Photo Challenge: Poem – Free Verse – ” Yaya Mockingjay” #amwriting #poetry 

Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for this week’s photo challenge: 



Have you cast all your doubts? 

Decided what’s best? 

An old women has regrets, 

There is no life without them. 

It’s difficult, knowing what’s right, 

I just tried my best. 

Listened to my elders, 

As my mother always said.

But there are days I know, 

My best is not enough.

I’m pushing and pulling,

No strength in my bones. 

I’m yelling and shouting, 

But my words aren’t enough,

“We don’t speak your language Yaya.” 

My grandchildren laugh. 

They always need more,

More than dry-bones can provide. 

I feel drained and drowned, 

In lost potential. 

Yaya down and she can’t raise herself up. 

Drenched in such evil, 

Of those with no conscience;

Their knowing looks, eyes that know nothing.

They’re missing my years, my wisdom learned, 

But I’m stuck in thick sticky mud, 

And no one helps an old woman up. 

There’s no hand to help comfort Yaya, 

Her life was tough and unsparing. 

The mud is the only spa I know or ever have, 

A facial mask of sludge and worms. 

An archaic beauty mask. 

Somebody hear, what I’ve learned — listen: 

Your mistakes and your ills you repeat, 

Each day I try to tell you but it’s not enough. 

You smile at me empty eyes, 

My words pass through your ears, 

The wind blows loudly there.

What’s enough? 

Until I’ve drawn my last breath? 

Until I’m lying here still — dead, 

Knowing some journeys such as mine, 

Must be made alone and for naught. 

A solo expedition, my entire culture lost, 

Must I stay on the roads of antiquity? 

Can I grow with the changing world? 

Give me a reason to deviate: 

I must stop the mudslide from coming.

Spitting sludge from my lips, 

Lord, why don’t they hear? 

The roar of doom and pain approaching. 

It will wash them away, 

When I’m safe in the heavens. 

Does being old make me invisible? 

The crevices of my face are a map, 

And my eyes the lights to yesterday. 

Learn from the past, I pray. 

Where is the light? 

Where is the hope? 

I’m just an old bird, a simple sparrow, 

How do I become a Mockingjay? 

I saw her fight in the movies, 

We need a Mockingjay today, 

A bird of pray who acts, 

Not sleeping through each day. 

How do I bring hope, become a symbol? 

How do I teach my young, 

To mimic a wisdom long past. 

You won’t like what I have to say I know, 

But you would hear, a Mockingjay. 


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 


16 thoughts on “Photo Challenge: Poem – Free Verse – ” Yaya Mockingjay” #amwriting #poetry 

  1. jacquelineobyikocha October 29, 2016 / 12:07 pm

    Fantastic! Your words gives this strong image such a character and makes me feel as though I know her.
    You are invited to my Blog-O-Ween taking place right now. Some ghouls are waiting 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Shiva Malekopmath October 29, 2016 / 4:17 pm

    Oh! What a characterization, categorization of an old woman and her feelings.
    Tears run through the words as we read.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mindlovemisery October 30, 2016 / 9:12 am

    You really captured that sense of struggle, the fight for survival, the resilience of spirit in this beautiful woman. History repeats itself and we never listen. We are all insane doing the same things again and again hoping for a different outcome.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 October 30, 2016 / 10:54 pm

      Yes exactly. Thanks for reading. She very much struggles to be heard and respected.


  4. sasha October 30, 2016 / 9:58 am

    Such a struggling words that woman can feel when she gets old!well framed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 October 30, 2016 / 10:53 pm

      Thank you Sasha. Yeah it is a struggle for her. No one listens or much cares to help her. They don’t see her value, when they should respect her. Happy you liked it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. maria November 1, 2016 / 3:02 am

    Beautiful lines, Mandi. I loove these the most:

    How do I bring hope, become a symbol?
    How do I teach my young,
    To mimic a wisdom long past…

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 November 1, 2016 / 3:24 am

      Thank you Maria. The picture Deserved powerful words and meaningful ones. I’m glad you liked those lines.

      Liked by 1 person

      • maria November 1, 2016 / 8:37 am

        That’s true, Mandi. 🙂 I was wondering… what does “yaya” refers to in your end? We use the word here in PH referring to our babysitters or house-helper.

        Liked by 1 person

      • mandibelle16 November 1, 2016 / 4:02 pm

        Oh I see. It can be another word for Grandma.


  6. clcouch123 November 1, 2016 / 9:56 pm

    Amanda, I admire your creation of this perspective. All the feelings and tensions she is dealing with. All the wisdom she’d like to leave for the young. But will they listen?

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 November 1, 2016 / 10:54 pm

      Thanks Christopher. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink, as the saying goes.


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