Day 15 #NaPoWriMo/ Saturday Mix: Poem – Triquin Chain – “She’s A Witch” #amwriting #SaturdayMix #poetry


For Day 15 NaPoWriMo the Prompt is: “writing a poem in which a villain faces an unfortunate situation, and is revealed to be human (but still evil).” I’m combining with Sarah of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie ‘s Saturday Mix Prompt on Triquains.

Triquain Chain

A string of 2 to 4 Triquains, a space between each triquain.

2 stanzas – 3, 6, 9, 12, 9, 6, 3 3, 6, 9, 12, 9, 6, 3

3 stanzas – 3, 6, 9, 12, 9, 6, 3 3, 6, 9, 12, 9, 6, 3 3, 6, 9, 12, 9, 6, 3

4 stanzas – 3, 6, 9, 12, 9, 6, 3 3, 6, 9, 12, 9, 6, 3 3, 6, 9, 12, 9, 6, 3 3, 6, 9, 12, 9, 6, 3

—-

Credit:Lucas Sanky via Unsplash

—-

She’s a witch,

She burns and she twitches.

Fire glows, sparks raise, burn high into morn.

She doesn’t feel, because she’s real; she burns all day.

Clergy stoke fire, she doesn’t expire;

The rabble wish her pain —

She’s a witch.

But not finished her time,

For real spell-casters can’t be murdered.

They drowned her, she floated; they hung her, her neck snapped.

Then, when they untied her, she laughed;

Her neck clicked in place, her spine healed fast.

She’s a witch.

*****

She burns fields.

She’s not kind, far too real.

She misled children, gave everyone pox.

It wasn’t her plan, to be mean and vile –to kill;

But those ‘Holier-Than-Thou’ tortured —

Dismembered her family —

Powerless.

They untouched with dark arts.

And all those woman not real villains,

Masked in their veins wasn’t witchcraft or evil brews.

Perhaps, they were too pretty, too —

Wealthy; had much power.

Then, she flipped.

***

She’s truly —

A witch; they made her one.

They buried her alive, let her sink,

Chocking in the putrid river with their repulsive waste.

She’s seen the flesh on innocents burn crisp;

The crackle of their hair.

Tied as she,

On a pier, with hellfire;

To destroy her vengeance, her wrathful ways.

She’s evil, sins with peasants, priests, their hateful hearts.

Cursing their Lords, besieging her home;

Survives fire, lives to smite,

Twisted witch.

****

——–

©️Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

#NaPoWriMo Day 11/Poets Pub: Poem – Quadrille – “Tomorrows” #amwriting #poetry #dVerse


For NaPoWriMo Day 11 the Prompt is: ” write a poem that addresses the future, answering the questions: “What does y(our) future provide? What is your future state of mind? If you are a citizen of the “unionthat is your body, what is your future “state of the union” address?” Also, thanks to WhimsyGhizmo from #dVerse Poet’s PubQuadrille Prompt based on zip or zipper.


Credit: Dverse Poet’s Pub


Crinkles from thinking.

Staring, wandering —

‘Why’ I can’t answer.

I don’t know ‘why,’

Tomorrow’s vague.

I don’t recognize its truth.

Its success —

And what defines that?

So, I’ll meander the path,

Hope life remains full.

Without zipper blues —

Swallowing sweet hope.

Moments gleam clear,

Clouded with uncertainty.


©Mandibelle16.(2018) All Rights Reserved.

#NaPoWriMo Day 10/Photo Challenge: “Rabbit’s Play” #amwriting #poetry #photochallenge #MLMM


For Day 10 NaPoWriMo the Prompt is: to ” write a poem of simultaneity – in which multiple things are happing at once.” Also, thanks to NEKNEERAJ from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie.


Credit: Alpha Coders


You locked the door shut;

I threw away the key.

Door slamming, the house shook,

It wasn’t rejection —

Claws of tiger digging,

It wasn’t the ache spiralling,

A corkscrew in my clavicle.

