Monday, November 17, 2014

Flash Fiction Challenge: The Green Man

I've been terrible at writing here again. It seems I need external pressure to keep posting. So, I've recently started following Chuck Wendig at terribleminds and this week has has issued a flash fiction writing challenge to reposed to a photo from this buzzfeed article. I've chosen this picture: 



The Green Man

There wasn’t a lot of work for the green man these days. People had turned away from his leafy face. Christianity had much to do with it at first but in recent days, science hadn’t been much help either — with its climate change; GM crops; and salinity. What had once been worshipped had fallen solidly into the role of adversary.

At first, with his old job of demi-god now defunct, the green man just dropped out and went to ground. His leafy hands had no problem pulling fish from rivers or snatching up the occasional rabbit to stew up for dinner. His cabin was simple but comfortable enough — even for someone who was used to being exalted and brought offerings. The green man was a realist. Those days were gone.

From bad to worse — that’s how most things go. Not being recognised by the electoral roll or by the occasional people came across worked to the green man’s advantage for some time. But slowly the forest was pushed back by residential development and when the bulldozers came to a cabin in a small clearing, they checked their notes for building permits and, finding none for the ramshackle dwelling, pushed on.

Homeless and hungry, the green man walked the miserable streets. A wino in a park offered him a swig from his bottle as they shared a damp bench. The tatty man peered through the dusk at the green man.

“No room at the shelter,” he said, “We’ll go earlier tomorra, get a comfy bed for the night.”

At the shelter, the green man met Maude who showed them to stretchers and blankets. Maude smiled. Maude took an interest. The green man liked her immediately. His new tatty friend was more wary.

“I’d watch that one,” he warned, “She’ll have you into the system and back to the rat race before you know it. That shit’s not right.”

The green man wasn’t so sure. So when Maude talked to him about getting signed up for unemployment benefits, he did. When she suggested his first cheque go towards some new clothes and a haircut, he bought new clothes and walked into a barber’s. When Maude mentioned assisted housing, he put in a request. And when she had seen a job for an office assistant on the noticeboard, he wrote up an application.

“It’s nothing glamorous,” the woman in a pinstriped skirt and jacket warned during the interview, “Mostly filing, making sure the staff have copies of paperwork they need, maybe making coffees when a meeting is running. Does that sound like something you’d be interested in?”

Maude was so proud that she asked him to dinner so they could celebrate. In the evening light, she could almost forget his leafy beard and the rough bark of his hands. He was a man after all, a green man but still a man. His new suit and tie covered most of the leaves and his eyes fixed and held her so that the chlorophyll content of his person no longer troubled her.

He walked her to her door where he bent his green head to kiss her. He had waited patiently — like waiting for the seasons to change; for new offerings to be brought; for the prayers, chants and invitations of the turning wheel of the year. Maude had never asked about his past and he hadn’t offered. He thought he would like to tell her, someday, about who he had been, maybe one day soon. His hand was at her waist; her head tilted back looking up to him. When his lips were almost on hers, his leafy bearded cooled her cheek and she pulled away.

His work suffered when Maude failed to return his calls and he became further and further behind with the filing until the woman in the pinstripes said she would have to let him go — as if he had been straining to be free of them all along. He packed up his mug and the few personal things he kept in his desk drawer. On the way out, down the long hall with frosted glass that looked smokily into the offices that lined it, he picked up the hallway pot plant. The woman in pinstripes called to him,

“You can’t take that; it isn’t yours.” Without turning, the green man replied,


“Yes, it is.”

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Poetry Giveaway Winners

This is just a quick post to announce the winners of the poetry giveaway and to apologise for not (yet) finishing my NaPoWriMo posts. I have (mostly) kept up with the poem writing but haven't always blogged them in a timely fashion. I will get there... soon.

And the winners are:

Renee ~ Margaret Atwood's Selected Poems 1965-1975

and

Andrew ~ either Landlines or Seasons of Childhood

Congratulations to you both and I'll see the rest of you soon with my remaining poems...

Friday, April 26, 2013

Day 22: A Fortunate Re-write

The prompt for today asks us to rewrite Frank O'Hara's "Lines for the Fortune Cookies".




Fortunate Cookies
Only the wise read their fortune and smile.
Knowing is only guessing with the lights on.
Purple pants are not for everyone.
You will know it when you know it.
Fortune favours the fortunate.
Live well and you will be the envy of many.
Time is not ours to waste.
Love may but come once, be ready.
A departure may be simply an arrival in the mirror.
Fossick and you will find joy.
Happiness abounds for those who know its name.
A deity is only god-like in the eyes of mortality.

Day 21: a selection of words

Today's prompt gave us a list of word to select from. I chose five & created this poem.


Night flight
black asphalt in a black
night, the headlights
are pools that
I swim through.
An elusive wing
sweeps onto the
dual spot lit stage.
A flash of owl
white against black
a mercurial whitewash
splashed onto a
squandered roadway.
My heart beats
in artillery fire
and I grip the steering wheel.

Day 20: ICPOTA

Who remembers that acronym? C'mon, you know you're old enough! (Okay, maybe you're not but I am!) It's the thing I think of whenever anyone mentions personal ads or classified of any kind. Ic Pota was a little character used to sell the classified in The Age newspaper and his name stands for "In the Classified Pages Of The Age". Ic Pota originally looked like this:


Then at some stage had a make over and got a new more tizzy outfit to look like this (Looks like he might have had some 'work' done too, I mean, check out those cheek bones!):


All this is leading towards today's prompt to write a poem based on the Personal Ads, so here's mine:


In the Personal Pages
desperately seeking
looks not important
30 – 40 but with a youthful disposition
fun-loving, care-free
traveller of the world
student of life
with a PhD from the School of Hard Knocks
seeking same
seeking friendship with a view to romance
seeking companionship
seeking a fellow traveller
seeking
desperately

_______________________________________________

Don't forget to go here and follow the instructions to be in the poetry giveaway draw.

Day 19: Bookends

Today's prompt was to write a poem that began and ended with the same word.


Hold on
Gravity withholds
an elemental trust
and does not allow
for the groundedness of things
that are held here
by their own true
gravity