Maydays: Poem – Free Verse – “Delicate and Strong” #Maydays



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Thanks to K.L. Caley of net2writing for hosting #Maydays Prompts. Today’s prompt is girl power.

———–

http://www.nataliecass.com

——–

She flicks her hair back, examining her face. 

Makeup perfect, eyes smoked with cat flicks.

Blue eyes, peering back at her, clear and focused —

About to work-out in a gym full of men, 

She rolls her shoulders, bare but built.

Self-defence requires strong muscles, 

Carrying kids, moving furniture around;

Working out in a gym surrounded by men can be hard.

—–

Males eat her with their eyes, staring at her rounded curves.

Examining her from her blond ponytail, 

To her hands plane of nail polish, picking up weights.

Her makeup is smearing, 

Her tattoo visible on her upper back, 

A poppy for peace, and the names of her children.

——

They’re eyeing her up, like a piece of steak.

Rare and beautiful, she doesn’t return their gaze.

She’s got a man, and he values her love.

She gave him her heart, so she’s not going to —

Squander his love, on an ogling gym rat.

Making a meal of her, when she was fatter;

And now that she’s thinner, doesn’t matter her size —

Putting up with catcalling, men brushing too closely.

Sexually explicit conversations about her, 

Loud through her head phones playing:

Beyoncé, Carry Underwood, and Alicia Keys.
——–

Finishing working on her back and onto her arms, 

She stands up and walks, for cleaner to wipe the weights off.

A cavalier man gives her yoga pant wearing butt a slap,

Self-defence in motion, with an elbow to the nose, 

A knee to the crotch, shoving man to the floor.

Tears in her eyes, she’s been here to often. 

But she’s built up walls and she’s made herself strong, 

Wishing men wouldn’t value her for her tank top and yoga pants, 

Her body showing skin, doesn’t give men the right to objectify her.

——

But she has power behind her body; a strong mind and integrity, 

A God who builds her up, when she is stark afraid,

Staring at the man on the floor groaning, she offers her hand.

She’s sweating, fighting tears; as strong as she is delicate,

It’s hard for a woman to keep the balance of life, in her life, 

And if you really love a woman, you know her strength lies, 

In the moments of life, that haunt her the most.

In the strength she draws from experience, 

And in those she loves the most. 

——

Alicia Keys – ” Girl On Fire “

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

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28. How Was Last Night For You: Greater Truths


Please read Chapter 27 here.

Chapter 28: Greater Truths

John stared up at Norman speechless.”You’re glad I asked? Because  you’re making this whole process difficult for me. I want to go home and I don’t need any universal truths right now. Since I’m not dead, let me live.”

Norman’s smile got even bigger. His face crinkling and creasing from lines the sun had etched.

“It’s usually about something bigger then our lives, or even the lives of people we care about. Often, I find it’s about faith.” John was perplexed but interested in what Norman meant.

“What kind of faith? You mean spiritual? I have that. I grew up Anglican. God got me through a lot of awful situations. I mean, with being cursed for ten-years, I had to believe there was a better place out there and a reason I was enduring what I was.”

Norman’s brown eyes twinkled.”Yes, God was with you before you were cursed and during. But you’re missing something, the bigger picture.”

“What should I see?” John exclaimed frustrated. He was at the point with Norman where he wanted to punch Norman for being so mysterious.However, Norman was John’s ticket home, so he dealt with his frustration.

John rolled the muscles in his shoulders, cracking his neck trying to workout the strain spreading through his body. It was the first time he’d felt the aches of being human outside the cottage, on the beach, in-between life and death.

Norman steepled his hands on the patio table and the setting sun made his eyes seem alight with fire. “‘The light shines in the darkness but the darkness has not overcome it.’ It’s John 1:5 from the New Testament. Do you remember what came before it?”

John thought back to memorizing Bible verses as a youth in church. “I believe: ‘In him was life and that life was the light of all mankind.'” John shrugged looking at Norman, wondering what he meant asking John to recall these exact verses.

