Love’s Rhabdomancer

Perhaps you’d have been

Rhabdomancer of my heart—

Laid ‘gainst ribs, birch branch

Shaking…or do I tremble

That you see, speak my secrets?

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

Image credit: Public Domain/

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We set sail on a sliver of star shine

Stitched into dusk with scent of moonflower.

The sun had made a slow surrender, its heat

Subsiding as we marked more than one

Forgotten anniversary with this long-delayed

Trip…away from phone calls, meetings, the

Press and stress of professional duties.

When we married, I promised to

Follow his dreams—perhaps an

Archaic template for matrimony, but

I was consumed by surprising passion…

How easily the heart can bend when

Softened by the tenderness of strength and

Character which have nothing to prove.

We scan the perfect indigo sky

Together, arm in arm.

I don’t like sailing, never have—

But if these are our final hours,

I will slip from life, my heart filled

Only with love’s gratitude.

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

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Sometimes life falls on you like a beam

There was nothing to do

But shake off the mean past

Pick up the pieces

Of poor-born dreams

Tie them with heart-string

And carry what remained

Of our shredded souls

To the sea ~

It was the one place

Where, if something might

Trigger hard-edged memories,

Salty foam would heal unseen

Cuts, bruises; wash away the

Old, as sand scrubbed us new.

Grabbing a stick of bleached

Driftwood, my flawed hero

Pushed it firmly in the ground,

A marker post for first steps

Into fragile Future—

“No more silences, no wondering ~

All thoughts open to the light.”

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

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Crescent Moon Earring

For my neighbor, the late Daniel H. ~ “free at last…home”

Night’s crescent earring

Dangles against dark-skinned cheek

Sterling as her love

How still she wears his jewelry

Now that her man is dead, gone

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

Image credit: Pixabay

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Garden One

TJ’s prompt words are:  GARDEN and ONE—Click his link to participate.

Where grows my garden

Only one flower blossoms

My bleeding heart weeps


My bleeding heart weeps

Needy hands planted garden

Just one love survived


Just one love survived

Perhaps garden too distant

Miles separate hearts


Miles separate hearts

Garden watered with salt tears

One thorn’d rose flourished


One thorn’d rose flourished

Amid garden’s parched petals

Love, forget me not

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

Image credit: Lisa Redfern/Pixabay

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Silence of the Banjoher

Today’s nonsense word is Banjoher.  For Example: ‘He decided that if he held the banjoher in his hand it worked so much better.’  Your task is to create a story in which you use the word ‘banjoher’ in such a way that clearly illustrates the meaning you are intending to give it.  Please TAG your post: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie and Tale Weaver.

Marabella was a beautiful woman; well-read, talented, possessed of significant intellect and spectrum of interests—and she was lonely.  Her husband Conrac was a seafaring man, gone for frequent and lengthy periods of time.  He craved traveling to foreign ports, and the seemingly measureless miles of ocean between home and wherever he was headed next.  Did he love his wife?  Yes.  Did he love the sea, and where it took him, more?  Neither of them spoke entrance to such risky territory.  Was he faithful to his marriage vows?  Well, rarely do people answer truthfully…

Marabella decorated their home with the lavish, exotic gifts Conrac brought back; and she wore the jewelry he selected, whether or not it suited her.  She kept busy in his absence, filling her solitude with needlework tapestries and the poetry she wrote between books devoured.

Sometimes during long hours of a voyage, Conrac reflected on their relationship.  Years ago he’d fallen hard for her quiet mystery and mystique, as well as for her classically stunning features.  She had always loved him more silently than women who chatter on, he thought—even in their most intimate physical communion.  He was clueless how to bridge the distance he’d only now become aware had crept stealthily between them.

Marabella met his return with a warm embrace and kiss, appraising him with lingering sweeps of her dark-eyed gaze.  She asked if he was hungry, but he was too excited to show her his latest treasure.

Knowing her passion for music, he’d been delighted to find an odd instrument called a banjoher—somewhat similar in appearance to the mandolin she considered romantic.  The banjoher had five strings—and when he handed it to her, she discovered that no sound came from strumming it with her slender fingers.  She looked at him curiously.

“Kind of like you,” he said shyly—“exquisitely formed but the music is mute, enigmatic.  It must be imagined.”

She nodded, smiling graciously, and thanked him in her mellifluous soft voice.

Later, after he’d fallen asleep, she went out to the living room to look at the banjoher again.  Holding it delicately, she turned it over, caressing the light satiny wood.  She saw a small square of loose paper inside the heart-shaped opening.  Thinking it was just the manufacturer’s information, she shook it out.

In tiny print it told the myth behind the unusual stringed instrument.  Perhaps someone made such tales up, just like Chinese cookie fortunes, she suspected.  Nonetheless, it was intriguing to read that ‘a certain man’ crafted the banjoher for the woman he loved, who didn’t speak—in hopes it would unlock her words in song.  Sadly, it failed to produce the magic or miracle—and the man died, never hearing his darling’s voice.  ‘Still, the charm remains in each banjoher made, with potential to heal mysterious mute curse’, the thin paper promised.

Marabella sat with the banjoher held against her breast until dawn began to paint silk ribbons across the new day’s horizon.  Then, as though in a trance, she moved dreamily to her husband’s side of the bed.  She resisted the impulse to stroke the perfect planes of his brow, cheekbones and jawline.  Instead, she memorized the handsome youthfulness he’d retained for nearly thirty years…and how he lay so still, his breaths gentle whispers.

As sunlight broke through the mauve bedroom curtains, the room filled with coppery tang of blood that bathed everything—spattering splinters of shattered bone and banjoher. 

~ Fini ~

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

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Recumbent Heart

Pat’s Prompt:  “So here’s this week’s Sunday writing prompt…A quote from Bukowski and a mixed bouquet of flowers – featuring Ranunculus.
Sit with the quote and/or the images – and pick some essence or element and let your mind wander…Write in the style and form you wish – as it pleases you. Choose the positive, feature the negative, upstyle the mix of both elements…Write a poem. Write some flash.  Remember to include the tags MLMM, Sunday Writing Prompt in your posts.”  Click the link for more information:

Perhaps Charlie’s heart

Was crafted from titanium—

That love could break his bones

And yet he laughs.

Toward mine, Love’s been no

Gentleman with tender touch and kiss;

He opened door, and let it slam…

Once, twice, he never missed.

Broken on battlefield, Romance,

A foreign land where I knew not dance—

Harsh boots tread soul till my pulse bled,

Left me permanently amour-disabled.

Thus, long and many roads ago

I gathered up heart onto medic’s cot,

Carted it far beyond, away…

Where solo, it now reclines behind

Privet green in unseen fragrant bower.

Petals fall on paths, all varieties of flower,

A year-round keepsake garden fit

For poet’s lingering stay…

Seasons pass, and memories;

I turn pages filled with sunset ink,

Braid ribbon through solitude’s bouquet.

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

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