Category Archives: Old knowledge

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #223 Rise&Fall

 

As the waters rise.

the civilisations fall

fables of the Flood

.

T

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Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt: Bone #writephoto

skull

Over the western hills the sparse, silver clouds are tinged with  red. The sun, not yet set gives up it’s daily battle with the revolving Earth.

A slight breeze starts vibrations in the tall grass heads previously still  in  the heat of the day as the first chill wind from the shore  heralds the onset of evening.

The rain-washed,  sun-bleached skull lies on the path of low foot-worn grass between the heather tussocks.

Tonight there will be no moon to cast it’s glow over the silent tors. The evening air remains curiously warm, almost sultry.

Imperceptibly, as if guided by some gentle, unseen hand the skullbone is turne to face the darkening  Eastern sky. d

In the distance,  a low unearthly sound as of the moaning of the wind in the mast of a storm-tossed sailing vessel can just be heard. The skull shudders and begins to roll to the side of the path.  Like the growth of moss but vastly accelerated, a black downy growth begins to form a shadow on the stark, white surface. The black down grows longer until it resembles the short, thick fur of a dog. An impression helped by the impression of long limbs and thickset body of a hound which appear  to be forming around the single skull.

At last there stands a large hound. Saliva drips from the muzzle as the jaws open showing a row of strong teeth where once were just sockets. Red, unblinking eyes like cinders stare out as snorting nostrils flare and a snarl escapes the shaking head.

Darkness reigns but the black fur is embued with a dull, green lustre. If anyone was near they would start to sense a foetid smell,  increasing in strength with each shake of the thick flanks.

While out over the darkening hills the previous low moaning is now distinguishable as the baying of  a pack of hounds.

The newly reborn beast raises it’s head turning to the right and left. Upraised newly grown ears point straight up, cocked, listening.

With a snarl and a huge leap the beast  runs off in the direction of the approaching pack.

Across the moor a dark-cloaked rider sits atop a heavy black steed. His hood rolls back  allowing a glimpse of a white, gaunt cadaver-like grin. He frowns. he struggles to control his rearing horse, while in his free hand he holds a horse-whip which with every flick emits a stream  of red and gold sparks. Around the horse’s  feet a pack  of identical black hounds snarl, circle and fight, cowering  at every crack.

Soon the pack will be complete again and the Heath hounds will start their nightly hunt seeking out the souls of the wicked.

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Filed under As you read it, Flash fiction, Inspired by fable, Old knowledge, Otherworldly, Self compositions

The search for syllabic perfection

In

our

search for

the secrets

of ancient artists

we need look no further than this

sentence using the classic Fibonacci sequence.

 

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Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt: Faraway #writephoto

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I walked back down to the slipway at first light. As expected there was only one reminder of our work from the night before, at the last low tide. Of course none of us could be sure if the Gods had smiled favourably upon Ulrika and allowed her to escape ready to rejoin the world of men.

Not that she could come back into our community. The prejudice of the villagers was too great. Many of the young men would be unhappy that she had been taken from us before she had given her acceptance of a marriage proposal.

Apart from the memory of her long, flowing, red hair nothing was allowed to remain in the minds of men. Her name could not  be spoken. Her supposed crime never again mentioned unless as a warning to naughty children who failed to eat their meals or refused to carry out their chores.

Elder brothers and sisters would frighten their younger siblings by telling them she was hiding under the beds, as older children do.

I was saddened for I did not believe the tales they told of her. That is why I had returned to the place of the crabs. I was not disappointed. if the Gods had not intervened then overnight the crabs and fish had done their work.

The white rock which had been  so carefully  placed upon her bare chest sat lonely in it’s place. No scrap of flesh or bone remained. Picked clean by snapping claws and teeth.

Ulrika was now far away, either in the hands of Gods or men and I would be the only one who would feel remorse.

 

 

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Filed under Alternative history, As you read it, Flash fiction, Inspired by fable, Old knowledge, Self compositions

Museum exhibit four hundred and thirty nine

Having recently heard of the recent death of Rick Turner, the archaeologist who played a major role in the identification of Lindow man, I thought I would post a relevant poem.

For me no stone at head or feet,
Buried ‘neath the sodden peat,
Full three times I died at the hands
of former dwellers in this land,
messenger to the gods my fate,
my kinsmen’s problems to relate
our hunting failures, weather woes
humiliation by our foes,
my message to our Gods was clear
but they pretended not to hear,
With wrists behind me tightly bound,
A cord around my neck was wound,
a rock against my temple dashed
then with a knife, throat crudely slashed
my patriotic chore now done
in Eden’s glade my spirit runs,
though from the earth my body raised
my final bed a tomb full-glazed,
and as I lie in endless slumber
my name forgotten, now just a number.

