Outside My Window, #Double Ennead

Rose from my garden

This month, for Carrot Ranch Literary Community, Colleen M. Chesebro challenges us to write a double ennead poem on a topic of our choice in 99 syllables, then reduce to a 48 syllable form, then 24 syllables and finally to a 12 syllable haiku. Here is my entry.

Double ennead form, 99 syllables

clouds like spun sugar in

periwinkle sky,

a tree’s outline in shadow in sunny grass,

white butterflies flying

above rose bushes.

golden yellow lilies

peeking out among

all of the green foliage in the garden,

red Japanese maple

branches wave gently.

a little brown sparrow

hops about in grass,

then flutters over to perch on the fence,

these are the sights I see

outside my window.

48 syllables, 4-7-5 stanza trio

spun sugar clouds

in a periwinkle sky,

butterflies flying.

yellow gold lilies

among the green foliage,

red maple branches,

small brown sparrow

flutters to perch on the fence,

outside my window.

24 syllables, (6-6-6-6,) 1 stanza

spun sugar clouds

in periwinkle sky,

butterflies and lilies,

sights outside my window

12 syllable haiku, short-long-short

spun sugar clouds

above white butterflies

and gold lilies.

© Susan Joy Clark 2021

Nothing To See Here!

Photo by Joe Caione on Unsplash

It only took a blink for Toby to pour himself like liquid through the crack in the front door, run across the street and crash the neighbor’s backyard barbecue. I ran after him barefoot, imitating the hot coal dance as I crossed the asphalt and lolloped past my neighbors, grinning stupidly, as they enjoyed their burgers and brats. After two rotations around the house, I saw my chase was futile. Remembering some dog owner advice, I dropped prostrate into the grass. Neighbors lurched out of chairs, hovering over me. “Call 911!” Toby stopped, turned running, and I nabbed him.

© Susan Joy Clark 2021

This was written for the “unleashed” theme flash fiction challenge, using 99 words only, for the Carrot Ranch Literary Community. I did read that if your dog runs away from you like this, you should drop, and the dog, out of curiosity and concern, should come to you. A very similar scenario did happen to me with a little dog I was watching but without quite this level of drama and awkwardness. 🙂


Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Kendra handed her neighbor, Irene, a pair of gardening shears, handles first, over the garden fence, then screamed.

“What are you screaming about?”

“You … you’re naked! I can not unsee that.” Kendra covered her eyes.

“It’s World Naked Gardening Day, and I’m in my own private yard. It’s liberating. You should try it.”

There’s a day on the calendar for everything! “Uh … no, no thanks. I’m good over here. Carry on.”

Before long, Kendra hears a kerfuffle, then a scream.

“Why are you screaming?”

“Bees! Bees! The whole hive is after me!”

© Susan Joy Clark 2021


This silly little story was told for The Carrot Ranch Literary Society‘s Flash Fiction Challenge, with a World Naked Gardening Day theme, in only 99 words. It was a challenge to tell my little story in such few words. 😛

Just some additional thoughts …

I do know some people who are attracted to the naturist lifestyle, so I had previously given the subject a lot of thought. My primary concern is with decency and modesty, but even in situations where that is not a concern, where a single person is alone or just with a spouse, I still have concerns about sanitation and protection from the elements. It just seems the body will be much more vulnerable to a number of things such as sun, harmful insects or harmful plants. I can see things going wrong in so many ways. I could have had quite a story with a few more words I think. 😛

I looked up World Naked Gardening Day on Wikipedia and read this quote, “Beyond body positivity, Corky Stanton of Clothes Free International, an organization that promotes nude recreation, has asserted that the event offers the ‘fringe benefits of bare, unabashed recreation: the satisfaction of exercising in the great outdoors; the attractiveness of an all-over tan; more Vitamin D on your whole body; the unbeatable experience of skinny-dipping if the naturist event involves a beach or a lake.'”

As an extremely fair-skinned person, an ‘overall tan’ was not my first thought. Instead, I’m imagining sunburn in places I would never had thought of.

I’ve read a number of true life accounts of both prisoners of war and political prisoners, and it seems that depriving a prisoner of clothing was often a punishment/torture. Many of you will remember a scene from Schindler’s List where the prisoners were made to exercise nude in the courtyard. Perhaps, humiliation of the prisoner is part of the motivation behind that, but I think it is also the removal of that protective covering from the cold, sun or other harm. In one account, I read about a POW captured in a tropical climate who was made to sleep nude in the jungle with no mosquito net, and you can just imagine what happened to him. My story may be silly, but I had these other more serious thoughts as well.