Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Pelican Grief

(For Friday Fiction)

The Pelican Grief
By Beth LaBuff

Within an Eastern seaboard town—
A salt-air weathered hut
With large displays of seafood
Sold from Beaker’s Fish Market.

The pelican proprietor,
With his unique physique,
Would stock the shelves with seafood
Hauling fish within his beak.

Patrons in this seaboard town,
To satiate their hunger,
Bought, salmon, shrimp, and snapper
From their pelican fishmonger.

One day while fishing off the wharf,
To stock his shelves anew,
He ran into an albatross
And caught the fowl bird flu.

And with the flu, a fever rose
Then goose bumps, wheezing, chills.
The Doc’s advice, “Get bird-nest rest.”
He prescribed some vile swill.

Recovery time, though minimal,
The bird flu left him weak,
Affecting his ability
To haul fish in his beak.

So Beaker’s Market floundered,
A fiscal loss incurred.
His shop showed a resemblance to
Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard.

The market’s shelves were empty.
The patrons wailed louder.
“No lobster, shrimp, or scallops,
And no clams for our chowder!”

His loss of strength, the empty shelves—
Two desperate situations.
He needed brawn to fill the shelves
With catfish and crustaceans.

On self-exam, his abs were mush.
Then he let out a wail.
Worst fears confirmed, for cellulite
Was dimpled on his tail.

With lunges, curls, and crunches—
A cardio work-out.
His glutes grew firm and sturdy,
His muscles, fit and stout.

Once more the shelves were loaded
With perch and halibut,
And business boomed just like before
At Beaker’s Fish Market.

New items added to his shelves,
Like chips and tartar sauce.
Soon came a line of airborne fowl—
Filet of albatross.


inspiration from: Proverbs 102:6 KJV
I am like a pelican of the wilderness,
I am like an owl of the desert.

written for a writing challenge
Topic: Empty and Full
© Beth LaBuff -- June 2009

Friday Fiction is hosted this week by Sherri at A Candid Thought
Be sure to stop there for links to great summer fiction.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Sackbut Player's Solo

Friday Fiction is hosted this week by Karlene at Heart and Soul
Be sure to stop over there for more inspirational fiction.

The Sackbut Player’s Solo
By Beth LaBuff – April 2009
Topic: Up and Down

The concert hall’s grand elegance
With velvet seats and lacquered wood,
And silence echoed off the walls
In hushed anticipation.

A poster promised classics from
L. van Beethoven’s repertoire.
The concert time was eight o’clock,
Announced the invitation.

“Come hear the modern debut,
An historic instrument
Unearthed near ancient Babylon,
A recent excavation.”

This four-stringed sackbut had survived
With two strings missing, two intact.
Harp from Nebuchadnezzar’s band
And Daniel’s generation.

The sackbut player’s grand entrance,
He held the cherished artifact.
A gasp rose from the audience,
A spellbound fascination.

But where to seat the sackbut? –
The dilemma of this age.
Among the flutes? … one flautist, though
Did flaunt his aggravation.

The maestro wildly waved his arms.
Musicians readied for their song.
An upbeat, first …the downbeat, next,
Con brio orchestration.

At center stage the player stood,
His instrument, he cradled.
The string he plucked was rusted through
And snapped from oxidation.

‘Twas the middle of the coda,
A shocked silence filled the hall.
The sackbut player’s starched white shirt
Was drenched with perspiration.

A flush crept up the maestro’s face
His anger …seven times hotter.
A handkerchief cooled down his brow
And saved him from cremation.

The sackbut player’s head hung down.
The flautist glowered, showed contempt.
And through a sneer he snidely said,
“Don’t quit your day vocation.”

When it was feared the song had failed
Sackbutist’s fingers slowly plucked
The fragile sole-surviving string,
Grateful for preservation.

A mellow note, melodious,
It soared and drifted ‘round the hall.
Not heard for three millennia,
This musical sensation.

The audience burst out, jumped up,
With accolades and praises.
Down in their seats they plunked again
For encore’s presentation.

But with profuse applause, a draft.
The music drifted off the stands,
The hasty grab for music sheets
Left discombobulation.

In the confusion, songs were swapped,
The parts redistributed.
Musicians puzzled o’er new notes—
A heart-sick palpitation.

The flautist’s shock showed in his eyes,
He blamed the sackbut player,
And in derision hurled at him
A frothed expectoration.

Despite the classics’ muddle
And the mixed-up sour notes,
The sackbut’s voice resounded
To the listeners’ elation.

Moonlight Sonata, Ode to Joy,
The jumbled songs’ cacophony.
Anachronistic re-debut,
A modern fascination.

One thing the world may never know,
Did “Sackbut’s Ode Sonata”
Cause Beethoven to roll over?
There’ll be no exhumation.

It is believed that the “sackbut” of Biblical times (Daniel 3—KJV)
was a triangular stringed musical instrument. It is also translated “lyre.”
written for a writing challenge
inspiration from:
Daniel 3:5
That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp,
sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick,
ye fall down and worship the golden image that
Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up. (King James Version)