Friday, May 17, 2024

1608 - Pythia

 


The Sunday Whirl presents twelve words for us to use in a creative writing piece.  

This weeks words are:
waves, slip, void, soul, restless, dark, chanting, flickering, pulse, chance, marble, fan


Pythia

The language of excitement is at best picturesque merely.
You must be calm before you can utter oracles.
-- Henry David Thoreau

The fumes come in waves
From cracks in the rock.
Attendant priestesses chant,
Hypnotic, rhythmic, throbbing—
In time with the pulse of the oracle.

There, seated on a tripod,
In the moonlight, flickering,
The petitioners, restless, wait
For their answer. Is it war?
Do we chance our arm? Or not?
Lives are at stake. Fortunes.

She sits quietly, surrounded
By the protective and the anxious,
A reflective soul in a trance,
Her mind mingling with the divine.
Oblivious to those around her,
She slips in and out of their world,
Their concerns, the dark voids
Of their fears and ambitions.

Cloistered in her marble temple,
Where flickering torches dance on stone,
Her answers ripple through the empire,
Like shadows cast and then gone.
And so she sits. And thinks.
Surety brings ruin.

Friday, May 10, 2024

1607 - The Journey of a River Stone

 

The Sunday Whirl presents twelve words for us to use in a creative writing piece.  
This weeks words are:

pebble, shiny, laden, ghost, mingled, blisters, gasping, vanishing, empty, scatter, forest, shadows


The Journey of a River Stone

In matters of style, swim with the current; 
in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
--Thomas Jefferson

Forged by the earth,
My start did not direct my end.
I was bigger then, rougher,
Laden with hope, perhaps,
Hope mingled with expectation.
I am bold and boulder. 
Weather played with me,
Bits blistered off, scree, pebbles,
Slowly parting, vanishing.
Cracks formed in me, I broke,
I parted with myself.
All families disperse, scatter.
No time to feel empty.
A river embraces me, rushes me,
Tumbling, gasping through rapids,
Tough times polish us.
I become smooth and shiny.
Eventually the river calms
I too calm, shallow waters
Beneath a forest canopy.
Sunlight and shadows flicker.
They say I have spirits, spirituality
Possibly even ghosts.


Wednesday, May 01, 2024

1606 - The Forest

 


The Sunday Whirl presents twelve words for us to use in a creative writing piece.  
This weeks words are:

vast salty simmering habits mind trickle secretive brim axe roots shadows stones


The Forest

“If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, 
you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything.”
― Alan Watts

Beneath the vast canopy, 
Encased in green velvet,
The forest embraces us.
Roots and branches mesh
Shadows and clearings
Animals, secretive, furtive,
Captives of their own habits.
Birds heard, seldom seen.
An axe, leans agains a tree,
Rusty, abandoned but for the moss,
Moss shared by the stones, logs.
A creek trickles and tinkles,
Fresh, clear, not salty
Part of the orchestra of the forest.
Brim full of sounds, adagio
Simmering, interlaced.
If you have a mind to listen,
A mind to connect.

-x-

Saturday, April 27, 2024

1605 - The Walker

 




The Sunday Whirl presents twelve words for us to use in a creative writing piece.  
This weeks words are:

draw cracks sly sliver sleepy footprints stories moon outskirts wispy sky sea


The Walker

Narrator
It is twilight, faint moonlight shows the way
Movement! Noise! Mew. All cats are grey.
Steps of a lone walker, crunch the track.

The Walker
I know not where I am going, how can I go back?

Narrator
We are on the outskirts of the town, the sea below
Down the cliff, washes the sand with salt and foam.

The Walker
The stars fill the sky above me, a few wispy clouds drifting by,
Behind pulled curtains people get sleepy, by and by,
Cracks, mere slivers of light, escape the curtains,
Living their lives, oblivious to me.  Of that I’m certain.

Narrator
He leaves neither footprints nor other signs

The Walker
I am passing through with no designs
There are no conclusions to discuss or draw
I've never been in this place before—
I just am.  An innocent bystander passing by.

