#NaPoWriMo Day 16/ Tale Weavers: Poem – Bop – “Snake Oil Please” #poetry #amwriting #taleweavers #MLMM


For NaPoWriMo Day 16 the Prompt is: “to write a poem that prominently features the idea of play.” I’m combining with Michael from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver Prompt about Making Sense of Nonsense in which Adder’s Milk Snake Oil is the focus.

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Credit: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

—-

Genuine Snake oil

Guaranteed Cure-All

Rub it in, take a spoonful each morning,

Infuse it in your tea.

Guaranteed Success and Instant Relief of all and any disease you might have.

——

Snake oil how absurd; think it will me cure?

Ma, can I go outside, do you concur?

Must I remain in bed? Same old card games;

I’ve played Spades each day, now I long for rain.

To jump in puddles, to soak myself wet,

Not to cough, wheeze — I hear snake oil’s the best.

It can heal the deepest wounds and relieve —

My greatest foes, both my lungs that less breathe;

Each and every day, my breath it thickens,

Other cures you give, they’re all pain ridden.

I want to go outside, play marbles and run,

Fast and hard, race the other boys for fun.

Let me free to shoot cans, snake oil can do that;

It will let me live my dreams at last.

Mom, do you hear me? Boil it in my tea.

Rub it on my chest, the soles of my feet.

I’ll no longer cough-up red, then I’ll soar;

My devotions are all read, so I implore.

Just pour it down my throat, then I’ll breathe,

Fresh spearmint air; snake oil for me, please.

—-

©️Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

‘Beware the Ides of March:’ A History Beyond the Shakespearean Play ‘Julius Caesar’ #history #Englishliterature #amwriting


I thought that I almost missed it. Today is the Ides of March. I know St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th, overtakes this day. But unless you’re into it a great deal, the Ides of March, isn’t a reason to drink green beer all day. Rickard’s Red or something along lose lines, might work better.


Credit: Someecards.com


The first time I learned about today was in grade ten in Mr. G’s English class. He was one of my favorite high school teachers. And a hilarious guy, who had no aversions to mocking his students. We made of fun mocked him and each other (in a friendly manner), in each class he taught in grade ten.

We also studied William Shakespeare’s, Julius Caesar, where this vital passage appears early in the play:


Caesar:

Who is it in the press that calls on me?

I hear a tongue shriller than all the music

Cry “Caesar!” Speak, Caesar is turn’d to hear.

Soothsayer:

Beware the ides of March.

Caesar:

What man is that?

Brutus:

A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.

(Julius Caesar Act I.ii. 15–19).


Later on, we learned these lines are foreshadowing Caesar’s death. According to enotes.com, on Shakespeare’s famous play, these lines occur during “Lupercalia, an ancient Roman religious holiday. Caesar, [a] Roman dictator,” is making his way “through the streets before an appearance” in front of “the ‘press’ (crowd).” From the busy streets, a soothsayer issues this famous warning. As well, Caesar, a “superstitious man,” does not take the “soothsayers” words without a great deal of worry and consideration.

As well, the ‘ides’ of March always occurs on the “15th,” but which day of the month the ‘ides'” occurs in each calendar month “depends on a complicated system of calculation.” It was “Caesar himself [who] established” the ‘Ides’ when he “instituted the Julian calendar, a precursor” of our modern calendar. Also, the “‘ides’ of January, for example, “always occurs on the”13th,” but the ‘ides’ of March, May, July and October” happen on the “15th” of these months.

“The [significance] of the ‘Ides of March’ for Caesar is that [it’s] the day [he’s] assassinated by a group of conspirators, including Brutus and Cassius. Despite numerous and improbable portents [foreshadowing and allusion] —the soothsayer’s warning” a “fearsome thundering,” along with Caesers’ “wife’s dreams of his murder,” and other signs, in Shakespeare’s play, mean Caesar can’t ignore the future he faces. Despite all this, he “ventures forth on the ides to meet his doom.”


Credit: Someecards.com


Also, the site History.com can provide us with more historical insight into this unusual day. Their staff write that “Gaius Julius Caesar,” was “stabbed to death in the Roman Senate house by 60 conspirators, led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus.”

