The Decuain (pronounced deck•won), created by Shelley A. Cephas, is a short poem made up of 10 lines, which can be written on any subject. There are 10 syllables per line and the poem is written in iambic pentameter.
There are 3 set choices of rhyme scheme:
ababbcbcaa, ababbcbcbb, or ababbcbccc
For a longer Decuain poem, add more stanzas for a double, triple, quatruple, etc. Decuain.
Credit: Enzzo Barrena
“Cry Pretty” by Carrie Underwood
I’ll keep my heart closed, remain unexposed,
For I’m just a girl, though composure slips —
I can’t stay rock solid, broke and alone.
To shatter is human as each soul someday splits,
Despite all the glue patching seismic shifts.
I’m trapped in these thorns, a city of ash-bones,
I cry as I struggle caged, my insides nicked.
No one cries pretty, but smiles hide your groans.
You can say it’s all fine, until fake tears loath,
No masking; no one cries pretty like stone.
Lace and gems can’t hide my inner heart’s shame,
I try to be real, but false words infect —
In a crowd or at home, beneath poise tears rain.
Mirrors don’t lie, hurt a picture of neglect,
So, my eyes flow, as infection wrecks.
No one cries pretty, scarring pain isn’t myth.
You can’t pretend when the dam breaks, correct —
Those trails of mascara; they blacken and drip.
Scratching your face, skin red, itching with pain;
You can’t cry pretty — you’ll learn real tears save.
Thanks to Wandering Soul for hosting this prompt challenge. This week’s challenge is up to a 500 word piece of writing with the beginning sentence: “The delicious aroma of the freshly baked croissants wafted through the near-empty café.”
The delicious aroma of the freshly baked croissants wafted through the near-empty Cafe. It was Sunday morning around 9:00 am and the majority of people weren’t up this early. Many church services did not begin until 10:00 or 10:30 am. Giselle thought about her home church while eating a buttery croissant and drinking a cappuccino.
She hadn’t been to church in a while. It wasn’t because she stopped believing in God or his son Jesus. It didn’t mean she didn’t have a few Christian friends or that she didn’t miss some of the people she grew up with in church.
Other issues were at work in Giselle’s life and a place which had always felt peaceful and inviting to her, became a place full of judgement. There was no forgiveness to be found in her old church and Giselle felt heavy hearted. People she had fondly thought of as Aunties and Uncles growing up, now gazed upon her with severe disapproval.
Giselle believed it was God’s right alone to judge a person’s sins. Other Christians in her life could guide her and warn her of where her actions might lead, but she didn’t deserve hatred from them, to be the subject of gossip. Her best friend Ivy especially, had turned on Giselle.
Giselle had read a meme on the internet that read: “Thou Shall Not Judge Because Thou Has F$&#%d Up Too.” It was pertinent. When Giselle admitted to Ivy she had been attacked and raped by a stranger in an alley one night, Ivy had given her a stunned stare.
“Are you sure?” Ivy had asked, then later told her parents and other church members Ivy ran into. Giselle had told Ivy she was pregnant with the rapist’s child. Rumours and gossip spread. Ivy, her family, and many other church members thought Giselle was having an abortion when she was admitted into hospital.
The reality was Giselle’s pregnancy had failed; the tiny baby growing within Giselle had died. A doctor informed Giselle there had been complications. She could never have a child again.
An elderly man at church had told Giselle, “You sew what you reap,” when he had heard the gossip Ivy had spread about Giselle having an abortion.
Giselle was suffering inside and some of her best friends were ‘outing her.’ The only people who knew and believed the truth were Giselle’s family and they were judged harshly for supporting Giselle.
She attended her home church for the last time that Sunday, enduring cat-like behaviour from the women and men who told her she should be ashamed. Shouldn’t they be helping her and ‘lifting her up?’ Did they no longer care about her?
Giselle thought it ironic her church wondered why Christains were not attending church. Couldn’t they see, the world had become a kinder place than their church? That Jesus’ light was brighter out among strangers? People Giselle had known and trusted all her life had become like ‘a den of vipers.’
