Tag Archives: short story

Home Truths (Flash Mob 2013)

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

‘The Silence in my Cell’ and ‘Tin Mug’

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)

The Tree (Haibun)

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.


in the salty air

a single leaf from his book –

dove with crow

In Contemporary Haibun Online, January 2012

A Robot Angel

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

4 December 2010