Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Raft

A young boy built a small raft from a one by six board with a stick for a mast. The sail came from a thread-bare piece of rag that was once a t-shirt, tied on with string from the spool on the shelf. He rode out to the Iowa River on his bike and waded out onto a sand bar just over the levee. The words of caution reeling in his mind of quicksand and sinkholes (they’d never find your body, the sisters told him) but he pressed on to launch his vessel into the current.

The thoughts of his craft daring the barge traffic after it reached the Mississippi, the locks and dams it would go through, the storms along the way, filled his mind. Floating onward past Hannibal, Missouri, just like ol’ Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, (but no Becky) entered next. The images of finally reaching the bayous of Louisiana and then onward to the Gulf of Mexico was on his mind for weeks as he imagined this tiny craft reaching open water.

Oh, the daydreams of it sailing the ocean to exotic lands to meet exotic people, inspired by places where Marlin Perkins or Jacques Cousteau had been. He imagined that his raft would finally reach shore on the west coast of Africa (maybe further!) with a broken stick as a mast and a shredded sail after surviving horrific storms along the way.

He looked in the mail for months, for he had written his address on the raft in magic marker (it never fades) hoping for someone to acknowledge the importance of this epic voyage. Not getting a letter just proved that it sailed further than anyone’s raft ever before! It just took longer for the mail to arrive because the journey was harrowing and long and… and…

A letter that never arrived from an exotic land was eventually forgotten but there remained that tiny dream of exotic lands across the seas.

Reality replaces silly little dreams but here’s hoping the imagination of little boys (and girls) still floats downstream to the sea.

Posting to Poets and Storytellers United,  Weekly Scribblings #3: Salt-water poems

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Our Winter Moon Dreams

(Our winter moon looking up the hill)

White powder of winter's northern gales
drifts grow while dreams dance
of golden flower dust carried by angels
along ice-glazed hilltop pathways
encased in stolen lies of coming spring.
I count the days until they return,
my winged friends and southern breezes
for hope of summer lifehold tales.
As winter slapped us on Friday with about 6 inches (15cm+) of snow and high winds plus rain (ugh) on top of it all. It was a slick commute. Saturday was filled with shoveling and scraping. I squeezed in some time for writing/editing.

For the posting over at Poets and Storytellers United, Writers’ Pantry #3: Be Warm

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

This Stranded Tree

On the Soor River at the bridge at Table Rock, the last of the noble houses of Domhan was defeated on that cold autumn day. The combined forces of King Edvard’s armies and the mercenaries from the Kingdom Across the Sea were victorious as the Kingdom of Domhan became united under one ruler and he intended to rule.

As tyranny spread across the kingdom, there remained one last hope from a warrior class that had remained silent through the war. These monks of the Manach Mission were united in peace but could no longer stay on the sidelines. They were farmers, foresters and carpenters but also masters in bow, lance and sword. Though small in number, their determination to restore freedom to the island kingdom of Domhan compelled them to finally rise up against the king.

King Edvard and his soldiers were not the only threat to the citizens of Domhan as one man’s vision foretold of an insidious plague introduced by a master of deceit. In a few years, this plague would wipe out multiple species of trees in the kingdom. All but one tree. This last single oak tree, planted on consecrated ground, was standing in defiance to a king’s decree.

This Stranded Tree.

This is a synopsis of sorts, of my short story that I hinted on earlier as the origin of The Stranded Tree. The question I have to answer is why the tree is significant (not just that it is the last tree in the kingdom.)  I believe I have an answer to that.

I'm working on it and reworking and reworking... You understand how pages get wiped away and restarted or the struggle over the right word. I rewrote this short glance into the story 3 or 4 times.
So far, my editor (Mrs.) has liked it but she hasn't read the most recently written version. I believe it's v2.085 right now.

I appreciate all the kind words and encouragement from the good people I've met at Poets and Storytellers United. Thank you all.

Linked here: Weekly Scribblings #2: Myth-placed

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Escape the tech


There comes a time when tech rules our dreams.
Watch the stars in the sky instead of on the screens.
Dump the pads in your hands enjoy glorious sunbeams.
Get to The Real in our lives instead of the image it seems.

Pitch a tent in the woods wake up to morning dew.
You won't leave your life you take it with you.
Escape the world of screen times to change your view.
I know in my life this is too far overdue.

I understand the dichotomy of how I'm posting this but sometimes we need to leave the connected world and visit what I call The Real. Nature is a big part of this but also people. Actual one-on-one conversations with humans (or dogs - we can't forget them.) This escape refreshes and rebuilds the soul.

Linked to Poets and Storytellers United, Writers’ Pantry #2: Storms and Stones and Warmth

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Sunday, January 5, 2020

White pine seedling

New beginnings
the seedling from one tiny seed.
Discovered under leaves growing out of sight.
A new chance from the white pine behind the cabin still.
One inch closer to touch the sky.
One year growing under the stars.

One day soon
when grown to drop one tiny seed.
Take root in the ground just out of sight.
A new chance from this white pine replanted up the hill.
One more tree to touch the sky.
One more tree under the stars.
For the prompt at Poets and Storytellers United -  Writers’ Pantry #1: Home Is People

It is a bit simple poem but this tiny seedling is significant that it grew from a seed from a white pine already growing on the farm. Nature's natural renewal process (with a small intervention from us to move it.)  

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Weekend wildflowers to end 2019

Right now, I think we need to brighten up the place.



If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for a moment.” ― Georgia O'Keefe

Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.” ― Gérard de Nerval

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Happy Christmas

From the Stranded Tree Farm
One of our black hills spruce
May you and yours receive the hope and blessings at this time of year and into the next.