#SixSentenceStories; Fluid

A Six Sentence Story is a story told in exactly six sentences. It could also be a six lined or six stanza poem; it could be a soc, a bots, or creative non-fiction. This week’s prompt word, provided by our hostess Denise, at GirlieontheEdge is “fluid“. This is a double, yeah, a 12-pac, featuring two favorite characters.

Monitoring by D. Avery

“Marge Small, what is so awfully wrong underneath that car hood that you slammed it shut, cursing a blue streak all the while?”

“What’s wrong, Ilene, is that there shouldn’t be anything wrong, but there is something totally wrong, because this engine is ruined, all because some dumbasses can’t even be bothered to check their fluids!”

“Hey, don’t yell at me, I’ve been checking my own fluids since I first laid eyes on a dipstick.”

“Uh-huh; let me wash up and we’ll join Nard and the guys at the bar. Your blue eyes indicate you’re a quart low.”

“And your brown eyes indicate that you’re full of it.”

Marge drummed the steering wheel, driving in silence.  

“Marge, it’s just a car. And it wasn’t your fault, there was nothing you could do.”

“My father taught me to check engine fluids when I was just a little girl,” Marge said, still staring straight ahead. “He showed me how to check the old oil for grit, gunk, metal filings; he knew the importance of monitoring fluids… Ilene, when I saw him in that hospital bed, bags of fluids dripping into him, them testing his blood for this that and the other… And then them telling me there was nothing they could do, he’d let it go too long…

Ilene sat in the truck with her friend until Marge was ready to join the guys inside at the bar.

#99Word Stories; Well’s Gone Dry

The May 23, 2022, story challenge from Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch is to: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase “well’s gone dry.” Is it a real well or a metaphorical well? Why is it dry? What is the consequence and to whom? Go where the prompt leads! Submit at Carrot Ranch by May 28, 2022.

My response is a Double Ennead, a syllabic poetry form created by Colleen Cheseboro. A Double Ennead usually doesn’t rhyme but I played with a rhyme scheme.

Well’s Gone Dry by D. Avery      

in wind-stormed time of drought

nothing shines but rust

silt and sand swirled colors of the silent muse

faded promise wrung out

sunbaked bone and dust

in hard times, hard to trust

to shake fear and doubt

to beseech again and again be refused

one must do as one must

seeding one’s own clouds

with faith of rooting sprouts

breaking through the crust 

dream of green catching glistening drops of dew

if muse gasps, one must shout

wake up dreams long hushed

Be sure to go to Carrot Ranch to read the complete “Mom Selfies” collection from last week. And there’s always the Ranch Yarns with Kid and Pal’s responses HERE.

#PicoftheWeek; My Happy Place

all roads led me home
among familiar creatures
crossing to safety

For Maria Antonia‘s #picoftheweek photo challenge I am crossing off the “My Happy Place” square on the bingo sheet. For the first time in five weeks the picture is from my back yard, and for me is a pleasant reminder of springs past. I’ve always enjoyed these juvenile Eastern Newts, or red efts.

Check out Maria’s  #2022picoftheweek to see how you can participate in this fun challenge using the bingo sheet as a prompt.

#SixSentenceStories; Detour

A Six Sentence Story is a story told in exactly six sentences. It could also be a six lined or six stanza poem; it could be a soc, a bots, or creative non-fiction. This week’s prompt word, provided by our hostess Denise, at GirlieOntheEdge, is “detour“.

Six Sentence Detour

She didn’t feel up to a dinner party, not on the very day she finally was back in her own home, but for this hostess she would make an effort, would throw together a six-bean salad for the potluck buffet, would make an appearance, would at least be seen on the scene before ducking out and retreating to reflect on her long strange detour.

For she wasn’t yet ready to talk about where she’d been and the beautiful, austere lands she’d seen— damaged yet enduring lands that, despite dust storms, droughts, wildfires, and floods, still managed to inspire a sense of wonder and a modicum of hope.

She’d found some people living in those lands to also admire for their endurance and adaptability, but mostly the trip had made her weary and wary of the lands’ people, not of those many she’d seen that didn’t have a meal, let alone a home, but of the many more that looked the other way, that tossed blame instead of help or empathy.

And now a dinner party?

Well, these gathered people with their stories, as colorful, as sweet and sour as her proffered salad, might be good medicine for her subdued mood. No more detours— time to break bread at the Bistro, with its down-home cooking, served with all the sixin’s.

#PicoftheWeek; Numbered

I am still away from home. Presently I am in Georgia and have chosen the “Numbered” square from  Maria Antonia‘s bingo sheet for her #picoftheweek photo challenge.

The numbered grave markers in this photo are in the cemetery at Andersonville, the Camp Sumpter Civil War military prison where thousands died as a result of the adverse conditions.

When Dorence Atwater was there in 1864, he worked in the hospital *where he recorded the names and grave locations of the deceased. He secretly copied this list and smuggled it out when he was released. After the war he asked the War Department to publish the list but they refused. He met Clara Barton, a battlefield nurse, who was looking for missing soldiers. She was eager to help. Barton accompanied Dorence and the US Army Quartermaster expedition to Andersonville to mark the graves of the dead. Atwater’s death register, published in 1866, enabled many families to locate their loved ones. Thanks to his work, over 95 percent of the graves were identified.*

        (the italicized words were lifted directly from the National Park Service’s brochure)

Over 13,000 are buried here. It remains an active veterans’ cemetery.

