Obscurity

A few days ago I wrote a verse using an almost-obsolete word, GLOAMING. As you’ll see, the story I’m posting today includes several rarely used words, so get out your dictionary. 🙂 And since there’s no ending to my tale, you’ll have to use your own imagination to finish it.

A Sombre Tale

The night was rayless, the moon mist-embalmed, stars lost in the opacity. A solitary bobcat, its pupils expanded to let in what little light there be, listens for the slightest rustle.

Its ears twitch as unusual crunches echo though the bosque – something large and careless is lumbering by. The bobcat sniffs, detects the scent of a human on the nearby trail, and abandons his hunt. Not far away a rabbit, terror-frozen, listens as the pad of the cat’s feet grows faint. The rabbit, sensing hope of escape at last, bolts into the underbrush.

Unconcerned with other drama, or rather too consumed by his own, a man stumbles along the tenebrous trail. Leading the way, his flashlight’s beam flickers off small lumps and bumps on the path. In the circle of light slicing the darkness, the man finds courage to go forward with hesitant steps.

Just as his feet grope for safe footing on the rutted trail, so the man is feeling his way through the murk of his misgivings. As he advances, his mind sifts through the potential consequences that loom so large in the semi-darkness around him. Should he turn around? Should he forsake this quest?

His eyes strain to see village lights ahead, seeking encouragement and a moment of camaraderie at a place where shadowed souls like himself are gathering. A pinprick of streetlight winks through the trees, beckoning him on.

“One last time.” He whispers the promise into the darkened brake.
“Just this one last time.”

Today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt: IN THE CIRCLE

How to Be Cheerful

There are some game plans that sound totally illogical and backwards, but actually work. 🙂

How to Be Cheerful

by Edgar Guest

How to be cheerful, do you say,
when the wind is cold and the skies are gray?
How to be cheerful? Just one way:
forget yourself for awhile today.

Never mind self and your irksome cares.
Somebody else greater burden bears.
Stretch out a helping hand and play
the friend to all who may chance your way.

You’ll never be cheerful sitting there
sorrowing over the hurts you bear,
for never a joyous hour is known
by the man who thinks of himself alone.

How to be cheerful? Scatter cheer;
share your life with your neighbors here;
encourage the weary and comfort the sad*
and you’ll find more joy than you’ve ever had.

From his book, The Collected Works of Edgar A Guest
© 1934 by the Reilly & Lee company

*You may have to do this by phone until Covid-19 has been banished. 🙂

Frame by Free-creative at Pixabay

The Naughty Mite

An Old-Fashioned Caution

A naughty termite eyed a house
and said, “I’ll make you fall
with a little chomping here and there.”
So it chose a sturdy wall.

The house was made of robust beams
“I’ve stood a century!
Could stand a hundred more,” it bragged,
“Built from the strongest tree.”

Yet the old house shuddered softly;
what a sprightly mite might do!
And wished someone would squash the thing
as it commenced to chew.

The insect chewed both day and night;
the onslaught seemed quite small
yet the termite had colossal dreams
of seeing this house fall.

He chomped with such a fervent haste,
carved tunnels all around,
’til weakened finally, the wall
cracked and came crashing down.

The house, deprived of its support,
groaned sadly, then it buckled
and as the roof on the garden fell
that wicked termite chuckled.

So might some petty jealousy
though minuscule to start,
bring down a home, split dearest friends,
or break a tender heart.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: ROBUST
Word of the Day Challenge: SPRIGHTLY
My response is this adaptation of “The Ant and the Rubber Tree Plant.” 🙂

Indecision

Good morning everyone. Fandango’s one-word challenge this morning is DESPONDENT and here’s my response.

I was working out a haiku in my mind earlier, and I think it will fit well with this prompt, since I tend to get despondent when I think too long about all the things I might have accomplished if I’d been more disciplined and decisive.
Putting things off may be the easiest way at the moment, but I’ve learned that you do have to “pay the piper” farther down the road.

undecided
what my life might have been
had I only…

Life’s mini dillemas:

Birds argue.sujufotos
Image by sujufotos —  Pixabay

 

Tunes: The Surrey or Just the Fringe?

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning was FRINGE

When I saw the prompt word this morning my mind immediately went to a snatch of song from back in childhood. I don’t remember anything of the words or music, just the line “the nice little surrey with the fringe on the top.”

Now, who wrote that song? What were the words? When was it popular? A thousand blessings on the unseen folk who have answered all the questions people put to Google!

The song was written by Richard Rodgers and comes from the musical play, “Oklahoma.” I see another song listed as well, one that was very popular in its day. I can hear again in memory the whole cheerful chorus:
“Oh what a beautiful morning, Oh what a beautiful day!
I’ve got a beautiful feeling, everything’s going my way.”
It’s easy to remember and to sing; the words are appealing and the music’s a great fit.

With some songs, the words are so-so and would get nowhere without their tune. As I read over the song, “The Surrey With the Fringe on the Top,” I can’t see anything especially “musical” or appealing about the words, so I conclude it’s one where the tune was the surrey and the words were the fringe. (Click HERE to read the lyric, if you wish.)

Many songs have great lyrics that touch our hearts. They’d easily stand alone as a poem – and a lot were poems, finally set to music. Our national anthems, songs of home and family, love and courage, longing for the old folks or the girl left behind. For example:
“Way Down Upon the Swanee River…”
“When you and I were young, Maggie…”
“By yon bonny banks and by yon bonny braes…”

I don’t know if there’s been a more prolific poet than the blind Christian writer, Fanny Crosby. She wrote more than 8000 verses, many of which ended up as gospel songs and have been paired with the perfect music – lively, or slow and thoughtful – for carrying the message.

“All the way my Savior leads me,
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my guide?
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.”