Looking up one last time at the cross and steeple of the church Giselle had called home, she left her church for good; Giselle had hope she would find a kinder church someday.
Note: There are great Christian churches with kind and understanding people attending them. They are good neighbours who through God, help people like Giselle heal. This story is fictional and hopefully, a worst case scenario.
1. I would like to sandboard down this deep sand hill, it. reminds of snowboarding but better because it’s not freezing cold outside and you don’t have to dress in winter gear; if you fell I believe it wouldn’t be as tough, sand is more giving then snow, but truthfully; I’m terrible at snowboarding or sandboarding, I should’ve learned when I was a little girl and had less distance to fall to the ground.
2. The shadow makes me think all the things we hide, of secrets we keep for each other, some which tear us to pieces inside, so should we keep secrets? It’s a valid question, but more so we need to be careful who we gift with what information, especially at first; I believe in honesty, but I know they’re some truths which are so awful, they should never see the light of day.
3. To live in the light, I think it’s a wonderful saying and I want to be forth right and not have to hide my true self from others; I like to say things how they are and not have to keep secrets (as I’ve said); but there are days the shadow wins and hiding secrets is the expected course of action; we need to have people we can trust with our secrets, and hope they trust their secrets to us, but I’m not always sure who you can trust with what types of secret because gossip is all too prevalent with people; secrets always bring confusion and bitterness is often a result.
Thank you to Wandering Soul who hosts this prompt challenge each week. You can complete the prompt sentence by writing up to two-additional sentences in her comments section in the link above or you can link to her blog page. Also, if you choose to write a longer story from the prompt, link the story to her page as well.
Today’s prompt sentence is: “The old man stared at the droopy white lilies.”
The old man stared at the droopy white lilies. Memories flooded back to him as he smelt the strong scent that lingered. He felt the edge of one of the petals, still baby soft but crisp and dry on the edges. Helen had always hated lilies; that was why he had them placed on her grave every Sunday.
You might think this a mean thing for an old man to do but Ernest (the old man) had had a complicated relationship with Helen. Though it might not appear so, he had adored her and thought she had always been a magnificent woman.
Ernest remembered the first time he had seen Helen in his senior year in high school. She had her abundant curly brown hair styled in a forties-bob. Her blue eyes sparkled when she saw him. He felt their two souls collide in that moment and Ernest knew their souls would always be connected.
Ernest and Helen dated until Ernest was twenty-three years-old. Helen hadn’t liked that they had dated five-years without getting married. In hindsight, Ernest realized he should’ve married Helen long before he did.
Helen became pregnant and the whole town turned against her. The women called her a hussy and advised Helen to marry Ernest immediately. His old man had took Ernest aside and told him that everything would be fine if he married Helen quickly and quietly.
But Helen was feisty and didn’t like being told what to do. She was hurt that her best girlfriends looked down on her and that the town’s people whispered and gossiped about her behind her back. It was then Helen changed her mind about marriage to Ernest.
One day Ernest and Helen were swinging on the porch swing at Helen’s parent’s house, Ernest trying his hardest to convince Helen marriage was an excellent choice since they both loved each other.The following day Helen and two suitcases full of her clothes and baby items she had been collecting, had disappeared.
Ernest searched for Helen. He wrote letters and searched various small towns. He went to big cities, remembering what Helen liked to do and where she would likely be found. He remembered the places she dreamed about visiting. Ernest also feared a young pregnant woman alone, wouldn’t find much friendliness from strangers. He was frightened for Helen and his unborn child.
Twenty-years later Helen appeared at Ernest’s house in Pittsburg. Ernest’s wife Lilian, was battling Cancer. To both their regret, Lilian and Ernest had never been able to have children. But behind Helen was an enchanting young woman whose green eyes he recognized as his own.
The three of them sat outside and talked. Ernest had felt guilty about not seeing his wife at the hospital that day as afternoon turned to evening. His daughter’s name was Grace and to Ernest she was indeed a ‘grace.’
