Day 6 -NaPoWriMo/ A to Z Challenge/ Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Poem – Blank Verse – “Coal Dust for Sunlight” #poetry #amwriting #flashfiction #NaPoWriMo #AtoZchallenge 


Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is “to write a poem that looks at the same thing from various points of view.” The corresponding GoodRead’s quote for the A to Z Challenge is the letter E. 

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Credit: Yarn Spinner
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“It’s one of those things a person has to do; sometimes a person has to go a very long distance out of his way to come back a short distance correctly.” ― Edward Albee, The American Dream & The Zoo Story

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Down in the swamp, down in the bogs there’s —

Mud sucking at my feet, at my soul

Everyday I journey here and fight, 

The elements, the giant rocks, gnarled trees, 

Worst of all the swamp, pulling me in. 

There are days I believe I shall let it, 

But my wife she sees, working here means, 

In such a short while, we shall both be free. 

She says, we’re educated, we have more —

To us than meets the eye, we’ve wisdom

To work in horrible conditions, 

Because we know two years from now we —

Can leave this wretched bog behind, with all —

The tortures of the tormenting tree limbs, 

Nightmares left, there’s better; we’re going —

To the City, where education’s worth —

Something and I won’t have to hate each day. 

Mining for fuel, this coal coating my lungs, 

My wife’s happy, delighted, she is life

So I listen to my fathers last words:

“Don’t stay in this town all your life, move on. 

Take your girl, your college education, 

Leave this foul place behind, don’t be me, 

Coal dust in your lungs is misery and —

A cancerous death is what awaits you.” 

So, I worked and she and I, we left here

To the bustling city, with peaceful parks, 

We breathe, ‘neath blossomed trees, reading in light. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

100 Word Wednesdays Flash Fiction: Poem – Lunes – “Pushing On” #amwriting #poetry #flashfiction 


Thanks to Bikurgurl for hosting 100 Word Wednesday Prompts.

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Credit: Stephanie of La Photographie

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Gazing into my pretty face, 

Seeing mere woman —

No different than any other.

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But if you peered deeper

You’d find a —

Woman greater than ‘classified’ gender. 

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I’m a person deserving equality;

Because I’m feminist

Doesn’t mean I’m against men.

—–

Required for me are but —

Same wages, salary —

For the same position worked. 

—–

Provide me access to healthcare, 

Birth control; doctors —

Of all specialities needed whenever

——

I’m a working woman, educated —

well; the Mom —

Driving her kids to hockey. 

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Tidying the house and hoping, 

My ‘modern’ husband, 

Helps me because shared chores —

—–

Equal happier relationships –less fighting. 

Don’t talk trash, 

Hurt and abuse; I’m strong. 

—–

But your sexist comments hurt;

Our Grandmother’s mother’s, 

Began fighting for women’s rights. 

—–

Are they rights only in —

Writing? Yet I —

Push their battle on so —

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One day my daughter doesn’t, 

Have to fight;

Ignored for being a female.

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.  

Echoes of My Neighbourhood: Looking Back on My Dad’s family.


I knew there was a prompt I forgot about this week! How could I forget the wonderful Jacqueline’s Echoes of My Neighbourhood? So, I haven’t taken any recent pictures lately but I have some more pictures looking back to the past.  

 
This wonderful warm women was my Great Grandma Kendal. She lived in Church Bridge, Saskatchewan, where my Grandma grew up. I don’t remember exactly how old she was when she died but she was in her early to mid-nineties. I have longevity in my genes. I remember visiting my Great-Grandma’s house a couple of times as a child and teenager. When I was 5-years-old and My Great Grandpa Kendal was still around, my Great Grandma Molly sang to me How Much is That Doggy in the Window and gave me some fabric and buttons to sew little pillows with, for my Barbie dolls. 