Caesar, who was “born into the Julii, an ancient” but not “distinguished Roman aristocratic family, began his political career in 78 B.C. as a prosecutor for the anti-patrician Popular Party.” From there, “[he] achieved. . . influence in the party” through his “reformist ideas” and skills as an “orat[or].” He also “aided Roman imperial efforts by raising a private army to combat the king of Pontus in 74 B.C. ”

Caesar was [also] an ally of Pompey” who was the “recognized head of the Popular Party.” He “essentially took over this position after Pompey left Rome in 67 B.C.,” when Pompey chose to become commander of Roman forces in the east. As well, by “63 B.C., Caesar was elected pontifex maximus, or ‘high priest,” allegedly by heavy bribes. Two years later, he was made governor of Farther Spain and in 60 B.C., [he] returned to Rome,” with “ambitio[ns] for the office of consul. The consulship” was the “highest office in the Roman Republic, [and was] shared by two politicians on an annual basis.”

The “Consuls commanded the army, presided over the Senate by execut[ing the Senate’s] decrees, and represented the state in foreign affairs. Caesar formed a political alliance–the so-called ‘First Triumvirate’–with Pompey and Marcus Licinius Crassus.” While the “majority of the Roman Senate, . . . opposed Caesar,” his “land reforms won him popularity” among Roman Citizen’s and, eventually, the Senate.


Credit: someecards.com


Also, in “58 B.C., Caesar was given four Roman legions in Cisalpine Gaul and Illyricum.” He “demonstrated brilliant military talents as he expanded the Roman Empire and his reputation. Among other achievements, Caesar conquered all of Gaul, made the first Roman inroads into Britain, and won devoted supporters in his legions.” Nevertheless, Caesar’s “successes . . . aroused Pompey’s jealousy, leading to the collapse of their political alliance in 53 B.C.”

The Roman Senate supported Pompey and asked Caesar to give up his army, which [of course,] he refused to do.” As well, in “January [of] 49 B.C., Caesar led his legions across the Rubicon River from Cisalpine Gaul to Italy, . . . declaring war against Pompey and his forces. Caesar made early gains in the[ir] civil war, defeating Pompey’s army in Italy and Spain.”

However, he “was later forced into retreat in Greece. In August 48 B.C., with Pompey in pursuit, Caesar paused near Pharsalus, setting up camp at a strategic location. When Pompey’s senatorial forces fell upon Caesar’s smaller army, they were entirely routed, and Pompey fled to Egypt, where he was assassinated by an officer of the Egyptian king.” Thus, Caesar rose to power in the Roman Republic as a dictator and sole consul member.


Credit: Someecards.com


Finally, History.com notes that “Caesar was. . . appointed Roman consul and dictator, but before settling in[to] Rome, he traveled around the empire for several years [to] consolidat[e] his rule,” through military might and oration. “In 45 B.C., he returned to Rome and was made dictator [of Rome] for life.

As sole Roman ruler, Caesar launched ambitious programs of reform within the empire. The most lasting of these was his establishment of the Julian calendar.” Except for “slight modifications” and certain “adjustment[s to the calendar] in the 16th century, [it] remains in use today.” Caesar also “planned new imperial expansions in central Europe and to the east.

In the midst of these vast “ambitions, Caesar “was assassinated on March 15, 44 B.C., by a group of conspirators, who[m] believed . . . his death would lead to the restoration of the Roman Republic.” Nonetheless, “the result of the ‘Ides of March’ was to plunge Rome into a fresh round of civil wars,” including Caesar’s once powerful supporter from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Anthony and Cleopatra, Marc Anthony.

However, “Octavian, Caesar’s grand-nephew,” emerged as the “first Roman emperor, Augustus” Caesar. He “destroy[ed] the Roman Republic forever,” but did manage to bring the Romans into an age of peace called Pax Romana.

According to Wikipedia, what this age of peace meant was that, the Roman Empire expanded little and had to defend itself little against enemies, until the “Third Century.” Around this time, the Roman empire began its descent in power, especially, in Western Europe.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

PhotoChallenge/ Sunday Writing Prompt: A Fairy Tale with a Bad Ending: Maleficent #amwriting #fiction #photochallenge


Thanks to NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s photochallenge. I’m combining prompts with The Sunday Writing Prompt of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie and using the title prompt tale: A Fairytale with a Very Bad End.


Credit: Jeff Simpson


Maleficent stared from her dim dungeon-like castle eyeing King Stefan’s daughter, Aurora, playing in a wide open field.

