“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.

Saddle Up Saloon; Colleen’s Double Ennead Challenge No. 2

Here’s the double ennead challenge now up at the Saloon on Carrot Ranch.com. Please link your poetry to the challenge post. Have fun and write about spring!

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Happy March! Welcome to the Carrot Ranch Double Ennead Monthly Poetry Challenge. Every third Monday of the month, I’ll be here at Carrot Ranch with another challenge to help get your poetic juices flowing. Each month, we will explore a different theme or image to inspire our poetry. Take your time, there’s no hurry! You have a month to write your poem.

Check out the poems from last month HERE.

The wordEnneadmeans nine, and a double nine is ninety-nine! Carrot Ranch is famous for 99-word flash fiction. Now, the ranch has its own syllabic poetry form written in 99 syllables!

The Double Ennead comprises five lines with a syllable count of 6/5/11/6/5, (33 SYLLABLES per stanza) 3 STANZAS EACH = 99 SYLLABLES, NO MORE, NO LESS! Punctuation and rhyme schemes are optional and up to the poet. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Why write poetry?

When a…

View original post 799 more words

“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.

Saddle Up Saloon Double Ennead Challenge No. 1, Recap

I’ve found an amazing group of poets at Carrot Ranch.com where every third Monday of the month, I host the Double Ennead Challenge as a guest at the Saddle Up Saloon.

Follow the link to the challenge.

What’s a double ennead? The Double Ennead comprises five lines with a syllable count of 6/5/11/6/5, (33 SYLLABLES per stanza) 3 STANZAS EACH = 99 SYLLABLES, NO MORE, NO LESS! Punctuation and rhyme schemes are optional and up to the poet.

Credit: https://pixabay.com/users/dreamyart

I asked the poets to use the image above to compose their double ennead poem.

Here are the poems from the 2/15/2021 challenge:

Changing Fate’s Strings
(Of Things That Burrow) / Double Ennead


Sacred sleep is disturbed
In hare burrows, too
A Princess wakes from images of spring Paris…
By little fragments of
Broken mage mirrors


Thorns of roses cut deep
Then accumulate
In torrents of raven shadow, embody
The treacle of princes
Unwilling to budge


Their harsh oeillade visions;
Whatsoever they
Find they think they can rightfully claim as theirs –
Be strong, fool winters’ hounds!
Change the story’s end!

Jules
RISE, SPRING SUN


Winter slinks into view,
a wily stranger
from the unforgiving east, a weather feast
alighting on the land,
suffering shadows.


Here I ignite my stove,
cedar and fir burn,
as I peer into the night, content to hide,
to shelter in the warmth,
the comfort of home.

On the coming morrow,
snow mantles the earth,
the Beaufort Hills glisten with streaks of brilliance,
the softening of time,
the rising spring sun.


Bill Engleson
Remembering Alone


I wake way too early
Age defies long sleeps
Morning light glows over the small frozen pond
Trees and weeds glistening
I see from my room


Memories of thick ice
I long for my youth
When healthy muscles gladly shoveled away
Creating smooth patches
Enticing skate blades


Swishing among others
Speed, spills and laughter
Hearing happy sounds that no longer exist
Alone to remember
Silent tears falling

Sue Spitulnik
The Uncommon Cold

The bleak uncommon cold
of northern winters
speaks not to warmer Southern Hemisphereans
(well, bar Antarctica
and kitsch Christmas cards).


If I was there today
I’d want to leave soon
and sit by a fire with a dead tree book
sipping a fine cab sav
and munching hot toast.


Philistine, you may say,
seek horizons new!
But when icy chill has froze my nose and toes,
my ticket cum bookmark
siren calls me home.


Doug Jacquier
Surrender of Winter


soft pastels mist the morn
skyward gaze aglow
rising sun takes a look-see through clouds above
tasks at hand reaching out
nature has purpose


daybreak yields its aura
adapting rhythm
the universe spreads heartbeats through icy fields
so gelid to the touch
emotions exposed


morning turns to morrow
gentle touch of warmth
quiets lack-luster alabaster landscapes
the days omens faded
bartering of spring


Eugis Milieu
Let's Paint a Picture


Dreamy pastels await
Color palette grab
Listen, hear now the soft pinks calling, melting
Away like sweet butter
Frosting on a cake!

