#NovemberNotes Day 2: Poem – Free Verse – “Of Abuse” #amwriting #poetry #dVerse


For November Notes Day 2 the song is “New Rules” by Dua Lipa. I’m combining this prompt with Björn from #dVerse Peet’s Pub on defining a monster you fear. 
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Credit: Miranda Whiperfurth via Unsplash
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Dua Lipa – “New Rules”

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I saw him walk, 

Saw him fire randomly. 

Searchimg for specific victims, 

Fear was palpable, hanging heavy —

In the sunlit air, deceptive for the scent of blood. 

Pungent, stinging my lungs, 

As if breathing in a mustard gas. 

No one should ever have to know —

Deaths putrid scent. 

See it pooling, 

From a loved one or friend. 

No one should have to see, 

How medicine cannot always heal; 
By knowledge or by quickness. 

That the scariest monsters are the ones, 
Seemingly kind, normal, 

Even attractive humans. 

Those who cannot function, 

Losing control by illness, 

Or by self-indoctrination. 

Breaking to pieces, 

Flipping their humanity switch. 

Or lost in a terrifying nightmare, 

Blurring into their edges.

They’ve nothing soft left, 

No heart remaining, 

In cold blood or insanity. 

He may have been a gun man, 

Or perhaps, he was a manipulator? 

A lesser monster whose pain, 

Transformed into rage. 

A monster stealing peace of mind, 

Security and safety. 

Through vile methods. 

He’s the twenty phone calls your ignoring, 

Sleeping with him anyways, 
Just so he’ll go away. 

Because you don’t feel anything, 

Cringing at his touch. 

Under him it’s all to clear,

Your never over him; 

Until you don’t let him return ever. 

But he enjoys the tatters,

While regret knots in your stomach, 

Grows agonizing when he —

Doesn’t hear all your “No’s” and “Stops.”

But you stay with him, 

You let him believe, 

Because has the power to harm, 

A craziness in his eyes. 

Different bullets than the gunmen, 
Bullets just the same. 

Ban the ballots, the gunpowder, 

Save those trapped, 

By gun toting diehards,

And fools who take advantage —

Wielding obsession and abuse. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

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Interview With Mark Reynolds


Welcome back to my bi-weekly interview series. This week, I’m excited to share with you the creative, thoughtful, and accomplished writer Mark Reynolds. Please check-out his fantastic blog here: Coloring Outside the Lines.


Mark Reynolds
Mark Reynolds

1. Mark, Please Tell Us About Yourself?

Hello, I’m Mark Reynolds, a.k.a  Coloring Outside the Lines. I live outside of Cleveland, Ohio on almost four acres of land with trees and gardens; the edge of a rural area. My Mom and Dad were from small farming towns in Western Ohio.

I’m a professional street-walker. Calling myself a Mailman sounds too boring.  I’m also a traveler. I have the vacation time to find cheap flights to any place I want to go, South or West. I also play in the dirt or garden. I like to grow food and have flowers and plants everywhere. Having many gardening areas cuts down on running the lawn mower on  grass. I’m a person who enjoys nature. We live with several critters such as  birds, deer, turkeys, raccoons, foxes, and snakes. I play photographer once in awhile and I have plenty of photos of many creatures and all kinds of landscape.


2. When Did You Start Writing and Blogging?

Complicated question. I began writing as a freshman in College. I wrote short stories for awhile. I could do dream sequences well, but writing the dialogue and including substance in my short stories was difficult for me.

Then a couple decades or so later,  I blew out my knee and was trapped on a couch for a month with a leg brace; that was about a year and half ago. During this time, I started my blog cleverly with a web address of Any1mark66.  My blog changed after taking a WordPress Blogger University Course.


