Photo Challenge: Poem — Free Verse — “Reverence and Instinct” #amwritingpoetry #photochallenge


Credit: NEKNEERAJ of http://www.mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com


When the dust clears and you can see through the shadows,

When the deep dark ends, and you might be okay.

You might move forward, but you’re fragile as tissue;

When you find your voice, but you also lose it’s tune.

When you’re there to listen, but don’t hear solid proof,

When the dust clears, the rubble remains trapped between a rock face.

You can creak forward when you’re on your knees,

Praying it’s not one good day, but a second, with real-life dreams —

A crystallization of thought.

When wounds shame, and then you somehow claw forward;

Remove self-focus look to others; is it His will, or my will?

Somedays the weight is heavy, the yoke chokes,

Then, He lifts my broken spirit,

Pets a stray cat peaking for hope,

Knowing I could swallow a butterfly whole and choke,

Or experience misspoken glory, and let it rest exposed.

A pendulum of breath and instinct,

Cross-eyed reverence, nature’s ravenous pull;

Pounce or be still?


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

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Photo Challenge: Fiction — “Sea Dragon” #amwritingfiction #flashfiction


Thanks to NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Photo Challenge.


Credit: sound-dream tumblr.


The freeway lights gleamed in the darkness, blending with celestial blurs of stars. Giselle drove home, bit by bit across the bridge. The air was tinged with sea salt, while impatient drivers honked their horns. Giselle was amazed that each night people never tired of the cacophony. A ship horn blew across the sky and she edged her car forward.

Then, a harrowed screech from the bridge had her and other drivers screaming. In another second, the bridge swayed and cars slid towards each other. Giselle bit her lip as a roar thundered and the bridge swayed.

A massive yellow eye blinked, and the ancients lizard’s tongue flicked against reptilian lips. Giselle lay her hand against her beating heart; it was only the local sea dragon. He’d swum under the bridge and his ridged form had scraped the bottom. Giselle stepped out of the car as did many others, to watch the monster swim on into the sea amidst the starry light.

She noted others stepped out of their scraped and battered cars. It wasn’t uncommon for the dragon to hit the bridge, it was built to handle his force. No one had more than minor injuries; the police and national guard kept him tranquilized.

Now and then, the dosage was too much and the dragon was woozy as he hunted small creatures in the sea. Giselle stepped into her vehicle, and the traffic moved again, quicker this time. A part of Giselle ached for the dragon, too prehistoric ( perhaps, medieval) for the modern world; the only sea dragon left.

A.M. Eifert


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

#NaPoWriMo Day 30: “No More Anger” #amwritingpoetry


Credit: NOAA via Unsplash.


I’ve put to rest my anger, resigned —

Unrest cast away with dislike, judgement.

I can’t do it anymore, let God judge.

As for me no disquiet, no more riots.

I’d rather love life, be judged for what’s true,

Not words or assumptions misconstrued.

I’ve worked hard to be healthy, to brew —

Something good from poison, eleven-years through.

Because you think it, doesn’t mean it’s me —

Doesn’t make it true, doesn’t give proof to words.

Quiet space’s essential, sorry for the hurt.

I’ve no reason to slight anyone; no one.

All I know are bits, pieces some words curt;

It’s not about me, I don’t hate; heal this how?


©️Mandibelle16.(2019) AllRights Reserved.

#NaPoWriMo Day 24: Poem – Sevenling – “Choosing Right” #amwritingpoetry


For #NaPoWriMo Day 24 using the Sevenling form again.


The elements of the Sevenling are:
1. a heptastich, a poem in 7 lines made up of 2 tercets followed by a single line. metered at the discretion of the poet.
2. unrhymed.
3. composed with 3 complimentary images in the first tercet and 3 parallel images in the second tercet. The end line is a juxtaposed summary of the 2 parallels, a sort of “punchline”.
4. the poem should be titled “Sevenling: (first few words of poem).


Credit: DeviantArt

Cold tentacles, the octopus‘, beady eyes blink;

Forgiveness, understanding maimed, vermilion sky’s bruised.

Deep purple chills, I — sea witch, clamber in grim slime.

Wind screeches, gusts as glass spikes; no harm do I wish.

Confession –I stole her voice, her sweet tune’s mute.

At moments, we’re all witches, change calms the violent storms.

There’s power overcoming spite, choosing right.


