Friday, October 17, 2008


“Field of blood,” he said.

She wrinkled her nose. “Too ghoulish, even for the season.”

“Field of Kool-Aid?”

“Mm. Cherry Kool-Aid.”

“What were you thinking of?” he said.

“Nothing, really. I’m not very quick on my feet.”

“Come on. Try.”

She shrugged his arm off her shoulder. “Nope.”

A confetti of grasshoppers exploded from the wet earth as he sat down.

“Pen me a poem, Liz.”

“Oh, God. Are you drunk?”

He leaned back on his elbows.

“Intoxicate me with your words.”

She corked her laughter with her knuckles, while he waggled a blade of grass between his teeth.

“Or maybe something the kids might like?” he said.

“Well, crap. There goes my initial inspiration.”

He spat out the grass, and smiled.

“Something just for me, then.”

She frowned.

“Can I do a haiku, since they’re short and all?”

“Absolutely. Haiku porn is a dying art form. Outside Japan, that is.”

She started to pace, counting syllables on her fingers as she eyed a gaggle of geese arrow past the treetops. His foot bounced on his knee while he watched her strain.

Finally, she stopped, took a deep breath, and said,

"A field of fire
Inflaming my allergies
Can we go home now?"

He squinted, though the sun sulked inside its grey vault. Sitting up, he gingerly cleared his throat.

“Very nice, but is it kosher to end a haiku on a question?”

She sneezed.

“I don’t really care. All I know—”

She shrieked as her legs were ripped from the ground.

“What are you doing?!”

“You were right. You’re not very quick on your feet.”

Her laughter died in his lips. He was distracted from the dampness on his back by the slightest suggestion in her hips.

“What was wrong with that poem?” she said.

Her breath warmed his ear, and flooded his body. Like the sweetest fever.

“I just wanted to go home.”


Charles Gramlich said...

Really like "Confetti of grasshoppers". Very lovely metaphor.

Sarah Hina said...

Charles, thank you. They really do pop. :)

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

What a beautifully written, sensuous vignette. I love the natural scene you created and the give & take between the very likable characters.

Great first line and wonderful comeback from "her" - Too ghoulish, even for the season.”

That was a fun read. :)

Sarah Hina said...

K., thank you so much. I was starting to worry about this piece a little! Or maybe it's just a slow Friday. ;)

I wanted to write something intimate between people who have known each other a long time, but can still surprise one another. And I was winking at myself for centering a vignette around poetry. Can't get it out of my system right now, even if it's allergy-inspired. :)

Lena said...

it made me smile, could practically visualize the scene. Beautifully written and more than that beautifully conveyed the mood.
loved the scene :)

ChrisEldin said...

I was also going to say I loved "confetti of grasshoppers." That's very nice.
I love the dialog you create. I wish I could hook you to a hidden microphone and you could feed me these lines....

Lovely poem.

Sarah Hina said...

Lena, I'm glad you could visualize it. I like dialog-intensive scenes, but a smattering of visual cues are definitely necessary to balance all that jabbering. ;)

Thank you!

Chris, dialog does come easier for me than other kinds of writing, but you'd still be hearing a lot of static through that microphone. ;)

I operate mostly in fits and starts. In fact, I was just reading an article about writers (artists, too) who just let it pour out of them vs. the ones who grind away. I'm definitely a grinder.

Thanks for the kind words, Chris! Your comments always give me a nice glow. :)

YogaforCynics said...

Love the haiku, and all that goes with it (why don't allergies/ivy rashes/etc. find their way into nature poetry more often?) (and, yeah, "field of fire" is probably better, if less precise than either "field of blood" or "field of Kool-Aid")....

Anonymous said...

Her laughter died on his lips...maybe a field of blood is true. I feel their heartbeats jump, the blood rushing. Sometimes those passions can be so close, so within reach. Yet, until we break through the sneezes and the surface, we can walk right past them.

They punched through, and the field is theirs. :)

Sarah Hina said...

Yogaforcynics, thanks for stopping by! And for your comments.

Yeah, I think I could write a whole chapbook of allergy verse. It's an underrepresented subgenre. ;)

Jason, I liked the idea of an improvisatory challenge opening new doors for this couple. Maybe they'll see one another in a fresh, and rosier, light after this.

Not a bad way to spend an afternoon, in spite of the sniffles. :)

Aine said...

I feel like a voyeur, spying on this couple. And they warm my heart so.... I love how you took a practical, uninspiring issue (allergy) and showed how it can be experienced in a way that is not ordinary.

Stories about new love, attraction, lust, etc. get so boring. But to read about everyday interactions that still reflect the love that flows between two people-- that turns me on. I wish our culture celebrated (and therefore we'd find more examples of) longterm couples and their everyday interactions. Sometimes I think that's what is wrong with the world.... (But then you know me, too much an idealist-- LOL.)


Vesper said...

This piece is full of fantastic images. The "confetti of grasshoppers" appeals to me even more, for I've just experienced it a few days ago... I wouldn't have thought of such a great description.
You're such a fine observer, Sarah, and this vignette is just lovely!

Sarah Hina said...

Aine, I agree that it is a subtler kind of magic to celebrate in these kinds of interactions. It's a magic that requires more of the participants, than does the wild abandonment of new passions.

I like both kinds of stories. :) But I did feel like this couple had something important to say about inventing new energy.

(can there be too much idealism in the world?? I saw, pshaw. ;))

Vesper thank you, my friend. I just had that grasshopper experience, too (though not in this field). They really did look like they were celebrating the beautiful day. :)