#OctPoWriMo Day 20/Three Line Tales: Poem – Blank Verse – “The Red of Sleep” #3LineTales #amwritingpoetry


For OctPoWriMo Day 20 the prompt is: What color is it? Also, combining with #3LineTales from Sonya of Only 100 Words. Unfortunately, I’ve more than 3 lines or stanzas, but the picture works well!


Credit: Andre Benz Via Unsplash

What color is it? Blood-red or poppy?

Vermilion, cherry, apple or roses?

Gerbera-Daisy bled, or Scarlet?

Rust, copper, orange-red, red-wine or dead-red?

Is it the color of sin –a siren?

Or the shade of glory in battle?

Is it a Chinese wedding dress beaded,

Or cinnamon hearts on Valentine’s?

Is it love or fierce aggression? Anger?

Is it blood slipping down a soldier’s blade?

Blood of every fallen man, history’s —

Nameless sacrificed for freedom or,

To conquer land, or escape into the —

Red Sea parted, never turned back blue.

Red is memory, passion, delight, and —

Death that stains, with transgressions ink;

Indelible as a teacher’s x-marks.

Red’s Opium Dens, Jingle Jangle’s dread;

But, most I think of poppies that blow, grow,

On Vimmy Ridge, where our youth bled out, all —

These wars where soldiers died for peace.

It reigns, while tyrants burn, and hero’s sleep.


©️Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

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#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 1/ Sunday Writing Prompt/ #PhotoChallenge: Poem – “Death’s Twilight” #amwritingpoetry


For OctPoWriMo Day 1 the theme is surrender. I’m combining with MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt on the poem, “Lady Lazarus” by Sylvia Plath. Also, using a photo prompt from NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie.


Credit: Natalia Ruka

She rises, you think she’d shrink,

Lose her footing with knobby bones, bloody footprints;

But, she’s a miracle and survives despite —

The annihilation of her heart.

No surrender, no train cars full of the sick and dying;

No camps of death will kill her.

She won’t surrender, she’ll paint you a dream,

A masterpiece of despair and scribbled features.

A portrait or less, no seashell rocking shut;

She rasps, vapours of her lost innocence.

Herr who?

With battered purple sockets.

Herr who?

A dream or nightmare trawling.

I have no dreams of innocence, only a suffering spitefulness for your hate.

Words that shattered the cracked mirror,

Seventy times seven bad luck.

Herr who?

Miss Plath, your words are riddled traps.

Herr who?

She fakes death, blood and bone snapped;

Flesh from hands shredded.

Your terror camps and eyes of sunken sin,

Can’t make her alive, though she’s not yet, dead.

Be on guard for those caught in-between;

Those who aren’t afraid as the breath in their lungs rattles.

Beware of those who see death and leave life;

The exact meeting of one leaving the elevator, while the other travels home.

Beware of hair as hellfire, she the angel of death;

No surrender, for none was given her.

Beware her yawning grin,

And hollow eyes as she devours men like air;

Destiny with her twisted wings,

Her opalescent fluttering, a sheen that hides the bitter.

Her charcoal hands twitching as they sketch the twilight of death.


“Lady Lazarus” by Sylvia Plath

*****

I have done it again.

One year in every ten

I manage it——

A sort of walking miracle, my skin

Bright as a Nazi lampshade,

My right foot

A paperweight,

My face a featureless, fine

Jew linen.

Peel off the napkin

O my enemy.

Do I terrify?——

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?

The sour breath

Will vanish in a day.

Soon, soon the flesh

The grave cave ate will be

At home on me

And I a smiling woman.

I am only thirty.

And like the cat I have nine times to die.

This is Number Three.

What a trash

To annihilate each decade.

What a million filaments.

The peanut-crunching crowd

Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand and foot——

The big strip tease.

Gentlemen, ladies

These are my hands

My knees.

I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.

The first time it happened I was ten.

It was an accident.

