Up the Mountain

The Ragtag Daily Prompt today was LUSH. And just for fun I’m going to throw in a few humongous — but interesting — words I’ve come across in my reading recently:
Vertiginous – related to vertigo. Causing dizziness; marked by turning or sudden changes.
– foolishly adventurous or bold
– to issue censures, railing accusations, or vehement denunciations

Up The Mountain

My wife and I met my old friend Pete at a restaurant, enjoyed a meal together, and planned to spend the night at his place near the summit of a nearby mountain. When we got back to our cars he told me, “You’ll love the view tomorrow morning but I’ll admit the road to my place loops around some.”

My wife and I exchanged looks. Twilight was settling in. How would we manage unfamiliar turns at night? She was nervous about traveling after dark at the best of times, never mind on winding roads. I wanted to ask Pete to lead us gently but he was already in his car.

At first the county highway was fairly straightforward with deep woods on either side. I could easily keep Pete’s tail lights in view. However, we were soon on a fairly steep grade negotiating ess curves. Pete was moving at a good speed but I swallowed my fears and trusted he’s had enough experience driving on this mountain.

Dusk gave way to darkness. The lush growth thinned out and we started seeing chunks of rock at the roadsides – with hairpin bends in the road around them. I desperately tried to keep up with Pete as he zipped around the vertiginous curves on this rapidly narrowing road.

Not as temerarious as Pete, I slowed down when my headlights lit up a rock wall on one side and the blackness of space on the other. At one point I unconsciously edged away from the precipice on my left and got too far to the right. With a clunk the car bounced through a deep pothole. I prayed for my suspension and each of my four tires!

By now my wife was fulminating about this crazy ride. As we approached another hairpin curve with a huge slice of rock rising straight up on our right and a flimsy guard rail on our left, we spotted a sign: “Watch for falling rock.” At the very edge of the pavement lay several shadowy lumps: small boulders that had already tumbled down.

My wife squawked and clutched the door handle. “This is crazy. What are we supposed to do if we see rocks falling on us – drive off the edge?”

“You’ll have to do the watching,” I shot back at her as I slowed down to negotiate the curve. “It’s all I can do to watch Pete’s tail lights.”

As we went around this hairpin curve I found myself squeezing the steering wheel so tight my fingers were going numb. Pete’s lights had disappeared. But he must have realized we’d dropped behind; a moment later I saw brake lights far ahead. Then we passed through a relatively straight stretch and caught up with his vehicle. I relaxed my grip on the wheel. My shoulders ached. It felt like we’d been driving for hours!

After a couple more loops, Pete came to a stop and signaled for a right turn. He headed down a narrow lane and I followed. Finally we came to a stop in a clearing and saw the most heartening sight: a rustic log cabin, lit up invitingly.

“Welcome here,” said Pete. “I hope you didn’t find the road up too bad?”

I shook my head. “How can you do that every day?”

“There were a few times I was sure we’d go over the edge,” my wife chimed in. “Or that my heart would stop. But then I imagined myself lying in the back of an ambulance as it raced down the mountain. My heart skipped a beat or two and started pumping frantically again.”

“But you’ll love the view in the morning,” Pete promised again. “And I promise the road will be easier going down in daylight.”

You Say I Say

The Ragtag Daily Prompt today is BUCKET. Also, glancing through Pixabay earlier I saw an image of a frog that sparked a thought about natural habitats. One of the poetry prompts last month was to write a verse giving a rebuttal, or two sides of a discussion. So here’s my collage of thoughts…

Image: FotoMecky — Pixabay

You Say I Say

Jump in you call
the stream’s for all
the water’s for adventure
bold currents will lift us
and carry us away

but this fluid habitat
dear prince makes me
tremble I say
my feet are designed
for solid ground
not paddling around
in drifting tides

glorious adventures
you say dive in
baths in sunny pools
nights under the stars
country roads and rainbows
come dip your bucket
in life’s bubbling stream

thrills you say
experiences await
I say what about
a roof over our head
three meals, clean clothes
hot and cold taps
warm towels

I say jobs and paychecks
you say work’s a drag
you’re choosing slavery
you say — I say
work buys a home
for us and our kids
kids, you say –who said kids?

