Photo courtesy of David Perea-Kihien

This photo of Ubud Temple in Bali, taken by my friend, David Perea-Kihien, makes me long for faraway places.

Summer travel plans? Roads are synonymous with adventure and it’s kind of magical to know that you can start out at your own front door and end up anywhere.

“It’s a dangerous
business, Frodo, going out of your door,” he used to say. “You step
into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing
where you might be swept off to. Do you realize that this is the very
path that goes through Mirkwood, and that if you let it, it might take
you to the Lonely Mountain or even further and to worse places?” —
Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings
by J.R.R. Tolkien.

By Annette Marie Hyder

I wore moonlight the night I danced with an idol
and the jungle’s perfume filled the air.
The next morning the only thing that gave us away
were the flowers I left in his hair.

Happy Summer Solstice!

Swing on the beach image via Green Renaissance

Summer Dreams Beside the Sea
By Annette Marie Hyder

Nobody knows how the swing came to be here. It is the mystery of the village. But when the tide comes in on moonlit feet the mermaids swing on this. And on the longest day of the year, the first day of summer, they weave their nets beneath this tree and swear they will catch the moon — this year for sure!

A bouquet of umbrellas for the coming storm

Abri Nº177 by OzCollective

Starched and Monogrammed
By Annette Marie Hyder

He pulled an old-fashioned handkerchief from his perfectly tailored suit breast pocket. It was large and white and was embroidered delicately with his initials: WOE. Yes, I recognized it as handiwork of my own. WOE and I had been on intimate terms at one time. I knew conversation, reasoning, would avail for nothing. So I did what I thought best with the handkerchief offered me from his pristine breast. I let it drop to the ground. I noticed as it puffed out its cumulus wings and floated to the ground that it mirrored in a miniature way the canopy of puffery that hung over our heads that day. Much better, I told myself, when there is nothing left to say — much better to turn on one’s heel and leave sir WOE at bay.

In the forest

Jumping In by Brooke Shaden

Dans la forêt
By Annette Marie Hyder

by the stream I hung laundry,
that didn’t need to dry, on the trees
in the woods with the pool at the foot of the small waterfall
with the water as cold as a deep wishing well
and mossy green boulders disturbing the stream
the flow and the rhythm of which I still feel in dreams.

We threw ourselves like coins into the depths of that well
its waters lapped the dark shore as they swelled
with enough force to sweep us right down to the sea
if I hadn’t held onto you and you onto me
in les eaux tumultueuses
in la forêt enchantée.
Nous avons payé avec nous pour le désir du cœur.

Les Jours de Pluie

By Annette Marie Hyder

The days came gift wrapped
in ribbons of rain.
We ran our hands over the shimmer
of their outer wrappers as they melted
like sugar.
I can taste them still.

In those days
a constellation of coincidences
lit my way
and even the heavens, it seems,
were showing me the way to you.
I have memorized the path
without trying to.

When the sun rose,
when the rain stopped,
and I made my way blinking
from the tent of your arms
the birdsong soared
but not as high as my heart.
What use have I for this feather

that I saved? What use the memory
of sweetness
and a path that pulls me still
to want to wander?
Your arms have transformed
from woven tent to a stone wall
that I know not to loiter near.

In a field of flowers

Image courtesy of Deborah Merrill Williams

I Am Thumbelina
By Annette Marie Hyder

I am Thumbelina in a field of flowers as tall as trees
gliding among the shadows of clouds of immensity
because everything is larger than life — when you walk with me.
Song starts on a subatomic level, twines itself to beat
like hammers made of hummingbirds
because even the minutest of things sing — when I am with you
and the greens chant and the sky is a sea to float away on a deux
as we lay in a field with Brobdingnagian flowers facing an ocean of blue.