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

#NaPoWriMo Day 23: Poem — Free Verse — “Duck-Billed Platypus Thief” #amwritingpoetry


For NaPoWriMo Day 23 the prompt is:


“Taking a cue from Bishop, I’d like to challenge you today to write a poem about an animal. If you’d like to take a look at some other poems for inspiration, you might like James Dickey’s “The Dusk of Horses,” or Tennyson’s “The Eagle.””


Credit: http://www.wearessecondunion.com

Curious duckbilled thief, I caught you stealing time,

You peeped, squealed, rolled into corners where no one could peep.

Your black-eyes are wide, fluffy innocence peers back.

And your tiny lashes flick, as you hide within fur,

The jingle of coins jolts you, they roll ’round your tummy.

A Crown falls to the floor, you’re off running — to save what’s left of your treasure.

You’re sure no one will catch you– this time you’ve got us beat.

The royal jewels are in your fur-folds somewhere,

You’re a petty pad-foot, harmless, too snuggly for words;

You’re an armful of trickster; you hate being caught.

When I demand my wallet, my cash, and watch,

You cock your coal-dark head,

Perhaps, you didn’t know they were there at all? (You imply).

Tucked under belly rolls, in corners, and squishy edges,

I sigh, take back my treasure, hold out my hand, you chirp —

Duck billed platypus, creature of mole (some other beasts I imagine too).

Your thieveries a whimsy, but no ones fooled,

All you love is gold, silver if you must . . .

You’ll catch it in a sec, a poof of magic dust.

Your duckbilled lips smile, as you scamper down the stairs,

Yet, the things you hold dear, are the most worthless wares.

You need a lady friend,

For her thievery includes not just gold,

But, your platypus heart too!


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

#NaPoWriMo Day 22: Poem — Sevenling — “Seek To Know” #amwritingpoetry


This is going on forever, but eight days left right? So, today (NaPoWriMo Day 22,) I’m doing my own prompt based on Kat from Like Mercury Colliding’s introduction of a Sevenling:


The elements of the Sevenling are:
1. a heptastich, a poem in 7 lines made up of 2 tercets followed by a single line. metered at the discretion of the poet.
2. unrhymed.
3. composed with 3 complimentary images in the first tercet and 3 parallel images in the second tercet. The end line is a juxtaposed summary of the 2 parallels, a sort of “punchline”.
4. the poem should be titled “Sevenling: (first few words of poem).


Credit: Dan Sandvik via Unsplash


Dawn’s clear, shadowed by each day not knowing,

Nothing veiled, I pale sheep mute, come un-dazed;

The alpha wolf’s howl‘s near, teeth crush, tear flesh;

How do you know, when you’ve not been able?

One can’t remain a lamb sobbing, bleating;

The tiger cub’s instincts no fable;

Fresh hope, dim evaded but at what price?

*****

Now, I peer past the burning lights distorted,

Where the sheep and the lambs, are at quiet peace.

The fierce wolves snap, but the tiger cub reaches,

And each lesson teaches —night’s brilliance too.

No more am I lamb, sheep following mute.

I’ve grown stripes, pincer fangs –it’s early days,

Imperfection, growth, it hurts; seek ye first –find.


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

#NaPoWriMo Day 19/ Photo Challenge: Poem – Haibun — “Forest Thoughts” #amwritingpoetry #amwritingfiction


For NaPoWriMo Day 19, my own poem. Also, thanks to NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Photo Challenge.


Credit: Mindcore


The words were caught in Genevieve’s throat, and she couldn’t let go. It was as if a force shield quivered, blocking her. She couldn’t push through and recoiled when her attempts sputtered. She shoved and stumbled through the bubble walls. Finally, there was nothing stopping her speech, tears that wouldn’t stop as she trembled with nerves. Her and Gage had had another messy fight. She was left tearful and scatter brained.

Genevieve brushed poppy hair from her eyes. She twirled a strand and repeated the words. “I’m going to be okay. We’re going to be okay. Someday soon, everything will be alright.”

She ached, exhausted, as her thoughts slipped and tossed. What was her opinion worth if Gage didn’t respect it? If her thoughts meant nothing as sand swirling into the wind, words lost. Then, past inklings of Gage’s kindness trickled into her mind. It wasn’t only his fault, it was hers too.

She blinked as water droplets splashed her face. The sky opened and nature healed her, soaked her clothes through. She knew her wounds would no longer bleed, not for a long time. She could handle Gage; she could handle ‘them.’

In retrospective she realized that the pain of silence after fighting was necessary. That mulled over words and nights of blank introspection had their purpose too. As Medusa’s locks turned to snakes, so Genevieve’s thoughts hissed and slithered. She might be a Medusa sometimes, but Gage didn’t care; they were each other’s monsters.

