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Saddle Up Saloon; Colleen’s Double Ennead Challenge No. 2

Happy March! Welcome to the Carrot Ranch Double Ennead Monthly Poetry Challenge. Every third Monday of the month, I’ll be here at Carrot Ranch with another challenge to help get your poetic juices flowing. Each month, we will explore a different theme or image to inspire our poetry. Take your time, there’s no hurry! You have a month to write your poem.

Check out the poems from last month HERE.

The word Ennead means nine, and a double nine is ninety-nine! Carrot Ranch is famous for 99-word flash fiction. Now, the ranch has its own syllabic poetry form written in 99 syllables!

The Double Ennead comprises five lines with a syllable count of 6/5/11/6/5, (33 SYLLABLES per stanza) 3 STANZAS EACH = 99 SYLLABLES, NO MORE, NO LESS! Punctuation and rhyme schemes are optional and up to the poet. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Why write poetry?

When a writer embraces the ability to convey complex images and emotions in just a few lines, they have learned to strengthen their writing. In the same way, flash fiction helps us hone in on the words to tell our story, syllabic poetry does much the same by forcing us to find the best word and meaning. This brevity of words leads to more concise writing.

Syllabic verse is any kind of poetry defined by the number of syllables in each line. In English, syllables must have a vowel sound. For example, the word “apple” has two vowel sounds, which divide it into the syllables “ap” and “ple.” Depending on our accent, we pronounce some words with different accents on the syllables. For example, the word “fire” and “poem” can be read with either one or two vowel sounds.

Always check your syllables with a syllable counter when composing and writing syllabic poetry. The pronunciation of words is very important to conveying a meaning in your poems. You can use as a syllable counter. There is also, which is another favorite because you get access to synonyms as you’re composing.

Our Inspiration: “SPRING”

This month, let’s work with the theme of spring. Write your poetry inspired by an image, a photograph, the view outside your window, another piece of poetry like found poetry, or even a song. It’s up to you! Share whatever inspired you to write your poem.

For example, here is my inspiration piece below:

Corinne Bailey Rae – “Put Your Records On”

Three little birds sat on my window
And they told me I don't need to worry
Summer came like cinnamon
So sweet
Little girls double-dutch on the concrete

Maybe sometimes we've got it wrong, but it's alright
The more things seem to change, the more they stay the same
Oh, don't you hesitate

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams
Just go ahead, let your hair down

You're gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow

Blue as the sky, sunburnt and lonely
Sipping tea in a bar by the roadside
(Just relax, just relax)
Don't you let those other boys fool you
Got to love that afro hair do

Maybe sometimes we feel afraid, but it's alright
The more you stay the same, the more they seem to change
Don't you think it's strange?

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams
Just go ahead, let your hair down

You're gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow

'Twas more than I could take, pity for pity's sake
Some nights kept me awake, I thought that I was stronger
When you gonna realise, that you don't even have to try any longer?
Do what you want to

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams
Just go ahead, let your hair down

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams
Just go ahead, let your hair down

Oh, you're gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow

“Fly Free”

a trio of sparrows
flit from branch to branch
my window, an open stage to their slow dance
chasing the winter blues
waiting for the thaw

life's cruel winds dictate
situations change—
maybe I've got it all wrong, but it's alright
it's time to chase my dreams 
nothing stays the same

azure skies and sunshine
are coming my way
It's time to find myself, to fly free on wings,
filled with inspiration
and new beginnings

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

Poetry is based on your perceptions. This song makes me want to dance under a starry spring night! I used the song as a metaphor for “spring” and new beginnings. Follow your inner voice for inspiration.

  • Write a double ennead poem based on the theme of spring. Your inspiration can come from whatever source inspires you.
  • Post it on your blog.
  • Include a link back to this challenge in your post. (copy the https:// address of this post into your post).
  • Read and comment on your fellow poet’s work. Feedback from other poets is how we grow our poetry writing craft.
  • Like and leave a comment below if you choose to do so.
  • I’ll visit, comment, and share your poetry on social media! I’ll share a roundup of all of your poetry on the Saturday before the next Double Ennead challenge.