The second time I meant

To last it out and not come back at all.

I rocked shut

As a seashell.

They had to call and call

And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

Dying

Is an art, like everything else.

I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.

I do it so it feels real.

I guess you could say I’ve a call.

It’s easy enough to do it in a cell.

It’s easy enough to do it and stay put.

It’s the theatrical

Comeback in broad day

To the same place, the same face, the same brute

Amused shout:

‘A miracle!’

That knocks me out.

There is a charge

For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge

For the hearing of my heart——

It really goes.

And there is a charge, a very large charge

For a word or a touch

Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.

So, so, Herr Doktor.

So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,

I am your valuable,

The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.

I turn and burn.

Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, ash—

You poke and stir.

Flesh, bone, there is nothing there——

A cake of soap,

A wedding ring,

A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer

Beware

Beware.

Out of the ash

I rise with my red hair

And I eat men like air.


©️Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

Saturday Mix/ Photo Challenge: Fiction – Dear Moose #amwriting #fiction #SaturdayMix #PhotoChallenge


Thanks to Sarah of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie’s Double Take. Also, combining with NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie’s Photo Challenge. Sarah’s homophone sets this week are: mail – postal delivery and male – masculine person. Also, moose – a large elk and mousse – dessert of whipped cream and eggs.


Credit: Brooke Shaden


It began with a letter. The clunk of the mailman’s shoes as he delivered a letter sealed with scarlet. Genevieve snatched the letter from her mailbox. Her hands trembled. The writing of the address seemed masculine. It curved without order or neatness. The fact that a male could handwrite these days surprised her.

“Perhaps he’s an older man?” She shrugged and slit the letter. The name on the envelope wasn’t one Genevieve recognized. She did not believe its sender was ‘actually’ ‘John Smith.’ She rolled her eyes.

Genevieve slid three folded cream pages from the envelope and straightened them. The first page had a tiny emblem in the corner. She wasn’t sure what it meant. A ‘J’ with a squiggle looped over and down from the top of the ‘J’ to form a tiny ‘S’ beneath it. The third letter was a ‘T’ that she realized matched the wax seal.

‘John Smith’s’ writing began without greetings. Genevieve read a few sentences and discovered the letter was penned to someone called Moose.

“I’m not Moose, and I don’t know anyone with that nickname.” She struggled to read ‘John’s’ handwriting. After a bit, she set down the first page. Moose was involved in serious business.

She threw her coat and purse on the floor. She’d only returned from work a minute before the envelope arrived. She groaned. “Why C/O Genevieve O’Connor?” But no one answered, as she knew they wouldn’t.

Genevieve pinched the bridge of her nose. “Shower and food. Then, I’ll read more.” She gathered clean clothes and pondered the letter under the shower’s spray. After a half hour, she dressed and heated left-over Ravioli.

She grabbed a cozy blanket from a linen closet and flipped over page one of the letter Genevieve swore under her breath. Damn illegible handwriting. Can’t you print like a normal person?

She padded back to her room to towel dry her hair and to comb through some mousse. Then, she reclined on her sofa, gathering her blanket as she deciphered ‘John’s’ letter. She shivered despite her hot shower, and couldn’t help the feeling that something about this letter was amiss.

*****

That’s how it Genevieve became lost in the forest, and ended up at a summer cottage closed for the fall. Her body trembled and she couldn’t stand the dirt, blood, and other forest offerings on her skin. The only place to wash was a large kitchen sink. There was no shower, so Genevieve stuffed the cabin’s broken window pane with a blanket and stripped.

She couldn’t get rid of the tang of blood or acrid dirt. It made her nauseous. She scrubbed her skin raw, and poured more dish soap on her hair. She stepped out of the sink careful not to slip. As she rinsed her hair, evidence of the past few days whirled down the drain.