When I was about thirteen-years-old, we visited Great Grandma (her name was Molly) again. One time on the visit when everyone else was gone she told me to come and sit with her. She told me when my Grandpa Willard Eifert married my Grandma, my Grandpa had a bit of an attitude. He thought my Grandma’s farm family was a bit beneath his own family who were all highly-educated pastors and nurses. She told me it took time for my Grandpa to get over this. She also told me my Great Grandpa Phillip Kendal had a dream about heaven shortly before he died; in his dream God showed him heaven and it was beautiful in a way he could barely describe. The last thing she told me was not to cry for her when she died because she would be in heaven and happy. I didn’t cry for her, I knew better when she passed away.

  
This is my other Great Grandma on my Dad’s side, her name was Ida and she was an interesting woman. She liked to dress well, and would save up for one expensive suit, rather than buy a few cheap suites. She married my Great-Grandpa Carl Eifert who came from around Leipzig, Germany when he was a little child. Carl became a Lutheran Pastor and Ida gave birth to many children, sons who also became Lutheran Pastors and daughters who married Lutheran Pastors or became Nurses. My parents helped Great Grandma Eifert out a great deal when she still lived in her house in my home city. Later, her children moved Ida to White Rock, BC, closer to her daughters,and we visited Great Grandma Eifert there when I was a young girl. I have a memory baking cookies with her when I was three or four-years-old too.

Ida lived a long life, into her nineties as well. In fact, she passed away when I was almos fourteen-years-old, in July. When she died my family viewed her body at the funeral home. It was disconcerting to see that our hands looked exactly alike. So, I know who I inherited my hands from.

  

Two-weeks later, after Ida’s death, her son, my Grandpa Willard Eifert passed away exactly on my Birthday. It was a terrible birthday spent at the funeral home, helping Grandma pick out caskets (etc.) My Grandpa Eifert was young when he died, seventy-three-years old. I miss him so much to this day. I think his funeral was the first funeral I openly cried at. 

I was close to my Grandpa. I often slept over at his and Grandma’s house in the city. I spent time out at their parsonage near Wataskiwen when my Grandpa was still a Pastor, before he retired. My Grandpa smoked a lot until he quit in his fifties but the damage had been done. On the Eifert’s side, we have bad lungs and my Grandpa had emphysema which resulted in him having an oxygen tank eventually. When he died it was due to his smoking. His heart had been beating at a runner’s pace for twenty-years and it finally gave out. It still makes me sad because you never think the last time you see someone alive, is the last time you’ll see them. Last time I saw Grandpa he was in hospital and he said he wasn’t doing to well. We didn’t stay long.

What I remember with my Grandpa the most is all the time we spent playing chess and cribbage. I learned cribbage when I was seven-years-old and only beat my Grandpa three times at Chess ever. Twice he was tired so I don’t count those times. We played Yahtzee and Uno and deciphered cryptograms and crossword puzzles. In the mornings when I was over, I would wake up early and help Grandpa make breakfast. At the parsonage, there was tractor rides and VBS to go to at Grandpa’s Church in the summer. When Grandpa died my Godfather told me the greatest gift I could have received was my Gandpa going to heaven on my Birthday because he was no longer in pain and with his Lord.

My Grandma also pictured here, is a special lady. She is about eight-six and slowing down but doing well. I played games with her when I was younger. We also did all these fun crafts such as making our own Christmas ornaments. I helped her bake items such as Apple stroudal and homemade donuts. She was in her house until recently and is in a seniors place now. She is a kind person who loves to talk and be social. She was a great Pastor’s wife and is involved in Church to a great degree still. I need to visit her soon, she came back from a vacation seeing her sister with my Dad. Having an adult relationship with my Grandma is different from having a relationship as a kid. I wish my Grandpa hadn’t smoked so he could be here too, and I could have an adult relationship with both my Grandparents. 

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Writing 101: Day 17 – Cab Drivers and Maps. 


Prompt: Write using a map.

I take a cab to several places. At times, the noise and constant stopping and starting of the bus is tiring; it wears me out just taking it. I have met many cab drivers and most of them are nice people. Although, some of them (like in all jobs) are weird. 

