Carrot Ranch #FlashFiction Challenge #99Words #SixSentenceStory ‘Sorrowful Interlude’

*****************

Sorrowful Interlude

Ruby welcomed her unfailing, weekly customer, handing him his usual two dozen daisies. Ralf nodded, smiled and limped towards the cemetery, carrying a cane and their favourite flowers.

He shook his head, reading the familiar inscriptions; Jane, beloved daughter of Ralf and Ada Grimmer, 10th August 1980 – 23rd September, 1999, and Ada, beloved wife and mother, 5th May 1950 – 23rd September, 1999.

He arranged the flowers, knelt and told them about his week, before saying his usual farewell, “Goodbye for today.”

Ralf refused to believe their separation was definite. “We’ll meet again soon, after this sorrowful interlude,” he whispered.

****************

Sorry it’s a little sad, but that’s where the two prompts took me.

Ralf refuses to believe that death is anything but a brief, albeit sorrowful interlude, between this world and the next.

We’re all certainly going in the same direction. Nobody leaves this Earth without dying first, whether we meet again is an option which some refuse to believe and others refuse to deny…

I’m taking part in the Carrot Ranch weekly challenge with ‘Interlude’. I’m afraid it’s been a while since I took part in this challenge, so this post is the end of that interlude!

I’m also taking part in the weekly ‘Six sentence story‘, with this week’s word prompt, ‘regret’. It’s my first time taking part, I think.

The two words merged as Ralf’s story popped into my mind. My mind’s elusive and impulsive creativity will never cease to amaze me!

Hope you’re having a creative Monday!

#NaPoWriMo Day 19 ‘Madonna of Pain’ #poetrymonth #April #Poems #Tanka

NaPoWriMo

National Poetry Writing Month is a poetry writing challenge to write a poem a day, which takes place every year in April. Follow the link to find out more, be inspired, get daily prompts and meet other poets!

Day 19 poem, Madonna of Pain was inspired by a church float, for Holy Friday Parade, I took this morning in the church of The Holy Spirit (Espiritu Santo) in Cordoba, Spain.

Madonna of Pain

Lady of Sorrows,

Witnessed son suffer and perish.

Madonna of Pain,

Crowned and draped in rich, gold cloth,

Lit up, displayed, on parade.

****

Today commemorates a sad event in the Christian calendar, Jesus Christ’s death by crucifixion.

This float represents Christ's Descent from the Cross

This float represents Christ’s Descent from the Cross.

His mother, Mary’s, sorrow is vividly represented in many symbolic rituals, such as the famous church parades which take place all over Spain. Everybody can identify with a mother’s pain at the loss of her son  which is why the paintings, statues and floats of Our Lady of Sorrows (Virgen de los Dolores) are so popular in religious art and especially Holy Week celebrations.

****

Are there any special, religious rituals where you live?

#NaPoWriMo Day 16 and 17 ‘Fading Light’ and ‘Spring Day’ #poetrymonth #April #Poems #Tanka

NaPoWriMo

National Poetry Writing Month is a poetry writing challenge to write a poem a day, which takes place every year in April. Follow the link to find out more, be inspired, get daily prompts and meet other poets!

Day 16 poem, Fading Light was inspired by a photo I took recently  as evening fell over my garden, coinciding with the deteriorating health of an elderly relative. Day 17 took me to a Spring Day…

Fading Light

Fading evening light,

Once a powerful beacon,

Turned golden shimmer,

Bravely resisting slow death.

Unforgiving dark night looms.

****

Spring Day

Life is like a Spring day,

Rising to the sound of chirping  birds,

Long, lazy breakfast,

Watching sunrise on the porch,

Then hours of toil and sweat,

Later busy afternoon,

Frolicking and rolling in the hay.

Time to rest and ponder,

In the protracted evening,

But make haste,

Dark night falls far too soon.

****

 

#FridayFictioneers ‘Aunt Sarah’s Dresses’ #FlashFiction

It’s Friday, time for another Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction story featuring Alice Pendragon and her family! On this occasion, Alice is coping with her grandmother’s deteriorating health.

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting the challenge and for this week’s photo prompt.

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

****

Aunt Sarah’s Dresses

‘I’ll take the roses.’
‘Grandma, we can only bring one of your belongings to the hospital.’
‘I never told you about your aunt’s dresses, did I?’
My aunt Sarah had died long before I was born, so I changed the subject. ‘What about your photo collage?’
 ‘She wore the white dress at her christening.’
 ‘Your radio?’
‘The red one at her graduation.’
‘Your bible?’
‘The yellow one on her 21st.’
I looked closer at the handmade flowers.
‘And the mauve one the day before the accident.’
‘The flowers will be on your nightstand, grandma.’
She smiled. ‘They were beautiful dresses, Alice.’
****

My ‘Alice’ flash fiction written for the Friday Fictioneers Challenge can be mostly read as standalones, but if you’re interested in reading previous stories of Alice’s adventures, here they are! 

#ThursdayDoors ‘San Rafael Cemetery’ #Cordoba #Spain

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon and linking up on Norm’s blog here.

I visited the cemetery recently for the burial of a friend’s mother. We arrived early, which gave me time to wander around, admire the beautiful building and surroundings and take some photos.

I love the (real) Roman columns adorning the doors. The first and last photos are of the front door, the second photo is the door to the chapel, to the right as you walk inside, and the third door is the door leading into the burial ground, which is just beyond the chapel.

I rarely visit cemeteries, but when I do they inspire peace and reflection. I don’t feel sad, just human. A physical reminder that we must all die, so we had better use our time wisely.