She was tired of being alone. She yelled at the absent John Smith. He’d helped her only once before. “You’ve a lot of explaining, John.”His name was a sneer. “I’m tired of this game. I never knew Moose. I don’t know why I’m his contact: let me be, and tell your gun-totting buddies too.”

Her voice echoed in the cottage, and she was alone except for the howling mountain’s winds; its paradoxical breezes made her headache throb. Gentle winds mixed with gusts causing the windows to clammer.

Genevieve scrambled through kitchen drawers until she found the Advil. Swallowing two pills, she fell into bed. The sheets were lavender-scented and the duvet warm. Who lived here? She didn’t know. Then, a hand swept across her forehead, and she mumbled thinking it was a dream.

“John?” Her voice was hoarse, and her hands reached, and gripped a muscled arm in flannel. Genevieve groaned as his fingers combed through her wet hair. His hand rested on her forehead.

“It is you.” The room was dark and only John’s outline was visible. She knew it was him by his scent. Fresh and masculine.

“You’ve a fever.” She rolled her eyes. Genevieve was mad.

“Drink this?” A red mug lowered to her mouth.

“What is it?”

“I’m not here to hurt you, Genevieve.”

“Such a liar.” He insisted she drink it, so she did. In-between sips she grumbled and tried to sit up. He pushed her down.

“It’s Neocitran. You’re sick and you need sleep.”

“I’m sick? Whose fault is that? After everything, now you show up?” Genevieve’s eyes closed as lethargy overcame her.

“Go away, John. I’ll figure this out alone. You complicate everything.”

He sighed. She opened her eyes as he rubbed his hands over watched his face, and through his two-day stubble.

“I didn’t mean to handle it this way. I didn’t know you’d never met your brother.” He combed through her hair once more.

It bothered Genevieve that things seemed less hopeless with John beside her. She wanted him to stay but knew he’d be gone by morning.

“Just leave, John.”

“Not a chance, Genna.” She thought she imagined his last words.


©Mandibelle16.(2018) All Rights Reserved.

#NaPoWriMo Day 9/Saturday Mix: Poem – Free Verse – “Montage” #amwriting #SaturdayMix #poetry #MLMM


For NaPoWriMo Day 9 the Prompt is: “to write a poem in which something big and something small come together.” Also thanks to Sarah from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Saturday Mix March 24, 2018, with her Same but Different Theme,to take the five challengewords and NOT use them in your writing; to find a synonym for each word instead.” The words are: 1) Lie, 2) Dive, 3) Realize, 4) Pass, 5) Red.


Credit: Catherine McMahon


Falseness of sound,

Tears glisten as —

Mermaids parade into ocean’s curve.

Waves echoing, golden sand glints;

Resolve to know.

Deliberate without inhibition,

Sweep the sands, as tears forge waters;

A crimson sky blossoms,

The rose thorn drawing blood.

Recognize I not,

The void of your eyes glistening;

Hollowness resides.

Simmers through flesh;

Leaping through dawn,

As sailors are warned.

Salt water incites —

Saline tears, as the sea’s violent waves.

Tiny droplets recognize,

Pain doesn’t end.

Drops of wine,

Mineral lakes where all do float;

Nothing dissolves,

Fear of the giant montage.

A glistening gate —

A screenshot of life.


©Mandibelle16.(2018) All Rights Reserved.

PhotoChallenge/ Sunday Writing Prompt: A Fairy Tale with a Bad Ending: Maleficent #amwriting #fiction #photochallenge


Thanks to NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s photochallenge. I’m combining prompts with The Sunday Writing Prompt of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie and using the title prompt tale: A Fairytale with a Very Bad End.


Credit: Jeff Simpson


Maleficent stared from her dim dungeon-like castle eyeing King Stefan’s daughter, Aurora, playing in a wide open field.

She whispered to Crow, “They’re supposed to be watching her those three dim-witted fairies. When I was a good fairy, I watched my charges closely. How foolish they are, I could end her life now.”

