Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Thursday, 12 April 2018

WEP April Challenge - the road less travelled



The WEP (Write, Edit, Publish) Challenge so generously hosted by Denise Covey and Yolanda Renee is back.  Olga Godim and Nilanjana Bose have joined the team, providing welcome support to the doughty duo and adding to the wealth of ideas and talent.

This April, the WEP challenge is to create around the theme of the road less travelled .  We are asked to create something from the prompt - and can do so through fiction, non-fiction, photography...  


 



If you visit here and click on any names with a DL next to them you will be taken to some wonderful pieces.   I wimped out of participating in the last few challenges but I have read all of the submissions with awe and wonder.  I will marvel at the other participant's skill, imagination and ingenuity this time too. 


I am posting a smidge early, so please, don't discount those who don't have a DL following their name yet.  It will come, and a revisit is definitely worthwhile.

In the summer of 2004 I used a substantial chunk of money inherited after my mother's death to travel to Antarctica.  It was a dream come true, and despite substantial criticism from family and friends I don't regret it.  At all.  






Antarctica

An impossible dream,
realised.
When opportunity appeared I fell into her arms
(prudence and sanity be damned).

Somnolent seals, and
porpoising penguins,
Monet's water lilies,
Exquisitely, delicately executed in ice.

Uncompromising, unforgiving.
Chilly blues, hard-edged white.
Monolithic ice-bergs, flurries of snow.
Dawn and dusk separated by no more than a heart-beat.

This fragile frozen land  sent daggers into my heart 
and ignited a firestorm.
A storm of awe, of wonder,
and of joy.


Memories fan the embers to a blaze
and warm my heart.
I hope they always will.
I know they always will.


 













 Word Count:  Truly pathetic - less than 100
Full Critique Acceptable.




120 comments:

  1. No , not at all pathetic.Word counts are ...pieces of paper huffed across the desk of an editor.
    I will refrain from further comment because I am penguin-biased. (But you knew that.)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. dinahmow: We are told to 'limit ourselves' to 1000 words. Not something I have problems with.
      I did consider posting some penguin photos. And yes, I love them too.

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  2. Exquisite photos, and a great poem.

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    1. Andrew: Thank you. A truly amazing experience.

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  3. Wonderful experience. Definitely the road less travelled!

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    1. Shammickite: I am so glad that I went. So very glad.

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  4. I absolutely love what you wrote. Especially because of your journey to get to Antarctica. If it were me, and I was in a place that I could gift my children in the way your mother was able to do that for you, I would want them to enjoy themselves, just like you did. Beautiful words to match a beautiful trip!

    Elsie

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    1. Elsie Amata: I suspect my mother would have joined the nay sayers (shouldn't you save that money for medication/household modifications/is it sensible to be so far from medical care...). I ignored them all. And am not sorry.

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  5. To quote Andrew, YES. Especially the photos; pieces of art.

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    1. Joanne Noragon: There are many, many photos in folders to remind me.

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  6. How beautifully written, EC. What a wondrous experience.

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    1. Sandra Cox: It was. Heaven on a stick.

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  7. Words match the photos wonderfully. Heck of an experience!

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    1. Susan Kane: Thank you. It was truly incredible. I dislocated my jaw on a daily basis ogling the beauty and the wonder.

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  8. Dear EC
    A very evocative and personal poem - your trip obviously had a huge impact on you.
    Fabulous photos too.
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    Replies
    1. Ellie Foster: Antarctica had been a long held dream and the reality was even better. Which is rare.

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  9. Life is short.

    Not living it fully is a shame.

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    Replies
    1. Author R. Mac Wheeler: Yes. We can have a life or an existence. Life costs more, hurts more and is worth immeasurably more.

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  10. Hi EC - just brilliant - you made me want to follow in your footsteps ... stunning photos too - excellent telling ... and I'm so pleased you went - cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary Melton-Butcher: Thank you. I am so glad that I could convey some of the magic.

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  11. Good for you....fantastic photos, too!

    Donna B. McNicol|Author and Traveler
    A to Z Flash Fiction Stories | A to Z of Goldendoodles

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    1. Donna B. McNicol: Welcome and thank you.

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  12. Beautiful images EC, but I love the Seal, how fat it is.

