The Face in the Smoke #writephoto

Photo Credit: Sue Vincent

The face of the chief rose above the naked arms of the trees. Her body of smoke illuminating the burnt forest below. Beneath her, squirrels dropped their nuts and ran to keep ahead of the flames. Rabbits and mice dug deeper into the earth to find refuge from the heat, while the beetles clung to the bark and burned. The deer and coyote had left when the first ember crunched the dry leaves with its orange teeth, but where was man?

“Wake, my children. Wake and see what you have done.”

Her words came from the voice of no sound. Rising from the heart of Earth, they broke the barrier of time and space as they wove into the membranes of deaf ears where their vibration was felt in the cells, stirring the unease of truth inside bodies that had become numb.

“Wake and remember.”

Her specter rose with the smoke until it filled the black night.

No one saw her, save for one. A girl-child had lingered, letting go of her father’s hand as he pulled her to safety. And, somehow in his hurry, he had released her while he chased after fear. She stood defiant against the blaze as she gazed up at the ghost of her ancestor. Listening to words no one else could hear.

“I hear you, Mother,” she shouted her voice into the night, lifting her words to the sky. “I am here.”

I wrote this inspired by Sue Vincent’s prompt, #Fume, in honor of Suzanne at Being in Nature, whose passionate plea for change fills the pages of her blog. She lives in Australia where wildfires are devastating the land and the life that depends upon it. She shares my sentiment that it is imperative that we acknowledge the effects of climate change and make real efforts to slow it down. 


The Return of the Feathered Seer #setting #writphoto #suevincent

The Feathered Seer hovers above the stones. Photo Credit: Sue Vincent

Note: I started writing this post and then came across the #writephoto prompt post by Sue Vincent and opened it up to this image. Therefore, the blog post has now become my response to her weekly photo prompt

In April of 2017 I played the role of “The Feathered Seer” during the Silent Eye School of Consciousness’s annual ritual workshop weekend. Although acting is not my element, this role that I was asked to undertake did not feel like acting. It felt like home. Yesterday, I wrote about the concept of home and how I feel most aligned with that state of being when I am in England, walking the ancient lands. I have no doubt I have walked these lands, perhaps many times, in former lives. It’s a knowing so deep it goes beyond the visceral and straight to the heart of the soul.

The Feathered Seer is a part of me, woven into my being. She is my guide, but she is also me. Through the ancient lands she follows me, and I follow her. She takes my hand and leads me so I will remember. And, I believe, so that others will remember too.

In physical form, she adopts the form of the pileated woodpecker. That other-worldly creature who flies through the woods with her red head, calling the soul home to the roots of being, and drumming the language of the ancients back into the heart.

Last night she came to me during dreamtime as I stood atop a sacred Native American hillside. Flying her feathers of darkness before my face to peer into my eyes. Weeks prior, she had arrived in physical form. Flying before my path before the Silent Eye group gathered at Castlerigg.

Do not be afraid to see… she tells me




Shadows #writephoto prompt #SueVincent #microfiction #flashfiction

A shadowed fortification
Photo Credit: Sue Vincent

“There are too many lines.”

“Free yourself.”

“Metal bars rising from the earth. Stone pillars capped before they reach the heavens.”

“It’s only an illusion.”

“I can see light filtered through the shadows. A window hovering above a shut gate.”

“Fly to it.”

“I have not wings to fly.”

“Then climb the walls. Scale the spokes.”

“I fear impalement. Death, even.”

“Then stay imprisoned if you must. Or welcome death.”

“But I can see the sky beyond. It’s so vast. I can feel the breeze lifting my breath. Inside me, there is a voice that wants to sing with the birds.”

“Then sing.”

“I have not the voice for song.”

“Then be silent.”

“Silence is lonely. I have no one to talk to. No one to hear me. No one to answer me.”

“Who do you think I am?”


Written for Sue Vincent’s weekly #writephoto challenge. Click here if you’d like to participate. 


Stark #Writephoto prompt #SueVincent

Photo Credit: Sue Vincent

The ever-green is a ruse of defiance

To time that cannot stand still

The bare limbs stark

Bone-gray, curled & broken

Are also a ruse

Of death

Life stirs beneath the surface

Nibbling the nutrients of decay

Yesterday’s brilliant yellow will dim to brown

Fall with the forgotten

Piled into equality

The worm cares not from which tree it falls

Blind to what the eyes see

It feeds on what’s left behind

Recycling the outer

To feed the inner

My contribution to Sue Vincent’s Weekly #writephoto prompt. To participate, please click here