“You know this, I know.” Norman said seriously, ” But there’s a specific reason I’m asking you this John. Not to waste your time as you think. Many people would think this was a grand vacation place and be quite happy to remain for some time. But I’m trying to get you to understand something significant.” Norman revealed shaking his head at John’s obtuseness.

“Your girlfriend Nina believes you will come back to her because she believes in magic. She quoted Louise Carroll to Rianne recently, saying: people want magical solutions in life but then, they don’t believe in magic.”

“Trust me Norman. I believe in magic. Talise cursed me and I lived through it. I sacrificed myself and now I’m here and you yourself are a kind of magic as you’ve told me. I’m a believer. Otherwise, how else would you know something Nina and Rianne discussed not long ago? How would you know thoughts I think in my head?” John said glancing at Norman for confirmation before continuing.

“I do wish you’d stay out of my head though. Give me the privacy of my own thoughts, Norman.”

“I can’t help that John. You might as well force yourself to stop thinking and feeling, which would be the easier solution.” Norman said.

“I don’t like this, you’re grating on my nerves Norman. What is it you’re trying to tell me about magic and faith? I don’t have time to sit here having philosophical discussions.” John said grumpily.

He was feeling tired and outside an orange and pink sunset was disintegrating into ink black. John could hear the tide, reaching in farther on the shore as a shadow of a crescent moon was revealed.

“You have time John. All the time in the world. I’m here to help you learn,” Norman said in a fatherly manner.”Nina has faith in you and believes good magic will bring you back. She also believes God wouldn’t take you from her at this time, after all you two went through.”

“I can’t speak for God, but I do know if Nina has faith in you, you should have more faith in yourself and your situation. Magic is a gift from a higher power –from God. You have to have faith there is benevolent magic along with the malevolent magic you experienced with Talise. As with many things in life there is both light and darkness.” Norman explained.

“So I should have faith in God, magic, and in things working out?”

“Yes, you should. But you don’t have faith, it’s why you’re here. You didn’t believe the curse would actually give you a happy ending and you didn’t believe your prayers would be answered. You didn’t believe a girl such as Nina, could truly be yours.” Norman’s voice was soft but accusatory.

“Do you know why I asked you about John 1:5, John?”

“I think you are telling me the bad, the darkness doesn’t win. In the end light overtakes it.” John said hesitantly.

“And?”

“I have to believe it. I didn’t remain in the Sirene Lake alive with Nina because I didn’t believe in magic as a gift from a God, a good God. I didn’t even believe a God I’ve had faith in all these years I was cursed, could save my life in the end. All I saw was Talise misusing her gift, not the light.” John said understanding Norman at last.

“Nicely done John. I didn’t think you’d ever see that bigger picture I was talking about. Light always overcomes the darkness, remember that. It’s the reason I’m here, why I’m helping you. Nina is also a light in your life, you are meant to take care of her and to take care of each other.”

“That’s it?” John asked, “You’ve been building up to this for hours?” John was confused again.

“You have faith and your prayers have been answered. You get to live your life to the fullest with Nina and your family. Remember they’re blessings, gifts. Take care of that girl John.” John looked at Norman who smiled at him, his face creasing as always.

“Faith, belief? It’s that big?” John asked.

“Faith can move mountains, you know that.”

“When can I go? Can I go home now?” John asked Norman. He was agitated. The darkness of the night reminded him he needed to sleep. The ocean waves hitting the shore lulled him until John’s eyes were weighted down with exhaustion.

“I should clean-up,” John mumbled sleepily.

“It’s done.” Norman said. John opened his eyes a bit to see Norman standing before him and motioning John into the cottage through the patio door.

“I don’t often get to sleep in a warm, comfortable bed John. Tonight I’ll sleep in a guest room. I think you need to sleep too, your energy is drained from the curse yet. You need to rest up for home.”

“Home? Sleep?”

“Yes, time for bed.” Norman said pointing John towards his bedroom and heading towards a guest room.

John opened his heavy eyes for a moment to look at Norman who waved. John mumbled some indistinctive words. He felt as if he were drugged, but it was only a wave of fatigue.

