Monthly Archives: November 2012

I Survived NaNoWriMo


…and lived to tell about it.

by Laura Libricz

Thundering hooves speed away. Shouts fade.

Or is that the sound of roaring flames? 

The intense heat of the fire burns my cheek,

Nose stings from the smoke.  

Clothes cold and soaked, I open my eyes. 

I lie at the base of a tree in the mud;

Weak, can’t lift my heavy, humming head. 

Early August morning. The sun should be rising soon, 

But not through those billowing black fumes. 

I’ve taken a severe blow to the shoulder. 

He kneels next to me, his tired face partially lit by the burning barn.

The main house is on fire, too. 

He examines my wound. It’s not that bad, he tells me.

Help me, give me a drink.

Troops had rolled over the North Hill in the middle of the night. 

Mounted Croatian soldiers rode down into the hollow

Where the farm lays exposed and vulnerable.  

Many came. 

Crabatten, they call them, they wear red sashes.

Hard to judge their numbers by the pounding of drums,

Snorting, screeching horses. 

They fight for the Catholics, they say.

Ununited Germany a fine stage for battle.

Luther assured us that no Hell Fire awaits us

Because here it is, on Earth, stinging my nose.

No walls separate the farm from its attackers, like the big cities. 

Everything went so fast,

They settled on us, they were gone, they left nothing whole this time.

I squint at the heap of smashed furniture ablaze in the farmyard. 

 The riders flew through the paddocks, with torches,

And lit the buildings on fire. 

As if a rushing wind carried their campaign

And our animals away.

I ran behind a shed that wasn’t burning, a soldier came up behind me. 

Sliced me down with his sword. 

I crawled out of the way. 

I never thought it would come to this.

No, that’s not true—I knew it would come to this. 

I’m surprised we held out this long.

My daughter. A tear.

Help me, give me a drink.

He sniffs the bottle.

If the war doesn’t kill you, this stuff will.

He crouches like a cat poised to flee.

My daughter. Where is she? A tear.

Soldiers savor young girls.

They’ve unburdened us of our possessions,

Relieved the barren fields of trampled fruits,

Are saving us from our heathen ways.

We pay,

We are grateful,

And our wicked souls rejoice.


What do non-Germans think of when they are asked to name one thing German? Do they think of beer fests with liter mugs of beer, pork roasts and potato dumplings? Do they think of Christmas markets with steaming-hot, sweet spiced wine and Lebkuchen? Do they sing a song from Nena? Or maybe they think of anything having to do with the hundred-odd years between the Reformation and the Thirty Years War. (I know I certainly do.)

Or do some think of the cool German cars cruising along at the speed of sound on the Autobahn? What great brands we have for the eyes to feast on: BMW, Audi, Porsche, and my favorite, VW, specifically the Golf. Occasionally a Ferrari escapes across the border to go for a run, or a Maserati. At unlimited speeds. Anyone can drive as fast as they want. Or can they?

Richtgeschwindigkeit–advisory speed limit or reference speed on the Autobahn is 130 kmh. That means that one can drive faster, but if an accident occurs, one could be held liable. But over the years, more and more speed limits have been enforced because of Massenkarambolage—Massive Freeway Pileup. I love language.

My most memorable Autobahn moment: I was driving along, doing my 130 kmh, just minding my own business and two zippy cars came up behind me at a terrifying speed. Everyone should experience this just once in their lives: looking into the rear-view mirror and seeing a Porsche and a Ferrari approaching and instead of ramming me or forcing me from the road (the A3 is two lanes here in my area) one passed me on the left and the other passed me on the right, on the shoulder. Those two men (I’m sure they were not women) left a lasting impression on me for life.

Friday Flash: 100 Words or Less


“Honey, get me the frying pan down,” Sharon says.
“I’ll be right in,” Guy says. 
The spigot squeaks. The hose stops spraying water. The screen door closes. Pots bang. One pan slams onto an electric stove burner. The stove clicks, one, two, three times.
“Get me a few tomatoes from the garden,” she says.
If Guy sees me caught in the garden fence he’ll kill me.
“Don’t you get sick of those tomatoes?” he says. “I can’t bear to eat another one.”
The hot pan zishes. The mouth-watering smell of browning meat wafts out of the window. 
I never get sick of those tomatoes. 
Flash powered by Terrible Minds

Today’s Thoughts

by Regina Holm-Stockley

One day, sitting in a tree
Wondering about the world
It hit me, Suddenly

The wonders that you don’t see
They are all right there
You just need to feel

Let your gaze and thoughts run free
Open up your heart
Then you to will see

It is all around you and me
Look at the fields
Or gaze up at the birds

Enjoy what is there to see
Don’t loose the moon
While counting the stars


(Check out other posts with the label ‘Poetry’ for more of Regina’s work. -L.)