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    1. Bob Bushell: Despite his many scars that Elephant Seal looks totally blissed out doesn't he?

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  13. Some things you just have to splurge on!

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  14. You certainly infected this reader with your sense of awe and wonder! Antarctica is on my bucket list and your words/photos make me realize all the more that I have to get there. Thank you for the renewed nudge in my planning. :)

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    Replies
    1. River Fairchild: It is an incredible place. I was appallingly seasick getting there - and it didn't matter. At all. I hope you can see the magic.

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  15. Hi Sue! Definitely a road less travelled. Loved the way you took that opportunity when it fell into your arms. Good on you. How dare others criticize your choice. Obviously the right one. You poem was so beautiful. I, for one, have missed your words. And your photographs definitely add to the experience of visiting you each week.

    Thanks for participating again. And thanks for your support at all times, whether you write for us or not.

    Denise x

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    1. Denise Covey: Thank you so much. I did worry that my jaunt didn't hit the brief and am glad to be reassured. The criticisms were loud and long. And wrong.

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  16. Ice, ice everywhere
    And not a cube for tea
    White is all the eye beholds
    Yet not a single tree

    Still the land was cold
    But a fire built deep within
    This is where you wanted to go
    I’m sure you go back again

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    Replies
    1. desk49: I did suffer from tree deprivation, but would still go back in a heart-beat if funds or health permitted.

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  17. I'm so glad you wrote about your Antarctica experience, EC! I remember reading your other mentions of it previously and it deserves at least one poem. At least. And why do people feel compelled to criticize how we live, how we celebrate, how we grieve? I expect you more than got your money's worth from the trip and then from the memories of the trip.

    Love the elephant seal's expression!! And your poem is wonderful. Your love for the region radiates from your words.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. jenny_o: In my next life if I can't be a cat I want to be that elephant seal.
      My critics would have assured you, as they did me, that they had my best interests at heart. And I of course am too stupid to think for myself.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. It's strange how some folks don't like others giving them advice, but feel qualified to pass it out freely :)

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    4. I don't mean you, I mean other people! Oh dear, it's time to get some sleep :)

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    5. jenny_o: I knew what you meant and hope you get some rest.

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  18. Beautiful work, EC, both in words and photos.

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    1. John Wiswell: Thank you. That is high praise coming from you.

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  19. Fantastic! Love the bull laying on the beach looking kind of smooshy.

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    1. Bea: Isn't he beautiful? In an ugly sort of way.

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  20. How lucky you were to have such an experience - followed your dream :)

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    1. Margaret-whiteangel: I was. And it exceeded all of my expectations.

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  21. I'd love to experience this! Lovely shots and words.

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    1. Lady Fi: It is an incredibly beautiful place. I think it would be hard NOT to take good photos there.

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  22. How wonderful to be able to fulfill a dream! Good decision. How long ago was it?
    Hugs

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    1. Caterina: I went in December 2004. And some of it is as fresh in my mind as if it was last week.

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  23. Life is short and it's good that you embraced it for that trip. Amazing photos and a trip of a lifetime.

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    1. Mason Canyon: Thank you. Definitely the trip of my lifetime.

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  24. I can feel that feeling now, go and see, touch the ice, prudence schmudence!

    So...are there tours? Do you just show up? Do they tell you where to stand so you don't fall through?

    That walrus blob makes me feel thin!

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    1. Sandi: We were in no danger of falling through - that ice was THICK. We did have guides from the ship - protecting us, protecting the wildlife, protecting the environment.
      That elephant seal was big wasn't he? His harem were much slimmer.

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  25. Ignore the word count which is not at all pathetic in my opinion, the poem is absolutely fantastic. As are the photos. thank you.

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    1. River: As you know, we are asked to keep the word count below 1000. And some struggle, and I didn't reach a tenth of that.
      And thank you.

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  26. I would love to see Antartica. The poem was beautiful.
    R

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    1. Rick Watson: Antarctica is incredible, amazing and indeed the whole gamut of superlatives.

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  27. Oh WOW...this is truly AWESOME!!
    Both those breath-taking photos...and your beautiful poem...and you say "Truly pathetic"?
    Absolutely NOT TRUE!!
    This is amazing!!

