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Monday, 13 April 2020 06:45

Postings for a Quarantine

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Our Creative Writers group has had ZOOM Meeting for the past three weeks. These meetings are popular and productive with our group members and we will continue for the next few weeks. We meet at 1PM on Wednesday - contact me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for additional meeting details. (We are trying to maintain the highest level of security for our participants.)

I'm posting a short story and a poem by Jeanette Shiel today with more to come later in the week.

Consider joining us for our ZOOM Meeting on Wednesday.

Here's a prompt that fits our life right now:

“Caught in the rain today, I recall that couple kissing and holding each other infinitely close in the rain one dark evening under the nearly invisible trees,” wrote Paul Valéry in 1910, in a notebook included in The Idea of Perfection: The Poetry of Paul Valéry, translated from the French by Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody and forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux this month. Draw inspiration from rainy scenes in poetry such as William Carlos Williams’s “Spring Storm,” Sara Teasdale’s “There Will Come Soft Rains,” and Emily Dickinson’s “Like Rain it sounded till it curved” and write a poem that captures a moment in the rain, one that seems quiet or private but also carries emotional weight. Is there something poignant, parallel, or contradictory between the subject of the poem and the themes of rebirth and renewal that are conventionally associated with springtime? From Poets and Writers




     I am here.


     Right here.

I can’t see you. You are hiding.

     I am not hiding.

You are too.

     I have no reason to hide from you.

Hah! Liar!

     I am not a liar.

You are too.

     Why would I lie?

Because you don’t want to be with me.

     If I didn’t want to be with you, why am I here?

Well, where are you then?

     Close your eyes. Do you see me now?


     Good. Why am I here?

Because it’s dark outside. People are dying.


So, I can’t go outside.

     Why not?

Because I will die.

     Will you?

Will I what?

     Will you die if you go outside?

I don’t know.

     Do you believe what I tell you?


     Then believe me, this is not your time to die. Go outside.


The lake is black as coal, foreboding, and uninviting. The wind echoes with brazen authority as it whips across the water, creating rows of little white-capped waves across the frosty lake, sending chills down my spine. I stand firm without resistance, ready for the invisible assault to lash across my face. I wince in anticipation, lowering my head to deflect the impact. At the water’s edge, crystals begin their artistic tango as individual hexagons merge in symmetry weaving this way and that, forming wonderous ice patterns. Just then, my foe attacks. Its voice boastful; its presence stern as it connects with my cheeks and nose, taunting its power as my face stings with reaction. Then, silence. I remain steadfast and survey. A victim, my skin raw; my lips now ravaged, cracked, and dry. I take a deep breath, appreciating my existence, my solitary of this very moment. I wait and then slowly exhale. I witness my little cloud linger as each warm droplet succumbs to the frigid temperature. The trees remain stoic, almost motionless, naked of leaves that would otherwise sway and bend their branches to contort to the wind’s rhythm. No rainbow of color to announce their presence, the trunks meld into the backdrop with the dark waters. I squint to admire the snowy hills nearby, as the sun flaunts its prism reflection that blinds me. The snow dust dances on across the fields, in tune with its master. I return my gaze to the ebony pool before me. Mist rises in small bunches across the lake’s covering, a reaction of warmth giving heed to the dominating coldness. A protest. A losing battle. I turn defeated, understanding. The snow crunches below my feet as I retreat and head to the safety and warmth of my home.

On this day, winter won. Its annual ritual in sync with its course of destiny, the surroundings curtail to endure a harsh season of weather. But soon, although unknown exactly when, but soon, the winds will swirl and reverse course. Spring shall reign the victor. The sun will endow warmth. The wind will bow to the heat. Nature will be rewarded with immense energy and growth. Vibrant colors will explode, and an abundance and fury of activity will prevail. Life will dominate. I look forward to that moment. I will embrace that very day.

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Ron Pickett

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