Photo Challenge/Tale Weaver: Poem – Free Verse – “Stairway from Forever Winter” #amwriting #poetry #TaleWeavers #PhotoChallenge #MLMM


Thanks to NEKNEERAJ from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting photo challenge #220. Also, thanks to Michael from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting the Tale Weaver prompt on the them of a voyage of discovery.


Credit: Silvia Grav


Shivering as if I’m shedding,

As if I’ll never know heat;

Or a belly without ache.

Crisp bacon and sausage sizzles,

French toast with cream cheese;

Clouds of whipped cream,

Maple syrup flowing in valleys;

Sweet strawberry jam,

Tart on my tongue,

The crisp-softness of toast;

Homemade bread devoured.

Orange juice with champagne,

Sweetness and fizzing bubbles.

Chatter, hands passing,

Sniggers and giggles;

Raising the bar; the bets are laid —

Who can eat the most pancakes?

There is plenty in this dream,

Richness and generosity abounds —

Reality’s barren and frosted.

No warmth of hugs or arms over shoulders,

Until a burning stillness settles.

The sensation of hovering above,

Until your firefly soul lifts.

The memory of family, breakfast with ice-cream,

Strawberry sauce and flaked croissants;

Of food so boundless that all gnawing hunger’s abolished.

No daydream with clawing pains,

Only serenity, path into a place —

Where loved ones suffer not.

Where there’s no war to justify —

No battle to survive;

Nor land that will not thaw to grow.

Above, there’s glowing prosperity,

A joyfulness that never pales.

No ice-white skin preserved in chill,

No forever winter.

A flame that flickers and overwhelms,

Sparks and heat spread,

As butter melts on fresh bread.

Reflecting on golden streets,

A feast as none knew before.

Temporality extinguished,

The relief of a forever home

Not hunger nor strife.

It’s unimaginable,

But after all the misery —

This stairway’s an easy flight.


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

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Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writers: Poem – Bop – “The Hiding Place”  #amwriting #poetry #flashfiction #nature 


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting last week’s FFftAW. 

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Credit: Pamela S. Canepa

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Take me down to the places on hidden —

Paths let’s hike; the lush forest has bidden, 

That we heed her wild calls exploring. 

Let us find all nooks, crannies, and more, 

Let’s find the secrets in this forest, 

Masked for centuries, deep secrets unknown. 

Search for me where rocks pile high, where I’m free. 

This landscape has its hardships it’s paths —

Twisted and sometimes steep, but we climb past —

All obstacles, find glorious treasures. 

Unafraid in tranquil woods we measure, 

Distances by landmarks, certain trees, —

Curved trunks bowing; see nature’s masterpiece. 

Hiking as far as we can, giant rocks near, 

Hearing the river’s voice trickling clear. 

Search for me where rocks pile high, where I’m free. 

At night we lie on air mattresses we’re, 

Wrapped in sleeping bags, lost in our dreams. 

The river’s language a tongue we know, 

Then, the sun is high, breakfast made, we go —

To explore our secret, the enchanted world, 

Life is short, peaceful quiet it restores. 

Search for me where rocks pile high, where I’m free. 

———

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights a Reserved. 

Saturday Mix: A Pug Life #amwriting #flashfiction #pugs 


Thanks to Lorraine from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Saturday Mix. We have a cute tale to tell this week, life from a pug’s view. You can see the little guy/gal below:

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Credit: Lorraine 2017
Credit: Lorraine 2017 – MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie
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“So you’re home. It’s about time, I had to go outside and use the grass but you took your sweet time coming home today. You shouldn’t do that — I hate going on the rug because you label me a ‘bad dog.’ But I’d like to see you hold it from 8:30 am until 6:00 pm at night. 

Oh by the way, I ate kibble for breakfast and supper and you were stingy on the foods scraps. I live for table scraps. Well that and going to the offleash park but I’m feeling suspicious. Last Saturday you promised the off leash park and instead I ended up at the V-E-T. I know what that means now! 