She whispered to Crow, “They’re supposed to be watching her those three dim-witted fairies. When I was a good fairy, I watched my charges closely. How foolish they are, I could end her life now.”

Crow cawed, “She’s but ten years old and it isn’t her fault Stefan is her father. She doesn’t know what he did to you to become king.”

“Quiet, Crow. I’m thinking.”

“You think a great deal but never do much. Aurora knows what her fate is, those ignorant fairies told her. Now, whenever she can, she escapes to this field to play. She has no care for danger or death. Sometimes she sits and stares into the sky crying.”

“Why should I be merciful to her because she knows she will prick her finger and die in six-years? I owe her nothing. She is a means to an end.”

Crow cocked his head. “She is not responsible for her father’s crimes anymore than your parents were responsible for leaving you alone to rule the Marsh; your parents did not intend to die. Aurora, does not want to die either. Why not raise her yourself and find a way to undo the curse? Simply losing her will hurt Stefan deeply as the queen can’t have more children.”

Maleficent pinched the bridge of her nose. “I cannot undo such a powerful curse and I will not do Stefan any favours despite Aurora’s innocence. He raped me Crow, I was helpless. He cut off my wings. I will not save the girl.”

“You may change your mind yet. You have watched her for years and have become fond of her. You hate that she’s putting herself in peril now.”

“Fond?”

“Yes, you have this soft smile on your face when you watch Aurora. You never smile that way except with her.”

Maleficent’s voice went cold. “In that case . . . ” she pointed her wand at the blond beauty. Heart beating loudly in her ears, she struck the small girl down. Aurora death was instant and a single tear slipped down the dark fairy’s cheek.

“Now, you see, Crow? I have ended her life. I’m not attached to her and we will bury Aurora’s body in the Marshes. Aurora’s early death will bring Stefan greater pain. He will live his life not knowing what happened to his daughter. His queen will die in grief.”

Tears dropped as diamonds from Crows’ coal-black eyes and wouldn’t stop. “I do not think Stefan is the most evil being in the kingdom. You are the person most full of evil. Just as he lost his heart to become king and hurt you, you have ended the life of an innocent child and are no better.”

“I meant for you to truly act as Aurora’s Godmother — not to kill her. You should’ve been the one to guard and protect her; I thought you loved her.”

“Love is as treacherous as running off alone to a field . . .”

Crow’s caw was forlorn. “Aurora could’ve had a new beginning with us, but I cannot serve a fairy whose heart has become black with revenge, with blood on her hands from an innocent’s death. How far you have fallen, Maleficent.”

“Stefan is not responsible for your evil deeds; you are responsible for your own crimes.”

Crow bowed once and flew away forever. Maleficent was left alone and inside her chest her heart’s ache was perpetual.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Tale Weavers: Prompt -Free Verse – “Today’s Your Day” #poetry #dVerse #taleweavers


Thanks to Lorraine of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Tale Weavers #131 on the theme of “making it your day.” I’m combining this prompt with Lillian of Poetic’s Pub #dVerse prompt of “seeking some shade.” 


Hammock Summer Day Katya Austin
Credit: Katya Austin via UnSplash

Today’s your day,

Go outside, love it,

Take in the sun’s —

Pure golden rays.

Graze through,

Fresh markets,

Ripe fruit,

Crisp vegetables.

Today’s your day,

Make something of it.

Inhale,

Fresh air;

Grass blades,

From mowed lawns.

The scent of,

Salty ocean breeze;

Scent of sand,

Sunscreen lotion.

Aroma of forest,

Rot, decay,

Contrast with bloom,

Flourishment.

Today’s your day,

Laugh, love,

Profoundly.

Take photos,

Future memories.

Hold your honey,

Close.

Kiss your,

Children’s sticky cheeks.

Run, play —

With them,

Until you’ve exhausted them.

Chase your dog,

Doing zoomies.

Today’s your day,

Spend it, however,

You please.

Sit under shade,

Of oldest tree,

On soft blankets.

Read an —

Immersing book.

Drink sangria,

Secretly.

Snack on chocolate,

On fleshy pink,

Watermelon.

Today’s your day,

Live it vivaciously,

For there’ll  never,

Be another day,

Same as this —

One’s been.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Saturday Mix: Poem – Villanelle – “Dog of the House” #amwriting #saturdaymix #dVerse #poetry 


Thanks to Teresa of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last Saturday’s Mix prompt based on ‘sounds‘ in certain locations. I’ll be combing it with #dVerse prompt on using a Villanelle style of poetry thanks to Frank Hubeny at Poet’s pub for hosting that. 