Near home, she curled on the old oak in the copse, thinking about how much time people wasted in anger and regret. Like she, most people said nothing at all, when the most significant words were so simple.

Genevieve thought about how grudges and long held hurts were nothing more than dust –ashes. But, they were meaningless in the scheme of life because, life wasn’t about who’s right. It’s not about words misread and mis-said. Life was about not wasting time upset over details.

She clenched her hands, then breathed deep as she drifted a moment, and shivered. The downpour hadn’t been cold but her teeth chattered now. She’d walked off from Gage sometime ago, needing time in the copse to think.

Then, a sting on her cheek made her jump; the mosquitos were out. Behind her the sky was grey tinged with coral. The night creatures’ scurried in the dark and Genevieve sighed. The cool air was medicine and she inhaled it, no matter that she had to wrap her arms around herself.

She hummed, and thought more about the words she hadn’t said, and the ones she had said to Gage. The words that hurt, and that said the wrong way caused pain. You could turn the maybes and what if’s around in your mind, and even though no one should say certain words — people made mistakes; her and Gage worst of all.

She shuddered again as the night air cooled more. Genevieve headed home from the copse, and the sky darkened to starlit-navy. Hours after their fight she recognized it wasn’t about what was said; it was about what a person’s actions proved.

That was a truth; perhaps, one beyond words. It was a realization that fear of the worst brings all humans to their knees, but that there was still hope. It was possible for all those tainted fights to fade, for partners to reunite. She peered around the dim as she trudged through the wet grass. Genevieve was un-afraid, she’d visited this copse many nights. She breathed in cedar, and the dampness of rain. She took her soggy hoodie and tried to squeeze out water. She pulled it tighter.

“We’re okay now.” She said it aloud because it was real. It wasn’t a faint hope as before. It was conceivable. She was no longer a medusa, but had discovered a self-confidence. Confidence that overcame her doubts, her pain of Gage’s words.

Genevieve had thought her walk private, until a rounded squirrel ran in front of her and stopped. He was wet too, but didn’t seem to care as droplets shook from his fur. He cocked his head towards her in the moonlight.

“Aren’t you supposed to be sleep up high?” The squirrel chirped and scuttled closer. She reached into her purse, and the squirrelly froze waiting to see what she reached for. She tossed a small carrot, and the squirrel clenched it; he devoured it. After, finishing his first treat, the squirrel scuttled closer. She moved a second carrot around in the air like an old chalk-pen.

“You see, squirrel. The worst happens, and then in the thick of it, your mind opens, and everything’s okay — everything’s okay. Those past fights, bitter words mean nothing. All these fears you have burn away. Whatever the past, it’s no longer relevant. Trust me squirrel.” He chirped in demand, and she knelt babe held out the carrot. He nudged it from between her fingers and bundled it away as he scampered up the nearest tree.

She clutched her purse and stretched as grayish clouds slid over the moon As she neared the path to the cabin porch. Her fight with Gage was done. Genevieve thought about how sometimes, the world spun too fast, how time sped. But, she knew Gage would forgive her and she forgave him too. She shivered but jogged close as the cabin came into view. She emerged from the copse a new woman.

When she reached the top porch step, she halted. Gage lay half asleep on the porch swing. He had waited for her. Her hands shook as she sat beside him, and covered them both with a thick blankets from a storage bench. She’d pulled off her soaked shoes and sweater, the rest of her was half dry.

Genevieve snuggled into Gage’s shoulder. As sleep claimed her she thought about how life was a mosaic of possibility. It altered and spun into a world that never ceased to amaze. It didn’t matter that sometimes it ached. It mattered that for seconds, the aches ebbed to nothing but her and Gage asleep beneath the stars.

Asleep on the swing they rest,

Thoughts of hurt drift in peace found;

Heals the deepest wounds.


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

NaPoWriMo Day 17/ Photo Challenge: Poem – Free Verse – “The Raven’s Meeting” #amwritingpoetry


Thanks to NEKNEERAJ, from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie, Photo Challenge. For NaPoWriMo Day 17, the prompt is:


“Today, I’d like you to challenge you to write a poem that similarly presents a scene from an unusual point of view. Perhaps you could write a poem that presents Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery from the perspective of the apple. Or the shootout at the OK Corral from the viewpoint of a passing vulture. Or maybe it could be something as everyday as a rainstorm, as experienced by a raindrop.


Credit: Gabriel Isaak


Because you brought hope too,

I thought we were meant to meet.

Your foot prints deep diagonals in the sand,

Trails of hair caught in the winds thrall.

