#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.

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#OctPoWriMo Day 13/100 Word Wednesday: Poem – Blitz – “Pressure Engraved” #amwritingpoetry #100WordWordWednesday


For OctPoWriMo Day 13 the Prompt is If I We’re You. Also, I’m combining with 100 Word Wednesdays from Bikurgurl’s Photo Prompt.


Are there things you sometimes need to get off your chest? When was the last time you felt strongly that someone needed to see things from your point of view? I think this prompt lends itself perfectly to a Blitz Poem.


Credit: Alex Ilby


Such pressure rising as the dim lake drowns

Putrid water invades mr lungs, crushes my chest

Chest choking salt-water terrified

Chest rasping with each tiny breath

Breath weighted with ocean filth

Breath that’s sticky, wet, toxic

Toxic fears cripple my legs, tire-out hands treading

Toxic fears of the half-dead: I’m gasping

Gasping, a dumbbell crushing my lungs

Gasping as I let out deep breathes to cleanse

Cleanse my spirit of skin shivering

Cleanse my heart of this stress-inducing love

Love that drowns and makes me whole

Love that lets me finally find

Find a blissful beach without monstrous waves

Find a warm place on the sand to sleep

Sleep, I yearn for it as banshees screech

Sleep, I beg for it as the predators howl

Howl as I quiver, biting my nails

Howl as my courage trickles away– I’m outwitted

Outwitted by breathless panic, desperate pain

Outwitted, the Minotaurs talons clawing my neck

Neck enwrapped with silken scarves choking

Neck bundled beneath feather-silk, dreams killing

Killing me softly, these life-altering responsibilities

Killing me softly, these rigid expectations

Expectations you hold of I so meek

Expectations you hold, not understanding —

Understanding I’m a pins width from crashing

Understanding how with difficulty, I have strived

Strived to be where I am

Strived to be myself and arise

Arise, but not to discover I’m disadvantaged

Arise, but not to ignore my intuitive doubts

Doubts as steel wool scratches

Doubts as I’m carried out by the tide in the storm’s silence

Silence, if only for a moment I can collapse

Silence, self-care to reforge my walls

Walls of back-breaking stone, tough alloys

Walls that keep the creatures harming at bay, to —

To keep me safe, crippled shoulders un-tensed

To keep my bastion strong, so I can lay me down

Lay me down without your vise-like grip engraved

Lay me down to recover, before I rise to respire and inhale

Gripping my hands, crescent marks engraved

No trembling stress shocking, only mountain air to inhale.


©️Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

#OctPoWriMo Day 10/Music Challenge: Poem — “Frigid Air” #amwritingpoetry #MusicChallenge


For OctPoWriMo Day 10 the Prompt is dancing on air. I’m also combining with MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie Music Challenge and the song, “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” sung by Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.


When love is going well, in those euphoric moments, it is like dancing on air. Everything feels good, the sun is bright in the sky without a cloud to rain on your mood. Whether it is hormone induced, something good happening in your life, or true love, tell us about a time when you were dancing on air.


Credit:


Diamonds Are A Girl’s Bestfriend” Sung by Marilyn Monroe

https://youtu.be/hEyWqVfY4vo


Mademoiselle lifts her feet,

Bending her toes, dancing on her toes.

She’s his ballerina enclosed,

By bars and the spaces in-between.

She keeps on acting,

She thought it was enough,

But the chasm between her and monsieur grows.

He’ll buy her obedience, but little does he know,

Diamonds are a girls best friend — not men.

She’s to practical to believe, his lips on her hand,

A kiss is divine, but it won’t pay her rent.

And between them builds an icy wall,

Women wrinkle, men become stuck,

They stop caring, not learning new ways.

All kinds of loves’ charms fade;

But Mademoiselle knows best.

She begs a diamond from her time love-spent,

Square or pear-drop,

Rounded or oval, they don’t alter shape;

She’s dancing on air, because she has it all.

Diamonds are mademoiselle’s best friend,

But ‘tween her in monsieur there’s only,

Frigid air.