“I like to grow food and have flowers and plants everywhere. Having many gardening areas cuts down on running the lawn mower on grass. I’m a person who enjoys nature.” – Mark Reynolds


3. What Does Writing and Poetry Mean To You? Why Do You Write?

Writing is all about expression. Poetry for me is spontaneous writing. A stray thought or string of words can be woven into an image. There’s a challenge to producing a particular feeling you can convey to others. The meaning of fiction for me….that’s personal!

Every fictional story should display a character gloriously flawed and have the ability to connect to the reader with something familiar, they can find in themselves or others. Real life connections are unique to each of us but if I can get a reader to buy in to the theme of my writing, than the reader can embrace my characters. Additionally, I write because it’s fun, and you can’t kill people in real life, but you can in a fictional story.


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

I participate in several writing challenges. I especially like to mix music with fantastic writing using the lyrics in songs. Nature is also always available for inspirational ideas. And those characters you can kill in writing are fascinating.There’s a quality to them and they inspire me to use different methods to explain why the die and how. Also, I have stray or random thoughts which keep giving me writing ideas. I use my spontaneous writing when I write serial stories which can be built into bigger works of writing.


“Every fictional story should display a character gloriously flawed and have the ability to connect to the reader with something familiar, they can find in themselves or others. Real life connections are unique to each of us but if I can get a reader to buy in to the theme of my writing, than the reader can embrace my characters.” – Mark Reynolds


5. Do You Find There Is a Time Of Day You Most Like to Write? What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects?

I write at several different times in a day. Poetry is usually, a  morning exercise. Flash fiction and stories are easier to write in the afternoon or evening.  

I’m finishing up some of my fictional serial stories. I am doing a rewrite of the fairy tale: Little Red Riding Hood which I call: Beware of The Red Cape. In my version, Red is not the small innocent girl you read about in most fairy tales.

My other serial writing project is about a stalker. The stalking begins at a soccer practice and we’ll just say, hasn’t ended yet. Or, maybe it has? I’m not sure yet. I’m still working the serial story out.

I also have a serial story about a Granny whose ghost has become rather strange, a bit crazy. My Granny character has changed slightly as the serial has developed. My characters like to tell me how they wish to be viewed.


6. Have You Attempted To Publish Any of Your Writing? Or Are You Planning to Publish Writing In the Future? Can You Briefly Describe Your Current Publishing Process?

I have been waiting to hear from a group doing a collection of stories from writers with Amazon self-publishing. I have submitted several pieces to this group.I have heard back twice and generally been told, ‘We are not looking for this now but we may contact you in the future.’ So, still waiting unfortunately.

If I understand the process of self-publishing right, I may have professional editing done and have Amazon recommend cover art for my book. It will be in the form of an E-book. I’m not buying a bunch of hard copy books upfront; Amazon does offer demand printing if I wish to go that route in the future.


“And those characters you can kill in writing are fascinating.There’s a quality to them and they inspire me to use different methods to explain why the die and how. Also, I have stray or random thoughts which keep giving me writing ideas. I use my spontaneous writing when I write serial stories which can be built into bigger works of writing.” – Mark Reynolds


7. What Is Your Writing Process Like? Do You Prefer Certain Genres for Reading and Writing?

I suddenly, have an idea; I lose said idea. Then, my idea returns similar, but changed and slightly twisted. Next, I peck out my ideas on my phone or IPad. I prefer to write my entire story all at once. If I come back to the story, my thoughts may change. I want a certain feeling when I write and that’s hard to recapture at a later time if I leave it. I will, however, go back to my writing and play with some new ideas later. But these ideas often become new stories on their own.

My preferred areas of reading include science-fiction books, suspense books, horror books, historical reads, science books, and books on nature. Although I write poetry, I have never read much of it.


8. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Writers? 

Forget what you think you know about writing and write outside the boundaries of your daily life.  If you have to research a bit about a subject or place and learn its history, it builds a greater depth of feeling in your writing. Researching and visiting places to come up with new ideas, or more in-depth ideas, will give you a stronger voice in your writing. 