I don’t mind if a cab driver is driving you and they talk to you. It’s nice most of the time to make conversation and it’s a way to make social connections and learn about people who are different from you. But certain drivers are so creepy I can’t wait to get out of the vehicle. But the majority of cab drivers are good at knowing when you don’t want to talk and they put the radio on to fill the silence. 

The most unfortunate aspect about a great many cab drivers is the fact that a number of them are very educated in the country they’re from. They have Master Degrees and PhD’s; they were the heads of companies. But somehow there education does not translate to Canadian standards. Or in an entirely different scenario, one cab driver I know, a lovely elderly gentlemen, has his PH.D. from the University of Alberta and he couldn’t get a job in his field (mathematics) so he drives his cab. 

I think are judgement of other places education systems is a bit harsh, we need to look closer at the institutions and places immigrants are schooled at so they can have jobs worthy of their degrees. I know Canada wants to ensure jobs for people who are already Canadians, but I think we owe better to people who are trying to become citizens such as our Great Grandparents or even parents did. Some of these cab drivers like their job and that’s great but I think some of them could use a university program to help them cross over to their occupation in Canada. 

 Another kind of driver I come across, are cab drivers who have lived and travelled everywhere. They have been all over the world and back again. They speak many languages and have chosen finally, to settle in Canada. These cab drivers have excellent stories to tell. They are some of my favourite because you can let them talk and don’t have to say a thing, just nod occasionally. They may not educated in the university sense, but their knowledge of the real world is astounding. They are well read and have seen great art pieces and have been where history is taking place. 

But there is a another type of cab driver I do not like at all. They are a shady type of cab driver. I have learned to tell when a cab driver is trying to rip you off. They will try to take the longest route to where you are going. They won’t ask you which way you want to go. And if you say, they may pretend not to understand you. But that is why you must say go here and here etc. I don’t quite understand why these cab drivers have trouble finding their way. They all have Google Maps on their smart phones and GPS’s in their car. Sometimes you have to say, use your GPS. The best cab drivers know the city, every nook and cranny and even with a GPS, know a faster way to go. Some cab drivers don’t know your neighbourhood well or where you are going and it is okay when they don’t know except that that is what their GPS is for. 

The worst drivers are trying to make it appear as if they are lost. They know their way well but they are trying to make more money off you. The best thing to do is to know how to get where you want to go and direct them; maybe take a look at Google maps on your phone. If they charge you too much, don’t tip. And if they got you terribly lost on purpose and over charged you a lot, call the cab company. Alternatively, you can always refuse to pay the amount they want you to pay if you for certain know how much the trip should cost. That’s what I like about paying upon arrival instead of having your credit card charged whatever the amount the driver drove. 

Another problem with certain cab drivers is they will tell you that their POS system is not working or having problems, when it is working fine. Sometimes they aren’t working, and you have to pay cash or go to a bank first, to pick up cash. But if you are like me and don’t carry much cash on you and you think a driver might be lying,  you can tell him to try your card and often it will ‘magically work.’ Most cab drivers I have met are honest in this respect but I know of a few who always try to avoid credit card and debit fees associated with a POS. 

I have mostly good things to say about the cab company I use. They are called CO-OP. They have an excellent mobile application too which is so helpful when you don’t know a locations address. Yellow Cab in Edmonton is hit and miss. I have had drivers refuse to drive me because I won’t pay cash. I have been sworn at by some Yellow Cab drivers too. But mostly, they seem like a reliable company. UBER is good at peek hours but I find the drivers at least in Edmonton, don’t know the entire city well. They also cost more then CO-OP almost every time I’ve used them (and I was always told their cheaper). The bottom line, I just don’t use them. I like to pay when I get to a place and I don’t like that their drivers don’t have the right insurance if you are in an accident. I also find that their drivers are not as knowledgable. If I was drunk at night, I’d take them, but not in the day. 

This is what came to my mind when I thought about maps. I use cabs to go all over the city as long as the destination isn’t too far. I wish I had the concentration to drive often; it would be so nice to be able to drive to a location, especially ones that are close.