What Pegman Saw – Climate Change

“What Pegman saw” is a weekly challenge based on Google Streetview. Using the 360 degree view of the location provided, you must write a piece of flash fiction of no more than 150 words. You can read the rules here. You can find today’s location on this page,  from where you can also get the Inlinkz code. This week’s location is Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.

WPS - Climate Change - Kilimanjaro

Climate Change

The rice in Salimu’s field glowed emerald. Salimu leaned on his hoe and mopped his face. He frowned. There was only just enough water in the field to prevent the plants drying out. The concrete tank he’d built to catch rain was only half full. Would there be enough for two crops in the year?

When he’d started farming, it had been easy. Meltwater running from the icefields of Kilimanjaro fed a brawling river. He’d taken all the water he needed without thought, with plenty left for his neighbours. Now the river was muddy and sluggish, and Salimu was careful to take no more than he needed.

He sighed. His neighbours had suggested trickle irrigation, but it cost so much to lay the pipes. Besides, he had heard that the water shortage was going to become worse with climate change.

Even trickle irrigation needs water.

How could he carry on?

What Pegman Saw – Special Delivery

“What Pegman saw” is a weekly challenge based on Google Streetview. Using the location provided, you must write a piece of flash fiction of no more than 150 words. You can read the rules here. You can find today’s location on this page,  from where you can also get the Inlinkz code. This week’s prompt is Cloverdale, New Mexico.

WPS - Special delivery 200104

Animas, New Mexico | © Google Maps

Special delivery

Abe winds down the passenger window of the pick-up.

“Hell, it’s hot out there. And where’s the people? I thought Mexicans were pouring over the border?”

He spits out a tobacco chaw, and winds the window up again. The aircon labours.

We bounce on tyre tracks in the dried mud, baked hard like concrete, making our guns rattle in the rack. It hasn’t rained here for months.

Abe suddenly sits up.

“Hey, that looks like the place. Over there.”

He points.

“Those stones? You sure?”

“Yup.”

I shrug and pull over.

We need a pallet truck to shift our load. Sweat trickles down my face, down my back; hell, I’m pretty much sweaty all over. I bark my knuckles on the door frame as we manoeuvre the container into the deserted store.

As we drive away, Abe texts our contact in Mexico.

“1000 litres water delivered to Old Store, Cloverdale.”

 

 

In the moment – Three worlds

wp_20160127_11_48_12_richI wrote this poem late one August afternoon, sitting in the sunshine beside my fishpond. I thought about living in the moment – but which moment in which world? Sometimes, if we wish to be in the moment, we have to look beneath our surface feelings into a place that may look dark; but may, too, be a home of beauty.

Three worlds

The koi, red, black, white, metallic gold, slip through the water,

Their paths traced by slow ripples that roll across the pond

To make a panelled lattice of silver, through which the fish

Slide, now visible, now unseen,

Hide, by light, by movement.

A vine’s reflection, leaves hard-edged against

The black and silver water, seems more solid than the plant itself

As it strives sunwards from the same root in the bank.

The moment of reality shimmers.

Red, black, white, metallic gold, appear – and vanish.