Thursday, September 29, 2022

Wild Dandelion Dreams

I get lost in Pluto’s remaining eye; not the planet, but the red-eyed black cat a friend crafted out of a story by Poe. I stare until my pain blurs the feline’s smirk. Still, my mind can’t ignore what the Cecilios are cooking for dinner—wild dandelion greens with vinegar and garlic, by the sour smell and weediness of the flowers’ screams.

The Cecilios are good people. They took me in, and treat me well, after so many other foster families had used faith and fist to beat their demons out of me. I just wish they could sense the dandelions’ suffering.

I close my eyes, take deep breaths, and begin building a stone wall between my facial expressions and the flower’s hurt. I dislike dulling my perception of their feelings—if they have to endure the agony, the least I can do is acknowledge it—but if the Cecilios think me mad, they’ll throw me out before I can offer any help to anyone.

When my wall feels sturdy enough, I walk back to the Cecilio’s home, thinking, Rest in peace, little sisters, I promise I to find a way to reclaim your spirit. 

I stumble when I reach the Cecilio’s kitchen. My wall cracks under a wave of phantom heat, and the garden of terrifyingly hopeful voices that whispers through.

“We hear you, big sister,
dreams and blooms burned in their dark
will sprout in your light.”

- for Poets and Storytellers United--Friday Writings #46: Different Points of View (the prompt asks for one piece of poetry or prose written from two different points of view. I chose to combine the two in fictional haibun, the prose from the point of view of one character and the senryu from the point of view of other characters). 

Friday, September 23, 2022


I grow peace in the purple sweet of lavender, in hardy roots that find power in their home soil, in bee-kissed blooms that scent cloud and sky. I chant of birthing green, of filling bellies, of calming dreams. I touch my cheek to lavender sprigs… and skin-to-leaf, we share our wants and needs. I sing to them of foresting stories in the soothing dark, plants hum to me of seeds in the sun and of rain in the night. I grow peace in the purple sweet of lavender, resting in scent, in color, in life.

photo by Heather Ford, on Unsplash

- yesterday, the Northern Hemisphere celebrated the Autumn Equinox. I spent it collecting seeds from my garden, and hoping for gentler days for the world (for my flesh and bones, too).  

 - for Poets and Storytellers United--Friday Writings #45: War and Peace.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Life Doesn’t Suck

not-quite Journaling, 42

8/30/2022: My left arm and leg are swollen. Fine, my entire body is inflamed, but the left side is about 15% bigger. It started with my arm. I didn’t worry because I have a collection of tears around my left rotator cuff, which exacerbates my lymphedema. Then my left leg began to swell…

So, I’m about to see the vascular surgeon, to figure out if my breast cancer meds are doing nasty things to my circulatory and lymphatic systems. I have 23 months left on this meds (and all the side effects). Sometimes, that knowledge makes me want to rage. Then I remember that the alternative could’ve involved not breathing, and the raging feeling goes away.

Things aren’t exactly pleasant, at the moment, but as J.R. Rim said, “Sunflowers end up facing the sun, but they go through a lot of dirt to find their way there.” All right, so I’m more of a daisy, and my sunflowers are actually growing in small pots—with less than ½ a gallon of dirt—but I really wanted to use the quote. 😁


 September morning
smells a lot like October,
     on corn harvest day

9/4/2022: The yield wasn’t grand, when compared to the work and space the plants take in my wee garden, but the thought of tasting popcorn I grew from seed (and the scent of the dry stalks coming through my window) makes it worthwhile.


9/5/2022: Inspired by a conversation I overheard, while waiting to see my OCD therapist. Someone—whom I truly hope wasn’t a therapist—said to a pain management patient, “A strong relationship withstands anything. And your love is strong. You two will be fine.” Since walking up to the pair, and shouting “That’s a load of crap”, might’ve been slightly inappropriate, I wrote this senryu instead.

9/13/2022: The first gloriosa daisy of the season bloomed minimalistic (I should take a petal from its book, and slimdown my closet *cough*).


 9/13/2022: The results of my venous study are back. All is good. So, life doesn’t suck.

- for Poets and Storytellers United--Friday Writers #44: To Err Is Human.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

This Love

not-quite Journaling, 41

“He’s so damned nice and he’s so awful.”
~ Ernest Hemingway 

 Unfortunate territory,
him. This love,
a gothic tale of horror
and desire; high-strung
and damned, this
and him.

8/2/2022: What does this 3-word story/poem bring to mind? What does it tell you about the speaker, the subject, the situation? I’m thinking about expanding it into a longer piece—if I decided to go that way, it would be fun to keep your thoughts about the speaker, subject, and situation in mind.


8/17/2022: Crafted on the back of the last blackout poem I posted (the one above). It was influenced by a comment @msmisantropia left on my “I always think of you, at night” poem. She said, “Heathcliff, it’s me…” which left me giggling and thinking gothic thoughts. Together, they read: Unfortunate territory, / him. This love, / a gothic tale of horror / and desire. If I ever expand these bits into a full-length poem/story, I’ll give it a happy ending—the world has enough real tragedy and heartbreak; fiction can (or, at least, should) do better, if only for a bit.


9/7/2022: I stitched this blackout from the point of view of one of the main characters in the story I’m currently working on. Now I must decide if she cares about the predicted doom (and will let go of the relationship), or if she is attracted to tumultuous (and possibly painful) love. Hm, I hope not—I tend not to have a lot of patience with characters who don’t walk away when they should. What are your favorite kinds of romantic relationships in fiction?

- for Poets and Storytellers United--Friday Writings #43: Toxic Love.