Vagabond Voices Writing and Living Prompt

On creativity, community, resilience, creative acts that get us through…

And holding your words in my hands.

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This scarf that came together one knot at time…and a page of our anthology — Gosia Rokicka’s “Fern Flower.” Photo (and knitting) by the author.

Again. Again.

Times when I stared into the vast
and open unknown
wondered if I would be the abyss
but when I felt the tug of fear, I tied
a knot in my thread, one
upon another until
I held
this woolen reassurance:
words, and love
in my hands,
shelter.

What are the repetitions that get you through?

It has occurred to me, in the face of everything that we have left behind and everything that still lies ahead…are we not a series of repetitions?

Those tiny things we do again. Again.

That can sound terrifying…but it is also beautiful. …


A poetic story

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Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

Don’t they know? This is their last run for a long time in these woods, their last chance to meet friends, or anyone else. The lasts are rustling from the trees, drifting and whispering underfoot.

The children are running loops and spirals around us sometimes bursting through a lingering stroke of yellow, at other times, melting into the crimson background. At times I guess by the padded rhythm of their feet that they are lost in the deep earth tones.

Alexis is two steps ahead of me shuffling her feet through the leaves, her wool coat reaching ever closer to her ears. Walking. You don’t have to look into each other and risk catching the misting, prickling, the red around the edges of things. …


Vagabond Voices writing and living prompt.

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Photo by Pablo García Saldaña on Unsplash

This is True

Where is the journey
from who we are to
who we must be to weather
the cycle to come?

Where is the dirt
path, the wisdom
of elders?
This is true,
they would say,
were they here.

Where are the nights
alone screaming up
at the stars as yuccas
stab into the cosmos.

Where is the sweat
lodge, body, melting,
purified, essence discovered?

Where is the lone
traveler tearing
through borders like rice paper,
pushing past the caligraphy
that spiders and scrawls over
maps, seeking the other
that she may know
herself?

Where?

Rite of Passage — what does that mean to you?

What does that mean in normal times, in your present, in your past…these days? …


Microfiction: night trains, silence, and possibility…

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Photo by Jonathan Barreto on Unsplash

Sitting to write in the deep velvet of a chair, was like sinking into a stary night — once upon a time. When I shut the door to my writer’s nook at the top of the stairs it was like stepping into a vault. I could black out the morning air with a flick of the shutters, along with the birdsongs and the rooftops. Let the darkness become the new color of things. Let the stars emerge on the ceiling above where my poems and words gathered in galaxies.

These days, everyone works from home and the light is eternal. My own children are buzzing lilting fireflies. My husband perpetually dreams aloud wondering where things are. …


And a writing and living prompt — to be a part of something larger than yourself.

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Our anthology is live and free all weekend. Artwork by Trisha Traughber, cover design by Silvia Perrone.

I’ve been writing a lot about resilience lately

That splash of water when you are parched that keeps you going on a long journey.

And one of the things that keeps me going?

The knowledge that I am part of something larger than myself: the creative communities, the undertakings that put me in touch with inspiration…our shared humanity.

This project is an act of resilience first and foremost.

It’s a gift (from all of us) to you this weekend.

And?

I’m inviting you to take a plunge into something larger than yourself.

I have developed something of a news habit in the last months. I subscribe to two major newspapers, The New York Times and Le Monde.

It strikes me that never have we been so confronted by the harsh realities we face. …


Free Verse Poetry

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Photo by Kurniawan kami saputra on Unsplash

The dead look
over your shoulder while you slip
your feet into once frozen
water and feel the wind spilling
the dappled sunlight over your neck.

Here, now they are
more powerful, present than when
we once shared time and space
and yet separated into droplets,
generations held apart by continents,
pride, perspective,
tides rising pulling us farther out
Until death brings us back
in rivulets, ripples, splashes.

Ask me
if I believe in ghosts. It is nothing
more remarkable than
the sunlit waters
tossing around your ankles.

This poem came from an extended conversation in verse and prose with Agnes Louis asking the…


Free Verse

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Photo by Werner Sevenster on Unsplash

The answer is not
here in this slipping
scrolling reality
reflected.

It is, where else, but the ragged
descent of torn clouds
that threaten
snow and transcendence,
leaving you
small, lost, hidden maybe
folded, sleeping
into husks, sticking and
peeling with seeds lifting
skyward to catch on the wind and
scatter
life into scorched
soil.

Is it this frothing?
The turbulence of sheep spilling
over wavering hillside,
crying young and old,
with the breathless surprise
that is life, their wool snagging
on all that crosses
their rippling.

Perhaps, it is in the fall
of an axe, or the cold metal
of the ladder I hold to earth
clinging
while you ascend. …


And other promises…

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‘Paris’ by Trisha Traughber

“Can we go there?”

“Sure.”

Impossible as it seems now, we’ll hop on a train lurching with hope and freedom of movement.

Watch the countryside swirling past: impressionist, expressionist. Fields of mustard, sunflower, the blue sky then the concrete and ironworks curling overhead.

The rhythm you feel is the fluctuating possibility of it all, the shuffling side streets, the quickstep of strangers, the staccato of the city surface, the beating heart of the metro.

Here we are on a June evening. The sun didn't want to kiss us goodbye, the warmth still rises off the streets, and the cool breeze flows from the lawns and riverbanks. People are scattered like stars — still lounging, laughing. …


Fiction for foreigners to their own tribes

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Photo by Tim Oun on Unsplash

I‘ve knocked on Anwar’s door and now I’m panicking and fumbling with the tangle on my face. Earbuds, wires, mask, glasses, hoodie.

It really hasn’t taken me long to become a hot mess. I only wear clean shirts if I will see someone ‘in person.’ Which means, rarely to never. Only now do I start to think about the fact that Anwar never wrote to me when he was gone. But I know he’s back even if he hasn’t been logging into the Zoom room.

Yet here I am. Once again, my reflexes are lightning fast, the thought process is more of a postmortem. …


A Vagabond Voices Writing and Living Prompt

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Photo by Daniel Curran on Unsplash

What my hope looks like today

My hope walks ankle-deep
in the sands of the Pacific, and if
the winds of mind whisper
that I may never
return to the shifting sediment
of home, my heart is just
large enough to envision
footsteps tasting
other
shores.

Every day, I throw myself a line of hope — and no, it’s not easy.

Conjuring up the ocean right now is no easy thing. I’m so far from the oceans of ‘home.’ And anyway, with lockdown here in France, I can only go 1 km from my house… If I need to visit the ocean, I must create it.

When I hope, there is always a part of me who is afraid.

The sound of waves has always reminded my body of possibility — all of those endless churning particles reaching skyward, and you are just another fragment joining the waves, losing itself under the surf and in the green, the sifting sands. …

About

Trisha Traughber

Immigrant, bilingual, mother, teacher, book-worm, writer. Life is better when we create - together.

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