Enga mellom fjella: where from across the meadow, poems sing from mountains and molehills.
as if you own me
I bow before the Bitterroots
and just like you
my rocky soil, my withered grass
lays prey to the empty sky.
© Kåre Enga 2007 "Sentinel"
Reader's Choice of Poems:
"In Lagada, la vita"
"In search of Iris"
"Starbeams on Tulsa"
Reader's Choice of blog entries from my old blog "L'aura del Campo" :
"Death of Jeannie New Moon"
"Doing and don'ting. A scene in 2nd person."
"In a garden of roses, baby"
"Holy day. Autumn in November. A mole."
"Wheat penny. Gave in, started a forum."
** Image ID #1111534 Unavailable **
Updated at the request of Thomas : Since 2014-10-13
Number of packets of poems offered: 1
Number of poems offered: 5 (unique = 5)
Number rejected: 5 (unique = 5)
Number accepted: 0 (unique = 0)
~ until everything was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow! And I let the fish go.
~ Elizabeth Bishop
Real life: mental and emotional. Overwhelmed.
Writing: a bit burnt out. Only entered a couple contests in July.
Characters: hold that thought. Our Muse is knocking at the door.
Truthfully? For writing purposes anything will do. It need not be grand. We're all where we are because some obstacle wouldn't let us go where we wanted to go. Hopefully, we are happy where we are.
I tell people that I'm a poet. I only write stories for contests or because I need to get out of my comfort zone and expand my skills.
I'm not a natural storyteller. I've written enough to know the difference and be awed.
So, opening up my email I got a notice with a merit badge, a pretty ribbon and enough gps to put me over what I need to maintain my account here at the level it has become accustomed to (downsizing would be a nightmare).
Third place will do.
Tears in my eyes...
So I reread "Flight Lessons" attempting to post this entry. I told Cubby Camping that I was inspired by her 1st Chapter Contest to write it.
the dimple in the carpet — as seen from below
is just Juliana's butt — not a UFO.
So... maybe I should write "Juliana's Flight Test", as Wordsmitty ✍️ suggested and include the above.
But obstacles. Today is laundry day if I ever bother to put on clothes and go out. The smoke isn't as bad at the moment. But that's not much of an obstacle. What is:
1. I need to buy glasses.
2. I need to clean and unclutter.
3. I need to buy a ticket and travel.
#3 is the easiest once #1 is taken care of. #2 is blocking me. I just don't care enough to do what needs to be done. The dishes get washed and the plants get watered... but not much else.
I'm dog-paddling with no land in sight.
Staying alive is looking like an over-hyped option. Am I happy where I am? Not really. Am I happy... period. Not really.
Posted in "Blogville "
|Juliana wanted to fly.
She'd heard all the reasons why she couldn't.
No wings. (stating the obvious)
Too big a butt. (said with a dismissive laugh)
You're nuts! (as if they weren't)
She went to the Magic Carpet store on 1st and Higgins. Asked to speak to Mrs. McCarpet.
"I know you're really Aladdin in drag. I won't tell anyone if you teach me how to fly."
Exposed! Never! He nodded, thought Nothing is sweeter than blackmail... except revenge, and scheduled lessons at 4 a.m. on Sunday mornings. In this win-or-lose-we-booze town there'd be no one out-and-about sober enough to notice.
Lift off. Juliana could feel her ass rise just a few inches. Then plop. They practiced in the middle of the high-school football field away from all the nosy trees and prairie dogs. Plus, the grass was softer than concrete and less abrasive than the gravel race track.
5 weeks of bruises... but Juliana did not give up. Bunny (another of Aladdin's disguises) kept encouraging her and truthfully? She was making progress, big butt and all.
The secret... shh... was never about the weight, size or lack of wings. If Dumbo could fly so could Juliana!
Week 7. Lift vertically. Slowly. Taking off like Mary Poppins in her umbrella was for pros. Word was that even she had crashed a time or two whilst getting the hang of it. Slowly now.
Juliana hovered over Bunny's head. Smirked. Then carefully focused on the pine tree on the other side of the race track and flew! until she crashed into it. Oh, the flying was fine. In her ecstasy she'd forgotten how to stop. The pine, however, had not forgot.