Narrator
In the dark, the cat watches: cautious, still, and sly.

Friday, April 19, 2024

1604 - The Crystal Ball

 


The Sunday Whirl presents twelve words for us to use in a creative writing piece.  
This weeks words are:

twigs, divine, wake, blood, wallow, cell, memory, 
ancestors, crystal, creation, ledge, unbroken


The Crystal Ball

As twigs sprout where old leaves once lay,  
Through divine breath, life finds its way.
In its wake, a memory of ancestors past,
A blood-line that will likely outlast
Those who would destroy this creation,
Ignoring its causation,
Destroying its foundation,
Oblivious to implied probation,
Teetering on the ledge of annihilation,
It is our home, it is our cell,
What the future offers is not hard to tell,
As we wallow in our self-made residue
Unbroken, the cycle spins anew,  
We crew are just superfluous—
The planet has no need for us.


Wednesday, April 10, 2024

1603 - The Chief

 



The Sunday Whirl presents twelve words for us to use in a creative writing piece:
Nibbles, slithers, spoon, platform, shards, root, constellations, limbs, dreary, spell, shake, wet
I confess I didn't use them all


The Chief.


It was a high-class affair where every day he’d prepare
Extraordinary culinary thrills.
This was no “Eat at Joe’s”. No, not even close
T’was platform to showcase his skills.
He used spoons in a way that the experts would say
Was surely poetry in motion, (they’d know).
His root veg were fine diced, then pureed and spiced
But it was all a bit of a show
A show,
A show,
It was all a bit of a show.


Each day was a quest to better the best,
What joys would he next unleash?
He used shards of toffee to sweeten black coffee
And slivers of truffle in the quiche
It had to be seen what he did with green beans
And his souffles invariably thrilled.
His batters were beery but never thought dreary
And the fish queued up to be grilled.
To be grilled
To be grilled
The fish queued up to be grilled.


Michellin said ‘Huzzah!’, we’ve found a new star
A constellation to rival Orion.
This chef is so swell, we are all in his spell
And he does it with out even tryin’.
But never let it said that it went to his head
The staff, he considered them blood-line.
At the end of the night, they dimmed all the lights 
And nibbled on cheese and red wine,
Red wine,
Red wine,
They nibbled on cheese and red wine.

Monday, April 01, 2024

1602 - Memento mori

 


The Sunday Whirl presents twelve words for us to use in a creative writing piece:
creation seeds waters blood breathe turtle sacred bones curve sky pray heal


Memento mori

From that moment of creation,
That bloody, noisy show,
We wish to find causation,
The reason for our woe.

We know it must be there, hiding,
Like some turtle in the weeds.
Why can’t it be confiding,
And fill our basic needs?

There’s little sacred about our life,
Just bones and mostly water
Existence pivots on a knife:
Long for some, too often shorter.

That’s not to say life’s profane,
We cherish and adore,
There is so much we’d do again,
And again, as we often have before.

We look and pray towards the sky 
But pass from and to the soil,
Like seeds that think and try
To comprehend their mortal coil.

Time heals all wounds they say,
But time is curved, not straight.
How can we know from day to day
What lands upon our plate?

Is there a reason for this life?
To breathe and love and die?
To bid farewell to a loving wife
But to never know just why?

Yet, as we lament those now past
The same fate waits us all.
Nothing good is sure to last
And we all will get the call.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

1601 - Chambers of Amber

 


                                The Sunday Whirl presents twelve words for us to use:
amber rumpled holiness skin ancient bones invisible weep chambers three seeds spiral



Chambers of Amber

No rumpled memories of you for me,
They are sharp and crystal clear.
I daily miss you desperately
And most readily shed a tear.

When I look at what life gave to you
And took you early from this place
I struggle with those fine purveyors 
Of holiness, divinity and grace.

