Photo Challenge: Poem – Free Verse – “The Healing Touch” #amwriting #poetry 

Thanks to NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s photo prompt challenge.


Credit: Laura Williams


Many faces have I, but don’t let me evaporate.

Too many masks I wear within to cover the scars that bind,

The twisting vines of ruined skin,

Not even plastic surgery could heal.

And the whispers of the dreadful night,

They haunt me in my sleep.

Each nightmare worse than the last, entrenching me in madness.

Crying and shaking, in a world I cannot escape.

My screams echoeing from the domed ceiling,

In St. Peter’s Basilica, my heart a kindled pyre.

Does God hear me, my fervent prayers without pride?

I know if He did, he would answer what I seek,

Provide relief from the cruelty of my suffering;

Of the ache and the burn in my skin.

He’d be a cooling gentle wind to end the burning flames,

I hope in my meekness for God as Elijah knew.

I try to forget. to move on, hiding behind masks so I’m safe.

My scars are not physical but they hide beneath skin,

Where plastic surgery cannot salvage a broken soul.

I’m a wretched bloody mess and my stomach is churning,

Why are the worst injuries, the ones you cannot see?

Why do people only see skin deep?

Not many will peer beneath the perfect layers of white ivory,

To see the layers underneath charred and scorched.

Many will not look past the words on your lips,

They are not interested in how a person says certain words,

Or why they say what do.

Many people hear only what they want to hear,

And if you choose to scream,

Than you’re the crazy one seeking attention.

But many screams are silent,

Before they are ever heard out loud,

This is why we need listeners and those with empathy,

To overcome those overflowing with ignorance and apathy to life;

To realize there is meaning in helping your neighbor out.

For we all have hidden scars and screams,

And most of them are dug deeply within our souls.

They wind around a person’s heart, a choking vine envokes —

A cry for help, so please hear it, long before we shout out loud,

Be still for a moment and listen well.

Respond before the masks hide many other faces and mine;

Act before you start cutting into our hearts,

Doing much more harm than good.

Watch your words and carefully avoid —

Assault and battery, for refusing to help those in need —

Refusing to help those lost in their pain. 

Heal with laughter and conversation,

A piece of your precious time.

Do not forget the meek and lowly,

We all need help discovering pathways into stardust.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Tale Weavers: Poem – Synchronicity – “Safe” #amwriting #taleweavers #poetry #BellLetsTalk

Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last week’s Tale Weaver’s prompt which is: a story through the eyes of a child. 


Credit: UnSplash


Mommy you let go my hand, I’m quick–

Mere seconds pass, I’m laughing freely, 

I run. 


Mommy, I’m giggling what it is —

Feeling free, everyone looks at me, 



Down the aisles of Superstore, 

You’ve lost me, can you find me now? 

I’m fast.


Boxes, packages to pull down, 

Grinning, happy, into candy, 

Sitting —


Waiting for me on the shelf are —

My favourite chocolate and gummies;



Where’d you go? I think I’m lost, 

I’m scrunching my face, tears begin, 

Where’d you —


Go? Mommy; don’t leave me here now, 

Some lady grabbed my hand and —

It hurts.


She won’t let go, dragging me off, 

Stranger danger; no one helps me,

Let Go! 


It’s okay now, Mommy is here

Holding you close, grabbing your hand;

She runs.


Scared I’ll turn her in and I should, 

Who tries to kidnap a child in —

Daylight? —


 At all? Cannot trust, stay near me, 

Now you know why and you’re safe, 

From harm.


Mommy will never let you go, 

Her precious boy, her sweet sunshine, 

Is hers.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Three Line Tales: Poem – Septoplets – “Purpose to Explore” #3Linetales #amwriting #quotes #poetry 

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


Credit: Andrew Neel via UpSplash


That’s the, 

 Joy of, 

Life; Every —




Chance to, 

Explore possible, 

Paths; accomplishments


Finding revealed

Your purpose

In life, 




Goals meant, 

For you. 

Other’s not;

Your purpose


Hopefully, to —

Help someone.