Now have fun and write some double ennead poetry inspired by spring!

March 12: Flash Fiction Challenge

First, the roof-bergs broke loose. Great hunks of condensed ice thicker than a doorstep slipped from the eaves, crashing onto the garage with such tremendous force that my neighbor ran to the side of my house. I happened to be coming down the stairs at the moment and saw a flash of sun on ice before I felt the shock of vibrations that accompanied the blow. Spring wears heavy boots in the Keweenaw.

Next, came the tapping, drip-drip-drapping of water seeping from beneath the remaining bergs, ice sculptures, and packed drifts of geological snow layered storm by storm. A rapping, louder than water tapping, sounded at my door — ’tis a neighbor, nothing more. Cranky (as in Sew Cranky, not So Cranky) smiled and informed me that the maples no longer slumbered. Sap was flowing. Her husband came over and tapped our tree.

Now, this is no ordinary tree. It is the biggest of four old sugar maples that line our backyard and alleyway. It shades our deck and provides a home to hummingbirds in summer. This grand maple shades the deck where I write, read, garden, and barbeque. I’ll miss my canine companion who loved sleeping on the deck in the maple’s shade on warm days. She grew too old to worry the chipmunks who like to gather fallen seeds from the birdfeeders. In my mind’s eye I can see summer and her lounging in it still.

Every week, D. Avery entertains Carrot Ranchers with the wit and antics of yarn characters, including Kid, who sometimes climbs up his Poet Tree. Seems how Carrot Ranch’s world headquarters has a grand old maple, I thought it fitting to call it the Poet Tree. This summer, I will hang laminated 99-word poems from colorful ribbons to adorn the tree. We’ll have a special call for Poet Tree poems in April, so keep that in mind, a seed to plant in your creative thoughts.

Sweet maple water must be the elixir of poets. I had no idea! Golden sap water only takes a few hours to boil and poured over a tea bag, it prods me to sing songs of eternal spring. The locals have let me in on a secret — when you see foggy kitchen windows, you know someone has tapped a tree and is making golden water for breakfast rice. I feel initiated into the foggy window club, knowing we are all eating sweet rice and scrambled eggs for breakfast. The eggs are because another neighbor has a friend who has a friend with productive hens.

This is my small microcosm of a world right now. Poised for spring. Tapping, tapping. Drip-drip-drapping. Squalls of snow, bouts of sunshine, ferocious winds, and that is a single day. Tomorrow is a special birthday, a newbie among us, displaced from Texas, in hospice care. A good friend who is a grief counselor recognized that we’d be kindreds. She’s become a ray of light in my life, an intensity for learning and living because she was supposed to be dead by now. She lives, making each day precious. We talk about everything, including all the conspiracies the Hub can muster.

Tomorrow a group of us are taking her to see the ice flows because that’s an impressive part of a Keweenaw spring. I had shown her the Fitz Restaurant on a brief trip up the peninsula last week, so we made reservations for her birthday. She can’t eat much more than soup, but she wants to be in the ambiance of the place that sits right on the lake. I told her about the Fourth of July Fireworks on the beach, and we plan to attend before I leave for Vermont.

Plans. It’s a strange time to plan, the world transitioning seasons, and caught in a pandemic. But if a dying friend can live each day meaningfully and plan to see fireworks on the 4th, then I think we all need to remember that hope comes with plans. Hope wants to see the next sunrise and trace its colors with fingers held to the horizon. None of us ever knows when we’ll see our last sun event. I don’t want to waste it on fear or worry or any other bully emotion that would dim the senses.