The V-E-T is a nasty guy, he cut my nails, a couple so short they bled. And those ‘shots,’what did I ever do to you but love you? You deserved it when I ignored you the next two days.” 

“Here Carla, treat Carla. Sit pretty!”

“Oh yes, you said treat! I want it now. I’ll beg, sit pretty, act all lovey, whatever you want!!!” 

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Three Line Tales: On Waffles #quotes #waffles #3LineTales


Thanks to Sonya of Only 100 Words for hosting #3LineTales.

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Credit: Roman Kraft via UnSplash

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1. “Poetry is a mystic, sensuous mathematics of fire, smoke-stacks, waffles, pansies, people, and purple sunsets.” – Carl Sandburg

—–

2. “Way, way back in the day, like in the 1990s, if you wanted to tell everyone you ate waffles for breakfast, you couldn’t just go on the Internet and tweet it out; there was only one way to do it — you had to go outside and scream at the top of your lungs, ‘I ate waffles for breakfast!’ That’s why so many people ended up in institutions; they seemed crazy, but when you think about it, they were just ahead of their time.” – Ellen Degeneres

—–

3. ” He gave her a look that you could have poured on a waffle.” – Ring Lardner Jr. 

—-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Three Line Tales: A Million Times Better #3LineTales #nonfiction #amwriting 


Thanks to Sony of Only 100 Words, our gracious host of #3LineTales:

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Credit: Jennifer Pallian via UpSplash

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Everyone either loves or hates fruit bread and more often than not, this stiff and solid rock like cake which sits in your stomach as if you’ve ingested a stone, is detested by many people. No matter the tradition or reason we bake/eat fruit bread at Christmas, it is a custom many of us wonder about; I can honestly say, however, there is only one fruit bread in the world I love because it tastes wonderful and is nothing like any fruit bread I’ve ever tasted before, or will ever taste again. 

Grandma’s fruit bread wasn’t like traditional loaves of fruit bread because it was soft and tempting as I believe, any kind of bread should be; inside her bread was sugared and candied fruits much like traditional fruit bread, except my Grandma’s fruit bread was melt in your mouth and we used to toast a small slice or two for breakfast during the holidays and have it with becel; the buttery, sweet, soft bread was delicious and makes me hungry thinking about it; Grandma’s fruit bread was not traditional fruit bread — it was a million times better.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Poem: Mirrored Refrain – “Darkest Hour” 


http://www.pinterest.com

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When light is fluorescent pale white,

It’s not the same as pure sunlight,

You loved me at my darkest hour, 

When I loathed myself you loved me.

—–

When dawn ascends the sky pastel,

Shades of pink, and blue,and pale orange.

When I loathed myself you loved me,

You loved me at my darkest hour.

—–

Storms come grey, green tornadoes fly,

Shelter I find within your sight.

You loved me at my darkest hour,

When I loathed myself you loved me.

——

Eating breakfast while the rain pours,

We need rain, our world’s fire bright orange.

When I loathed myself you loved me,

You loved me at my darkest hour.

——

Blizzards white and blinding, nearly froze.

But thought of you, kept up the fight.

You loved me at my darkest hour.

When I loathed myself, you loved me.

—–

Sky’s clear blue with puffy cotton,

And our sun’s brilliant blazing orange.

When I loathed myself, you loved me.

You loved me at my darkest hour.

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

10. How Was Last Night For You – Waking Up and John’s Nightmare


 

Read Chapter 9 here.

Chapter 10: Waking Up at John’s House and The Nightmare

Nina awoke from a deep sleep. She was incredibly comfortable and spread out across the bed.  She didn’t think she’d moved at all after she’d showered and gone to sleep. Remembering she was sleeping with John, Nina grinned and turned to look at him.