The world freezes, and no one’s dancing;

Twirling in air, that’s for fake romances.


©️Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

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.

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Beyond Words or Woofs #amwriting #flashfiction #dogs #homelessness


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

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Credit: Fandango


The trails meander through the river valley park where the city erected unique benches made from verdant trees felled to create park pathways. At night Paul and his four dogs inhabit a particular bench. They rest their tired legs and pant joyfully, cooling off from the hot humid summer days, during the night.

However, in the winter the dogs huddle against Paul, absorbing each other’s heat. Paul doesn’t have much in his tattered backpack. Only a oversized bottle of water, a bag of dog food, a couple of protein bars, and thin blankets for the dogs. But one night the ice creeps up frosting Paul’s beard. It’s -45 degrees Celsius outside and the homeless shelters are full.

Despite layers of clothing Paul trembles and his teeth chatter; he can’t sleep in this miserable blizzard. He’s terrified the dogs will freeze to death — they’re his family and all he values in the world. He covers them, wrapping them in blankets before spreading the sleeping bag across them all. Their fur is frosted over and he keeps rubbing them with his gloved hands to keep their bodies from stiffening.

Suddenly, a light shines, blinding Paul in the treacherous cold, then his body heats as if he were sitting out on a beach in Mexico on the perfect hot day. The dogs peer up at him from the white sand, wagging their tails. Paul and his dogs have moved on and exist in a place beyond words or woofs. They’ve left cruelty behind.


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

Sunday Photo Fiction: If Animals Could Talk #amwriting #flashfiction


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF. Meant to have this out for last week, but I couldn’t edit it in time.


Credit: Alistair Forbes


“Jasper, come here.” Daisy nuzzled against him and he purred. She wagged her tale then let it slump.

“What’s wrong?”

“Same old. I’m not a house pet anymore. The family won’t let me inside.”

“The outside is good. You taught me the family running our animal sanctuary are nice so they must have a good reason wanting you to live outside. Those hunters shot me and would’ve skinned me if the family hadn’t found me first.”

“I like the family, Daisy, they feed me raw meet and sometimes, live rabbit. Also, they let me run in the field and I always return home.”

Daisy leaned against Jasper. “When the family found me I didn’t trust anyone. The human, Greg, threw me out in a garbage bag, in the trash. I chewed my way out and the boy, Matthew, found me. ”

Jasper stretched. “So, what’s the problem. You have Matthew and you have me. We’re all part of our pack.”

“Well, I used to be an indoor dog in a warm house. Sometimes Matthew let’s me inside his room, but he’s not home a lot.”

“I’ve always live outside. It’s better sleeping beneath the stars.”

“Yes, but you’re a cheetah, Jasper. I’m a dog. Matthew said I was a Dachshund. I love snuggling with the family as much as I love snuggling with you, but I’m not used to the cold.”

Jasper laughed. “I forget you’re the size of a small cub. I’ll keep you warm, Daisy. I think the family keeps you outside for me. Even though your sad, I’m glad you’re here so I’m not alone. I even saved you raw meat.”

“Oh, boy!” Daisy almost fainted, salivating as Jasper dropped a raw steak in front of her.


©Mandibelle16.(2017) All Rights Reserved.

November Notes Day 16 /Photochallenge: Poem – Free Verse – “Immeasurable” #photochallenge #poetry #amwriting


For November Notes the song is “Words as Weapons” by Birds. I’m combining with NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge Prompt.


Credit: Discrete


“Words as Weapons” by Birds


You can try to measure her angles,

Try to rationalize her curves.

Measure her so your comprehension of her is scientific;

But to math and science she’s absurd.

She has no rhyme or reason,

And you can’t make a person a logical equation.

Her body is not algebra,

Nor is she a kind of Cosine, Sine, or Tangent Angle.

You can use your words as methodical weapons,

To untangle her qualitative values,

But your words like swords will never cut to her core.

She’ll use her tears as numerous weapons,

And you can’t measure those.

Their quantitative value is beyond this world.

