Tag Archives: prose

Just Following Orders – prose by Paul Vincent Cannon

At Dverse Ingrid is hosting Prosery with an invitation to use a line from William Blake’s poem ‘The Chimney Sweeper’ – “If all do their duty, they need not fear harm.”

dVerse Poets – Prosery – Doing Our Duty

Public domain photo of Adolf Eichmann.

“Being evil is only something that only humans are capable of.” Jane Goodall

Just Following Orders

In 1960 an architect appeared in court in down town Jerusalem charged with crimes against humanity. He was the architect of the Holocaust, his defence was banal, he claimed immunity because he was only following orders.

Who never questions motive? Who believes they are perfect and above the law?And who never effects harm on others? But of those who excelled in following orders, no matter how perverted, Adolf Eichmann stands apart as intentionally evil, and more so because of his claim that he was just following orders. And, so, if all do their duty, they need not fear harm? really? Think slavery. Think Eichman, think Vietnam War, Think Derek Chauvin, think so many.

Our actions always affect others, and where there is evil the effect is always negative. Harm comes to those in the orbit of such people. Just listen to Holocaust survivors.

Copyright 2021 ©Paul Vincent Cannon

All Rights Reserved ®

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Filed under awareness, death, history, injustice, justice, life, prose, quote, war

I Remember – Haibun by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Frank is hosting Haibun with an invitation to write about first day/returning to school.

dVerse Poets – Haibun – Back to School

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

“I failed angst in high school. They let me graduate anyway.” John Scalzi

I Remember

Life was to be lived, no time for study or going to school.I could do the work but it disinterested me and I was more focussed on heading down town. Besides, the roll wasn't checked other than in the morning and after lunch, the pubs didn't worry about proof of age even for the floor show where Stephanie (who looked like Stevie Nicks) in fishnets gave us all her charms. While the newsagent proprietor eyed me carefully lest I would steal a magazine (how did he know?), I read them in store. And the billiard hall was a second home, while I listened to the top forty at Mills Record Bar in the high street every Friday.

Looking back it was the girls I remember most. Rita who was cool and charming, Hedda who dealt hash, lyn who was pregnant, and Leslie who cared, Hannah who seemed ten years older than all of us, and Romy who had a beautiful smile and wore no bra and whose skirt seemed non-existent. I hated school, it was a war zone, but I loved escaping down town, and most all, I remember the girls.


the ducks all gather
chickens return home to roost
night heron flies far away


Copyright 2021 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®

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Filed under education, Haibun, Haiku, life, poem, prose, quote

Shucker’s Delight – prose by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Lisa is hosting Prosery, a piece of prose of 144 words, inviting us to use a line from a poem by Zora Neale Hurston which comes from her work ‘How Does it Feel to be Coloured Me’ in ‘World Tomorrow’ (1928)

dVerse Poets – Prosery – Finding Ms. Zora Neale Thurston

Photo: found at thegoodtrade.com

“Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” Carl Jung

Shucker’s Delight

No, I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife. I find it occupies me best of all. I’m a shucker from way back and I have my own rhythm and movement, a time honoured practice of holding, inserting, twisting and opening. So simple, every action economical, a form of meditation, I love the concentration, one slip and I might lose a finger – I have wounds to show for every lapse. Wounds where I surrender focus to the searing hurts of humanity. This is no escape, just a respite, a regathering from the morass of pain felt in tones of colour, known in cries for justice, that which bleeds from the despair of prison gates. If I didn’t sharpen this oyster knife I fear the world would possess my emotions and blunt my innocent dance of freedom against power.

Copyright 2021 ©Paul Vincent Cannon

All Rights Reserved ®

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Filed under awareness, Fiction, life, prose, Racism

Leaving Regret – prose by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Merril is hosting Prosery (up tp 144 words) using a line from the poem ‘A Map to The Next World.’ by Jo Harjo

dVerse Poets – Prosery

The line is: “Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end.”

Photo: found at huffpost.com

“If you aren’t in the moment, you are either looking forward to uncertainty, or back to pain and regret.” Jim Carrey

Leaving Regret 

Regret, that yearning to grasp at something that slipped away, some long buried treasure 
like a skill or passion, a friendship, an opportunity, the "only if I'd" .... the voice 
that says you could have done that, you would have been set for life, if only you had or 
hadn't, whatever that may mean.

So strange that we live in anxious competition for the perfect life and yet, ironically, 
risk missing life altogether. The past is a mixture of joy and sorrow, but either way it 
can hold us prisoner, while the future is always possible, yet for some, full of worry. 
Life for me is circular, and in a circular world crucial to finding the way is this: there 
is no beginning or end, life is not a race along linear lines of achievement or loss, there
is no pennant only life itself.

Copyright 2021 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®

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Filed under life, mindfulness, prose, quote

Guilty Of Not Seeing – prose by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse, Sanaa is hosting Prosery with an invitation to include a line by Rilke – “Only mouths are we. Who sings the distant heart which safely.”

Photo: survival.org.au

Guilty Of Not Seeing

The magpie lark returned to her nest with tidbits for all, and I was struck be her persistent nature, always, every morning, heading out of the nest looking for insects to feed her chicks. And on return to her little round castle, she is always greeted by four squawking mouths, all pleading, begging for a morsel. And, of course, here lies a metaphor so obvious, that the whole of humanity is at risk of falling into this same response, squawking at the government, agencies, not-for-profits, who should tend and feed the masses. And surely we are guilty, only mouths are we. Who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the centre of all things? guilty of not seeing that the author of life who is at the centre of everything. We are, perhaps, so busy pleading for dependency that we fail to see.

