Tag: microfiction

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Breakers Far Below, Oregon Coast Highway 101, Oregon, United States of America

A Smile Above the Breakers

Hers was an exquisite beauty
Not the kind to command
Covers or runways
That puts a name
Up in lights or lead a headline

Her beauty commanded a second look
The kind you missed on a first take
And yes, it was there on the surface
But more, it ran deep

In her bearing
In the way she made others
The center of her world

Her smile flowed
From every feature of her being

To receive one was to be blessed

The first time
She gave me that gift

It was through a tangle of locks
Tossed about in the wind
The sound of breakers far below

My heart knew only one person
In the entirety of existence
And it took years to convince it
That there were other smiles in the universe

Some time after I’d grown beyond the desire to possess her
Our group of friends retraced that old road trip
And on this same point, through tousled locks
She gave me again that heart-stirring smile
But this time said

“I think I am falling in love with you.”

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An Unknown Shore, Gold Beach, Oregon, United States of America

An Unknown Shore

I’ve washed up
On an unknown shore
Clear of the wreckage
From which I’d drifted
Alone on an empty sea

Bruised
Scarred
Burnt

But OK

I spit sand and salt
From my parched mouth

 
Thirst

Then

Hunger

 
But first
Reconnoiter 

So up now
Onto the roiling sea of dunes
With their smaller wavelets
Of grasses in the wind

From the tallest
Scan up and down the shore
Only waves of ocean and grass
And the tidal strip of sand between

 
No people
Or signs of habitation
Or even a trickle of water
Splitting the dunes
To join its salty objective

Inland
A barren of pines
Obscures whatever topography
Or structures
May be beyond

At the forward fringe
Where dunes meet forest

Thin
Scraggy
Scattered

Windswept trees become soon enough
A thickly boughed and wooded

Darkness

I sit for a while
In the rustle of wind and sun
Watch the gulls soar
As their caws echo
The chatter of thoughts
Playing out silently in my mind

Ideas without a tide
Or a beach to wash up on
Soaring on an unseen wind

I am adrift in a familiar peace
The pleasures of moments lived fully
On sun and sand excursions
Whether accompanied or
As preference sometimes won out
An adventure of solitude

Before long
The harsh admonishments
Of sun and wind take their toll
And while chewing my lip
In meandering thought
A chapped bit of it tears away
Leaving the taste of iron
The sting of revealed dermis

The elements have reduced my options
To an accommodation with mortality 

Move or die
Shade or die

I strike out
Into the pines
With a good deal more hope
Than the conditions call for
Confident 
That an unknown darkness
Has more to offer
Than the expanse of nothingness
I now know
Baking already
Under the intensity
Of a morning sun

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Close Your Eyes, Time Exposure of some Random Netflix Show

Bastards

She closed her eyes
Heaved a sigh
Then made the choice
She’d always made
And always would

Don’t let the bastards get you down
She whispered
Drew another breath

Don’t let the bastards get you down
She said
Drew another breath

Don’t let this bastard get you down
She growled
Then held what remained of her breath

Until she could hold it no longer
Then simply let the breath go
And with it went all the bastards

Even the one who stood before her
Who knew her well enough
That there was no coming back
Once the door closed behind him

She listened for the squeaky hinge
The groaning spring
As the door slammed shut
With satisfying finality

Boots clattered across the porch
Down the steps
Scattering gravel in the drive

A creaky metal door opened
Then screeched shut

Two roars of an engine
The second sprayed gravel
Onto the porch
While the roar  drew away
Into the insurmountable distance
Just as he had over the last month

Soon enough the birdsong dispelled her reverie
And when she opened her eyes
The world already seemed brighter
With nary a bastard in sight

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Moonset Over Blackcomb, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Moon ~ Pic and a Word Challenge #230

In the cold quiet
Of a winter night
Me and the Moon
We have a chatter

Chunky frozen snow
Crunches underfoot
Shhhh, hisses the Moon

Be still
Listen

This I do

But all I hear is the Moon
Simmering on the snow peaks

Shhhh, Say I
To the full flood moon
Which does not know chagrin

Ahh, my friend
Replies the Moon
Would you have heard my sizzle
Had you never listened?

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Energy Beam, Sea to Sky Highway, Tantalus Lookout, North of Squamish, British Columbia, Canada

A Momentary Lapse of Fiction

The energy pulse slammed into the car
Which quivered briefly
Before vapourizing with a flash
Brighter than the beam
Which destroyed it

As the momentary daylight faded
The mist which was once my Toyota
Settled into the crater
That had been a parking lot

I hoped the owner
Of that formidable weapon
Hadn’t acquired my new position

The concrete barrier I’d sheltered behind
Suddenly seemed feeble protection

Night returned and I got the fuck outta there

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Waves, Seaside Creek Beach, Pacific Coast Highway, Mendocino County, California, United States of America

Waves

I hasten out to the beach
Envelope in hand
Fumbling to get at its contents
I don’t even notice the surf

The wave peters out
Just before it reaches me
Its last energy spent
As bubbling foam dissipates

My muscles relax
Tension leaves my body
While the ocean recedes
Back down the beach

I turn over the paper again
Check the wording again
The test was negative

The test was negative

I’m going to live

Another wave comes
Stronger than the last
Soaking just one shoe

Which makes a delightful squish
As I stride back up to the house
Good tidings in hand

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Amphitrite Light, Amphitrite Point Lighthouse, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Amphitrite Lighthouse

As the sun began to fall
The Great Light said
To the little light
At Amphitrite

Oh, little one
Feel my heat
See my radiance
Do you not wish
To be so grand as I?

Oh, indeed, Great One
The little light replied
Your luminous warmth
Is the envy of all

Words in which the Great One
Took no small pleasure
Preening in preparation
To further explain its greatness

But… were I to be you
Continued the lighthouse
When the night comes
Or the fog grows heavy
Who would guide the sailor’s way?

Startled, chagrined and angered
The Great Light drew a deep breath
Preparing a dismissive retort
Then sank below the horizon

Leaving the little light
At Amphitrite
With its ever present beacon
To shine into the quiet night

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Gallery Bistro, Port Moody, British Columbia, Patrick Jennings' show of photographs, poetry and stories is now on the walls.

The Unlikely Path

Photography came early. In high school. Late ‘70s. With my father’s Nikkormat and Mr. Haust’s photography class. There was a year as a “Photographic Illustration” undergrad at Rochester Institute of Technology, one of the best photography schools in the Americas, at the end of which my professor said, “Patrick, I don’t think you’re going to be a photographer.” In the sense that he meant, at the time, he was right. I’m not much of a “Photographic Illustrator”; I don’t make my living from photography. But, then, here am I.