Vincent on February 17. If you want to be included in this collection, respond through the form by February 11, 2021. Use the comment section at the Ranch to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. See the Rules & Guidelines.

The prompt is to, “in 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about life as a river of consciousness. Think about the possibilities of the prompt. Go where the prompt leads!After struggling and worrying about my dried up well regarding this river prompt I went where the prompt led me, though that may be a foreign place for many readers.

The Hunter

The pale winter light was already waning when he began following the buck.

Only the frost sparkled moon witnessed his pursuit farther and farther into the snowy woods.

The buck loped across the snow covered river, looked back from the tree line. He followed. Midway he heard water chuckling under soft ice. Breaking through, he chuckled too, suddenly realizing the joke.

Letting go his rifle, he slogged through deep icy slush, pulled himself up to where the deer had disappeared. Soaked and freezing, he nestled into the snow, saw the river of stars overhead.

He chuckled again. Another river.

CRLC Challenge; Substitute

Over at Carrot Ranch the February 4, 2021, prompt from guest host D. Avery is toIn 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a substitution. How might a character or situation be impacted by a stand-in? Bonus points for fairy tale elements. Go where the prompt leads. Respond at Carrot Ranch by February 9, 2021, to be included in the compilation (published February 10). Use the comment section to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

American Boarding School

My black hair flutters to the hard plank floor, dead crows windrowed around the stiff boots that bind my feet.

They point at me, repeat a sound.

I tell them my name. Pointing at myself I repeat my name. They beat me.

They point at me, call me that sound, make me say it. The sound is sand in my mouth.

I point at myself. I speak my name. They beat me again.

I say that other name. They smile.

I learn to keep my real name close. I will run with it, will leave their chafing boots behind.

Looks pretty much the same as any other week that I respond to the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge prompt. However, back at the Ranch, there’s a flurry of organized activity with some slight scheduling switches and substitutions. That’s because the Ranch is hosting the Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic, a fundraising contest to help out our great friend, Sue. This is an opportunity to show your writing chops and win a cash prize as well. You can also take part in the Parade of Sue celebrations. The due date for the contest is Friday, February 19th.

There’s also the Sue Vincent Special Collection Challenge of January 28, 2021: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about life as a river of consciousness. Think about the possibilities of the prompt. Go where the prompt leads! Respond to this one by February 11, 2021.