#OctPoWriMo Day 15/Photo Challenge/Saturday Mix: Poem – Italian Sonnet – “Higher Ground” #amwritingpoetry #SaturdayMix #PhotoChallenge


For OctPoWriMo Day 15 the Prompt is based around Umbrellas. Also, I’m combining with NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie’s Photo Challenge and Sarah from MindLoveMisery’s Saturday Mix based on Opposing Forces and the opposite word-pairs: harvest and plant, and lower and raise.


Credit: Kayla Erin.


I meant to use an umbrella — I failed,

The rain kept pouring, I couldn’t escape.

Thought this flood a dream raised; it was too late,

To escape the rising waters’ cold, and hail.

Our harvest, sea enveloped; I was pail.

Adrift in the Atlantic, no sails;

Waves engulfed all we planted, none were safe.

I bawled, darkness swallowed our home place.

I prayed, I shouted; the whole of me railed.

No umbrella could save a girl from disaster.

I swam swift as I quivered, believed —

In myself, hoped I still had a chance.

To survive despite wretched nature’s dance.

Then, on higher ground, flooding lowered, I —

Grabbed a steeple, a cross; prayed my thanks, sighed.


©️Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

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#OctPoWriMo Day 13/100 Word Wednesday: Poem – Blitz – “Pressure Engraved” #amwritingpoetry #100WordWordWednesday


For OctPoWriMo Day 13 the Prompt is If I We’re You. Also, I’m combining with 100 Word Wednesdays from Bikurgurl’s Photo Prompt.


Are there things you sometimes need to get off your chest? When was the last time you felt strongly that someone needed to see things from your point of view? I think this prompt lends itself perfectly to a Blitz Poem.


Credit: Alex Ilby


Such pressure rising as the dim lake drowns

Putrid water invades mr lungs, crushes my chest

Chest choking salt-water terrified

Chest rasping with each tiny breath

Breath weighted with ocean filth

Breath that’s sticky, wet, toxic

Toxic fears cripple my legs, tire-out hands treading

Toxic fears of the half-dead: I’m gasping

Gasping, a dumbbell crushing my lungs

Gasping as I let out deep breathes to cleanse

Cleanse my spirit of skin shivering

Cleanse my heart of this stress-inducing love

Love that drowns and makes me whole

Love that lets me finally find

Find a blissful beach without monstrous waves

Find a warm place on the sand to sleep

Sleep, I yearn for it as banshees screech

Sleep, I beg for it as the predators howl

Howl as I quiver, biting my nails

Howl as my courage trickles away– I’m outwitted

Outwitted by breathless panic, desperate pain

Outwitted, the Minotaurs talons clawing my neck

Neck enwrapped with silken scarves choking

Neck bundled beneath feather-silk, dreams killing

Killing me softly, these life-altering responsibilities

Killing me softly, these rigid expectations

Expectations you hold of I so meek

Expectations you hold, not understanding —

Understanding I’m a pins width from crashing

Understanding how with difficulty, I have strived

Strived to be where I am

Strived to be myself and arise

Arise, but not to discover I’m disadvantaged

Arise, but not to ignore my intuitive doubts

Doubts as steel wool scratches

Doubts as I’m carried out by the tide in the storm’s silence

Silence, if only for a moment I can collapse

Silence, self-care to reforge my walls

Walls of back-breaking stone, tough alloys

Walls that keep the creatures harming at bay, to —

To keep me safe, crippled shoulders un-tensed

To keep my bastion strong, so I can lay me down

Lay me down without your vise-like grip engraved

Lay me down to recover, before I rise to respire and inhale

Gripping my hands, crescent marks engraved

No trembling stress shocking, only mountain air to inhale.


©️Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

Three Line Tales: Fiction – The Runner #amwriting #fiction


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


Credit: Fabio Mangione via Unsplash


I blink awake to the lapping water as its tune resonates splashed against my skin, and when I gulp my protein shake; I breathe in liquid air and run. On the street-way cannel, the slide and slip of the tide is music, a rhythm I hum; I inhale the salt air as my sweat drips in the morning. I’m rounding the corner, acknowledging neighbors revving the engines of their boats for the cafes or market; I dive off the farthest dock and swim home — my morning training complete.


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

#NaPoWriMo Day 20/Tale Weavers: Poem – Free Verse – “Ember of Glory” #amwriting #poetry #MLMM #TaleWeavers


For #NaPoWriMo Day 20 the Prompt is: ” to write a poem that involves rebellion in some way. The speaker or subject of the poem could defy a rule or structure that’s been placed on them, or the poem could begin by obeying a rule and then proceed to break it.