Bunny laughed. "Give up?"
Juliana hissed. "No Aladdin." That shut him up.
She collected a few pine cones she'd knocked off. She was nothing if not tidy. Then she glared before huffing off. "Next week... or else."
It was time for some fun. The next two weeks went well. Juliana flew down the bike path cackling. One drunk swore later that he'd seen a witch. When Mrs. McCarpet heard this from a customer she wryly replied, "This is a carpet shop. If you want a broom go to Walmart."
By Week 10 Juliana was getting the hang of it. A few more lessons and she could apply for her flying permit. No one would dare deny her. She dreamed of figure eights and swooping in a dive like a swallow or waving at passers-by while flying upside down.
Bunny was amused. Juliana would not give up! But it was time for a harsh reality check. Someone had reported a UFO racing down the river. This would not do. Discretion was an important part of flying around non-magical people.
Bunny flew Juliana on her carpet-woven-for-two to a place where other than scaring a bear, a beaver or a bobcat no one would notice. The ospreys always did, but what they shared was always dismissed as gossip.
Juliana flew. Superman would have been proud of how she sped off. She landed as daintily as Dumbo. Bunny said, "we need to celebrate before your encore."
Two small glasses. A sweet amber liquid. A toast.
Juliana soared again. Higher, higher. Lower, lower. Loopy, loopy, oops.
The blackberry patch hugged her in a welcome-home-momma moment.
Bunny helped Juliana... carefully... to extricate her from the needy thorns. "Little vampires," Juliana muttered. "Never fly while..." Juliana's glare stopped Bunny from finishing.
Instead Bunny handed her a bottle of calamine lotion. "You'll need this." No need to mention that her poison ivy and oak rashes would bloom before evening.
Two blessedly quiet weeks later, Juliana strode into the thankfully empty Magic Carpet shop wearing a loose fitting tent. She stopped Aladdin in his thoughts. He was dressed as Mr. Green Jeans to give worn out Mrs. McCarpet a well-deserved vacation. Juliana wasn't fooled.
"I want to sign up for my flight permit. — Now."
She's as stubborn as Mary Poppins had been. Some folks never know when to give up. Aladdin sighed. "Fill this out."
© Copyright 2021 Kåre Enga [178.188] (18.juli.2021)
|In the year 2021, or later, your character(s) will discover / see / learn something which puts them in danger. Luckily, your character has an escape plan in mind - a specific place in time PRIOR to the year 2000.
1) Write a short story about a character, or characters, who travels back to a time before the year 2000 to escape something or someone from their present. Their "present" may be any year from 2021 into the distant future.
2) Why does your character need to escape, and what is the reasoning behind choosing that specific point in time to arrive?
3) How is your character prepared for jumping into the timeline at this point? What unexpected challenges might they face? Will the future follow them to the past?
4) The inner workings and physics behind your modum onerariis - be it phone booth, wristwatch, druid stones, or DeLorean - need not be explained, but please do let us know what it is.
* be submitted in bitem format in the forum below no later than 11:59 pm (WdC time) on July 31st, 2021
* include word count (1000 - 7500 words)
* be rated 18+ or lower. No GC or XGC, please. Entries over 18+ will be disqualified.
| In three words I can sum up everything I learned about life: Counting is easier than it looks. Coffee Queen Sox
The weight of rice and tea.
Poh kept one eye on Mrs. W.W.Walker while counting and recounting the barrels of high grade sake. Chok kept an eye on her too as he weighed the sacks of tea. Li and Chen showed her around making sure she didn't see what she wasn't supposed to see. Beidi sat in a corner chatting with a peasant women.
The smell of osimanthus flowers filled the air.
"How many times have you counted them?"
"At least three times, Chok. I can't seem to focus. I look around and... I have to start all over again."
"Want to trade?"
But Chok did no better and the scales for measuring the tea seemed to have a mind of its own. And then there was Mrs. W.W.Walker, fanning herself like a courtesan, oblivious of what was going on.
