He’d be gone before the rubble settled. Leave a town burning in his wake, crushed stone slithering through cracks like sand in a broken hourglass, pooling empty hours into empty streets. This seafarer, spacefarer, carving out his stamp on a place so he might be able to see it from above when he glanced down at the ruins he’d built. He must have seen a beauty in destruction or why would he have sought out more?
There was a sign propped up against the empty doorframe which read “If you are a dreamer, come in” except the paint had chipped, and instead of dreamer it read dream. ‘So?’ asked his wife. ‘Are you going in or not?’ She stood on tiptoes and tried to peer through one of the windows. Graham thought he saw her shiver, and for a moment started to shrug the jacket from his shoulders. ‘It looks abandoned.’ She stepped away and scowled. ‘You copied out the right address, didn’t you?’ Graham nodded, then felt his heart sink. An old lady stepped into the hall, the edges of her body blurring against the peeling wallpaper. ‘Oh,’ said his wife, now stood behind him. ‘She’s like me!’ She grinned and poked him in the ribs. ‘Poor Graham, can’t even find a living physic to help with your ghosts.’
If you are a dreamer, come in.
Shel Silverstein’s poem, Invitation, Where The Sidewalk Ends
For someone who doesn’t read a lot of horror/ghost stories, and can’t really watch the genre either, I seem to write a fair bit of it. I find I really adore these monthly Prosery prompts as there a great way to stretch the creative writing muscles when my focus has drifted away from flash fiction. It helps that Lillian picked a cracking line of poetry for tonight’s prompt as well.
In some exciting poetry news however, this week I’ve got two poems coming out, in two seperate magazines. The first was published on Sunday in the second issue of The Riverbed Review which is available to read for free on their site. The second is my poem ‘Overgrowth’, which I originally wrote for a Dverse prompt and is being published Wednesday, (with a couple of edits) in the first issue of Hencroft. A lot of journals and magazines do not accept poems that have appeared on blogs or social media previously, so I’m ecstatic to have the chance to publish with a magazine that didn’t mind.
The greatest honour a woman can have is to be least spoken of in men’s company, whether in praise or in criticism.
Pericles’ Funeral Oration (after 490 BCE) from Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War
The Assassin’s Creed games have taken your image, placed you at the centre of their storyline as the ultimate villain and laid Pericles’ death at your feet. It makes me wonder if Thucydides was wishing you away when he wrote the Funeral Oration in his play, tongued words of rebuke into Pericles’ mouth to made it clear that you would have been best, sticking to your shadows with the other none-citizens. Or better yet, if you could have pretended the role of a true Athenian wife: silent, and isolated at her spinning in another room, while the men burned hot in their political worlds instead of staking yourself a place among them, and into history, as just too brilliant to possibly be respectable for where’s there is smoke there is always fire.
The men may have their forums, but I still speak and build my own places of discussion, for there is a freedom in love without the binds of law when means my tongue has no need to bow down to politicians or their stages. After two and a half millennium I am dust and nothing remains of what I wrote except in the gossip of others’ which is always a shade of fiction on the truth and too often without inspiration for how to bring down another woman stepping outside the chalk lines men draw. Do not believe all that is written, or all that is said, it becomes too easy to make figures when the known history is soft enough to mould into shapes that suit the reader best.
write a two-part poem, in the form of an exchange of letters. The first stanza (or part) should be in the form of a letter that you write either to yourself or to a famous fictional or historical person. The second part should be the letter you receive in response.
NaPoWriMo – Day Eleven Prompt
If you would like a half-an-hour podcast of who Aspasia was exactly, then I thoroughly recommend Natalie Haynes episode on her from Natalie Haynes Stands Up For The Classics on BBC 4. She was the lover of the Athenian politician Pericles, (known as the father of Democracy) and utterly unique for her time. Once I’ve finished my post on the women of the Peasant Revolt I think I’ll have to spend some time pulling together a blog post about her, because she was an amazing historical figure pushing the boundaries of what women were allowed to do, and what was assumed about them.
First it was the slugs, then the pigeons, this year squirrels and not just the one hiding shells in the grates of our drain pipes. This year there’s a pair of them running track along the broken fence line.
Once there is time I must download one of those meditation apps and learn how to let go of the little things out of my control. I should make space for more me-time, worry less about the lives of others and untangle their questions from my existence. I read a quote once, it said we are more than what people make of us, which was nice but not so accurate when you’re an idea rather than a flesh sack and what people make of you, makes you more and more… I should learn how to trim down for summer maybe? Shed the unnecessary pounds, find a way to slip back inside a double handled jar, put a lid on it, sleep. Tell them all to make their own way for once, that I am done guiding or being blamed for every bad decision that was ever made.
write a poem in the form of a “to-do list.”
NaPoWriMo 2021 – Day 9 Prompt
I love a “to-do” list. I have them at work every day, and outside of work I jot down little lists of things I want to achieve with my free time or important tasks that must not be forgotten. My own list for today looks a little like this:
Write NaPoWriMo Day Nine Post (Done!)
Deal with house stuff. (Done!)
Submit rejected short story to the journal suggested by the editor of the journal that rejected it.
Submit a poem (or poems) to Spelt.
Compile submission document for Interpreter’s House.
Make a list of submission calls for the rest of April.
Write 1,000 words for NaNoWriMo
I always find that if I get the first couple of things ticked off first thing, I’ve got the momentum to get the rest of the list done. If I leave it all to the last hour of the day, nothing will be achieved and I’ll just file the list away with the rest of the good-intentions that never saw the light of day. Have any of you got “to-do list” tips for an expert procrastinator?