Maria has updated the bingo sheet with 25 new categories for April, May, and June. Check out Maria’s  #2022picoftheweek to see how you can participate in this fun prompt.

#PicoftheWeek; In the Room

insatiable behemoths
ravenously famished
in a ravished land

This photo is my take on “In the Room” from  Maria Antonia‘s bingo sheet for her #picoftheweek photo challenge. It’s taken from a paved boat ramp, looking down, too far down, on Lake Powell, one of Arizona’s reservoirs. These elephantine boats are trapped, and these below are as well. What is it we’re not talking about?

Maria has updated the bingo sheet with 25 new categories for April, May, and June. Check out Maria’s  #2022picoftheweek to see how you can participate in this fun prompt.

#PicoftheWeek; Bloom

we might ask
if this plant matters
yet it blooms
without our questions

It was easy to choose “Bloom” from  Maria Antonia‘s bingo sheet for her #picoftheweek photo challenge. I have a few photos of flowers, some more iconic for this state, like cactus blossoms and the Palo Verde blooms that buzz with insects, wild flowers from the higher elevations to the north. This could be a noxious weed for all I know, but I admire its tenacity. It was doing what it could in the thin soil above Cottonwood, AZ.

Maria has updated the bingo sheet with 25 new categories for April, May, and June. Check out Maria’s  #2022picoftheweek to see how you can participate in this fun prompt.

Robbie Cheadle reads! Poetry Treasures 2; Relationships

Why I enjoy poetry anthologies

By Robbie Cheadle

I have always enjoyed reading poetry. My love started with nursery rhymes which I read repeatedly when I was a child. I had some personal favourites including The Owl and the Pussy-Cat, There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly, and Who Killed Cock Robin. My enjoyment of nursery rhymes developed rather naturally into a delight in poetry.

When I was at school, we were made to learn certain poems off by heart. This was required for both English, my first language, and Afrikaans, my secondary language.

Astonishingly, some of the poems I learned impacted me so much, I can still recite them. Do you recognise these lines?

            “When you hear it languishing

and hooing and cooing, and sidling through the front teeth,

the Oxford voice

            or worse still

            the would-be Oxford voice

            you don’t even laugh any more, you can’t.”

OR

            “But only a host of phantom listeners  

            That dwelt in the lone house then

Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight  

To that voice from the world of men:

Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,  

That goes down to the empty hall,

Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken  

            By the lonely Traveller’s call.”

Over time, my enjoyment of reading poetry evolved into a pleasure in writing poetry. For me, poetry is like a pressure valve, writing it allows me to work through emotions and thoughts that plague me and I use my poems to try to make sense of them. I have poems about corporate life, relationships, poverty in Africa, and lately, the demise of the creatures that populate our beautiful planet, with a focus on South Africa.

When I started blogging in August 2016, I planned to use my blog as a way of sharing my own poetry and thoughts about poetry. I had no idea when I took that initial step that I would be entering a marvellous world of creators. Over the past five and a half years, I’ve met poets, writers, artists, and photographers and entered a world of creative learning beyond anything I’d experienced before.

With specific regard to poetry, I realised that I could learn to see things differently, to appreciate

how other people viewed a picture or prompt and how their thought processes differed from my own. I opened a door to a whole new world of poetry forms.

This, is a nutshell, is why I love poetry anthologies. They are a doorway into the minds, ideas, and poetic thoughts of a spectrum of other creatives. I love discovering new poets and partaking of their work in bite sized chunks and an anthology often leads me to purchase more of selected poets’ work. I enjoy learning from others under the combined artistic endeavour of a poetry anthology.

Today, in celebration of WordCrafter Press’ new anthology, Treasuring Poetry 2: Relationships, I have selected three poems from the book to recite to you.

Firstly, A Jar, by D Avery.

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/GoQdb1tGANk

Secondly, The Red Petticoat by Elizabeth Merry.

Thirdly, She Lives Yet She is Dead by myself, Robbie Cheadle.

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you like poetry anthologies? Let me know in the comments.

Purchase Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships

https://books2read.com/u/3kP8aK

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with ten children’s books and two poetry books.

The eight Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie has also published two books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Robbie has two adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories, in the horror and paranormal genre, and poems included in several anthologies.

Robbie writes two monthly posts for https://writingtoberead.com called Growing Bookworms and Treasuring Poetry and one monthly post, under the name of Roberta Eaton Cheadle, called Dark Origins: African Myths and Legends.

Robbie has a blog, https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/ where she shares book reviews, recipes, author interviews, and poetry.

Follow Robbie Cheadle

Website

https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog

Twitter

#PicoftheWeek; The Sky

Hello, briefly. I am still on a writing and blogging break, but here is a picture inspired from Maria Antonia‘s bingo sheet for her #picoftheweek photo challenge. This is a sunset sky west of Tucson. We’re farther north now and have seen a lot of amazing and fragile terrain.

Have a good week!

Maria has updated the bingo sheet with 25 new categories for April, May, and June. Check out Maria’s  #2022picoftheweek to see how you can participate in this fun prompt.