After publishing my response to Judey Kalchik's excellent 100 Things in 20 Minutes Challenge, I started thinking of creating my own challenge.
I wanted to focus on something different from what I had seen before. I also wanted it to be fun.
While looking at old photos in my archives, I realized that sand was a recurrent subject. It is also the topic of one of my all-time favorite songs: Two of Us by Supertramp. Finally, some of my greatest memories are associated with beaches or the desert. (I saw quite a bit of it in Syria. It is full of invisible life over there!)
So, there, you have it. The theme of this challenge is Grains of sand.
In this challenge, I invite you to explore the world of the tiny, but mighty particles through poetry, flash fiction, short stories, and personal essays. You can write from the perspective of the grains themselves; explore their journeys, secrets, and/or roles as landscape shapers; describe how they make you feel through sensory language; or just use them as elements in your narrative. The sky's (literally) the limit.
To get your creative juices flowing, I am including Supertramp's song below. The lyrics are beautiful and always move me greatly.
A few ground rules:
- When your poem, story, or essay is available on Vocal, leave a comment and a link below, so I can read your work. I will promote my favorite submissions in a future post.
- Please, make sure that you engage with all the Vocal creators who share their links. I want this to be a rewarding experience for everyone.
- Do not forget to mention this prompt in your Vocal story, so others can find it and participate.
- Last but not least: If you feel like challenging yourself even more, I recommend trying one of my poetry forms or the Flashku!
And now, here is my response to the challenge. I picked the poem that I had written after returning from Syria. I feel that it captures the resilience and beauty of sand really well. It is also one of my favorite poems among all those I have written.
Grains of Sand
Have you ever looked beyond
The dusty road ahead?
The heart, on the brim of tears,
Awaits the echoes of concealed essence.
A few more steps
And the eternity of yesterday
Will sing for the children of today.
But before you keep walking,
You must touch the grains of sand.
No, this is not a dream.
Silence's story compels you—
You have been here before.
You have been here before,
A member of this land,
A part of the kinship,
A walker of the Earth.
When nothing but perfect embrace
Of soul and nature was found in structure.
Do you recognize this homeland of yours now?
Into the desert, the perfect place,
Where harmony meets the wind,
Where spirits still laugh and dance,
Where emptiness is true presence.
Into the desert, the ecstasy,
When truth does set us free,
When death brings life back,
When the vessel of knowledge
Is contained in a grain of sand.
Into the desert, naked and free.
Into the desert, utterly complete.
Into the desert, reconnecting with layers
Of meaningful refulgence.
Now, the songs can start!
© 2010 Cendrine Marrouat
The photo at the beginning of the post is a view of Resafa (a.k.a. Sergiopolis), in Syria. For more information about the place, feel free to check out the post below.
That's it for today! I can't wait to read your work!
Cendrine Marrouat is a writer, photographer, podcaster, blogger, anthology editor, and the co-founder of Auroras & Blossoms and A Warm Cup of Cozy. She has authored and co-authored more than 40 books, including The Train: A Short Story (2023), In Her Own Words: A Collection of Short Stories & Flashku (2022), After the Fires of Day: Haiku Inspired by Kahlil Gibran & Alphonse de Lamartine (2021), Rhythm Flourishing: A Collection of Kindku and Sixku (2020), Walks: A Collection of Haiku (2019-2020), and In the Silence of Words: A Three-Act Play (2018).
Cendrine's work has appeared in many publications. She is the creator of the Sixku, Flashku, Sepigram, and Reminigram; as well as the co-creator of the Kindku, Pareiku, Vardhaku, and Hemingku.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
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