Whatever Sticks

bonfire-anshu.jpgPhoto © Anshu Bhojnagarwala

One for the fire and two for the dog

Three for the witch laying still as a log

Four for the man sleeping under the bog

Five makes a pyre and six a good flog

Run carelessly, mindlessly, heedlessly, do

Seven I’ve got, and the next one’s for you

Word count: 49.  Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers challenge.  Thanks to the wonderful Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting, and to Anshu for providing the photo prompt, above.

My poem/song/nursery rhyme is a little dark, but then, that’s how I’ve been writing lately.  Something about being super stressed out, I’d guess. I regret that I haven’t had much time to participate in FF in a while, in part because the middle of the week is tricky with my heavy work schedule, and in part because FF is SO popular that I can’t possibly read everyone else’s submissions, which always makes me feel guilty.  But I will get to as many as I can this week, and I promise that if you comment here, I will be sure to read yours as well.


52 thoughts on “Whatever Sticks

  1. Dear Joy,

    Dark or not, it’s good to see you back. 49 words? Brava!
    As for reciprocation, I’ve said it before…it’s key to a successful blogging community. I confess there are some who’s icons I don’t even click since it’s been months…even years since they’ve commented on anything of mine. (Saves time and wasted effort. 😉 )



    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Rochelle, it’s good to be back! And although I have a bear of a time fitting a story into 100 words, with a little rhyme like this, I just didn’t have time last night to add another verse. Leave the mystery as it is, I figured.

      And yes, there are some on the list who I’ve commented on dozens of times, and if I’m lucky, I get a “like” on my comment on their post, not even a “like” on my post. At a certain point I catch on and decide to prioritize reading others’ posts instead.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I feel just a little bit mean, but at the same time I used to knock myself out thinking I needed to read and comment on everyone’s post. I have neither the time nor the intestinal fortitude any more. We have a few “participants” who simply post and “run.” 😉 Thank you for understanding.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Ali! As I said to Iain, above, I wasn’t even thinking of it as a children’s rhyme until it was done and polished. But then, those dark children’s rhymes we’re thinking of weren’t originally written for children either. And yet there they are on the playground, chanting words whose underlying meanings they (hopefully) don’t understand!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love it! I’m terrible at rhyming but clearly, you are not. A very creative take on the prompt, dark or not (haha). BTW, my posts are normally dark. It’s actually a family joke for me … another dark/depressing story. Let the muse guide. =)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I don’t write a lot of poetry these days, but I do love to rhyme. Mostly songs lately, and not many of those either, as I’m focusing on writing fiction (whenever I can get a break from work, that is). I just love getting the rhythm and rhyme and alliteration down as perfectly as I can. Did that sound OCD? Lol, maybe a little, when it comes to verse! I go through phases where I write a lot of dark stories, too. And then I usually try to write happier ones, to help even it out and cheer myself up. Sometimes that even works! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • A little OCD is okay. =) I’ll take your advice and try writing a little happier. It doesn’t help that I’ve developed into a bit of a cynic as I’ve gotten older. Look forward to seeing you on FF. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I hear you on the cynic part, lol… I don’t know how often I’ll be able to do FF. I used to do it regularly, but work has really ramped up, and I just don’t have the time during the week anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Love that! You’re so good at writing rhymes and myths and making them feel ancient – it’s a real skill, you know. And as for dark, well nursery rhymes are. Rockaby Baby – babies deserted in treetops and falling out of them. Goosy Goosy Gander – a bird that wanders the house and lobs old men from the first floor when they won’t say their prayers! You capture the tone and rhythm of these little poems perfectly

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Lynn, that’s so sweet of you to say — and so nice to hear. Like I said to Anshu, above, it’s easy to forget that not everyone can do the things that come naturally to me (after decades of practice), and instead to focus on what’s hard for me and seems natural for others. Now, if only it were a *marketable* skill, lol! Well, we’ll see. And you’re right of course, we’re inherited a lot of grisly nursery rhymes from past eras, which I guess makes sense, given that parents took their kids to town to watch and cheer for executions in those ages. Dark indeed!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Life was tougher then. Some nursery rhymes were used to pass on messages about how difficult things could be, snippets of history, twisted half legends. There’s a WP site called Interesting Literature run by an academic called Oliver Tearle. The site covers all sorts of fascinating word based snippets – lots of poetry – and he recently did a whole thread on nursery rhymes and their origins. It’s a good site. And you should relish your skill – truly, many of us aren’t good at that, or at least not as good as you!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks again, Lynn, that’s very nice to hear. Rhyming is great for song writing, but I’m not sure how I can leverage it for my fiction writing. I suppose I could include a few in my hypothetical anthology collecting myths and “star stories” of Eneana. Thanks for the rec for the Interesting Literature site: it looks great! Wish I had more time to read all those posts, but today is crazy. It reminds me of the Rowling book I just read, “Tales of Beedle the Bard” where she did a similar thing: presented the “original” fairy tale, then Dumbledore’s commentary on it, then her own “editorial notes” to clarify wizarding world terminology. It was a clever idea — and one that I was thinking of doing with my own collection of Eneana legends — but felt too brief, only five stories.


    • I love that you went there with it, Bjorn, thanks for that comment! That was more how I was picturing it when I first wrote it, too. Only afterward did it seem like a child’s rhyme on the playground — although hmm, I wonder how many of those might start with witches’ spells in Eneana, right?


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