It wasn’t fatigue,

The floating leaves crackling,

Fall’s sudden chill,

Winter’s stark sting.

Words uninviting,

But a spade is a spade;

Your kindness a shark,

Large teeth, tail flicking.

Lies the black stripes,

Safari orange fur —

Mangled with spite,

Hidden behind decency.

The beast maimed;

Honesty infringed.

No intelligible motives,

As teeth rip to shreds.

But she set herself up,

And a spade is a spade.

The true queen reigns,

Not in dungeon’s keep.

The lady in red,

On her pedestal;

Floats and crackles,

Autumn’s crisp maple leaves,

Ragged and torn.

You’re better than that?

But he’s not.

Obese — vile words,

A tiger disgusted.

A question —

I crept into the den,

He was offended,

And I was prey,

Amusing —

With no matter.

His last words, claw cuts–

Sinking inside deep,

Where my stomach turns.

The ruby sun rose,

Blood flowed and flowed.

All because I have no control —

Because I was not born,

Demure and petite;

He spurned my art,

Thus, spurned my chest.

Three-years younger,

He’s thirteen years too young —

Inside.

But I bated the beast,

Naturally, his teeth revealed.

Tiger perplexed,

Slinking back to the den.

His side gapes,

Licking his wounds;

No winning against him,

In this game —

Not his type.

Inside his ribs,

Fat where is soul should be —

Deceit.

He thinks he knows,

But he can’t envision.

He has judged,

Growling a retort.

She laughs,

The rabbit slips away.


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

#NaPoWriMo Day 7/Photo Challenge: Poem – Bop – “Sanguine Souls” #amwriting #photochallenge #poetry #MLMM


For NaPoWriMo Day 7 the Prompt is: writing out a list of all of your different layers of identity. These are all ways you could be described or lenses you could be viewed through. Now divide all of those things into lists of what makes you feel powerful and what makes you feel vulnerable. Now write a poem in which one of the identities from the first list contends or talks with an identity from the second list. Combining with NEKNEERAJ from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie photoChallenge.


Credit: Vincent Bourhilon


Woman child in graceful state flounders through,

Exhausted with curves of words, ink’s flow construed.

A sweet child, and a scarred adult struggling,

Methodical but scattered, spilling tears troubled.

Poet writer, editing with distaste,

In the Sky muses flow, balloons marking pace.

Creative idealist, survivor with wings,

Intrepid dreamer, with art that thrills, sings.

Facade masks, trembling limbs — nothing left,

Free-spirit, heart-thinker, world spins bereft.

Inexperienced, too much experience,

Judgement quick, while thick walls erected fence.

A fatigue that’s indescribable; it wanes —

A day, then spontaneity — pink blooms raise.

Sheets entrap, day comforts in blissful bed,

Tomorrow I’ll flex limbs, do yogi bends.

Serenity centres, pain released,

Rising — the artist designer concedes;

Inspired empathy, words can’t define,

Freedom in art from pain; sanguine souls climb.


©Mandibelle16.(2018) All Rights Reserved.

Non-Fiction: My Peacock Feathers, My Tattooed Treasures #amwriting #nonfiction


Another piece from my writing class.


Credit: Caleb Minear via Unsplash


The ‘peacocks’ in our lives are brilliant orbs of light attracting everyone; they’ve clarified my life. I had wanted a tattoo forever, and when I my skin was inked, my largest peacock feather symbolized Evelyn’s presence, the smaller Kyria’s. They both spring from a Gerbera-daisy, on my tattoo, my home and myself.

Evelyn grew up on a farm during the 1930’s. Her only child to survive is my, Godfather. She had a love for stream-lined vintage cars and rebuilt one she drove. She was a skilled mechanic during WWII. Also, a single-mom who supported her son working at the Woodward’s Department Store from the 1950’s onwards. Before she retired, she oversaw much of the store’s finances.