Also, combining with Michael from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie TaleWeavers Prompt “exploring the concept of longing. What is it you long for? Health, holiday, freedom, love, understanding, acceptance.”


Credit: Robert Lukeman via Unsplash


These cubicles, they’re full —

But outside there’s fresh -air and freedom.

A world to explore, to engage to the core,

Outside these thin walls is liberty.

No more work burdens to bear,

So, the mountains and city steps I’ll climb.

And these cubicles, I’ll slice them full of holes,

Tacking up scenic pictures to inspire my soul.

Nature’s vibrant purple-skies as storms roll in,

Waterfalls that crash, and streams that gurgle.

Cars that absorb the grind of the rocky-road,

Spring zipping through the highways on four-wheels.

All in all, I’m forlorn, for the wide-great outdoors,

Scented pine-needles and decaying earth.

Wings of bubble-bees as they hit the breeze,

And flutter into pale-pink roses.

I’ll knock down these walls with hammers and saws,

Because no architect supposed workers crave sunlight.

No builder thought windows were essential to breathe,

That these gray walls, dense recycled air —

Aren’t places for humans to exist;

To flourish and grow, to be creative and problem-solve.

They’re the prisons where we labor to earn —

The visage of sunlight on rippling waters.

Oceans crashing against rocks —

The flow of rivers down the banks,

And the hustle of people as they swarm live-festivals,

Scamper for cool beer and watermelon.

When we peer to the ceiling, we’re searching for the sky,

So, you can call security, but either way, I’m escaping.

The green-grass is sweet and calling to me;

My heart beats for the tides’ ankle-deep caress.

And a tangerine sunset, it lives inside me,

The ember of glory that leads the way,

Through the dull-dread of each dreary workday.


©Mandibelle16. (2018).All Rights Reserved.

Sunday Photo Fiction: The Creep #fiction #amwriting


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting the February 11th, 2018 Edition of SPF. This is a bit of a longer piece. Written for a writer’s course, around 500 Words as opposed to 200 Words or less. I cleaned it up and changed the original a bit.


Credit: J. Carol Hardy


Charlene twists her hair. The potent drink on the bar is her fifth tequila shot in an hour. The hazy, dreamlike atmosphere in the crowded town bar confuses her. Most of the crowd puff away, smoke lingering in the air, twisting above her, a toxic dragon of cigarette stench.

An attractive singer who isn’t local, belts out tunes while strumming his guitar. His catchy music has Charlene humming, her fingers tapping to the rhythm.

When he plays a soft song, the crowd boos. Some men throw beer bottles that smash and scatter glass against the small stage’s back wall. The singer peers around the room, his eyes darting back and forth. A bouncer drags away one of the offenders and the singer resumes his music, belting out cheerful tunes once more.

Charlene chuckles. As per usual, the town bar echoes with boisterous laughter and harmless drunks telling tale tales. Then, the creep beside her, pokes her arm. “Drink it, drink the shot.”

She peers up at him and his putrid breath makes her sick. “I don’t want it. Go away.” He leers and Charlene shivers.

She turns, stumbles towards the cracked vinyl booth where her coat and purse lay. Grabbing them she fumbles, zipping up her coat. The creep follows her and pinches her chin, trying to pour the shot into her mouth.

Warm tequila dribbles from her lips, acrid as she chokes. “No more, I don’t want anymore.” She cuts off his words, the poison of the creep’s lizard-tongue. “I’m going home — alone.”

Charlene teeters, leaning against the worn bar. She presses her hands against the humid backs of people waiting to buy more drinks. In open places, she leans on the bar, tracing it’s antique carvings, the dents on its worn surface. Jerry, one of the bartenders, slides her a glass of water. She nods at him, and swallows, her throat aching.

Past the bar, Charlene leans against a lone stool at a table. The stool wobbles on splintering legs. She grits her teeth, than sucks out a sliver of wood from her thumb. A gift from the table top.

Head spinning, Charlene lands in the quiet of the shuffleboard area, dizzy against the table. She presses her phone, fingers clumsy as she sends for an Uber. She downs more water from her purse. With some clarity, she wanders through sweat-soaked bodies towards the main door.

In the chill of the night, the creep is somehow beside her, waiting to follow her into her Uber. She ignores him, hobbling to a bouncer. “He’s following me, make him go away. He put something in my drink.”