Precaution, another p-word. It’s a responsible action. It feels alarmist, but it is containment. It feels surreal as our universities shut down, and all public events cancel, including the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Water Day. I was prepared to sing the Water Song as a Water Walker, wear a skirt and boots to show the earth that I’m a woman who can step as heavily as spring.

Life continues to surge, the sap flows, and I’m tapping.

March 12, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes tapping. You can play with the sound, make it an action, or create something unexpected. Tap a story and go where the prompt leads!

Respond by March 17, 2020. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

Submissions closed. Find our latest weekly Flash Fiction Challenge.

A Spring Alliance Forms by Charli Mills

Using the blunt end of an ax, Viv tapped the last steel spile into an old sugar maple thick with lichen. She stood on squishy snow in borrowed snowshoes, hanging the last bucket. Sap pinged the steel. From a distance, Clarice yodeled, the sound echoing across the thawing expanse of Misery Bay. Snow clouds generated by the vast water flowed toward land like thick fog. Viv gave a shrill whistle in return. Safe as she was with her cross-dressing chicken-herding friend, mapling weather could turn treacherous. Viv plodded toward the cabin to sew Clarice a new skirt.

March 28: Flash Fiction Challenge

Wolfric III has terrorized me all day. It began while soaping the breakfast dishes, rinsing a cup and spying a slight eminence below the drying rack in the second sink. A small hump of gray darker than the stainless steel about the size of a cast-off peel of avocado caught my eye. When I focused, I realized it was a massive wolf spider. Wolfric denotes the name we give the eight-legged beasts of the basement, adding the suffix for annual lineage. In other words, this is the third wolf spider I’ve seen since relocating to the Keweenaw. Well, third one in this house on Roberts Street.

Last October, while sequestered away with my friend and seafarer historian at a lightkeeper’s cottage on Eagle Harbor, I stirred up a resident wolf spider in the bathroom. When they move, they hustle like arachnid lightning. Without my glasses, the world blurs. Nothing is distinct, but I can catch movement. I was about to step into the shower when I thought a mouse was scurrying toward me. I screamed, scrambled backward, hitting the bathroom door which obliged my force of contact and opened, launching me naked into the dining room. My friend, around the corner in the kitchen, asked, “What’s that you say, Charli?”

Mumbling all was well, I bravely, and vulnerably stepped back into the bathroom, grabbed my glasses and faced the biggest wolf spider I had ever seen. They are poisonous, though hardly aggressive. Living up to their name, wolf spiders are hunters. I’m actually curious about them because they often seem calculating and keen. Reputedly they have far better eyesight than I do. My shower was quick that day, and later my friend and I laughed about her missing Charli Verses Spider Show.

Mona, my daughter and son-in-law’s cat, is tiny but mighty. She’s the most loving critter on our block, possibly in the whole universe. She greets every person who comes to our home on Roberts Street with purrs and snuggles. Mona cuddles the dogs, runs to greet the kids at night, and brushes against Sgt Mills to gain affection. Sometimes, her love runs over. Like when I’m trying to write, and she decides it’s the loving hour. Often she escapes to the basement to hunt the hunter. But being the lovable Mona she is, she’s never hurt Wolfric I, II, or III. I’ve found her with all four paws tucked beneath her, staring at Wolfric staring at her as if she’s keeping the beast company.

It’s not Wolfric’s fault he’s terrorized me. I’m not adverse to spiders, and I understand that his emergence is a cheerful omen of spring on the Keweenaw. I’d prefer he stay in the basement, however. My issue with wolf spiders, in particular, is their size and speed. It triggers one dandy of a panic attack deep in my amygdala. I took caution with WIII and finished loading the dishwasher. Any I washed by hand I carefully avoided dripping water over him. Throughout the day, as I drank water, sliced cheese for an afternoon snack, rotated our baby flower seedlings to sunny spots, and prepped dinner, my mind never released the presence of the spider trapped in the sink.