With difficulty, John undressed and climbed into a warm bed. A fan blew overhead, spreading cool air across John’s torso. He slept for what felt like an eternity, immersed in fantastic and splendorous colours.

Night turned to morning while John slept.


 

Today was Saturday. Nina dreaded this day more than any day she had experienced in a long time. It was worse then the day her father her Mother and Nina when she was a preteen. She knew she wouldn’t hear from her father ever again that day. But inside her being, she believed she’d still see John.

Nina stared at her haggard, washed out appearance in the bathroom mirror. She had barely slept, thinking about having to attend John’s funeral. Couldn’t she skip it? She didn’t believe John was dead after all. But she knew how much her attendance meant  to the Eric’s.

Looking at her iPhone, Nina realized it was only 8:30 am. The funeral didn’t start until 11:00 am. Nina was relieved she could go out for a walk down the beach before she got ready  for the funeral. John had been kind when he willed her his house, Nina loved the beach that ringed the Sirene Lake.

Washing her face and applying a bit of concealer to her under eye circles, Nina put on her yoga pants, a purple yoga top, and a warm fleecy hoody. The Fall weather made the beach down by the lake colder then it had been in spring, when Nina had been forced into the Sirene by Talise. But it was still a beautiful place to walk down whatever the time of year.

Grabbing a bottle of water from the pantry, Nina made her way to beach. The morning sky was blue and pleasant. Even by the Sirene’s shores, there was merely a gentle breeze. The sun beat down on Nina as she walked through the sand, it would be a decent day for John’s funeral at least.

The sky felt too bright for Nina’s mood and she put her hand up to guard her eyes from the invading sunlight. The sunlight was glaring and Nina thought, purposefully trying to lift her dour mood.

Nina walked quickly thinking about how she would deal with the funeral. A dark thought crossed her mind, what if John actually was dead? But she immediately brushed the thought aside.

Nina couldn’t not believe, John would come home. She didn’t know when he’d arrive, but he wouldn’t leave her like this to suffer. The curse had been broken so justly, Nina should get to spend her life with John. But was life just?

John hadn’t always been a stellar guy. He had been a horrible womanizer and used many women purely for sex. He had been a playboy, which had caused his curse initially. But Nina thought, John had tried to become a better person. With Nina he was himself and he wasn’t running from the reality of his life. Together, Nina and John made a great team.

Tears of regret and from missing John, flowed down Nina’s cheek. She knelt down in the sand and jumped when she felt a cool hand on her shoulder, brushing her neck because she had put her blond hair in a ponytail for her walk.

Nina gasped and stared back at a man behind her. Her eyes lit with unashamed love. She couldn’t believe John was behind her.

Nina screamed and jumped into John’s arms. Kissing every inch of his face. Tears ran down her cheeks and she thought she saw tears on John’s face too. She shrieked in shear joy.

Finally, John stilled Nina and held her in his arms kissing her forehead. ” Is it you? Is it you John?” Nina exclaimed.

“It’s me Nina. I couldn’t stay away.” Nina backed up from John, her eyes examining every inch of him from his tanned skin to his sapphire eyes aglow with mirth. His dark hair having grown and not been cut in months, was a wavy mess.

“Where have you been?” Nina asked John, suddenly angry at him. “You made me wait so long. Four-months is forever when you think someone’s dead. How could you do that to your Mom and I?” John appeared regretful.

“I wanted to come home. I did. I don’t know how to tell you this but I was stuck. I was asleep in radiant colours of every shade and texture for a long time. Then, I was on this picturesque beach with a homeless guy named Norman. He told me I had no faith and that was why I was stuck at the beach inbetween life and death.”

Nina gasped again. “Are you okay? I don’t know if you hit your head or if what you’re saying is the truth. Given our experiences in the past I think I believe you. I remember being stuck in colours like you describe myself. You saved me from them and then you disappeared.” Nina looked heartbroken as the memory came to her.

“I know,” John said sorrowfully. “I couldn’t help being gone for four-months since Talise broke the curse with us. I had no control. I wasn’t awake for most of it, I don’t think.” John grasped Nina’s arms and held her close.

