Haiku Friday – Spring

Cherry blossoms bloom
Struggling life pale in pink
such tenacity

 

 

 

Louceel hosts Haiku Friday

I have been studying Chinese ink brush painting for a year now. As time goes on, it becomes more and more challenging. What I find most difficult of all is fighting my own urges. When painting, I can focus on technique, structure and brush strokes for a certain amount of time, and then I simply MUST let go, and paint freely and expressively.

I am not sure if the structure has given me a better ability when I am expressive. One would assume it has. But the expression does not seem to benefit the structured approach. What is most beneficial to improved skill is time.

And so here we are again – painting spring blossoms.

Delusions of grandeur

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Brett Myers challenged me with “Once I touch it, there’s no going back.” and I challenged Bewildered Bug with “One is the loneliest number.”

Looking out through the glinting sands, I stopped, unable to contain the creeping doubt another second. Digging into my pocket to pull out the digital compass, I squinted into the sun. Yes, this was the right way. I sighed, wiped my brow and trudged on.

There was nothing to see except hill after hill of sand. I could see myself as if from above, as an eagle would see me, or worse, as a vulture watching in wait. I would look no more significant than a lizard, I thought. Or perhaps like an ant to a human? Or, I continued with the line of thinking, maybe even as small as the inside of a cell. What am I after all, I mused, than a small colony of cells?

Which of course was why they wanted me on this journey. Surely they wouldn’t let me die out here? I, human – one of the last in the land – and they so in need of a coorperative, live specimen. I knew it was a dangerous idea to try and work with them, but I reasoned that billions of people had already tried to fight. The small pockets of life left on the planet remained resistant.

It hadn’t been hard to pack, or get away. Nobody much seemed to notice my presence anyway. Not since Dayna.

It wasn’t my fault, I said again to myself. As if someone were listening. Watching. Maybe even waiting. Well, they were supposed to be waiting, weren’t they?

Where the bloody hell are they? I played in my mind the scene where they would appear. I’d run toward them, hands outstretched. I knew that once we touched, there would be no turning back. I’ll be forever theirs. A sample. An outsider that will never belong.

Outcast to humans too. Not that it mattered. None of it mattered. Not any more…….

Dayna. It really wasn’t my fault! Her face flashed in a collage of images. Smiling sweetly, posing for a photograph in the sun by the sea – before they’d come. Her morning face, flushed from sleep and crumpled from the pillow. Her blood stained skull, and a gaping hole where her cheek used to be.

I gripped the GPS tighter in my pocket and grit my teeth. Why hadn’t anyone listened? It all just seems so unfair. Well I’ll show them. I’ll show them all. I’m going to be a god. Spread my seed and cells from one end of space to another. It will be mine. And then we’ll see who you want to talk to.

I’ll be the KING of this land. I’ll be the creator. Thor of thunder! Titan of the sea. You’ll see. You’ll see me and weep. All of you.

Savour the last dance for me

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Jay Andrew Allen challenged me with “It was the best of times…but not for long.” and I challenged Brett Myers with “Maybe I could sing you to sleep…pull the curtains, put down your beer and cigarette.”

Stubbing out his cigarette, Felix stood and smoothed down his suit. He’d sat and watched the others fumble, and he’d given them their chance to impress the newcomer, but enough was enough. He didn’t want her to leave with nothing but a laughable story of men from Santiago de Cuba.

He smiled and took long strides toward her. He caressed her with his eyes – appreciating the curve of her neck, and the way her white skin glowed through the hazy smoke filled room. The light danced over her hair but got lost in its wilderness, he thought. The dark depths appeared too impenetrably glossy. For a moment, he hesitated, something about this woman gave out such strength and valor that it seemed to answer a question he wasn’t aware he wished to ask. But it was only a moment, and quickly his natural ease returned, his smile radiating his intentions and his eyes innuendo.

“Hola, mi nombre es Felix. ¿Se interesa a bailar?” he said, grasping her hand with a mix of firm insistence and gentle persuasion. He’d not met a woman yet who had refused him. It was his inheritance – this way with the opposite sex. Sometimes it was also a curse – there was always temptation surrounding him. Urging him on. But he did admit to himself, it was a curse he could live with. He lived for this kind of moment – electric.

Her eyes lifted to his below lustrous lashes, and her red rouged lips curved into a gracious smile. He noted a dimple in her left cheek – but he did not ask her for a name. The band slowed to a familiar and slow rhythm perfect for the kind of dance he had in mind – lambada zouk.

She stood, and once more he allowed his eyes to travel her form. He knew she could dance – better than any woman here. So he took her hand, pulled her close from a spin, and let his grip guide her.

Her scent filled his lungs as their bodies glided over the floor. There was no resistance within her fluid movement, his every instruction – from the roll of his hand on her back to the gentle pausing fingertip – met with a corresponding roll of the hips, or rock in rhythm. He’d never met a partner he could guide with such grace. He closed his eyes, and allowed his senses to flood.

Her breath over his skin. The flash of the lights warm over his eyelids. Her silken skin dewy in the humid air. They rocked together, and he was far away, in love with the night. In love with life, and all its possibility.

Suddenly, beneath his fingertips, he felt her grow rigid. It broke his reverie, and he opened his eyes. Standing before him, hands folded across his chest, stood a solid looking man in a suit. His eyes flashed then grew cold. Distant. Did he want to fight?

He dropped his grip on the girl, and she hung her head as the suited man squeezed her forearm. Felix took a step back, surveying the crowd, who, sensing danger, had begun to move toward the outer reaches of the bar and eye this new stranger with trepidation.

