One of our writing assignments for June 2015 at the Golden Pen Writers Guild was to write about…purple. So here’s what I came up with:

Murex brandaris.

You’ve likely never heard of this sea snail, but it held a treasure worth more than gold in ancient times. The seacoasts of the ancient city of Tyre emitted a constant stench from millions of these crushed and rotting shells for centuries. One tiny gland from 12,000 of the animals produced a mere 1.4 grams of this treasure—Tyrian Purple dye.

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Haiku/Tanka, April & May 2015

Even though I’ve been otherwise occupied for most of this year and not devoted as much time as normal to writing, there’s always time for haiku and tanka—one of the reasons I love them. It really doesn’t take much for one to pop into my head, and I’ve actually been using them quite a lot in Instagram posts—they’re perfect for the purpose of accompanying a photograph.

*     *     *

Just when life grows dim
And it seems there’s nothing left
But a downward trend,
Suddenly flow through my pen
Words of comfort from my mind.

Written as a piece for my return to activity at the Golden Pen Writers Guild in April after a long absence.

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Cool, refreshing morn
After an unpleasant night
On the Southwest Chief…

Looking out my door
Pouring rain is what I see
Yet the sun is out.

Yesterday was rain,
But today on waking up
SNOW is what I find!

Written during my spring trip to Flagstaff, Arizona and attached to various photos and video clips I posted to Instagram.

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Flowers in a pot
Stand in humble tribute to
Loved ones who are gone.

Memorial Day 2015 at the Veterans Historical Plaza Park, Saugus, CA.

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© MMXV Douglas P. Kendrick, all rights reserved.

40-Word Challenge, May 2015

A spectacular, starry sky shone brightly over the slippery path, when I was surprised to encounter an enormous, angry chimpanzee. The enigma caused me no little consternation; but, to my relief, his recalcitrance was assuaged by tossing him some candy.

Here are the given words: surprise, enormous, slippery, chimpanzee, spectacular, consternation, stars, enigma, candy, angry — Bonus: relief

We hadn’t done one of these at the Golden Pen Writers Guild for a long time (not to mention I wasn’t attending for a while) so this was a welcome bit of fun. And by the way—it’s been a long time since I’ve uploaded any writing, hasn’t it? Sorry about that. I’ve had lots of other cares and woes on my plate this year. Hopefully I can get back on the wagon again.

©MMXV Douglas P. Kendrick, all rights reserved.

Like the Paper on the Wall

For a recent assignment at the Golden Pen Writers Guild, I decided on something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time: write an homage to my favorite author P.G. Wodehouse in something like his style. While there’s absolutely no way I could ever even approach the work of the master, I had a lot of fun writing it and am generally quite satisfied and proud of the results.

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Haiku/Tanka, August & September 2014

Footsteps crunch along
on a path of broken glass
in my worst nightmare

*     *     *

The pale moon yet hangs
In the bright blue sky above
Wooded mountain peaks;
Sentinel of ancient days
O’er the center of the world.

(Written on occasion of the Center of the World Festival, Pine Mountain Club, CA, August 16, 2014. It was about 11:00 AM as I was driving up the mountain, but the moon was still large and high in the sky.)

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When do seasons change
In southern California?
One can hardly tell.
But we natives know the signs,
Subtler than in other states.

*     *     *

Looking at the sky
Pondering today’s sunset
Fading now to pink,
A warming glow falls ’round me
As the day comes to its close.

*     *     *

© 2014 Douglas P. Kendrick, all rights reserved.

I Was Once …

Another writing assignment at the Golden Pen Writers Guild. The assignment started with going around the room and each person beginning “I was once ….” The second half was filled in by the person sitting to the right. I’ve been reading a lot of ancient Greek and Roman classics lately, so I sorta went with that flavor. My writing prompt is revealed at the very end of this post … Continue reading

Full Circle

As one goes through life,
unexpected, unconnected experiences
serve to trigger later behaviors.

As a child, I thought one way:
something’s dull beyond belief, or
“This is the greatest thing since sliced bread.”
Maybe “If I can’t do x I’ll just die,” or
“If y got something, why not me?”

But life has a habit
of throwing curves that bend one’s thoughts
onto pathways formerly unseen.
Experiencing things that never occurred to you
in your hazy past.

And then one day you’re someplace
and something deep inside comes back.
You look around and realize
what once was “wrong” now seems so “right”—
and you have come full circle.

© 2014 Douglas P. Kendrick, all rights reserved.