There are some beautiful gardens, plants and statues inside. Have a look. I posted some more pictures of this cemetery yesterday in #WordlessWednesday

Follow Luccia Gray on Social Media:

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Check out Luccia Gray’s Books on Amazon

#writephoto ‘Forever’ #FlashFiction

Forever

It’s the perfect place and time, sunless, solitary, and silent.

We’re shadows gliding over the lake, blowing ripples, before we dive into our last baptism.

My arms, wrapped around your urn and one last kiss as we sink into the lake.

Ready for our rebirth.

****

This post was written in response to Sue Vincent’s weekly photo prompt. Why not check it out and join in?

 

#Writephoto ‘Endless Sunsets’ #FlashFiction

Endless Sunsets

Jack sat by the window.
Tears slid down his deep wrinkles, splashing onto his black suit.
 “What will I do without you?” he beseeched the fiery sunset.
“Remember the glorious skies we watched together.” He heard her voice echoing in his mind. “Now we’ll be watching endless sunsets.”
He spun round, swinging his arms in the air in frustration. “It’s not enough. I can’t see you or touch you!”
“Feel me in your heart,” she whispered as he held his hand over his chest and implored the crimson heavens to take care of the love of his life.
****

Thanks to Sue Vincent’s weekly photo challenge #Writephoto for hosting and organising this weekly photo prompt. Why not join in?

****

Follow Luccia Gray on Social Media:

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Check out Luccia Gray’s Books on Amazon

 

 

#AtoZChallenge ‘R’ #NationalPoetryMonth ‘Remember’ by Christina Rossetti #amwriting #poem

This year to celebrate National Poetry Month and to take part in the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, I’ll be posting two poems a day, one written by me and another poem written by one of my favourite poets. The title or first word of both poems will begin with the corresponding letter in the Blogging Challenge.

 

Today I offer you two poems about remembrance and death, Remember by the Victorian poet, Christina Rossetti, and Remember Me by Luccia Gray.

****

Remember

Remember me when I am gone away,

Gone far away into the silent land;

When you can no more hold me by the hand,

Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more day by day

You tell me of our future that you planned.

Only remember me; you understand

It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a while

And afterwards remember, do not grieve.

****

Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) wrote Remember, a sonnet in the style of Petrarch, when she was still a teenager. It’s a classic Victorian poem about mourning and remembrance. She tells her lover to remember her at the beginning of the poem, yet at the end, she seems to change her mind and tells him not to grieve if he forgets her for a while. 

****

I haven’t written a sonnet this time, but I have taken her theme of remembrance and death, with a more optimistic note.

****

Remember Me

Remember me when I am gone,

With smiles not tears, with love, not fear,

Smile at photos, laugh at memories,

Read my letters, write me poems,

Remember me when you are sad,

I’ll be waiting, for our meeting,

I’ll blow kisses with the warm breeze,

I’ll send music with the sunflowers,

Remember me, I’ll be right there.

****

Follow Luccia Gray on Social Media:

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Check out Luccia Gray’s Books on Amazon 

#AtoZChallenge ‘J’ #NationalPoetryMonth ‘Joy’ #NPM17 #amwriting #poem

This year to celebrate National Poetry Month and to take part in the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, I’ll be posting two poems a day, one written by me and another poem written by one of my favourite poets. The title or first word of both poems will begin with the corresponding letter in the Blogging Challenge.

Today I offer you two poems, On the Death of Anne Brontë BY CHARLOTTE BRONTË, ‘There’s little joy in life for me’, and ‘There’s Still Joy’ by Luccia Gray- 

****

There’s little joy in life for me,

   And little terror in the grave;

I ‘ve lived the parting hour to see

 Of one I would have died to save.

****

Calmly to watch the failing breath,

Wishing each sigh might be the last;

Longing to see the shade of death

O’er those belovèd features cast.

****

The cloud, the stillness that must part

The darling of my life from me;

And then to thank God from my heart,

To thank Him well and fervently;

****

Although I knew that we had lost

The hope and glory of our life;

And now, benighted, tempest-tossed,

 Must bear alone the weary strife.

****

More about Charlotte Bronte here

This poem was written in response the death of Charlotte Bronte’s sister Anne Brontë, in 1849. Anne’s death was sudden and although all the Brone siblings had ill health, Anne’s death was unexpected and Charlotte was clearly devastated. Charlotte was the eldest of the four surviving Bronte siblings. In 1848 her brother Branwell Bonte died, shortly after, Emily became seriously ill and died of tuberculosis, in December 1848, and Anne died of the same disease in May 1849. I can only imagine how Charlotte must have felt, after her mother and all her siblings had died. In her poem, we can feel her desolation and loneliness.

****

I also know what it means to lose your only surviving sister. I’ve written other poems to my sister, this one is inspired by Charlotte Bronte’s poem to Anne Bronte. 

****

There’s Still Joy

 

I always knew you’d be a girl.

I heard your cry and ran to see

Your puffed red face and cute fair curls.

At last someone to play with me.

****

Too soon you left. No parting kiss,

No words to say our last farewell.

Your hugs forever I will miss,

Your virtues to everyone I’ll tell.

****

I wish you could have fought harder.

You gave up your last breath too soon.

Why couldn’t you have spoken louder

The night you saw the last full moon?

****

There’s still joy in remembering,

Your face, your voice, your laugh.

But it’s a temporary parting,

Many waters cannot quench love.

****

Follow Luccia Gray on Social Media:

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Check out Luccia Gray’s Books on Amazon