In the morning Helen was gone but Grace remained. His daughter stood by him, even when his wife Lilian passed away a week later. Despite the fact Grace had never known her father, she stayed with Ernest as he grieved and she began working in the woman’s section of a department store.
Grace told Ernest that her mother Helen detested Lilies and that was why she left. But Lilian’s favourite flower was of course a Lily; they covered Ernest’s home while Lilian lived. He was always greeted by their pungent fragrance when he came home from work. Ernest knew better the reason Helen hadn’t stayed: She didn’t want to make Ernest’s life difficult. Grace had chosen to stay with Ernest on her own.
Twenty-years later, Ernest was a happy Grandfather of four teenage grandchildren. Grace had married a man in Pittsburg and lived close by his house. She visited Helen and spoke to her mother often, but clammed up whenever Ernest asked about Helen.
One day, Ernest was home alone doing yard work and Helen appeared out of no where. It gave him such a shock that Ernest’s green eyes started to tear up not believing what he saw. Helen aged, but still magnificent, embraced Ernest and they both cried for the lost years they hadn’t been with each other. The love between them was still strong, even after forty-years mostly apart.
Helen remained with Ernest. The happy couple had a small wedding and Grace was delighted her parents were together at last.
Ernest and Helen were driving to the airport for their honeymoon in Paris. Helen was complaining about the orange lily the florist had slipped in her bouquet. Ernest had thought Helen’s complaints funny. They both started laughing and Ernest in his bliss, missed the red light. He hadn’t seen the pick-up truck before it crushed his car where Helen sat, graceful in a white suit; she died instantly.
Years passed and Ernest religiously had lilies deliveried to Helen’s grave each Sunday. He always thought about how much Helen hated lilies. But lilies made Ernest, the old man, remember his beloved Helen. So that even after Ernest’s own death, their darling daughter Grace, continued to have lilies deliveried to Ernest’s and Helen’s shared grave.
Grace wiped a tear away from her eye. Both her parents were sorely missed.
In second year University, I caught the eye of a certain basketball player. He was in an English class with me. He was tall, loud, and had the most beautiful blue eyes. I thought he’d be fun to be with. But it was difficult for me to talk to him. He caused me to feel anxious. I knew I had to only become used to his loudness to be comfortable around him, but I never felt relaxed. He didn’t attempt to get to know me better, to make me feel comfortable around him, despite my shyness.
At first, I was so shy I would ignore him, unless I absolutely ran right into him. I only felt this knot in my stomach and I stuttered when I talked to him. I was extremely frustrated with the entire situation by third year university. I finally told the basketball player I liked him. I told him truthfully, I often didn’t talk to him because I was busy taking five courses and working half-time. I tried to get across to him that when I was busy, I was off in my own world. I was attempting to get him to make an effort and ask me out.
I received a funny look from the basketball player for saying ‘I was in my own world,’ even though he rubbed my back to make me feel better. That was the end. I wasn’t a fun girl to him because I wasn’t outgoing and he didn’t understand how busy my life was.
During the years I had this ‘thing’ with the basketball player, I grew used to other girls I didn’t know talking behind my back, calling me names, and being critical of me. I went to a small university and it often felt like high school because young woman became easily jealous over the smaller guy population.
It took me years to get over the preconceived notion that I was shy — a wrong attribute to have. I learned a guy maybe hot and seem fun, but if he didn’t make the effort for you, you shouldn’t waste your time on him. Sometimes I would build a guy I liked up in my mind, as if they were perfect and not a flawed person. I would have been more comfortable being me if I realized I shouldn’t have to try so hard to please a man I liked. Even someone you are attracted to, and makes you nervous, is approachable if you remember they are only human like you.
Also, I learned when I started working, because a person makes you nervous is no reason to ignore them if they haven’t given you a decent reason to avoid them. The exception to this was catty and gossipy women. I learned some woman are going to be touchy even as adults when they should know better than to spread gossip or call names. These women are people whose mean words you should ignore. Better yet, ask them to repeat what they said so you can hear it clearly this time. Embarrass them.