At last, Radio Geek and Solar Man arrived home. Sgt Mills has a long day of therapies on Thursdays, so he won’t be back until later. And he’d only tease me, calling me his “Cowardly Cowgirl” so I’d prefer asking our kids to help rescue Wolfric.

We’re in the kitchen, Radio Geek and me. I’m tentatively searching for Wolfric as she’s making a snack of popcorn. She has dance rehearsal for the big show at The Continental Fire Company on Friday, and my dinner of roast chicken and cauliflower won’t be done until after. She’s feeling peckish for a snack, and we are chatting. I’m getting nervous because I can’t see Wolfric and I don’t want him to startle me. He’s had me on edge all day. It’s hard to polish my flash fiction for the dance show with spiders on the brain.

Bravely, I bend over the sink, searching. I hear my daughter say in cautious tones, “Mom…Mom…”

All hell breaks loose in my mind. I think she’s spotted the spider and is trying to calmly warn me. This does not calm my heart which is now ready to burst from my sternum. The next instant slams me with unexpected pain. I distinctly feel a whump to my back, claws in my neck. My logical mind goes on instant hiatus. It’s wonderful to be an imaginative person except in instances like this. Without the backup of logic, I interpret that I’m under attack. The hunter has me, and I scream, and scream, and scream.

Through the fog of sheer terror, I hear my daughter howling in laughter. This grounds me, and I realize  I’m bucking and pitching around the kitchen, screaming my lungs out with Mona dug into my back. She figured since I was bent over the sink, it might be a good time to jump from the kitchen table to my shoulders,  She does this sometimes when I do dishes or cook. My feline parrot who nestles into my shoulders and purrs in my ear.

Mona is a cowgirl. That cat can ride.

When I realized what was happening, I slumped across the counter, the cat dropped to the floor, and I joined my daughter’s mirth, and we both laughed until we cried. When she had seen Mona perched, wobbling on her toes to make the leap, Radio Geek tried to warn me. I thought the spider had me. Wolfric had actually crawled into Solar Man’s coffee mug, and my daughter rescued him, releasing him on the kitchen floor.

I thought we agreed to set him outside. There’s only five feet of crumbling snow left. Ah, well, I step firmly into spring. If something emergent doesn’t frighten the life in me, it doesn’t seem like a transition. Spring roars in like a wolf spider or a bronc-riding cat.

Last Friday I coaxed Sgt Mills to go with me up the peninsula. We drove along the shoreline of Lake Superior, looking for signs.  No open water, but the ice is changing color, promising ice-off soon.

An artist couple who live on the lake announced the passage of three freighters, meaning the Coast Guard has cut the ice from the shipping lanes. A small group of friends celebrated Ostara, and we planted seeds together. Last Sunday, I attended the local Iranian community’s Norooz celebration and next month I’ll celebrate Easter. I feel like my candy basket is full of special treats. Hopefully, not spiders.

Once again, I’ll be adding 99-word literary art to a 47 North Dance Show (Awakening). That’s this Friday. Tomorrow! It’s about the transition from dark to light and the fusion of accepting both within ourselves.

On Sunday, I’m leading a writing retreat called To Cultivate a Book. It’s based on other workshops I’ve developed, but allows for continual growth both personally and professionally.

We have room for four more writers at the Carrot Ranch Writer’s Refuge in Vermont at D. Avery’s A-frame cabin in the woods near the Northeastern Kingdom. I’m excited to be living a life-long dream of working with writers in natural settings, experiencing literary art and nature as one. I’ll be adding more details and photos to the Refuge tab.

Let this encourage you to plant, grow, nurture, weed and harvest. No matter if your world is upside down because you live in the southern hemisphere or life sends you unexpected spiders, you can always plant what it is you want to grow.