Oh yeah, fail at what you want (to write or do in life) once in awhile. Failure teaches a person things; no one ever learnt much from doing something right all the time.


“If I come back to the story, my thoughts may change. I want a certain feeling when I write and that’s hard to recapture at a later time if I leave it. I will, however, go back to my writing and play with some new ideas later. But these ideas often become new stories on their own.” – Mark Reynolds


9. Is There Anything Else You’d Like to Share With Us About Yourself Or Your Writing?

I have a passion for spreading information on things such as the food we eat. We have terrible options for fresh food and for finding out what is actually in the food we eat from the supermarket.

Food labeling isn’t often correct and there should be laws to make the labels on the food a person buys truthful and clear. GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) are terrible for a person to ingest. You may disagree with me, but try dumping weed killer on your garden plants and eating them, its about the same. But of course it’s safe.  Ask the people who made the weedkiller. 


“A genetically modified organism (GMO) is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques (i.e., a genetically engineered organism). GMOs are used to produce many medications and genetically modified foods and are widely used in scientific research and the production of other goods. . .

The Organic Consumers Association, and the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Greenpeace stated that risks have not been adequately identified and managed, and they have questioned the objectivity of regulatory authorities. Some health groups say there are unanswered questions regarding the potential long-term impact on human health from food derived from GMOs, and propose mandatory labeling or a moratorium on such products. 

Concerns include contamination of the non-genetically modified food supply,effects of GMOs on the environment and nature,the rigor of the regulatory process,and consolidation of control of the food supply in companies that make and sell GMOs,or concerns over the use of herbicides with glyphosate.” – Wikipedia: Genetically Modified Organisms


10. Can You Please Share Some of Your Favorite Pieces of Writing With Us.

Beware The Red Cape: Part One

By Mark Reynolds

“Jezzibelle! Jezzibelle! Where are you?”  Mama calls out.

She washes her hands with lye soap as she looks out the open window.  Mama is nervous about sending the girl off alone.  She is of age now, but so easily swayed from her chores.  Mama knows the family trait to do the easy gains runs deep in her.  But Mama’s love can cure all ills.  Her Mama told her the way to be.  It’s that figure Jezzibelle is developing she is more concerned with.

Her own Mama has not responded to the traditional cures.  Leaches have proved ineffective to her maladies.  Herbal wraps have made her skin glow in the palest of white, lacking the rudiness of life.  Charcoal chunks have pasted through her without taking the problem with them.

Mama shuffles through bottles of homemade wine.  Dandelion wine, it’s pale yellow color and gentle flavor would be prefect for a picnic.  Today it’s a message to get well.  A smoked chunk of beef rests inside a burlap sack.  Two half pieces of bread complete the basket.  A single sage smudge stick wrapped inside kept out and bugs.

“Where is that girl?  I shouldn’t trust her.  My Mama isn’t getting better since Jezzibelle has taken over the role of care taker.  I hope Jezzibelle isn’t a burden to her.  Mama loves her so.  The red cape of velvet came from her grandmother.  It gave her a certain glow of vibrant womanhood at the young age.  And I remember being that age….The day Derrick came to the farm…I could careless he was so much older.  There are men waiting to get a hold of her.  Her uncles tell me how much she would fetch us.  Maybe the men know best.  It’s a lot of money.  She will need someone to keep her well.”  Mama reflects on the regrets of life and what future her daughter will be strattled with.

“Mama, what is it.  I was playing with Mindy’s dog.  He’s so cute.  I wish we could have that dog.  He keeps the ghastly beasts from the forest at bay.  Please, could we get one! I really think it would be best.  They haven’t lost a single chicken in months. And I would…” Jezzibelle tries to plead her case.

