Miscellaneous Prompted Micro Poems 13

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Padre – the chaplain

Observant through life rambles

Enlightening flock

Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, August 14th 2019

three line tales, week 185: numbers

photo by Leon Bublitz via Unsplash

Peace, like glass panes broken. All hope decayed
A whole world now frightened – dismayed
With the launch codes now displayed

Three Line Tales, Week 185  15 Aug 19

three line tales, week 186: a girl looking at ponies and horses

photo by Melanie Dretvic via Unsplash

“Little one, you seem so small, But of fear there is no need.
On my back you hold the rein, and I will take your lead.”
And thus encouraged – to saddle she went, mounting the noble steed.

Three Line Tales, Week 186 22 Aug 19

 

Vintage wine – vintage cars

Things improved with age

Why then when you say “a vintage wife”

She responds with outright rage?

Weekend Writing Prompt #120 – Vintage 24 Aug 19

 

Padre

 

 

 

 

 

Deeper Understanding

The wizard led his most able student through the southern wood.  At last in the midst of a grove of ancient trees they came upon a mirror-like pool.  The magician opened his travelling bag and withdrew a horn cup.  He stooped down and drew some water and handed it to the lad to drink.

As the apprentice sipped the cool water, the mage said, “It is said that the pool is as deep as sea, though it has but little surface.  Drinking of these enchanted waters will allow those who know of them to see deep truths and have even deeper thoughts.”

“Master, if it is so deep, how does it reflect back so?” the boy questioned.

“Why would it not be so?” the wizard asked. “In a shallow pool you can see the stones on the bottom, and the fish darting about.  Can you not?”

“Yes, I suppose you can, ” the boy said, mentally conjuring such an image.

“And a piece of glass is transparent, but if painted on its back, does the darkness not cause it to become a mirror?” the magician coxed.

“Yes, it does,” the boy said. “I can see now that the water must be dark, but does that mean it is necessarily deep?”

The wizard again pulled a horn cup from his traveling bag and handed it to the lad. “Now draw some water from the pool.  Is it opaque or transparent?”

“It is clear.  But that alone does not indicate the pool’s depth,” the boy answered.

“How then might you determine the depth?” the wizard asked.

“I might tie a weight to the end of a rope, and then drop it into the waters to see how much rope it takes to meet the bottom,” the apprentice said thoughtfully.

“Do you have such a rope?” the magician challenged.

“No Master, I do not.”

“What else might you do then to answer your query?” the wise old man asked.

The boy thought for a moment, then without a word, he stepped into the pool and was submerged to his waist.

“It is only a few feet deep,” the boy said triumphantly.

“Did I not tell you that drinking from the pool would give you deep thoughts and insights?  Well done, Lad.”

Padre

Mirror #writephoto

 

 

 

 

The Mercenary

image: DNDspeak

Venar was desparate.  The Bronin Brothers had raided his farm stealing the livestock and taken his daughter hostage.  Venar had been given one week to bring them 500 silver pieces or she would be ravaged and mutilated.

“How can I raise such a sum,” Venar pleaded, “You have taken my animals.  I can’t even bring in the crops without my mule.”

“Why is that my problem Raynin Bronin?” asked dismissively.

“You have seven days,” added his brother, Gerwin.

“How do I know you won’t harm Liza?” Venar questioned.

Five days had passed and he had only been able to secure thirty-four pieces of silver, and that at the cost of his best plough and much of the firewood he had gathered for the winter.   The Bronin’s had his daughter, and even if he tried to rescue her, there was only one of him and three of them.

Finally he had, against his better judgement, decided to go to the Lusty Troll Tavern to seek a mercenary to aid him.  The timber framed building had seen better days and he noticed that plaster was missing in several places on the tavern’s facade.  Inside he found a dingy, single room with sawdust and straw on the floor, all of which was dimly lit by tallow candles.

He hesitantly approached the barman, and explained his plight.

“And how much can you afford to spend for such help?” the tavern-keeper asked.

“Twenty-eight pieces of silver,” Venar said. “But I don’t have it with me,” he added quickly after giving a quick glance at the surrounding drinkers.