They’re preventable
you say — I say
that’s lamentable!
life is family I say
you say freedom
is all that really counts
I say adios

Telephone & Saxophone


One of the first things Sam noticed when he walked into the CEO’s office was a young girl at a desk, off to one side. She looked up briefly then went back to filing her long fingernails.

Approaching the main receptionist, an efficient-looking woman, Sam gave his name and informed her that he had an appointment with Mr Winsett.

“Oh, yes. Follow me, sir.” Shooting an annoyed glance in the nail-filer’s direction, she led him into the CEO’s office.

“Hey, Sam,” His friend Vic rose and shook his hand. “Glad to see you. Sit down. I have the reports and data I wanted to show you right here.”

“Great.” Same took a chair. “Say, I see you have a second office worker now.” He kept the remark lightly curious, watching for Vic’s reaction. It wasn’t like his friend to hire superfluous staff, especially if they so obviously look bored. Also, her dress didn’t look like the kind of professional business attire Vic expected of his secretaries.

“You mean Melody.” Bill grinned. “She’s our filing clerk – when there’s something to file.”

“She’s doing a good job on her nails right now.”

Vic shrugged. “Guess you’d call it a sinecure. She’s my brother’s niece and needs a job – or rather, needs the paycheque – for the summer. Doesn’t have much idea about office work, but filing and some follow-up calls she can handle. Evenings and weekends she plays in a band, whenever they can get a gig.”

Sam pictured the young lady strumming a guitar. “With those nails? What instrument does she play?”

“Saxophone, if you can believe it.”


“So here she is, until university starts again in fall. I’ll talk to her again about office protocol. Now about these reports…”

The Ragtag Daily Prompt for today is SINECURE. A new word for me.

According to M-W, this word has an interesting meaning and goes way back.A SINECURE is a job or position more-or-less in name only. That is, you get paid for barely working. Great position for an in-law or someone the boss wants to have around without expecting much productivity.

This word is derived from sine cura, meaning “without cure.” Apparently the non-cure pertained to souls. From M-W: “The original sinecure was a church position that didn’t involve the spiritual care or instruction of church members. These days the positions are more likely to be board or academic appointments that require no teaching.

Bashful Sorts

I’m adventuring into some unusual forms of poetry for National Poetry Month. The form I’m posting now, I found listed at The Writer’s Digest site. It’s a treochair, which is an Irish tercet form with alliteration.

Rules for a TREOCHAIR:
Variable number of tercets (three-line stanzas)
Three syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and seven in the third.
First line rhymes with the third. Treochairs employ a lot of alliteration.

Bashful Sorts

Bashful sorts
like Milton and Mike oft’ tell
fate their dreaming thwarts.

Never bold
enough, their arms stay empty;
no sweetheart they’ve told

deepest dreams;
they’re too shy for romancing
by mellow moonbeam.

Courage be
a godsend to these misters!
The gals will agree:

happy hearths
are acquired by lads who
dare to risk their hearts.

Image: Myriams-Fotos — Pixabay

A Jumbo Storm

The NaPoWriMo prompt today is quite a challenge! We’re given “Twenty Little Poetry Projects”; the challenge is to use all twenty prompts in one poem. Too big a project for me, so I’ll try to cover the first five in my poem. They are:

  1. Begin the poem with a metaphor.
  2. Say something specific but utterly preposterous.
  3. Use at least one image for each of the five senses, either in succession or scattered randomly throughout the poem.
  4. Use one example of synesthesia (mixing the senses).
  5. Use the proper name of a person and the proper name of a place.

Jumbo Day

This storm’s a flashing circus day
with elephants! You’ve seen the way
they like to poke their trunks in water
and your very best outfit to splatter.
You shiver and shake, really ticked off,
but there you stand, you drip and cough
as the smell of Jumbo’s barn arises
and the taste of peanut butter surprises.
You hear all Heaven preparing to pour
another drench, and you're really sore,
shouting and screaming, "Unlock this door!"

Complete Honesty?

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning: SPIN

And Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt:


“You can put a positive spin on this if you like, but you really blew it,” Benton told his friend. “Apologies and roses might help.”

Dillon, still unrepentant, protested. “She said, ‘Be completely honest.’ I thought she wanted the truth, so I said her friend’s right: that dress does look sleazy. And she blew up.”

Benton patted Dillon’s arm. “You just failed your first lesson in Understanding Women 101.”

Here’s a mini-verse to go with it…

complete honesty
how many friendships