Day Moon

“What kind of a name is that?”
“A nickname. They used to call like that my grandfather’s sister. She died young.”
“How young?”
“I don’t know exactly. Around twenty.”
“We are all going to die.”
“Except God.”
“I guess.”
“Can you tie my shoes, please? Double knot.”

pear blossom…
we turn on the sprinklers
ignoring the wind

credits: Frogpond 39:2, 2016
© Tzetzka Ilieva, 2016


The Party

Mrs. Thyrel showed up first. She has been limping ever since her human became a widow, and over time, as a result of that constant dragging, her right leg grew so long that even the other shadows couldn’t help themselves and stared each time when she was crossing a fence, waiting for the limb to get tangled with the chain links and for Mrs. Thyrel to start screaming. 
Everybody was a bit scared of the way she would scream and Ezcra was no exception. She kept all of her eyes open until the last inch of the shadow came on this side. Only then she smiled, “Dear Mrs. Thyrel, I am so glad that you could come.”

night crickets —
discussing love
in no way easier

©Tzetzka Ilieva, 2016

Construction Zone

You know that your neighborhood church is doing just fine when it buys the adjacent lot and starts flattening whatever tree, bush or grass grows there into extra parking space. The church never expands the main building (or the cemetery, for that matter), only the parking. I guess, I can see the logic here and I can imagine God with His smartphone, looking upon us, counting parking spots and clicking “likes”.

that teenage spark
in the priest’s eyes…
black locust

©Tzetzka Ilieva, 2016

Intelligence Genes

Her one hundred eighty-eighth birthday was on a Thursday. She didn’t feel like celebrating, but her mom loved parties. And it was “a lucky number, dear, we have to invite as many guests as we can to share the luck.” Yep, her mom knew exactly what to say when she wanted something.

Ezcra stretched a branch, shook off the night dust, collected on the midribs, and opened the first eye.

september light tendril through the letters of a wind vane

©Tzetzka Ilieva, 2016

Brought on Hummingbird Wings

The battery is almost dead, so I stop and remove the bit. Forty seven! Man, those were a lot of holes for a small drill like ours!

Wanna turns on the water. We wash the shells one by one. We don’t speak. It’s ridiculous, I know, but I have this fear that the sound will disperse the faint scent of sea coming from the bucket.

Wanna unrolls the hose, and I spray the concrete under the working table.

full summer moon
we take down
the sign “beyond repair”

Years later, I publish an article about the risks of inhaling white dust.

©Tzetzka Ilieva, 2016

getting into character

while i was working on my gig about the auspicious number eight one of my twitter followers unfollowed me so i’m back to seven which is also a good number but not nearly as good as eight you’ll never hear anyone talking about a noble sevenfold path and i don’t want to change religions right just now because it’s still a difficult subject in my house especially for my husband who barely got over the shock of learning that our son defined our family at school as buddhist and turning christian again i don’t know what it will do to him

comedy central –
when he used to be
my opening act

©Tzetzka Ilieva, 2016


It’s funny how we learn to live with holes: simple, non-metaphorical, mind-the-edges, get-me-a-flashlight, put-something-under, we-can’t-invite-people-for-Easter holes…Anyway, the plumber promised to stop by next Tuesday.

small animal cage –
the variety of colors
in a chew-proof life

©Tzetzka Ilieva, 2016
Credits: Failed Haiku, May 2016

The Weight of All Things Light

It’s in days like this that I want to get rid of my shadow. And please, don’t think that I’m talking about some unconscious dark side of my soul or some deep unresolved feelings. Absolutely not. I go to a very nice (and relatively cheep) doctor for this. She asks questions about my childhood and my womanhood, about my first friends and my last friends, and I especially enjoy explaining why lately I don’t have any friends. I like how her face breaks out of the mirror-trained stillness during the moments when she thinks I’m not looking.

No, I don’t want to get rid of this “shadow” of mine. It’s the real one that I don’t want to see.  The one that after a 10 000 step walk enters the garage before me and just stands there, in full size, threatening to crush my kid’s bike.

distant thunder…
a maple leaf gets caught
by the photo eye

©Tzetzka Ilieva, 2016


“You know, we’ve reached this point where every time when I say something, he thinks I am criticizing him and every time when he speaks I think he deliberately chooses his words to make me mad. It’s like we are this old, trapped in our boredom couple, that doesn’t believe in divorce and keeps on riding the same battered carousel again and again, ignoring the peels of discolored paint and the rust on the poles.”

“Then don’t talk to him. He has his own house, you have yours. Why do you, guys, meet at all?”

“There’s no one else, that’s why. Dana passed away last spring. Ivan moved with his son. The young family, that used to rent your uncle’s house, just left one day, gave the keys to Dana, God rest her soul, and left. It’s me and him now…for better or worse…”

inside jokes
the boy winks and takes
a big bite of the apple

©Tzetzka Ilieva, 2016

The Peach Sapling

It sprouted unnoticed in the shade of the tall trees. A dense patch of periwinkle around it served as a protection against the ever-curious squirrels. For years, the people from the house did not seem to care, but when the first pink flowers showed up, the woman with the camera came to see them up close. She was hovering under the branches for a while, zooming in, zooming out, at times kneeling, at times rising to her tiptoes.

sudden shower –
the glisten of tiny seashells
on the garden pathway

Months passed. Leaves began to fall at the end of August. Light made its way deeper in the woods. A passing hummingbird got the attention of the children, who rushed to get out a feeder and while looking for the forgotten pole, found the blushing peaches.

bread upon waters –
the understanding smile
of a terracotta frog


©Tzetzka Ilieva, 2016