“I missed you so much. I didn’t even know my own name, but I knew you.” John whispered to Nina, his forehead against hers.

The kiss began gently, exploratory. As if they were learning each other’s lips once again. Nina sighed and John deepened the kiss, his arms pulling her against him with force. Nina let herself melt into John, kissing him back, tongues sliding against each other and sparks igniting between them. Nina pulled back, tears unknown falling from her eyes.

John kissed the tears away and made his way back to Nina’s lips, exploring her mouth again. “I missed this so much,” John said heatedly.

Nina kissed John for what felt like forever until she couldn’t any longer because reality was intruding in her thoughts. She carefully pulled away from John’s arms and mouth, feeling woozy from lust and love. She stood a moment, catching her breath, lips swollen.

“Today’s Saturday John, today’s supposed to be your funeral.” Nina said frowning. “I told them you’d come back but time passed and your family needed to move on. We have to call them now.”

“Yeah you’re right. Norman told me today was my funeral. I think I should stop it, before it gets too far,” John remarked, ” I can’t wait to see everyone.”

Nina gazed up at John. “For a dead man you look amazing. You seem so full of vitality, joyeux de vivre. Why are you’re wearing beach clothes again? It’s Autumn here you know. How exactly did you manage to find me here?”

“I came from a beautiful cottage on a beach. The beach stretched for miles and I was all alone until Norman came. I went to sleep last night and when I woke up I was walking the surf of the Sirene in Adare and I knew I was close to home when I saw you walking. It’s the only explanation I can give you truthfully.” John told Nina.

Nina smiled softly, “I was a wreck without you. At least you willed me the house and I got to stay near your things. I want to hear all about this beach you were on with Norman. I have the feeling you’re telling me half the story.”

“Would I do that?” John teased.

“Ha, I think you say as little as you can at times.”

“Only trying to stay on your good side,” John said laughing.

“I’m glad I willed you the house. It’s our home and I’ll tell you all about Norman later. He saved Rianne from Malcolm you know?”

“Yeah, Jasper got footage from the Chinese food place. It showed Malcolm knocking her out against a wall. Jasper and Rianne weren’t able to find any sign of the homeless man in Adare.” Nina remarked.

“He was with me I guess. It’s not the only form he takes he told me. I’m not sure what he means by that, but he isn’t always a homeless man.”

“I think I should call my family now,” John said stroking Nina’s cheeks. “I wish we could be alone for a while first, but I doubt that will happen.” Nina smiled holding John’s hands against her cheeks.

“You’re not cursed anymore,” she exclaimed laughing joyfully, hugging and kissing John on the lips hard.

John grinned, “So this is happily ever after I guess?”

Nina smiled. “No, it’s the beginning of real life. Of our life. No magic . . .”

John’s smile slid off his face for a second, “I’m not so sure Nina. I think there will always be magic in our lives. If not magic, Talise.” Nina looked horrified.

“Norman told me. He said Talise was Jordan’s problem now.”

“But why? How did she survive? Jordan stabbed Talise through the heart with her dagger. The dagger changed appearance and the Sirene engulfed her body. Jordan has this ring .. .”

“I know all about it Nina. Norman filled me in. He also told me it’s Jordan’s path to take. Talise sees something in him, like you saw in me when we met.” John explained.

” Jordan hates her. He’ll never forgive Talise.” Nina remarked.

“She’s redeemable, Norman said. She’s not a sea witch anymore. Talise is only a mermaid and Jordan has her soul beneath the emerald in his ring.”

“Wow,” Nina said shocked.”I didn’t see that coming. Plot twist.”

John nodded in agreement with Nina’s exclamation,  kissing her hairline.”If you have your cell, I need to call Mom and Dad. What times the funeral?”

“It’s an hour-and-a-half away John,” Nina said checking the time on her phone and handing it to him worriedly. John clasped her hand in his before taking the phone and dialling his Mom’s cell.

He stood on the beach, listening to Nina’s phone dialing for what seemed like ages.