Once, when her eldest grandson visited he counted her shoes.”Grandma, you’ve forty pairs of shoes. Did you knows that?”They were her indulgence. She strived for them, for all the treasures in her house. She had a carved record player of solid wood; no veneer allowed. She bought a pipe organ and piano. Up until the day before she died, she was a pianoist at her retirement home; all the songs she memorized.

Evelyn gardened and did laundry until ninety-six. “Every morning I wake up with purpose. I do something. Everyone else has died, but I awake with determination. I’ve had such grief, but the Lord tells me, ‘Keep going.’”

Her life lived in the crevices of her face, in her smile. After two husbands, she refused to marry Sam. “I’ve decided, I’m not made for marriage” She was in her mid-eighties.

Evelyn had an innate stubbornness in a post-war world where men of the 1950’s and 1960’s put women in ‘their place.’ Whether her opinions were ‘correct’ or not ‘politically correct,’ I had tears streaming from my eyes; my ribs ached during our visits.

Visiting her house, I brought my brothers. There was too much food, and my waistline was dependant on them coming with me. One helping was not enough for Evelyn. We inhaled her chicken soup and lasagna. Her trifle with ripe strawberries and her uncooked pie’s with sweet blue-berries, both topped with ‘full-fat’ whipping cream. Evelyn had gumption, despite everything life threw at her. She was both splendid and horribly flawed.

Her tattooed feather on my skin reminds me not to forget my dreams. Because of her, I’ve a purpose each day. I learned her secret to survive the worst ones, even with poor health.

Moreover, the smaller peacock feather on my tattoo’s for Kyria.* She adores peacocks; they were her wedding theme. Kyria fought to have her cancer identified. She was twenty-nine with a baby, as her undiagnosed cancer fed on her excess hormones.

She’s seen many doctors. “There is no way a girl your age has cancer. It will go away.” Then, after several second opinions. “The lump on your breast is due to pregnancy because you’re breastfeeding.” Then, “Your swollen lymphnoids under your arm, are a condition that occurs with breastfeeding.” She couldn’t feed her son; her pain was so intense from tumors.

Kyria’s naturopath diagnosed her cancer. “Demand that your doctor give you more tests. You should’ve been diagnosed a year ago.” Her diagnosis of Stage IV breast cancer occurred in summer 2015.

She remains resilient. She is the prized-fighter who keeps rising after three-years of treatments. She faces her mortality each time she has scans on her organs, her bones, and her blood. Kyria attended a Clinic in Mexico, receiving a reduced ‘natural’ form of chemo, first. This treatment lengthened her life, her time with her husband, and her son. She’s survived two rounds of full-strength chemo. This April she must endure a third.

Each day she visits her naturopath for IV-treatments, along with various other doctors. She struggles but isn’t afraid to die. Her charisma draws all kinds of people as she shares her cancer journey. She’s a talented business-woman, writer, and her creative-thinking amazes me. Kyria’s gained empathy only ‘the permanently sick,’ know.

Like me, she has days of terrible fatigue, but Kyria’s also the mom of toddler. She has had more pills, vitamins, IV’s, hormones, and needles than I’ve imagined ‘healing’ consists of.

She was so proud last summer. “My hair’s growing back. I can have a pixie cut.” Kyria’s gorgeous in a way most women and cancer patients aren’t. She’s was beautiful before her disease, and beautiful despite it.

The peacocks in my life, are and have been magnificent. But peacock or Gerber-daisy, no person knows how long they have to live. So, when some days are difficult, or I’ve an impossible goal, my hand grazes my tattoo.

We don’t realize it, but to someone somewhere, we are a spark. We all have immeasurable potential. Don’t forget to use it, and keep struggling. Brilliant feather or hidden flower; endure no matter your brightness.