Felix smiled, and spoke in English. “No harm done. Have a good night,” he said. The girl turned so he could see her face. Her eyes implored him. Gone was the strength he had seen in her. She now appeared as though she were nothing more than a young girl, or a bird. Yes, he thought. A bird, but one without flight feathers. A bird in a solid cage.

He smiled at her. Then he walked past the couple, threw money from his pocket toward the bar, and headed for the inky blackness of the door. He was not followed, and as he stepped out into the street, he tried to capture the beauty he had felt only moments earlier. His appetite aroused, he headed toward another bar. There would be another girl, he was sure.

Picture it and write – Gilded lily

Like birds, the words flew away

She had been forced to hurry. First light had broken half an hour ago, and while she’d dressed as fast as she could, the corset had refused to buckle. Her shaking hands had struggled, but she had not dared to ask even a maid for help – for fear of alerting the farm of her intentions.

Now, with a few slices of cake in her petticoats, and the dreaded court transcript in her hand, she stole out into the light, careful to keep her bonnet down low. The crispness of the air smacked her skin, and cooled her cheeks into ruddy apples. A dog stirred on its chain. She smiled, scooped down low and cooed in a soft voice – and he did not bark.

As soon as she was out the gate she felt freedom push her forwards. She hurried along the trail toward the old elm forest, looking carefully over her shoulders. She didn’t allow her eyes to pause – searching in every shadow, every slip of light an ever present danger.

Gunfire, only too recent a memory. The flash of gold. Red, warmth and love flowing freely. Her tears, his protestations. Police and chains. The recollection filled her with adrenalin, and rather than allow the fear to stop her, she ran. She ran toward her lover.

Ahead she saw the spot. She turned her head, looking for his outline. Of course he wouldn’t wait out in the open.
“Why has this fear spread over every moment now?” she questioned. It was a cancerous rust filling holes in their teeth. It made them whisper. Plan. She gripped the transcript tighter to her chest. “Nothing is more important,” she said.

A twig broke and she snapped her head to the side. She still could not see his form in the silhouettes. Instead, a book lay on the heather. It was obviously meant to be read. A feather stuck out of the top. She bent down to inspect it closely.

The leather glowed, and the gilded title urged her to open it.

She gasped, and stood up with a start.

“Yahooo!” she squealed, spinning in a circle, kissing the book and throwing that dirty life wrecking transcript into the air. She lowered the book to reveal a wide smile. With her fingertips, she traced the large, hand inked words covering the text of the book, as tears streamed down her cheeks.

“I’m free!” the black ink proclaimed. She need not hide, nor run. But looking around at the forest and wiping away the salt from her eyes with her sleeve – she knew that it was far from truly over.

Ermiliablog is the wonderful creator of  Picture it & write – join in the fun!

Someone Like You – Listen & Write Entry

This entry is inspired by the wonderful Ermilia blog, who never ceases to provide quality prompts and entertaining ideas.

Now that she saw him at the bar, smiling and laughing so easily amongst friends, those soft hands of his cupped around the glass, with what Marian now thought was an unparalleled tenderness, (one she’d relived on too many late nights) she suddenly felt foolish to be here.

Her stomach lurched when he turned, sending a bilious vacuum to her mouth at the thought he might catch a glimpse of her. She licked her lips but found her tongue alien, clogged in gloss.

“Whisky,” she thought. Letting go of the table to walk she wobbled, and had to steady herself. Her heart pumped embarrassingly loud in her temples; flushing her face and fishing her hands damp.

‘Why was he still so reliable? So dependable?’ she shook her head. Here, at the same haunt she’d avoided all this time. ‘Why was it so easy to track him down again?’ Gazing at him now, she could see the chasm of her creation gaping between where she stood and he laughed.

“I’m tired of this, of you,” she’d spat that night, using her eyes to pierce his heart while her words pealed away in a stem of thorns. “Can’t you just…be different, can’t we DO something different?” she had screamed, hands raised in the air and not for the first time, she watched him recoil aghast at her fury. Strangers walked around them, pretending not to see or hear, a fact he would later recount with humiliation.

Sparkling gems and diamond stones piled solidly in her youthful hands and she’d only noticed the dust they created.

She inhaled sharply and held her breath, pushing down her fears, her emergent tears, and the swelling of regrets and mistakes that threatened to convince her to flee rather than face him. She could not afford the flight.

Another breath and she forced oxygen to her desperate striding limbs and light into her false smile.

One more intake and she was there, the familiar heady cologne rioting through her body in a bittersweet rush of long kisses and warm embraces, golden in the sun and open to the sky.

“Oliver?” she said quietly, patting him on the elbow.

He turned, his smile fading to resemble a startled bird on the footpath, distended in the traffic of shuffling feet, powerless and hurt.

With every syllable in greeting she stretched her warmth and love for him out in a cloak – the fabric of her soul – that she longed to wrap him in and sooth away the past. Yet the words came out empty, unfulfilled nothings of meaningless chatter.

“How amazing to see you here,” she smiled an attempt at breeziness.
“My friends just left and I thought I spied you in the crowd. Do you have time for a drink?” She hoped that he didn’t notice her cracking voice.

“Marian,” he said in reply after a dazed pause. “Marian.” His shoulders slumped forward on the second utterance, and his eyes appeared to have trouble focusing. He shook his head a little at a thought he seemed to have and lifted those gentle fingertips to squeeze his temples and smooth down his face.

Another breath. She blustered on.
“You look wonderfully well. I heard that you’ve settled down, and married now?”