Here are some photos I wanted to share  with you from last  Friday’s jaunt up the peninsula. Pressure ridges from freezing  waves and erupting sand have formed what look like ice-encased dunes, eminences that will crumble with warmer days, and persistent waves. It’s stunning, gritty and transformative:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

March 26, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that uses the word eminence. It’s a rich word full of different meanings. Explore how it sounds or how you might play with it. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by April 2, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

Find What Glints  (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mills

Eminence of sand rolled across flats, forming dunes. Danni recalled following an old pioneer trail across the Forty Mile Desert of Nevada in her dad’s Jeep, top down, spring sun beating warmly. What was that he said? Turn around and look for the glints among the dunes. Every time he pulled over, Danni scrambled among the hollows of sand, sun to her back. She trotted toward the glints – a purple glass nob from a dresser, a marble, an obsidian arrowhead. Even today, trained as an archeologist, she heard her dad’s voice coaxing her to find the discards of history.

Snapshots of Spring

SpringWhile not everyone on planet earth experiences spring the same time of year, seasons and its renewal is universally understood. The cycles of life and death and continuation is holistic. One does not occur without the other.

Thus it is not surprising that a prompting of spring leads writers down divergent paths no matter how peaches and cream the challenge might be. The imagination has many possibilities to consider and the writer has many expressions of life to explore.

The following stories are based on the May 6, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that is a snapshot of spring.


Warmth of Spring by Charli Mills

In bare feet and faded peaches and cream house-coat, Ramona basked under the apple tree. Dark aroma floated from her coffee mug, mingling with sweet apple blossoms. Morning sun warmed her cheeks the way Vic’s hand felt when he rested it on her thigh, snugged to him on the bench seat of their truck. They drove in her dreams last night, young and ready for spring calves. Ramona frowned. No cattle lulled in the pastures; just the truck with both doors open and parked aslant. She shook her head. She’d have to talk to the twins about joy-riding again.


In the Apple Tree by Charli Mills

The twins watched Mama from the tops of apple tree blossoms. A buzz of mason bees tickled their feet. They held each other unseen in a pose of entwined arms like partner yoga. One giggled to the other, thoughts passing no louder than the hum of pollination:

What do we know of yoga?
Remember when Mama signed up for a class in town?
Yeah, yeah! And she fell over mid downward dog?
That’s right!

A breeze reached down and caught Mama like a tendril of hair across her face. Feel our touch, they both thought. We love you, Mama.


Currency Exchange by Jeanne Lombardo

He sat in the chair, vigilant, funereal.

“The taxi’s below,” she said. “I’ll call when I get there tomorrow.”

He didn’t rise. She gathered the last bags and closed the door behind her.

Freedom revved in her chest, maintained its thrum through traffic and customs. On the plane she exhaled into a blissful inaccessibility. Not even his voice could intrude now. Already he seemed far away.

She deplaned at Narita, boarded the island hopper to Kyushu. On the descent, she peered out the window. April sunlight glinting on the Inland Sea was a newly minted coin, just for her spending.


The Misted Hills by Merlin Ambrosius

The Misted Hills … sounds so mysterious, doesn’t it? What would you expect out of an environment named thus? Since I took to travelling, I now realise that I could almost exclusively be describing somewhere in coastal Wales. With its vertebral mountains and hidden coves, nowhere is ever far from the high, damp places. Yet, in the late spring, my home is so spectacularly beautiful: apple and cherry blossom, pink and fragrant, falls in flurries as new air breezes in, creating petal-strewn pathways to mountains from which one can perfectly view the setting of the newly arisen sun-god.


He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not by Georgia Bell

The sidewalk was cool, cold even, but I sat down anyway, hoping he wouldn’t be too long. The air was damp and I could smell what was growing, even if I couldn’t see it yet. Reaching for a dandelion, I counted each tiny petal as I ripped it from the comfort and cluster of the stem. I told myself that he’d be here by the time I’d reached 50. Then 75.

An hour later a stack of wilted stems were heaped beside me as I heard my mother’s voice.

“He said he’s sorry, sweetheart. He’ll see you next week.”


