The nature of things

PHOTO PROMPT© Sandra Crook

He came to escape. Refresh. Clear his mind. Where better than a lodge out in the Botswana bush? Archer checked his phone for the fiftieth time. Only her screen-lock picture smiled back at him.

Outside, a masked weaver bird worked diligently on his nest. A female fluttered by and slipped inside the hanging nest. Archer knew if she liked it she would stay. Within seconds she popped out and flew off. Just like that. No warning. No goodbye. Leaving the weaver bird staring after her wondering what he did wrong.

“Chin up, buddy. The right one will stay.”

99 words

The prompt reminded me of the bright yellow weaver birds that are prominent in Botswana. There’s one that tears the leaves off of my palm tree into thin strips to weave his nest. They are such clever little things.

Honestly, I’m not sure if the females inspect the nest to their liking. Some bird species in the world build elaborate nests, complete with fancy bottle caps or shiny pieces of litter, and the female arrives to inspect it all. If she approves she simply settles right in. If not, she continues on her way.

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Write a story in 100 words or less.

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lesser-masked-we-0013

Birka

 

Maybe what I miss most

Wasn’t the beige dwellings

housing our belongings.

Though I protected them with all my might

I longed to escape their confines.

 

Maybe what I miss most

wasn’t the calm lake that spilled

into the Baltic Sea.

Though it was a silent witness

where Solveig and I made secret love

beneath the twinkling eyes of the gods.

 

Maybe what I miss most

was a curl of Elin’s yellow hair

wisping up into the air

as she loosed her lethal arrow.

Cheeks flushed.

Eyes ablaze with the glory of war.

 

Maybe what I miss most

were sounds of military merriment in the tavern.

Victorious and raucous.

While I washed the blood off of my axe

in the quietness of the lake

that swallowed our stories into the water.

 

Maybe what I miss most

were the sounds of twenty boats

breaking a path through the Baltic Sea.

The promise of fortune and fate

drawing out the heaving breaths

of my army, working the oars through the black water

towards a destination far beyond

what we could see.

 

800px-birka_sweden_viking_grave_bj_581_by_hjalmar_stolpe_in_1889

 

Inspired by the very real historical Viking Warrior, who was first assumed to be male upon excavation in 1878. (And also inspired by a song with the same refrain). Due to the remains being buried with an arsenal of weapons and a game set, used in strategic thinking, it was clear that it was a warrior’s tomb.

It took more than a hundred years later for someone to examine the bones and confirm that the lack of Y-chromosomes indicates the remains were female. This caused much controversy. But the evidence speaks for itself, and the myth of the female Viking warrior became fact.

The artifacts in the tomb indicated she was a high ranking warrior. My poem tries to capture life through the eyes of this dead warrior, in the Viking village of Birka.

Geography plays a major role in the activities and organisation of a community. In this case, Birka (located in Sweden) was a major trading post between Northern Europe and the rest of the world.

Anthropological and historical studies show that much of what the modern world perceives as uniquely masculine or feminine gets debunked by findings such as these. Where medieval and sometimes ancient customs do not have the same roles and customs assigned to specific genders as we do today.

 

Written for dVerse Poets Pub

 

**Images from Smithsonian.com. Featured Image: (Antiquity Publications Ltd./drawing by Tancredi Valeri)

 

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A reconstructed Viking Age house in Birka. Image source: http://www.worldsheritage.travel.wordpress.com

 

 

 

The covenant

Long ago we made a promise

to meet under the blue skies

beside the acacia grove.

You asked me to search my heart for justice

when fear clasped its chains around my feet.

And as I turned and stumbled away

you promised me unconditional love.

 

Separation began.

 

You knew in time I’d learn to trust my feelings

in the season when cool winds scatter dust around.

Apart from you, I found myself.

Who I really am.

 

Though there’s nothing in life to be certain of

I looked inside and found the answers

amidst the memories.

That love is truth and truth is justice.

And in my heart I found all three.

