Water Wheel Dreams

Sue's Water Wheel

There have been a few writing prompts that I’ve missed this past week, including this one from Sue at The Daily Echo, for which the deadline was yesterday. Sue shared this lovely photo of an abandoned water mill, and challenged us to write something to go with it.

Even though I missed the deadline I ended up writing something, as I thought Sue’s photo was so evocative. And here it is:

Once we turned, the river and I. Rushing, foaming, past walls of stone, as the great grindstones turned like teeth in a giant’s jaw. Dust floating on the wind, chaff blown like fairy breath across the water as men called and women worked, the wooden floors groaning with grain.

Now we are silent, the river and I. No water to turn me, I am bound with green, while stone turns to dust and the fields lie fallow where once was grain. Yet sometimes, when the days are cool and the air just right, I dream of water, of blue, of an endless torrent.

And I turn again, though only in a dream.

I hope you don’t mind that this is a little bit late, Sue! πŸ™‚

If you’d like to see some other responses to this prompt, visit Sue’s blog.

 

39 thoughts on “Water Wheel Dreams

      1. It does matter. There was nothing absurd about it, it was simply beautiful writing. I wish there was an editing function for comments. I do try and edit all my comments before I press send, but sometimes I don’t spot the bloopers till it’s too late.

      2. Yes, I’ve had that happen to me too – I’m the same with my phone/IPad changing things, or sending the comment before I’ve finished writing it πŸ˜€ I once sent a message to a friend commiserating about her having gastro, and my phone changed it to ‘gastronomique’ (which we both agreed was actually far more elegant). Another one is replacing ‘birthday’ with ‘broth day’. Because that’s a thing, obviously…

      3. Oh, I know how you feel πŸ™‚ Maybe we can make it a new thing – once you hit a certain age it’s a broth day, rather than a birthday, and the numbers don’t count any more.

  1. I love your story (prose poem?). And there’s something about the photo that grabs me – it pulls me into a time long gone. And makes me think of one of my yet-to-be-edited novels, which I really ought to get back to!

    1. Ooh, another novel? Perhaps after Camp NaNo…
      And thank you, I thought the photo was great and the writing just sort of, fell out of my fingertips. One of those nice moments where you have flow…

      1. Ha, that’s very practical thinking! And also, where is the nearest hardware store, for all the stuff you’d need to fix it up? Although here most things are not too far away πŸ™‚

  2. This passage is exquisite, Helen. Lyrical and poetic and evocative. I’m going to copy it down, if you don’t mind, and pin it to my board to remind me of how I want my paragraphs to sound!

    1. Wow, Louise, that is a big honour – please do copy and pin however you like! Thanks so much πŸ™‚
      I’ve recently had a bit of a writing breakthrough in terms of style, so it’s nice to see it being enjoyed. I wouldn’t go back and change Oak and Mist, though I think subsequent books in the series will be more lyrical in tone.

      1. We’re continually developing as writers, aren’t we? In my own novel, I think there’s a noticeable difference in style from the beginning of my novel to the end as I’ve developed as a writer. Which is good, in a way, because it means I’ve improved, but I’ll have to smooth it over!

      2. Yes, it’s definitely a good thing, and a tangible record of our evolution as an artist. I was talking to my brother about it (he’s a musician) and he’s had the same experience – there are things in some of his early albums he says he’d like to change, but he hasn’t because he feels they show where he was at that time.
        However, I can understand you wanting to smooth over the transition in a single piece of work, definitely!

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