It is not by self we fly

Each to us a gift
One of fur and claw, a fisherbeing
One of beak and wing, a flyingbeing
One of beauty and strength, a motherbeing
One of roots and leaves, a respirebeing
One of song and nest,  a reflectionbeing

Together we take flight



Author’s note:

Birds, flying, roots of trees on which birds nest…these images from Hieronymous Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights were the inspiration today. Lovely, really.

From the NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo folks:

Today’s (optional) prompt is ekphrastic in nature – but rather particular! Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem from the point of view of one person/animal/thing from Hieronymous Bosch’s famous (and famously bizarre) triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. Whether you take the position of a twelve-legged clam, a narwhal with a cocktail olive speared on its horn, a man using an owl as a pool toy, or a backgammon board being carried through a crowd by a fish wearing a tambourine on its head, I hope that you find the experience deliriously amusing. And if the thought of speaking in the voice of a porcupine-as-painted-by-a-man-who-never-saw-one leaves you cold, perhaps you might write from the viewpoint of Bosch himself? Very little is known about him, so there’s plenty of room for invention, embroidery, and imagination.


I am offering this piece as an experiment. Our writing group met this afternoon. The words we were charged with using were taken from our environment: parsley, introduction, source, design, famous, envy. My randomly chosen opening line was: The chocolate sauce…

This is very different from what I usually post, a fairytale of sorts. Enjoy. Or not. But do come back.



The chocolate sauce dribbled ever so slightly from the corner of his mouth.

The bear sat on a parsley green chair next to Corrine’s bed.

He wasn’t always there. Only sometimes when she was alone, so alone, and when she needed company.

Tonight he was there. A bit of chocolate escaped his ravenous mouth leaving behind a tiny recollection of its pleasure.

“I’m glad you came.” Corrine waited.

She always waited for an answer. Sometimes the bear replied with a big guffaw making them both laugh until tears escaped from the corners of their eyes and they had to blow their noses. Corrine always used a tissue from the evergreen box on the wooden nightstand made famous by her chocolate drops. The bear simply rubbed his snout against the back of the parsley green chair.

The bear looked into her hazel eyes not offering a clue.

Was he listening? Was he angry to be called upon when sleep had been deep and warm?

“I’m sad.”

Corrine waited for a tilt of his wide head or a small release of air from his lungs.

“I don’t think I want to finish.” She waited.

He stared at her. She hated that. Sometimes he would shift in the parsley green chair and that way she would know he was listening.

Today the bear with coarse tawny fur that protected his soft heart gave no indication.

Corrine reached over to the nightstand and lifted another chocolate drop from the crystal plate rimmed with white painted snowflakes. The only thing she ever changed for their liaison was the plate. It always matched the season. She lived by season. So did the bear.

She didn’t care for chocolate drops, but the bear found them perfect to his taste. She had to be careful lifting the chocolate drop to his muzzle. She could never tell if he was in a nasty mood, so she needed to be ready for a quick pull back as she released the morsel, else there would be blood.

That was their introduction. He appeared one dusk rimmed afternoon as she awoke from a nap. She thought he smelled the chocolate drops. He was unable to tell her it was the jasmine scent of her dream that drew him to her.

She offered the bear his first chocolate drop and, not thinking, left her hand a bit too long. It frightened her more than hurt. But there was blood. She dropped her hand into her lap and let blood soak through her nightgown. She wore the stain that wouldn’t wash out as a reminder to be careful when around the bear.

Tonight Corrine wondered if envy was the source of his countenance. Did he know she had shared the chocolate drops with another? It wasn’t her fault. The wolf with silver blue fur showed up at dawn after her evening sleep under a dark moon. She just did.

After the chocolate drop, the wolf and Corrine walked. For hours the two walked without words breathing in rhythm, not together really, more side by side as two on a journey, yet one in union.

That didn’t matter now. The bear was sitting on the parsley green chair with chocolate sauce dribbling from the corner of his mouth.

Corrine reached out to his powerful jaw, the crystal plate with white painted snowflakes now empty.