©️Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

Three Line Tales: The Monty Hall Problem #amwriting #mathsucks #3LineTales


Thanks to Sonya of Only 100 Words for hosting #3LineTales. Sorry, a bit of cheat with this one, but I couldn’t get the idea out of my head for the photograph. I think it’s 4 or 5 sentences. But who’s counting. 😉


Credit: Jerry Kiesewetter via Unsplash


Say, there’s a million dollars in one green box (ignore the yellow boxes), and there’s Monopoly money in all the other green boxes, but you don’t know what green box has the million dollars, and what boxes have Monopoly money.

You select green box number 7 as the box (you guess) has the million dollars, but it’s also revealed that in green box number 2, there’s only Monopoly money; do you choose a different green box or stay with green box number 7?

Many people would say, there’s a 50/50 chance your first choice is the correct green box with the million dollars, but they’d likely be wrong, and here’s why: There was a 3/4 (75 %) chance of you choosing a box with Monopoly money, and there’s still 1/2 (50 %) chance of you choosing the Monopoly money, when green box number 2 is revealed. There’s only 1/4 (25 %) chance of you choosing the million dollars; therefore, you should change your green box selection because there is a greater probability you were, initially, wrong choosing green box number 7, than choosing the green box that contained the million dollars.


Maybe some of you have heard of this? It’s called ‘The Monty Hall Problem.’ Check out the video here: The Math Question that Has Stumped Thousands of ‘ManSplainers.’ Apparently, men have greater trouble understanding this reasoning than women. What do you think?


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

‘Beware the Ides of March:’ A History Beyond the Shakespearean Play ‘Julius Caesar’ #history #Englishliterature #amwriting


I thought that I almost missed it. Today is the Ides of March. I know St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th, overtakes this day. But unless you’re into it a great deal, the Ides of March, isn’t a reason to drink green beer all day. Rickard’s Red or something along lose lines, might work better.


Credit: Someecards.com


The first time I learned about today was in grade ten in Mr. G’s English class. He was one of my favorite high school teachers. And a hilarious guy, who had no aversions to mocking his students. We made of fun mocked him and each other (in a friendly manner), in each class he taught in grade ten.

We also studied William Shakespeare’s, Julius Caesar, where this vital passage appears early in the play:


Caesar:

Who is it in the press that calls on me?

I hear a tongue shriller than all the music

Cry “Caesar!” Speak, Caesar is turn’d to hear.

Soothsayer:

Beware the ides of March.

Caesar:

What man is that?

Brutus:

A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.

(Julius Caesar Act I.ii. 15–19).


Later on, we learned these lines are foreshadowing Caesar’s death. According to enotes.com, on Shakespeare’s famous play, these lines occur during “Lupercalia, an ancient Roman religious holiday. Caesar, [a] Roman dictator,” is making his way “through the streets before an appearance” in front of “the ‘press’ (crowd).” From the busy streets, a soothsayer issues this famous warning. As well, Caesar, a “superstitious man,” does not take the “soothsayers” words without a great deal of worry and consideration.

As well, the ‘ides’ of March always occurs on the “15th,” but which day of the month the ‘ides'” occurs in each calendar month “depends on a complicated system of calculation.” It was “Caesar himself [who] established” the ‘Ides’ when he “instituted the Julian calendar, a precursor” of our modern calendar. Also, the “‘ides’ of January, for example, “always occurs on the”13th,” but the ‘ides’ of March, May, July and October” happen on the “15th” of these months.

“The [significance] of the ‘Ides of March’ for Caesar is that [it’s] the day [he’s] assassinated by a group of conspirators, including Brutus and Cassius. Despite numerous and improbable portents [foreshadowing and allusion] —the soothsayer’s warning” a “fearsome thundering,” along with Caesers’ “wife’s dreams of his murder,” and other signs, in Shakespeare’s play, mean Caesar can’t ignore the future he faces. Despite all this, he “ventures forth on the ides to meet his doom.”


Credit: Someecards.com


Also, the site History.com can provide us with more historical insight into this unusual day. Their staff write that “Gaius Julius Caesar,” was “stabbed to death in the Roman Senate house by 60 conspirators, led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus.”