Crow cawed, “She’s but ten years old and it isn’t her fault Stefan is her father. She doesn’t know what he did to you to become king.”

“Quiet, Crow. I’m thinking.”

“You think a great deal but never do much. Aurora knows what her fate is, those ignorant fairies told her. Now, whenever she can, she escapes to this field to play. She has no care for danger or death. Sometimes she sits and stares into the sky crying.”

“Why should I be merciful to her because she knows she will prick her finger and die in six-years? I owe her nothing. She is a means to an end.”

Crow cocked his head. “She is not responsible for her father’s crimes anymore than your parents were responsible for leaving you alone to rule the Marsh; your parents did not intend to die. Aurora, does not want to die either. Why not raise her yourself and find a way to undo the curse? Simply losing her will hurt Stefan deeply as the queen can’t have more children.”

Maleficent pinched the bridge of her nose. “I cannot undo such a powerful curse and I will not do Stefan any favours despite Aurora’s innocence. He raped me Crow, I was helpless. He cut off my wings. I will not save the girl.”

“You may change your mind yet. You have watched her for years and have become fond of her. You hate that she’s putting herself in peril now.”

“Fond?”

“Yes, you have this soft smile on your face when you watch Aurora. You never smile that way except with her.”

Maleficent’s voice went cold. “In that case . . . ” she pointed her wand at the blond beauty. Heart beating loudly in her ears, she struck the small girl down. Aurora death was instant and a single tear slipped down the dark fairy’s cheek.

“Now, you see, Crow? I have ended her life. I’m not attached to her and we will bury Aurora’s body in the Marshes. Aurora’s early death will bring Stefan greater pain. He will live his life not knowing what happened to his daughter. His queen will die in grief.”

Tears dropped as diamonds from Crows’ coal-black eyes and wouldn’t stop. “I do not think Stefan is the most evil being in the kingdom. You are the person most full of evil. Just as he lost his heart to become king and hurt you, you have ended the life of an innocent child and are no better.”

“I meant for you to truly act as Aurora’s Godmother — not to kill her. You should’ve been the one to guard and protect her; I thought you loved her.”

“Love is as treacherous as running off alone to a field . . .”

Crow’s caw was forlorn. “Aurora could’ve had a new beginning with us, but I cannot serve a fairy whose heart has become black with revenge, with blood on her hands from an innocent’s death. How far you have fallen, Maleficent.”

“Stefan is not responsible for your evil deeds; you are responsible for your own crimes.”

Crow bowed once and flew away forever. Maleficent was left alone and inside her chest her heart’s ache was perpetual.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

#NovemberNotes Day 2: Poem – Free Verse – “Of Abuse” #amwriting #poetry #dVerse


For November Notes Day 2 the song is “New Rules” by Dua Lipa. I’m combining this prompt with Björn from #dVerse Peet’s Pub on defining a monster you fear. 
—-

Credit: Miranda Whiperfurth via Unsplash
—-

Dua Lipa – “New Rules”

—-

I saw him walk, 

Saw him fire randomly. 

Searchimg for specific victims, 

Fear was palpable, hanging heavy —

In the sunlit air, deceptive for the scent of blood. 

Pungent, stinging my lungs, 

As if breathing in a mustard gas. 

No one should ever have to know —

Deaths putrid scent. 

See it pooling, 

From a loved one or friend. 

No one should have to see, 

How medicine cannot always heal; 
By knowledge or by quickness. 

That the scariest monsters are the ones, 
Seemingly kind, normal, 

Even attractive humans. 

Those who cannot function, 

Losing control by illness, 

Or by self-indoctrination. 

Breaking to pieces, 

Flipping their humanity switch. 

Or lost in a terrifying nightmare, 

Blurring into their edges.

They’ve nothing soft left, 

No heart remaining, 

In cold blood or insanity. 

He may have been a gun man, 

Or perhaps, he was a manipulator? 

A lesser monster whose pain, 

Transformed into rage. 

