Flash Literature, Poetry, Art and Photography!

Two From Avis Hickman - Gibb


Veil Wearing For Beginners



From my rooftop garden, I watch the purple dusk roll over the city.  One by

one, home lights are lit - like fireflies in the evening light; orange jewels

flickering in the hazy rays of the swollen red sun as it dips below the horizon.

Finally, the heat of the day is sinking down into the earth.  It seems peaceful

-an oasis of calm. 


I remember back to the eager smiling faces, glad to see us.  Liberating.  Their

sun-browned faces peeping out in enquiry; untried, untested; determined. 


That was five years ago.   


Peace was within our grasp, we were told.  Violence would be past, they said.

Freedom would be brought about, but only through a righteous shedding of

blood it seems; proportional response.  Now when our paths cross in the

street, the gaze back from under their protective helmets is sullen and wary:  


Do I look as though I may be carrying a bomb?  Maybe there’s one under my

hijab?  Can’t they read the sadness filling my eyes?


Mistrust breeds distrust, and sows the seeds of doubt.   


It seems our course forward is unmade and pitted with dozens of unseen

potholes.  I just want my homeland whole again.  I can only stand - helpless –

and watch events unfold from behind my new burqa; I wear it for protection

now.  Before, I needed nothing to separate me from my fellows. 



So - this is progress, then?


Basra, 2008





On The Head Of A Pin



My hub has always been a spot for celebrations.  Down through the centuries, the eons, this has been a place for joyous thanks; contentment,

happy memories, future dreams.


No sadness enters here – this place of my tribe - only heart felt rejoicing to the ancestors; for a good harvest, a safe delivered babe, an easy passing to the next world, a summer solstice dawn.


Simple joys for simple folk.


My edges may have been obscured at times, and perhaps I may sometimes have fallen into patchy disuse for lengthy periods.  But a core has remained

true, and my people dip in and out, over the long ribbon of entropy. 


What waits beyond the visible - truly, who can tell?  But a place steeped in the joys and dreams of the people of my tribe, eases the waiting; with that comes  belonging.


Majestically, the world turns on the head of a pin.


AVIS HICKMAN-GIBB lives in rural Suffolk, England. She gained a BSc. in Environmental Chemistry more years ago than she cares to admit and worked in the fledgling computer industry whilst still a babe-in-arms.

She is currently working on a book of short stories and is addicted to writing flash fiction. She's had stories published in a wide selection of magazines. You can read more of her stories by following the links at:


Veil Wearing For Beginners: The situation in Iraq is of concern to us all.

On The Head Of A Pin: Everyone should have a special place.