“Enough child!  You know what I need from you.  Take that basket to grandmother!  She hasn’t been by.  She still bed ridden.  You must take care of her for me.  I packed it well.  It’s early.  The field and woods will be cool.  Make haste child.  If it gets too warm the animals will smell the food.  They will stalk you, and steal the food.  Those ugly old wolves might hunt you too.  Take your cape!  Grandmother will only recognize you in it.  Her vision was really poor last week.”  Mama is nervous and shaking.  “Don’t you snoop around her corners!  She will hear you!  She doesn’t like snoops.  You may get her home one day.”

“Mama, I love grandmother.  Will she be ok?  I fear she’ll die.  I’ll never have her long enough. I want her to know my babies.  I don’t want to live there without her.” Jezzibelle kicks at her feet and tries to avoid her mother’s gaze.

“Stay on the path!  Don’t stop to talk to anyone!  There are strangers who might want this food or try to take you away.  A pretty girl like you needs to be careful around strangers.” Mama warns her.

“You worry too much, Mama.  I’ll be fine.  I have seen a few people in my trips.  They know me now.  They will help me.”  Jezzibelle puts her hand on Mama’s arm.

Mama looks at her with a mix of unsure feelings and hope. Her heart lends itself to worrying about one thing at a time.

©MarkReynolds (2016).


Here Are Some More Links to Mark’s Writing On His Blog:


Thank You so much Mark for the interview. It was great to read about your writing process, your inspirations, and your thoughts on writing and other topics. Here is one more link to Mark’s Blog: Coloring Outside The Lines


If you would like to be interviewed on my blog and share with other writers and bloggers about your writing and the process involved with how you write and how you publish your work, you can reach-out to me on my Contact Page.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Poem: Lune – “The Stalker.” #amwriting #wordhighjuly #poetry #kundiman



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http://www.steadyhealth.com

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You never let me go, 

Always following me.

My life spent hiding away.

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You’d like it if I wrote, 

Our love song, 

But it doesn’t even exist.

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Delusions are your way handling, 

A fantasy ideal;

Get away from me please.

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So tired of you following,

Me around at —

Work and school; you stalker.

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I’ve told you more than, 

Once or twice, 

There is no us; okay?

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I’ve never loved you ever, 

Never lead you, 

To believe I liked you.

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You’re thick in the skull, 

And smothering me; 

Let me live life free.

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Begin your story somewhere away, 

Leave me alone;

They’re other girls out there.

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I’ve a boyfriend and brother, 

Who will make, 

You see double; so leave —

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This girl be; you’re causing, 

Me such fear;

Afraid to be left alone.

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Keep your hands to yourself, 

You always try, 

Getting me alone, hurting me.

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The restraining order, respect it.

I’ll press charges, 

Obsessive, unpredictable, stalker please go.

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Leave me alone; I can’t —

Sleep at night,

Knowing you’re below my window.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Sunday Photo Fiction: A Perfect Wife


I never thought I would be one to travel a great deal but I had been all around Europe this past year. Now, I was staying at a hotel in Amsterdam. On my way to get coffee, I noticed a man following me. He was dressed well and reminded me  of a how the Italian`s dressed, very sharp and expensive.

I remained in the crowds trying to lose my tail and I worked my way back to my hotel room. I thought I was safe in my hotel but my hands were grabbed and tied behind me as  I opened my suitcase. I was pulled over my stalkers shoulder and eventually placed in the back seat of a car.

” Sit back, Natasha, relax. I would never hurt you,”  my kidnapper reasoned.

” Then why would you kidnap me?” I yelled at the stranger.

” Mama says I need a wife and I want a pretty Canadian wife. I have lots of money. Plus, look at me? I’m hot you are lucky to have me for a husband.”

I tried the locks on the doors.” I want to go back to my hotel now. I have a fiance, I don’t need a husband.” I lied.

The man laughed at me and reached back to pat my arm. “I will make you forget about him.”

” I don’t want to be your wife!” I scream.

The man shrugged. ” My Mama and I picked you out in Florence. You helped a little boy find his lost parents and Mama said ‘She’s your wife.’ Mama is never wrong.”

I shuddered.

Dutch House

Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting!