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.

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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.

Photo Challenge: Poem – Blitz – “Returning” #amwriting #poetry 


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

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Credit: Mario Gervals

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Aurora-borealis paints the sky

Hues of light to charm

Charm the cold from old man winter’s grasp

Charm the sky hovering, colours delightful still

Still as the snow when it stops

Still as the young man in the living room

Room in a home where he’s troubled 

Room of the television — loud sports

Sports of the freezing weather

Sports loved best

Best loved is hockey

Best loved he watches, engrained 

Engrained in the screen

Engrained in the game 

Game on and he misses his wife as she drives away

Game of his wife searching for time

Time ended when she him left 

Time is new for her; he doesn’t care now

Now she moves on 

Now she is but thrilled

Thrilled, yet in a storm she drives

Thrilled to have escaped without another fight 

Fights always happen

Fights which got worse, never stopped

Stopped when she rethought her life

Stopped when she said, “I’m gone” 

Gone while the new sliver of a TV loudly plays

Gone, he knows it it, feels depressed

Depressed at the mess of his life

Depressed, slight lines etched into his face

Face with red eyes

Face with mouth stifling sobs

Sobs because she’s gone for good

Sobs because she gazed at him appalled

Appalled because he always yelled

Appalled because he’s why ‘they’re finished

Finished forever, she’s free

Finished, but she’s not safe in such a blizzarding storm

Storm outside flinging snow in his face

Storm outside, her car didn’t make it far

Far off and tired the look in her eyes

Far off but tears streaming ’cause she’s stuck 

Stuck in the bank of snow 

Stuck in her life, no escape

Escape life here, without him?

Escape yet, she’s glad, for her, he came 

Came, so she takes him back; he understands now

Came, so they return to times where they showed

Showed love, affection where no distance divides 

Now acts of love, little things, change the future

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Tale Weavers: Poem – Wrapped Refrain – “On Resolutions” #amwriting #poetry #taleweavers


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerieor hosting last week’s Tale Weaver’s prompt on a story of keeping/making resolutions in the New Year.

Credit: Abstract Art – http://www.pinterest.com

—-
It’s difficult, keeping going in —

The face of rejection given. 

I’ve learnt be fortified; than —

My cave won’t fall in strengthened

I’ve succeeded at some tries, failed at many others,found, 

Resolution; one must, keep pushing all boundaries.  

—–

So, what do we resolve, anything new

We continually have goals in view. 

Hoping we’ll achieve something great. 

Or make it through each day, not wait —

Wondering if the grass is greener, if inspiration

Can take flight, provide meaning, when we require.

—–

Do we lose weight, eat less sugar? 

Walk more, live our lives with vigor? 

Do we spend time with loved ones, 

Knowing we’re here, short while for some. 

Do we travel somewhere far away or give home —

To pets from the shelter? Strangers who are unknown
—–

We can resolve, try much harder, 

Do better, be specific, guard —

Ourselves, take baby steps to —

Goals we want achieved through, 

A change in habit, will it happen or will we —

As every year, change only when life forces free —

—–

What we truly need to change and be, 

Beyond ourselves, have self-belief, 

We will actually take a step, glean —

Some knowledge from the year, lean

Far from our own circles to celestial dreamscapes

It’s difficult to be grounded; worse to not create

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Poem: Free Verse – “A Congested Mind” #poetry #amwriting 


http://www.pinterest.com

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They call it the unknown

The future lying before you. 

No matter if you’re psychic, 

No one knows what happens. 

There are varied scenarios,

Ways it could play out, 

But truly we don’t know the future

It’s a mystery creeping forward, 

And it pulls us along on our knees.

Whether we go willingly, 

Or go kicking and screaming;

Time marches in to the beat,

Of father time’s own drum. 

****

I don’t know what’s coming, 

I know worrying won’t help. 

I think sometimes I try to give advice, 

Reassuring myself in kind. 

There are bright possibilities, 

Hoping people become, 

More kind than they are mean to each other. 

Pray people look-out for each other, 

But sometimes I think society is self-centred. 

I admit to such fault and others too,

But I’m still fearful;

When I think of a year or two ahead, 

I’m afraid what if it’s not the right plan? 

Experience deftly taught me,

Plans are dim outlines of reality. 

Mostly, life goes where it goes

And God only knows where or why. 

Leading us through dark valleys, 

Into trenches with piercing bullets flying. 

Into classrooms with screaming kids, 

A gunmen on the loose. 

He leads us through to people, 

Whose power makes one nervous. 

How even democracy isn’t safe —

A tyrant could rule all. 

Maybe the world will surprise me, 

But I fear for the little person. 

