Category Archives: Old knowledge

Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt #Writephoto #Ritual


Long Meg  stood alone,

where had all the dancers gone,

no posy to hold,

just one solitary tear

rolled slowly down her cold cheek


Filed under As you read it, faith, Inspired by fable, Old knowledge, On the lines of romance, Otherworldly, Self compositions, Tanka

Sue Vincent’s #Thursdayphotoprompt #Writephoto


Near the top they stopped. The sun was dropping rapidly in the Western sky. As if lost in their own thoughts there was no need for words. Each knew that the other was thinking of the days to come. It was deserted now but tomorrow this sacred place would be crowded with people; men, women, children, friends, relatives, all gathered for the last farewell. Nyruda had passed, her body was laid on the bier ready for the ceremonial transition.

At sunrise a procession would wend it’s way from the village to this rock, “The seat of the winds,” with their light load borne on the shoulders of six men, while the monks, women and children followed. There would be chanting, age-old mantras sung in a low drone, while the incense-burners twirled and their fragrance drifted over the plain at the whim of the breeze. It was not a lament but a celebration of one stage of her old life completed in preparation for the new.

A breeze was starting, exposing its presence with a twitch of Gana’s sleeve. In the distance he heard the lone cry of the lammergeier. He smiled, recognising the significance of the call, as if in reassurance that the wild eagles knew they were soon to be summoned and would be ready to help in the sacred task.

Tomorrow there would be many, wheeling and turning, carried high on the updrafts as they circled in readiness for their feast. The flesh would be stripped from the body leaving the white bones exposed. They would not be left long. The more experienced avian attendants would climb high in the sky their bills stuffed and ungainly with stiff, long, bristled moustaches.  Like sharp but muffled drumbeats the sound of bones dropping on to the stones below would reassure the departing flock that the ceremony was being fulfilled. It would not be many days before the larger bones could be discreetly removed in accordance with their traditions ready for the final stage. Life would go on.


Filed under As you read it, faith, Flash fiction, nature inspired, Old knowledge, On the lines of romance, Self compositions

Colleen Cheeseboro 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 121, “Slow & Work,” #SynonymsOnly -The ploughman

Following the ox

in a cumbersome progress

over rough pastures,

he wears, but we share, the yoke

as from dawn to dusk we toil




Filed under As you read it, History, Old knowledge, Self compositions, Tanka

Yet one more #Thursday photo prompt: Snowfall #writephoto from Sue Vincent


He started to remove the bindings from his feet. He wondered where he would be able to find more strips of cloth such as these. He no longer had access to the old linen store. It had been closed a few months ago. The guards had been reprimanded for losing some of the stock. Had they taken the required bribes and passed them up the chain of command all might have been well.  Now some over-zealous pen-pusher had disrupted the system and everyone would suffer.

From now on the guards would also be spending extended holidays in the frozen beauty of the Siberian tundra. Enjoying shared holiday cabins in the resort known as the Gulag. He felt no sympathy for them. No-one could empathise with those who had once had the power of life and death over such as he. In fact the thought made him smile in satisfaction. Though that did not offer physical warmth, only a warm mental glow.

Warmth had been in short supply for the past few days as Autumn was coming to an end. Today had been the first taste of the long Winter to come. Noticeable changes, a glistening sheet of ice inside the windows in the morning. A cool mist that seeped through the holes in the greatcoat. The leaden, overcast skies, clouds building and lingering, slowly but perceptibly, and  now the first snowfall.

Instead of fur-lined boots, prison issue hobnails stuffed with linen strips were now the latest fashion, although not by choice, beloved by all, guaranteed to last two Winters with careful usage. Andrei would have no need to replace them. He would be due for release in his second year. It remained a goal to be cherished. Nobody liked to think that most sentences were invariably extended. Two years often becoming three, that was reasonable, seldom more than four.

He finished unwrapping his feet. He stopped and looked about him, reflecting on the silence. Like the forest now that the snow had arrived. Fifty people, yet no conversation; like himself, each lost in their own thoughts and too tired to waste time in conversation with neighbours. Friendships were not made, too easily broken in their hand to mouth existence.

The white skin on his feet, calloused and flaking was already beginning to turn red in the cold air. He rubbed at them furiously with his woollen-gloved hands. He bent his head to examine them more closely, a cloud of steam spreading over each foot with every breath. No signs of frostbite yet. He smiled, surprised at how the smallest thing was able to give him pleasure. He stretched his toes, massaging some heat back into them. He thought he would leave washing them for this one day as there was no guarantee the water would not be freezing cold from the tap. Slowly, savouring the feel of the soft linen he started to rebind each ankle and sole. If the bindings stayed in place his boots would keep the heat in until it was time to go out to the yard for the last roll-call before lights out at ten. He leaned back on his wooden palette and closed his eyes. There were no holes in his mittens or breeches that needed mending, that left two hours respite from the toil of the day. A small luxury to be enjoyed in the best possible way he could think of.


Filed under Alternative history, As you read it, Flash fiction, Old knowledge, Seasons, Self compositions

The Titan muse #photochallenge


Under dark skies and Luna’s gaze

I pause, reflecting on my fate

for traitorous act condemned, to hold

the world of man upon my shoulders

I burn each day in Helios’ fire

to suffer Khione’s ire by night,

when men no longer think of us

power is lost for such as Zeus








Filed under Alternative history, Factual, Inspired by fable, Old knowledge, Self compositions

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #237 Answer&Question


History tells us

a question with no answer

is yet to be found.

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Filed under As you read it, Haiku, Old knowledge, Self compositions

Once more #RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #236 Sage&Vine


The sage may find truth

if not in himself, then through

the fruit of the vine


Filed under As you read it, Factual, Haiku, nature inspired, Old knowledge, Self compositions

Sue Vincent’s #Thursday photo prompt: Setting #writephoto

And all those gathered on the Plain of Saarkand breathed a sigh of relief as one.

For as they looked to the East, the first rays of the New Sun arose over the hill that was called The Old Maid’s breast.
The harsh days of the cold season were past until the dark days arrived once more, as ordained by the Spirits of Earth and Sky.

With the rising of the sun the dark shadow of the beast, which the more superstitious among them had perceived as Kerhaan, the Dragon of Darkness, began to fade and crumble into glowing silver clouds. Soon to fall as life-giving rain on the high mountains. The rivers would flow freely once more down to the barren plain.

So would begin the new life phase.

Encouraged by the daily, ever-rising heat of the sun and the watering of the beast’s blood the farmers could once more begin the tilling of the earth and the sowing of the seed.

The Elders would continue to offer the sacrifice to the Ancestors and if they were not displeased once more would they fill the grain stores and feed their flocks.

Life for all would be good again.


Filed under Alternative history, As you read it, Flash fiction, nature inspired, Old knowledge, Self compositions, Temperatures rising



On our first attempt

to justify existence

he was not convinced.

The creator of all  things

chose to  become destroyer.




Filed under As you read it, Christian, faith, Old knowledge, Self compositions, Tanka

Ronovan writes #Haiku 224


Art of the sailor,

with only stars and compass

the world made smaller.

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Filed under Factual, From the heart, Haiku, History, Old knowledge, Self compositions