Beidi made sure of that. Hoan knew who he was but played her part well. The boys knew who he was too, but didn't know his powers. Li and Chen were too focused on Mrs.W.W.Walker.
"She doesn't know does she?"
"No, she's too enamored with how much money she can make selling tea back home. That nip of sake Chen added is helping too."
"We're all playing are part today aren't we?"
"Even Poh and Chok... in spite of you trying to confuse them."
"Yes. What do you know about them?"
"They are young and curious. Too curious at times. Chok takes risks. Poh weighs the costs. They make a good pair."
"It's like that, is it?"
"Could be. It's more like they are our own children. Brave. Curious. Sometimes stupid."
Beidi laughed softly. What else could he do? Hoan was right. They were part of a bigger plan. He was sure of that. But... for now, keeping them confused made them look like silly boys. It was better that Mrs. W.W.Walker saw them as such. She'd worry about Li and Chen... as she should. They were formidible merchants. Better focus on them then the real threats to her plans. Beidi and Hoan were going to find out what her game was. And Chok-Poh were going to help them.
It was close to the time Mrs. W.W.Walker must be escorted out of the Tea-of-the-Mists. Poh said, "18 barrels". Chok said, "Agreed. And 91 jin 斤 of tea". "Let's load up the sacks of tea."
They smiled at each other. "What if our guest doesn't fit?" "What if we have to land in the middle of nowhere?" Now they both laughed.
"Ready?" It was Chen's turn to smile.
As Mrs. W.W.Walker was lifted off the ground and the turtle barely missed the trees they all sighed relief.
"She's in good hands now." Hoan stared directly at Li-Chen and turned to leave.
Beidi waited until dusk. A black dragon could fly unnoticed at night. He intended to speak to Chok-Poh before dawn.
© Copyright 2021 Kåre Enga [178.164] (24.juni.2021)
About 500 words
Bobby loved trees, the dense leafy shade of maple, pines to hide behind, oaks that held a swing, elms that soared, apples that give him... apples... to throw at me, Mary Beth!
His favorite tree grew in his friend's backyard. Johnny had a treehouse.
They would sit in it all summer, even sneak up there in winter to pretend they were abom... abomin... snowmen. He called Johnny Jack Frost. He never told us what Johnny called him.
I wish he would've.
I remember a summer day in 1957. It was cold and rainy, a storm brewing, snow in the mountains, but everyone knew the two of them would be in the treehouse plotting something.
Boys will be boys... if they only knew.
They were 11 and curious about everything.
That day was the day Johnny started fading. We didn't notice at first. Bobby always smiled and invited Johnny everywhere. They were inseparable; yet, one could tell that Johnny's smiles didn't light up his face. The mask was firmly placed and no one but Bobby knew what was behind it. And Bobby wasn't talking.
That day... it was a Tuesday... funny to remember that... they had found a kitten that was lost and were playing with it. That kitten... what happened to it... ah... Mrs. Baker took it in because Johnny wasn't allowed to keep it. Kept her company until they both turned old and grey. What was its name?
That Tuesday, around 2 in the afternoon, a big wind came through and we all went into the storm cellar when the house began to shake. Except Bobby and Johnny and Tippy... I knew I'd remember his name. They were fine. Mr. Fink's outhouse tipped over and Mrs. Baker's undies flew through the air; but, except for a few leaves, the trees were spared. Nevertheless, Johnny wasn't the same.
Years later, when Johnny ran away, Bobby disappeared. Oh, Robert sat right where Bobby always used to sit... at school, at church, at the kitchen table, but Bobby wasn't there. And after Viet Nam, he literally disappeared. Said he couldn't take the noise, the way he was treated. He said he wanted to become invisible, like Johnny, so he did.
I hadn't heard from him in... 15... no... 18 years, until today.
I barely recognized his trembling voice.
"Mary Beth, I found Johnny."
Chapter 2: "Jack Frost"
© Copyright 2021 Kåre Enga [178.162] (23.juni.2021)
About 385 words.
Prompts: boy, treehouse, lost.
| Doorways I Haven't Opened
Windows I have yet to look through
"Why are you here?"
