1. Hello Lauren,

      Looks like I missed your comment. Sorry. Blush.

      You’re right – our reaction reveals us.

      Thank you for the kind words, re poem and photo.


      Our actions reveal
      Step on or over the twig
      So we shall be judged

      The news shook the NGO community. Under the guise of helping refugees in Sierra Leone, Dr Rom Welsh, the foremost advocate against blood diamonds, had been sending people to work in the minefields.

      As he was taken to a police van on his way to serve jail time, a reporter posed a pointed a question.

      ‘The only mistake I made was, I got caught,’ said Welsh.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

      1. No worries, Eric, I’ve done that many times. 🙂 Great response haiku – love “step on or over the twig” and awesome story, as always. Yep, getting caught seems to be the most frequent mistake. Sending Monday hugs, my friend…

    1. Thank you, I appreciate it 🙂

      World in a mad rush
      Too busy to smell flowers
      Lives crushed underfoot

      It was Pieter’s third week in hospital and first day in the general ward after the motor accident. It had taken ten units of blood transfusion during the first twenty-four hours in A&E, and a dozen operations over ten days to save his life.

      Though his body was stiff and he continued to experience sudden shots of pain, he found enough strength to voice his outrage.

      ‘No one, not a single motorist stopped to help me,’ said Pieter. ‘There I was trapped in my mangled car and bleeding profusely and people either drove past or worst, were keener to capture videos on their handphones.’

      The old man lying upright on the neighbouring bed smiled.

      ‘Do I know you?’ asked Pieter. ‘You look familiar.’

      ‘Dr Pieter Neumann, Wilhelm Dorfstraße?’ said the old man.

      ‘Yah, yah, that’s me and you are?’

      ‘We were next door neighbours once,’ said the old man. ‘You must remember the day my dear wife died.’

      Pieter went silent and his face dropped long.

      ‘She suffered a heart attack and I knocked on your door,’ said the old man.

      The old man’s eyes grew wet and he turned and faced away.

      Pieter had refused to help. By the time the ambulance arrived, the old woman had died.

      When questioned by the media, Pieter had pointed to his lack of medical indemnity insurance coverage.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. Hello Ina, my dear,

      Now, your comment impressed me no end. And I kid you not, for you gave me much to reflect. Thank you!

      All good wishes,

      A pin prick in space
      Amidst awesome work of God
      I am one with Him

      Damien encountered a liminal sensation, the release of gravity. He was in a realm free of matter and hence devoid of all gravitational tugs. Without the restraints of gravity from celestial bodies and hence the need to manoeuvre around obstacles, he barrelled into the Cosmos at speeds unknown to man.

      ‘Welcome to the Cosmos,’ said his Mentor, his telepathic voice soothing and assuring.

      His Mentor was next to him, around him, and in him. Damien grappled with the vastness of the Cosmos, and if not for his Mentor’s presence, he would have gone raving mad.

      ‘I’m no more than a speck, and even less,’ said Damien. He had not given voice to the words but had telepathically transmitted his thoughts.

      ‘And yet, without you, without every speck, the Cosmos will be incomplete.’

      [An extract from my work-in-progress novel, Fallen Grace.]

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. Hello Celestine dear,

      Glad that you thought so—many interpretations, eh 🙂

      I’ve a twisted take on this haiku. See the flash fiction below.


      Too much to master
      Seek one subject expertise
      Footprints left behind

      At sixteen, Adika saw himself as a deep thinking man.

      He spent much time alone, immersing himself in forest walks. He gazed at trees and birds and little creatures that scurried and crawled. He found meanings and new interpretations in the ordinary, be it a rock or a thin stream of gurgling water, or a fallen leaf.

      One day he spotted a twig on the leafy path. It looked ordinary enough and yet there was something enchanting about it. He reached down and picked it up.

      That evening, the search party from the village found Adika lying dead.

      His hand, which had a grotesque swell, bore the unmistakable punctures of fangs.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

  1. The broken twig in our life journey, holds the entire ecosystem of our mind, heart and soul. We can use them as lessons that watered, nourished and create new form of thoughts in our continuing route.

    Love the beautiful picture, Eric.

    1. Hello Windy,

      You’re right. Each broken twig in our lives yields several lessons. It’s up to us to use the powers of god given discernment to build our life experiences and progress.

      But there are many—the vast majority, I believe—who having experienced broken twigs, do not learn. For them, the broken twigs remain no more than broken twigs; until the tree falls down on them, and by then it’s all over.

      Thank you, it’s an old picture that I’ve reused.


      Life’s joys and sorrows
      Each event brims with lessons
      Classroom stays empty

      Ezra almost missed his flight. He had overlooked the time difference between Jakarta and Singapore.