The lie slips out; she doesn’t care. The creep who bought her five shots scares her. The bouncer’s blue eyes bulge. “No problem, Miss. I’ll ensure you get into the Uber alone.”

The bouncer offers the creep free beer to go back inside, and Charlene shivers, the wind biting at her face as flurries fly. She falls asleep inside the Uber, and the driver helps her into her apartment on the third floor. He takes the key from her hand and unlocks her door as she offers him a scrunched five-dollar bill.

“It’s fine. I don’t need help.”

The driver shakes his head. “That man you were running from, he’s bad. He has a different woman drunk each weekend night; he drugs many of them. The bouncer’s my friend, and he made sure you got into my Uber. We’re trying to catch him, but this a**holes too experienced to leave much evidence.”

The fact that the creep could’ve drugged her for ‘real’ makes Charlene ill. She rushes to the kitchen sink, throwing up multiple times.

The Uber driver ‘Ahems’ behind her. “I’m going now. Will you be okay?’

She nods. “Thank God, you’re a good man.”

“Stop accepting drinks from weird strangers. Don’t lead guys like him on. You have to think before you accept more than one drink; especially, in a small town like ours.”

Charlene nods, collapsing on the floor. She knows she’s asleep, but a sharp tempo beats against her temples. She’s half-awake, restless, afraid of the nightmares seeping in; the creep’s leering grin and eyes of a predator.


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

Three Line Tales: Olaf’s Thoughts #amwriting #3LineTales #flashfiction


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


Credit: Jacco Rienks via Unsplash


Olaf lifts his head as the droplets wet his snout and soak into his umber hair. He snorts searching for that sharp scent; a mildewy-humid aroma that hangs in the air ensuring tomorrow will be sweltering. Olaf moos as above him the brilliant azure turns a threatening purple-black onyx; then, it arrives, not droplets but sheets of intense downpour that soak through his coat, massaging his soar muscles. He flicks out his tongue, lapping up the rain that is life to him such as the sweet verdant grass that nourishes his body, providing both serenity and security of life.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

#OctPoWriMo Day 18: Poem – Blackout – “The Cave” #amwriting #poetry 


For OctPoWriMo Day 18 I’ve chosen my own prompt of blackout poetry. 

——-


——— 

Go to places on Earth,

The most extreme environments. 

Track down Arizona in Death Valley, 

On the shores beneath iceshelf[s]. 

Desert some island north to find, [un]Imaginable trips to batt-ridden cave[s]. 

Studying environments where a human would, 

Cross the cosmos, other planets, 

Undeterred by Face-smashing, 

By the constant wetness, the darkness.

The slight possibility that whatever, 

Exotic diseases, might enter, [still] ask —

If [they’re] encountering [the] unknown.

We think it’s moderately unlikely, 

[As the] cave floor with water of varying depths, 

[Has no] transparency, [so we] walk gingerly,

To avoid discovering unmapped water. 

A walk in the park — no ropes, just some crawling, 

Eventually reach[ing the] deepest chamber. 

Spun webs, bat’s zagged and zinged, 

Emitting their high pitch. 

Red rock walls with green slime, 

Gypsum paste and limestone in process, 

Dissolved by sulfuric acid [became apparent.]

I was thinking, 

This cave resembled [nature] lobbying

[For people to] recognize [its vast hidden meanings].

—— 

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 
 

Sunday Photo Fiction/Taleweaver:  The Down Pour #flashfiction #taleweaver #amwriting 


Thanks to Michael of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Tale Weaver #137 on the theme of opening and what that word could mean. Also, thank you to Alistair Forbes for hosting Sunday Photo Fiction September 10, 2017. 

———

Credit: A Mixed Bag – Alistair Forbes

———

Min peered at the downpour outside her front window. The rain added to the river’s violent movements beneath her house. 

When she and her son, Sam had moved here, Min hadn’t thought the river below them was dangerous. She’d believed the quiet river had brought her serenity. It’s gentle babble once opened Min’s mind to dreaming. 

However, later that night the river water was at the bottom of Min’s house. She groaned when water began trickling in over the wood floor and carpets. 

“We have to leave now,” Min told Sam, “The water keeps climbing and if we leave it too long we’ll be trapped on the roof.” 

Sam tried his mom’s cellphone. “The cell towers are down so we can’t even call for help. We shouldn’t have stayed, Mom. We should’ve left days ago.” 