A monster stealing peace of mind, 

Security and safety. 

Through vile methods. 

He’s the twenty phone calls your ignoring, 

Sleeping with him anyways, 
Just so he’ll go away. 

Because you don’t feel anything, 

Cringing at his touch. 

Under him it’s all to clear,

Your never over him; 

Until you don’t let him return ever. 

But he enjoys the tatters,

While regret knots in your stomach, 

Grows agonizing when he —

Doesn’t hear all your “No’s” and “Stops.”

But you stay with him, 

You let him believe, 

Because has the power to harm, 

A craziness in his eyes. 

Different bullets than the gunmen, 
Bullets just the same. 

Ban the ballots, the gunpowder, 

Save those trapped, 

By gun toting diehards,

And fools who take advantage —

Wielding obsession and abuse. 

—-


—–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Poem – “It’s a Fact of Life” #amwriting #poetry #flashfiction 


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW September 5, 2017. 

Excuse the length. I saw the photograph and it fit my poem well. Since I’m still two weeks behind I don’t know that it matters 🙂 

——-

Credit: Artycaptures.wordpress.com

——-

When I visit here, 

It’s a fact of life. 

Blood drawn with tiny needles.

Some days they sting, 

Stringing out two seconds. 

Other days, the needle doesn’t register. 

It was a fact of life,

I had to visit here each week,

For the first six months. 

Then, every other week, 

Now each month the rest of my life. 

It’s a fact of life, 

So I don’t pay much attention. 

Facing away when the needle grazes, 

The same ‘good’ vein. 

Blueish-purple in my left arm, 

Silver-violet threads of blood vessels. 

Some months these needles bruise, 

Leave my skin raw and red; 

But If I’ve someone skilled,

There’s a slight indentation. 

Each month —

Babies crying concertos. 

An ominous feeling in the air. 

They’ve no choice —

But to know sharp pain. 

A poke stinging eternities of fire, 

For a wink in time. 

Wailing and —

The waiting room patients’ sigh. 

Then silence follows, 

The miniature massacre. 

Everyone checking, rechecking watches, 

Pulling out phones. 

Waiting for that sickening needle, 

Shuffling in seats,

Legs crossed and uncrossed. 

Glossy magazine pages turned, 

With frequent frustration. 

Toddlers running,

Mothers trying to calm them, 

Hushing their lively squeaks. 

I’m used to having blood drawn, 
Turning my head, 

Focusing on some object, 

Or a distant thought. 

There’s persistent pain as the needle pulls, 
My blood into the tube. 

Six to nine tubes today, 

Blood annexed for annual work. 

These tests burn —

Worse than the tattoo artist’s etching. 

Sketching out the black lines, 

Worse than her needle, 

Grazing repeatedly, 

Skin with vibrant colours. 

Back and forth movements, 
Calming and hushing,

Knowing what to expect and where. 

Conversation, music soothing, 

Then, the artist is done. 

Her needles leaving, 

A work of art behind. 

But the blood test needles ache worse. 

Similar to the last flu shot,

Some years not felt at all.

Other years a poke that —

Throbs all day. 

Despite praying the pharmacist,

Will slide the needle in,

Not deliver a death blow. 

Droplets of bright blood plop, 

To the stark white floor. 

She laughs, this never happens. 

Her mouth turns downward, 

Because you grimace, 

Squish your eyes shut counting the seconds;

Until the hurt dulls. 

She wonders why you wince, 

Why you’re so sensitive.

Says the swelling will fade, 

You’ll live, 

It’s a fact of life. 

It’s a matter of proper training, 

Slipping any needle in gently. 

Not jabbing and mincing, 

A persons veins or muscles. 

Yet still, a fact of life. 
But I remember being six and crying,

Fighting my mother, 

She was angry. 

Because I saw the needle, 

And refused. 

Today, the blood test needles are thinner. 

Adults can ignore them, right

Grit their teeth while the bloods, 

Ripped away, into a tube. 