*****

My own personal fears weigh heavy, 

Though others bear pains greater. 

Of lawyers and cases, 

Of corruption and crime. 

Those crimes we deem terrible;

Those crimes brushed under the rug. 

Greed and all those other sins,

Abhorred but freely ignored. 

Though I can never say what’s worse —

My own flaws or imperfections

Or those I’m faced with. 

Stress shows through cracks, 

Egg yokes running. 

No one likes raw eggs except in cookie dough

The future is overwhelming. 

But at least they’ll still be cookie dough, 

And I don’t know why —

I’m particular and observant

Why I know it’s better to be alone

Than be truly alone with another. 

Why I wait for that spark

Why I wait for the morning dawn. 

A smile in his eyes which is genuine

Wherever he is. 

But maybe happiness is a puppy

Paws following me on the hardwood, 

Barks at random sounds. 

The glory of a puppy skidding down —

The off leash trail and wheeling;

Turning around to jump on me, 

To pick her up when she’s tired. 

*****

My bones are stiff and ridged

My dreams fall to despair

So many books and writers, 

And not anyone can compare

How to rise above the masses, 

Or fill your own niche contented. 

But perhaps one could be something

Success in small moments. 
Afraid and weighted

Need to cry, tears unshed, 

Because disease is cruel. 
Even if Heaven is the end of the tunnel,

So many words are left unsaid

The timing of it all, does it work? 

I feel alienated

Though I try hard to keep the connection

It’s all in your planning Lord;

So must I say, your will be done.

——-

©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved. 

November Notes: Poem – Day 1 – Wrapped Refrain – “I’ll Pass” #amwriting #novembernotes #poetry


Today’s prompt song is “Almost Lover”by A Fine Frenzy. For me it was a song that was pretty much on repeat eight-years-ago or so. It’s a beautiful song, see music video below: 

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“Almost Lover” – A Fine Frenzy 

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http://www.singleblackmale.org

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Sail the words across my fair skin, 

The memories avail, and hurt within. 

Words can’t express heartbreak so strong, 

Words can’t make right, you did me wrong. 

If you weren’t interested, you should’ve said so first, 

If you were decent, pain wouldn’t have been a curse. 

—–

Almost lovers, the kind that hurt —

Woman the most; they’re the worst. 

Almost lovers, leading you on, 

Leading astray, in a sad song.

Don’t say you never knew, why the night ended tearful, 

You’ll never admit fault; you’ll say saw unclear. 

——

Tripped on a step, shocked at such eyes, 

Deep brown ocre, good-looks suprise. 

Not an old-man, but still too old —

For barely a woman, thoughts untold. 

She should’ve kept her distance — far away, turned around.

She shouldn’t have melted as wax, at your face proud. 

—–

Arrogantly you led her around, 

Stupidly, she tried to astound

Talking, fluttering lashes black, 

Someone should’ve gave her a smack. 

You were off limits, you should’ve have said, you knew but —

Didn’t care, liked attention, simple jerk, and man slut

—–

You hurt her greatly; her fault it —

Remains; for years cursed, her hurting;

For an apology that never —

Will come to her in forever.

Goodbye almost lover, no time to waste on you, 

Life is happening, she survived, made it through. 

——

Almost lovers, almost lovers, 

They do what they do, hurt, shove–

You into reality, so you

See they’re human, hurtful too.

Take off your blinders; modern charming has no class —

Sail the words of a liar fade; now really, “I’ll pass.” 

——-


———

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Picture (Card) Prompt: Fiction – Don’t Judge #fiction #amwriting #disrespect #namecalling 


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for this week’s card prompt, “judgement.” 

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“The Judgement card calls for a period of reflection and self-evaluation. Through meditation or quiet reflection, you may come to a point of deep understanding about the common themes throughout your life and what you can do or change to avoid these situations in the future. Judgement tells you that you are close to reaching a significant stage in your own journey. . .” 

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MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

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“I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you,” Jared told his girlfriend Ashlen. The words tasted bitter in his mouth. He hated having to apologize to her; it made him panic. 

“Are you really? I’ve heard that so many times before from you, Jared. Are you sorry because I caught you or sorry for flirting with Sara and leading her on?” 

Jared stared at his feet and scrunched his eyes. He didn’t mean to flirt with Sara. She was one of those girls, the kind who put out easily and hit on every guy she thought attractive. 

“I’m sorry Ashlen. I don’t like Sara that way, she’s just like that you know –a whore; she hits on every guy and probably sleeps with many of them too,” Jared said. 

“Well, why didn’t you brush her off right away?” 

He shrugged, sighing.”She doesn’t mean anything to me. I love you Ashlen and I’ve been with you two-years; I’ve told you — I want to be with you forever.” 

