Friday Fictioneers — Yumi and the Gods

This week’s photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers, courtesy of Ted Strutz, brought to mind one of my poems (a secret favourite of mine) that I published on my blog a couple of years ago. The poem isΒ a progressive haiku centred around the phases of the moon and contains the names of two Japanese Shinto deities: Tsukuyomi the Moon God, and Amaterasu the Sun Goddess. I’ve sandwiched this poem between two short pieces of prose, producing a story within a story.

For newcomers to Friday Fictioneers, the challenge requires you to produce a story of 100 words (maximum).Β It’s worth noting that according to WordPress and to my word processor, compound adjectives and nouns count as one word and not two, although only if you hyphenate them. As a Brit, I love hyphens πŸ˜‰


The ghost-ferry headed for the shore, each of its passengers’ experiences unique en route to the afterlife and dependent upon their main focus at the moment of their taking.

Yumi was looking heavenward…

under cutglass stars
she dreams of Tsukuyomi
new moon love potion

nocturnal circus
leg draped over crescent moon
girl hangs upside down

gibbous halfway house
shadow night crickets gossip
she needs sedating

full moon tree-trunk spin
naked dancing on silver
she coruscates dew

blackbird sings her home
waning moon ambushed by dawn

The gods awarded Yumi first prize for her dream and allowed her to live.


To read other Friday Fictioneers’ stories for this week, or to add a 100-word story of your own, please click on the blue frog below.

Author: Sarah Potter Writes

Sarah is a British eccentric who writes offbeat fiction, haiku and tanka poetry. When stuck for words, she sketches or paints instead. She's into nature conservation, sustainability, gardening, dogs, natural health, and reading. Her sociability is something that happens in short bursts with long breathing spaces in between.

55 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers — Yumi and the Gods”

  1. One of your best pieces of work. I absolutely loved this…and good to know, hyphenated words are just one word. πŸ™‚ Have a tremendously talented Thursday, Sarah!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, Bill. Thank you, so much. You’ve left me smiling from ear to ear πŸ™‚ As for the hyphenated words, I know that some US readers on forums have complained about the British love of hyphens. Also, a little while back I entered a Reader’s Digest flash fiction competition that refused to count hyphenated compound words as one! Wishing you a fabulous Thursday πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I love this for so many reasons! I’ve always found it interesting that the Japanese moon and sun gods are male and female respectively; it’s not only the opposite of the western mythological traditions, it’s counter to the concept of yin and yang. I like the way Japanese mythology turns a lot of things topsy-turvy. And speaking of which, the nocturnal circus girl is aces. πŸ™‚ As is “she coruscates dew”…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so glad you loved this, Sunshine πŸ™‚ I’m fascinated by so many things about Japan and, being a quirky person, it appeals to me in particular that their mythology turns a lot of things topsy-turvy. One of my neighbours spent time teaching English out in Japan and has written and published both fiction and non-fiction books about the country. Her chapter about Japanese graveyards in the non-fiction book was one of the most intriguing things I’ve read. Here’s a link to her author page on, if you’re interested to check out her books

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Sarah,

    I love what you’ve done. Lyrical and visual piece. As for hyphenated words…they do add more bang for the buck, don’t they? Beautifully written, my friend.



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Scott πŸ™‚ When I first started my blog, I only posted haiku. Since then, it has expanded to include other things, but haiku is still my first love and I do a regular feature titled “Monday Morning Haiku”, the purpose of which is to uplift and inspire people at the start of the week. Occasionally I post tanka poetry, too. I will check out some of your haiku and your FF story for this week.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Miles πŸ™‚ I think when I created that progressive haiku, it was under the possession of the literary muses, or perhaps the full-moon! I love it when I awake from such a possession to read over something and think, did I write that?


  4. what a wonderful poem. You had me looking up words, which I love when poets make me do that . You had me reading the work several times over. I was struck by the imagery of the line “leg draped over crescent moon” and “girl hangs upside down”. After looking up coruscates, I was dazzled by the image of “she coruscates dew.” Whoopee! And then silly me. I read the other reader’s comment that these were haiku, which I missed completely – which gives the work another wonderful level of appreciation. Kudos.

    I did not read your introduction first, which helps explain – but I’m not sure I would have really appreciated it until after I read your poem and then went back to read it which is how I did it..

    Very, very, very, very nice..
    Thank you.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Randy, for your lovely long comment and for your huge enthusiasm for my haiku πŸ™‚

      I adore the word “coruscates”. Unfortunately, there seems to be a great movement afoot to dumb down the English language, which seems very sad to me. We’re so often told not to use a complex word where a simpler one exists. Obviously writers can’t have their readers reaching for the dictionary to look up every other word, but many beautiful words will be lost forever if nobody uses them, especially when it comes to poetry.

      All best wishes,


      1. I don’t subscribe to the theory that you should use a simple word rather than a more complex one. it’s not just a matter of dumbing down, it’s a matter of poetic complexity/literary complexity, and finding the right word to convey the message. But yes, many beautiful words would be lost – while on the other side of the coin, I don’t believe in ignoring every day language if it, too, conveys the necessary voice or meaning.


        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Inese. I’m pleased to have surprised you with the ending πŸ™‚ This author was surprised by it, too. I love it when my characters grab my literary steering wheel and drive my writing on a journey with an unexpected destination!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe you will. And sometimes my characters in flash fiction have ended up in novels. That’s when a character really won’t let go of me. I even end up dreaming about them, which is fine, as long as they’re not the scary ones!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I adored this, Sarah and, like Randy, so pleased when I have to look up a word (and better yet, make my readers look one up!)
    I think iI read this four times in all, allowing the words to envelop me. So beautifully done.
    To think I get to hang around such talent….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚ No, I haven’t consciously done haibun, although possibly have accidentally, guided by my creative Muse! I’ll do some research into it and check it out at dVerse. I just read a haibun by Basho (with its English translation) . It’s quite wonderful, don’t you think?
      Most Mondays, I post a haiku, but there’s no reason why I couldn’t alternate it with a haibun, if the spirit moves. That being said, I won’t be able to participate in November, as I’m going to have my first go with NaNoWriMo, although am not too sure if I can slam out a first draft of a novel in so short a space of time, as I’m normally a very slow and pedantic writer, but hey, ho, why not? There’s plenty of time for editing afterwards.


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