Murcan Sun – 2/3

Part 1/3

Nulba goes out into the field and the sweat makes runnels between the cords in her arms and her back. She sees the tall figure that is Pualan coming, sees it only out of the corner of her eye. She pulls the weeds in vigorous motions and does no listening for hours until Pualan recedes and Renneyah comes out of the house – she’s not solid like Nulba but she still has a full round look.

Nulba shifts so that Renneyeh can get at the same clump of weeds.

“You showin’ all your face.” Nulba’s mouth is over-full; she spits to the side and it is soaked up almost instantly.

“Maybe, maybe-so.”

He come to eat and lay here an’ there, an’ never lift a finger. Thick roots make the ground split as Nulba tugs.

By evening Renneyeh’s daughters return to the house, and the first daughter is laughing over-easy so that Nulba watches her closely. But there’s nothing that night and Nulba takes her sleep alongside Renneyeh’s warm, comfort flesh just as always, that comfort like a gentler sun. Continue reading “Murcan Sun – 2/3”

Murcan Sun – 1/3

“Gone. Gone ‘cross the middle sea on their cobble boats.”

“All for that life they seen in pictures.”

They sit comfortably, reiterating to each other what they live every day. At the sun’s highest, hottest, and driest, they sit on the porch. At the sound of their voices Renneyeh’s first daughter comes up from the dust, rounding the corner of their three-room house. She has wilted brackens in her fist – for a game of some sort.

“They say at school they was never so many here in Murca. Always been more girl-uns than boy-uns here.”

Renneyeh smiles. Her daughter’s eyes are odd-green like hers.

“Them as took the boats, they were an’ they went.”

“Maybe, maybe-so,” Nulbah rejoins, but diffidently. “Could be long legend. That once there was boats, not like us-uns who go dead to the wolves an’ the mites an’ such. But here we are.”

“No one ever seen boats. No one gone ‘cross the middle sea,” Renneyah’s daughter bursts out. Yet Renneyeh is placid. Continue reading “Murcan Sun – 1/3”

The Queen of Nineteen Trebles

Speed Painting: Medieval Castle by NatMonney

The Queen of Nineteen Trebles

Over Dwyrenland held sway

And Heimlenholm and Ruddland

And many more to date

Yet, “My kingdom for a sceptre”

She oftentimes would say

And none did understand her,

So grand as she was vague.

For she had a crown of moonstones,

And the mountain leopard’s cape

And in her right hand firmly

Shone the sceptre of her state. Continue reading “The Queen of Nineteen Trebles”

Carpet Squares

Listless at my habitual 3pm low, and wishing that I could work in a more comfortable position, a change of position, I studied the long space under the underutilized half of my L-shaped desk.
I looked at it, and that was to envision explaining myself, which irritated me. It was a perfectly good bit of carpet, shaded and never walked upon. It would fit me nicely if I laid down there to read instead. So why can’t I actually do this?
Open offices are detestable.


Lost, they seemed like neighbours

Sometimes odd in manner, yet

We saw them as sharing in our mix

Of foibles and humours.

What did they hope for, here?

Suspending all their visions

And locking safety away

To fall asleep in a world not their own

Lit by the rude incandescent

Grey with sameness and waste.

What did they think of us, then?

As they strove to eat as we ate

To test the waters for their ideals

And, sensing rebuff,

To secure the lines of escape.

Even today, I cannot comprehend

The disappointment of four centuries,

And as many awakenings;

Nor the abiding hope

That saw them living among us

Only to be chased down sewers

By the latest elite in soldiering.

Once off, I admired their masks

Relics to be auctioned now that

They’d fled deeper than Onkalo

Below their barricades.


Elizabeth Cook, 2016

In Glass

She was a creature made in glass

A camouflage transparency

Pierced by light and colour, she

Could be seen in all her trembling

The pulse in her lips standing out and

Anodyne innocence recurring

By turns she hid and by turns she gave

That laughter of daybreak on snow

Then dull unto fading, lest one forget

Incongruous afterglow

Every embrace the first, the last

With frets for nerves pulled thin

Exquisite as a crystal shattered –

Swayed like a bough in spring