three cherry blossoms
barely cover your modesty
ah! what joy in spring!
three cherry blossoms
barely cover your modesty
ah! what joy in spring!
A cloud of poison
Didn’t hide the sun
Invisible to us
But not our organs
Twenty eight years ago today
The cloud came our way
They called it a nuclear disaster
When an explosion rocked the reactor
And these days the lichen is still poisoned
And years of babies stillborn
Figures hard to fathom
Cause governments still hide them
The Finnish government changed criteria for deformations
The Belorussian one reminds us of 3 million starved under Stalin
The Russian government is just Putin
But people are still dying
Thousands of children sick for all their lives
Living in institutions
As a result of that explosion
In reactor four in Ukraine
The largest amount of radioactivity ever released
But still thousands of times less
Than the bomb tests
In the Pacific Ocean….
The Chernobyl nuclear power disaster that contributed to the end of the Soviet Union is twenty seven million tears old today….
Aye well, there I was, in Nagyatad, early 1990s, trying to do something for the Bosnian refugees. Nagytad, a town in southern Hungary, bordering Croatia and near Bosnia, and where busloads of Bosnian refugees were sent. Anti-tourists, staring from bus windows, not in shock, not in boredom, not in anything actually. War survivors are just like you and me, and are not a special breed of kittens needing petting, or incapables needing shouted at to stand in line. But one of the penchants of our western world is organisation and efficiency, so they do get shouted at, and organised. But what is almost worse is the sentimentality that afflicts many. And refugees make ideal people to coo at.
In Nagyatad new arrivals were locked in a cage for a week or two. The UN supplied finances to pay doctors to check for illnesses and disease, but the greedy Hungarians pocketed the cash and put new refugees in cages to see if any disease developed. If not they were chucked into the dorms or sent to the dark corridors of the psychiatric wing, in this ex-Soviet military camp with radioactive grounds and tiled paintings of tanks firing emblazoned on walls.
I befriended a young blond woman who lived in one of the cages, a few days before I left. It was a strange friendship, her, bubbly, glad to be alive, in fetching red polkadotted dress, about to suffer her breakdown, and me, absurdly and stoically upset, knowing more details about her family in Bosnia than her.
when I think of her
I hope she is free now
in all ways
Ye gods, what a difficult prompt, that others will as usual take in their stride! I saw some beautiful haiku in yesterday’s prompt, here (Maniparna), here (Gillena) and here (Celestine). But also here (Ese) and many more…
‘Photographing’ seems tough. What clever imagery could we evoke? Striking the right balance in a haiku is difficult, and I think I’m going to find a vintage Japanese photograph to sprinkle with words.
a dream makes me
they let the balloons go
on jagged branches
in the tumbling snow
on the jagged edges
of jagged stone
were let loose
from the palms of our hands
from the psalms
of our defunct books
so much was left unsaid
by too much innocence
too numbed by cold
nothing to say
before we passed
the real tests
moved to our caves
let our balloons take our stories
far from us
in sunset skies
and jagged branches
where even the snow had dried
and we wonder
if we ever really tried?
I can give up all
but not my bellydancer’s holy dance
Everyone remembers rain. I think rugby players have a special affinity for rain, when it is pouring down, and you are losing by 2, or 3 points, with as many minutes left to play. Chests are heaving after a break in play, trying, fighting to get oxygen and energy in, and vapour is rising in steam.
The rain pours, the drops skirting eyelids, sliding on the vaseline smeared there if you are a forward, part of the pack, but not noticed anyway. The captain making a secret signal, ball in hand, ready to take the free kick, the referee about to blow his whistle for the kick to be taken, but checking his watch anyway.
The ball about to be tapped, then thrown like a bullet into my chest, where I must grab it and hold, and be pushed over the line to get those 5 points. Must not fumble that slippery ball, or tumble when my team hit from behind to shove me over the line, as the other team line up, ready.
Then my team mate sees the butterfly in our path. Breaks away, scoops it up carefully, runs to a woman with an umbrella, watching, puts the butterfly on her arm. The referee looks on, bemused, then blows the whistle. The ball slaps into my sodden chest in the pouring rain. We charge, hit, hard.