Caesar, who was “born into the Julii, an ancient” but not “distinguished Roman aristocratic family, began his political career in 78 B.C. as a prosecutor for the anti-patrician Popular Party.” From there, “[he] achieved. . . influence in the party” through his “reformist ideas” and skills as an “orat[or].” He also “aided Roman imperial efforts by raising a private army to combat the king of Pontus in 74 B.C. ”

Caesar was [also] an ally of Pompey” who was the “recognized head of the Popular Party.” He “essentially took over this position after Pompey left Rome in 67 B.C.,” when Pompey chose to become commander of Roman forces in the east. As well, by “63 B.C., Caesar was elected pontifex maximus, or ‘high priest,” allegedly by heavy bribes. Two years later, he was made governor of Farther Spain and in 60 B.C., [he] returned to Rome,” with “ambitio[ns] for the office of consul. The consulship” was the “highest office in the Roman Republic, [and was] shared by two politicians on an annual basis.”

The “Consuls commanded the army, presided over the Senate by execut[ing the Senate’s] decrees, and represented the state in foreign affairs. Caesar formed a political alliance–the so-called ‘First Triumvirate’–with Pompey and Marcus Licinius Crassus.” While the “majority of the Roman Senate, . . . opposed Caesar,” his “land reforms won him popularity” among Roman Citizen’s and, eventually, the Senate.


Credit: someecards.com


Also, in “58 B.C., Caesar was given four Roman legions in Cisalpine Gaul and Illyricum.” He “demonstrated brilliant military talents as he expanded the Roman Empire and his reputation. Among other achievements, Caesar conquered all of Gaul, made the first Roman inroads into Britain, and won devoted supporters in his legions.” Nevertheless, Caesar’s “successes . . . aroused Pompey’s jealousy, leading to the collapse of their political alliance in 53 B.C.”

The Roman Senate supported Pompey and asked Caesar to give up his army, which [of course,] he refused to do.” As well, in “January [of] 49 B.C., Caesar led his legions across the Rubicon River from Cisalpine Gaul to Italy, . . . declaring war against Pompey and his forces. Caesar made early gains in the[ir] civil war, defeating Pompey’s army in Italy and Spain.”

However, he “was later forced into retreat in Greece. In August 48 B.C., with Pompey in pursuit, Caesar paused near Pharsalus, setting up camp at a strategic location. When Pompey’s senatorial forces fell upon Caesar’s smaller army, they were entirely routed, and Pompey fled to Egypt, where he was assassinated by an officer of the Egyptian king.” Thus, Caesar rose to power in the Roman Republic as a dictator and sole consul member.


Credit: Someecards.com


Finally, History.com notes that “Caesar was. . . appointed Roman consul and dictator, but before settling in[to] Rome, he traveled around the empire for several years [to] consolidat[e] his rule,” through military might and oration. “In 45 B.C., he returned to Rome and was made dictator [of Rome] for life.

As sole Roman ruler, Caesar launched ambitious programs of reform within the empire. The most lasting of these was his establishment of the Julian calendar.” Except for “slight modifications” and certain “adjustment[s to the calendar] in the 16th century, [it] remains in use today.” Caesar also “planned new imperial expansions in central Europe and to the east.

In the midst of these vast “ambitions, Caesar “was assassinated on March 15, 44 B.C., by a group of conspirators, who[m] believed . . . his death would lead to the restoration of the Roman Republic.” Nonetheless, “the result of the ‘Ides of March’ was to plunge Rome into a fresh round of civil wars,” including Caesar’s once powerful supporter from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Anthony and Cleopatra, Marc Anthony.

However, “Octavian, Caesar’s grand-nephew,” emerged as the “first Roman emperor, Augustus” Caesar. He “destroy[ed] the Roman Republic forever,” but did manage to bring the Romans into an age of peace called Pax Romana.

According to Wikipedia, what this age of peace meant was that, the Roman Empire expanded little and had to defend itself little against enemies, until the “Third Century.” Around this time, the Roman empire began its descent in power, especially, in Western Europe.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Sunday Photo Fiction: Chasing the Nymph #amwriting #flashfiction #prosepoetry


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF.