I miss the contact, intimate, of skin
On willing skin; a spoon affair.
Holding you in that warm embrace,
Flesh on flesh, the odour of your hair.

I wept for you but weep for me
As I wander through this land
A stranger now set free (an odd idea)
With no-one here to hold my hand.

We are a bag of meat and bones
A thinking pot roast, presented lightly,
So what is that unseen essence, 
That holds my heart so tightly?

Ancient wisdom, Seneca of course, says
Be strong, love what is,  just be.
It is the seed of a future that is to come.
But how can I release the past when it is me?

What’s past is past and cannot change
Like amber that entombs a gnat or three
It just remains suspended tightly there 
As a loving, cherished memory.

Friday, March 22, 2024

1600 - Patchwork

 


The Sunday Whirl presents the following words for us to use:
flesh sand clay scarce drifted pearl page split pick veil rose gem
I opted for a medley of Senryu.


The touch of warm flesh—
A very human pleasure;
I miss that contact.

The relentless sand.
The hourglass drains
And life flows away.

Life can be mucky:
Surrounded by swamps and clay.
A trap for your feet.

True friends are quite scarce.
Promises are made and kept
By those you can trust.

How did I come here?
What was I even thinking?
In truth, I drifted.

It’s a metaphor:
Layers upon more layers—
My life as a pearl.

The pages will turn
But what we write upon them?
That is the question.

Opinions are split.
The conundrum of our time.
Add milk first? Or tea?

So much to choose from—
What is good and what is bad?
You can take your pick.

An erotic show:
The dance of the seven veils.
Or so I am told.

I planted a rose
On the day she became ill.
Just the rose remains.

Life can seem dirty
But beneath the dust and filth
The gems are still there.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

1599 - Whispers in the Gloaming

 


The Sunday Whirl presents the following words for us to use:

Wonder, stained, gloaming, emerge, prayer, hours, grateful,
seeds, chances, whispered, smudge, conjuring


Whispers in the Gloaming

In the twilight hours that end the day
My loss, most sharp, appears.
Demons emerge in shades of grey
And conjure heartfelt tears.

I miss you so, you filled my space,
More than I thought you could,
Your love, your laugh, your warm embrace,
Your sense of right and good.

You added wonder to my life,
Tempered my prosaic bent,
I’m so glad you chanced to be my wife,
An adventure, with consent.

What does the future hold for me?
The crystal ball is smudged.
What seeds will now unfold for me?
How will my prayers be judged?

I have so much to be grateful for,
That I had you for so long.
I thought I would cope that fateful hour,
Clearly, I was wrong.



Tuesday, March 05, 2024

1598 - The Reset

 

The Sunday Whirl presents the following words for us to use:
sober bees urgent lunges angel swirls water mind frenzied scream light sunset

The Reset

I

The sun went through its cycle: from sunrise to sunset, warming the earth.
Bees went soberly about their business in the gentle morning light.
Moths and butterflies too, though more haphazard, less sober.
Birds flitted, animals grazed, the jungles and savannahs grew.
The waters burbled and swirled.  Fish did what fishes do.
There was no urgency to the world.


II

Somewhere, on the savannah, an ape stood erect.
Other apes too.  Confrontation.  Battle.
A rock crushed a skull.  A stick pierced skin.
Frenzied fighting.  Lunges.  Screams.
Tribal cries of triumph reverberated.
Technology.  Better weapons.
Arrows.
Swords.
Guns.
Cannons.
Rockets.
Missiles.
Slaughter and mayhem.
Greed and Envy.
A world had lost its mind.


III

ENOUGH! Impatience echoed through the clouds.
Birds took to the air, animals looked up.  Time stood still.
The angels screamed.


IV

The sun went through its cycle: from sunrise to sunset, warming the earth.
Bees went soberly about their business in the gentle morning light.
Moths and butterflies too, though more haphazard, less sober.
Birds flitted, animals grazed, the jungles and savannahs grew.
The waters burbled and swirled.  Fish did what fishes do.
There was no urgency to the world.