Min rubbed Sam’s shoulder before they both grabbed their pre-packed bags rushing out the front door. They had no choice but to wade through water that was hip deep. They sloshed down the bridge/walkway created between all the house’s built above the river. 

When Min and Sam had reached higher ground away from their neighborhood, they sighed collapsing on cots in a school where some of the city’s refugees had began gathering. The river water had been up to Min and Sam’s neck before they had been able to climb uphill, away from the bridge. 

Thank God they had taken the opportunity to leave when they did. Having a moment to spare Min stepped outside and prayed her thanks beneath the open sky and endless rain. 

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

100 Word Wednesday: That Forever Scent #amwriting #fiction #memories #100WordWednesday


Thanks to Bikurgurl for hosting the current #100WordWednesday. My apologies this week a hundred words turned into a few hundred that could not be cut. 

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Credit: Bikurgurl

———

The balmy August air, humid and filled with scent of sand and the lake was a smell I would never forget. Years later, I’d be sitting on my chair in the nursing home  and that peculiar fragrance mixed with your cologne would suddenly take me back. 

I was leaning against the ice cream stand, watching various kids play in the lake. The line up for ice cream had been long but I wasn’t picky about my ice cream flavor — anything chocolate would do. The server presented me with a gigantic three-scoop ice cream cone but had no idea how I’d eat it all. The server told me that the gentleman behind me had paid for it, but gazing back I had no idea which guy he meant. 

Then, I went and I hid ( where I am now) behind the ice cream stand. That’s when the scent of sea and sand, and of sunscreen was heightened by the somehow familiar scent of your subtle cologne, citrusy and woodsy, mixed with the fragrances of the beach. It was a heavenly and sexy scent. It even overwhelmed the taste of the chocolate ice cream. My eyes closed inhaling your forever scent.

Minutes later, I opened them and you were there, leaning against the building beside me. Sharp indigo eyes and all smooth muscles and toned arms that were lightly tanned. You were devouring a three-scoop cone of Tiger ice cream as you stood watching me, reaching out only to wipe the melted chocolate away from dribbling down my hand. Even then, you were always gentle. 

But I felt your touch through the napkin, saw the light stubble on your cheeks and your full lips as you come close for a moment. Your divine cologne mingling with the smells of the lake, made my legs weak and you knew it too. There was laughter in your deep-blue eyes. 

“I can’t eat anymore of this you know?”  I said looking dubiously at the half melted cone. 

You chuckled, still staring at me,”It’s okay, but you’ve got some chocolate here,” you said wiping it off the corner of my lips with your thumb. 

I could hardly breath. The memory, the feelings, they were so intense. I wanted to be anywhere else but on the beach at that moment. I wanted to be somewhere private with you. 

It was a dreamlike memory, but this dream had once been our reality — our meet-cute. Later as we chatted I recalled you stroking my arms with a feather soft touch. You threw my melted icecream away, tangling your hands in my long hair. Bending down your lips meant mine, again and again. Intoxicated I devoured your scent comingled with the beach, the water, and the taste of your mouth.

 I missed you still. 

Hours later, I was awake in my chair in my room at the nursing home. I wondered if on the otherside you’d be there to meet me soon. If that same scent that made my knees weak so long ago, could be felt again as you you would smile with warm bedroom eyes and gentle concern. I hoped you and I could be together again in the celestial here-after as we had once been in life; friends and lovers both. 

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

SaturdayMix/Photo Challenge: Poem – Free Verse – “Desert Bloom” #amwriting #poetry #saturdaymix


Thanks to Teresa from MindLoveMisery’s for hosting Saturday Mix focused on directly describing a character. I’m combining this prompt with NEKNEERAJ’s Photo Challenge also of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie.

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Credit: Reylia.deviantart.com

———

Sand granules, 

Swirl against, 

Filmy white cloth. 

As Easter Lillies,

Twice as soft, 

Cashmere lips. 

Intrepid eyes, 

Jade green jewels. 

Her beating heart, 

Tender, mild. 

Struggling but still, 

Enduring the grit,

Sand specs blinding, 

Clever and thoughtful. 

She sees through,

Dust storms. 

Crassness of sand, 

Grates skin’s softness. 

Beauty blooms in,

The desert, 

Seeming so frail. 

Strength of pyramids, 

Beneath gauzy veil.

Harsh elements,

Struggling just, 

For water, 

For survival. 

So a small mouth can drink, 

So a mother’s mouth,

Can smile. 

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.