Credit: E. A. Wicklund


She was out of breath, a chestnut freckled nymph, tumbling through the woods. As if she were, Diana, running, eluding a square-jawed Apollo, and his torrential bed.

Her legs were short but supple, her body toned, but his strength was so much greater; his limbs thick with muscle earned in battle; height taller, hands quick, fingers nimble — but not such as hers.

She did not tarry, she hurried through the trees; their game played once, and forever. The catch and release continued with the nymph’s harmonious melodies. Her lute trilling, protecting her and luring him, precisely where she desired.

The nymphs laughter was as bells at dawn, signalling he’d caught her, and day turned to dusk as she coyly smiled and left. Her walk triumphant, his laughter all too knowing.

He dreamt of every time he caught her, tossing her up high as their lips melded. They met perpetually in their Grecian eternity, playing catch and release; it never became boring.


©️Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Three Line Tales/Saturday Mix: The Decayed Farm House #amwriting #3LineTales #SaturdayMix #flashfiction


Thanks to Sonya from Only 100 Words for hosting #3LineTales. Also thank you to Sarah from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Saturday Mix. This week her Double Take homophones are: band – a musical group and bannedforbidden; cent – one hundredth of a dollar, scent – an aroma, and sent – dispatched.


Credit: Thomas Shellberg via Unsplash


A person can catch the voices of yesterday in the stars where the decayed farm house sags, where a band sings, playing the fiddle, and the scent of bread lingers with rotting wood; King George pennies are scattered on the floor, one cent coins forgotten with a monarch dead, no longer minted with the current Queen, Elizabeth II.

The prairie nights of old linger here, where joy and sorrow blend with relief, moving from a run-down house banned, deemed unsafe by housing inspection; a gleaming modern farmhouse replaces it nearby, but the old one is left to rot with a sense of nostalgia from the farmer’s elderly father.

A person can picture the dances and parties, dead relatives and friends sitting around the table, the young boys sent out to chase the horses who’d escaped the field, into the neighbors pastures; the past clings to this house as it does to the stars above, both from a time long forgotten.


©Mandibelle16.(2018) All Rights Reserved.

Sunday Photo Fiction: Der deutsche Holzschnitzer (The German Woodcarver) #amwriting #flashfiction


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting this week’s SPF.


Credit: © C.E. Ayer


Jacobus was a talented Holtzschnitzer (woodcarver) as his Papa and Opa had been before him. He gazed at the fine ritter (knight) he had geschnitzt (carved) on the remaining panel of set of doors in the St. Mary Magdalene’s Kathedralen (cathedral). He was greatly pleased by his relief die Schnitzereit (carvings) and the subject matter. His Opa would have been proud, he had been the most exceptional Holtzschnitzer of his time.

When Jacobus was four, his Papa taught him everything he knew then, sent him around Europe to train under Meister der Holzschnitzerei (woodcarving masters). At the prime of life, Jacobus was in Paris working on Holzschnitzereien (woodcarvings) for the king of France, schnitzen (carving) reliefs and figures for a generous wage.

Jacobus was even more talented than his Opa had been and enjoyed that the subject matter in many French Kathedralen weren’t so limited due to the Renaissance influence in art. His next project was a die Schnitzereit of Mary Magdalene. Not a relief but a carefully schnitzen (carved) contrapposto* figure with a rounded body, full breasts, and hips.

These were the Holzschnitzereien found in Italian churches and not the old Gothic churches of his homeland in Deutschland. Jacobus grinned as plans for the Mary Magdalene took shape. He grabbed etwas Pergament (some parchment) off a table nearby and began to sketch.


*Contrappasto – “Is an Italian term that means counterpoise. It is used in the visual arts to describe a human figure standing with most of its weight on one foot so that its shoulders and arms twist off-axis from the hips and legs (Wikipedia.com).”


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.