“Swift Passage”

The Carrot Ranch April 1, 2021, flash fiction prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a swift passage. You can take inspiration from any source. Who is going where and why? What makes it swift? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by April 6, 2021.

This is my poetic, 99-word contribution for this week written as a tribute to Sue Vincent. ❤

“Swift Passage”

Sunlight, a pink aurora in the shining sky
from the brushwood, the crows take wing
shadows dance and small birds sing
swift passage comes for ancestral souls on high.

Faery queens gather to welcome their otherworldly kin
she who walked among those bound to the earth
now takes passage within the Bardo of her rebirth,
spring rain washes away the pain of our loss and chagrin.

Raise your arms to the circle of the sun
close your eyes and breathe, inhale the celestial breath
thank you for the golden words of wisdom you've spun
your earthly quest is won.

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

Join me every Tuesday on wordcraftpoetry.com for the Tanka Tuesday Syllabic Poetry Challenge.

“Where the Deep Wishes Go,” flash fiction

The March 11, 2021, Carrot Ranch flash fiction promptIn 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about deep wishes. Where is the deep — in the sky, the ground, or outer space? What kind of wishes reside there and for whom and why? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by March 16, 2021.

Where the Deep Wishes Go

Sally gazed into the watery darkness of the well. As if reciting a prayer, she whispered with reverence, “This is where the deep wishes go.”

Her smaller sister Elizabeth asked, “Do we say it now?”

“Not yet. When we see the moon slip inside the well, then we say it.”

At dusk, the white sphere ascended into the sky. A hazy shape reflected in the inky depths of the well. Beyond the shadows from the trees, musket fire sparkled against the sky.

Sally and Elizabeth joined hands. “Please grant our wish and bring our father home safe to us.”

Photo by David Besh on Pexels.com

That was it! That’s all the oracle gave me today… a glimpse from long ago. ❤

Join me every Tuesday on wordcraftpoetry.com for the Tanka Tuesday Syllabic Poetry Challenge.

“I Yam, What I Yam,” #FlashFiction

The Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction March 4, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes sweet potatoes. It can be part of a recipe, meal, or used as a nickname. Where do sweet potatoes take you? The grocery store? The garden? Mars? Go where the prompt leads! Respond by March 9, 2021.

Image by Steve Adcock from Pixabay

“Excuse me, young man, you work in this department. Where’s the yams?”

“Do you mean sweet potatoes? You know, the orange ones?”

“Yeah, yams. I need ‘em to make my grandson’s favorite dish, Candied Yams.”

“Well now, ma’am. Yams are the brown ones and sweet potatoes are the orange ones. We have Beauregard, Jewel, and Garnet. Myself, I like the purple ones from Okinawa.”

The old woman stared at me and blinked her eyes. “Yams aren’t purple.”

I chuckled under my breath. “No ma’am. Yams are brown and look like roots.”

She smiled. “Yeah, you got any orange yams?”

Join me every Tuesday on wordcraftpoetry.com for the Tanka Tuesday Syllabic Poetry Challenge.

“Pu-Chai,” Flash Fiction

The Carrot Ranch February 18, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story where a character is in the right place at the right time. It may be a cause for celebration! Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by February 23, 2021, to be included in the compilation.

Pu-Chai

“How much is the black puppy?” I pointed to the fuzzy Pomeranian in the cage.

“That one? I’ll have to check. He’s been here for months.”

Dark, soulful eyes stared at me as if the pup understood the conversation.

“Pure black Pomeranians are rare. Is he papered?”

“Yup. Two champions in his line. Nobody wants him because he’s all black. You know, bad-luck.”

He nosed my hand through the cage.

“I’ll take him.”

“Looks like you are in the right place at the right time. He’s on sale, only $99.00.”

“Sold.”

In my arms, Pu-Chai found his new home.

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

**Note: This is a true story. The name Pu-Chai, means black in Thai. This little guy lived with our family for 14 years. We still miss him.

Pu-Chai (Age 13) taking care of Alexandria, my oldest granddaughter who is now almost 20 years old.

“Mom’s Shoes,” #FlashFiction

The Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction prompt for December 17, 2020: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that features stilettos. Who will wear them and why? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by December 22, 2020.

