Posts Tagged With: Literature

Magpie Tales: Suspended

image by Martin Stranka

image by Martin Stranka

like a flapjack bought at a highway store
undressed from plastic on a flat top
and ejected at a reststop
I found freedom to cruise

crushed by second hand truckers on table tops
numbed by the candy I had to suck
leftover from someone’s pockets
I had to choose

barefoot on route 66
if I make it to the west coast
before 5 o’clock
you can have my ass

San Fransisco’s Golden Gate
on the back of a Harley Davidson
or maybe it was all a dream
flushed down a toilet at the rest stop

another coffee at the counter
another evening wasted almost masturbated
in this small town that’s just a dot
on a map at an old egg yoke pitstop

 

___________________

for magpie tales

Categories: Verse | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

FF 100W FF: A Hand Down Under

“And now ladies and gentlemen, our next item, ‘A vessel,‘ painted by  I. M. Juoekin. Who’ll start at five hundred pounds, anyone?”

copyright_bw_beacham

“That’s a feckin’ shoppin’ cart mate!” the Australian next to me said, his accint almost getting the better of him.

“Are you making a bid, sir?” came the frosty voice back from the podium.

Too feckin right I am, ten pounds, ye pommie baasterd!” the Australian said, loudly.

“If you’d looked carefully, sir,” said Frosty, “you’dve seen a hand with paintbrush sticking up from the sand painting the cart.”

“Hand, whose hand?” sneered Aussie.

“The painter’s, sir.”

“How?”

“Nobody knows. He was never seen again.”

____________________________

For Friday Fictioneers

indomitably run by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields – photo B W  Beacham

 

Categories: Flash Fiction | Tags: , , , | 20 Comments

Carpe Diem 2nd Ghost-Writer Week, Jen’s Tanaga

Jen at Blog It Or Lose It has introduced us to a new form, the Tanaga. Jen says that:

“Some sources call the Tanaga a “Filipino Haiku”, but that isn’t quite accurate.  Like an English haiku, the Tanaga counts syllables.  Unlike the haiku, the pattern is four lines of 7 syllables each (7-7-7-7).

The biggest difference is that the Tanaga rhymes; it has a pattern of AABB.  In addition, ancient Tanagas were handed down through oral history and contain advice.”

In addition to Tanaga, she provided a thought-inspiring tale. I shall have to do the same, and provide you here a retold, by me, tale of the Diving Woman of Oiso Bay, Japan!

A certain knight by the name of Takadai Jiro became ill in the town of Kamakura, where he had been on duty, and was advised to spend the hot month of August at Oiso, to give himself perfect rest, peace, and quietness.

Having obtained permission to do this, Takadai Jiro lost settled himself down in a small inn which faced the sea. As soon as he had secured his room he threw off his clothes and went down to bathe. Takadai was a good swimmer, and plunged into the sea without fear, going out for nearly half-a-mile. There, however, misfortune overtook him. He was seized with a violent cramp and began to sink. A fishing-boat sculled by a man with his diving-girl daughter happened to see him and went to the rescue.

The girl jumped overboard and swam to the spot where he had disappeared, and, having dived deep, brought him to the surface, holding him there until the boat came up, when by the united efforts of herself and her father Takadai was hauled on board.

Before they had reached the shore, Takadai saw that his saviour was a beautiful ama (diving-girl). Such beauty he had never seen. Takadai was in love with his brave saviour before the boat had grounded on the pebbly beach. Determined in some way to repay the kindness he had received, Takadai helped to haul their boat up the steep beach and then to carry their fish and nets to their little thatched cottage, where he thanked the girl for her noble and gallant act in saving him, and congratulated her father on the possession of such a daughter. Having done this, he returned to his inn.

