TDP’s Writing 101 – Be Brief

I wasn’t really interested in yesterday’s prompt, so I didn’t complete it. I find I have to be moved by a prompt in order to complete it, which is something I perhaps need to work on. I might find writing a more viable source of income if I learn to write even when I’m not necessarily moved to do so.

Today’s prompt however did spark my interest. Despite my propensity for exploring language, I am always intrigued by prompts which constrain me to certain word limits, just as I am to prompts which give me unconnected words to blend together in a piece of writing.

You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.

Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.

Somewhere overhead I hear geese calling to one another on their South-bound flight. This morning is crisp; I wear a coat, but no hat or gloves. Halfway along the path past the cemetery I see a scrap of paper caught in a hedge. It’s a letter, handwritten on actual stationary; an archaic practice to most these days. The delicate script draws my attention, and I begin to read. It is short, just one page. By the time I am finished I am crying again.

I would give it to my father if I could; if I hadn’t just buried him.


Geese @ the Riverwalk in Rock Hill. Image is my own.

the woods, most would say,
are quiet
but I know different
for I have heard the song of the forest

in stillness I sit
perched on the edge of a steaming river
the soft words of geese reach my ears
over the slow, constant babble
of the water’s passage

dew collects on fading leaves
drops into the brush below
joining with the sounds of birds and squirrels
searching the forest floor
for nuts and berries to stock their winter stores

morning’s light
stirs wildlife to sing and call
their voices creating
a breathtaking cacophony
the music of Nature given life

Written in response to this week’s challenge at Velvet Verbosity, which gives us ‘listening’ as our prompt for the week. I found that this poem also easily fit New World Creative Union’s Wednesday Wakeup Call.

Also linked up at With Real Toad’s Open Link Monday, and to d’Verse’s Open Link Night. Come on by and check out the other amazing poets and writers!


There is a moment that comes, as I pass through the threshold and shed the trappings of the outside world. A moment in which I am able to release mundane thoughts and more fully envelop the core of my being.

In that moment I fully appreciate my presence in the world, my place in it. I absolve myself of the worries and trials of the day, and allow myself to settle into a more natural existence.

Once I let fall those portions of life which are immaterial to who I am, what remains of the day informs me of myself.

Velvet Verbosity this week has asked us to write about what remains of the day. This is my effort to that end. It’s less poetic and more prose, I know, but a poem didn’t come to me this time.


my fingers reach, arched and delicate
poised for a single stroke
or many perhaps, depending on the mood
they tremble, eager to release
to relieve the pressure of holding back
my lip caught between my teeth
eyes close a moment
then a breath escapes me and I sigh

finally I move
eager to release the words pent up
within my soul
fingers delicate across the keys
spilling words upon a screen
eliciting smiles and murmurs of delight

my verse revealed
stares back at me
the exhibitionist in me baring her soul
allowing others
the briefest glimpse of my anima

Velvet Verbosity asked us to explore the ways in which writing makes us tremble this week, and this is my approach to that. Enjoy!

“It Is By Will Alone …”

Image is my own photo, taken during a road trip to Max Patch Bald.

I sit curled in the back seat of our already worn-out car,
praying that the plane I see
coming in for a landing isn’t landing on the highway.
My eyes slip closed again as I murmur quiet pleas
to whatever gods or saints
protect weary travelers
My hands tremble as I lift them,
pluck a single cigarette from the pack
hold it between my lips as the lighter flame flickers.
“It is by will alone I smoke this cigarette.”
I recite, recalling dialogue
from an oft-viewed film
I’m not traveling this way again
not if I have my way.

Velvet Verbosity’s 100 Word Challenge this week gives us the theme ‘road trip’. This piece is inspired by one particular road trip I went on; in particular, a now famous (among my friends) utterance of mine.
Also linked up at d’Verse’s Open Link Night.

“Stealing Thunder”


Thunder rolled and crackled thick around them.
Flashes of lightning split the air,
leaving a familiar tang behind.
Rain pelted the earth, and their bodies, in sheets.

Each scream was lost
in the steady growl of the storm,
leaving them deafened and mute.

Still they continued
lips inseparable, bodies entwined
lovers stealing the power of the storm for their own.

I envied them
those two frantic souls
slick with passion and thunder’s tears
heated by a summer’s storm
and their own longing.

But I can steal the storm’s strength too
I can make it my own.
You taught me how.

This was supposed to be something for Velvet Verbosity, but it failed to let me use this week’s theme, which is Rebel. It’s still 100 words, though. Also linked up at d’Verse’s Open Link Night.

“Secret Colors”

there are colors we know
the almost indigo of  crocuses heralding the spring
or deepest ebony, the hue of grief
perhaps vibrant crimson, the flowers of a bride’s bouquet

but there are colors we don’t know
secret colors
seen only by those who accept the wonder in the world

there is the seductive color of a woman’s swaying hips
drawing men to her presence
there is the blush of dawn, it’s stillness and joy
painted in the morning’s sky

these colors are not seen with the eyes
but with the soul
windows into a massive world of magic and spectacle


Hadn’t intended on this being included for Velvet Verbosity’s Prompt from E.B. White, but it it the right word count and fit so well.  I wrote it using most of the words from The Sunday Whirl’s prompt Wordle 57 – A Baker’s Dozen.

“Deer Crossing”

I drive along back country roads
trying to juggle technology’s gifts
the cell phone, the satellite radio, the GPS to navigate me home
they come from nowhere
a mother, a yearling, and a speckled fawn
tails flicking
ears pricked to the sound of iron beasts rushing past
daintily approaching the edge of the wood
I pull over slowly
I stop, and watch them consider their path
awed by their presence, by their nearness, by their peace
their existence a spectacle
offering me solace from the everyday
protection from the chaos of modern convenience
if only for a moment


Written in response to Three Word Wednesday’s prompt, using the words fawn, juggle, and navigate. Also wrote it to answer the challenge at Velvet Verbosity, for the E.B. White prompt.

“Fragile Hearts”

a hushed breath stills, a fragile heart leaps
shrouded in the lagoon of desertion
each expiration counting the moments
the sedges march, stalwart soldiers

rapturous fingers trace along elegant curves
who corral the hearts of cast-off lovers
liquid fire to burn your touch into my skin
verdant green hedgerows and meandering vines

where once my essence yearned for release
staunch sentinels observe silently, timelessly
to withdraw, desolate, into another lifetime
offering no consolation to their tears

now heartfelt love fuels this soul’s inferno
only seeking that which belongs
devouring endless vexation, despair and torment
settled in eternity within the shallows

Written for both Velvet Verbosity’s 100-word Challenge, which asked us to use the word ‘fragile’, and also Naming Constellations’ Reverie Nineteen, which challenged us to write ‘quantum poetry’.  Linked up also to The Music In It’s Prompt #100.

I took two pieces of my old work and rewrote them in a way that fit both prompts, and I’m pretty happy with the results.

OneWord: cabin

a witch lived in a cabin, tucked away, secluded
her only companions the creatures of the wood
her guardians the ever-present trees
she confided in the birds
was consoled by the flowers growing in her garden.

she lived a solitary life
or so you might think.

how can you say one is solitary
with the spirits of so many
present and accounted for?

when one speaks to the trees, to the birds
to the sweet speckled fawn
and the sleepy mother bear
is one truly alone?

the witch lived in the cabin
secluded in the woods
but not alone