    Big Hugs xoxoxo

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    1. Ygraine: Thank you so much. Compliments from a skilled poet like yourself are always welcome.

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  28. I love your poem. And your photos. I'm happy you went, despite those who were critical and I wish you could go again.

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    1. Strayer: Part of my greedy self would love to go back, but I am very grateful to have taken the chance and gone the first time.

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  29. I LOVE your poem, it's imagery and message. So glad you took that trip and created such wonderful memories. That less travelled road was full of treasures.

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    1. Myrna R.: My treasure chest still overflows with memories of Antarctica.

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  30. What a beautiful poem. Antartica is such a beautiful place. How are you doing? Been away from blogging for awhile.

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    1. mxtodis123: Welcome back. Antarctica is indeed a beautiful place. And still relatively pristine.

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  31. I for one think it's awesomely...cool (stupid pun) that you went to Antarctica. The photos are spectacular. You bring us there, vividly, through the poem. I especially love this line: "Dawn and dusk separated by no more than a heart-beat."

    Take care of yourself, EC.

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    1. Rawknrobyn: Thank you. My heart beat very loudly at the moment of dusk/dawn and I have a blown-up photo of it on the wall which I treasure.

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  32. love your poem, perfect homage to a perfect trip, how beautiful those blue tinged icebergs, and love the walrus and the old boat, what a trip to remember

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    1. Linda Starr: Thank you. It was indeed perfect. No walruses in the Antartic though. I would have to head to your end of the world to see them. And polar bears...

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  33. I appreciate what you share, S

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  34. What an amazing trip that must have been. I'm glad you went. Your photos are marvelous and I thoroughly enjoyed your poem. Thanks EC, happy weekend to you :)

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    1. DeniseinVA: There aren't enough superlatives to describe Antarctica and the hold it has on me. Thank you - and a happy weekend to you too.

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  35. That must have been quite an experience! :-)

    Greetings from London.

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    1. A Cuban in London: Thank you. It was all I hoped for and more.

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  36. You certainly picked the road less traveled.
    Hope your weekend is filled with sparkle and wonder.
    Hugs

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    1. Sandra Cox: It has been a busy weekend. Weeding, planting. Over 100 bulbs in the ground yesterday and more to come today, tomorrow, next week.
      I hope your weekend is full of joy.

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  37. It is a really difficult topic about Antarctica. I know it's best to leave it alone and don't let tourism get in that area. People have the tendency to destroy everything as we can see each and every day.

    However, I can so understand the wish to go there and experience this stunning part of the world. Honestly, I would love to go. I'm just glad I don't have the money because I don't know what I would do. It's so difficult.

    That being said, I'm so glad that you went. And judging from one of your replies above I get the feeling that the tour organizers were careful and kept the fragile environment in mind. Your photos are stunning. It must have been so wonderful to have seen this in person - words probably can't describe it.
    Your poem is beautiful and not the least pathetic. I don't care a bit how many words you use!

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    1. Carola Bartz: We had to wash our boots before and after landing. And took nothing but photographs. And left nothing behind us. There were regulations about how close we could approach the birds and animals too. All restrictions I was happy to see and observe.

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  38. Wow- that must have been the trip of your dreams. I can't even imagine.

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    1. Terri: It was. And the memories are things I hug to myself tightly.

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  39. A truly wonderful experience.
    Enjoyed your post very much.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Lowcarb team member ~Jan: It was amazing. I am so grateful to have gone.

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  40. Good for you! I'm proud of you for going! Gorgeous pictures and I love the poem! We truly have to listen to our souls! Our souls know best!!! Big Hugs!

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    1. Magic Love Crow: Thank you so much. I had yearned for Antarctica for as long as I could remember and the reality was even better than my dreams.

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  41. WHAT an ADVENTURE! How THRILLING! Your pics are amazing and your prose is so imaginary. I see it ALL! Beautifully written. I felt the chill, the wonder, the excitement, and the sheer thrill of experiencing something so extraordinary!

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    1. Michael Di Gesu: Thank you so much. It really is a glorious, glorious place - and retains that warm spot in my heart.

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  42. Your brevity is greatly admired! You captured the essence of the adventure beautifully. Loved the images.

