Her Garden Looked Out Onto the Ocean, Hundreds of Metres Below

The strange breeze came in from the rocks and brought smells of other worlds into her home. She would drink them in and watch as her feet carried her closer to the edge of her garden every day.
The flowers she’d neglect to water would occasionally fly off into the salty air by themselves. If she was watching from the kitchen window at the right time, she would sometimes see it happen.
So it was, that on the day before her children were to visit, she stood there, at the edge of her garden with her eyes closed, until she couldn’t take it anymore and she dropped into the sea. The currents pulled her under quickly. There was no sound.

Her Garden Looked Out Onto the Ocean, Hundreds of Metres Below by 

I don’t know if this is a poem or a short story.

It’s supposed to be an anti-poem, I guess. Don’t you dare read it like a poem. Read it like prose, matter-of-factly, and with a stern male voice. No speeding up or slowing down for effect.

The idea is that I’m trying to be efficient with words, so much so that most of the story remains untold – but you should be able to imagine it yourself. Does that make sense? In point of fact, does the writing itself make any sense? Maybe give me your interpretations, and I’ll let you know whether I have failed.

I’d love to hear feedback on this, as I’m suspicious that I only think it’s good because I’m desperately tired.


poem, anti

Paul is the physical location of a collection of otherwise disparate neurons and synapses that occasionally give a convincing impression of consciousness and free will as they react to the various stimuli in their immediate surroundings in a purely mechanistic, non magical way.

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  • Natalie Tyler
    Natalie Tyleralmost 7 years ago

    I love it. It makes sense to me. She’s being drawn to somewhere she knows she belongs. I could picture her from the moment I read the title. Nice work Paul ;)

  • Thanks Natalie. As to where it is she’s being drawn, I can’t be sure. Some kind of Narnia I suppose.

    – Paul McClintock

  • Simon Sherry
    Simon Sherryalmost 7 years ago

    First impression – I like it – very efficient and evocative prose. Will have more to say once I. too, have had some sleep.

  • Sleep is the best.

    – Paul McClintock

  • Cathie Tranent
    Cathie Tranentalmost 7 years ago


    I’ve slept plenty and it reads well to me – I love the way paragraph 2 sets the scene for paragraph 3, but you don’t realise that until the end … Great

  • I glad you noticed the connection. I tried to give out the smallest amount of foreshadowing that wouldn’t be noticeable unless you already knew. The idea was that one line could explain another line somewhere else, or give off a detail that would normally require a paragraph of description on it’s own. For instance, the only hint about the woman’s age is that her children are coming to visit, so she’s at least old enough to have grown children, but also, just the fact that there is no mention of a spouse (I hope) give you the impression that she’s much older than, say, 50.

    The flowers flying off into the salty air, came in because I specifically wanted to describe her fall, but not when she fell. So applying the description to another object seemed to be the go.

    – Paul McClintock

  • jemimalovesbigted
    jemimalovesbigtedalmost 7 years ago

    Apart from you linking skills, which means I had to go in search of said writing! This is fab. A really intriguing read and most efficiently so. You have created a sense of sadness and mystery by including her waiting on her children, so automatically a story unfolds that does not need to be explained. Nice work Paul.

  • Thanks!

    But yes, my linking skills could do with a polish.

    – Paul McClintock

  • FlyAwayPeter
    FlyAwayPeteralmost 7 years ago

    Hey this is great and good and all things positive, and I should tell you in person because you’re sitting not far from me but that would be awkward and this way you get it in writing :)

  • I’ll thank you in person, instead of here.

    – Paul McClintock

  • ellejayerose
    ellejayerosealmost 7 years ago

    go you lil writer you…. such lovely visual tasty descriptive language!

  • Thanks!

    – Paul McClintock

  • tambatoys
    tambatoysalmost 7 years ago

    Yes I like it a lot as it appeals to my melancholy mood and I like there idea that its a serene suicide maybe…… and I also write but am very afraid only I think it’s good and other people will just laugh and laugh and shake their knowing heads at me lol

  • deliriousgirl
    deliriousgirlalmost 7 years ago

    Very good little story here and very reader friendly. I too like the idea of the serene suicide and the mention of the violence of the sea and the impending children’s visit seems to set the scene for it!!!
    Terrific work, keep on keepin on, dear!

  • Luckyvegetable
    Luckyvegetableover 6 years ago

    Why have I not commented on this yet??
    I was sure I had….please excuse, mister.

    I really like how economic and simple this is in terms of language, without losing detail or compromising the connection the reader feels.
    That’s the good stuff, Paul =)
    I’d love you to put up more writing.

  • madworld
    madworldabout 3 years ago

    This for me is an instant favorite for so many reasons. It was like I was reading into a mirror, you have no idea how close to the bone this is for me and my situation right now. The only difference was dropping to the sea although the romantic side of me likes the idea not to mention the drama queen side of me. A really lovely piece of writing. To the point but takes you on a path.

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