Most significantly, I learned I was not a shy person but a woman who was often an introvert. It didn’t mean I wasn’t social and fun to be with. But I required time alone to ‘recharge my batteries’ while others ‘recharged their batteries’ off the energy of a crowd. I liked small groups better than large noisy functions. I felt and still feel a few trustworthy friends is all a girl needs, even though it is fun to meet new people. I also enjoy working independently, or one on one with people. I am extremely talkative in this kind of situation and I feel a more meaningful connections with others in small group settings.
In my opinion, we have a society which is often centred around extroversion. It’s not an acceptable value because it causes people who identify with introversion to feel that if we are shy and not outgoing, there is something wrong with us. There is nothing about a person that is deficient because they are introverted. Certain people are skilled at hiding their insecurities and may appear outgoing but at heart, they are introverts. Some introverts such as myself are more clearly introverted.
I don’t identify with being a shy girl anymore. I’m a listener, a loyal friend, and an observer. I have no problem stating my opinion or saying no. I am happy to be me in the ‘background’ and not taking center stage. This doesn’t mean I never get noticed. It means the right people notice me and take me as I am. I want to be around people who see introversion as a vital part of society, not a hindrance.
I am lying in bed having the same dream over and over again; the dream repeats but I can’t wake up. Finally, hunger breaks through the carnage in my brain and I my eyelids lift like a castle gate, heavily, awkwardly, with painful slowness.
I am warm, snug in my Queen bed, spread out on my stomach and I manage to drag my lethargic body to the kitchen to sit in a chair and eat a bowl of fruit. I hope that their is no bananas in it.
I pour the raisin bran in a bowl and the milk flows over top the cereal the way I like; I eat. Then I drag myself back to my cosy nest and sleep again. But I wake twenty minutes later and it’s time to get up, the cab is arriving in an hour and a half.
I am off to Icon, my beauty salon, to get my eyebrows waxed and to get a mani/pedi. I hope to do some Christmas shopping after my appointments but I will see how I’m feeling. My makeup is perfect, foundation, contouring, blush, hilights, and my eyelashes coated in the deepest black mascara.The taxi arrives and the driver wants me to sit up front with him. I don’t know him and I doubt his intentions so I smile and open the sliding door and climb in the back.
At the salon, I drink green tea with whisps of steam floating off it. I burn my tongue before I manage to take a few sips. I wait about twenty minutes. A gifted nail artist starts to file my nails and make them rough so the gel nail polish will stick. I admire her perfect makeup. She works at Sephora too, but she loves MAC makeup. I pepper her with makeup questions as she puts three coats of different clear nail polishes on then three more coats of the pink shade I have chosen. One finger nail is rose gold. She finishes with a final cost of clear polish and some cuticle oil shines my nails. I have never had gel nails before, they conveniently dry fast under special lights with fans.
Then my favorite aesthetician Amelia takes me to a room and evens out my eyebrows. Tiny blond hairs which only I can see, get waxed away. But I love how great the shape of my brows is now.
Amelia props up the chair bed and gets me to bend my legs and she soaks my feet in a bowl in rose oil, chamomile, epsom salts, and some other herbal things. We catch up on life and chat. The conversation is as important as the pedicure. She has more to talk about then me but I don’t mind. It’s just wonderful having a conversation with a girl my age who has interesting things to say. Amelia files my nails and scrubs at my heels, which I am happy to say were in good shape thanks to Lush cuticle butter.
There is a mettle scrapping tool for callouses, but I never let any aesthetician use it on me. My friend got badly cut with one and another lady my Mom works with had to go around work with an IV because she got an infection due to a cut with the mettle tool. The infection went into her bones. I trust Amelia, she is gifted. She is an artist with paints and drawing as much as she is a gifted aesthetician. But I just won’t risk it.
The festive gold glimmer of my gel pedicure is lovely though. I tip Amelia and the other girl well because they are fantastic and it’s Christmas soon.