Copyright © 2021 Paul Vincent Cannon

All rights reserved ®

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Filed under awareness, Country, nature, poem, prose

The Dreamer – Prose by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Lillian is hosting Prosery where we are invited to write a piece of prose of 144 words including the line of poem offered by the host. Grace has invited us to work with the line ” If you are a dreamer, come in” which is from Shel Silverstein’s poem ‘Invitation’

dVerse Poets – Prosery

Photo: theculturaldictionary.com

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go and do that. Because what the world needs are people who are alive.” Howard Thurman

The Dreamer

I was walking along, multi-thinking, moving my mind to the end of the day so that I could get there quicker. I’m sure you’ve done that sometime. I wasn’t paying particular attention to anyone or anything. So I was surprised when a voice called out, a voice that was so unusual it. I didn’t think it was anyone calling to me but I looked around because I wanted to see who owned such an unusual voice. I was thinking hippy, free spirited, all tie-dyed, but there was Mr Business Suit beaming a smile. I stared at him and he gestured to the door “if you are a dreamer, come in.” Am I a dreamer? Yes I’m a dreamer, but I’m not coming in, I have my own dreams, I’m not buying yours, no way! They cost the earth, literally.” I walked away.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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Talking – prose by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Merril is hosting Prosery with an invitation to write a prose piece including a line from the poem “Possibilities” by Wislawa Szymborska. Prosery – 144 words.

dVerse Poets – Prosery – Possibilities

Photo: LNLNLN at pixabay.com

“Imagination belongs to hope. It’s the creative dance of possibility.” Sharon Weil

Talking

We were talking the deeper things of life, like destiny, and I ventured that destiny is so passe. Do people still think that there is a moment in time, that point at which you fully arrive? Really? Or that hoary old thought, that we're predestined to arrive at something, as if the gods are playing us, running interference , but we're going to get to a key point anyway. Or the graft model, if you work hard enough you'll get there in the end and, perhaps they do, although it has been noted that hard work is an early grave. But I digress. I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being. That a multiplicity of possibilities exist in time, and out, in their own right, throughout the universe, waiting for me to notice the portal.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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Filed under life, philosophy, prose

Which Way? – prose by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Kim is hosting Prosery with an invitation to use a line from the poem ‘The Song of Wandering Aengus’ by William Butler Yeats. The line is: “I went out to the hazel wood, because a fire was in my head.”

dVerse Poets – Prosery

Photo: found at juggernautmc.com

“We have to get used to the idea that at the most important crossroads in our life there are no signs.” Ernest Hemingway.

Which Way?

I wanted to take time with my old friends who were welling up in my chest. Where to in my life now, seemed to be the most pressing question stirring my emotions. I sought the pilgrims trail, so I went out to the hazel wood, because a fire was in my head and heart. Eventually the walk began to clear my head, and then I came to a crossroad, which I received as a question. What now, do I turn at either side or go on, or even stay where I am? What does this mean for me? The Irish gave a word for this, trasna or crossing place, to cross over. It means choosing a move. This fire in me has brought me to a turning point, and I mean to go on. So, which way will I choose, which path will I take?

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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The Tides That So Easily Turn And Pull – prose by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Linda is hosting Prosery with an invitation to take a line form one of Mary Oliver’s poems – ‘Spring Azures’, “Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy.” and use it in a piece of prose.

Photo: wallpaper cave.com

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there someday.” A.A. Milne

The Tides That So Easily Turn And Pull

I launched the kayak, noting everything in my periphery and set forth forth with a flourish, gliding across the glassy, still, estuary. this was morning, but not my life. I launched equally as carefully under my mother’s watchful eye, but the estuary of life was never glassy or still in my experience. However, I had to start somewhere, and my own dictum is, don’t dismiss the wisdom of the young who are simply shifting gears through the tide of life which is so fickle. We carry our own weights, the things we love, the things that haunt, the things we enjoy, and that which brings pain, yes, even that. Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy and it is more than enough to bear when I wish I could steady the tides that so easily turn and pull us against ourselves.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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Writing Through – prose by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Lilian is hosting Prosery and inviting us to use the line “Reading what I have just written, I now believe.” from Louise Gluck’s work ‘Afterward.’ dVerse Poets – Prosery

Photo: pixabay.com

“Journal writing gives us insights into who we are, who we were, and who we can become.” Sandra Marinella

Writing Through

My heart was pounding, I was ready to burst, I would spill over, I would be consumed in my emotion. An all consuming anger possessed me. Why did he say that and in such a tone? Why did he look at me that way? I just wanted to fire back and level the field, but the words wouldn’t come and I felt everyone’s eyes. I felt isolated in this moment of exposure, so naked before the world. I said nothing then, but I resolved to journal and reflect later.

Reading what I have just written, I now believe that I was lost in reactive feeling. I know I experience grief as a strange land, but this surprised me. The death of those close stirs the heart in ways beyond the rational moments imagined. Strange how writing and reflecting can so simply offer opportunity of transformation.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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