Please Read Chapter 29 here.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

A History of My Fashion Vibe


Prompt:

Ah, sweet youth. No matter whether you grew up sporting a fedora, penny loafers, poodle skirts, bell-bottoms, leg-warmers, skinny jeans, Madonna-inspired net shirts and rosaries, goth garb, a spikey mohawk, or even a wave that would put the Bieber to shame, you made a fashion statement, unique to you. Describe your favorite fashions from days of yore or current trends you think are stylin’.——–

 

http://www.katemwellceephotography.com
 
I think I have always been interested in clothes and shopping. I remember being a small girl helping my Mom decide what to wear when she was going out for dinner or to something with my Dad’s work. We didn’t have a lot of money when I was little so my Mom often sewed her clothes and even some of ours. 

Mom has been sewing since she learned how to sew when she was a young teenager. My Baba and Grandpa Wilson didn’t have much money and Mom could stretch her dollar by buying fabric and thread and not buying something ready made. Not to mention, when my Mom sewed she could sew so her outfit fit her perfectly. She is short so she could make her pants whatever length she wanted and her dresses could be any fabric she chose. 

 

http://www.sewfun.com
 
In elementary school, Mom made my first two winter jackets. The one I remember most was a purple jacket with purple snow pants. I got to choose the color. I never chose pink because when you’re a blond girl whose young everyone wants to dress you in pink clothes. I don’t think I ever wore pink again until high school. 

I went to Brownie’s for a bit on Tuesday nights at this church. I loved how all the girls wore these dresses with big skirts that were frilly. So, my Mom made me this black dress with pink and purple flowers and we bought a frilly white skirt to put underneath. I wore that dress along time. 

 

http://www.claytonladuetory.org
 
As I became older, my Mom worked a bit as a supervisor at our school lunch program so we had a bit more money and could afford clothes from stores more. Also, my Mom had less time to sew. There was this store I liked when I was around eight to ten-years-old called Please Mum and I fit their clothes well. I was stocky as a little girl. We didn’t go to the mall often but when we did my Mom would often by me something. She bought me this white blouse once and it had a frilly clown collar. I told her I would wear it but you know what I hated that collar it was too girly for me then. 

Later, there was a store Northern Reflections for Kids and my Mom bought us clothes there. I was fashionable for the nineties I suppose. I wore jeans in various colours that were ‘Mom Jean’ like in a relaxed fit and went skinny at the ankle. I wore ugly sweater vests and mock knocked shirts.

In grade six I began to thin out and all I remember wearing were oversized T-shirts and flares. The flares weren’t too big in grade six but I remember they got bigger like to “elephant” pants in grade eight. My Mom made me a pair of green cord elephant pants. I also loved these sweat pants I had with a rainbow ribbon down the side of each pant leg and the flare was pretty big coming down from the knee.

 

http://www.fashion.allwomenstalk.com
 
In high school for the majority of it, I wore a uniform. I wore a grey kilt, a white blouse, a navy sweater/cardigan/vest and tie. I wore knee socks and dress black shoes. There were casual t-shirts and long sleeved shirts and casual pants but I mostly wore a kilt with little gym shorts underneath with a pair of name brand converse type shoe. I cared about fashion and tried to dress my most stylish on the few non-uniform days we had. I bought my clothes on sale at The Gap or Jacob. I loved Jacob clothes for along time but they shut down in Canada last year. I wore flares in jeans and khaki’s and I liked pink a lot. I wore pink three quarter length shirts and I had the cutest black jean jacket that I received for Christmas with Ruffles at the top of the shoulders. Plus, we all tried to find substitutes for our uniform clothing that a busy  teacher wouldn’t catch. Needless to say, the vice-principal started calling almost everyone to the obvious one day a month and we would all get written up for having uniform infractions. The rest of my high school clothes were gym sweatpants and hoodies, team shorts, and team t-shirts. I played both volleyball and basketball so those things were a must along with good runners. My parents paid for items such as a winter coat or new shoes but everything else including skincare and makeup I purchased with family allowance money. Both my parents had good jobs, in fact my Dad was the principal at my high school, but they paid for my tuition partially because in junior and senior high school I went to private schools.

In university, I worked on campus at the bookstore. I paid for half my tuition, got scholarships, and received my books at cost because I worked at the bookstore. I liked yoga pants and sporty tops especially by Fila and Adidas. My jeans were flared and from the Gap. With my birthday and Christmas money I went shopping before each school year. And I bought other clothes with money earned during the year.

 

http://www.lululemon.ca
 
Lululemon became a huge thing in university. Despite being an expensive yoga store, all girls bought hoodies, shirts, zippy’s, and yoga pants/crops there. I still have my first Lululemon top and it still looks good. On the other end of the sporty spectrum was the bar shirt spectrum. We shopped for sexy black shirts and tiny skirts to wear out to the bar. Not to mention a comfortable enough pair of high heels. Somedays in university I dressed up with heeled boots, jeans, and a tight long sleeved top but because I was hauling around boxes of books and going to the gym everyday, sporty clothes were good. We also had one or two formals every year in university so I had a few pretty dresses for formal occasions from Le Chateau. My favorite was this slinky pink dress I got for $13.00 and it had no back. But it fit tight and I paired it with some silver sandals and it looked great. 

 

http://www.celebzz.com
 
After, I left university I looked through my wardrobe and realized I had only two blouses and one pair of dress pants. I wasn’t making much money yet, I was just temping but a place called Ricki’s had a sales rack with pairs of pants all my size, a suit that fit me, and I found a couple blouses at Jacob cheap. That did me for my first job before I became sick and went on disability. I hated how cheap Ricki’s material felt. My Mom always made emphasis on good material but $80.00 for four pairs of pants, a jacket, and a couple blouses was truly a good deal.

When I was sick I lost a lot of weight so at first nothing fit me. Then I gained it all the weight back and then some. Once I reached about 175 lbs I was able to shop. Even though I was on disability, I had more spendable income because it was too hard to go for more then coffee with friends so I wasn’t spending money at the bar or out with co-workers at lunch. I wasn’t even paying rent at that time.

 I bought Lululemon and I had just started to begin getting into Banana Republic for clothes for work that were more expensive but of quality. I started shopping online because it was easier and found that BR clothes went 40 % off often. But I liked how their clothing fit, the material was nice, and if I bought clothes on sale, it was a good place to shop. Skinny pants have come in so I buy jeans and black pants from them. They are great for sweaters or cardigans with wool and cashmere blends. Their shirts fit well. I liked the blendability of the pieces and especially the dresses and skirts. 

I cannot work now,so I dress up when I go out for an appointment or to see a friend. I like Simons too for a little cheaper clothing that is more of a fad. Jacob is no longer, as I said. And I love Anthropologie and its boho look but it is too expensive with the rate of the Canadian dollar.

 

http://www.stylaholic.com
 
When I see fashion I think they want us to wear big bulky shapeless sweaters over skinny pants. On most people even if you’re skinny a belt that gives you a waist or a tighter shirt underneath a cardigan looks nicer. I hate the wide wide pants that are trying to come in. I don’t think they will because they are too big and don’t look good on anyone. But I could see flares coming back in as they seem to have a little bit. 

I like that there is colour out this winter, not only black or grey. I think skinny pants look good on most people it depends how you wear them. Sometimes a shirt a little more tunic length looks better but I have seen nice looks with moto leather jackets and blouses too that are shorter. Peplum has been in awhile and I think it is a flattering shirt or dress style. I love pearls and pearl like jewelry and I like to mix my mettle colours of jewelry. I like high heels and tall boots. But I think the shorter boots might be in for awhile now. Booties are good in Fall in Canada but I like the taller boots in Winter for warmth. The problem is it’s hard to get boots for smaller or thicker calf sizes. I like flowy tops that give you a waist and float out and cover stomach problems. But I like tighter shirts honestly most of the time, the show shape. I still like Lululemon for anytime and for Yoga and workout wear. I like to look put together in general and look for classic silhouettes. But I do find a modern thing here or there I like. What about you?