Three Line Tales: “Small Steps” #amwritingfiction #flashfiction


Thanks to Sonya for hosting #3LineTales.


Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/e5eDHbmHprg


His foot padded on terra firma and his heart squeezed; lunar dust floated in the vacuum of space. Inside the space suit he sweated bouncing, taking careful but ‘small’ steps for ‘mankind;’ he was a history-maker, a hero. Still, part of him wondered if the effort had been worth it as the specs of lunar dust in his gloves floated; he contemplated whether he was nearer to his maker here or on the cerulean orb below.


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

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Poem: Free Verse — “How To Be A Bird” #amwritingpoetry


Credit: Roland Denes via Unsplash.


The wings of summer come flying soft,

Puffs of feathers fluffed towards the sky;

I do not know, or not know not how,

Such warbling birds, with limps can fly.

I don’t know why they limp as babes,

Tossed from the nest, before the cat eats;

Whiskers dripping in homemade cream,

Somehow at times we fly as much as we need,

Up into the sky, to breathe;

But, sometimes we are stones, we sink to the floor.

And the world around us explodes,

Fur, yowls, claws as life takes another bite;

What goes on in the mind, is a curious thing.

Pathways misfiring, and there’s no end of ammo to spark,

Images, fear, flatness, some kind of pain,

Mental, a darkness physical that grabs at the mind;

And birds might fly for a limited time —

But all of us fall, at the end of he day.

And sleep cannot always solve,

Sometimes, light hurts your eyes, as if the world’s a giant;

Ray exposing you for every sin, and vice, every deed ever done wrong —

Every lie, and every past sin, no matter that you’ve turned;

I’ve no idea how life can revive, when I’ve already asked for so much.

But there are no words,when you’ve been robbed,

When there’s hurt but you can’t find the cause.

When part of you is broken,

And you can’t fuse the cracks;

And the world spins, and flows,

Dizzy from the ride, you always feel as if you’ll puke your insides.

When the past repeats, and you think you’ve healed,

When the cat gets it’s cream, and only feathers remain;

When your eyes can’t see, or the mind can’t connect,

What then, each path, the doorway shuts,

Then what? Positivity aside —

Then, somehow a glimmer reveals;

New wings rebuilt, fragile –no one knows why,

But they’re a gift, and such mercy means you can become,

That a future has possibility,

And warbling birds trill a tune,

No matter the storms or trials.

The cat will have to wait,

This bird’s wings flap for miles.


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

Poem: Haikus — “Yesterdays End” #amwritingpoetry


Credit: Ihor Malytyski via Unsplash.


Evenings end July’s crackling,

Sparklers glimmer, night comes,

Friends close the evening.

*****

Another summer passes,

Red and white, so glorious;

Freedom, acceptance.

*****

But, you’re gone, tomorrow still;

Before our eyes emptiness,

Solstice without you.

****

A nightmare, a mercy too,

Still, there’s no you,to greet near;

Go on despite — live —

****

As you did, with grandpa’s death;

Later, maybe better words —

Can hark tearful tunes.

*****

For now you’re gone, passed but this —

Is your beginning blooming;

Neither is it our end.

*****


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

#NaPoWriMo Day 24/ Poem — Free Verse — “Bird Dreams” #amwritingpoetry


For NaPoWriMo Day 24: my own prompt again.


Credit: Coral Birds Pinterest


There was a bird coral flushed, torn in the Red Sea waves,

And she floated in the healing, until her wings were drenched in mineral salts.

She preened on a rock, wings coated in salt-dust;

But, one day a storm raged and she was drenched in the mud.

The healing earth, and brokenness beneath meant nothing.

Rain washed, and she spread her plush coral feathers — lunged for the sky;

The salt and mud weighed, not much had fallen-smooth away.

But, she flew anyways — some birds fly despite;

They rise, even if you hold them down;

If you clip their wings, their feathers still grow rapid.

If you hear not a squawk, don’t be surprised if you do — she talks, no moment is right, but there’s reasons beneath silence.

It takes time to soar weighted by sludge, to balance weights on your wings;

But she’s flying and she’s okay, she might send a squawk your way —

Depends if you’re a bird person, or weighted to cement delusions.

She might squawk, or she might fly onto the tangerine sunset,

Where the saltless waters are clean, and her wingspan for a moment’s graceful.


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights 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 18: Poem – Elegy/Octava Rima — “Moon’s Ruins” #amwritingpoetry


For NaPoWriMo Day 18, the prompt is:


“Today, I’d like to challenge you to write an elegy of your own, one in which the abstraction of sadness is communicated not through abstract words, but physical detail. This may not be a “fun” prompt, but loss is one of the most universal and human experiences, and some of the world’s most moving art is an effort to understand and deal with it.”


Credit: Andres Kovacks via Unsplash.


Here lies she in nightgown silken violet,

Here lies she crevices in skin, so deep.

A century near, her beauty’s reached twilight.

Cream lace contrasts, ivory in age spots breached.

Here lies she, once ochre hair silver-white,

Eyelids closed, rings azure-sky in sleep each.