Eyes caramel touched by ebony,

Mirrored my eyes of coals marbled, my ravens plumage too.

Your locks dance, as my wings reach towards you.

You were my olive branch, but you stood there starring as if —

You were caught in the storm too,

Feet weighted to the ground, cement.

My claws didn’t indent your fine sweater — the wool could’ve snarled my talons.

Your lids flutter, strange, wide as if I’d surprised you.

And when I chirped, (squawked to some), you understood my peril,

The angst of having nothing left inside to fly.

Not to bleed and call forth the ocean’s tyrants.

For a while I stood, peered —

And on your arm, my ruffled feathers rested,

Your strange white-talons graze my head,

And my feathers are swept a moment by skin.

Maybe, you could understand a moment,

Survival without security.

Your eyes translated a kind of pain, our loss both,

Mine without a mate to soar, or the immortality of eggs;

Yours what? A loss I did not know except a need to rest,

For hours I stood shaking, your face nuzzled mine,

Any your limbs folded under, we slept soft on your coat.

Then, the slender sun lit,

You stretched one arm, head tilted,

Our eyes met, as you turned your other limb, and laughed ( ravens laugh too, you know),

I teetered awhile and the conversation clear, despite my peeps, your chatter in response.

Then, you turned, squelching footprints marked your trail from the sea.

So, I arose, and in dawns flight I left behind the blight before your presence;

I didn’t feel alone, I didn’t feel so lost,

I cawed once more.

Then, I drifted with gentle currents and thought,

We were both the better for our nights rest, our meeting.


Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

#NaPoWriMo Day 11: Poem – Lunes – “Miraculous” #amwritingpoetry


For NaPoWriMo Day 11 the prompt is:


“Today, taking a leaf from Elhillo’s work, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem of origin. Where are you from? Not just geographically, but emotionally, physically, spiritually? Maybe you are from Vikings and the sea and diet coke and angry gulls in parking lots. Maybe you are from gentle hills and angry mothers and dust disappearing down an unpaved road. And having come from there, where are you now?”


Credit: Ryoja Iwata via Unsplash.


Two who were once,

Genes of gazillions,

Divergence, corruption, mutation, evolution, convergence.

*****

Rarity, similarity, survival, yet — weakness.

Fittest move on,

Yet, inherit flaws don’t diminish.

*****

Two once; too many unaccounted,

No memories left;

Our origins linger, incredulous, miraculous.

*****


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

#NaPoWriMo Day 10: Poem – Free Verse “Despite” #amwritingpoetry


For NaPoWriMo Day 10 I’m writing a poem not based on that days prompt.


Credit: Pinterest.com

Wake me in vermilion and peach,

The sunset explodes, but I’ll sleep through, gaze as it blends with cerulean sky.

The beauty of a light –I’m awake and have the energy of a thousand years in hours.

Wake me up, when my bones aren’t stiff and my mind not muddled.

For healing, offer carmine apples, lush lemons sour;

Hot pink tulips leaning towards sunshine, the omniscient glimmer.

A liberty in nature’s art, space to breath and become;

God, don’t let me drown,

Or tumble; don’t let my mind muddle, my body betray.

Never return to those darkest hours, the hurt of anger, such rage;

The storm that swallowed me; yet, created me as ‘me’ today — whoever I’m becoming,

As I tread, swim through cement waves and air seethes into my lungs when I surface.

Aid me as I discover, my rhythm in life, melodic movement to overcome the dim.

Let me meander verdant forests, trails of enlightenment, peace to wander and laugh,

Picnics, wine, and beaches in the sun, with my friends and loved ones.

Leave me in tranquility to amble amongst wild fuchsia flowers,

Let life not be rigid, placed in rows upon rows of suffering.

As the wild flowers bloom in every direction, soothe my soul every way it leans.

For I fear that it will never grow upright, gain the suppleness of a giant oak;

Perhaps, I’m flimsy, but you renew my strength.

And whichever way I’m swept, let the daylight warm my petals; my flexible stem let it bend.

Though white skins burns, let your healing burn brighter, as sleep soothes all wounds;

Let not little strokes, those choking quakes, break me from my journey.

So, I’ll keep pushing, the blue bird unafraid to try to dive;

My stomach aches and falls to the ground, the shadows swim closer, yank me under the waves.

Yet, in your hands I’m safe, there’s no harm, my wingspan lengthens,

I may limp, but that’s never meant I cannot fly, achieve possibilities despite misery’s woes.

Despite — I’ll always take flight despite.


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.