 

 

 

**Shared with dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night #239**

 

 

*Image from twinflames1111.com

 

 

 

 

 

A pair of tools

PHOTO PROMPT © Anshu Bhojnagarwala

 

“What’s happened to my piano?” Sanjeev gaped at the musical intrument filled with soil.

“Firstly, it’s mine. You sold it to me. Second, – ” said Rakesh.

“If I knew you were going to violate it, I wouldn’t have!”

“Violate? Do not be coarse with me. I am an artist.  A medium. A tool of God, I -”

“Oh you’re a tool alright! This was an antique. Pure Ebony. Real ivory. Mahogany wood.”

“And yet, you got rid of it.”

A pause. “Had a gambling debt.”

Rakesh hands him a shovel. “Long handle. Strong steel. Unused. Perfect to beat yourself up with.”

99 words

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Write a story in 100 words or less. Submit to the link below and join in!

bigfred

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Thinking of the beautiful country of New Zealand today…

Transform

 

 

Dust off those dreams and ideals spiked long ago

When your caged heart was free and lived with gusto.

With the Pen in your grasp

Switch genres, change the title and unclasp

the yoke around your neck.

Write one word, then never look back.

*****

 

In my google search, it turns out a quadrille is also a dance.

I was not familiar with the use of the verb ‘spike’ as in rejecting something. Usually used in publishing where a manuscript is considered and then rejected and put on the spike. So I thought I’d use it in my attempt at a quadrille.

This was nothing short of a mental crossfit workout… Hope you enjoy it.

Written for dVerse.

 

 

 

 

 

Forever young

PHOTO PROMPT © CEAyre

“Remember this place?” Andy said, spreading his arms out over the cobblestone streets.

Delilah marveled at his crinkle-free eyes. As hazel as the day they met forty years ago. A pair of women in strappy dresses smiled brazenly at Andy. Boldly flirtatious. So different from her day. She wasn’t mad. They assumed she was his mother. How were they to know Andy stopped aging at twenty-five?

Miraculous, the doctors had said.

“How could I forget? This is where we first met.”

“You mean when you almost bumped me over with your scooter!” Together they laughed, eyes shining and hearts fluttering.

100 words

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Write a story in 100 words or less. Join the group and submit your story through the link below.

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March Madness

 

Summer rages on his deathbed, fighting off the change in atmospheric pressure. Minute turns of an invisible weather dial, the sun beats mercilessly down on dust, tar, bricks and sweating scalps. Children delight in a deceivingly endless warmth, only the old feel the new chill in the breeze. Winter arrives unannounced, freezing the greenery till they drop to the ground, brown upon brown.

Cooling Summer’s rage

“Tis only hibernation,

not the death you fear.”

 

****

Written for the dVerse prompt on March Madness.

This is my first attempt ever at a haibun. Very challenging, but rewarding too.

March is blazingly hot here in Botswana. But it is the month when it starts to shift into Winter. And so, it feels as if Summer is turning up the heat in defiance of the coming season. (So very Dylan Thomas) We hardly have an Autumn or Spring to speak of. Literally one day it is Summer, the next thing it is 3 degrees celsius at night.

I look forward to your feedback, so I can learn and improve my poetic craft.

 

 

 

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Not a cloud in this blue sky today.

 

A deli-cate romance

PHOTO PROMPT © Jean L. Hays

 

“There used to be many of them around here.” Clive held the door open for the woman in a green coat. Natasha shook off her gloves and began scouting the cured meats on display.

“Amazing!” she said, delighting in the olive bread and odd-looking cheeses that was definitely not cheddar.

“Now our delicatessen is the only one of its kind for miles.” He selected a few items, placed them into a paper bag and held it out to her with a lopsided smile.

She looked at him from beneath her lashes, “Well, let’s hope it is here to stay.”

99 words

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Write a story in 100 words or less.

I’m with you on the mutual hate of updates, Rochelle. Have been resisting the new editor on wordpress too. I struggled to submit to the link up this week. Eventually, switching browsers helped. When in doubt, switch browsers. 😉

 

 

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Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. – Henry David Thoreau