Spring Rains by Mercy.James.

She stood, leaning on the deck railing, surveying the acreage. Everything was struggling – a hard push after a winter never-ending, not overloaded with snowfalls, but stretches of cold, bitter enough to leave a hard taste in one’s mouth.

Little rain had fallen this spring – everything a beige-grey color – death lingering, its wispy clasp holding fast. Sprouts battled to break free of the earth – the trees struggled. Buds were slow to show, swelling in rosette fashion, deciduous fought harder than evergreens.

Warm rain – it was needed – badly. She wondered why her tears hadn’t been enough to drench – ushering in life.


New Things Growing by Paula Moyer

Jean planted the bulbs in late October, just days before she and Bill closed on the house. The tenant, not happy at all about vacating, still agreed to let her plant.

Jean stuck the hyacinths, crocuses, and iris tubers in the ground as directed: each hole dug, bone meal spooned in, each bulb or tuber inserted and covered. Flower beds watered. Whole thing then covered with hay that made her sneeze.

Months later, Jean pulled off the hay, saw the first brave crocuses pushing up purple heads.

When she stood up, something in her abdomen fluttered.

The first kick.


Spring by Norah Colvin

Bees buzz

Wildflowers bloom

Cockatoos squawk

“Gone is the gloom!”

Mother duck waits

For her babies to hatch.

Here they come now

The first of the batch

So cute and cuddly

All covered in fluff

Eager and ready

To show off their stuff

“Patience!“ quacks mother

“There’s no need to rush.”

“One more is coming.

Stand back. Please don’t crush.”

With one final crack

Last one’s out of his shell

“I’m proud of you babies.

You’ve all done so well.”

Mother duck smiles

As they waddle in line

She knows that each duckling’s

Own time will be fine.


Spring Is Here! by Ruth Irwin

Her face was lit with sparkling eyes and a beaming smile. She walked lightly with a spring in her step, almost skipping. It was good to be outdoors again with the warmth of the sun and the scent of the sweet jasmine blossoms enveloping her being.

Gone was the heaviness and darkness of winter. The wretched cold that chilled to the bone despite layers and layers of clothing and blankets. The short daylight hours that seemed to crush her soul.

Birds chirping provided the uplifting music that carried her along to a season of renewal, growth and new beginnings.


Spring Howls by Rebecca Patajac

Colours bombarded his senses. Everywhere the spring sun reached, blooms thrived.

Th-thump, th-thump.

He caught yelps and a myriad of birdsong drifting on the crisp winds as he ran.

Th-thump, th-thump.

Green shoots pushed through snow still clinging to the base of trees; branches hanging as shields against the warm sun.


Ducking his head as he wove through the forest, his ears swivelled, searching. His hair bristled as he spotted the clearing. Taking a breath, he leapt and landed in a furry heap with another.

Thick paws clashed and fangs nipped as wet snouts and rumbling howls mingled.


A Couple of Sneezes and Gratitude by Ruchira Khanna

Annie was rubbing her nose briskly with her gloved hand as the other paw was digging the soil and aerating it.


Aha! Much better.

With watery eyes, but a broad smile she continued playing with the dirt and securely placed the roots of a plant while bringing the grime together.

With an arch, she watered the plant gently and hummed a lullaby as if welcoming the new life she rooted recently.

After repeating the above scenario few times.
She appreciated all the flowerpots from a distance cause once life will bloom, will be worth all the sneezes.


Is Spring Real If One Cannot Experience It? by Ula Humienik

Winter turned to verdant multi-colored spring, but Jodi didn’t notice. In Cilian’s long absence, her heart carried the icy cold, dullness of winter. The sunshine beckoned and lilacs gave off a fragrance so sweet and rich. Jodi stayed in bed, her hair unwashed.

While Cilian studied the tropical Hoatzin bird in the Amazon, she couldn’t remember her purpose. Life had left her the day he boarded the plane for South America. His letters provided the only hope for the end of everlasting winter. Jodi, as Persephone, would walk the Earth again, all hoped.

Everything changed when Jodi met Holly.


Running by Sarah Unsicker

The air was thick as Kate stepped off the airplane in Atlanta. She hadn’t contemplated her next steps until the cab driver said, “Where to, ma’am?”.

Kate hesitated. “Are there peach orchards nearby?”

The drive to the closest orchard was longer than the plane ride. After the taxi drove away, she closed her eyes and inhaled. The scent of peaches and honey. The buzz of bees and the feel of peach fuzz.

When the sun set, Kate was drowsy from peach syrup. She sat on warm grass, finally grounded. In the morning, she knew she could go home again.


Spring by Kalpana Solsi

The buds had burst spreading the petals and displaying the coloured hues of Nature. The red, white, yellow, burnt orange and white seem to jostle for space among the soft green leaves.

The bees flirting with each shy flower were pampered. The Sun rays seems to spread its golden quilt on each bounty. The Earth seems to be satiated with mirth and abundance.

The impatient toes of the stream danced and bounced from one rock to another splashing foam on the moss.

Diana inhaled and her lungs filled with fragrance.

Her frayed nerves calmed.

Spring is in the air…….


Spring by Irene Waters

Like an arrow I cut through the water, my cheeks puffed as I negotiated the need to exhale. I expelled tiny bubbles, rejoicing in the cool velvety texture of the fluid I travelled through. My outstretched hands touched the bottom and I flipped, momentarily giving my feet a surface on which to push, sending myself flying to the top. Surfacing I laughed with pure joy. My father watched. “Can I do it again. Please.”

“Okay. This time use the board. Three bounces.”

The spring-board groaned as thrice I jumped, then flew up through the air. My exhilaration was complete.


The Album by Sarah Brentyn

She stared at the empty album, wondering again what kind of flower decorated the cover before her mind tried to find the word for the color then thought about the emptiness again.

Round and round like the seasons. In and out and back again. Peach. It was peach, that hue. Pink. And the flower, a rose. Or carnation. Daisy. The emptiness. Pink. Flowers. Like spring. With things that are alive trying to sprout from things that look dead.

The album was closed but she knew they took the fading photos—black and white memories she was starting to lose.


Renewal by Geoff Le Pard

Mary saw the gynaecologist. ‘I’m worried about your weight, Mrs North. It’s fluctuating a lot.’

Mary listened but stayed silent.

‘Are you sleeping alright?’

No, but she said nothing.

‘At your age, pregnancy is potentially more, erm, challenging. You need to take more care of yourself. Both of you.

Mary nodded. She thought about her list, where she had added ‘me’. She realised it should have been ‘us’.

She broke from her daydream. The picture was becoming clear.

He pointed. ‘Long legs.’

‘Like my father.’

‘Do you want to know the sex?’

‘It’s a boy, isn’t it?’

He nodded.


Green and Blue Survival by Pat Cummings

Dumping condensation that has collected on the lid of the makeshift rainbarrel, I set it carefully back over a full container that once held olives, and move downline to the next.

This one holds a nascent green frog. Its tail still reveals its tadpole nature. Scooping it gently from its tiny pond, I walk it downhill to the sump pool. It can survive here long enough to sing next winter, unless the crows eat it.

“Hon!” An excited voice floats from the side yard. “Our ceanothus came back!” The tiny blue blossoms have survived another winter of deer depredation.


The Downside of Spring by Sarrah J. Woods

Julia and her neighbor, Mae, were talking outside over the hum of a nearby lawnmower and the flurry of birds and squirrels on their evening hunts.

Mae plucked a pink blossom off her crab apple tree. “I love spring,” she said.

Julia shook her head. “I used to. Now, I’d trade color for calm. Spring is too busy—in winter and summer things are more settled and relaxed. Even fall is cozy. But spring is too much work.”

