Crone’s Prayer

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With hunched, frail shoulders the crone leant against her sand-smooth staff. Her gnarled hand trembled holding a wax sealed bottle. Inside, a parchment displayed swirls of an unknown language.

It’s fall soundless from above the rocks.  There it danced with the tide like a lost jewel beneath the hidden sun’s demise.

“Please…” Her croak echoless upon the breezeless eve. “Father, let me come home for this land is not for me.”

A tail of rainbow scales splashed a wave – then disappeared.

The bottle stolen.

She waited and prayed for the storms to align for her antiquated legs’ last dawn.


Scent of Silence

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Silence has a scent.

It’s where dust settles and breezes still.

Where dew merges with mists that haunt the horizon. Continue reading


Push

buildings 2 (1 of 1)

“Do you hate me?”

“No.” Yes.

“You can do this.”

“I can.” I can’t.

“You’ll thank me for this later.”

“I know.” Not today I won’t.

“It’ll get easier. Trust me.”

“Ah huh.” As trustworthy as a politician before an election?

“You’re improving with my help.”

“I know.” You’re trying to kill me.

“Come on, one more set of stairs and then breakfast.”

“Can’t wait.” Eggs whites and bird seed, yippee – not.

“You’ve made record time.”

“Ahuh.” And time to find another apartment with a working elevator, without the veganistic, neophyte personal trainer as a flatmate. Or I could push…


Imaginator’s Keyboard

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Under

the dragon’s pull

of an imaginator’s trance

tapped the writer’s keyboard dance

that strives to unleash the bird-caged beauty

to brandish her blunted sword against the bored.

Where every direction is a questioned choice

for the search of an unrepeated pattern.

Wherein a pause lurks a library’s maze

where worlds within begin

a new pursuit of the mind’s twist.

It’s a discovery of hidden chapters

while avoiding the kill of hearted darlings.

It’s why a writer’s job is never done

why a writer’s mind tries to fly

to beat the adulting curse

against the days

of sameness.


Painted Ruse

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“You can’t park here without a permit.”

“Bin’ comin’ ‘ere longer than ’em  petty council laws were in place.” She hobbled down the steps clutching a walking stick.

He studied the small haggard woman. “I’ve never seen you, or this bus you can’t miss.”

“D’ya think its pretty?” She beamed wide at the Inspector.

“For an eyesore.”

“Some call it art.” Her frail hand wobbled, huffing, as she pulled down the side awning.

“You can’t set up camp here.”

“I’m not campin’.”

“You’re setting up something?”

“Dare ya to ask?”

“Fine. Why are you driving a bus covered in graffiti and splats of paint?”

“Because it attracts the bigger children.”

“Did teenagers paint the graffiti?”

“Adults too. Well, those choosing to remember their inner child and all that hocus-pocus crap. D’ya wanna try?”

“And throw paint at your bus?”

“This is the ‘Wish Bus’.”

“Wish it wasn’t in this park. Hey, permit, lady?”

“For what?”

“You’re parking on council property and selling things.”

“I don’t sell wishes. It’s ‘ere for the children to enjoy.”

“Where’s the kids.”

“Aren’t you a youngster?” She chuckled.

His chest puffed as his chin raised. “I’m a grown-up.”

“Adulting sucks. Trust me, I’ve been doin’ it longer than you. So, ‘ere,” and offered him a small colour ball from a wrinkled palm.

“What is that?”

“Paintball. Have a try?”

“What?”

“To chuck it at my bus.”

He frowned. “Why?”

“They call it art therapy. Or you could play safe and paint paper. But where’s the fun in that?”

“How?”

“Simple, you make a wish, then throw paint as hard as you can at the bus.”

“It works, huh?” Eyebrows raised as he shook his head.

“One way to find out.”

“Um?” He scratched beneath his parking inspectors cap.

“What’s five seconds of a childhood free moment of fun gonna hurt.”

“You’ll show me your permit after?”

She nodded and held her palm flat balancing the coloured pearl.

“Only live once, right?”

“Indeed.”

The Inspector hesitated.

Then plucked the paintball, feeling the cool delicate coating, thinner than a shell-less egg. He raised the bauble to the sun and inspected a kaleidoscope swirl of colours of a candy-coloured-world within a world.

“Remember to wish, child.”

“I wish…” and he hurled the large marble towards the side of the bus. It splattered into a huge clash of rainbow shades and bold stripes of greens, gold, violet, red, and a rich royal blue.  “Too cool!”

She smiled. “Wanna try another one?”

“I do.” He nodded, eyes shining as bright as his smile.

“They’re inside the bus. Quicker if you fetched ’em for me. There’s a whole tray in the back, can’t miss ‘em.”

“Okay.” The Inspector leapt up the stairs and disappeared behind paint covered windows.

At the first scream, she smiled. “This painted Bus is so much better than the old ant-riddled gingerbread house. It’s supper time.” And skipped up the steps twirling her cane in hand as the bus doors magically closed behind her.


A Penned Romance

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couple’s

captured moment,

now church choir seat silent

as a finger faded photo slips away

and a shovel shifts dirt across a grave,

where funeral flowers looked pretty under the full moon.

Yet,

within the gutter floats an

origami letter

of a lost love’s words

that pens of a romance so old

where Old Man Time chose to stand still

as heaven’s angels held their breath

to watch the couple reunite

& relive within their

private portal

of paradise.


Olympic Proportions

My new antenna (1 of 1)

“So, Ol’ mate fetches a round from the beer-fridge and a stubby rolls out and smashes.”

“Where were you?” His pen clicked, poised above the clipboard

“With the rest of the blokes standin’ round the barbie, just shattered watchin’ that wasted beer spread across the cracked concrete.”

“Over a spilt beer?”

