First spring gust surges
Wind’s wake betrays thaw’s approach
Honking Vee’s flying
Harbingers of equinox
Efflorescent explosion.


I choose to write a Tanka.

#Haikai Challenge #72 (2/9/19): first spring gust (haru ichiban) #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga
This week, write the haikai poem of your choice (haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, haiga, renga, etc.) in which you state or allude to the first spring gust (haru ichiban)

#Haikai Challenge #72 (2/9/19): first spring gust (haru ichiban) #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga


“Green Hills”


Today I’d like to share a beautiful piece of poetry by one of my favorite Science Fiction writers:

   “The arching sky is calling

 Spacemen back to their trade,

All hands! Stand by! Free Falling!

And the lights below us fade.


   Out ride the sons of Terra,

 Far drives the thunderous jet,

Up leaps the race of Earthmen,

 Out, far, and onward yet–


   We’ve tried each spinning mote

 And reckoned it’s true worth;

Take us back again to the homes of men

 On the cool, green hills of Earth.


   We pray for one last landing

 On the globe that gave us birth;

Let us rest our eyes on fleecy skies

and the cool, green hills of Earth!”

“The Green Hills of Earth”

Robert A. Heinlein





“Heirs of Empire” by David Webber


   Heirs of Empire: Book Three of the Dahak Trilogy is an excellent read, with an exciting mix of low tech and high tech battle scenes. If you’re not already a fan of Science Fiction, David Webber’s works will convert you. I give it five stars.
For really tough jobs, Emperor Colin MacIntyre the Frist is your man. The only man in the galaxy to ever stop the genocidal Achuultani in their tracks, he went on to resurrect an empire forty-five thousand years gone.

Colin’s progeny, Crown Prince Sean and Crown Princess Harriet, have been unleashed upon the galaxy and they’re off to an explosive start (literally). A traitor deep under cover within the very heart of the Imperium willing to murder the royal family and three-quarter of a billion’s worth of loyal subjects has programmed their space ship to blow up around them! Taking all the evidence and thousands of lives with it!

Now Sean, Harriet, and three of their friends are marooned a long, long way from home; stranded on a hostile theocratic world of gunpowder and pikes. The Mother Church of that world doesn’t like them very much. In fact, she has just declared them Demons, marshalled the Holy Host and ordered their extermination!

You might think that things look pretty bleak for the kids, but the reality it’s Mother Church that’s in trouble – because Sean and Harriet are chips off of the old block – and they’re about to get angry . . .

Mother Church, Her Priests, and Her Minions better buckle down, they’re in for one Hell of a storm!



Photo Credit: C.E. Ayr

Rhaelke Drifficent, Dragon-Mage, blinked her eyes at her strange surroundings; everything was boxy and square, not a fluid curve in sight. Flora colors were wrong, bilious greens in place of gay oranges. The sky! It was blue not red. Her eyes watered, it was too bright, no comforting concealment from numerous smoking vents. Her weight crushed down on her lungs, she struggled to inhale; the air was thin, lacking in sulfur. Her guts roiled and churned, gurgling ominously. She could feel her Power fading. Saliva formed in her mouth, tasting of bile, frantically she gulped it down. Carefully she growled out the words for the anti-nausea charm, nothing happened. She tried again, concentrating on pronouncing each syllable exactly. She experienced a momentary relief and then the charm just fizzled. She sought the energy-web of this world. Stunned she found that this world was completely devoid of Magick! Her anxiety rose as she realized that she was quickly losing control of her flame. A loud ‘burppp’ racked her frame. An embarrassingly small puff of flame trickled from her jaws. The landscape wavered, moments later she was safely back home. She swore a solemn oath, “Never again shall I drink queruill-berry juice!”


Sunday Photo Fiction: February 3, 2019




Streaking sky grey
Fleecy clouds inspire
Wondrous visions
Misty blue hills rising
Decorating the horizon
Vistas expanding
Worlds mysterious
Dreaming of impossibilities
Potentialities expanding
Becoming reality
Frees the spirit
Profits your soul.

Exactly 36 Words
Weekend Writing Prompt #92: “Wool-gathering”

An Enigma of Sphinxes


“Order, Order! I call this Enigma to order!” Khufu’s clenched claws rapped smartly against the granite dais.

“We have got to do something about those infernal devices that the humans are carrying. I have had three good meals get away from me yesterday alone.” Nur-Adad raged.

“He is right.” Sin-Eribam admitted. “I used the newest riddle I know, ‘What is red and green and goes round and round?’ Within mere seconds, the human had the answer, ‘A frog in a Cuisinart.’ I am starving!” His empty stomach rumbled angrily in proof.

“I have been reduced to using the riddle of the Greek Kallikantzaros, ‘Feathers or lead?’ Ramses confessed  shame-faced hanging his head, but the human was a physicist and knew the answer, ‘Neither, they both fall at the same rate.’ So I had to let him go.” He sighed regretfully.

“We are all hungry.” Khufu said. A sullen rumble of agreement sounded from the grouped Sphinxes. “I have consulted with our most technologically advanced member. He has the answer, Xerxes?”

Xerxes strode forward regally and stood next to Khufu at the dais. “After much research and thought, I have found the solution. There is a device the humans have called a ‘cell jammer or scrambler’, the installation of this item will prevent the humans from using their Androids, iPads, iPhones and other devices to search for the answers to our riddles and we may all fed again.”

“All of those in favor of doing what Xerxes suggests please signify your agreement.” A chorus of growling screams of joy and the beating of massive wings thundered through the crowded arena. “Passed by popular acclaim!” Khufu shouted. “I hereby declare this Enigma closed!”

A Writing Prompt a Day: Write a piece about a Sphinx’s riddle.

“The Armageddon Inheritance” By David Webber


The Armageddon Inheritance: 2nd book in the Dahak Trilogy  is the sequel to Mutineer’s Moon. It is excellent, it has several thrilling battle scenes. I recommend it highly even for people who don’t enjoy science fiction.

I give it five stars

Colin MacIntyre has been tapped for Greater Things;  consequentially his life has been rather stressful lately and he isn’t too sure he likes that.

  • Join NASA and become an astronaut (Check)
  • Win a highly coveted place on a lunar mission (Check)
  • Get kidnapped by the ancient, self-aware battleship, Dahak masquerading as Earth’s Moon (Check)
  • Get drafted as Dahak’s Captain to suppress a five-thousand year old mutiny (Check)
  • Defeat said mutineers who greatly outnumber his forces and who could care less how many innocents the collateral damage claims (Check)
  • Mobilize the entire planet against the attack of an eons-old alien menace dedicated to the eradication of all other intelligent life in the galaxy (Check)

What he doesn’t realize is that’s all been the easy part.