Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday 55 December 8 2017

Welcome, fellow travelers. Another Friday finds us collected here to assemble our jigsaw thoughts into our own 55 word puzzles, and to remember Galen Hayes, the originator of this meme. There are no rules, strings or obligations, except that you write a piece of prose or poetry in 55 words--no more, nor less-- and post a link in the comments below between Friday morning and Sunday afternoon. Comment moderation is off now as I am so often out of pocket these days, but I still wield the ban-hammer and will delete any trollish appearances.

So, this week, winter came...

First Day Of Winter

I woke to a turquoise sky
with nothing in her pockets; no sun,
no moon, no scrap
of smoke or cloud. 

Day was missing,
night had wandered off.

My mind was all she had, sister
twinned to her blank eternity,
summer's embers 
ashed to blue clinker

without a tear to soften us
until the rain.

~December 2017


Image: Roman Nose Park, Turquoise Sky, 11-29-2014, ©joyannjones  Manipulated.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Friday 55 December 1 2017

Welcome to the Friday pilgrimage, dear readers and friends. Here we collect ourselves and our words amid the chaos of this world we inhabit, to remember a man who shared his enthusiasm for life and his humor and support for others by originating this meme, Galen Hayes. As always, there are no rules or obligations except that your contribution must consist of 55 words--no more, no less--of prose or poetry, and be linked in the comments below between Friday morning and Sunday afternoon. Let us see what you can do with 55 words.

Due to a brain error on my part, the 55 is late to post! Apologies to all and here is my effort..

More Thanks To The God Of Spaces

For gentian space between charcoal
and coral that keeps sunrise
from snapping the heart;

for void between cars
sluiced into exempt
from today's deathrace-lottery;

for this finishing space
where body rots
but spirit flies up,

veils of flesh rippling
with no touch left
save mother-child's, intemerate:
this shoreless space between breaths
before darkness expands.

~November 30, 2017

The Friday 55 is closed til next week. Thanks to all who played.

Note: definition: intemerate

Image: Sunrise Sunset, ©joyannjones 2014, manipulated.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Friday 55 Thanksgiving Edition November 24 2017

Welcome to all who celebrate and all who don't this annual American voyage into the triumph of materialism over spirituality, known without a shred of irony as Thanksgiving. On this day we gorge ourselves painfully, watch football or not, gather with family and friends if we are so blessed, and then go out and spend our cash on trinkets and baubles in a mad frenzy of manipulated marketing. The original purpose of this holiday (to mark the kindness of the Native peoples to the starving Pilgrims) has devolved into a caricature, and the spirit of being grateful for such things seems to be lurking somewhere else. Nonetheless, there are many things to be grateful for, not least the memory of a warm-hearted and giving man named Galen Hayes, and the opportunity to share our words here in the meme he began--55 of them, no more no less--and of course, to enjoy our family and friends in spite of everything. So if you have found the time or the inspiration to write a 55 this week, please leave a link in the comments, and I will be by to check it out. Either way, happiest of holidays to all. This prompt will be good through Sunday.

And here is mine, in the spirit of the occasion...

Thanks Given

Thanks to the little god that
Hides in the moon, lord of night-dance
And spaces. On his face the sun, his back the dark,
Never talking, hands open;
Knowing to last you can't clamp on to
Fire or ice either one. He's my guide
Until the journey's done, from
Love to loss to harvest home.

~November 2017

Thanks to all who played. The 55 is closed till next week.

Images: The Harvest Moon, 1892, by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Public Domain.
Moon and Cow, 1963, ©Alex Colville. All rights reserved. Fair use.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Burned House

Cosmos 'Sonata White'

The Burned House

When I wasn’t looking, the house burned down,
that tall one on the cliff’s edge that sucked in smoke
and died. It was full of mirrored rooms, that house
I used to own, each one a tank where dreamfish swam in fire,
where light flickered up on scales of copper-gold, now white
lumps of half-burned bone, refleshed with sudden coats of ash.

How were those rooms so full of light transformed to ash?
to flecks scraped from scorched love letters skittering down
the drive, black ink on blue paper burned feathery white?
Our words undressed became a script of smoke,
banded envelopes a fuel for chemical fire
that when my head was turned burned down the house.

Blackened beams, obscene leg-stumps of house       
frame possibilities negated. Nothing made of ash
can be reused. I sift the morsels left uneaten by the fire
that swallowed up the core, the spit-out shingles flying down
in flaps of flame, exhaling heat while carcinogenic smoke      
escaped from window-mouths on wings of restless white.

When it happened I was working soil for the Sonata Whites
but purity failed; so fire’s finger drew a circle round the house:
C. sulphureus instead, petals solar bright, tangerine smoke
drifting against the threshold wild alive, drawing flame from ash,
from rich dead dreamfish char piled in drifts of down;
now where white rebelled I fill my hand with redgold fire.

So I come to the doorway drawn by memory's fire       
to rake through dulled nails and teeth of white
half-melted days, look for the last inhabitants down
beneath the rotten timbers. The ghost-house
trembles, gives up its bones and sleeps in ash.
I pick and fuss at ruins, only to fill my bag with smoke:

photographs once rainbow stained to sepia, smoke-
colored faces turned to relics, eyeholes eaten black by fire
unreal as fingerbones of non-existent saints, grey as ash
and as unlikely to reignite; silver-colored trinkets faded white,
misshapen in the reflux of the firehose, lockets that housed
twists of burn-clipped hair lost in love's long down.

My insurance covers none of this disaster-whitened ash,
a total loss except for cosmos smoke, gold-warm as any fire,
embers at the doorway of the wild that can’t burn down.

C. sulphureus

~originally written September 2011, 
ruthlessly revised

 for Brendan's Doors

 Forgive the repost, but my time is not my own these days...

Cosmos is a perennial or half-hardy annual in the aster family, native to Mexico, Arizona, Florida and the southern U.S. down into Central and South America. It grows in both wild and cultivated form. It is heat and drought tolerant and reseeds itself so freely some forms, including C. sulphureus, are considered a weed in some places. Cosmos bipinnatus 'Sonata White" is a pure white hybrid form, bred for the cut flower trade.

Photo: Cosmos bipinnatus "Sonata White" by Julie Anne Workman, Forde Abbey, Somerset, UK
courtesy wikipedia Par Julie Anne Workman (Travail personnel) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Cosmos sulphureus 'Bright Lights' author unknow via internet. Fair use