“Disappearing,” A #Haibun #Tanka

The image is from Pixabay, by Michael Seibt

Diana Peach sure picked a doozy of an image for us to work with for our photo challenge this week. I thought long and hard.

I kept zeroing in on the poppy and the snake. There was a story there and I had to tell it. I imagined a woman in the late 1800s abused by men and looking for a refuge.

I reclined on the dirty sofa propped up by greasy pillows. I didn’t care. My entire reason for living existed in this room. I was ready to retreat to a place where nobody could hurt me again.

I held the long-handled pipe over the oil lamp waiting for the heat to release the vapors. I breathed in and disappeared into the verdant mist.

hedonic songs taunt
while green sylphs dance in my head
opium dreams plague
my dear snake familiars
gift a comatose release

©2019 Colleen M. Chesebro

Read more about the opium dens in American history HERE.

I’m ready for Trick or Treat! Are you?

About Colleen M. Chesebro

Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Novelist & Poet who loves writing paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre fiction, syllabic poetry, and creative nonfiction. She loves all things magical which may mean that she could be experiencing her second childhood—or not. That part of her life hasn’t been fully decided yet. A few years ago, a mystical experience led her to renew her passion for writing and storytelling. These days she resides in the fantasy realm of the Faery Writer where she writes the magical poetry and stories that the fairy nymphs whisper to her in her dreams. Colleen won the “Little and Laugh” Flash Fiction Contest sponsored by the Carrot Ranch Literary Community on November 2017, and in 2018, she won first place for the “Twisted Travel” category. Colleen lives in Arizona with her husband. When she is not writing, Colleen enjoys spending time with her husband. She also loves gardening, reading, and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art. Learn more about Colleen on colleenchesebro.com.
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  1. I love the symbolism you imbued the story with – the pain and release are compelling, and I loved that!

  2. Awesome way of writing this. Thank you!

  3. Wow, Sis! You went in a totally different direction this week, showing us your dark side. I loved this Haibun/Tanka because I felt the woman’s pain, and her need to escape into a fantasy world. Very well done! <3

  4. Wow! Stunning piece, Colleen!

  5. Excellent, sis. <3

  6. Sometimes drugs seem to offer the only escape. And then you are caught in their web. (K)

  7. I didn’t even notice the poppy at first. Great idea coming up with opium and opium dens. (A long time ago when I was in grad school, one of my concentrations was 19th century British social history.)

  8. Oh, I like this very much!! Funny thing, though, I didn’t notice the snake the other times I looked at the prompt illustration.

  9. Terrific Colleen and brilliant visualisation…♥

  10. Well done Sis. Loved where you went with this! <3

  11. Ooh, could be a character in an eerie tale. Fine job.

  12. Brilliant take, Sis!

  13. I love where you went with this Colleen, using all the elements with ease. It was a tough one, wasn’t it? For me too! Ha ha. But some great poetry from those rising to the challenge. So fun to read.

  14. I’d never have thought opium. Good one!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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