John appeared young and carefree as he slept.The slight laugh lines around his eyes weren’t as deep and the dark circles beneath his eyes were gone. His skin was smooth except where there was stubble. Nina had never seen John with a five o’clock shadow. Nina knew John kept up a pristine appearance for work and to look as if he had his life together. Sometimes clothes and other people’s perceptions of John’s careful grooming helped to keep people from finding out why certain events happened when John was in the vicinity.

Nina reached tentatively for John’s face and she stroked his whiskered cheek. She yawned and fell back on her pillows deciding she needed more sleep. Nina drifted and soon surrendered to her dreams.

—–

The sun was in John’s eyes. It was annoying. He always kept the roman shade closed in his bedroom. The housekeeper must have put the blind up. Life left John with little but fires he had to keep putting out so he needed all the sleep he could get.

John felt Nina before he dreamed about her. The sensation of her hand stroking his stubbled cheek. He was afraid for her and thought he should tell her to go home before she ended up in the hospital; but to do that felt like an even worse idea.

Nina’s touch was special. John could feel the magnetic pull they felt with each other. His Nina. He dreamed of her soft long blond hair and cherub pink lips. He dreamed of her beautiful curves, her hips, her stomach, her breasts, and it made him want her. John dreamt Nina and he were sitting out in front of his house on the beach, sitting in anorak chairs.

The tide from the lake went in and out on the shore and was a soothing rhythm as he held Nina’s hand and stroked it. He wasn’t worried, he wasn’t afraid. Nothing problematic was going to happen. He enjoyed serenity for seconds.

Then the sky grew dark and the thunder clouds rolled in. Nina was begging him not to go into Sirene Lake. John kept telling her he had to go. And it was if his worst fears had come to life when Tia emerged from the water — gorgeous but deadly. A sea witch in a dress of blue and green scales. She had a dagger in her hand and she came close to his face brushing his cheek with hers and whispered: ‘your heart for hers.’

Tia was looking at Nina and telling him to choose. John wanted to save Nina. He chose her, but Tia only laughed and dragged John into the water. When she could swim with her mermaid’s tale, Tia drove the dagger through John’s heart. He could feel the pain so acute and agonizing.

John could hear Nina crying, wadding into Sirene Lake after him. And Tia was laughing malevolently and swimming further into the lake with John’s bleeding body where no one would see him again. Nina followed Tia and John. He realized Tia was leading Nina into deeper waters, where Nina could not swim. She was to die as well. John felt a pain stronger than Tia’s dagger to his heart, a searing pain that wouldn’t end. John blacked out.


John awoke from his nightmare in a cold sweat. He felt his heart beat rapidly where he was sure he had been stabbed or was having some kind of heart episode. But John’s heartbeat slowed and all he could feel with his hand was his bare chest, no bloody wound. John breathed deeply, realizing he had been holding his breath as he dreamt Tia had pulled him into the lake to drown him as he died from a stab wound. She had been attempting to drown Nina too. It took John a few minutes to realize he had only been experiencing a horrific nightmare.

John looked beside him and saw Nina was stretched across three-quarters of his king sized bed. He had been huddled in the last quarter of the bed she had left him. John thought he should be annoyed by Nina hogging his bed but he wasn’t. Nina was too cute to annoy him right now.

She looked peaceful as she slept. He knew Nina was about twenty-nine or thirty but she looked twenty-three with her face bare of makeup and her beautiful hair tangled about her head. Nina’s body was warm where it touched his. John sidled closer to Nina and stroked her pale hair away from her face. He kept stroking her cheek as he kissed her closed lips gently. He kissed her eyelids and the corner of her lips. John kissed her cheeks and began to trail wet kisses down her neck. He reached for the blue dress shirt of his Nina slept in, and began to unbutton the shirt.

Nina sighed in her sleep and her eyes flew open when he gently bit the place her shoulder and neck met. She opened her grey-blue eyes and smiled at him sleepily.

“Good morning.” John said “Funny I should find you in my bed. I think I’ll have to do something about that.”