#Bones #writephoto prompt #suevincent

Photo credit: Sue Vincent

They said it was a sacrifice,
but isn’t all life?
The tree pulled down to make paper to record our words
The hay threshed to fill bellies
Some say even water is alive
The clouds spilling it to the ground only to be swallowed
by some body that will eventually die
Only the bones linger
Hardened by structure
Fused to bear weight
Once stripped of the vulnerable layers they expose the effort
of resistance as a catalogue of time
We like to date our years lived
We like to think about lifetimes
in terms of expansion
The vulnerable layers we shroud
with creams and clothing designed to hide
and deny this thing we call age
But, when we strip ourselves down to what is left
Beyond the hardened bones that remind us of death
as a loss and that thing called density,
we are left with the essence itself
That bit of life that lingers over and over again
The cycle repeating itself to rebirth
in another form. Experience depends
upon this essence, as does growth and death
It is said that when the body dies,
the weight of the eternal essence can be recorded
after it leaves the form which held it close to call it a life
by itself. We can look at the dry bones and see the loss
of what once was, or we can follow the essence
back into the dance of life. Imagine
a breath of memories swirling into another form,
or perhaps dancing in eternity’s ocean
The individual heart eventually stops
That’s simply the law of nature of life in form
An idea that might make a single beating heart
skip into the throat to hide for want of eternity
of the individual. We don’t like to think
about nonexistence as we define our existence
but what of that pulse that beats through all life?
Can you feel it?
No one can say they cannot,
or have not, because
it is that essence that lingers
The before form and the after form
So you can study the bones and marvel
at the loss, or you can study the essence
that beats the eternal heart and recognize it
as your own too.


For Sue Vincent’s weekly #writephoto prompt challenge


#Faraway #suevincent #writephoto prompt

When I saw Sue’s writing prompt photo from this past Thursday, I knew I would likely participate, but something told me to wait. This morning, I opened my inbox to her post from Ani and was graced with a quiet space to sit with what it had to offer. As Sue’s posts have a way of doing, I felt that familiar​ call to a faraway home that is, perhaps, not so far away.


Photo Credit: Sue Vincent

Your cells hum with the memory of a faraway home

Can you here it?

It sounds like sand moving through water

They move through you like a tide

Your body the cave

The womb inside emptied

Waiting for the flood

To fill it whole again

Life returns in cycles

And your body hungers

For the return

To grow the fertile seeds

Oh, I have seen you, before

she whispers light back into your cells

I too have been waiting in this darkened cave

Eons passed in a chasm of hungered silence

But it is nothing to me, only to you

I understand the tides

I understand the cycle

The long leave

Before the return

Birth is always a memory held inside

Your fertile ground

And I am here always

Waiting without desire

To welcome you home


#Crossings #writephoto prompt #SueVincent

It’s been awhile since I’ve participated in Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompts. Life has been busy and has included a trip to this land that feels like home.



Photo Credit: Sue Vincent



I looked at the bridge framed in green

To that faraway place where I felt I belonged

Wanting to step through an image that looked like home

“But you are already home, my child”

The voice inside felt like comfort

Soundless to the ear, but not to the heart

I knew it to be mine,

 but not wholly mine

So, I went inward to walk beneath the bridge

I painted the water with my toe

and watched circles

spreading rings outward

like the voice inside

 I knew to be home


If you would like to participate in Sue’s weekly #writephoto prompt, please click here.




#Splash #WritePhoto Prompt


Photo Credit: Sue Vincent


It is said water is the keeper of memories

Can you see fear splashing

into the well of joy?

The struggle of the self

to be individual

breaking waves

of separation

feeding life for a moment of time

until drought brings death?

Can you see the return of the drops

collecting into adhesion

Concentric circles spreading

union until the ripple disappears?


My contribution to Sue Vincent’s weekly #writephoto challenge. If you would like to participate, please click here. 


Woodland #writephoto

Forest path
Photo Credit: Sue Vincent


The forest whispered, “follow me,” and laid down a path of gold.

“Oh, I dare not,” replied the voice of doubt, “for I fear what may be lurking in the shadows.”

“Oh, you are a silly lass,” the forest replied. “Can’t you see that I have given you the way through the darkness?”

“But I am alone. A mere child in an unknown wilderness where fierce beasts may lurk, waiting to attack,” doubt replied.

“Yes, yes, that is true. What you seek is also seeking you.”

“Oh, but you are wrong. I do not seek the beasts. They seek me.”

“Aw,” the forest replied with a clatter of branches. “Who do you think the beasts belong to?”


“Oh no, they are not mine, they are yours.”

“I don’t want them, so how can they be mine?”

“Because you reject them. Come now, child, walk with me into the land of your heart. I have laid before you a golden path.”

“Oh, but I am scared.”

“It is good to be scared sometimes.”

“But how will I get through the dark places?”

“Oh, that is easy,” the forest replied. “Follow the path of light.”

My contribution to Sue Vincent’s weekly #writephoto prompt challenge. To participate, please click here



The Stairway (abbreviated)

It seems I failed to notice the word count restrictions for Sue Vincent’s photo challenge, so I’ve whittled down the The Stairway, unabbreviated to 92 words. Definitely a bit more challenging.

Photo by Sue Vincent


The Green Man called beyond the door, “Come child, we are waiting.”

Nora was no child. She was old enough to be a grandmother twice over. Ah, but the words sparked deep inside of her and she felt young again. The last time she walked down those stairs was sixty years ago, but Nora would never forget what was beyond the archway. She pulled her hooded cloak from the knob and sunk her feet into heavy boots.

“I’d marry him again,” she muttered, sounding addled to the man in the living room.