The Poet – Six Sentence Story

Copyright Jenne Gray



I’m gonna live forever…

I am honoured to be included in this year’s edition of Scotland’s Stories by the Scottish Book Trust.

For today’s Launch of Book Week Scotland 75,000 (SEVENTY-FIVE THOUSAND) copies of the book will be distributed to schools, libraries and folk across Scotland.

Click here to read and listen to The Blue Car:


This challenge is produced by GirlieOnTheEdge with the following simple rules:
Write 6 Sentences. No more. No less.
Use the current week’s prompt word – BRANCH

Click here to hear the author read his words (with sound effects by Jenne Gray):

The Poet

She is a poet, a musician and, most of all, a fighter, and she lives in a small second-floor apartment in, quite appropriately, the tiny Place de Frédéric Mistral, which is just large enough for her to park her bicycle beside the platane, as a plane tree is known locally.

Every time I visit her I am fascinated by this tree, because each leaf on each branch vibrates to the jostling, twittering, fluttering of myriad songbirds whose voices fill the evening air with music that not even a symphony orchestra could match and that she claims, with a smile, is their response to her own guitar-accompanied singing.

The poet’s only fault is her courage, because her words scream very public defiance at the occupying authorities, who eventually decide she must be silenced.

Soldiers in black drag her from her home, bind her to the tree, and summarily execute her in front of her horrified neighbours.

I am in La Rue de la Gare when I hear the deafening crash of gunfire, and arrive breathless to the terrible sight of her broken body still held upright by the ropes, and to the dreadful absence of any whisper of sound in the square.

Sobbing neighbours and sneering riflemen watch as I cut her loose and cradle her one last time in my arms before, stumbling towards her home, blinded by tears, I become aware that the walls vibrate once again with the singing of the birds.

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33 Responses to The Poet – Six Sentence Story

  1. clark says:

    A tragic tale sung simple.

    Your filigree of setting and sound and emotion transforms that which, unfortunately is not a unique circumstance, into a story only the most stone-hearted Reader could resist.

    (Dude! Surely the single most magical of words, among those of us who would create worlds out of words and stories out of dreams, ‘Published’! Whether first or 21st, to have a work presented to the world at large… two words: Damn!*)

    * a compliment, of course, of the first water.


  2. Could be a story written as an epitaph to Mahsa Amini, the Iranian woman beaten and killed for not wearing her hijab. Very eloquently written.


  3. UP says:

    love the poem


  4. Bridgette says:

    Hearing you read this beautiful poem brought me to tears. So tragic and vivid.


  5. A blindingly beautiful yet tearfully tragic piece worthy this great honor bestowed upon you. Took my breath away.


  6. A tale of mixed emotions. Her spirit will forever remain.


  7. Spira says:

    First, congratulations are in order for not only a publication but for this specific one!

    I dare say that (in addition to what Jenne said) your story is a worthy bearer of the ancient Hellenic concept of Tragedy.
    Μπράβο! 👏


  8. That was absolutely brutal, and very well done. Love the imagery here.


  9. Congratulations to you on the publication of the story as well as an excellent, very sad six.


  10. Truly beautiful tragedy, CE. You are in finely gifted form and I tug on the brow of me Akubra.


  11. Frank Hubeny says:

    Beautifully told. Congratulations on the publication!


  12. ceayr. Damn! Jenne is on the money. Your Six requires multiple chapeaux!
    Nice touch with the opening/closing sound effects of the birds.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. dorahak says:

    Congratulations, C. E. Truly a well-deserved honor. And I loved the sound effects for this one by Jenne. What teamwork!
    ~ Dora


  14. jenne49 says:

    And the reading accompanied by the birdsong is a perfect presentation of the story.
    In six sentences you take us through beauty and passions to tragedy – and that final introduction of the birdsong vibrating again to close the circle of the story.
    This is true C. E. Ayr magic.

    Congratulations too on your story appearing in this year’s volume of Scotland’s Stories.
    I think you need a couple of your famous chapeaux!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. ladysighs says:

    Maybe she was just off tune…. I’ve been threatened to be dragged out to the garbage bin for that offense.


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