 

 

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#Weekly Tanka Prompt #Poetry Challenge – Week 114 – Emotions & Healing

Aroused emotions

yield to the healing powers

of quartz and crystal

with just one touch of the stone

regain peace and harmony

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MLMM’s #First Line Friday: August 31st, 2018

Summer died that night. It was a time of celebration, the deep fire-pit, filled to the height of a man with peat, brush, bracken and branches ready to be lit. The cattle, pigs, sheep and fowl driven in to the central enclosure ready for the elders to carry out their grisly task,

The children had asked the usual questions which we had asked when we were young. The answer was always the same throughout the years. “This is the way it has always  been.”

“The beasts we have nurtured lovingly throughout the year must repay our kindness. There will be feasting for everyone before the dark days come as they surely will. There is not enough goodness in the fields to keep and sustain our flocks and herds. Only the necessary  few will be kept for our daily needs.”

“The offering  we make now will be noted by the sky-dwellers and if pleased they will  send the bright sun back to lighten our days once more when the time is right. This is as it has always been.”

As we watched the great fire was lit. Bright scarlet and yellow tongues of flame leaped into the not yet dark sky. Our animal’s eyes rolled at the sight. As each one was led through the narrow entrance between the stakes into the very heart of the village the remainder started to grow restless and were snorting, bleating and clucking wildly. We could hear the loud cries of pain from within and panic started to spread through the now terrified animals. We beat them furiously to  try and stop the by then dangerous mayhem.

A greasy cloud of dark smoke hung motionless in the air above the cluster of thatched dwellings and the smell of animal fat was strong in ours and the remaining animal’s nostrils. The addition of the animal fat helped the flames to reach high above the height of the palisade for all to see.

The last beast was lead through the opening, their  dark, deadly destiny assured. Gradually we heard the sound of drums performing an increasingly louder, rhythmic, hypnotic beat.  It was hard to stop our feet from stamping and dancing in time to the music.

Finally the last of the sun’s rays died and only then were we able to pass through the portal to join the great feast marking the change of the seasons.

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Sue Vincent’s Thursday prompt #Writephoto The gleaming spires

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After a walk of about thirty-five minutes we came to a clearing before the trees lost their erratic spacing and stretched out before us on either side of what appeared to be a green lane. My first thought was that it must have been an old Roman road as it looked so straight but Gerry told me that it was probably far older than that. It was one of Alfred Watkin’s possible ley lines. Probably the straighest one that could be traced on the ground as well as on the map. I realised that by looking back over the way we had come I would probably have been able to see the trilithon we had been admiring earlier that morning. I was curious as to what the next point may be on the line. The answer was the old Hemingford Grey church which was just visible at the end of the avenue, especially if I used his binoculars. I took them from his hand and sure enough in the distance was the tall, grey spire just visible on the horizon. The sun appeared to be shining brightly over there, glinting off what was probably a weather-vane or perhaps a lightning conductor. Even with the glasses it was too far to make out. Gerald then turned and told me that before the war the church tower was quite awe-inspiring but sadly a spitfire pilot had come to grief at the very spot. Curious as to the story I pressed him to tell me more. I knew that this part of Cambridgeshire had many airfields during the war and there were a lot of pilot training facilities. It transpired that after one sortie a young pilot on only his second mission had been returning to his base having only one engine serviceable. Being inexperienced and not inured to the trials of war he was still quite headstrong and was certain that he could make it back to his base only twelve miles further on. The aircrew’s usual landmark for return was the spire of the church but sadly this time his second engine failed as he was passing the spire at low altitude ready to turn for home. With an injury to one arm he was unable to slide the cockpit canopy back and eject. Through sheer bad luck the plane spiralled down with him still inside, demolishing the whole spire as he plummeted to the ground and his death in the ensuing blaze. In memory of this event the authorities had left the spire un-repaired leaving it as a rather lower square tower. But to me that was impossble for had I not just seen the spire through the binoculars. I raised them to my eyes again and this time I could see only the flat crenellated tower as described. This left me in quite a severe state as I knew that earlier I had seen the church as it was more than sixty years previously. A chill came over me probably brought on by the thought of that poor airman but also because I was worried that this ley line might have some more curious tricks up it’s sleeve.

Based on the true story of hemingford church

 

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Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge NO. 92, “Bewitch & Treasure,” #SynonymsOnly, tales from the Argo

life-is-likea-cup-of-tea

By lust for riches

and impolite behaviour

we became swine.

Jason through  his piety

made Circe reverse her spell.

 

 

 

 

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Weekend writing #60 #Weave

Challenging  Gods in all their glory

Remember poor Arachne’s story

compelled to weave eternally

threads on the loom of humanity

as a consequence of her vanity

 

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