If not, 

Don’t —



Them as, 

You explore, 

Life’s adventures


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

B&P’s Shadorma and Beyond: “In Darkness Lies” #poetry #writing #amwriting 

This is last week’s Shadorma prompt, hosted by MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie. The poem, “Travelling Through The Dark” by William E. Stafford. 




There are things, 

Best not explained and

Thought of once, 


Some times rise up in memory

Some nights lost.


Perhaps the —

Road was offending —

Nature not —

Giving her, 

Space required for her to thrive, 

Voice unheard.


But I wish, 

Someone out there could —

Hear nature’s —

Whispers cried. 

Then we wouldn’t harm her deer, 

Not anything.


We might have —

More respect for such creatures whom —

Know not where —

They tread is —

Surely the end, too dangerous, 

So they die. 


And like that —

Deer killed by the road,

Womb full of —

Baby who —

Won’t ever be born; Nature —

Cries for loss. 


If the corpse, 

Lies there on the road, 

Some idiot, 

Not paying —

Attention; he’ll hit it and —

Kill himself. 


Though the deers, 

Death is so tragic, 

So is the —

Loss of a —

Human life more; though we think, 

Some don’t think. 


Perhaps a —

Sign some flashing lights, 

Saying, “Deer —

Crossing Please —

Be aware,” but some don’t read. 

The corpse goes —


A gaping —

Grave to eternity, 

Mother and —

Fawn are gone. 

No vigil, no prayer, no thought, 

Nature mourns. 


“Travelling Through the Dark” By William E. Stanford 


Traveling through the dark I found a deer

dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.

It is usually best to roll them into the canyon:

that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead.


.By glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car

and stood by the heap, a doe, a recent killing;

she had stiffened already, almost cold.

I dragged her off; she was large in the belly..


My fingers touching her side brought me the reason—

her side was warm; her fawn lay there waiting,

alive, still, never to be born.

Beside that mountain road I hesitated.


The car aimed ahead its lowered parking lights;

under the hood purred the steady engine.

I stood in the glare of the warm exhaust turning red;

around our group I could hear the wilderness listen.


I thought hard for us all—my only swerving—,

then pushed her over the edge into the river.



©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Photo Challenge: Fiction – Dawn of Daylight #amwriting #fiction

Thank you to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this challenge and a card/picture which is centered around the sun and it’s use as a metaphor in life. 



It’s early morning and the sky is tinged with an inky darkness. Out of the east brilliant colour begins to emerge. First the sky lightens, the navy washing out into a paler blue. The sun goddess brings a purplish hue to the sky which then begins to blaze with citrus orange; a red-pink hue completes the spectacular sunset. The goddess knows the sailors will complain about the pink hue; the suspicious lot of them. 

She watches the sunrise, in all nature’s artistry, from washed out watercolour to colours aflame in brilliant acrylic. The colours become more pigmented and the sky itself turns cheery sky blue and the brilliance of the sunrise is replaced by the promise of a new day. A soft yellow glow on everything outside, reminding the goddess of the smell of lemons and a distinct feeling of happiness. 

She spots her treasured swing in her secret garden. The fall leaves of tangerine orange, blazing gold, and brazen red, match her sunrise well. The goddess steps through the coloured leaves and walks to the swing. It’s warm enough that many flowers are yet blooming and some of the Autumn colours are enhanced by the grassy green of summer, holding on despite a chill arising as winter whispers. 

Roses decorate the sun goddess ropes on her swing as she kicks out ageless beautiful shapely legs, then kicks her legs underneath her wodden swing. She keeps her pace gentle, pumping her legs at leisure and watching the sun provide hope to this part of the world; the renewal of light. 

The blue sky is awesome and many people are out walking their dogs. It’s early and only the dogs see the goddess swimging. They approach her for a scratch and a hidden treat. Their kisses lap her face as she tries to avoid getting licked on the mouth. The goddess grins when the dogs wagging their tales, return to their owners, sniffing through the gathering of leaves on the sidewalk. 