I miss her laugh-lines, fingers playing tunes;

She’s better beyond the sun, the moon’s ruins.


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

#NaPoWriMo Day 20: Free Verse – “Get Away, Get Away” #amwritingpoetry


For NaPoWriMo Day 20, the prompt is:


“Try to write a poem grounded in language as it is spoken – not necessarily the grand, dramatic speech of a monologue or play, but the messy, fractured, slangy way people speak in real life. You might incorporate overheard speech or a turn of phrase you heard once that stood out to you – the idea here is to get away from formally “poetic” speech and into the way language tends to work out loud.”


Based somewhat off William Blake’s, “The Chimney Sweeper: My Mother Died When I Was Very Young . . .


Credit: Google Images


Get away, get away, no scraps to eat,

Get away, get away, vile chimney sweeper.

Squirrel down the fireplace with hacking cough,

Get away, get away, tiny three-year old son.

Get away, get away, clean the soot well,

Treated as vermin, you know not nor why.

Get away, get away — two-hundred years passed.

And many hollows, still haunt chimney sweepers;

The dogs are fed, cats cradled, but somewhere —

The little chimney sweeper’s weep,

Broken spirited, choking on ashes, soot.

And modern toddlers cough, hurt someway else.

Get away, get away, we’ve a thousand things to do,

Get away, get away, nuisances only God sees as deserving.

Perhaps, some grandparent’s of a toddler, yet . . .

We’ve still forgotten. William Blake’s Chimney Sweepers.

Pretence and poison, do we value things, experiences over young life?

‘Get away, Get away,’ words unheeded not remembered,

Think they better, know they not;

None of us are better via religion, ethnicity, nor sense of reason,

If we don’t love the little children.

Get away, get away, let the chimney sweepers breath,

Let fresh air carry giggles, chimes in the wind,

No more work, not ever,

Only golden pathways to freedom.


©️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 16: Poem: “Whirlwind” #amwritingpoetry


For NaPoWriPo Day 16: Just my own poem for this day, written awhile ago.


Credit: Twinsfish via Unsplash.


There’s this whirlwind, a dervish,

Often, I cant escape it.

This sucking of air from lungs, a lack of patience;

I used to have every moment in the world:

It took forever for it to run out,

And I’m relearning this skill.

Some think they can be impatient,

Rudely shove past people, those who deserve it;

But, you can try to listen,

Even if they’re not listening or repeating —

Something you’ve heard one thousand times.

Sometimes you bite your tongue

Stop the meandering mental pathways —

Your questions; remember everyone has had a long day too.

Slide out of the tornados eye;

Through the winds blinding, and binding, confiding your sense of balance.

Dance out of the dust, mud, rain, waves, the anger;

Sometimes you breathe deep,

Turn your lips into a smile, pretend you agree,

Say nothing, let your temper settle.

Remember that simple explanations are best,

That the multiple pathways and methods ‘sense-making’ in your mind;

Is not the way logic works for all others.

So, you shut up, say nothing, until you can explain well,

Without the background, the twists, and stormy turns.

Without repeated words and salesmen tricks;

So, in the end you say thank you,

And in your head, “Go away.”

Because some people are having a horrible day,

And you’ve been there too.

Because it’s hard to serve others and be sunshine 24-7;

Because it’s not worth the damage —

To argue; state the simple truth.

Let others be horrid, be sympathetic;

And charm each angered stranger,

Because maybe after the theatrics are over,

Two can meet for a moment’s truth.

Two can comprehend without rabbit holes,

Without side-questions or insults underhanded.

You can roar sometimes,

But choose your fights wisely.

Deep breathe and stall a second first.

Some strangers aren’t worth the effort,

Some friends aren’t worth the tears;

There are a vast amount of reasons to not lash-out,

Mostly, because the aftermath tells us,

Tiny things aren’t so significant in the giant picture.

One awful experience, does not define a person;

And is likely a second you’ll forget.

Be calm in the whirlwind,

Be kind, and let patience flow.


©️Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

#NaPoWriMo Day 15: Poem – “Errant Dukes” #amwritingpoetry


For NaPoWriMo Day 15, the prompt is:


“Today, I’d like to challenge you to write your own dramatic monologue. It doesn’t have to be quite as serious as Browning or Shakespeare, of course, but try to create a sort of specific voice or character that can act as the “speaker. . .”


Kind of just used Browning’s poem for this, and ignored most of the monologue bit. “My Last Duchess,” by Robert Browning.


Credit: Fine Art America

Browning’s last Duchess, a smile illuminates well,

Her cheerful words, her eyes glimmer bright, but —

Most would think, the duke at her offed; she fell —

From grace, honour tainted in death for but,

Smiling, cheeks roses sweet blooms praised.

Eyes lustrous, though she reviles his lust —

For an heir, for her each breath, so she gazed.

Drowning in the time others braved, didn’t steal.

Short death revealed a pale Duchess life-raised.

Who rolled eyes at Duke’s pleas; he gasped, blood congealed.

Poison breeds poison, a last Duchess seethed.

His fortune, grins meet; two last Duchess‘ breathe.


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.