Flash prose from George Brannen

 

Drifting the Delta

Fishes draw the man to water: the spider to the fly, the bee to the pollen, the bird to the Huckle-berry, the dog to the scent. The man is searching for fish secrets. The man wonders at the frog, the minnow, the slippery eel …the water moccasin. The alligator swims as he has swum for a millennium; an iceberg made of flesh and teeth in the savannah. Stealth – unapproachable – an omen! Consume or be consumed. The man stumbles about providing chaos. The man wants to trap time: the current moves on. He wants to catch an evolution, a vertebrate of the inherent. The Fish Hawk screeches at the man to look overboard – a reflection from that watery grave. The sturgeon jumps: a misguided missile from the depths. The log floats downstream: two turtles astride like tourists baking in the sun. The schooled shad make their way up river. The man drifts with nature. Kingfishers skim the water in harmonious ballet.

Time drifting the delta.

 

Sonoran Wind

The traveler comes – leads the horse to the well – “drink and refresh – amigo.”

Dust lays thick upon the man’s serape. The way is hard, the sun hot.

Birds of death keep watch.

Astride the splintered fence, bastard crows scream and heckle.

The Zuni ghosts laugh and taunt.

“Hombre, no mescal or women here,” the winds whisper; dust devils dance, mirages shimmer.

The shadow of the owl glides so near. A snake spirit whips among the prickly pear.

Man flesh doesn’t sweat in the Sonoran.

The scavenger’s forever vigilant air currents provide lift.

The rock mesas echo the puckish bark of the unfed.

Rock Pocket mouse is prey for the fox when the sun goes dark.

The deer fawn falls to the mountain lion if caution is lax.

White-throated rat springs – missed by the diamondback – life goes on.

The man shares existence through balance.

Only the water of the well breathes life.

The horse retreats from the giving source – sated.

The wind’s breathe kicks grit as termites dip and yawn.

A scorpion’s pincers extend and point defying intrusion.

The Zuni ghosts dance among the tumble weed.

The traveler mounts and turns.

Blowing dust will guide the way.