And she’s no statistical value,

She isn’t found in Trigonometry or in quadrilaterals.

And you’ll find no help about her in Epistemology;

Nor any philosophical math or logic.

Some things in life are beyond words and equations,

They aren’t logical or reasonable,

They are what they are.

And if you love all her curves and angles,

Can’t you let that be enough?

There’s no need to hypothesis,

To predict the future or the next hour,

So what if her face is symmetrical?

You can use your words as abject weapons,

To untangle her qualitative values,

But your words like swords will never cut to her core.

She’ll use her tears as numerous weapons,

And you can’t measure those,

Their quantitative value is beyond this world,

It’s called feeling and living in the moment,

Joyeux de Vivre or spontaneity,

No being afraid to let life happen,

To have Passion in the here and now.

Though you find it easier to measure and quantify your life,

Perhaps quality is a better goal?

And if such beauty you behold,

That you cannot find the exact right words,

There are other ways to show your love.

You can use your words as hurtful weapons,

To untangle her qualitative values,

But your words like swords will never cut to her core.

She’ll use her tears as more painful weapons,

And you can’t measure those,

Their quantitative value is beyond this world.

Before your mind starts to unravel,

In charts and graphs and parabolas,

Accept her for the flower she is,

Blooming without thought or reason,

In the midst of a freezing winter.

She is who she is and she isn’t a number,

Not even a poem,

She’s only and always a woman,

Her worth immeasurable,

Her love beyond equations and perfect values.

She is your summer in the bitter cold of life.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved

Music #9 /Photo Challenge: Poem – Blitz – Liabilities Now Shed” #musicchallenge #poetry #amwriting #photochallenge 


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting the last music challenge. Also thanks to NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for this week’s photo challenge. 

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Credit: MKA photography

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Lords – “Liability” 

——–

You’re a little much for me, see 

See you’re a liability 

Liabilities are costly 

Liability, that’s you baby 

Baby hurt me so much

Baby left me crying 

Crying in the taxi 

Crying until I reached home 

Home, it’s what I though we had

Home, what’s one broken? 

Broken I’m shattered

Broken, he doesn’t need to know

Knowing me, mistake were made 

Knowing little, he couldn’t handle trying  

Trying to dance in my storm 

Trying not to be poisoned 

Poison, he said that’s what I was

Poison, that’s what he is 

He is poison destructive to me 

He is the maker of harsh demands 

Demands — I only meet my own now

Demands are so tiring 

Tiring, he’s too hard to please

Tiring, he says I’m diseased 

Diseased, he’s the one, making ‘us’ decay

Diseased, the man I knew gone 

Gone amd there’s no more dancing 

Gone, no more love in the dark

Darkness, I’m alone swaying 

Dark and alone, dancing alone

Alone too much for him 

Alone I’m still dangerous 

Dangerous truth: he treats me as a toy 

Dangerous and too boring 

Boring after doing exciting tricks

Boring after our perfect summer

Summer in my heart hurts  

Summer’s turned cold 

Cold eating me alive, 

Cold cause, you’re all gone 

Gone so I’m on my own 

Gone, I accept I’m a liability 

Liabilities must be forgotten 

Liabilities must be shed

Shed so as not to him expose. 

Forgotten so I’m never loved. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved 

100 Word Wednesday: Fishing for Life #amwriting #poetry #100WordWednesdays 


Thanks to Bikurgurl for hosting #100WordWednesdays.

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Credit: Bikurgurl

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We live along the river in delapitated shanties. At sunrise we sleepily pull on our rubber boots and checked flannel shirts. It’s late fall and the days are chillier. It doesn’t mean we can’t fish, but the joy of a temperate summer is a distant memory. Gone are the laughter filled nights of plentiful fish, drinking rice wine until midnight. 

Harsh temperatures have arrived. Our mornings are early so we can chase the waning light. Evening arrives and the catch is not terrible but not plentiful. The fish at this time of year are wiggly and stronger. 

I shiver in the morning light, winter’s stinging winds drawing near. Soon the river will be coated with ice. Then, all we can do is drill a hole and hope for something to bite — anything.