I arrive home out of breath and tired. I got no Christmas shopping done, but I had to stop at the drugstore and pick up a few personal items. And the milk, can’t forget that.
I rest on the sofa; I ache and am tired from all that conversation and walking around. But it was nice to talk to someone my age and stage in life.
I watch TV with my Mom because Thursday night TV is awesome. The Vampire Diaries, Grey’s Anatomy, and How to get Away with Murder play on TV successively.Then I am in bed. I am so fatigued but at least I went out today and did something. At least I wasn’t home in my bubble. And I had a Kale Smoothie from Jugo Juice so, at least I had my vegetables.
Prompt: A story of when you were on the outside looking in.
High school can be a difficult time for many people. And these days, girls can be especially mean. I suspect they always were. The difference is that while boys will go punch each other and get into a fight, and things will be fine between them; girls, will go behind each other’s back. They will spread rumours and make not so subtle hints to another girl they don’t like or feel jealous of, they will hold a grudge a long time and leave the girl they’ve hurt, so to speak, on the outside looking in. But some girls can be extremely cruel, I remember one girl telling me she shoved other girls in lockers or garbage cans in Jr. High. I guess we all saw the movie Mean Girls. Some of us took it too literally.
I was never unpopular in high school. I played sports and I received high marks at some courses. I was extremely gifted at art. But grade 10 was one of the toughest years for me. I had been bestfriends with two girls Josie and Tia and we spent every Friday and sometimes Saturday over at Josie’s house watching movies, and hanging out. In grade 10 I excitedly introduced Josie to my friend Amy from elementary school and Josie became friends with Katie; whose brother Josie had a crush on, as well as Aimee.
We all hung out together, a large group at first. But Josie and Katie seemed to get close and I felt myself drifting away from, but not wanting to. I was friends with Amy because we also played basketball on the school’s girl’s team. But I think Amy could even see that Josie and Katie just thought I was someone they didn’t want to be around. She tried to help but it didn’t make a difference.
I made friends with another grade 10 student Melonie, who was fun and I played volleyball with. But Melonie made friends with two grade 12 girls and didn’t want to be my friend either. It was tough being the principals daughter at a small high school. It really hurt me how Josie treated me after being such close friends with her in grade 9. I remember a time in grade 11 where we were walking together for some reason and neither of us could think of a thing to say, that’s how far a part we’d grown.
But by grade 12, all the kids in our class got along; I wasn’t weird because I was the principal’s daughter. I was friends with Josie and Katie. We all worked on the Graduation committee under Amy. My friend Tia experienced the same outside looking in experience I did, although, I think worse because she left the school after grade 10. I didn’t learn until later, how tough it was for her.
But throughout University I hung out with Amy, and Josie and Katie when they came to the same small university a year or so later. We had great fun times at the bar and birthday parties. I made a big group of other friends who were my bestfriends in third year. Since I finished university, Josie has been one of my closest friends. I can tell her everything and at times we don’t see each other for months and then when we do see each other, it’s as if we were never apart. Conversation and jokes run freely. We text a lot too.
High school was all about being on the outside looking in for me in grade 10. But time changed, people change, and you realize sometimes that you are no better then other people. I can recall a few times where I was mean and left out other girls. Once this girl Hanna, I meant in choral camp, came to our school dance. She wanted to hang out but I followed around Josie, Katie, and Amy because I wanted to fit in with them. I would have had much more fun hanging with Hanna who is also an awesome friend to this day, despite how I treated her then.
I also was mean to a girl named Addriena who wanted to fit in with me and the group I was desperately trying to hold onto. I ignored her and was mean. Plus, I’ve never really gotten girls who don’t take care of themselves when they are perfectly able. I was mean to her and she ended up leaving the school too. I saw her again in University, I believe I apologized. She was beautiful then and dressed well and had a boyfriend. I feel awful still that I made her feel as if she on the outside looking in. I got my just desserts I think.
*All names were changed for privacy.
I actually had playing in my head this song featuring Ellie Goulding and made by Taylor Swift’s boyfriend and DJ, Calvin Harris, during this post as theme music.