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  43. What amazing pictures! Sounds like the trip of a lifetime! Your writing is lovely and captures the experience beautifully. Bravo! :)
    ~Jess

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    1. DMS ~Jess: Thank you. It really is a beautiful place. A heart-stirringly beautiful place.

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  44. There is nothing pathetic about the poem, the pictures, or your experience! It's amazing. Thank you for sharing it with us. It's hard to go against well meaning friends and family, but you must be so proud that you did. What a wonderful trip! So envious...

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    1. Yolanda Renee: Thank you. Not proud precisely that I went, but certainly glad. Very, very glad. In days to come when I am dribbling in my wheelchair I suspect these memories will sustain me.

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  45. Talk about a grand adventure - enjoyed the words and loved the photos!!

    Donna B. McNicol|Author and Traveler
    A to Z Flash Fiction Stories | A to Z of Goldendoodles

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    1. Donna B. McNicol: Welcome and thank you.

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  46. A fine decision. And fine words. And I love the ravens in the post above (uncannily clever creatures).

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    1. Andrew MacLaren-Scott: It was certainly not a decision I regret. And, as an aside, I am much more likely to regret things I don't do than things I have done. And ravens, and the corvid family more generally, are very special.

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  47. "A storm of awe, of wonder, and of joy." - those are such beautiful words. I could almost imagine myself there as I read your poem and looked at the photos. Great post! Definitely a road less traveled.
    Russians have a saying: "It's better to do and regret it than not to do and regret it." I'm sure you'll never regret this one-of-a-kind trip.

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    1. Olga Godim: I really like that Russian saying and as I said to Andrew (comment above) the things I regret are things I haven't done. Not this trip. Never this trip.

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  48. Your photos always, always bring me joy! And what a fantastic take on the prompt - road less travelled indeed! Both in terms of the physical trip, and also choosing to use your mother's legacy to you for travelling, not many people would have had the courage I think. Most folks still think physical possessions are the only ones worth having...travelling doesn't make that list.

    I loved your poem too, you know I am partial to poetry :) One of the things poetry can do is to tell things in teeny tiny word counts much better than in prose, a hundred words of poetry more than a thousand words of flash sometimes. Kudos!

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    1. Nilanjana Bose: Thank you. On all counts. The memories of this trip are one of my most precious possessions, and it was worth every cent of the cost. And then some.

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    2. Yes, in the end, all physical possessions however costly or prized, lose their relevance and pass out of one's life. Memories are the only thing worth having.

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    3. Yes. And I hug these to myself on dark days and darker nights.

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  49. Wow! 100 words of perfection. This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Tyrean Martinson: Thank you so much. It is SUCH a beautiful place.

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  50. Great poem and photos. Like the contrasts of fire and ice.I am glad you did what you really wanted to do.

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    1. Deborah Drucker: Thank you too. I am very, very glad that I 'wasted' my inheritance on fulfilling a dream.

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  51. Surely a road not many go on, or get to go on, indeed. Memories to always have.

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    1. Pat Hatt: Precious memories to have and to hold.

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  52. I'd love to see Antartica too but it's closer to you. I want to see the Northern lights, if I can figure out if hubs can travel there (we are somewhat limited after his illness). I'm fond of the boat image and the bridge arch of ice. Beautiful images, EC! The words say it eloquently.

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    1. D.G Hudson: Thank you. I would love to see the Northern Lights. And polar bears. And walrus.

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  53. An image rich poem with a nice pace. Well done.

    from:christopherscottauthor.wordpress.com

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    1. Christopher Scott: Thank you so much. As usual I am well outside my comfort zone. Which is probably good for me.

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  54. The first lines of your poem touched my heart and encouraged me. An impossible dream realized. I had to smile. Excellent poem.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia

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    1. Pat Garcia: Thank you. I really had thought that Antartica was going to stay an impossibility for me.

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  55. A beautiful poem! Visual and emotional. I almost envy your experience, but I think I'll stick with a warmer place like Alaska! ;)

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    1. Carrie Ann Golden: Antarctica is only open to tourists in summer. It really was very pleasant. The dread disease helped, but I swam there twice. And it was brisk on the second occasion but totally bearable.

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