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Tale Weavers: Fiction – Your Flamhsures are Showing #fiction #amwritimg #taleweavers 


To begin with I want share with you an amazing blog post from the writer Kristen Lamb. I would have rebogged,  it was not able to so here is the link to one of her latest posts called Shame, Shame, We Know Your Name — Or Do We? Shame in Fiction. If you are fiction writer it’s a great piece on how shame motivates most characters in many stories and novels. Also follow her blog: Kristen Lamb Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi for practical and honest advice on writing. 

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Thanks to Michael of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this Tale Weavers writing prompt. Today’s prompt is to write making sense of ‘Nonsense’ and use the word flamhsures in a poem or story as a verb or a noun. 

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Credit: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie – Michael 

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“You can’t go to school with your flamhsures showing,” Mina told her young son Todd. 

He looked at her and rolled his eyes. For an eight-year old he had become too cool for his parents. It seemed to Mina that kids were growing up so fast these days and that it was a shame they were. 

Mina watched Todd from the front door as he walked to bus to attend third grade. She sighed knowimg how embarrassed Todd would be as his flamhsures were still visible. 

She knew the other kids would make fun of Todd at school for this so Mina quickly walked to the end of her driveway yelling: “Todd come back here a moment. I need to ask you something.” 

Todd turned his head a moment and rolled his eyes at Mina. She dreaded the day that lay before him. She knew Todd arrive home upset and tearful. Mina wondered if he would still let her comfort him or if he would run to his room and yell at her after his bad day. 

In some ways he was no different than his father Thomas when he was in a bad mood. Mina loved her husband but when he was upset he could be cold and distant. She was afraid that their eight-year old had inherited these traits as opposed to Thomas’s better traits. He was a good Dad and a good husband but just as Mina, Thomas had his faults too. 

When he dropped by home to have lunch with her Thomas excitedly told her about his newest project as an architect and she told him about the latest painting she had been commissioned to do. She also mentioned Todd and his flamhsures showing. 

Thomas smiled, “Todd’s a big boy. He’s almost nine and he has to learn somethings for himself. He may have a terrible day because he didn’t listen to his mother but tomorrow he’ll know better because he’ll have learned.” 

Mina sighed covering her face with her hands, “It’s difficult to think of him as more than the little guy he was such a short while ago. He is still so young and it bothers me that that kids can be so mean to others kids.” 

Thomas comforted Mina holding her close and kissing her softly before heading out the door and back to work. Mina watched Thomas leave, perturbed when she saw his flamhsures were visible too. He didn’t hear her call out as he was already on his phone and back in work mode. 

When Todd came home from school he ran in the door smiling. Mina approached talking to him with care, “It looks like you had a good day Todd? What did you do at school today?” 

Todd rolled his eyes, “Oh the usual. Some math, some writing, gym, and recess. We played soccer at recess I like playing soccer.” 

“That’s good maybe you want to play in the spring and summer again?” 

“Maybe,” Todd says shrugging. “Can I have a snack? Some cookies?” 

“Only if you have some fruit with your cookies. Did anything bad happen today, Todd?”

“Not really, Mom.” 

“Well, I was just wondering because when I called you back from the bus it was because your flamhsures were still showing and I didn’t want you to be embarrassed at school.” 

Todd giggled, “Well I didn’t really notice but then some girl pointed it out and I thought I would get made fun of but then two other boys said their flamhsures were showing too and everyone laughed. Then all the boys made their flamhsures show and we all decided to play soccer.” 

Mina giggled, “Well I’m happy to hear that. Let’s hope your father has a similar good story. He came home for lunch and his flamhsures were visible too as he went back to work. Let’s hope he isn’t embarrassed either.” 

Todd laughed eating his cookie, “Things like that don’t bother men, Mom. Look at me I’m a man and I survived. Dad will be good too.” 

Mina tried to hold back her laughter, “So you’re a man now? Not my little guy, even at home?” 

Todd grinned, “Yep, I’m a man.” 

———

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.