The Story Teller

Her clan’s scheherazade.
Last in her lineage,
skilled by birthright
in the ancient art.

She follows the stars.
Finds her way,
village by village
to listen, to tell.

Stories they share
of birth, death, harvest,
and ceremonial hunts.
All grace her plots.

Mitochondrial details
events infused by voice,
sadness, daily banter, and joy.
Emotional spectrum wide and deep.

She the vessel of tales,
ewer of their heritage.
She is their story teller,
the carrier of life.

Written for my almost 11-year-old granddaughter who decided we should start the year with the same prompt word, “scheherazade,” meaning storyteller. Also penned for dVerse where Paul hosts today, with the word “grace” for a prompt. Apologies in advance to all who read and comment — it may take a while to respond as we embark today on a 34 day journey to S. America and Antarctica! 


37 thoughts on “The Story Teller

  1. mandibelle16 January 2, 2018 / 1:05 pm

    Neat word. I thought it was German at first, then the definition I was given by Apple was that this was an Arabic Word that was the storyteller of ‘Arabian Nights’ or in more general terms, a storyteller. Your granddaughter is very smart. I enjoyed this poem a great deal and hope this art and vital part of this society can continue
    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 2, 2018 / 5:59 pm

      Thank you for the thoughtful reading and comment! Truly appreciated. In a way, as Bjorn mentions, perhaps we who enjoy writing poetry, and sharing, are the storytellers of the modern age!
      Happy 2018!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Victoria C. Slotto January 2, 2018 / 2:41 pm

    Oh, so cool. I love the whole storyteller icon, so to speak. I have a clay Indian storyteller in my work space here in Reno, and another incredibly beautiful one my parents had in their, now our, Palm Desert home. You have done a wonderful job with this one. Your niece is exceptional.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 2, 2018 / 6:02 pm

      Thank you so very much, Victoria. I’d love to see your storytellers!
      Since I’ve always been fascinated with communication, the ways of passing on “news” and family lore in the days before the press, telephone, and social media fascinate me. I suspect I am one of the very few left who enjoys writing letters😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) January 2, 2018 / 2:55 pm

    I love the tradition of storytelling.. maybe the birth of poetry is really in the oral tradition of telling stories… the best way to remember a story is to remember the rhythm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 2, 2018 / 6:04 pm

      Stella’s fifth grade class has a poetry slam at their school. Many of the children read their own poems. I LOVE the idea of an elementary school encouraging, as you say, the oral tradition of poetry.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. kim881 January 2, 2018 / 3:07 pm

    What a coincidence! Kristjaan, over at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, has just started 1001 Nights Prompts. My first haiku was about Scheherazade!
    I love the way your poem tells her story and the lines:
    ‘She the vessel of tales,
    ewer of their heritage.
    She is their story teller,
    the carrier of life’.
    Have an exciting and eventful but safe trip, lovely Lill! I look forward to reading your updates.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 2, 2018 / 6:07 pm

      Ah the serendipity that crackles between you and I, Kim!😊 Glad you enjoyed this one.
      And yes, I’m looking forward to the muse of travel. We’ll be five days first in Valparaiso, Chile before we board the ship. Valparaiso is a UNESCO World Heritage site and known for its street art. I’m sure our walks will be slowed by me stopping to photograph the street art!
      Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

      • kim881 January 3, 2018 / 2:09 am

        Have a great trip, Lilll!


  5. paul scribbles January 2, 2018 / 3:12 pm

    Love the word and the theme that unfolds. Can’t beat a good story. Have happy travels.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 2, 2018 / 6:08 pm

      Thank you, Paul. Glad you enjoyed and yes…very excited to have the travel muse motivating me again!


  6. Gospel Isosceles January 2, 2018 / 3:25 pm

    You’re sharing prompts with your granddaughter! What a special way to bond, I hope you continue doing so throughout the year and beyond. And this poem is so uplifting. I love “mitochondrial details”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 2, 2018 / 6:10 pm

      Stella and I really enjoy sharing prompts and writing for each other! Her poem for this word will be posted on my site on Thursday afternoon. Stop by! 😊 And Happy New Year!