She lingers on the swing longer than she should. But there is a certain peacefulness in the morning hours she needs to make it through the day. She mentally calculates how much time she has, not long; other places in the world are eager to see the sunrise too. Yet in the cool of the morning air the goddess sighs. 

Here is an enchanted place ready to see the crystal clearness daylight reveals, unconcealing those who hide in darkness. But in other places, darkness is safer, for in daylight there is no delight but harm as the shadows themselves strive to suck away the light. The sun goddess smiles because the sun always rises, the shadows never win. 


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Interview With Tosha Michelle

Happy Monday! Welcome to my bi-weekly interview series. I am happy to share with you September’s second interview: the fascinating, beautiful, and gifted poet, Tosha Michelle from the blog — Everything I Never Told You: Lucidly In Shadows, Poetry From A Hand That Writes Misty. 

Please take a look at her blog here: Everything I Never Told You

Tosha Michelle

1. Tell Us About Yourself Tosha? 

My name is Tosha Michelle and I hail from the land of grits and sweet tea. I’m a poet and author of two books — Confessions of a Reformed Southern Belle and Self Help to Self Harm. The first is a chapbook and contains some of my earlier poems. The latter is my silly take on the self help genre. I’ve written things since I was a child but I didn’t take up blogging until about five-years-ago. I’m also an abolitionist and Academia addict. I’m the Radio Host of -Chit Chat Chicks Live and La Literati. I’m a book worm and perpetual nerd and dreamer.



2.  What Does Writing and Poetry Mean to You Personally? 

Poetry  — reading it, writing it — is one of my greatest forms of pleasure. There’s so much life and emotion which can be found in poetic verse. I write poetry to release my own demons, to make sense of my feelings, and for the sheer pleasure of self-expression. My poetry, usually, stems from strong emotions either good emotions or emotions which feel bad. I find it easier to write when my senses are heightened and I’m in tune with my internal angst or joy.

“I write poetry to release my own demons, to make sense of my feelings, and for the sheer pleasure of self-expression. My poetry, usually, stems from strong emotions either good emotions or emotions which feel bad. I find it easier to writ when my senses are heightened . . .” – Tosha Michelle

3. Why Do You Write and Where Do You Find Your Motivation and Inspiration to Write?

I’m a woman-child in a state of grace, struggling to find my voice and place in this world through introspection, self-reflection, and most importantly by social activism and advocacy. I firmly believe in these words: “Be the change you want to see.” It is only through love, tolerance, humility and the understanding of our own fragility that we can begin to find our humanity and, in turn, extend that humanity to others. I hope this comes through in my writing.

4. Are There Personal Causes Behind Your Writing and Values In Life? 

Love combined with action can and will make an impact on the world. It takes heart and guts to take on the seemly insurmountable, and we must. We must take a stand against injustices such as human trafficking, child abuse, and poverty.

Can one person change the world? Absolutely! Picture a world without Martin Luther King, without Gandhi, without Mother Teresa, and the countless other men and women who fought injustices in their culture, challenged the unchallengeable, and helped change society for the better.

Changing the world, making a difference where you can, and taking a stand, these are issues I often write about. Writing is a fantastic way to make a difference in the world.

” ‘Be the change you want to see.'” It is only through love, tolerance, humility and the understanding of our own fragility that we can begin to find our humanity and, in turn, extend that humanity to others. I hope this comes through in my writing.” – Tosha Michelle

Tosha Michelle 2
Tosha Michelle

5. Do You Find There Is a Time Of Day You Most Enjoy Writing?  Have You Published Any Writing? What Is Your Most Current Writing Projects? 

Mornings are the best time to write, there’s something inspiring about the promise of a new day. As I stated earlier, I wrote Confessions of A Warm Southern Belle and the book, Self Help To Harm. As for projects, I’m working on putting together a collection of my  more recent poems. I also have a project with a fellow poet. We are working on a book together.

Confessions of A Warm Southern Belle: A Poet’s Collection of Love, Loss, and Renewal

By Tosha Michelle

Confessions of A Warm Southern Belle Tosha

You Can Purchase Tosha’s Poetry Book Here on Amazon.