“Lizzie, are you ready for school? You better not be in my closet again, young lady. Besides, the bulb burned out, you can’t see anything.”

The eleven-year-old sighed. How did her mother always know what she was up to? All she wanted was to borrow her mom’s shoes to match her dress for picture day.

Lizzie stumbled in the darkness and stuffed the shoes in her book bag.

“See you tonight, Mom.”

At school, all eyes were on Lizzie wearing her mom’s black stilettos as she wobbled across the floor to take her place for the sixth-grade class picture.

Join me every Tuesday on wordcraftpoetry.com for the Tanka Tuesday Syllabic Poetry Challenge.

“At Heaven’s Gate,” #FlashFiction

The Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction prompt for December 10, 2020: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about something a character never dreamed would happen. The situation can be fortuitous, funny, or disappointing. Go where the prompt leads! Respond by December 15, 2020.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

December 14th began like any other Monday. However, in the early hours before dawn, he watched the green flashes of Geminids meteors whiz by in the early dawn sky.

A few hours later, he watched the blackness creep across the land as a total eclipse of the sun descended, leaving South America under a cloak of darkness.

Surely these auspicious astronomical events foreshadowed a significant event.

The angel named Beau glanced out over the cosmos. He smiled. A total eclipse of the Sun had officially confirmed Joe Biden as the President of the United States—a dream come true.

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

I felt compelled to write this piece as prompted by this article and the Carrot Ranch prompt: Donald Trump’s Presidency Will End On The Day Of A Comet, A Meteor Shower And A Total Eclipse Of The Sun

Join me every Tuesday on wordcraftpoetry.com for the Tanka Tuesday Syllabic Poetry Challenge.

The 2020 Rodeo Contest #1: Folk Tales and Fables Winners are in…

2020 Rodeo

The results of the 2020 Flash Fiction Rodeo are riding in week by week in the order of each contest. We hope writers had as much fun as the Rodeo Leaders and Judges. We got to play within the western theme this year and had plenty of challenges!

In Rodeo Contest #1: Folk Tales and Fables, Kerry E.B. Black asked participants to spin a yarn as long as the Rio Grande in 99 words.

This year’s winner is Colleen Chesebro!

Honorable Mention goes to Norah Colvin, Liz Husebye Hartmann, and Mike Vreeland. Congratulations!

Each Rodeo has different independent judges. Judging is done blind. Thank you to Kerry E.B. Black for managing this contest and to her judges, Debra R. Sanchez and Beverly V. Blickenderfer!

WINNING ENTRY: FOLK TALES & FABLES

Why Wolf Howls at the Moon by Colleen Chesebro

Long ago, the Moon Spirit danced upon the waters of the lake. When she met the spirit of the Wolf, they danced together on the shoreline.

One night, Moon Spirit said, “I must return to the ebony sky and take my place alongside the stars.”

Bereft, Wolf gobbled up Moon Spirit’s reflection as it floated on the waves. “I wish I could keep Moon Spirit’s magic with me forever,” he cried.

To this day, whenever wolf drinks from the lake, he cries to the Moon Spirit, hoping she will return so they can dance upon the shore once more.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Snow White and the Seven Gunslingers by Norah Colvin

The huntsman made the all-too-common mistake of revealing everything before enacting the deed. Snow White kicked him in the shins and escaped into the forest.

Exhausted, she chanced upon a cottage. It appeared abandoned, so she went inside and soon fell asleep on one of the seven beds. She was startled awake by a septet of menacing, heavily-armed gunslingers.

When she explained her predicament, the gunslingers were outraged. “He’s a bad one, and she’s the worst. Stay here. We’re onto it.”

She heard them say as they rode out of sight, “Hi ho! We’ve got a job to do.”

Sky Rider’s Happily Ever After by Liz Husebye Hartman

Rapunzel was a rodeo champ by day, a sky watcher by night. Nobody could beat her barrel riding and calf roping. Stormy nights, she’d climb the Tower Mesa, hear thunder roll, knowing someday she’d join that rodeo.

It got so she spent both nights and days on the Mesa, losing interest in regular rodeos. Family couldn’t call her home, but took comfort, watching her lengthening golden hair glinting in the sunlight.