It’s a fact of life. 

That some things are sharper and dig holes deeper, 

Than blood tests, flu shots, or tattoos. 

There is greater pain flowing from our insides,

If only the hurt could be drawn out as blood. 

If happiness, no worries, and no obligations —

Was all that remained behind. 

If only —

The tattoo artists colours, 

Garunteed you with fantastic health. 

And flu shots didn’t speak of fragility; 

Only the best humors in our blood. 

Gossamer strings supporting dreams. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

 

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Poem – Quadrille – “Winged Hope” #amwriting #poetry #dVerse #flashfiction


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW August 29, 2017. Also, thanks to Paul Scribbles of #dVerse Poet’s Pub for hosting a poetry prompt on magic

——–

Credit: Jade M. Wong – FFftAW

——–

Art bleeds, 

Nobody’s seen before —

Winged ring,

Mortally wounded.  

Some kids arrows —

Embedded. 

Forever trickling,  

Whenever someone’s — 

Dying. 

Knives, gunshots wounds. 

Whether they’re sick —

On pain medication. 

Or dead in sleep.

Winged circle bleeds, 

For generations. 

Weeping blood,

For death is —

Constant. 

Yet in darkness, 

Gleams old magic, 

Hope’s recourse, 

Heals. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Sunday Photo Fiction: The Horsemen’s Head #flashfiction #amwriting #SleepyHollow


Thanks to Alastair Forbes for hosting SPF. 

——–

Credit: A Mixed Bag – Alistair Forbes

——–

Ichabode Crane was observing the dim forest when he noticed the bald head buried beneath the tree of death. Each morning it was Ichabode’s job to discover what the headless horseman had left behind from his nights decapitating helpless citizens.  

Today he found two headless corpses half-buried. He shivered thinking of the literal trail of blood that often followed the horseman. 

Though Ichabod was a medical doctor, he’d never found any heads attached to the bodies the horseman discarded. His heart pounded and he began to sweat as he clawed the head from the ground with his fingers. 

The hair felt dirty and greasy. The waxen skin was warm and he was sure the head had soulless eyes beneath its lids. While he stared, Ichabod’s hands shook. The blood running from the head’s eyes, suddenly, caught his attention as they began to open of their own accord. 

Coal eyes with pupils as red as poppies, alerted Ichabod this head belonged to the horseman. Ichabod drank from his trusty flask, whiskey and opium to numb him. 

But perhaps he drank too much. When he awoke, the head lay on his lap and Ichabod rested against the horrid tree. The moon exposed him and his opium veil faded. He felt too alert. The head’s mouth fell open revealing carnivorous teeth. 

Soon, the thundering footsteps of the black horse and the armed body of the headless horseman could be heard. He screeched as the horseman took one slice at his neck, but then, Ichabod offered the horseman the head. 

The horseman dropped his sword and went to his knees on the ground. He took the head in his gnarled hands and placed it on his neck. The horseman growled, a sound of rage in a demonic tongue. 

He gazed at Ichabod, “Run, go now. I will spare you for returning my head. Everyone else in Sleepy Hollow will join me in death.” 

Ichabod had never considered himself a coward but he ran anyways, never peering behind him as screams filled the night. 

——-
©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.  

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Poem – Quadrille – “The Shire”  #amwriting #flashfiction #poetry 


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW. 

——-

Credit: J.S. Brand

——–

 Up to The Shire, 

Rounded doors. 

Tall ones warned, 

Lintel’s short. 

Beams are low, 

Pantry’s full; 

Bread, jam, wine. 

Safe from intruders. 

Into our Shire home, 

Scrolled furniture, 

Comfortable repose. 

Sweetest resting place;

Don’t force us, 

Come out. 

Adventure’s dangerous; 

But my blood, 

Pulsed madly, 

So I went. 

From The Shire, 

Then life, 

I lived well. 

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.