But the butterfly is safe.
in the monsoon
one raindrop lands
on a butterfly
I learnt something that day. And life goes on.
Sometimes it feels like that’s all there is left. Two old warrior’s we felt ourselves to be, at the kitchen table this morning, my painter and I. Both about the same age. In his youth he’d been a UN blue beret – attached to the UN through the Finnish army. In my youth, with my beret green, I’d been in exactly the same area, with the French military, Lebanon, Syria, Israel. We’d perhaps even been only yards apart at times.
And both of us knew that rare thing. We both knew and felt the lies so often told about the Middle East by our western governments and press, this ex-UN soldier, attached with his Finnish regiment, and I. He’d witnessed a Norwegian UN soldier, a woman, beaten up by Israelis when she had a flat tyre and was trying to flag a car down for help, though it was true she was in uniform and Israelis revile the UN – but her thumb up gesture was also a dire insult in Israel. I’d heard about it. We both saw or heard about many incidents.
We drunk our coffee, and we knew the lies.
“But still the dates grew in the trees, all year round,” he said, “and the olives too, until those crazy extremist Jewish settlers burnt all the olive groves.”
“That was, and still is terrible,” I said, “and never talked about.”
The cold crept in trough the open kitchen window. I shivered.
“When I was a child, all our winters were cold, full of snow,” he said, looking out the window with me, at the trees just starting to bud. “This year winter did not come properly but still the cold lingers.”
“Yeah,” I said.
“Maybe that is how it is now,” he said, “never really starting, or ever finished.”
flowering spring won’t be today
I miss absent palm trees
Before I post my haiku, or you read it, I’d be honoured if you just took a few minutes to watch this video of the guys – gypsy dancers I know from far back. If anyone thinks this is easy stuff, well, I think you might want to try it. know exactly how hard it is, and remember one night with guitars, milk jugs, my bongo drum and an Australian with didgeridoo. A beautiful night but some of the toughest dancing ever to learn. But its the synchronicity also – just watch how it builds up, and you’ll go some way to understanding my love for the roma people, the gypsies. Worth every minute, this short video.
dances her path before me
-a romany blessing
To finish off see how the music reaches deep in this gypsy home. These roma are quite light-skinned, and in my experience more so than the lovely bronze tone some friends had. Makes no difference of course, once a gypsy always a gypsy for many of the European population, who discriminate against roma people, the largest minority in Europe, in the crudest of ways.
in the thunderous solitude
the answer lies within
In order to justify them killing you, you invent the crime. “I deserve to die,” you say to yourself. It doesn’t pay to get too religious on these occasions — the next thing you’ll be doing is repenting.
In our cells waiting to be shot we are a club with the same aim: to get out alive. Personally, I think of childhood. Maybe I should have played with dolls. Instead bullets will be my last medals.
If anyone finds this note; “I died a man.” That is, I fought till the end, and ran, blindfolded, hands tied behind my back, in my last faltering steps of freedom.
friday fictioneers 100 Word stories ¤ run so well by ms rochelle wisoff-fields
If Jesus was a woman
and not a lesbian
Would there still be feminism?
Would religion start to make sense to me?
And would she have worn a bra?
Could she possibly have had
Along with line in fine lingerie
for those seeking salvation
in the arms of a woman
Would her twelve disciples have been women too?
Would they have cross-dressed
or simply just had more style?
And would she have hung from the cross?
And would Peterina
Upon arrival in Rome
have been hung upside down?
If the Buddha had been all-woman
would she have sat under tree so long?
If Stalin had been a little girl
from somewhere deep in the Urals
would the gulags have functioned so well?
Its only Mick Jagger
that would remain the same
if history could be changed
To be herstory
And of course me
I would be une Lesbienne
-as I secretly am
“D-d-d don’t look like much to me,” had started ol’ Dawkins, but his job was to tether the mules.
“I’ll take a picture of the markings from above, and get a better idea,” said KZ, her white scarf fluttering across her face, disarming my thoughts.
“Tough flying through those mountains,” I replied.
“I do tough,” she said.
Her white scarf had flowed in the air stream as she flew over the high plateau in her prop plane.
She landed smoothly in the sand below us.
“So what are they?” I shouted down.
She motioned with her gloved hands.
“I think she’s sayin’ p-p-p-penis,” Dawkins stuttured.
“Probably ones that bite, knowing KZ!” I grinned aloud.
Thanks very much to Rochelle! Pic this week by Danny Bowman. For Friday Fictioneers 100 word stories.
”That’s a nice view you’ve got over the village, Count.”
”Indeed, Inspector. So what was the visit about again?” The Count arched an eyebrow of inquisition as he loomed forward behind him to better hear.
”The missing young village women,” the Inspector said turning sharply at the window to the sudden shadow.
”Ah yes, rather unfortunate affair, has somewhat punctured the village’s image as a location of private repose,” the Count said humbly, as he proffered a plate of dark cakes; ”biscuit?” he added.
”Why thank you, Count,” the Inspector said, ”chocolate?”
”Dried blood, actually,” replied the Count, absentmindedly.
99 words, pic this week by Sandra Cook ¤ un grand merci pour Rochelle!
Kept well to the
a woman is a lantern
not broom to clean my mind
shine for me, I cannot see
I wonder what the difference is between pilgrim and refugee. Both seek shelter from the world. It is true that they both might pass each other on the road, dressed in similar clothes, with the similar, hunted look in the eyes, or upon the face. Of course, the pilgrim wants to come back, and the refugee does not. And the pilgrim is rushing to his god, while the refugee is running away from someone else’s god. But aside from these differences, they are both somewhat similar in nature, more or less.
shooting star at night
or floating ember from fire
grasshopper guesses wrong
The goal of this feature is to write an all new haiku which starts with the given first line.
.This week’s haiku has to start with the following first line:
a shooting star
a shooting star
¤ ¤ ¤
What percentage of bloggers, on say, WordPress (or Tumblr or Blogger) are serial killers?
Have you unknowingly ‘liked’ a serial killer’s post, or even told him you ‘loved’ what he wrote?
The USA has 7% of the world’s population, and 76% of its known serial killers. American bloggers on WordPress represent 70% of bloggers (Figures for Tumblr and Blogger are probably comparable.).
There are 6.2 million regular bloggers across the board.
Women make up the majority of bloggers.
At any one day in the United States the FBI estimate that between 35 and 50 serial killers are active and on the loose.
I would say that it is quite likely that you have been having a giggle with a serial killer or two, wouldn’t you?
He may have already killed a few bloggers, and we would never know.
Unpleasant thought, isn’t it.
I worked as a safety officer for many years. Let me define the serial killer as we profiled them, when our remit included suburban housing estates and schools, and adapt it to the blogosphere.
The serial killer on WordPress, or Tumblr, or Blogger, will be:
As we say in safety, it only takes one mistake. Striking up a friendship with a blogger represents an ideal opportunity for a serial killer, and murder travels.
Some known serial killers – and unknown. Source Wikipedia.
This is a list of unidentified serial killers. It includes circumstances where a suspect has been charged, but not convicted.
Mr Pipduttleding and Ms Cutieyana shared somewhat cordial relations for three season of the year. This year, however, M Cutieyana had had enough.
“WHAT are you doing NOW?” she shouted up to Pipduttleding.
“Vot you think I doing, I gleaning my yard, that’s vot!” said Pipduttleding, of Hungarian extraction-
“Gottverdamung!” shouted Ms Cutieyana, an Australian native, “if you cause one more avalanche on me you will pay!”
“Ha!” shouted Pipcuttleding, downwards.
Next morning the snowmachine that woke him hurtled snow against his door so efficiently he was unable to open it. Ms Cutieyana kept it on five days, as well she might, plugged in, as it was, to Pipduttleding’s kitchen plug
Rochelle Wisoff-Fields runs these FF 100 word challenges so well. Photo this week by my esteemed colleague from across the Archipelago sea, Björn Rudberg