Self Help to Self Harm: The Dubious Guide To Life, Love, and Relationships

By Tosha Michelle

Self Help Tosha

Purchase Tosha’s Self Help to Self Harm Book here on Amazon.

4. What Is Your Writing Process Like? How Did You Publish Your Books?
I self-published on Amazon, the process was fairly easy. The hard part is marketing yourself and your writing. I’m not sure if I would take the self-publishing route again. I tend to write obsessively and in spurts. I need a quiet place to create, with no music, TV, or other distractions.

5. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing or Reading Genres? Any Helpful Advice For Other Writers?

 I love poetry and I am a huge fiction fan. I also read a lot of non-fiction as well. I’m a history buff and adore anything related to history and the past.
Writing is such a personal thing and I can only speak to what helps me. Writing every day is something I practice. I also read a great deal. I do think writing and reading go together like biscuits and gravy or cornbread and milk. My Southern roots are showing 🙂
I think you need to just be yourself. There’s something lovely about being authentic and real in writing and in life.

” . . .[Writing] and reading go together like biscuits and gravy or cornbread and milk . . . I think you need to just be yourself. There’s something lovely about being authentic and real in writing and in life.” – Tosha Michelle. 

6. Can You Please Share A Few Links From Your Blog With Your Favorite Or Most Loved Pieces?

“And Everything”

He makes my heart leap

But i’m so very careful of the rocks

In the distance I see the lush

greenness of the vineyard.

The roots true. The vines ripe

Do I have faith in the landscape?

It still looks abstract from here.

I walk on with my shoes of hope

wearing clear blue skies and a

thawed out soul.

Still I worry about a change in

the weather, falling into a ravine

My spirit like a sacred dare

challenges me to forget my fears,

to journey on deeper into what

could become less or more.

His voice in the distance

permeates my darker self until

all I see is sunlight.

Who can say what dust will bring?

Wine or a cloud spun our of

misguided fate?.

For now the light glimmers

How freeing it is branching

it’s way out into the unknowns.

July 29, 2016 -Tosha Michelle

Here Are Two Additional Poetry Pieces From Tosha’s Blog:

Tosha Word Quote
Tosha Michelle (Unknown)

Thank you Tosha Michelle, for answering my interview questions. I enjoyed reading your answers and the books you have written both seem as if they’ll be great reads. I know the poetry will be awesome, but I think you perspective on dating, love etc. would be an interesting read as well. I hope everyone will check them out on Amazon. Also, love that you are an advocate for change for the terrible things happening in our world.

Would you like to share about yourself, your writing, and your writing process? Please reach-out to my through my Contact Page and I will send you some interview questions. I would love to feature you on my bi-weekly interview series, whatever kind of writing you adore. Thanks for reading 🙂

©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – The Grey Lady 

One day I went walking, my bestfriend and I. We went down the trails where the Autumn forest lies.

My friend the ‘Grey Lady,’ a husky with silver fur, crashed through debris and drank from the river, thirsty and content. 

I walked on the pathway, while the Grey Lady sniffed and crossed to a tree. Four one-eyed monsters stared back; terror froze me. 

The leader was a one- eyed red blob. He tried to talk but a space language burst from his tongue; his friend, a female, with a thickly lashed eye, starred melovently at the Grey Lady. 

Grey howled,  barked, and jumped on our colourful foes; to them she was as alien as they were to me. To them she was danger. So to us, were they.

The blue and yellow aliens were deep in discussion, then tried to attack me with futuristic guns; but the Grey Lady kept guard; a deep growl pierced the silence. 

And it’s a good thing Grey was fierce. Such innocent monsters they appeared, like a child’s toy. But despite their looks, they wanted to cause me harm.

They were super flexible,used mind tricks, and tried to steal me away; but the Grey  Lady wouldn’t budge. Of her they were afraid. 

Grey growled, bared her teeth, with stealth attacked those ruthless monsters. She could sense the danger in their comical appearance. For she was bred  from wolves and I was her pack. These colourful creatures were her treat, her tasty snack. 

Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting!