Twisted dagger into my heart
jagged edges rip my soul
Din of darkness threatens within
exhaustion crushes from without
Twisted dagger into my heart
jagged edges rip my soul
Din of darkness threatens within
exhaustion crushes from without
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Response to Bartholomew Barker’s Monday three word prompt Dark, Frost, Long. https://livingpoetry.net/2021/12/20/monday-poetry-prompt-dark-frost-long/
Cold dark nights
Eternity covered in biting frost
Trees long on earth sag
beneath the weight
Frigid wind cuts through limbs
aged and brittle
New growth has ceased
decay creeps ever upward
Barren branches creak
the ground shakes
A massive limb breaks free
thundering to the ground
The forest rejoices
a limb to feed the soil
The trees weep
another ancient is dying
Roots dry and shatter
beneath the frozen ground
making room for seedlings
The cycle of life continues
Response to prompt from GirlieOnTheEdge via Keith’s Ramblings where the given word is Junk.
She could not believe they were talking about her junk like that when she’d worked for years building it up, until finally it had become a beautiful work of art, at least to her.
Continuing down the long alleyway towards her home was probably a mistake but, she had finished long ago letting other people’s opinions affect her mood, her outlook on life and most importantly, her heart.
Passing yet another building gone defunct, being resurrected from the filth and ashes it had become victim to by those hippie preppie do-gooders who knew nothing about her city, her people and certainly not her culture; she ignored the rude cat calls and lewd innuendoes spit down from a height of the building she would never see the inside of.
The guys whistled as she sashayed past, her firm, full ass rivaled only by her voluminous chest bouncing wildly while she ambled her way home carrying her new treasure, thinking they only wish they could get their hands on her junk before she could cross the railroad tracks to get home exhausted, trying to keep those guys from overstepping and touching her junk inappropriately.
Placing the newly acquired, rusty bike fender in her garden took some time because everything had its place in her world, then she found the perfect spot beside the mangled, front tire of that bicycle she’d found laying in the snow last winter, she stood relishing the beauty of the junk that was just hers before slipping beneath the curtain of the cardboard box she called home.
Inside her little home she slid beneath the warmth of those woolen blankets the nice lady from the church had given her, not remembering her name or what church she came from but thankful for her blessings, none-the-less.
Thanks to Bartholomew Barker for the unintentional prompt!
Hot pitchfork speared through skin and spine, invisible, irremovable.
“I’m telling you that thing has to be destroyed!” The left-winger bellowed. “It’s a demon set upon us by those free thinking liberals! Kill it! Kill it!”
“That is certainly no demon but the Angel Gabreill himself, sent down from the very heavens to aid us in our campaign against the uprising and those that would entertain war mongering and cultural genocide!” A soft spoken right-winger responded.
The progressive, who sat quietly observing the melee added, “We should capture it and paint it and put it on display for all the world to see and learn from!”
The historian warned against revisionist history. The pope admonished those wishing to remove a religious effigy from its original placement. A mechanic chimed in and said he could lift it away, for a fee. The real estate agent offered to place it on the market and the mason could take it or leave it, whichever would be fine.
The little girl stood beneath the angel’s wings, looking up into the stoic face of the concrete monolith.
“It’s just a statue guys, leave it alone. It is, what it is,” she sighed, shaking her head as she walked away, leaving the chaos of adulthood behind.
RESPONSE TO PROMPT BY BARTHOLOMEW BARKER ⋅ DECEMBER 13, 2021
The sturdy old house is full of merrily inebriated adults and sugar-high children. Couples are standing arm and arm near the blazing fire, tucked within the secure arms of stone laid centuries before by a long-forgotten relative.
The tree is dressed up so well, I think it would like to join the dancing. I feel its longing, wink up at its highest bough and believe that one clear light near the top, just winked back at me.
I smile in return and turn towards the back door, the one no one hardly ever uses. It’s the one that leads to the large and very dark outer ridge of the acres and acres of woods behind the house. No one notices my departure, I knew no one would.
The woods, these wonderful woods filled with the winter scents of pine, snow and that biting crisp air I both loathe and love, assail me. Welcome me.
My heart soars here, my spirit is free. Would that I could run like a fawn or fly like the hawk, alas I am after all, but a frail human. Still, I know I belong here. This is home. The smell of smoke from a distant campfire or fireplace seeps into my reverie.
Turning my head, I see a splash of something green hanging from the sleeping, naked branch of my favorite tree. It’s height is unimaginable, as is it’s age. I talk to it often.
Wonderment at all that must have passed beneath its thick, gnarled limbs over the centuries. Indigenous People’s to Conquistador’s. From cowboys to electric carriages to hippies, rock and roll and then to us, the consummate consumers.
The little green sprig becomes quite visible as the wind gently sways the branches above me. A light dusting of snow drifts onto my nose, my eye-lashes, soft cap and bright coat. Odd, I do not feel a wind. Not even a light breeze, yet the limbs move.
I see the green high above my head. A shiny red ribbon holds the clump of mistletoe together. The little bundle is caught by one of the newer branches of my tree, bared naked by winter too.
Perhaps a strong wind had torn it from its original home where it decorated someone’s front stoop or maybe a magpie snatched it up when no one was around to wave the pesky thief away. No matter, the mistletoe is beautiful up there.
I whisper a quiet thank you to my tree for sharing it’s wonderful gift with me. My tree chose that moment to dump a heap of snow right onto my head.
I collapse to my hands and knees laughing. I quiet, lifting my head to stare into dark, amber eyes. Our noses less than an inch away from one another. I’m not sure which was more surprised, yet neither of us moved, neither frightened, merely stunned.
The white wolf is massive, his head nearly twice the size of mine. As he moves closer, I lean forward. Our noses touch. He backs away suddenly, sneezes and shakes. Snow flies everywhere, including up my nose! I sneeze and then I shake too.
A low, rumbling laugh enveloped us. The wolf hears it too, looks around and within seconds, disappears within the white camouflage of the woods. I had received a kiss from a white wolf beneath a sprig of mistletoe hanging from my favorite old tree.
Joyful, I wrap my arms as far around my tree as possible, give it a big kiss and whisper thank you. Happier than I believe, I have ever felt. I spoke to nature and he’d answered.
A quiet, but deep, “You’re welcome,” ripples through the forest just before I emerge from its depths back onto the manicured lawn of humanity and slip into the home, undiscovered.
“What do you mean it’s missing?” I demanded of my grieving mother in what I now realize in my own elder years, was not a kind tone of voice. In my defense, my twenty-three year old devastated self had barely gotten over the death of my beloved grandfather, grandmother’s husband of sixty-four years and my mother’s father. The blows had come too quickly and too unexpectedly. My anger at the universe, at God, at life, needed an outlet and only just entering adulthood as I had; I’d allowed myself to slip back into those awful, heart-wrenching, parent-hating days of teenhood.
My mother, maddeningly stoic, informed me that someone had stolen it sometime between the time the paramedics had arrived at the house and pronounced my grandmother deceased and the time she was lain within her casket for the final viewing.
“Who took it? She promised it to me? She promised me I’d always feel her with me whenever I wore it; whether on my finger or on a chain around my neck. She promised!”
I broke down, not allowing anyone to console me, not allowing anyone to touch me. The pain was overwhelming, I’d shatter if anyone tried.
Out in front of the dilapidated little Arkansas house stood the old willow tree, carvings up and down its trunk and limbs, all the way to the top. It was me. Every summer I’d climb those old branches and carve into that soft, sweet bark my name, my current crushes name and of course, the names of the most popular teen idols of the time; so sure was I that I’d marry one of them when I grew up.
I sat beneath its branches now, alone. Most of the teen idols had married, had children or died of an overdose, always reported as accidental of course. My sweet grandmother was not supposed to die, at least not yet. I’d felt the same about my grandfather.
When my grandfather had passed, my grandmother asked if there was anything among his personal belongings that I’d like to have. There was only one thing. His thin, nearly worn through gold wedding band. I’d like to wear it on a chain around my neck close to my heart. She promised me she would retrieve it for me when the time was right.
That time never came. His old retirement watch, his ring and his wallet had gone missing, never to be found. It was then that grandmother promised me her tiny little, nearly worn through gold wedding band upon her passing. I accepted the promise with the naive faith of youth, that her passing would not be for a very, very long time.
Now, it had happened again. My heart, rendered raw from the unprecedented news of her death, could not bear to think that little gold symbol of my grandparents long, truly loving marriage, was gone.
Twenty years later I stood in my parents home, listening to a pastor whom I’d never met, extoll the wonderful virtues of the woman who had been my mother. Numb. I was numb. Stoic, I thought. The pain so overwhelmed me that every emotional neuron or synapses or whatever it was that caused the human body to actually feel emotional pain, had shut down. Turned off. Now I understood.
My father was speaking to me, placing something small, tiny actually, and round in my palm.
“Your mother wanted to make sure this came to you. She had me remove it before,” my father made an odd sort of gasping hiccup sound. It was a moment before he could continue, “before she died.”
Opening my palm, there was a tiny little silver and gold wedding band. The shank bearing the scars of repeated soldering. Through the years the delicate, thin band had worn through and each time, it had been repaired.
I had never asked her for it, but she’d remembered. Now, twenty years since her passing I can hardly fathom the level of courage that took. I pray, when my time comes to an end, I will honor her with that same courage when I remove that precious little ringlet of gold from around my neck and place it into the loving hands of my daughter.
How shall it be when I lay to my rest beneath that great towering palm fronds covering bare earth?
How shall it be when Autumn comes to call when the great Oak leaf falls upon the green earth where I lay?
How shall it be when great gusts of wind swirl bright orange and red dropping from trees above my head?
How shall it be in the quiet of winters grip a light dusting of snow covering a slow melting mound?
How shall it be when pollen travels forth rejoicing in the earth and the spring of new birth?
How shall it be after all of these things cease to be for me as I lay here sleeping my last peaceful slumber?
A response to Three Things Challenge #803 by pensitivity101 Prompt Words: COASTAL FRAME PICTURE
Wading through the murky waters, debris swirling around my ankles, my face mask feeling as if it strove to suck the life out of my lungs; I trudged forward awkwardly.
Something bumped my leg hard. I stopped, peering through the convoluted layers of man made garbage laced through with what the sea had vomited upon me, upon everyone. I could see nothing. Hope dimmed, I couldn’t see my feet through the undulating waters burped up by this last coastal hurricane.
It had to be here. I gauged from memory, where my living room had been. Mucking through muddy debris, another bump on my leg then a sharp searing pain in my ankle.
Lifting my leg, attached to the outside of my ankle, is a little baby nurse shark. My detached thought processes pondered how adorable, this cute little thing has bitten off more than he can chew. However, my survival instinct of fight or flight kicked in with a rush and I began pulling on the sandpaper skin of the shark, trying to dislodge it.
Unsuccessful, I jabbed my fingers through the teeth clamped onto my skin and pried the little shark off of my body. A stream of blood erupted from beneath the dark water, swirling around my leg momentarily before it followed the path of the little shark back to the sea.
That’s when I found it. Just in front of me, the most beautifully framed picture of mother ocean I had ever seen. The edges of the Earth’s horizon hugging the fading blue line of water now tinged with a swirl of red fluid, donated by my little shark and me.