  7. alisonhankinson January 2, 2018 / 3:29 pm

    I like the word, and the poem and I wish you well on your journey. XXXX


    • lillian January 2, 2018 / 6:11 pm

      Many thanks, Alison. In Houston airport now on layover. We have an overnight flight to Chile✈😊

      Liked by 2 people

  8. kanzensakura January 2, 2018 / 3:48 pm

    My mother was our Scheherazade. All of those stories, gone, remembered by just us three women left of the family. I love that you and granddaughter share the prompts. What a wonderful tradition. Be safe on your trip. Best wishes and blessings to you and your precious husband in the new year and to all of those you hold dear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 2, 2018 / 6:16 pm

      Thank you, dear friend. I found a little red book for mother’s (or grandmothers) that asks questions about our childhood, holidays etc and that I filled in. I’ve done one for my son and daughter and so they’ll have the “story” of me and the “times” I lived in and my family etc. I often wish I did an oral history with my mother. I do have some of her Christmas cards with messages on them in her handwriting.
      Perhaps you and your sisters should interview each other and create the oral histories – so others will know your mom. ❤


      • kanzensakura January 2, 2018 / 9:27 pm

        My aunt’s (more like older sisters) and I often talk about mama and people in our past. I look at our old pics and name the people, who they were, what about them. It is well and truly the two sisters and I left there being no other nieces or nephews, no grandchildren. We are the end. The nurses and docs at the funeral home loved mama!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Sherry Blue Sky January 2, 2018 / 4:00 pm

    WOW! The poem itself is a wowzer. I love that your 11 year old granddaughter suggested the word, and obviously is following in your footsteps as family storyteller. And LOVE that your journey will take you to South America and Antarctica. The poems you will write! Happy travels!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 2, 2018 / 6:19 pm

      On layover now in Houston — waiting for our overnight flight to Chile.
      Glad you enjoyed this poem. I’ve always been fascinated with the “art” of communication — especially before the days of the press, phones and social media. Storytellers were key ro maintaining the oral histories of a people — if you think about it, we still do that at family gatherings…laugh over the “old stories” that are our family lore.


    • lillian January 2, 2018 / 6:20 pm

      Thank you thank you, Vivian! So very glad you enjoyed and so nice to see you here. ❤😊

      Liked by 1 person

  10. nosaintaugustine January 2, 2018 / 9:36 pm

    I love the idea of these mitochondrial details that she passes down through her storytelling dna. That’s an amazing analogy.


  11. little learner January 2, 2018 / 10:19 pm

    So much of who we are lies in the stories of our ancestors. So sad that this storytelling has been lost to much of modern man.
    Love this poem and the story behind this poem. 🙂
    Have an amazing adventure!


  12. Adda January 3, 2018 / 8:31 am

    Wonderful!! I enjoyed the many times I heard my father speak of his life and my uncle speak of his (my father’s brother). They would sit together and chat of old times, each with their own version, reminiscing of people and places. Today, as my sibs (7 of us) gather for holidays, or a gathering on the hill or the farm, I am amazed at each one’s stories. Our lives were so similar yet so not similar. Familiar stories, but told from different perspectives, each unique. And what one remembers others may have forgotten the story. We look at pictures and remember stories. Sharing history, orally, is important in my family. Such a touching poem.. ❤


  13. annell4 January 3, 2018 / 8:35 am

    I have always love the sound of that word! You trip sounds wonderful!!! I will wait for your return.


  14. Frank Hubeny January 3, 2018 / 9:34 am

    I like how she uses the stories she hears to grace her plots.


  15. Charmed Chaos January 3, 2018 / 12:10 pm

    Lovely Lillian! I wrote a Senryu yesterday with Scheherazade for Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. We are studying 1001 Arabian Nights this month.


  16. Jeff January 4, 2018 / 7:44 am

    Very well done Lillian! The art of storytelling seems to be fading–we seldom take the time to reflect on our shared journey, and cannot seem to spare the time to tell the tales. Good to know there are still some who wish to carry out the task!


  17. purplepeninportland January 4, 2018 / 9:19 am

    Storytelling was such a large part of holiday gatherings in my family. So few left now to continue, but my sister and I try to remember them and keep them alive. Have a fabulous trip, and come back bearing stories.


  18. merrildsmith January 4, 2018 / 1:26 pm

    How wonderful to share this prompt with your granddaughter! I love the idea of storytelling being passed down through DNA over generations. Wonderful poem!
    It sounds like you will have a very amazing trip! Safe travels!


  19. jazzytower January 5, 2018 / 11:03 am

    I love the whole idea of this..storeytelling by my dad was a fun part of my childhood. Nicely done☺


  20. vidyatiru January 5, 2018 / 6:45 pm

    i always loved that word.. and love how you used it here… bon voyage


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