Turning shades of blue to
Creamy violet
Eyes close tight —Imagine a vision, picture
A fantasy, magic
A painting finished!

Winter delight so warm
Whites seem to vanish
Seemingly Sinks into the deep freeze below
That image born within
Heaven far away!


Myrna Migala
Wonder Land


mystical fleecy white
powdery softness
blankets the landscape, clinging to the grasses
pink and purple hues
ethereal beauty


undisturbed and serene
misty wintry light
invisible life hides beneath the flora
fantastical angels
protection guardians


hurry, whisk me away
mysteriously, please
to encounter the beings living beneath
surrounded and cradled
protected always


~RuthScribbles

Many thanks to everyone who participated in this challenge. Writing poetry makes us better writers!

Read: How Studying Poetry Made Me a Better Writer

I’ll be back at the Saloon, on Monday, March 15th! What are you waiting for? Join in and get your poetry on!

“The Neighborhood,” #Haibun, #FlashFiction

The February 25 2021, Carrot Ranch flash fiction prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the word frozen. It can be descriptive, character focused, action driven. Go out onto the ice and find a frozen story. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by March 2, 2021.

“The Neighborhood,” Haibun (99 words)

My first walk in the new neighborhood turned up some surprises. Across the street, a fast-running stream bordered the edge of the forest along the walking path.

So, this is where the deer came from, I thought. We’d spotted deer tracks in the snow as they came right up to our front porch. A real Michigan welcoming committee!

Around the corner, I spotted a pond, frozen beneath the afternoon sun. I day-dreamed about the frogs and crickets serenading us in the stillness of a long summer night.

 frost-bound pond glistens
 cattails rattle in the wind
 mourning dove calls spring

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

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.

Saddle Up Saloon; Colleen’s Double Ennead Challenge

Who’s ready to join in the Carrot Ranch Double Ennead challenge? The form is 99 syllables, no more, no less!

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Welcome to the Saloon and the first Double Ennead Monthly Poetry Challenge. Every third Monday of the month, I’ll be over here at Carrot Ranch with another double ennead challenge. Each month, we will explore a different theme or image to inspire our poetry. I hope to see you in the Saloon!

The wordEnneadmeans nine, and a double nine is ninety-nine! Carrot Ranch is famous for 99-word flash fiction. Now, the ranch has its own syllabic poetry form written in 99 syllables!

The Double Ennead comprises five lines with a syllable count of 6/5/11/6/5, (33 SYLLABLES per stanza) 3 STANZAS EACH = 99 SYLLABLES, NO MORE, NO LESS! Punctuation and rhyme schemes are optional and up to the poet.

Why write poetry?

When a writer embraces theability to convey complex images and emotions in just a few lines, they have learned to strengthen their writing. In the…

View original post 386 more words

“The River of Life,” #DoubleEnnead & #Flashfiction

This 99-word story prompt from Carrot Ranch will be posted and presented to Sue Vincent on February 17. If you want to be included in this special collection, respond through the form HERE.

The January 28, 2021, Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about life as a river of consciousness. Think about the possibilities of the prompt. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by February 11, 2021.

dawn reflections shimmer
a blood-red birthing
the new journey meanders in small ripples
searching for a known truth
testing the waters
a small stream traverses
the land, growth is key
consciousness actuates a forward passage
as water rushes fast,
over stones ahead
From the sun's dying light
the darkness succumbs
to the passage of time, the river still flows
in the celebration 
of a life well lived

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

The Double Ennead comprises five lines with a syllable count of 6/5/11/6/5, (33 SYLLABLES per stanza) 3 STANZAS EACH = 99 SYLLABLES, NO MORE, NO LESS!

The old gods had stood sentinel over the Grand River for as far back as I could remember. The water that cut through the forest of towering trees emptied into the icy depths of Lake Michigan downstream.

In winter, ice froze her glassy surface. In summer, the quiet drone of insects filled the air as they danced on her waves. Teeming with fish, the crystal waters surged with the pulse of life, never ending in an eternal circle of life and death.

For me, this ancient river had no beginning and no end, only the steadfast current of living.

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

“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.