Response to 500 Word Writer’s Digest Prompt: Fisherman

My Uncle the Fisherman

By Ami (Gypsie) Offenbacher-Ferris

(582 words)

It was my turn. Being the oldest girl in the family, but born behind a dozen male children; I had waited my turn, for years. Boys first, as usual. That’s how it was and how it always would be.

If I had wanted to be first at the sewing machine or to stand in front of a steaming hot pot-bellied stove all day; that would have been no problem.

I didn’t want to learn those things. I wanted to learn how to fish, good and proper like my favorite uncle did. Uncle Louie didn’t stand beside the meandering creek with a switch and sewing thread trying to catch minnows. Nope. Uncle Louie went out onto the Dark Lake and brought home the biggest, meanest catfish anyone ever saw.

Some people said he sang a song out there where no one could see him, and those catfish became be-spelled and hopped right up into his old fishing boat, just to get a better listen.

I knew better. I knew he knew how to fish the right way. He was a Fisherman.

It was cold that first morning and still dark outside. Uncle Louie grilled me as to what I had packed and what I was bringing. I had watched him for years and I knew the right things to bring.

I stood straight as a pole-cat about to get chased by a hound dog, waiting for his approval. He stood with his hands on his hips, gnarled fingers curled into his palms. He eyed me up and down and shook his head, satisfied with what he saw.

A young girl with shaggy hair and expectant eyes dressed in her brothers dungarees, flannel shirt and muck boots that were at least two sizes too big. I had two pair of wooly socks on and more stuffed in the toes, heels and around my feet so the boots wouldn’t come off. I was thankful I had cause of the cold on that October morning.

Uncle Louie turned without speaking and strode out the front door. He didn’t look back. I would either follow him, or I wouldn’t. I followed carrying my gear.

It was a long walk through the woods to the spot where Uncle Louie kept his boat. The oars were laid inside, a thick rope wrapped around a tree trunk kept it tethered to shore.

Uncle Louie stood beside the Dark Lake a long time, starring out at the placid water as the sun rose. I stood, mimicking his every move, not making a sound. Not a twitch, or a squirm; my eyes locked on the wide mouth of that deep, blue water.

A splash! A fish jumped to catch its morning meal. An unsuspecting insect hovered too close to the water to get a drink, it was the last drink it would ever take.

I whispered quietly to Uncle Louie, then pointed to the fading ripples spreading out and disappearing from the spot where it had jumped. He watched for a moment before turning to look at me.

“You’ll do,” he said.

I smiled up into his weathered face. He smiled back. The few teeth he had left, stained by chewing tobacco and strong coffee.

Looking down at me he asked, “What were you planning on fishing with my girl?”

I turned red, but not as red as the brand-new fishing pole he pulled from the bottom of his boat and handed to me.

I learned to fish.

The Walk

Response to Bartholomew Barker’s Monday, 10/18/21 Poetry Prompt: Explain, Remark, Carry

The trail went on forever only the oddly hewn wooden crosses marking the passage of miles

A small boy stood barefoot in the heated dust
of the non-existent trail
waiting for an answer

An old Hawk feather hung limply from his long dark braid barely holding its once tight plait in place

Quietly she said to explain
to her proud little Indian warrior her remark heard throughout the land the trail will carry us home

Under Sail

Oh how I wish it could be me

Unfurling those brilliant white sails

With you

Awaiting that first fresh gust of air

Smiling as our sails catch the wind

Forward toward the rising sun

We ride the watery swells

Laughing together

Thrusting up and back down again

Bodies pressed together we ride

Shadows dancing across the water

Skipping over swaths of foamy peaks

Sea sprays our faces

Then slipping into the beckoning darkness

Only to rise and crest on your pointed bow

Oh to sail sitting beside you

To watch the joy of a full sail

Light up your eyes

As I’ve only ever seen in the dark

Behind closed and bolted doors

To taste the sea air on my tongue

Feel your strong arms around me

Safe haven

Catching the strong tailwinds

That carry us to port and home

Too soon you stride away

Into the early morning light

Sun on your back

Into another’s glistening world

Your life with her life tied forever

Shameless Me

Response to Bartholomew Barker’s Monday Poetry Prompt: SHAMELESS.

Shameless blatant misuse and abuse of mother

nature’s gifts

Consumerism fuels capitalism fuels consumerism

Fuels natural extinction

Shameless neglect and careless disregard of and

for Earths children

in pursuit of wealth and worldly trappings

Reprehensible deportment

Shameless breeding of creatures

small and smaller

great and tall

Developing new colors, new species

exotic companions

Shameless humanity given life to prosper

taken and plundered

Emptied her seas of aquatic life

Opulence squandered

Shameless me sitting on the shore

contemplating wastage

hedonistic desecration

Impotent rage

Shameless me

Tooth-Brush

By Ami (Gypsie) Offenbacher-Ferris

(87 Word Count Weekend Writing Prompt #230 Brush)

The telemarketers are on a roll today, my new smart telephone is buzzing itself off my table.

The thought crosses my mind to set the thing in my lap; but no, I’m a grandma after all.

A young lady tries to sell me a fancy, boars bristle, hairbrush. My dresser mirror shows, not much hair left.

Next buzz brings an electric toothbrush salesman to my ear. With toothless gums I smack,

“So ya want ta pay me ta test out yo toofbrush?” He hangs up straight away.

Snoodled Caboodle

By Ami (Gypsie) Offenbacher-Ferris

Response to word prompt #229

Caboodle in 78 words

A caboodle is not like a noodle

It can never be less

But I sorely digress

A caboodle can mean lots of oodles

Not a wee little mess

It’s a seriously gigantic abyss

The best is a snoodled caboodle

And a snoodled caboodle is not a mess

It’s not under the legs of a desk

If you find a snoodled caboodle

Take care not to bite or even to eat

It’s not really there and isn’t a treat

Free

By Ami (Gypsie) Offenbacher-Ferris

My body is an adversary

one I can not

fight

Tortured by day

tormented at night

The demon beckons

with pills to break

free

Take these he lies

and follow me

Into the land of darkness

where the damned stay interred

Come to me now

the dark spirit urged

A bright blinding light

reached from outside my

tomb

Listen not to the dark one

his way leads to doom

Suffer you will

and suffer you must

trapped

Trusting, feeling, believing

one day you’ll be

Free

Feelings in Color

Response to prompt from Gotham Writer’s Interactive workshop – Use color to reflect emotions and/or actions in a poem or story

Feelings in Color

by Ami (Gypsie) Offenbacher-Ferris

When he entered the house

our house surrounded by lush green bushes

heavy with welcoming pink and comforting yellow 

flowering hibiscus

Their scent wafted in through the white clapboard door

he left standing open

I could smell the richness of each flower

Bright pink sharply citrusy

The yellow reminding me of warm, sunny days spent on the beach

He stood there so tall so manly 

surrounded within an aura of pastel orange

His face, drawn, pinched. 

He knew, that I knew and he was afraid

The orange deepened when he asked if he could come in

I answered in the most neutral voice I could muster

much like the neutral he had insisted upon 

when we chose our new carpet together

Neutral, yes, that was how I would stay. 

“It’s your house, no need to ask to come in,” 

I muttered in neutral beige

I like beige, it’s comfortable, safe

I would stay here standing on my beige carpet 

and remain neutrally beige he responded that this was our house 

I felt my neutral slip, melting into the darker color 

of a green so dark it was almost black 

A red that I dared not release, least it consume me 

He moved towards me, his hand imploring 

His sea blue eyes lined with tiny rivers of broken vessels

Had he been crying? For whom had he been crying?

For me or for her? 

Beige dissipated fire red filled my eyes

filled my soul while my once warm

beating heart turned ice cold blue 

Can You Fly?

Can You Fly?

Response to Monday morning poetry word prompt

aerodynamics

Aerodynamically speaking humans can not fly

Not like a bird on the wing uses perfectly constructed wings

to fly

Speaking of aerodynamically speaking

that is to say

of a bird on the wing

a peregrine falcon is the fastest

flyer by far

Below the deepest blue of the sea

where nothing can fly

the many legged crustacean one

cooked oft in a pot is more aerodynamic

than a car

A car proposed to travel man around

could never fly

it’s aerodynamic’s designed by man

not yet

can not get it off the ground

But if a falcon can soar as a bird

on a wing

and a lobster can fly through the watery abyss

since a car is fashioned from all of these

then why oh why can’t I fly?