I am a Canadian teacher and writer living in Madrid, Spain. I have published three books on film, and a novella, as well as articles, poems and stories in both English and Spanish. Most recently my work has appeared in Red Dashboard Dime Novels, Drunk Monkeys and Falling Star magazine. Besides reading, writing and movies, I love cats and flameco, which I listen to with my writer husband, Carlos Aguilar, and our cats Tristana and Viridiana.
I found a story. It fell right out of the sky. Whole. It looked good; a subtle beginning, a round tubby middle, and a climactic surprise end.
So I caught it.
And I swallowed it.
And I thought, "What a great story this will be when I tell it, because it's mine now."
But it wasn't.
When I tried telling it, it fell out of me in one piece. Like a cobra's kill. No Magic.
So I swallowed it again and, perplexed, I lay down under a tree, where, like the cobra, I went to sleep.
When I woke up, I couldn't remember the story. Not a word, nor a turn of phrase. "It has escaped." I thought, and I wandered away sadly.
A few days later, the call of a bird stirred some distant memory.
It inspired a poem.
Another day, the shape of a cloud gave birth to a song.
The bubbles in my cider completed a sketch.
A neighbour's terrible discord ended a long neglected play.
And the thread of my needlework followed an uncharted path.
Like the hen who feathers my pillow, and the horse tail stretched on my fiddle bow, so my story that fell whole from the sky, flies off in a flock of a thousand silver fragments … forming endless beginnings, middles and ends.
Victims of a decades-old war
found tangled in embrace
I wonder how many other
like the mouths
who put them
the bodies like the words
Ditches of bone
pockmark our planet's skin.
When future archaeologists excavate
What will they tell their children?
On a cold white Christmas long ago
A friend gave me a present.
Ooh and Ahh I told him then,
“How kind, how sweet, how pleasant.”
At once I started on my scheme
To pass the present on.
I had no use for this old junk
And it didn’t take me long.
So soon I found my lucky chance
and gave it to a friend.
I thought I’d seen the last of it,
And that had been the end.
But little did I know it then
My friend would follow suit
And soon the gift was sent again
Along its merry route.
Round and round the present went
Passed along the chain,
Of family, friends, acquaintances
And back to me again!
Credits: The Story and Unrest first appeared in Quantum Leap; The Present first appeared in Parody magazine.
©2015 Anita Haas