—— 

Credit: Edith Hill

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Quiet before the bustling crowds come out, 

An awkward silence, distant noise undefined; 

Then there is barking, a chorus sings, shouts —

Dog owners fumbling, sidewalks to new route —

Down verdant trails, nature whispers sublime, 

Many dogs scrambling, playing, all about,

The new dogs can’t win, woof triumphant shouts.  

Man’s best friend loves parks, rabbits smell divine.  

Aromas, squirrel chirps, bird tweets, still mouses. 

Mouse souvenir of pride for mom, on her couch; 

As Dad showers above, Mom’s scent resides, 

Flowers, citrus, sprayed here and there in spouts. 

Dad’s Dior cologne sprayed so thickly it clouds, 

Sneezing many times, scent too strong, despised

Mom’s heels click, goodbye kisses resounding

Leaning love, licking smacking kisses now, 

Mom’s laughter sprinkled, Dad’s chuckles confide,  

He loves me, she loves me; for this is my home. 

From a sick dog on the city streets found, 

Home protector, sonorous barks resound. 

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved 

Day 28 – NaPoWriMo/A to Z Challenge/FFftAW: Poem – Skeltonic – “Flippy Cup” #flashfiction #NaPoWriMo #AtoZChallenge #poetry


Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a poem using “Skeltonic verse. . .  [which] gets its name from John Skelton, who used short stanzas with irregular meter, but two strong stresses per line (otherwise know as “dipodic” or “two-footed” verse). The lines rhyme, but there’s not a rhyme scheme. The poet simply rhymes against one word until he or she gets bored and moves on to another.” For A to Z Challenge the GoodReads quote has the letter Y. Also, I’m using the Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer Prompt and thanks to Priceless Joy for that.  

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Credit: Dawn Miller

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I’ve always sucked at games of chance. Always hated them for that reason.” ― Rick Yancey, The Infinite Sea

——-
You play so wrong

That’s not the right song 

Put on that one song 

That one goes on and on

Now play flippy cup 

We need beer cups 

Then we’ll drink it up

Some plastic red ones

Let’s fill them up some 

Bring the keg dear

Drink up your beer 

Flip up your cup, here

Now down the line clear

Flip your cups, then drink beer  

Down at the end immersed

Drink your beer first 

Quench your intense thirst

Our team wins first

Move down the line 

You’re doin‘ just fine 
Every time a new game

Big red cup for shame 

I’ll fill you up the same

And we’ll keep playing 

More rounds of  flippy cup

——–

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Tale Weavers: Fiction – The Eyes of What Now? #taleweavers #amwriting #fiction #IdesofMarch 


Thanks to Lorraine from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last week’s Tale Weavers. The theme is the a tale on the lighter side of things.

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Credit: Gary Larson

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Steve walked into English 311 wearing a toga and a gold spray-painted crown of leaves.

Dr. Lawerence, their English Professor, laughed at the front of the room along with some of the other students.

“Why is what Steve wearing funny?” Ambrose asked Jen, “Its not like this is some party.”

“I think it might have something to do with Julius Caesar. What about you?” Jen said dryly.

“The play we’re studying?” Ambrose’s asked. His friend, sitting behind him tittered. “Shut up, Dan,” he said.

Dan kept laughing, “How can you be reading Julius Caesar in English 311 and not understand why Steve is wearing that getup?”

Dr. Lawerence overheard his student’s conversation. He chuckled, ” ‘Beware the Ides of March,’ Ambrose. Remember what I said in Monday’s class?”

Ambrose shook his head, “Eyes of what now?”

The student’s around Ambrose and their professor laughed. Jen sighed. ” Caesar was assassinated on the ‘Ides of March.’ The seer in the play told him to ‘beware’ of it, but he was still stabbed and killed.”

“I thought Brutus murdered Caesar? Now you’re saying a seer did?”

Dr. Lawerence peered at Ambrose concerned, “Are you sure you want to major in English Literature, Ambrose?”

He looked up and shrugged. The professor sighed and returned to the front of the room. There was always one in every class.

——–

©Mandibelle16.(2017) All Rights Reserved.

Sunday Photo Fiction: The Sacrifice #amwriting #flashfiction #fiction 


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF. 