Along came Pepe LeGume, with his offer of magic beans for her golden tresses. She took the offer, cut her braid, and rosed her lasso to that magic vine.

Flem and the Rattlesnake by Mike Vreeland

Flem, Unlike most cowhands, was toothpick thin, bow-legged, and always smiling. Never once did he lose his cool, even when he found a large rattler in his bedroll. Instead, he cajoled the snake, letting it sleep next to him for warmth. 

Their bond grew.

One day, cutthroat robbers were after Flem. With nowhere to hide, the snake swallowed Flem whole, shook its rattles, and frightened off the thieves. 

After a bit, Flem crawled back out.

“Thank you immensely, Snake,” he said, sharing his hearty meal.

The moral of the story: Sometimes it’s okay to have Flem in your throat.

***

Please join me in wishing congratulations to all of us! Please visit the post below:

Source: https://carrotranch.com/rodeo-contests/2020-rodeo/

“The Blessings of Ziva,” #FlashFiction

October 30, 2020, Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about life savers on any body of water. It can be a formal Coast Guard, historical or contemporary. It could be an individual who unexpectedly takes on the role. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by November 3, 2020.

The Blessings of Ziva

“Hurry or we’ll be late, Bisera. We have to be there before sunrise,” called Emika.

Bisera balanced the jug on her hip without spilling a drop. “I’m right behind you, Emika. Did you remember to bring the apple?”

“I found the last red apple in the bin. The apple and the water are our offerings to Ziva, the ancient goddess of water.”

Bisera reached the river and tumbled toward the icy depths. “Help me.”

Emika grabbed the girl’s scarf and saved her from harm.

“Thank you, Emika. The goddess put you in the right place at the right time.”

On the eve of the New Year, in ancient Slavic countries, the young maidens took offerings of water and apples to the local river to honor the goddess Ziva. Read more about Ziva, the Slavic Goddess of Water, whose name itself means life.

First Flight, #flashfiction

The August 13, 2020, Carrot Ranch Literary Community Flash Fiction prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a first flight. It can be anything or anyone that flies. What is significant about the first? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by August 25, 2020.

The wings were brand new. The two small buds on her back had blossomed into full-fledged wings covered with white feathers. She stretched these new extensions as far as she could, flexing the newly formed muscles taut.

She was sure that they made these new appendages for flying. How long had she wished to fly free like the eagle and the hawk?

She sniffed the air and pawed the ground. From a canter to a dead run, she was ready to spread her wings. At the cliff, the ground fell away, and she flew. It was unicorn’s first flight.

Who is Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry?

I’ve been missing my friends at Carrot Ranch, so when D. Avery, suggested we define our blog’s purpose, I considered it a worthy goal. What a brilliant idea! Okay, here we go:

“Yep. Folks, try defining yer blog’s purpose in 99 words; focus that statement even more in 59 words; then hook us with 9 words. Ya might even post these versions at yer own site. Tell us who ya are or what yer about here in the comments, 9 words, no more no less.”

Saddle Up Saloon; Blog Blusterin’

Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry

99 words:

Word Craft – Prose & Poetry is an uplifting community where poets can learn the basics of writing Japanese and American syllabic poetry by sharing their own poetic inspiration within a weekly poetry challenge called Tanka Tuesday. Participants submit their poetry written in one of the eleven forms: Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Gogyohka, Haibun, Tanka Prose, Cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, Nonet, and/or Shadorma. Poets receive positive feedback from peers who inspire each other to stretch their creativity. Participants and readers return each week to celebrate the weekly poetry stars and to buy books from the Tanka Tuesday Book Store.

59 words:

Word Craft – Prose & Poetry is a poetic community encouraged by Colleen Chesebro where poets learn the basics of writing Japanese and American syllabic poetry through a weekly challenge called Tanka Tuesday. Participants submit their poetry written in one of the eleven forms: Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Gogyohka, Haibun, Tanka Prose, Cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, Nonet, and/or Shadorma.

9 words:

A weekly challenge featuring American and Japanese syllabic poetry.

Interested? Click the link below to learn more about Tanka Tuesday