Kago-san poured the tea. No ceremony today, just answers.
"There are doors I haven't opened, and windows I have yet to look through."
Mrs. W.W.Walker turned at looked at the garden.
"It's peaceful here. Too peaceful. I want to know what Hoan is up to."
"I'd worry more about Li-Chen." Kago-san sipped. "Hoan is devious and powerful. We both know that much. She seems to know everything. There are no secrets kept from her." He paused and poured more tea. "Li-Chen are quiet. I suspect even Hoan isn't entirely sure what they are up to."
"I have visited the Mountains of the Mist."
Mrs. W.W.Walker raised an eyebrow to that.
"There are few secrets my lady."
"My lady!" Now Mrs. W.W.Walker guffawed like a sailor.
"But you act like one. Stiff as a pole. Black from head to toe. Metal spikes that say "look at me but don't touch".
"You'd die if you tried."
Kago-san stifled a laugh.
"A scion of nobility and the British Navy, perchance?"
"That's my husband."
Kago-san spilled a drop.
"I was born bossy and nosy. No doubt about that. But the British have spies enough. I care more about opportunities"
"Yes, like tea. I could make my own money. I'd like that. But..."
Kago-san looked at her finery. Good cut. Fine silk. Black-on-black that tricked the eye up close.
"There's more going on here. There's only one tragedy I can't abide."
When Mrs. W.W.Walker did not reply Kago-san cocked his head and gave a look he had learned that begged to ask "what".
"You must be happy then."
© Copyright 2021 Kåre Enga [178.168] (27.juni.2021)
approx. 275 words.
| Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
"We need to check everything."
"No. WE need to check EVERYTHING."
Chok felt fine. He'd recovered from the krait bite. Hoan hadn't said a thing and even Li-Chen hadn't either. They were too busy. Chen was negotiating with Kago-san over which rice would be best and Li had her hands full with Mrs. W.W.Walker. But Poh wasn't taking any risks.
"Have you seen Hoan?"
"She's always up to something."
Chok thought about that while he checked all the valves. They seemed okay but Poh had bought new ones and... he couldn't have fun all alone so he'd humor Poh and make sure everything was as good as new.
"Maybe she's working on her chariot. It's been coughing like it caught a cold."
Poh laughed as he fingered the silk checking for holes and ran his fingers along the bamboo to make sure nothing had cracked. The idea of a rice-alcohol powered steam-cart catching a cold was too good an opening.
"Maybe you should check her out when we're done here?"
"Maybe you should hold this." Chok grabbed Poh's hand and placed it where it would do some good. "Just hold the valve like this." Poh blushed. Chok delighted in making Poh blush. It was so easy.
"There. I'll work on the rudder now." Chok still held Poh's hand. "Do you want to help me grease it?"
... "No... I'll check my camera to make sure it's ready."
Chok checked everything twice.
Poh looked unfocused. "We need to know what Hoan is up to."
"I'll go ask."
"No... that's fine. We don't want her to know what we're doing tonight. She'll try to get it out of us."
"She always does. The dragon is ready. I'm ready. Let's go."
Chok and Poh, rose in Li's three-seater, 禪宗飛船 [chánzōng fēichuán] zen dirigible that was tethered to a pole like a kite. It was past midnight, an hour when no one notices, calm by moonlight, no one suspecting that anyone would be out. If anyone did look up they would only see a blue-green dragon (青龍 Qīnglóng) and swear that they needed to cut back on the sake.
But, Mazu (媽祖), Goddess of the Sea, had caught a cold, went south and took a nap and the mô-sîn-á [魔神仔], mischievous tricksters, were out and about.
© Copyright 2021 Kåre Enga [178.166] (26.juni.2021)
With this, the book details two types of personalities: those who are interested mostly in gestalts (romantic viewpoints focused on being "in the moment", and not on rational analysis), and those who seek to know details, understand inner workings, and master mechanics (classic viewpoints with application of rational analysis, vis-a-vis motorcycle maintenance).
禪宗飛船 [chánzōng fēichuán] zen dirigible; 飛魚和龍 fēiyú hé lóng (flying fish and dragon) Bluegreen Dragon (青龍 Qīnglóng). Chok-Poh's flying-dragon airship is a silkpunk qinglong.
