Thursday, May 27, 2010

7 Day Writing Challenge - Day 4

About the challenge.

1. Our first two, tiny, green, plum tomatoes on the plant in the pot where a line of ants tracks to, twice a day, from the rosemary bush at the edge of the terrace, across the paving stones, under the wooden slatted sunbed, and over the cat, if she happens to be sitting there, in the shade.

2. On my desk: a pension letter from HSBC, a black and white photograph of me at 22, an open diary with my brother's birthday marked on 31 May, a calculator, a mobile phone and charger, my glasses, the latest copy of the Frogpond journal, two retractable pencils whose rubber ends have gone hard, a cup of coffee, lukewarm, a list of french and english vocabulary for my hairdresser, a note of the hospital phone number and address where my mam is recovering after a fall and hip replacement, magnetic letters from which I've made the word 'MUCH'.

3. Lots of people keep their shutters closed here, not just at night, or when they're out, or away from home, but during the day when they're there. I think of secrets, of drawers with keys. Of looking over shoulders. Once, at a neighbour's drinks party, a woman got up and left when favourable talk of Marechal Petain began.


Helen said...

1. Cherries like unbroken hearts against a cerulean plate.

2. How it is easy to be gentle when your needs are satisfied and the world is kind.

3. Cream lampshade turned grey with month-old dust. I think of a sepia photograph of my great-grandmother, delicate nose tipped upward; eyes alert but sorrowful. She died very young.

martin cordrey said...

1/ the floor board’s creak as my wife packs for our vacation above me, the classic Blue Danube waltz’s out of the FM radio.

2/ our cat stretches on the chair next to me as I work, digging her claws into my skin through my thin trousers. Ouch!

3/ South Africa; the announcer breaks the news of the young man due to sing to Nelson Mandela at the opening of the world cup who has died, through my window I watch rain hitting the green leaves of our weeping cherry.

Glenn Buttkus said...


Visiting my mother's grave,
after five years, standing
mute in the drizzle, staring
gently down at the simple
flat slate headstone, with
the inscription; "BETTY LEE
BUTTKUS" April 1927- November
1966. Beloved Wife and Mother; Gone Too Soon."
Yes, well put. She missed her
chance to be a mother-in-law,
a grandmother, and a nursing
home resident. She's been gone
for 44 years; 44. I was born
in 1944 when she was 17 years
old. It was during the War,
and she liked those daring
young men in uniform. Too bad
she never got around to telling
me who my father was. She was
cremated. My third stepfather
never got around to picking
up the ashes.

The low rasping sound of twin
glass pack mufflers popping
and growling on my neighbor's
El Camino at 3am. He is the
only one, besides me, that
rises in darkness daily, and
rushes off to the proletarian
joys of serfdom. I am already
up, creeping about, not wanting
to wake my slumbering wife,
whose soft breathing sounds
like a dove cooing. Our cat is
curled up in the crook of her
legs purr-dreaming of squirrels
and ravens.

Three freshly naked stumps
appeared in my morning headlights,
wearing a collar of sawdust
and rough chips, like Catholic
school boys, their heads shiny
with dew, covered in still-
warm chainsaw scars. Be patient
you triumvirate, for soon the
stump grinder will come and
you will be plucked from sight
like unsightly fat mushrooms.

Erin Lee Ware said...

1) On my morning drive to work, the local high school is hosting its graduation. Cars line the sidewalks, policemen direct traffic, and dressed-up mothers and sons hold hands.
2) The sidewalk still wet from the night’s rainshowers. The lilacs smell stronger than ever.
3) The click of a woman’s heels on the tile. A man looks up from his paper.

Nicky said...

A pot-bound nasturtium that was shrivelled before work this morning is now revived by the rain I’ve complained about all day.

Snails scrawl their life stories through the condensation clouding the greenhouse.

I huddle in the long blue angora of my new cardigan. When I run for the phone, it swings around like a medieval cloak.

Lynne Rees said...

Hi everyone - so many startling images here. I am loving reading them as they get posted.

Helen: such deep truth in your 2)

Martin: I love the juxtaposition in your 3)

Glen: a really moving memory of your mother. And your 3rd 'observation' feels so 'tender' too.

Erin: This is nicely observed:
'The click of a woman’s heels on the tile. A man looks up from his paper.' Can't win over biology : )

Nicky: 'Snails scrawl their life stories...' is just stunning!

See you tomorrow, I hope : )