No Ordinary Kiss…

Michael, that saucy Aussie, asks us to write about a kiss:  “You can use the word in any form you choose, create your own context but mostly have fun”.  I tried to avoid steaming up my blog…but alas, I may have failed.  I’ve combined Michael’s prompt with the WP daily post word, “Spicy”.

A spicy kiss

Will hit or miss,

But just a peck—

What the heck?

A gentle buss

Can calm a fuss;

Though smack-attacks—

Finesse, they lack.

And sloppy smooch

That tastes of hooch?

Too coarse, uncouth—

Don’t even think

Of coming back.

Kiss me ‘neath the coconut tree—

I’ve been yours before you knew me.

You were my Sir Lancelot—

One imagined kiss, and I was caught.

Just dreaming of your kiss, I swoon—

Morning, midnight…misting afternoon.

Kiss me as first winter snow falls—

Ignore the years, youth’s passion calls.

Blow me a kiss before you go—

I’ll hold that snapshot

Forever, you know…

And, if Fate should bring your return

To quench my ardor’s craving—

Bésame, mi corazón; mi amor, bésame mucho!

As, my heart beats love for only you—

And my every kiss, I’m saving.

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

Image credits:  Francesco Hayez, “The Kiss”, 1859 (Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain); Andrea Bocelli, “Besame Mucho”/YouTube

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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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Selling Seashells, by Prof. Shyla Shakespeare

Lorraine’s Prompt:  So, tale weavers, your assignment this week: take a nursery/Mother Goose rhyme, tongue twister or song, and give it a new spin. Modernize it, analyze it, hypo-theoreticalize it, satirize it, serialize it, fantasize it . . . then weave a tale around it.  My choice:  “She sells seashells by the seashore…”

Hi—I’m the one who sells seashells by the seashore…

The other girl got all the media buzz, but only because she

Resembles a K-dashian.  Real heroines are rarely glamorous.

We’re too busy making a living, making a statement—strong or

Subtle; in case we become role models for generations—

Not this year’s fashion face in runway shows, pop music videos.

I used to take some flack from fools who thought selling seashells

By the seashore was as dumb as peddling ice to Eskimos—

Well, “sales” is a fine art.

You have to persuade potential buyers that each shell is

Not merely unique, exquisite to look at—it tells its own story.

As you hold it in your hand, turning it this way ‘n that

In the glittering sunlight, you imbue every whorl,

Chamber, scalloped ridge with meaning and emotion.

You mix a little history and oceanography with myth

And magic…and dollops of romantic imagination.

Spin a tale, weave the yarn, talk about epic figures—

Whether they actually existed or not.

My personal standby that nearly always works, is to

Get misty-eyed and tell about my handsome father—

The sailor who’s never come home from the sea—and my

Mermaid princess mother who died giving birth to me.

It’s my loyal love and longing that have pinned me to this

Spot on the sandy shore—summer, winter, spring and fall—

Selling seashells to keep pizza on the table till Papa returns…

Most tourists can’t resist—they’ll buy a bucket or two. 

Hey, it paid my college tuition at Smith—

I got my Masters in English Lit, and a B.A. in Psychology.

Do you like this one—it would make a dandy candy dish, no?

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

Image credit: Pixabay

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Death Be Not Proud

Michael says: In this week’s tale weaver I’m asking you to consider the concept of death in a way that you relate to.  What does it mean to you?  Your experience could be the death of a family member, a loved one, a neighbour.  It could be a death as in the end of a relationship.  You could use it as my mother used to say: “You’ll be the death of me.”

In your writing explore your feelings towards whatever issue you explore… is not an easy topic for many to write about and there is a finality about it….not many return to tell us of their experiences…You could even explore the concept from death’s point of view.  Please TAG your post: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie and Tale Weaver.”

It occurred to her that there had been more deaths

In her life than she sometimes realized…

Perhaps because they all began with the premier

Mystery:  the presumed-death, lost-at-sea, no-body-

Recovered one; secretive circumstances and aftermath

Which impacted her like slow-metastasizing cancer for

The rest of her life—as He was her father, and her molester.


After her mother remarried and they moved

With equal haste and mystery to a new state,

A neighbor’s young child who’d succumbed to

Leukemia was the first dead body she viewed—

A beautiful angel, death’s image lovely and peaceful.


The most traumatic visitation by Death was a savage

Murder:  her teenage school friend, an innocent girl killed

By a classmate, no less.  Grief eclipsed by terror, it

Would follow her to another state and home as a

Pernicious breathing-dragon; fear that one day the

Guy would be out in the world again, and find her—

Slashing, stabbing, leaving her naked, the same as Kay.


Added to the chaotic, angry tumult of her brief marriage,

Was the death—in her presence—of an elderly neighbor she’d

Agreed to look in on each evening.  Though not unexpected,

The passing was sudden; frightening, to observe her facial

Rictus as Death seized the old woman.


Later, neither her step-father nor mother could

Out-run Death.  When they died, she would feel

Nothing—no sorrow, no loss—she missed them not

At all.  They were always strangers to her heart;

Their absence, freeing.


But when more years rolled on, relocating her again,

Yet another neighbor was spirited away by angels

In the night, and she knew the crashing devastation

Of Death as Thief.  Seeing the Christmas card and

Fruitcake she’d left at Tim’s door—tossed in the

Planter by authorities who came to remove his body—

She felt robbed of her purpose in the small courtyard.

And, too, the ache of gaping emptiness; with a piercing

Sharp envy that she didn’t die that same night, to savor

Release from life’s struggles.  She often imagined Tim

Healed and whole, smiling on her from Heaven.


Folded in with these deaths and others, was the passing of

The love of her life.  He’d never known her, really; they

Exchanged only a few brief notes across miles of ocean.

32 years her senior and long married, he was

The hero of her childhood—and forever. 

Love, even unrequited, has magical properties: 

Denying his death, she preserved him young

And virile in her heart…unencumbered…a

Ghost more true, romantic, attentive and fascinating,

Than any man she’d met face to face.


Death takes, and it gives; imprisons, and looses. 

It leaves us hanging…or provides a secure tether. 

Death is filled with neither more, nor less enigma than

Life with its tripping pulse-beat, and infinite peculiarities.

Death is not the “end”, merely the door to life Hereafter.


Bought by the shed Blood of Christ at Calvary,

My destined Home is sealed and certain

In the Presence of God’s eternal glory—

There, joyful hearts wait to welcome me.

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

Image credit: Pixabay

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