The Hiding

(for Onweald)

By Sandy Lender


Mellada glides through the halls of the hiding

Searching the quiet and with her time biding

Her women in waiting are noiselessly crying

Under the thundering of crashes subsiding


The walls of the halls with seawater dripping

Sheltering, sweltering, saps strength from the living

But Mellada’sures them, with comforting smiling

The stones of the crone all beguiling with scrying


None see the wink, the blink passing slyly

‘tween crone and queen for the calming of lying

Searching the quiet, preparing morn’s breaking

Dreaming is passing with sighing and waking


There is calm in resigning, a peaceful abiding

Finding new life in declining the fighting

Their warriors’ deaths on the wind news is blowing

Chiming and banging, the death tolls extolling


The clanging with sunrise outside the hall’s hiding

Alarms and disturbs with a dragon force flying

The wind of his wings crashes boulders high piling

And blocking the holes to the halls of the hiding


Mellada sings through the halls of the hiding

Her voice lowly mewling from shadows soft spreading

Her women in waiting like whispers receding

Till oceans of time with their gods they’re pleading


A hush lines the still dripping halls of the hiding

Where Mellada died with her women in waiting

Their souls washed with mem’ries of saltwater sinking

And ocean rocks filt’ring their bones for the seining


Nigel’s Power

(prompt 23)

(a poem for use in Onweald; I need suggestions for a different title, of course 🙂 )

Nigel’s Power

By Sandy Lender, attributed to Nigel Taiman


A kind touch on my hand

Reminded me of you today

Soft words I could barely understand

Sounded like something you’d say


The moment caught me so off guard

When I turned to see your face

Disappointment filled me utterly

When I found emptiness in your place


Anger has followed me since

Familiar company giving me strength

The gods fear where I’ll go to get you back

And to what lengths



The Anchor of Jawll

(prompt #22 picture of the cave where the anchor resides “today” in Onweald; this poem I’ll need to edit some more (obvs) and use in a fantasy short story that supports a longer novel coming out in 2021)

The Anchor of Jawll

By Sandy Lender



In the land of Kida, the king left his bride

As was custom for family, custom for kin

He sought the gods’ favor, ‘fore ocean tide

Could overtake Kida’s outer seawall again


His task was worthy

His task was grand

For going to sea,

They stood to a man


In the land of Kida, the king left his bride

And the women she governed both fairly and kind

No maid, young or old, would dare leave her side

To protect Kida’s seawall, the women stayed by


Within their great hall

King Dlan left a gift

The anchor of Jawll

Which no man could lift


In the land of Kida, the king left his bride

And treasures among them bought them much favor

With the gods and the priests and the Ungol pride

But Queen Lelta’s loyalty never did waver


Across the deep ocean

Of seven isles

Dlan took ev’ry man

Through angriest trials


In the land of Kida, the king left his bride

The anchor of Jawll that glowed and then spoke

To judge who would threaten their ranks from inside

With this gift the queen knew who healed and who broke


Across the bleak ocean

For seven long years

With ev’ry seaman

King Dlan disappeared


In the land of Kida, the queen took her place

Using the greatest treasure of them all

Blending the peoples who would join their race

Testing their worth with the anchor of Jawll

Thankful for You

(a combination of prompts 16 & 21 for Hour 21)

By Sandy Lender


Did I tell you today how awesome you are

How much I admire and adore you


Did I tell you today how cute you are

How your every movement makes me smile


Did I tell you today your voice is a song that brings joy into my life

How each mutter is adorable


Did I tell you today how you delight me

How your presence is all I need to get through


Did I tell you today how thankful I am

How glad I am to have 19 years of memories of you


(from the hour #20 prompt)

By Sandy Lender, attributing it to Nigel Taiman in my world of Onweald


When I awoke today the suns didn’t rise

Darkness clouded every valley

I had only to pick one to fall into


When I awoke today your end was still real

Dezurine wept for our souls together

And the army of Arcana dispersed

In despair


Your quest may be mine now

And I’ll do what you’ve asked of me

Because I love you like the suns that will never rise again

And I love you like the valley clothed in darkness

Yet I grieve with the anguish of The Dragon

I could fill another river with my tears

And dip you ’neath its rapids to heal you

If it means the suns will somehow rise again

Lighting the valley left around us

So I can see when you return to me



The Yale Professor

(off of prompt #1)

By Sandy Lender


“First of all, it’s self-published,” he denounced

lifting warmed brandy to his leather lips.

His captured audience twittered obediently

while we waited for his second point of derision

watching his Adam’s apple bob above his pleated ascot


Another question from a worshiper

Another answer thick with sarcasm

Like a layer of fondant

Meant to cover a gouge

In an already leaning tier


When I could stand the sharpness of his barbed tongue no longer,

I led my friend away from the mini scene of carnage

Took Lakita to an adjoining room

Where women spoke of Michelangelo

and refractive colors in beach sunsets,

where I doubt the professor would mar his polished loafers.


I patted her wrinkled hand

Smoothed her pleated hair

Offered her champagne from tall glasses

Spoke of her successes

(of which she has many)

My reassurances—piled, towering, toppling off my side of the scale

Still weighed less than the single judgment of the orator in the room next door

And this frustrated me.

Why could she not see…

Her worth

Her value

Her perfection

Cannot be dismissed by a professor who doesn’t know her struggles

Cannot be judged by an institution mired in supremacy since its founding

Cannot be ignored by any of us eating peaches in our older years


Lakita thanked me—with her usual stoicism—for accompanying her that night

And we went out into the humid streets

Where fog wrapped ’round our feet

And we vowed to write about the reception

(Whether our words made it to the Yale University Press or not)

My Only Defense

(hour 18)

By Sandy Lender


Like sunshine streaming through clouds

…after forty days of torrential storm


Like the first absence of throbbing

…after the pounding, constant migraine


Like the gentle brush of butterfly wings

…after fire has consumed the world around us


Is the comfort of knowing you petition for me

…in the presence of our Father.



(from prompt 17)

By Sandy Lender


Having completed my poem,

I set down my pencil…

…and it rolled…

… …from the table’s edge

… … …to break on the floor…

Joshua Laid an Egg

(hour 15)

By Sandy Lender


When they’re the size of a quarter

You can’t sex turtles

So she’s been named Josh all her life

That’s thirty-two years now

Some of them better than others

Thanks to my financial highs and lows

And my understanding of turtle nutrition

She went to college with me

I joke that Josh is prob’ly the only RES with a BA

I built her a horse-trough pond in the back yard

With fencing around & above to keep out osprey

Because she’s a girl, she’s large

But still…


This spring, she produced an egg

No boy turtles involved

No winter hibernation beforehand

No special foods introduced to her diet

You can imagine my surprise

I dove into pet-turtle-owner panic

Of course…


How much calcium should I now add to her daily intake?

How much more UV light does she now require?

Why on Earth did she wait until 2020 to do this?

Or maybe it’s because of 2020

I mean…


Knowing the egg to be infertile,

I scooped it out and cleaned it up

I shall display it in a shadow box



Because my Joshua laid an egg.


1 2 3