      He put in a call for a taxi, hurriedly packed and checked out of his hotel. Along the way he slipped some money to the driver to get him to go faster. He ransomed his safety, the safety of the taxi driver, and the safety of the other road users.

      But he was fortunate. The driver fetched him to the airport safely and Ezra, hearing his name repeated over the public address system–it was last call– managed to catch his flight

      He returned home and recounted the harrowing taxi ride to his wife. She was aghast by his behaviour and reminded him to always check and recheck his flight details.

      On another trip, this time from Australia, he presented himself at the check-in counter and was told that he had missed his flight. The departure time was at 1.30 am. Ezra thought it was 1.30 pm.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. Hello Ian,

      I too hope for the best but fear that the importance of “self” at the expense of others is gaining traction by the day.

      Have a great weekend,

      Awareness a start
      Sunset sinks resolutions
      New day sees new hope

      The sheikdom owed its existence to petrodollars.

      Individuals, who were enterprising and favoured, secured business licences, grew fabulously rich, and became a society unto themselves. Their European cars came complete with gold plated hubs and gold fitted cabins.

      To outdo one another, they lavished gold and diamond trinkets even on their pets. And these pets were the most eclectic and exotic animals in the world. Cheetahs were a status symbol and soon there were more than 1,000 of these supposedly docile beasts in the city-state of one million people.

      But religious rivalries, stoked by foreign interests, led to civil war and the country split into opposing camps. An entire generation had grown up unable to fend for themselves and many ended in refugee camps within the country.

      The exotic pets, neglected by their owners who had fled to London, Paris, and the Riviera, escaped into the streets.

      First, the dogs and cats disappeared, and next the small herd of local livestock. Then, people were taken. Panic spread in the refugee camps.

      Because of the constant fighting and the inability to secure ceasefires, the sporadic attempts by several warring parties to cull the animals failed.

      ‘But the UN estimates about 1,000 cheetahs had been killed,’ said the talk show anchor. ‘Surely the problem with the local wildlife is history.’

      ‘Over the last three years, more than 300,000 people died in the civil war and many were left unburied. Several thousand of these people had succumbed to animal attacks,’ said the expert.

      ‘What are you saying, professor?’ asked the anchor.

      ‘Where there is abundant food, the next thing animals do is procreate,’ said the expert.

      ‘What do you mean, professor?’ asked the anchor.

      ‘No one knows for sure how many cheetahs, lions, and leopards are out there. I mean, the wild has reclaimed the jungle.’

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. Thank you, Seyi

      All good wishes for the weekend 🙂

      Seeking for the truth
      Revealed in common discards
      No big names attached

      Rahul was an avid jogger and a familiar figure on the forest path frequented by other runners. Whenever he came upon a fallen branch or even a twig, he would stop, pick it up, and toss it to the side.

      His actions did not go unnoticed and at the rest stand, another jogger, Amir, approached him.

      ‘What you do is civic conscious,’ said Amir, ‘but stopping and restarting like that, drains one’s energy no. In any case, people easily get onto the side of the path and avoid the branches.’

      ‘Oh, just doing my bit to save some lives,’ said Rahul, with a shrug.

      ‘That’s a little too dramatic, no,’ said Amir. ‘Perhaps you prevent a fall and some little bruise, but saving lives?’

      On the run back, Rahul stopped at another fallen twig and picked it up. He snapped the twig and showed it to Amir. The latter’s face brightened.

      The following day, Amir was spotted stopping to pick up twigs and carefully placing them by the side of the wooded path.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. That’s a neat haiku, Colin, and thematic too.

      Thank you for sharing,

      Straight lines infinite
      Eternity a circle
      Man sees horizon

      The Tibetan campaign over, the Mongol army disbanded and small groups of warriors trekked back home.

      ‘I’m a god and so are you,’ said Dzhambul.

      It was a dark cold night and the men, having stopped for the night, huddled near the open fire.

      ‘And how much airag have you drank?’ said Gantulga.

      Dzhambul gave a sharp wet sneeze.

      ‘Did you see that?’ asked Dzhambul.

      ‘No, I was busy covering my bowl.’

      ‘That spray of mucus held much life within,’ said Dzhambul. ‘And the time it took for the mucus to fell and perish in the flames was an eternity for the beings that lived within.’

      ‘Beings living in your secretion?’ said Gantulga. ‘Truly you are possessed.’

      Dzhambul took a long draught of airag and belched. He said,

      ‘That’s what the Tibetan monk said, before I slit his throat.’

      ‘Monks possess magical powers. And yet you were unafraid?’ said Gantulga.

      ‘If he was nothing more than a being existing in some slippery shit, he can’t be that powerful.’

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

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