Bamboo frame, covered with silk, a helium bladder to help it rise. A release valve to slowly descend, a parachute of woven silk (mandatory equipment in case it crashed), shaped like a cigar, a baffled "tube" running though it from mouth to anus to control speed, a ridge to right it, feet and flippers of fish and dragons to steer it. Just a toy-for-boys, of no real use. Chen and Li found another use... and intended to blackmail a ...
Silkpunk story follows "Krait Bite" found in "Krait Bite or Bright Kite? "
| Holy Motors
圣车 [Shèng chē]
Hoan's chariot coughed. Either the rice wine was too rich or hadn't been filtered. She sent a message to Li-Chen. It wouldn't do to be without her own transportation. Her secrets depended on it.
Within an hour Chok and Poh showed up.
Hoan looked from one to the other. They went nowhere without the other. She waited to say something. Let them stew in their own juices. Would serve them right for snitching on her.
Chok looked down. "We don't have much time. Mrs. W.W.Walker is snooping around and we need to snoop on her. Our bosses' orders."
This made Hoan smile. Yes, let them stew.
Poh grabbed Chok's hand. Chok shook. Hoan stopped smiling and stared at Poh.
"What is really going on?"
"There have been strange foreigners in town. We're not sure from where, but they spoke to Mrs. W.W.Walker in a language she didn't understand."
"But the look on her face..."
"Yes, she blanched whiter than clean rice."
"Then she went into Kagamoto's and sat down."
"And drank two shots of sake."
Mrs. W.W.Walker was no stranger to a stiff drink, but... "Go back immediately. I can make do."
"Thank-you. We brought some fresh rice-alcohol blessed at the Kagi shrine. Chen thought that that may solve the problem."
Chok and Poh hurried off hand-in-hand.
Yes, serious problems.
Without Chok to help and Poh to hinder Hoan decided to clean out her four wheeled dragon herself. She dumped out the alcohol. She cleaned out the tank, checked the filter, put in a clean one anyways. She'd carefully watched the mechanics at Holy Motors. So easy to do. They ignored her. Now she did as much as she could without asking for help. Fewer eyes, ears and noses that way.
She put in the new fuel, checked the water, put on a new black silk-dress and her best feathered hat. Blessed or not she started her dragon without a cough. Yes, she grinned, she was blessed.
She headed towards Kagamoto's.
© Copyright 2021 Kåre Enga [178.159] (22.juni.2021)
About 330 words as of 6/22.
| Dr. Akula
Dr. Akula saw trouble coming. Half-deaf with a limp but his eyes missed nothing. Mrs. W.W.Walker strut with gears dangling from her ears, her bosom a half step in front of the rest of her. Hoan looked enticing in her bamboo bodice and layers of hand-painted silk, but the snakes in the nest of her hair looked too real. Dr. Akula softly hissed. Double trouble.
"I'm Mrs. W.W.Walker, Dr Akula. I want to know about whaleships."
A bit blunt even for a bloody Brit, he thought. "What about them. They're good when the seas are rough and can carry a heavy load."
"Of what." Hoan look through him as if he weren't there. He stifled the urge to turn around. He was perfectly safe, surrounded by guards.
Dr. Akula smiled. "We merchants do not divulge all our secrets. No one cares as much about tea or rice as Li-Chen does. Yes, I know you visited the mountains."
Mrs. W.W.Walker looked startled, for a minute.
"But you don't carry rice or tea."
Dr. Akula just smiled and said nothing.
"No, he doesn't carry rice or tea. Not valuable enough to trade or steal like a pirate."
Dr. Akula wasn't smiling.
"You shouldn't look so worried." Hoan chirped.
"Unless they're hiding arms meant for the Russians." Mrs. W.W.Walker whispered.
Dr. Akula circled around them. His name in Russian meant 'shark'. "Stop! I don't have time for nonsense."
"And neither do we."
If Mrs. W.W.Walker was intimidating Hoan was terrifying. At times in the past it was as if she could read his thoughts. No one was safe if he knew that they suspected the truth.