Nina giggled and stretched her arms above her head. ” Way to take advantage of a poor defenceless woman. I wasn’t sure you’d take the bate,” Nina murmured. Her morning voice was croaky.

“How could I resist,” John mumbled kissing Nina where buttons had once covered her skin.He kissed Nina’s heart thinking back to his nightmare which he remembered so vividly:  ‘Your heart or hers.’ Tia had said.

John had an inkling Tia might be making him a visit in person sooner or later. Such as he felt a terrible event which was going to occur around him, John felt sure Tia was coming to check up on him as she had threatened years ago. She’d be watching John, Tia had said. Last night if he was honest, he could have sworn he saw her a couple times at the fundraiser. He thought he was seeing things. Had Tia finally returned? He felt a pang of sorrow for the love he once felt for Tia. But after all she had put John through, all the suffering and broken relationships, he felt little but anger and bitterness towards Tia now. If she was here again it would be because of Nina, and Nina he was sure he could protect.

“John,” Nina asked him sitting up, “are you okay?”

“Fine. Great,” John said realizing he had stopped kissing Nina abruptly and was looking through her. He smiled at her rubbed her cheek. The situation needed to be remedied. He forgot about Tia for the moment. John’s life was full of Nina for the present. A spark was growing within him for her, a spark no past love could compare with. Whether John’s dream was a warning or not, he would protect Nina. He would keep her safe. Nina and John had only known each other over a week and he cared for her so much already. For now he would show her how he felt giving praise to her body and through it, her heart.


 

Nina sat on a barstool in John’s kitchen. She was eating scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage, and hash browns. She knew she was going to pay for all the calories she’d been ingesting this weekend when she went to the gym next week. Tiredly, she regretted she’d have to increase her cardio.

John and Nina hadn’t returned to John’s house until 2:00 am in the morning. At 4:00 am they’d showered and went to bed. As she ate breakfast in the afternoon, Nina went over the night’s events. The biggest aspects being meeting the strange young woman named Talise who said she had been a woman John had thrown away. Talise’s friend had loved John and John had forgot about her as well. Nina also thought about the fire. The smoke and fire damage which occurred to the beautiful venue the fundraiser had been held in and potential fatalities which might have occurred.

John sat on the stool beside Nina wearing sweatpants and nothing more. He devoured his breakfast while reading the Adare Gazette. He looked up at Nina now and then with a contented look on his face before reading the paper again. Nina spied a small story in the gazette about the fire at the Country club. She noticed John skipped over it with his eyes and pulled out the sports section.

” Edmonton won last night.” John muttered. “I’m kind of shocked. They’ve been winning quite a bit lately. I wonder if they’ll be playoff contenders.”

” Of course they will.” Nina chirped, “McDavid’s back.” John chuckled.

“Anything you want to do today Nina,” John asked.

“Well it would be fun to veg but I had planned on trying to go to the Farmer’s market downtown before it closes at 4:00 pm. It’s Winter so it’s inside this huge building and not outside, but it’s still pretty good. It’s 2 pm we could still make it .”

“Alright, I suppose that will be fun.” John said.  She could tell John wasn’t much thrilled by the idea of going to the Farmer’s Market but Nina wanted to do coupley things with John and get to know him better, even if he didn’t always like what they were doing. Nina laid her head against John’s shoulder. She had finished eating and was content.

“You’ll like it. Fresh food. I will cook you a great supper,” Nina reassured John.

He smiled, “Okay deal.” But Nina could tell something was bothering John and he wasn’t saying what it was. As he had been when they were kissing in bed, John was distracted. Nina wished she knew by what.

Please Read Chapter 11 here.