Mae shrugged. “The grass is always greener on the other side.”

“No,” said Julia, “the grass needs to be mowed.”


Her Season by Ann Edall-Robson

Spring. Mother Nature dictates the terms for the when and where. There is no telling her to conform to the thought that April showers should bring May flowers. She does what she wants.

A change of heart is evident with the lengthening of the days. Warming the raw earth and nurturing her babies to life. Some will not survive her teaching methods. Others will flourish like an epidemic.

Buds on trees. Calves and fawns peek out from behind their Mothers. Goslings scoot across the water to the low chortle from their long necked parents.

Her season of new life.


Signs of Spring by Larry LaForge

“Let’s see,” Edna said, always glad to help granddaughter Ellen with her homework. What are signs of spring?

“Here’s my list so far,” Ellen exclaimed proudly. “Blooming flowers, greening grass, chirping birds, rain showers.”

“Good!” Edna said to the third grader. “Does Grandpa have any ideas?”

Ed started to speak but abruptly stopped, holding up his index finger as if to say “Just a sec.” Edna handed him a handkerchief to wipe his runny nose. Ed hesitated again, letting out a loud ACHOO that startled Ellen. He coughed repeatedly but was finally able to speak.

“Earthworms on the driveway.”


Spring & Sunshine by Susan Zutautas

Spring uplifts my depression

The sun shines and awakens something inside me

New life springing up, trees budding, warmth beating down on the earth

Dark clouds no longer hang over my head

Rejuvenated and feeling like a brand new person

Sleep now comes easy

Hopelessness has turned into a promising future

Gloomy days are now filled with cheerfulness

Unimaginable pain has been uplifted

Despondent now hopeful

Seasonal affective disorder can be so debilitating

But once it has lifted life will return to normal

Never lose hope
Never give up
Never give in

Spring shall return

Just as sunshine does


Mother’s Day by Pete Fanning

Ben and the girls trooped up the path, tracking through a recent dusting of cherry blossoms. The iris stalks swayed along in the breeze, clutching the beauty in their spears.

They hiked past the wildflowers–glowing yellow and pink on the hill. For Ben, the pain dulled over time, just as the shine of her eyes blurred and the warmth of her voice faded. Then each spring it bloomed again, as the girls lay their flowers against her stone. To them she was only a face in a frame, but to him she was everything.

“Happy Mother’s Day, Ana.”


Spring Beauty by Susan Zutautus

I tend to my flowering bush carefully raking away the autumn leaves that have been protecting it all winter. Each day I check for the long awaited buds to emerge and pop. Year after year the flowers seem more breathtaking in their pink, white, yellow and red hues. New life is here. The bush itself stands tall and grows wider each year that passes with warmth from the sun. The leaves start out green and erupt into a beautiful shade of red in the fall. Once in its full foliage I know that spring has left and summer begins.


Symbols of Spring by Rose Ketring

Growing up, winter felt eternal. Promise of warmth came in the form of running water: in the streets and engorged river. Spring ritual never came with the budding of flowers or early morning calm a ray of sun can bring.

Neighborhoods came together to fill sandbags to fortify the riverbed and complain about sugar beet and potato crop yields. Spring of my childhood promised class trips to Sandbag Central. The return of orange construction cones and alternate roads because main roads were flooded. The warmth of those who fought the Red River year after year symbolizes Spring for me.


Spring by Marigold Deidre Dicer

The low sun transformed the trees into long black shadows cutting across the orange-stained landscape. If she squinted, she could make out the pale apple blossoms threatening to loose themselves in the breeze, though the fragrance was too subtle for her nose to single out. Standing there with her camera around her neck, she took a moment to soak up the beauty of the late spring. Sometimes, the drive to capture the moment caused her to miss the experience altogether, but she promised herself that wouldn’t happen this season. She closed her eyes and breathed the softly warming air…