Another week.  Daily, the unseen pull grows stronger, until the mid-week mirror lures us Narcissus-like to stare into its smooth surface for our inspiration.

No refuge.  The tentacles of creation wind  ’round us, dragging us inexorably toward the keyboard to satisfy the craving.  Sweet addiction!  Our drug of choice.

Go on; give in. Choose your word-weapon.  Wield it fearlessly.
You are a Fictioneer!



Genre:  Poetry

He lay, sweating, behind the rocks
           weighted down with the implements of death and survival
           always vigilant.

He returned (better off than many)
            sometimes cringing at loud noises
            enduring headaches and bad dreams.

He stood, sweating, by the barn
            the air freighted with the scent of summer
            swathed in silence.

He was good with his hands
            thought how he’d reclaim the land
            prayed it might make him sane again.

He observed a shadow overhead
            (only a hawk in this time and place
            dropping like a bomb towards lunch.)

He lay, sweating, in the fragrant grass
            mind mercifully blank
            sleeping, beginning.

  1. Fictioneers indeed. Great inspiration.

  2. yebuccaneer says:

    Well…that is actually very inspirational! I wish I were him, with something so rustic to work on, seeing, then living in the fruit of one’s labours like that…nice verse indeed!

  3. kz says:

    omg, you write the awesomest introductions ever haha now excuse me while i now move on to your story. brb ^^

  4. kz says:

    you’re a master of words, Janet. love that by the first line you feel like you know him already, loved this line too: “the air freighted with the scent of summer
    swathed in silence.”

    • Thanks, kz, I appreciate that. I liked that line myself. Made me feel at peace just writing it, but we’re a long way from summer yet, so I’ll have to enjoy the feeling indoors. 🙂


  5. Such beauty in the forgotten, love the photo and the verse. 🙂

    • Thank you, Len. I so appreciate all those who give so much to keep us free but too much of what many of them have to give is from the inner selves. This was the teeniest piece of recognition and prayer for healing.


  6. Sandra says:

    This is beautifully done Janet, the structure is very striking and the sentiments so compelling. Really well done. (And thanks for the photo too)

  7. Mridubala says:

    Very well written!

  8. Nice job Janet. He should feel at home after this job is done.

  9. Joe Owens says:

    Your talent at poetry is on awesome display here. Very appropriate with the prompt. Kudo to you!

  10. I’m not sure which I loved more – your intro or your poem. Both were lovely! The hawk diving for lunch was a nice visual.

    • Thank you. I often think that it must be difficult to come home from somewhere where you have to be alert to the most innocuous things, lest they kill you, to a place where things lying in the road are mostly litter. The hawk was my attempt at expressing that, only with an aeronautic theme rather than an IED. As for the introduction, I’m having fun with those and they can be written in advance, no matter the picture. 🙂

  11. deanabo says:

    This is really good writing….

  12. thevixenfiction says:

    That is simply beautiful. I hope he finds his way to a new start.

  13. Iris says:

    Oh, this is simply beautiful. I love the hawk.

  14. For words or prose or poetry and feelings from your heart – inspirational Janet – thank you.

  15. nightlake says:

    this was very good:) a new idea, well written

  16. Dear Janet,
    Admittedly I’m not a huge fan of poetry, unless it speaks to me. Yours does. My favorite lines:
    “He was good with his hands
    thought how he’d reclaim the land
    prayed it might make him sane again.”
    Poignant and touching. A beautifully crafted picture of PTSD, painted with shades of hope.

  17. JKBradley says:

    Finding yourself again can be such a struggle. Thank you for sharing.

  18. rgayer55 says:

    dear Janet,
    I loved the intro and the poem. I know several veterans who can relate to what you wrote. My favorite line was, “air freighted with the scent of summer swathed in silence.”

    • Russ, that’s very much appreciated, all of what you said. My knowledge is all secondhand, so I’m pleased it rang true. And I’m glad you liked that line. I did, too.


  19. Debra Kristi says:

    Beautiful job. I am in awe. I struggle with poetry. You brought a clear story to life.

  20. vb holmes says:

    Your poetry is fine, Janet–and I particularly like your link between the hawk and a bomb. It takes a long time to get over the horrors of battle. Your picture is wonderful–both as a photo and as a prompt.

  21. ellynvv says:

    I really like this poem, possibly my favourite take on the picture so far. Well done 🙂 It seems dark but peaceful somehow

    • War, even when necessary, has a dark side and I so appreciate those who are willing to take on the task when it needs to be done. I only pray they do find peace. Thanks!


  22. […] for carrying on the grand tradition of Friday Fictioneers. This week’s photo comes from Janet Webb. It spoke to me of broken hearts and […]

  23. Green Speck says:

    Beautifully conceived !!!

  24. Hi Janet,
    Really beautiful poem. “Air freighted with the scent of summer.” Love that line. Don’t know what you envisioned, but in my mind it was a Civil War soldier, but it could have been from any war. Masterful writing. Ron

  25. Jan Brown says:

    Love the intro featuring writers as fierce word warriors! Love even more the poem about a real warrior, his experience, his truth. Beautifully done.

    • Thanks so much, Jan. I didn’t even realize until you mentioned it that they both concerned warriors. 🙂 The intro was written long before the poem. But I’m thrilled you liked them both.


  26. boomiebol says:

    I absolutely love and adore this. I saw the picture and thought a poem will be most fitting but nothing came to me…and i doubt i would have done it as brilliantly as you did.

  27. Tom Poet says:

    I like the structure of this poem…how you start of with “He lay, sweating, behind the rocks” in the first stanza and start the last stanza with “He lay, sweating, in the fragrant grass”. You get the feeling of being hunkered down in fear at the start and end with a moment of peace and being able to feel exposed in the grass. I like the poet in you…Hey I said that last week.