Ashlen blushed, Jared had said exactly the right words. But something he said about Sara earlier, bothered her. 

 “Okay, I forgive you for flirting with Sara, but don’t let it happen again,” she said. “If Sara bothers you too much when we see her, wave to me or text me in the bar — I’ll get rid of her fast. I don’t flirt with random guys, Jared. So, don’t flirt with girls like Sara, is what I’m trying to tell you.” 

“But I will say this:  I think when you and your guy friends pay attention to Sara –her sexually explicit behaviour, her ittybitty clothes, and when you guys all let her touch you —-you’re all leading her on. She thinks she has a chance with one of you –but you all have girlfriends or fiancées.” 

Jared started to get mad. “It is what it is, Ashlen. I can’t control how Sara acts. If you forgive me, let’s not talk about her. I don’t want to spend our night talking about some girl who doesn’t matter to me. I’m grabbing another beer.” 

(10 minutes later)

“Jared, you know you not wanting to talk about Sara, it’s kind of a problem for me at the moment,” Ashlen said. 

“What? Why?” 

“Listen, you and your buddies call Sara a slut and you’re really just being disrespectful to her as a woman. When you openly call her names, especially to her face, you’re encouraging her to act exactly like the names you guys call her.” 

“If you ignored Sara and acted uninterested and normal around her, she’d stop acting how she does.You guys flirt with her and call her names, instead of finding a way to politely tell her to get lost,” Ashlen explained. 

“She’s a skank and isn’t going to change her ways because of how my friends or I treat her,” Jared reasoned. 

Ashley punched him in the shoulder, not too hard, but hard enough. 

“What was that for?” Jared asked. 

“You’re not paying attention to what I’m saying,” Ashlen remarked. “How you treat Sara, your judgement of her, directly correlates to how she acts. Understand ‘College Boy?'”

Jared started to speak and Ashlen cut him off, “She’s not a slut. No woman is, even if she chooses to sleep around. I mean presumably if she is doing it as a career, it’s different. But what I’m saying is, don’t call women degrading names, especially, when you don’t know anything about Sara forsure.” 

“She may talk and flirt a good game, but it doesn’t mean she’s slept with all these guys you think she has. I think most of her bad reputation is nasty rumours. She thinks acting how she does will get her friends and guys –what she believes is the right kind of attention.” 

Ashley studied her nails before continuing to talk: “I don’t like Sara because she hits on guys she knows have girlfriends, namely you. But on the other hand, I can’t judge her entire character because I don’t know her. I wouldn’t want to be a called a whore over rumours about me. And I don’t want to put-down other women just because,” Ashlen said hands on her hips.

Jared listened to Ashlen, he knew she’d be mad if he didn’t. Plus, what she said made sense strangely. He wouldn’t want anyone to judge him, when they didn’t know what circumstances he came from. He probably wouldn’t care, but he knew from having a younger sister, judgement of a girl’s reputation was exceptionally tearful and mean

“Okay fine. I’ll be nicer to Sara and I won’t flirt with her again,” he said carefully, hoping he’d chosen the right phrase for Ashlen. 

She smiled and hugged him around the waist, her head resting on his chest. “Yeah, in fact, if she tries again, lets tell her she doesn’t have to act how she does to have friends or a boyfriend –in a nice way.”

“Sara may not care, but then again, it might help her and us.” Ashlen mused. “She can actually find a guy who’s single and likes her, and leave my and my friends’ boyfriend’s and fiancé’s alone.” 

Jared nodded subtly, taking a swig of his second beer.”We could try. Maybe it’s better coming from you, than me?” he said.

“I think those words coming from a guy might be more effective actually. We’ll see how it goes.” 

“Okay babe. Sounds like a good plan for next time we run into Sara. Do you want to go home now?” Jared asked, draining his beer. 

“Yeah,” Ashlen said. “2:00 am is a long night with work in the afternoon tomorrow. I’ll drive don’t worry.” 

The couple headed home, satisfied with how they would handle Sara in the future. 

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Poem: Wrapped Refrain – ” Innocent Missteps”


Thanks to The Daily Post for the word prompt misstep.

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http://www.saintandrewstwinflame.com
 

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Counting steps up the narrow stairs,

Games, children play so unawares,

Tall steps and short legs, possibly mean,

Tumbling fall, missteps unseen.

Watch where you step little one, off the given path,

Dangerous sights behold, adventures calling, laugh.

—–

Down through the trees and the bushes,

Walking past creatures, no ‘shushes.’

Imagination overtaking,

Vivid thoughts, young spirit awakes,

Missteps taken, no words to say, yet grinning.

Turning round the beaten path, which way? Spinning.

