Weekend Writing Prompt #297- No Key Necessary

The days had dragged on for those witnessing his final throes of life.
As one moment led to the next, a bright light widened in his peripheral vision.
A clock ticked as his body relaxed in the natural way of acceptance and peace.
He’d done well… no regrets necessary… rest was about to be his reward.
The key to life had never been what he’d imagined.
Everything now made perfect sense.



d’Verse Poets Pub- Haibun Monday- Hear Me Whisper

Let’s write our haibun that references the heart, in whatever context that you conceive. For those new to haibun, the form consists of one to a few paragraphs of prose—usually written in the present tense—that evoke an experience and are often non-fictional/autobiographical. They may be preceded or followed by one or more haiku—nature-based, using a seasonal image—that complement without directly repeating what the prose stated.

When animals hibernate in the winter, their hearts slow to a barest minimum for sustaining life. I often imagine frogs at the bottom of a pond or chipmunks in channels below the ground living life as a faint whisper one soft infrequent heartbeat at a time. In those long pauses is a mysterious hushed eternity that leads to an electrical instant of reclaiming life. Almost dead…ALIVE…almost dead...ALIVE…

Some say winter is a time of silence, of nothingness. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Can you hear it? Winter is a thrumming pause when Mother Nature’s life-pulse is the loudest to those persevering toward the Spring.

“Hush now” winter wind,
Hasten life to fill the void.
Her whispered rhythm.


Wordle 546- The Sunday Whirl

When someone laughed, I awoke flailing. Dawn had not yet broken, and the room was almost totally dark.
“Not again.”, I whispered.
All was quiet for several minutes, but I knew that I hadn’t imagined jubilant, squealing, voices.
This new apartment was less than an adequate fit. I’d been creeped out each day by increasing levels of whacky happenings and it had only been three weeks.
On day one, mists kept rising inside the bathroom hours after my shower. Even as the exhaust fan whirred loudly attempting to remove them, more appeared. They hung around seemingly with a purpose; floating independent from each other. I was too rattled to use the bathroom for days and asked my neighbor to use his facilities claiming mine was out-of-order.
Suddenly, the wall clock dropped off of the nail I had secured it with the day before and broke into three pieces on the hardwood floor.
My heart jumped directly into my mouth as I stretched for the light switch with shock-numbed fingertips.
I’d shouldered so much stress from the near-death accident on a Ferris Wheel that had forced me to relocate, I was about to lose my mind!
Everything was momentarily a blur as darkness instantly vanished replaced with a brilliance I had not anticipated.
Headlights? No… They’re carnival lights!

The man who was hospitalized three weeks ago, after falling off of a Ferris Wheel, never regained consciousness and died today.

Eugi’s Weekly Prompt- A Thing Called Peace

The old soldier looked out of the hospital window watching the world, in all its brilliant color, moving along. He’d done many things he regretted having to do and, even though he’d do most of them all over again, his heart could not find peace. He wasn’t even sure that peace was really a ‘thing’.
His nightmares, and night terrors, were infrequent now but the flashbacks were sharp and persistent. His doctor blamed them on his end-of-life, heavy, medication. For what it mattered, he understood that his personal journey was drawing to a close. He prayed that all his uncertainty, and self-doubt, would soon fade into oblivion.
Abruptly, a hand on his shoulder made him jump! When he turned, there stood his father just as he remembered him, in his working overalls- he even had his trademark ‘five o’clock shadow’- looking down at him. Chester braced himself for a shaming lecture. His father had been a stern, somewhat cold man, who had always demanded the BEST from his son.
Instead, he watched his father’s steel gray eyes soften.
“Son, I’m proud of you. I’m sorry ’bout leaning on you so hard. But, I loved you too much not to prepare you for harshness that life was sure to offer. I can’t rest until you forgive me.”
Chester lurched to grab his father’s hand, in both of his, when he began to feel weightless.
He shouted, ” You did your best. I’ll always love you. You’re forgiven!” and his father disappeared.
Alarms started to ping and Chester watched several nurses rush to his bedside.
Then a bright light enveloped him and he heard his own words repeated in a most comforting, yet commanding, voice.
“You did your best. I’ll always love you. You’re forgiven.”

Chester found out, in THAT moment, Peace was most definitely, ‘a thing’.


One more tale…

There is an unfortunate *true story* that haunts me. Since I am in good voice today, I felt the need to record it.

About six years ago, a news item was brought to my attention. I believe a group of people, made up of family members, were vacationing at a wooded resort in New York State. Those people were “city folk” and unfamiliar with wildlife first hand. A black bear wandered by their area and the sight of the beast sent them running for their motel rooms. All safe inside, except a five month old baby in a carriage. The bear sniffed out the unsupervised infant and the result was the infant’s death from the bear carrying it off as an object of interest.

I was shocked!

  • I would not have left the baby!
  • I would have confronted the bear!

The facts didn’t even make sense to me. In my world…

  1. There would have been no danger scary enough to afford NOT attempting to protect the child. ( The time to react was immediately…I suspect that being unfamiliar with wild animals was the ultimate deciding factor.)
  2. The act of a frantic adult charging a bear would have probably been enough to send it away. ( I read further after this post…the bear climbed a tree when bystanders tried to rescue the baby by throwing rocks at it. Nothing could be done by then.)
  3. As an adult, I would have stood a significant greater chance of surviving a bear attack.
  4. Doing nothing would NOT have been an option!


How did that happen is all I can ask? That worst case scenario would have not taken place in my presence!

*I looked up the incident and found it took place in the Catskills in August 2002. Some reports say that the parents were shuttling their other kids inside when the bear tipped the infant out of the carriage. Other reports tell that the child was abandoned due to the fear and the bear had the opportunity to get the infant. I have a feeling that the bear did not charge into the area and the adults may have saved the baby if their instinct was not to flee.

Many people hear about Grizzly Bears on TV and the “play dead” defense. Black bears should be handled differently. Be for warned and read the following excerpt.

Black Bear Encounters

Compared to brown bear attacks, violent encounters with black bears rarely lead to serious injury. However, the majority of black bear attacks tend to be motivated by hunger rather than territoriality, and thus victims have a higher probability of surviving by fighting back rather than submitting. Unlike grizzlies, female black bears do not display the same level of protectiveness to their cubs, and seldom attack humans in their vicinity.[39] The worst recorded fatality incident occurred in May 1978, in which a black bear killed three teenagers who were fishing in Algonquin Park in Canada.[69] The majority of attacks happened in national parks, usually near campgrounds, where the bears had become habituated to human contact and food.[39] 1,028 incidences of black bears acting aggressively toward people, 107 of which resulted in injury, were recorded from 1964 to 1976 in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and occurred mainly in tourist hotspots where people regularly fed the bears handouts.



Forensic Feelings

The mourners numbered four.

Three boys …a woman, slight.

Silent was their vigil,

One stranger passed tonight.

The wife’s shoulders straightened

Walked away,  empowered mind.

The arguments now over

Peace, the new divine.

He won’t be found in heaven.

Hell’s tavern he will roam

No more fear, my darlings

He won’t be coming home.

The local pub is crowded

They’ve come from far and wide,

One Good ‘Ole Boy they’ll sorely miss

So many tears are cried.

A ruckus is arisin’

His buddies raise their glass

Beloved memories overheard

‘Bout how he’d saved their ass.

“Let’s take up a collection.”

Those barroom voices plan,

“We must erect a statue for

One mountain of a man.”

One man, two stories told.

Forensic feelings, black and gold…


For Jingle Potluck:

Beaches and Mountains