Jun 102013
 

Home Truths

“Spoon sweets are the best. Have you ever had spoon sweets?” She looks at her customer with such intensity from behind the counter that I am surprised to hear the woman find the strength to answer.

“Pardon, spoon sweets?” she replies in her phrasebook Greek.

The shop owner reaches for a jar from a bulging shelf – the cherries preserved in syrup clearly visible.

“Here, this is it; this is a cherry spoon sweet. Here, present for you,” she says, sliding the jar across the counter.

The woman receives it with both hands and a big smile.

I try to decipher the patisserie owner’s expression. She is not smiling, her face pulled into what I read as contempt. I could be wrong, of course. So many years away from this country, I can no longer claim insider knowledge. Still, witnessing the scene the day after my return home, I shudder from shame and envy, in equal measure. The directness of the shop owner embarrasses me; she shows the worst of herself to a stranger: the impetuousness, the loud, gestural arrogance that goes with this kind of self-assurance. I blush on her behalf. At the same time, I envy her unselfconscious manner of being. She’ll never know how she comes across, while I am forever stepping back for fear of appearing wrong, or appearing confident about the wrong things. Something inside me snaps,

“I hate spoon sweets!” I say, “hate them!” Both women turn, their eyes wide.

“Mind your business, Kyria,” the proprietor says. “I’ll be with you in a minute.”

I know she will. But I have made up my mind, and turning swiftly, I walk out. In my head, the lines of a haiku appear:
……………………………spoon sweets / tangy taste of a song / long forgotten

May 092012
 

My haibun ‘Drawings’ is included in Contemporary Haibun, vol. 13, of Red Moon Press.

I am delighted to be in such a good journal and in such good company!

 

May 022012
 

I am thrilled to report that:

my short story/flash ‘The Silence in my Cell’ is now online in the May edition of Tuck Magazine. They say it is a MUST read! See what you think. It can be read here

my tanka ‘Tin Mug’ now appears in ‘ars poetica 2′ – newest poems of Poets Online. It can be found on their site here  (This is a bit more complicated to find: go to Archive, click newest poems/ ars poetica 2)

Jan 052012
 

The Tree

Sitting under a mulberry tree by the sea, in Alexandroupolis, Greece, near the border with Turkey, I stare across the sparkling water. A melancholy mood is sapping my energy. The ferry to Samothraki makes me wish to travel further on, but I know I’ve come far enough. This place, at the intersection of continents, symbolizes the crossroads in my own life, leaving behind my youth and entering middle age. I need a push, something to give me strength to take the next step.

I must have fallen asleep because when I come to dusk is falling like rain. I rub my eyes. The town lights flicker simultaneously with their reflections on the water. The notes of a flute pierce the air.

I muse about the times this town has passed between the Bulgarians, the Greeks, the Turks, the Russians; shudder at the thought of how much blood has been spilled. And yet humanity continues, the spirit survives whoever the ruler, whatever the belief. I realize the smallness of my own problem, the disease of vanity and self-preoccupation.

A crow lands next to me. We eye each other for a minute or two, then he flies away. Feeling a sense of acceptance wash over me, I walk to my Pension. The hostess noticing the lifting of my mood offers me a theory about what happened.

“It must have been the dervish, the Holy man of the fifteenth century,” she says. “He spent his days under a tree… he is buried there…”

“They buried him under his tree?”

“They say he still heals those who go to sit under it.”

“Is that the Mulberry tree…?” I start, trying to locate ‘my’ tree for her.

She shrugs, and then I know it does not matter.

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in the salty air

a single leaf from his book -

dove with crow

In Contemporary Haibun Online, January 2012

Dec 042010
 

Can a story be told in a sentence? How much can one say in a sentence?  Will it touch the reader emotionally?

Here is one of my one sentence shorts:

11 // Textofiction

December 1, 2010 //
 
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A luminous robot angel picked her up from her place in the queue at the Supermarket checkout and placed her back in her bed.
 
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 This short story was published in Textofiction, 1st of December 2010.
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You can find it online here 

4 December 2010