"I don't care about your plots. Mere games for the weak. Why are your ships going north?" Hoan stepped around him, took Mrs. W.W.Walker by the arm. She didn't wait for an answer. She had her answer by the shadow of fear that crossed in his face.
"I feel hungry. Lets go get a bowl of steaming-pig-guts."
Dr. Akula stood stunned.
© Copyright 2021 Kåre Enga [178.143] (14.juni.2021)
Polls can be simple. Do you like pineapple? 1. Yes. 2. No. My answer used to be simple. NO! But now that I've experienced fresh pineapple and dried pineapple a yes/no choice doesn't suffice. Since I see nuances I seldom like yes/no choices.
Writing.com polls allow for 9 answers. That more than covers yes/no/maybe/no-opinion. But even that is b.o.r.i.n.g. If you ask people any question you'll end up with many answers; but, they will tend to come down to 5. Running a pre-poll would be a great idea. I don't have the resources or time. So... I try to come up with those 5 myself. In my puppy poll I looked on-line for popular breeds and added a mutt.
In my cat poll I would've been better to focus on behaviour. Like: the one who sleeps on my head all night... or wakes me up at the break of dawn. Cats.
As you can see, the two polls go together along with "Your favorite interaction with a bird?" These two are also companion polls: "Which Disney female is most evil? Part 1" and "Which Disney male is most evil? Part 2"
I once wrote a funny poll about a WdC member, Partyof5. It received thousands of off-site views. I ended up closing it. But humor is not a bad idea. I wrote a story poll. Silly worked well. I hope the readers got a chuckle. They definitely voted!
One can ask serious questions, but the answers needed to be a bit lighter in this:"How long will you live?" And in this. "Placenta and rutabaga stew"
This poll was even more serious. It was based on newspaper coverage of a trans friend of mine who was hit by a train. The local outrage was immediate.
And with 7211 views and 103 votes it reflects that. Interestingly, no one thought it was an example of good journalism. Unfortunately, there need to be 10 recent WdC views to provide demographics. Here at WdC we can check views, votes and even demographics as with last week's poll.
It has received 20 views from WdC members: 15 females, 5 males. The average reader so far is: "Married Female, age 40-49, with College Degree education." Most found it through the newsfeed, not my blog.
WHICH BRINGS US TO TODAY'S POLL:
HUMMINGBIRD is the prompt. I came up with 13 answers so I chose 9:
1. Dumbo came in to have his ears adjusted. They were stuck in reverse. "Can you make them go in all directions? I want to hover like a hummingbird."
2. At the Dawn of Understanding you visit us and give us hope. Enjoy the nectar of the day. Oh Hummingbird, don't fly away.
3. A shimmer streaked across the yard from a patch of hollyhocks to poke its beak into a trumpet flower vining over the backyard gate. Patches meowed. Is that you, Anna or is it Rufous? Ruby at the hummingbird feeder wants to know.
4. "Yes, I impaled him. Yes, I sucked all the blood out of him." Interviewing Vlad's pet hummingbird was proving to be interesting.
5. It happened at Hummingbird and Hollyhock. Spot and Tiger got into a spat... until Officer Pete the showed up and shooed them away. "Nothing to see here folks." He folded his irridescent violet wings to take notes. Anna, the local hummer, appeared to be in shock. Ruby was dead.
6. Adam laughed. "I want to float like a hummingbird and sting like a bee." Mabel snorted. "You can start by getting your fat ass off the couch and bring me a..."
7. The vesper bells announced the hour as four o'clocks spread their frilly skirts, flashing red and gold at each client passing by. Fred kept watch. Louis, the local bad-ass saberwing, was sure to show up.
8. He embroidered each throat in ruby red, each wing in irridescent green. He had promised his sister a shawl of one hundred hummingbirds. They twittered too late, too late, too late.
9. Ruby Lee told Ruby Mae that Ruby Grace had gone missing... and the hollyhocks too! The Hummingbird Society was shocked. They called Inspector Rufous James to investigate.
Vote here: "Oh, Hummingbird! Sing it."