“I think you will need the services of ‘R’,” the barman said giving a nodding gesture towards a muscular man at the end of the bar.  The warrior had small cold eyes, and a scar disfigured his left cheek.  The man looked disinterested with the farmer’s presence in the tavern, but gave his attention to slender, blonde woman sitting to his right.  She was attractive, and her hair was pulled back into a braided ponytail.   Venar couldn’t help seeing why she seemed to draw the warrior’s attention.

Pulling his own gaze away from the fine featured young woman, Venar studied the warrior more closely.  Yes, there they are, the farmer thought,  as he counted the six small skull tattoos on the huge warrior’s bicep.  He has killed six men.  Just the kind of fellow I need to defeat, or at least frighten the Bronins.

“How should I approach ‘R’?” Venar asked the inn-keeper.

“Rayna,” shouted the barman.

At this the blonde woman slid off of her stool and approached Venar and the tavern-keeper.

“What is it?” she said as she sized Venar up.

“This Gentleman needs your special kind of assistance,” the barman said with a wink.  “Twenty-five silver for you, and a commission for me.”

Venar at first thought that the tavern-keeper had gotten it all wrong.  He hadn’t come in for that sort of thing, he had a wife at home, and  . . . .  Then his eyes fell on the nineteen small skulls tattooed upon the woman warrior‘s forearm.

Padre

Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: The Woman Warrior

FOWC with Fandango — Tattoo

 

 

The Chocolate of Leime

 

Image result for The mascot Mark Kurzem

npr.org

The trucks were gathered near the clock tower in Riga.  Entire families, men, women, and children, stood with the meagre belongings which they were allowed to carry awaiting their turn to board.  Some of the children were unsettled and began the fuss and cry.  A Latvian SS officer called over his unit’s mascot, a uniformed boy of less than ten.  He was given chocolates to distribute to the doomed children, with the intent of calming them.  What could be more comforting than another child sharing sweets?  The gesture worked and the “transportation” continued.

(94 words)

Padre

Based on a true event in Riga during the Holocaust.  While there is still uncertainty as to Alex Kurzem’s heritage, the fact remains that he was the mascot of Battalion 18 of the Latvian SS, and was later made a corporal.  He was also the subject of a Nazi propaganda film.

WHAT PEGMAN SAW – Riga, Latvia

Ursula’s Mission

Castle by Mateusz Michalski

 


She hurried along the path, carrying nothing more than what could hang from her belt or fit in the satchel strapped to her back. She dreaded the long, lonely, and dangerous journey that was surely ahead of her, yet she had no choice. Sighing heavily, she dared to look back one last time at what she was leaving behind. The castle that had been her home looked so beautiful sitting there, perched on a throne of rock and greenery. Such a peaceful scene, with the spring flowers waving to her on a gentle breeze, and the blue of the distant mountains blending into the depths of the sky.

But the serenity of the castle’s surroundings belied the turmoil building within its walls–the ravings of a king slowly succumbing to madness, and the treacherous whisperings of power hungry nobles. There was something else too…a moving shadow that lurked in the bowels of the castle. She had caught glimpses of its movements from the corners of her eyes, and caught whiffs of its scent. Pain…death…malice. Perhaps it was the shadow that was causing the king’s madness, she did not know. She only knew that she had to get away from it–away from him. She hoped one day to return with the power to save him–to save them all. But the road ahead loomed more with uncertainty than promise. Would she survive the journey and find the cure she sought, or would all be lost?

These concerns lingered in Ursula’s mind.  But where should she go first?  Home, her real home, held little prospect for the answers she needed.  After all, it had been twenty-eight years since she left there to become the nurse for the then newborn prince.  They had been happy days when she first arrived, and she found no urge to return to her home city.   Why would she want to, the “Old” king had been kind to her, and Queen Hilda seemed more like a sister than a mistress.  No, her ties with Lintea were too distant for there to be any help there.

It then struck her – Benopor – the ancient centre of her order.  Surely one of the Abbesses or High Sisters would know how to overcome the dark Shadow.  Forty leagues – it was quite a distance for a middle-aged nurse to make on her own.  She had little coin, and no weapons, say for her wits, but it had to be the right destination.

