Congratulations to Marjorie Moorhead of Lebanon, our featured community prompt writer.
The prompt is a weekly writing challenge cosponsored by DailyUV and Joni Cole, author, founder of The Writer's Center in White River Junction, and believer in bringing out the inner writer in all of us.
What's a prompt? A trigger to get you writing.
Next week’s prompt is: “I’m so lucky”
What’s the key to winning? Well, DailyUV is a website for all things Upper Valley -- so what we like best of all are entries not just from local writers, but grounded in where we live.
You can participate by sending your piece (300 words or less) to email@example.com by next Wednesday at midnight.
Here’s our winning entry from last week.
Look Over There
By Marjorie Moorhead of Lebanon, NH
Look look what is that? Over there. Away from where you are; away from you.
Why should I look? Why open my eyes? To open the mind. To open the heart. To join with the bigger picture.
The act of looking. Seek and ye shall find.
Over there isn’t here so you must take a leap.
Leap in your imagination.
Close your eyes and wonder. Look over there through your eyelids; let your senses take over and what will you see? What do you hear? Or smell?
I will look over there. It is an invitation. Maybe a challenge. Depends on how it is said: is it asked? Or demanded. Do I want to comply? Will there be a poem in it? There is a poem in anything if we let it come to us. Shared experience, shared belief, shared fear, shared desire, it’s all out there; just look and keep writing.
Sometimes I can’t seem to look past my nose! Other times I can expand that. I am getting better at looking OUT over there. I changed my gaze from down (in) to up (and out). Physical posture can mirror; even dictate emotional/mental posture.
Look over there!
Congrats to all of our participants!
By Amy McClure of Bridgewater, VT
Look over there, the emerald fiddle heads are popping up!
Search with open eyes by rivers, ponds, and big oak trees,
They hide among ferns and mossy rocks.
Delicious when roasted in butter and expensive oil olive,
Served with a tender steak,
Pink in the inside, brown on the edges.
Look over there, the smell of garlic lingers in the air.
Look over there, dinner is served!
By Cori Stebbins of Plainfield, NH
Spring To-Do List
Look over there! The beautiful spectrums and senses of spring can’t be missed no matter where you peer your allergy-induced red eyes.
See how that bustling feeder summons fire-orange breasted orioles singing their tender song.
Breathe in the pungent aroma of the freshly spread manure as it permeates the newly tilled cornfields.
Curse and slap the black flies while pruning rogue branches.
Observe a cheerfully fragrant cotton-candy pink crabapple stretching its branches to welcome the long overdue rays while it hosts a buffet for the recently awoken bumblebees.
Notice how the clear blue mid-afternoon sky delightfully contrasts the abundant fields of verdure.
Bask in the allure of the aromatic purple lilac's perfume after its long-anticipated debut.
Listen as the screen door slams to disturb my aged yellow dog’s sun-induced slumber and laugh as he later gets his revenge by rolling around in the uncovered black compost.
Scan your stark white legs for surreptitious ticks after eagerly grooming the garden beds for those hopeful young tomato plants.
Dawdle after dinner as the sun sets.
Gaze upon the abundant star-lit sky while drifting off to the peepers drowning out the silence.
Drink in this breathtaking, ever-changing landscape and revel in the brief presence of spring. Because if you blink, you might miss it.
By Doreen Guillette of Norwich, VT
Look over there.
Who is the one wandering among the rustling leaves on the forest floor?
She reaches up, gently squeezing the clouds. Their raindrops fill the valleys with rushing streams and brimming ponds.
She pulls the sun across the sky covering us in a blanket of warmth.
Queuing the rainbows to sprout from the ground below.
New leaves take the stage and dance with the wind in their first recital.
The songbirds chime in with their melodious tunes.
Ah, yes I recognize her now. She's the one that holds the keys to the colorful treasure that winter stored away during her travels inward.
Spring, your luscious beauty stirs even our quieted souls.
By Peter Kahn of Barnard, VT
Alex turns on his chair and asks the man at the table behind him if he’ll watch his laptop while he goes to the bathroom. The man nods, “Sure.”
It’s silly, but he feels an odd bit of satisfaction as he goes to the john at the back of the Starbucks. Lucinda always criticizes him for never asking people for help. Never asking for favors. She’d be proud of him now… for acting like a “normal person.”
He dries his hands and pushes back through the door into the aroma-filled café.
At first, he’s stunned when he looks at the table where he was sitting, which is now cleared and empty of his belongings. As is the table where the man was sitting. Then he’s gripped by panic and confusion. Should he run out to the street, look for the man? Or should he start shouting, “Thief!” Should he call the police? But his phone is also gone, everything he had with him is gone.
He’s so frozen up by this utter sense of horror and devastation that it takes a moment to register that someone is speaking to him, shouting at him, “Hey, buddy… Hey, you…!”
He turns and sees a large man, sitting by the window, a big smile on his face. “Take it easy, dude. Relax. Look over there.” And he points at the barista’s counter top, where his things sit in plain view.
The barista is at the side table, refilling the thermoses of milk and cream. She looks up. “Oh, yea, that guy got a phone call and had to go. He set your stuff up there to keep it safe. Sorry to alarm you.” The three of them laugh.
He collects his things, notices his hands are trembling, and asks for another cappuccino.
By A. H. of Lyme, NH
In one photo, my grandparents sit, serious, with their two sons in front. A tiny little girl, my mother, sits to Grandma's right, barely in the photo. She's young, and the photo indistinct; it's not possible to recognize her features.
In other photos, she's a little older. She's wearing a frilly dress, and everyone is smiling. If I squint, I can kind of imagine her as a little girl.
That sweet little girl grew up to be a monster. She abused me and my siblings, emotionally and physically.
I need to understand. What terrible emotions ran so deep she could shower such harm on her own children?
If I can understand, perhaps I can forgive her.
"Imagine," a friend said, "giving your mother the kind of love and attention that you'd give to your own child."
"I don't have a child." By age 10 I had chosen never to have children.
"Well, then, imagine giving your mother the kind of attention and love you gave to your airplane." The airplane I built. My only offspring.
"Imagine her as a little child."
I dug through the photos. I began to see my mother differently. She once was an innocent little girl, needing love, just as I had.
I looked at her parents, my grandparents. They looked prim and proper, but Grandpa was an alcoholic, and my mother was so afraid of him that I only ever met him once.
Grandma lived with us for five years, when my mother's rage and abuse were greatest.
I looked at my grandfather's handsome face, devilish smile. For the first time I wondered what traumas set him up for alcoholism.
“Look! Over there—two deer in the field!”
“See the hawk overhead?”
Everyone in the car quickly swivels their head in the direction being pointed out. For years, my son would never manage to look in time, and was always disappointed to be left out of the excitement of seeing something special from the car window.
“I didn't see it,” he would say with a note of sadness in his voice.
I always noticed that he wasn't quick enough to see the sight, but didn't think too much about it except maybe to wonder: “did he not hear the cue? Or was he not interested until a few seconds later? Did he not process the question quickly enough to respond?”
If I had thought more about it, I might have connected this to other direction-following issues that he had. Most simple cues, such as “put on your coat” or “put your plate in the sink” had to be repeated a few (or many) times.
Last year, he had a full educational evaluation done, and the result was that, while he has above average intelligence, he has Very Slow Processing Speed. So, for example, even though he can understand what he reads, it takes him a long time to read it, then to sort through the information and respond with analysis or synopsis.
Slow Processing Speed is just the way his brain is wired, so it will always be with him, but as he matures it will improve. So, it was to my surprise and delight when, the other day, riding along, my son said “Hey Mom, did you see that deer in the field?”