“It was tragic.”

“I see,” loosening his necktie. “Go on, please.”

“So, he’s cleaning it up, when a piece of glass stabbed straight through his rubber thong, makin’ him flap like an unsynchronised swimmer trying to get it out. That caused the caged lorikeet to squawk like an uncivilised-spectator in the final seconds of the rowing race. Which scared the chooks off the veranda and into the gum tree. That woke the possum up, causin’ him to fall from his perch and land on the satellite dish, clinging to the TV antenna like a banned Russian gymnast moonlighting as a pole dancer. But the pole broke, sendin’ the possum into the next tree. So then the antenna rolls off the roof, ripping out the power cables, where it all lands like a mislaid Rugby-scrum in front of this cheeky wallaby eatin’ the missus flowers. Made a mess of her flowers.”

“What did, the wallaby or the dish?”

“Um…” thumbing his Akubra’s rim.

“Where’s the satellite dish?”

“Well, somehow those cables hitched onto the wallaby, who broke the world record sprinting across the paddock and hurdled that barbed wire fence higher than any pole-vaulter.  Where the cables caught, launching that antenna like a javelin for its final swan dive into the dam as green as the divin’ pool in Rio. And that’s where the dish is now.”

“A possum caused all this damage?”

“Technically, it started from a wasted beer. Tragic it was. So, my insurance gonna cover that too?”

(300 words)

Author’s note:

For my overseas readers who may not understand some of the Aussie lingo used in the above:

Wallaby: a smaller cousin to the Kangaroo

Akubra: wide brimmed hat and an Australian icon.

Thongs: rubber soled footwear that’s not to be confused with the underwear.

Stubby: a beer bottle containing the same liquid volume as a beer can.

Blokes: a gathering of the male species that is known to cry over spilt beer.

Barbie: Is not a doll, but a barbecue,  that usually involves one bloke burning food while supervised by all other blokes in the area.

A round: known as a shout, and it’s when one bloke fetches a beer he automatically supplies a fresh cold beer for all the other blokes that are busy supervising the barbie. This is a must-do, no question’s asked, and part of the Blokes’ rules.

Possums: do sleep in trees, are nocturnal, and have a habit of falling out of trees in their sleep. They are not to be confused with the Drop-bears (*she giggles).

No animals were harmed during this episode. But, as for the beer, blokes, and the barbie…

 


Summer’s Unshackled Sands

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“…But as the sun simmers its summer spin…”

An excerpt from “Summer’s Unshackled Sands” I wrote for Silver Birch Press found here:

Summer’s Unshackled Sands, poem by Mel A Rowe (BEACH AND POOL MEMORIES Poetry and Prose Series)

Hope you’ll enjoy it.


A Toasted Benediction

 

 

Eggs benedict (1 of 1)Kate awoke with a gasp, as the pulse surged through veins, and wiped the perspiration beads from her forehead. Tried to swallow the dry lump as she blinked at the red numbers, trapped in that space between asleep and awake. “Only a nightmare,” and turned off her alarm clock that never had a chance to blurt its awakening curse. She tried to ignore the lower gut-gnawing sensation of panicked fear that shivered along her spine.

With her favourite, Eggs Benedict, Kate smiled serving her ‘fancified’ breakfast. Smoothed her son’s hair, who frowned, ducked, and not looking away from his game he shoved his plate of eggs aside to reach for the cereal. The daughter tipped the toppings to gnaw on a toasted muffin edge while tapping on her phone. The husband scanned the headlines on his tablet as his fork blindly stabbed at the plate.

“I had a nightmare,” Kate proclaimed to her family.

They ignored her.

 “I said…” clearing her throat, Kate sat at the table, reached across her daughter’s line of vision where her palm covered her son’s tablet, the other on her husband’s wrist. “I had a nightmare last night.”

They looked at her and blinked.

“I was in front of a gravesite where a priest was performing the last rites.”

“A premonition?” The daughter returned her glance to her phone. Father and son mirrored a half eye roll to each other and resumed to their vices.

“I think so. But I never saw the name and it scared me. So, I want you all to be extra careful today.”

“Whatever, mum.” The son rose from the table.

“I mean it.” Kate followed and hugged him, then watched the re-ruffle of hair her son spent ages perfecting the messy cool,  and spill workbooks from his backpack to the floor. “Those go in your room.”

“Later.”

She’d pick them up herself. They both knew it. “Be careful today.” Kate hugged her daughter who was too busy tapping on her phone’s screen. Then turned to her husband who was patting his jacket’s pockets for wallet and phone. “Careful driving.”

“Yep. Gotta go or we’ll be late.” He gave his wife a peck on the cheek and headed for the door juggling keys in hand.

“I love you all.” Kate watched them leave without a backward glance, not even a goodbye. “Be safe.” The words echoed with the slam of the front door that was soon swallowed by the pressing silence of an empty house.

She cleared away the breakfast table, flicked on the tap to fill the sink. Turned to wipe the bench. Lifted the toaster to wipe away the breadcrumbs. When her footing slipped on her son’s glossy covered workbooks. She gripped the sink as the toaster fell into the soapy water. The lights flickered in the house and the smell of burnt hair and an acrid electrical smoke permeated the air.

Everything fell silent, including Kate, dead before her body crumbled to the floor.


A Knight’s Birth

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They fed

off others’ fear

polluting the atmosphere

like a sideshow of mirrored shrieks

unleashing their own wintered Dorian freaks.

Until, a battle-worn body

with a mind

once confined

to the catalogues of chaos,

found his newly lost identity

amidst an ancient assassin’s ancestry.

Where once,

slave sold

by blue-blooded gold,

reborn of the hunted he preyed

for the revenge he carried against all those betrayed.


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