She could not possibly afford the river journey, and the swamp-lands were not practical for her on her own.  The forest path was the only option.  Little did she know that the Shadow too had its eyes on that lonely road, and worse still it was aware of her intentions.

 

Padre

FANTASY ART FRIDAY

Simple Low Carb Blancmange

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As my wife’s illness progresses she has had to alter her diet a few times.  A strict keto diet is now unrealistic but low carb is still a must.  To bring some variety to her menu, I have made a few gelatin (jelly) dishes as they are very low carb, and tasty.  One of these is a soya based blancmange.  It has a certain creaminess to it, and seems more indulgent than plain fruit jelly (gelatin).

Ingredients:

  • Sugar Free Jelly (Gelatin) fruit flavoured – 1 sachet (1/2 of 26 g dual pack)  I used Strawberry
  • Unsweetened Soya Milk 1 pint (570 ml)
  • Stevia/Truvia Granules  1 to 1 1/2 Tbs (or to taste)
  • Custard Powder 2 tsp (optional but makes firmer dessert)*

Method:

Pour the gelatin powder into a 1.5 litre glass bowl.   Then in a saucepan put the sweetener, and custard powder (if used) and 2 Tbs of the soya milk.   Mix till even.  Then add 1/2 pint of the milk (285 g) and heat and whip with a whisk until near boiling.  Pour the heated milk mixture over the gelatin and whisk until evenly dissolved.  The add remaining cold milk.  Whisk again until even and mildly frothy.  Pour into a jelly mold and chill, or merely place glass bowl into a fridge to cool.  Let chill for 2 to 3 hours.

* I have omitted the custard/or corn starch in the past to keep the carbs even lower, but the dessert while okay, doesn’t set as well.  If the carb can be tolerated (as per keto diets, or diabetic concerns) then it is nicer, but follow your own dietary needs as it adds approximately 2 g of carb per serving.  Gelatin component <0.5g, Sugar free soya component  <0.5g, Truvia component approximately 2 g (though manufacturer claims this is not absorbed and is at 0 calories) per 145 g serving [please note these are not scientifically measured by me, but merely quoting nutritional data from the products’ labels].

 

Padre

The Facility

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image: buffymegaxover.fandom.com

The representative of the Kirk looked on with admiration as Matthew Hopkins, Witch-finder General continued the the tour of his facility near Manningtree, Essex.  If only we Covenanters could be so efficient, the dour Presbyterian thought to himself.

“And here you see the “awake room,” Hopkins said proudly.  “We find that the Satanic Whores” need their dreams to commune with the Dark One.  Once we deprive them of sleep their evil powers fade, and once in the presence of the true light they become repentant and confess.”

“And what is this wee pool,” the Scotsman asked.

“We find that dunking stools are of only limited value, so we have this deep troth.  We throw them in and since they have rejected Christian baptism, the water rejects them and they come sputtering to the surface.  It is a very accurate test of a witch,” the Witch-finder stated, as the Scot nodded.

“And here you see the inspection hut.  Notice that there are plenty of windows, so the light will reveal even the faintest witch-marks, ” Hopkins continued.  “We don’t want any mistakes.  Just think, what if an evil hag escaped because we missed a wart, or an innocent was executed because of a little dirt?  We are thorough here!”

“I don’t see any burning posts,” the Kirk-man observed.

“No, we English do things a little differently from up north, and on the Continent,” Hopkins said. “Unlike in your facilities, the witch doesn’t burn in this one.  We hang them, they will burn soon enough when they arrive in hell.”

Padre

Apologies for the historical inaccuracy.  Hopkins (Witch-finder General) was a real Puritan man who terrorised East Anglia in the period of the English Civil War.  The methods described are fairly accurate, as is the fact that English “witches” were not burned.  But he (Hopkins) never had a purpose built facility, nor is their any evidence that the Scots ever visited him in his persecution of outcast women.

Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: The witch doesn’t burn in this one

FOWC with Fandango — Dirt

 

Foodie Friday: Vegan Pasty Review

image: Gingsters.co.uk

When it comes to ready-made, high street and supermarket pies and pastries vegetarians generally and vegans in particular are generally an overlooked market.  Okay for vegetarians there are several cheese and onion options available, but not much else.  So Gingters’ launch of a Moroccan Vegetable Pasty which is also vegan-friendly was something to check out.

I found that the filling was tasty, and a nice change.  Gingters lists the ingredients as:

Wheat Flour (Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin) , Potato , Vegetable Oil (Palm, Rapeseed) , Butternut Squash (10%) , Onion , Tomato , Water , Piquanté Pepper (5%) , Chickpeas (4.5%) , Spring Onion , Apricot (2.5%) , Dates , Moroccan Chermoula (Water, Sunflower Oil, Yeast Extract, Spices, Lemon Juice Powder, Salt, Ground Cumin Seeds, Coriander Seeds, Herbs) , Cornflour , Salt , Red Harissa Paste (Glucose Syrup, Ground Spices, Tomato Purée, Water, Salt, Ground Mint) , Herbs , Apple , Garlic Purée , Rice Flour , Sugar , Pea Protein , Cider , White Wine Vinegar , Apple Purée , Ground Mustard Seeds , Pepper , Dried Apple Flakes , Dextrose , Spirit Vinegar .

I did find the texture a little inconsistent, however.  Some ingredients (potato?, squash?) were firm while the other was mushy.  I can’t honestly say I took the time to work out which was which. But the overall filling “worked.”

I did find the pastry, as I generally do with this company, a little too flaky and rather bland.

At 180g the pasty makes for a good lunch size, and at 480 calories it fits in as a lunch mainstay as well.  It does have 22.4g of fat however, about a third of a daily allowance, and with 10.9 g of these as saturates (55% of daily recommended), it doesn’t seem to be an every day option.

So, the pluses:  It is vegan-friendly.  It has a nice blend of spices and avoids the run of the mill flavours.  It is filling.

On the negative side: The crust is unspectacular.  It is fatty.  It is better hot than cold, so limits it as a “on the run” food.

Overall 3.75 of five.  Nice lunch every once in a while.

Padre

 

 

Legacy

Document, Agreement, Documents, Sign

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay 

I really couldn’t see what the issue was.  However, our lawyer said that our will might be contested unless we made some modifications.  It seems that even though we mentioned all of the children, and even some of the ungrateful in-laws in our last testament, there might be reason for some to be against our will.

Personally I liked what we had written.  Each aspect seemed to fit the personality of the proposed recipient.   Take our granddaughter, Lilly for instance.  She would spend long summers staying over at ours, and lounge about sun-bathing in the garden.   She really seemed to enjoy it, yet she never lifted a finger to help with the gardening, much less even carry her own used dishes back into the house.  So what would be more natural than to leave her all of the weeds in our will?

David, our son-in-law, made no secret that he coveted our china.  Such was his obsession with china, that I made it a point of collecting over forty take-away menus from various oriental restaurants to leave to him.  Well, it might give him some insights into Chinese tableware.

As for the house, and adjoining properties, I trust that the local animal rescue charity can make good use of them.

Padre

Tale Weaver – #237 – 22nd August – Weeds

FOWC with Fandango — Written

Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: Against Our Will

The Graduate: A Haibun

woman wearing academic regalia during daytime

Photo by Esther Tuttle on Unsplash

It wasn’t easy.  She had left school without any significant qualifications, and married early.  Two children and a messy divorce later, she was finding the series of part-time, go-nowhere jobs increasingly depressing.

But she had drive.  She wanted what would be best for her kids, and if she was honest – for herself.  So after six years of night school classes, and hard work more generally, she was about to cross the stage.  She was now Beverly Smith, B.A.

Terrific feeling
When accomplishing your goal
The end marvelous

Padre

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #267 Marvelous&Terrific

While not strictly biographical, this story is an amalgam of the stories of several inspirational women I have had the honour of knowing.  Their drive and commitment humbles me.

Padre