    • This piece was going to be a story but it insisted on being a poem instead. Thanks for noticing the structure and for understanding the movement from fear to enough peace to lie exposed! You got it and I’m glad.


  28. Parul says:

    Very nice poem. Very good portrayal of a man’s transition from fear to freedom.
    And I love that intro!!

  29. Wow. The writing here is beautiful. To me, the images are vivid.

  30. claireful says:

    I too really liked ‘the air freighted with the scent of summer’. Very beautiful Janet.

  31. annisik51 says:

    Hello Janet. Had a couple of hours sleep since we last ‘spoke’! Your poem has authenticity. Your choice of words fits the two worlds your hero inhabits at one and the same time. For example: ‘the air freighted’. I can relate. My grandfather never ceased to talk about the First World War trenches. I’ve toured the Normandy beaches and cemeteries of the Second World War. Will your hero ‘reclaim’ his land? Will he be able to fuse his worlds?

    • We were able to visit Normandy a few years ago and the WWII sites and cemeteries. It’s a very sobering experience. My f-i-l was landed on D-Day as well as fighting in the Pacific and it marked him for life. From what I’ve read about it, WWI was a terrible war, especially the trench warfare, but somewhat forgotten. I think my hero will reclaim his land and hopefully, with that, his balance as well.

      Glad you got some sleep and blessings on your day,


  32. unspywriter says:

    This could be any soldier returning, and what you’ve written is absolutely beautiful.

    Here’s mine:

  33. elmowrites says:

    Interesting mix of hope for the future and hauntings from the past, Janet. Nicely done.

  34. petrujviljoen says:

    Well done. Enjoyed this one a lot.

  35. JackieP says:

    I always envy anyone who can do poetry well. Thanks for the great read. Really well done.

    • Jackie, I appreciate that, although I think I have a ways to go to be a good poet! However, in the meantime, I’m very glad you like it.

      Enjoy the weekend,


  36. elappleby says:

    this was great – I really enjoyed it. The layout made it all the more powerful.

  37. Wonderful, and that story is strong. Hopefully he will recover together with the land. 🙂

    • Thanks, Bjorn. I see much hope for him as well as for the land. Going back to an elemental level can be healing and it will take time for both to heal. Glad you liked it and enjoy your weekend.


  38. Beautifully created, elegantly told.
    Thank you, Janet.

  39. Nicely written, and not really fiction for many people, I’m afraid! I like the hawk at the end and the fact that he’s able to sleep in the sun afterwards. Let’s hope he can find his way back to ordinary days. (And congratulations on being this week’s photographer!)

  40. Really enjoyed this. It’s haunting. I can’t imagine how hard it must be

  41. Bee says:

    Excellent poem and use of the prompt. You’re illustrated a soldier’s PTSD really well, and I like that the title is Warrior — it implies a survivor.

  42. 40again says:

    Well written, beautifully crafted, thoroughly enjoyed reading this. The way you set it out was inspired.
    A word-warrior indeed!

  43. I love the last line: “sleeping, beginning”. It leaves room for so many possibilities.

  44. insanity creeps through open fields and
    and thrives inside bruised flowers,
    and the struggles to make it disappear
    are harsh, and endless, and in the
    living fear, which
    the best a warrior can sometimes only do, is
    clutch tightly His defenses (against death and for survival),
    Watch the hawk and wave away its shadow,
    lie back into the grasses,
    fight panic and to pray,
    to hope
    that the rustle of some breezes
    may bring rest, or at best,
    a moment of relief.

    Thank you, Janet

    You inspired me, made me think,
    made me envision….

  45. I love those last two stanzas.

  46. denmother says:

    This is awesome, Janet. I’m pulling for him to find his sanity and forget whatever he witnessed on the battlefield.

  47. Sunshine says:

    Janet, your words flow so easily through my mind creating this warrior, struggling with tormenting memories and everything witnessed brings more anxiety. perhaps hope of recovery lingers close since you mention at the end a blank mind and a beginning…♥
    i love the flow of this poem. 🙂

    • Thank you very much, Sunshine. I, too, hope that he’ll have a beginning to the way back and I think being able to relax and sleep is a start. Thanks for your comments.


      • Sunshine says:

        you’re welcome…being able to clear his mind reminds me of meditation intentions. you know, how the goal is to get a clear mind…

  48. C. Patrick says:

    Love the intro. That should be the official mantra of the Friday Ficitioneers. Heh.

    • Glad you enjoyed it, C. I did get an official nod for FF intro this week on Rochelle’s site for last week’s intro. I’m having way too much fun with the intros. 🙂

      Happy Sunday,


  49. Atmospheric poetry that draws you in, liked this a lot, message of hope through hard work 🙂

  50. Very strong imagery in your poem. My own heart beat like it was me sweating against the barn. And your intro was wonderful, reminded me of a “Twighlight Zone” lead-in. Loved it!

  51. Sarah Ann says:

    Hi Janet,
    Another great intro followed by a really touching poem. I could see your protagonist start to recover as he/we moved through the lines. As others have said love the ‘air freighted’ line as well as the hawk dropping like a bomb, and the comparison between sweating behind rocks and then in fragrant grass. A moving story with powerful imagery.

    • Thanks, Sarah Ann, and thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate hearing what works for people (as well as what doesn’t) because that’s the way I keep growing as a writer.

      Blessings on your week,


  52. Wonderful imagery in your poem and it captures the mood of the picture without being about the picture, beautifully. Really well done.