Fire and Water | Prose and Poetry

Fire and Water | Poetry and Prose

Fire and Water | Poetry and Prose

First up, I tried Sacha Black’s Writespiration. This is what we had to do; Get a timer, set it for 120 seconds and when and ONLY when you are ready to do the challenge, scroll to the very end of the post to see the one word prompt. Write hard and fast until your time is up. The word Is ‘ARMOUR’.

Unfortunately, I had so many interruptions, that it took me over half an hour just to get a few words down, which kind of disqualifies me. So I decided to run with it, edit it and post it here, instead.

The date is November 3rd 1324. Drizzle falls like tears from a swollen sky, but it is not so grim without as within. I sit with Petronella through her last moments, in a cell dank with mould and ripe with the ghosts of its past inhabitants.

Her body is gaunt and bloody, her skin a mass of puckered welts and scabs, broken open and oozing, the souvenirs of her private torture and public floggings. She holds her head high, hands folded together and resting still like pale butterfly wings in her lap.

“Your pyre is built high,” I say. “They want everyone to see it.”

“I am the first,” she replies, “but I will not be the last.”

“But you did nothing wrong.”

“The truth is not relevant, only what people believe.”

“Why did you confess?”

She looks at me for the first time. “To make it stop.”

I bite back my impatience. “And now you will burn for it.”

“So how could I win?” She smiles, a broad glowing smile, as footsteps echo distantly on stone. She gets to her feet, raising a hand to smooth the tangles from her hair.

“How can you smile?”

The key turns in the lock with a rasping, metallic protest, and the door begins to swing open.

She pauses. “Armour, isn’t it?” And then she is gone.

Next, I tried a bit of poetry for Jane Dougherty’s challenge. This is what we had to do; I leave you to choose the form and use the Munch painting, ‘Moonlight’ as your inspiration. I’m adding a selection of words for you to use—verb, nouns, adjective and adverb—that you can use if you want to add a bit of a challenge to the prompt.

winding – moonlight – follow – heavily – path

I didn’t use her picture, but I did use all the words she gave us, and tried an English sonnet.

Where does she wander on this starry night?
A wraith, a shadow, she’s frail as a sigh,
Woven from stardust and strands of moonlight,
Feet tripping dainty as she passes by.
Discarding my fear, I follow her path,
A winding trail through glistening grassland,
Over rounded hills, past the fairy rath
To the foaming sea, roaring on the strand.
With greedy hands, the salt wind tugs her hair,
Waves throw themselves heavily on the shore,
She lets her robe fall, stands tall without care,
She is the shape of my love, form I adore.
White flesh gleaming, she wades into the deep,
Slips beneath the surface to endless sleep.

Writing that made my head hurt! Have a great weekend, everyone! Ali

45 Comments on “Fire and Water | Prose and Poetry

  1. Pingback: Writespiration #88 It’s a Dolls Life | Sacha Black

  2. Pingback: Poetry challenge Moonlight: the entries – Jane Dougherty Writes

    • Thanks Noelle. The story is based on the true story of the first woman ever to be burned at the stake for witchcraft in Ireland. The poem is just imagination. 😁


  3. Gorgeous, Ali! The poem was so evocative, all stranded with moonlight and water, and the poor woman in her cell, waiting to be burnt – well, that was a truth for so many who dared to be wise and strong and speak out, tell stories, even. Lovely work 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very elemental week on your blog, Ali, with the fire and water and the power of words culminating in your own powerful words. I’d chalk it down as particularly successful 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish, Diana! I wrote the bare bones of a handful of words, literally… damn those kids! 😂which took half an hour, then I thought well that’s it, can’t submit it now, it was supposed to take 2 minutes. So I worked on it some more. It was a failed challenge attempt, but I still got something out of it. I like writing challenges, they take me out of my comfort zone, and if it wasn’t for Sacha’s Writespiration, I would never ever have written a piece of flash. Now, I love it! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

            • Oh yeah I know, it was awful, and not just the women. I had a moment like that a few weeks ago when I did the talking heads post. Oliver Plunkett’s head is in a church in Drogheda. He was hung drawn and quartered and not even for witchcraft, but because he supported the ‘wrong Christians, ie he was a roman Catholic rather than a protestant. All this horrid stuff which happened in the name of religion really happened.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Hmmm… well the tables have turned, I think. I know it’s very medieval, but it’s like history is repeating itself. This moslem backlash is a crusade which has been brewing a long time. I just don’t get how people still think that killing others, especially the innocents, is the answer.

              Liked by 1 person

  5. Ali, you inspired me and I wrote mine first and used your words. A few similarities but yours is quite dreamy! Love it. I’ll post mine tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

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