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Credit: A Mixed Bag

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Ellie stared at her teddy bears. She collected them and these three were her favourite. She didn’t much play with them, but they had a place of pride on her daybed. 
Truthfully, Ellie played with other stuffed animals, she didn’t care if she wrecked or ripped them a part. Sometimes she even gave a stuffed animal to her family’s dog dog Artic.

But Mom said she had too many teddy bears and because she didn’t play with these three teddy bears on her bed, she could only keep one of them. 

“But I snuggle with them at night, they keep me safe from the monsters. Even a monster can’t defend himself against three bears, ” Ellie told her Mom who laughed and ran her fingers through Ellie’s curly brown hair.

 Ellie stared at her three soft bears, unable to choose who would go. 

Suddenly, the solution came upon her. If Ellie couldn’t have all three bears, the only solution was to get rid of her Mom. She really loved her Mom a whole bunch, but she thought if she sacrificed Mom to the monsters, she would both be able to keep all three teddy bears and the monsters would leave forever too. 

It was a scary thing to give up her mother, but Ellie thought it was for the best. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Poem: Free Verse – “Thick, Thin, and Tequila” #amwriting #poetry


Polyvore on Pinterest

———

You balance out my dance, 

And it isn’t per-chance, 

You’re the same women who tipped, 

Me back with a few drinks ten-years-ago.
Who talked to me in words much deeper

Much clearer than my confused soul.

You understood the words of my heart

Despite tequila, despite red red wine,

Maybe, even despite the way I was acting —

Dragged down by life’s issues, 

You always knew what I was hiding

Those secrets destroying me,

Never stayed hidden long. 

You laughed and you smiled

Gave me hugs and even —

A shot of apple whiskey, 

Or possibly a jello shooter.

In younger years we may have —

Only been egging each other on to drink, 

But we also learned to say to each other, 

Friend, I think you’ve had enough.” 

We’ve learned to have good times, 

Drinking nothing but tea, 

Or a single glass of our favourite wine. 

You’re always happy to see me, 

And I miss being closer to all of you. 

In these years you encourage me, 

For a few hours, for an early night —

To for a moment forget

The problems which haunt me,

You forget yours too —

We have fun, play some games

You tell me to —

“Celebrate with us and let life’s troubles —

Go up in the fire’s smoke. 

Forget your health, your other woes, 

Know us better, we know you best,” 

Years do not contest, the same kind faces, 

Always there, from nights at the bar, 

To tamer houses parties because —

Responsibilities they matter more now. 

You balance out my dance,

My friends, my connections

To myself, the real world, 

The way things could be, would be —

The way things are, 

You balance out my dance, 

In ways tequila never stood a chance, 

 My history, my friends, 

My ones I have chosen, as you’ve chosen me,

To walk with me as adults, 

Maybe someday in our old-age? 

For now we play games and laughter rings, 

It’s contagious and sets me free.

Cheers my soul, 

That unknowingly

You would lift my burdens from me

Give me pause and make me think. 

(The adult sipping on her Zinfandel, 

To make the tequila flavour go away.)

My friends, confidents,

Who accept me for me,

You set me free and give me faith, 

That I can face the bad guys, 

Live another day;

Just to see you all laugh uproarasly.

To see a fire glow and gleam, 

Beneath the silver moon,

And a game of flippy-cup by fires light. 

Some things never change. 

Friends playing, and in all seriousness saying:

“Everyone needs a night or two, 

To let go and live freely, 

And not overthink.” 

Your bestfriends give you liberty

Your best friends hold on to you

Through thick, thin, and tequila. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Poetry – Petrarchen  Sonnet – “The Game I Played” #poetry #amwriting #flashfiction


Thank you to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

——

Yinglan

——-

In Junior high, soccer we used to play. 

Up, down; between goal posts on soccer field,

Learning through error, our feet ball to wield. 

With studies done, we played the entire day.

—-

Our teacher was a pro; swore whole life he played —

Soccer until he was bored at twenty-two.

Taught us, throwing the ball into play through —

Kicking it in when it was offside of play.

—–

Years ago, I gave mean slide tackle away.

I was great at defence; not running entire —

Field; many falls on grass caused allergies ire.

Miss many days spent, stealing the ball rolling, 

Passing it off to a team mate scoring goals.

Game I won’t watch; to play again, desiring.

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.