From that time on the soul of Takadai knew no peace. Love of the maddest kind was on him. There was no sleep for him at night, for he saw nothing but the face of the beautiful diving-girl, whose name (he had ascertained) was Kinu. Try as he might, he could not for a moment put her out of his mind. In the daytime it was worse, for O Kinu was not to be seen, being out at sea with her father, diving for the haliotis shell and others; and it was generally the dusk of evening before she returned, and then, in the dim light, he could not see her.

At last his love grew so great that he could endure it no longer. He felt that at all events it would be a relief to declare it. So he took his most confidential servant into the secret, and despatched him with a letter to the fisherman’s cottage. O Kinu San did not even write an answer, but told the old servant to thank his master in her behalf for his letter and his proposal of marriage. ‘Tell him also,’ said she, ‘that no good could come of a union between one of so high a birth as he and one so lowly as I.

 ‘I will wait a day or two,’ thought Takadai. ‘Now that Kinu knows of my love, she may think of me, and so become anxious to see me. I will keep out of the way. Perhaps then she will be as anxious to see me as I am to see her.’

Takadai kept to his own room for the next three days, believing in his heart that O Kinu must be pining for him. On the evening of the fourth day he wrote another letter to O Kinu, more full of love than the first, despatched his old servant, and waited patiently for the answer.

When O Kinu was handed the letter she laughed and said: ‘Truly, old man, you appear to me very funny, bringing me letters. This is the second in four days, and never until four days ago have I had a letter addressed to me in my life. It is difficult for me to understand. If you gave my message to your master correctly he could not fail to know that I could not marry him. His position in life is far too high. Is your master quite right in his head?’

‘Yes: except for the love of you, my young master is quite right in his head; but since he has seen you he talks and thinks of nothing but you, until even I have got quite tired of it, and earnestly pray to Kwannon daily that the weather may get cool, so that we may return to our duties at Kamakura. For three full days have I had to sit in the inn listening to my young master’s poems about your beauty and his love. Oh, do marry him, so that we shall all be happy and go out fishing every day and waste no more of this unusual holiday.’

‘You are a selfish old man,’ answered O Kinu. ‘Would you that I married to satisfy your master’s love and your desire for fishing? I have told you to tell your master that I will not marry him, because we could not, in our different ranks of life, become happy. Go and repeat that answer.’

Poor Takadai! This time he was distressed, for the girl had even refused to meet him. What was he to do? He wrote one more imploring letter, and also spoke to O Kinu’s father; but the father said, ‘Sir, my daughter is all I have to love in the world: I cannot influence her in such a thing as her love. Moreover, all our diving-girls are strong in mind as well as in body, for constant danger strengthens their nerves: they are not like the weak farmers’ girls.

Takadai’s heart was broken. There was nothing more that he could say and nothing more that he could do. Bowing low, he left the fisherman and retired forthwith to his room in the inn, much to the consternation of his servant. Takadai that evening wrote a last note to Kinu, and as soon as the villagers of Oiso were asleep he arose and went to the cottage, slipping the note under the door. Then he went to the beach, and, after tying a large stone to a rope and to his neck, he got into a boat and rowed himself about a hundred yards from shore, where he took the stone in his arms and jumped overboard.

Next morning O Kinu was shocked to read in the note that Jiro Takadai was to kill himself for love of her. She rushed down to the beach, but could see only an empty fishing-boat some three or four hundred yards from shore, to which she swam. There she found Takadai’s tobacco box and his juro (medicine box).  She began to dive, and was not long before she found the body, which she brought to the surface, after some trouble on account of the weight of the stone which the arms rigidly grasped. O Kinu took the body back to shore, where she found Takadai’s old servant wringing his hands in grief.

The body was taken back to Kamakura, where it was buried. O Kinu was sufficiently touched to vow that she would never marry any one. True, she had not loved Takadai; but he had loved, and had died for her. If she married, his spirit would not rest in peace.

No sooner had O Kinu mentally undertaken this generous course than a strange thing came to pass.

Sea-gulls, which were especially uncommon in Oiso Bay, began to swarm into it; they settled over the exact spot where Takadai had drowned himself. Fishermen thought it extraordinary; but Kinu knew well enough that the spirit of Takadai must have passed into the gulls, and for it she prayed regularly at the temple, and out of her small savings built a little tomb sacred to the memory of Takadai Jiro.

Kinu died by drowning in a severe typhoon some nine years later than Takadai; and from that day the sea-gulls disappeared.

the way to a woman’s heart
is not the flight of a dart
but more of a labyrinth
of completely unknown length

Categories: Carpe Diem Haiku | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

FF 100 Word Stories – The Way We Were…

 

He died in Afghanistan.

I was always the wild one, but you know what they say about opposites attract. He used to read me beautiful poetry. I used to shout slogans for our cause. He bailed me out of jail. I’d told him we deserved a bailing out party.

“Your pompous patriach and his anti feminist flunky are gone for two days!” I told him.

Probably my idea to put toothpaste in the  ice cream too, and then to have the ice cream fight.”That’s the last straw!” his mother had shouted, arriving home. “The military for you, son!” said his father. Wrong war, you bastard. 

melting-wax-renee-heath femenFor FF 100W stories – run admirably by Rochelle  picture by the incomparable  Renee – extra picture of ”narrator” taken of a FEMEN  activist for women’s rights, on location, the only ‘Feminista’ group I wholeheartedly support.

Categories: Flash Fiction | Tags: , , , , | 20 Comments

Carpe Diem Haiku, Photographing

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.

geisha+hairstyle+portrait+2

photographing
a dream makes me
dream

Categories: Carpe Diem Haiku | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Carpe Diem Haiku Special, Soen Nakagawa’s “boundless autumn”

All the haiku by Soen Nakagawa have a strong, deeper, Zen layer and in this one Zen is also clearly in there. The goal of this CD Special is to write a haiku in the same sense, tone and spirit as the one by the featured haiku-poet, seen just below.


endless is my vow
under the azure sky
boundless autumn

Here is my effort.

under a great blue sky
Mongolian grasslands promise freedom
the wolf howls

Categories: Carpe Diem Haiku | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Carpe Diem Haiku’s Tan Renga

The challenge – to turn this haiku by Chevrefeuille into a tanka with two lines, hopefully of 7 syllables each.

in the backyard
the rainbow in the birdbath breaks -
a sipping Magpie
glittering reflection sways
on the sunlit garden wall

Categories: Carpe Diem Haiku | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Carpe Diem Haibun – Raindrop

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.

Categories: Carpe Diem Haiku | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

If Jesus Was a Woman (For Magpie Tales)

el greco feast-in-the-house-of-simon 1610 (1)


Feast in the House of Simon, 1610, El Greco

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
better hair?
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
Though then
I would be une Lesbienne
-as I secretly am

magpie tales statue stamp 185

Categories: Verse | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Somewhere (for wedrinkbecausewerepoets.com)

there’s a place
in my past
that I passed by
with a smile
when I should have stopped
and taken that turning

perhaps then I would not
have dropped
swatted like a fly
and instead I would have hovered above
like an eagle dressed as dove
pretended to care
for the welfare
of those with too much love

I would have worn fur coats
paid politicians to sit in my pockets
employed slaves
for my factories
and from my big fat car
I would always gaze afar
and learn to ignore
those polluted streets

but as I look back on that place
somewhere in the past
at a crossroads in my life
I’m still glad I chose me
even if they stole my dream, in those years in-between

For I still feel the taste of victory
despite it all
they never destroyed my home
never droned
me, never bombed in shock and awe
and instead just took my health
slowly
bit by bit
those criminal corporatist rich
and their itch
for more of what I do not have

And I’m still
alive

crossroads

wedrinkbecausewe’repoets

Categories: Verse | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ligo Haibun Challenge – Word Prompt

…Here’s 3 haibun we particularly liked from last week  and are mentioning here:

After two hours yesterday and nearly an hour today, I still cannot and will not nominate one over the other. The haibun are all so good for both very similar and different reasons.

See what I mean….

The prompts for this week are continued

 

Categories: Haibun | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai – Tengri, the Spirit of the Taiga/Steppes

In this haiku I am playing with Basho’s haiku, the most famous haiku written, to give a Tengrist leaning.

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small pond in grassland
frog jumps
splash carried by winds

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Categories: Carpe Diem Haiku | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Magpie Tales – The Letter

once

there was a world
where a simple hello

meant a pen
ink

the right paper
the right scratching…

View Post

Categories: Opinion | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Fictioneers 100 Word Fiction – The Invisible Man

adamickes-childsbootsThe invisible man is known to us all though precious few admit it. He’s the one we ask for advice when we need it the most, the one we say goodnight to, though there are some who keep him up all night by their pillow in vain. He’s sometimes behind you and not gone when you spin around, but then why would he care?

Some call him their absent friend and others mistake him for a lover, and ignore his childish nature. You’d think, though, that he’d get bored hiding the car keys, and remote, and reading glasses after all these years, wouldn’t you…?

………………..

For Friday Fictioneers, run by the admirable Rochelle – photo this week by Adam Ickes

Categories: Flash Fiction | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Ese’s Quote & Shoot- Intricate

052

I believe the most intricate plot won’t matter much to readers if they don’t care about the characters.
Jeff Abbott 

ese’s quote and shoot challenge

Categories: Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ese’s Shoot & Quote – Desire

055

 

Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote

The Mont d’Aravis, the highest peak on the skyline, that I climbed so many, many moons ago with my father, a beautiful climb. The desire to get to the top again so strong, but it will never be…

Most-women-desire-someone-who-makes-them-laugh-and-also-feel-safe-so-basically-a-clown-ninja                              Anomonous

Categories: Voyages | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

An Artist

picture by Semprevento

La sua bellezza sta nelle parole che soffia
Come foglie, gettato al vento
Il suo calore è nelle avvolgenti ombre di raffreddamento
La sua memoria indugia sempre nella mia mente
Come se fossero orme nella sabbia, non proprio lavato dalle onde
Eppure

Lei è esotico, le sue voci sussurra da tutti i mari
Nella brezza, profumata dai profumi toscani
Una donna, un artista che sa come respirare
La sua musica dipinti, le sue foto poesie
Le sue fotografie emozioni, creando sensazioni
Sentita

<>

Her beauty lies in the words she blows
Like leaves, cast to the wind
A warmth  in the enveloping cooling shadows
And her memory always lingering in my mind
As if they were footprints in the sand, not quite washed by the waves
Yet

She is exotic, her voice whispers from across the seas
In the breeze, scented by Tuscan perfumes
A woman, an artist who knows how to breathe
Her paintings music, her poems pictures
Her photographs emotions, creating sensations
Felt

<>

the wind blows ~ I am a tree ~ the waves whisper to me

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Categories: Verse | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Friday Fictioneers ~ Igor’s Moment Of Gory Glory

“And now, ladies and gentlemen, my prize, something I designed, a likeness of one of my……previous…guests, here at my castle, by my own hands. Igor! The covering! Unveil it!”

“Uh, Count Dracula, sir, you’ll be wanting some rest, its getting early…”

“Igor! The cloth, pull! Oh I shall do it myself!”

A stunned silence from the Count meets the ripple of applause from selected guests.

“Igor! IGOR! Where is her flowing hair? How has your face been chiselled behind her like that?”

“I thought you might like it, Count, as a memento..me holding her head, ready for you to…”

“Igor! Shut-up, imbecile!”

””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

Click on the photo to go to Friday Fictioneers – 100 word stories

Thank you to Claire Fuller for the Sculpture and photo

Categories: Flash Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

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