 

©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

A Little Vacation and then Some


I believe I last left you before I went and shopped for A’s Birthday present; he wanted a watch from fossil. I usually don’t spend this much on him at this point in our relationship but then I got to thinking about how in Muslim culture they don’t celebrate birthdays ever. So, A never had Birthday presents or cake growing up and since many of his friends are also Muslim he won’t get even a birthday beer from them or even a present from his mother. With this in mind and being blessed with a little more income this year I bought him a watch with a compas surrounding it, half red and half blue. He really loved it and the cinnamon buns I bought him as cake ( how can there be no cake or cupcakes at the mall?). I sang him happy birthday and later I went home happy he was so pleased with his birthday goodies.

Fast forward to the end of the next week, I am packing for Las Vegas in my little suit case. I can not condense my liquids to 100 ml so I (and my mom) eat the cost we now pay $25.00 plus tax, and check our luggage. On the way back I bring a small duffle bag of clothing carrying my purchases of clothing I made but I can bring that on board the plane.

Getting to Las Vegas took horribly long but once we landed it was easy taking a cab too Treasure Island Hotel (Ti) and I was glad the cab and check in was so quick because my stomach really hurt towards the end of the flight. Turns out I just needed something to eat and drink. It was an early flight and international so we had to arise at 6:30 am or so quite early for me who was having trouble walking straight due to my sleep medication.

Once we were in the hotel we checked everything out about the hotel and ate supper at a restaurant in Ti. I had breakfast, eggs Benedict. I was so hungry that even the fact that there was thick creamy sauce — which I abhor — all over my eggs, ham, and English muffin, didn’t stop me from digging in. I’ve never had eggs Benedict so I did not know to ask for no hollandaise sauce. 

The next day we did most of our shopping at the Fashion Show mall. I have found a new sports apparel store I love by Calvin Klein. Everything was thirty to sixty percent off and I ended up buying both in blue-purple a jacket and a shirt. I went to Lululemon also, hoping to find a couple of size 12 yoga shirts and came out with one top and a pair of yoga crops, deciding I’ll buy a top later in the summer. After a trip to Banana Republic where dresses happened to be forty percent off, I collapsed in our room and rested. We had eaten lunch at Johny Rockets at the mall and were fortunate to find a CVA right beside the escalator to the mall where you could get decent priced food and snacks. Too bad they didn’t have a wine opener because I was crushed when I couldn’t drink my bottle of shiraz merlot. 

Day three I spent the morning lying in the sun by the pool and relaxing. We had breakfast at Starbucks and ate lunch from CVS. I don’t recall supper but we went to an amazing show called Rock of Ages. It’s based on late seventies rock so it was really fun to see people get into it and the staff even handed out lighters that had an electric bulb on the end that lit up. We visited the Venetian earlier that day too but I don’t think we spent much time there. Just enough to find where we had to go at night and pick up our tickets.

Thursday we spent shopping at Caeser’s palace and there are lots of good stores in there but mainly I was interested in Victoria Secret. Caesers has the best one in my opinion. The afternoon I spent lounging by the pool as long as I could. If you are wondering why I spent most of my nights in that’s because I can only handle one major activity in the day and I don’t think mom would have appreciated club music or being hit on by some American guy who can’t keep his hands to himself. When I go with A that’s what I’ll have to do with him. 

Friday we checked out around 11:00 am and then gambled at the slot machines. My Mom had been doing this all week when I rested and/or walking further down the strip. We had burgers at Kahunavilles outside for lunch and the pool area was full so we sat outside in front of the hotel. The hardest part was keeping it together during the time I usually rested. But we took a cab to the airport early at 4:00 pm and waited to check in and go through security. We also did last minute shopping at the Duty-free store and had supper at the airport. It was 8:00 pm Las Vegas time when we got on the plane and 12:30 am in the morning Edmonton time when we landed. I slept most of the way. My brother picked us up. It was a three hour flight.

I was so exhausted I slept through the next day and most of the next. Today I finally feel as if I am myself again. I would have extended the trip a bit more to purely rest one day then a couple more days to see another show and more of the strip again. Having three hours in a day to do something is not conducive to travelling.