——

Child alone on empty forrest way,

Terror pronounced evil, child fey.

Innocent one, not so innocent.

Ready to pounce, so indifferent.

Terror worse then, lion, tiger or bear; pointed teeth.

Counting steps, hunter of the midnight hour, she’s unleashed.

——

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: The Yellow Brick Road


When you go down the yellow brick road,

And find yourself wandering off path,

Be aware that wherever you traverse,

They’re is more than merely witches in the wood,

—–

When you go down the yellow brick road,

And you see the road is turning to grass,

Remember if you keep on walking, they’re whispers,

Of creatures unseen by the common man.

——

When you go down the yellow brick road,

It is courageous to stop and take a forgotten path.

Be aware of danger, be ready to say, “enough is enough.”

While you traverse, seek the wise and avoid the wicked.

—–

When you go down the yellow brick road,

Be prepared there are worse horrors, than fangs, claws, and teeth.

You cannot go home in chucks; where are your ruby slippers?

When you walk this trail prepare yourself, the journey is merciless.

—–

When you go down the yellow brick road,

There is no one to ask for help, no enchantress with a wand.

No little dog to brighten your day, only you walking the barren road.

Darkness is everywhere and light is hours away.

—–
 

http://www.thepublicdomainarchive.com
 

Thanks to Roger Shipp for hosting this Flash Fiction Challenge.

—–

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved. 

Of Mice and Men


Written for writing 101 Day 4 – but I wrote something else. But if you don’t know me, this explains a lot. 

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry  (John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men.)

I have many plans and many dreams. I don’t know that any of what I dream will come true. It’s sad to not have hope but I’m not hopeless, just a realist. When I graduated with a BA, got my first job, and job promotion,  I felt on top of the world. I felt that my life held so much potential and that anything was possible. But at our high points in life events can go awry. And I fell for many stories, down to a place where all my dreams did not matter because I was consumed by the realities of poor mental health. 

Mental health was something I hadn’t given a thought to before. The realities of mental health are harsh and difficult for others to understand. Mental health difficulties hurt you psychologically, emotionally, and physically. I think for me physical effects are hard to deal with do to constant fatigue. But I have learned I am more then my mental health, I am a person with experience to share. And to tell you that no one is defined by their difficulties, rather that they fought/fight through them. 

I had plans to become a project manager someday for a commercial developer for the place I worked. I was going to take LEED training, and take a Construction Administration Certificate at the University of Alberta. But the 23rd of December 2008 is the last day I ever worked. My mental health has made me so sick that I cannot work; I’m not even well enough to volunteer. 

Soon my challenges were just making it through the day, trying to not sleep all day. I was dreadfully bored stuck at home and not able to do much. I planned an hour reading, watching some TV, scrapbooking, sleeping for two hours, and going for a walk. At first, I tried going to the gym and I even drove there. But I had no energy to exercise and not enough concentration to drive. 

I got a bit better. I enrolled in courses in Residential Design. I am taking the last course for that certificate now. I thought that it would be useful if I ever went back to work. But that hasn’t been an option. I have just been trying to find stability in my health over the last seven years. I became a bit better for a couple years, I was going to classes for three hours once a week and spending three or four hours at home working on my current course. I could often go out and stay out late at night with friends or my ex-boyfriend. I could do an activity for four or five hours in the day. But that didn’t last. 

I was taking a night course and I only made it to five of the thirteen classes. I just couldn’t concentrate and didn’t feel well at night. I spent all of that July depressed and in bed all day. Then, this summer I was in hospital for three weeks adjusting medications. But I still can’t do much for more then two or three hours tops. I feel so tired, I can’t get up much before 11:00 am. And I am a zombie if I do. I have had to give up many plans with friends because it is so difficult to do things at night. 

This was not in my plan. Living with this mental illness was nothing I’d ever imagined. People just shrug it off sometimes like it’s just something that will get better, but it doesn’t. For me it gets worse. I don’t know how to make myself feel better. I deal with insomnia as well. A part of my brain is disconnected and I don’t how to make the neurons function normally. Pills don’t do to much. Psychology doesn’t help. I am waiting for a time when I can have plans again.

When, I think of this quote I think that it really hits the nail on the head. We all have such grand plans and dreams for our lives. And we should never loose hope that we can complete them. But in reality we are not in control. The maker of mice and men has the power to let things occur to us and to protect us. He teaches us and builds us so that we might know what his son Jesus knew hanging on a cross. He brings us closer to him with our trials. And I do not mean to complain, or tell my story until I’m blue in the face. But this is my experience and God and my friends and family bring me peace. And perhaps, not all my plans will go awry and I can help others when their plans do.