Only Time Can Tell

Below the city’s cobblestones it shifted, restless and hungry.

Relax pet. You’ll feed soon. Need to find you the right one.

He slid a careful hand down his slate sharkskin suit, tugging the gleaming cuffs links, shaped like a tangled knot against the stark white shirt, setting the lapels just right. He rubbed out an invisible scuff on his well-shined shoes. It is a crowded street, but strolled at a decent clip, his hands in trouser pockets unencumbered by the masses that seem to give him berth. Sunglasses on, hiding the ever present turmoil in his dark eyes, he casually walked the pavement, the smallest smile playing along his lips as he sniffs the air.

Sadness. No.

Anger. No.

Depression. No.

Rage. No.

Too easy – you need, you deserve something much, much better to sink your teeth in, pet.

A handsome blond man was headed towards him. A doctor by the stethoscope draped around his neck. He talking away on his mobile pleasantly distracted by the conversation.

“I love you more!” The man grins and bubbles with laughter. “No, Mary I love YOU more!”

Unbridled happiness.

Oh yes! He looks sooo happy, pet. That will do.

“Hey, do you know the time?” He lets his natural lilt come through as he touches the man on the arm stopping him. He feels the bedlam of the feeding flow within him from beneath taking a desperate hold at the contact trigger. He sees its swirl in the stunned blues eyes that were momentarily vacant, but now glittered with precious malevolence that permeates the doctor’s entire being before he lets go and walks away. It was less than two seconds of contact, but it felt like more than two eternities before his pet is sated and retreats to below.

Oh yessssss. So good. So good.

His breath hitches as he luxuriates in the emotional calamity, his knees nearly buckling in pleasure as behind him he hears the blond start to scream into his phone.

“Look you fucking bitch! I honestly don’t what the fuck I’m even doing here. Get the out of my life you raging whore!” The man continues to string vitriol in the middle of the pavement, pedestrians gawking as they scurry around him. Moments later he suddenly stops. He looks at the phone bemused and aghast. Just as quickly apologies spew forth as the poor doctor attempts to salvage the conversation abashed by the odd behavior.

No one can hear or see him as he pulls his power to double over in delighted laughter on the sidewalk, the mirth bringing tears to his eyes.

Time suddenly freezes around him.

Well almost no one.

He smirks as a midnight black suited figure brandishing a silver skull head walking stick, along with a long hooded robe in crème with silver trim appears.

“What have you DONE?” Death swung out his walking stick, the power of his profession grabbing him by the shoulder and slamming him into a wall.

“Hello? Don’t sully the suit.” He steps from the wall, brushing at his lapels where Death had grabbed him, as if covered they were covered in offal, using the insult to cover his nervousness at the surprise of Death’s attack. Death is one seemingly emotionless man to deal with, passion at this level was unusual from him and the god was MAD!

Hmmm. Now, what brought THAT on and how can I use it?

“Here to read me the Riot Act, boys?” He shifted his gaze to the robed man. “Again.”

“Really Chaos. Your timing as always is impeccable and horrid.” Chronos cringed running his hand over his face and head, the move pushing the hood of his robe back. His unruly silver spikes of hair standing on end in the time frozen light. He pulled what looked like minute timer out of his pocket with the other hand and shook it.  The hour glass he always carries expands to its traditional full size. He swung it quickly towards Death, and gave it a gentle tap. Its sands flow black for a second and Death freezes in place. He then swung it towards Chaos, giving it another tap and the sands flow slate as Chaos freezes in place as well. Chronos nods once before shrinking it down again and putting it away.

“You can come now.” Chronos called out even as a celadon mist was already coalescing into the solid form of Gaea. He smiled as he marveled in the verdant scent of summer that surrounds her always. Today she appeared in an older guise and he knows it is the Mother that prompted this intervention between Death and Chaos.

“So this is it then? When it all started to go wrong for?” He glances around at the seemingly nothing of an ordinary day in the world.

“As best as we can tell.” Trechant sea blue-green eyes flash in motherly compassion for a moment as they pass over Death. Chronos knows she is also thinking of her elder son, War who also shares the mercurial eyes of his mother and brother. Gaea generally abhors interrupting in the affairs of her children, preferring to let them pick and choose as their hearts and the constraints of their posts dictates, but this is different. Fate found an upcoming snarl in the Tapestry of Life. Atropos was had her sheers ready to excise the entire thing. Lachesis tempered the action when she pulled some of the threads and realized War and Death would be involved in proportions so far out of the normal skein even Clotho knew only someone on their side could have had a hand in it. The obvious choice was, well, obvious.

Chaos on a whim accidentally set in motion a path of destruction. No, he did not mean to, for once, but he would have done so regardless for the joyous recklessness of it given the nature he was born into, had he known. That whim happened today when he unknowingly set a reaction that ruined the engagement of the blond. Fate could not give details anymore because once threads are pulled every changes, but she knew that blond doctor would soon become someone important to Death and eventually all of them.

Gaea glanced at the blond of the doctor, staring at his phone in frozen desperation. She nods to Chronos who comes to stand beside her, putting a hand on her shoulder as he pulls out the hour glass and expands it again.  He uses his power to shake it and then tilt it slightly back. The sands turn from the matching crème color of his robes to a clear crystal as times reverses a few minutes. Everything and everyone, but the two of them reverse with it. When he sets it right and time freezes again they see Chaos and his pet down the street not having spotted the doctor yet. Death blinked out of sight. Gaea knows has return to an appointment Sumatra. She steps to where the doctor stands now, his beaming face looking up to the sky, deep blue eyes shining in tender happiness.

I am sorry my child, I have to do this to you…

Gaea places a hand over the doctor’s heart. His shoulders sag, his eyes look haunted as his entire countenance takes on a dejected stance. Satisfied she stands beside Chronos, taking his hand. He shakes the hour glass and it begins to run in normal time.

The doctor starts walking “I’m sorry, Mary darling. I lost Mackenzie and Joseph today. I’m really not in the best of moods. Can we just stay in tonight? Please?” He realizes his stethoscope is around his neck and snatches it away. The grip on it folded tubing taking the brunt of what he feels. Chaos seeing the pain the doctor is in passes him by in search of something better.

Gaea releases the breath she wasn’t aware she was holding and smiles at Chronos automatically touching his forehead as he frowns. He smiles his appreciation as she eases the headache she knows that comes to him whenever any of the gods ask him to change Time on their behalf as his mind and body also has to adjust to the new reality even as he exists in the current one until all matches. The more of them he has to adjust simultaneously the more it hurts.

When his mind settles Chronos immediately swings the hourglass towards her and its sands flow celadon for a second and Gaea freezes.

“Sorry Gaea, experience tells me the less of us that remembers this happened the better it works.” His smile is rueful as he sets her back in Time. She blinks to her new placement and he closes his eyes to let his mind adjust.

He looks down the block where Chaos has taken a different person’s happiness on which to feed his pet. He taps the hourglass feeling Time within knowing is all as it should be for the present.

For the present.

Only he himself knows what had, could have and has now happened. As for what may happen only Time can tell.

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Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie: First Line Friday -July 21st 2017

Below the city’s cobblestones it shifted, restless and hungry.

Every other Friday Dylan gives the first line, and we get to write the rest.

The Sunday Whirl: Wordle 309

Nothing, Carry, Sea, Post, Trigger, Poor, Pick, String, Mean, Beam, Shake, Born

Write a poem or short prose using some or all of the wordle words.  Forms of the words are fine.  Challenge yourself to use them all, but it is not a requirement.

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie: Wordle #165

Shine, Clip, Abash, Read, Salvage, Celadon, Permeate, Sag, Nervous, Vacant, Offal, Trenchancy

Write a poem or short prose using at least ten of the wordle words.  Forms of the words are fine.

Of Life and Death

It was a bloody mess. There were no other words for it.

An oil tanker had jack-knifed on the bridge late last night, early this morning. Though the spill was minimal compared to its capacity, there was a spill. The bridge was temporarily closed and oh how the morning commuters loved that while a clean-up crew did its best. Still, they are only human and they were not in control of the weather, when they gave the all clear and opened the bridge again.

Several cloudbursts opened up over the city within a forty-five-minute period earlier that afternoon and a drunk driver spun out of control on slick patch of oil and rain. It caused a vicious domino effect that resulted in too many vehicles playing a deadly game of bumper cars before it was over. Emergency services from various neighborhoods were on the scene, sirens closed in from the distance with the promise of more arriving.

Ignoring the police blockade He drove directly onto the bridge and parked. He stepped out of the gleaming pale vehicle and stretched to His full height, His posture very erect as He walked away as the vehicle door slowly swung down and closed. His fair complexion and long limbs belied the strength of the nicely toned body beneath the black suit, shirt and shoes He wore. Though simply calling it a black suit was slovenly; it did not do it justice at all.  It was not simply black. A friend had once joked with Him that it was darker than midnight in hell and dubbed it hereafter. There was a certain something about it, the subtle sheen, the way it fit His form, yet it moved with His casual stride in an elegance that radiated bespoke. His dress shirt was open from the top two buttons that exposed a hint of collar-bone and chest and the expanse of His long neck. He wore an equally black fedora on his dark curls, tilted roguishly over piercing mercurial eyes, a patrician nose and full cupid bow lips. His leather shoes were near soundless, as soundless as the ever-present gleaming black walking stick with silver ferrule and skull head handle he carried.

No one noticed Him, as with a single determination, He stepped out into the middle of the tableau before Him and glanced around. His luminous eyes took in everything.

There was screaming and crying all around.

Two cars had flipped over. Three cars were on fire, a fourth was dangerously close to its own conflagration. A delivery car for Gladiola Florist crashed, flipped on its roof and landed on the roof of another vehicle that had slammed into a guard rail. The angle and weight of the car had it teetering dangerously on the sheer edge of the rail. Terror completely immured the young female driver unable to stop its slow, yet inevitable slide into the murky waters of the river below. He heard babies, children and adults crying and screaming alike. There was at least one body thrown from its vehicle in a tattered, mangled twist of bone, muscle, blood and clothing before Him. There several other vehicles in various states of damage. Those that could move on their own, slowly did, as their respective drivers settled and thanked their lucky stars.

He looked at the dust, gas, oil, carnage around Him and smiled; seventeen vehicles, thirty-nine lives.

Oh, it was a bloody mess, indeed!

With a small amused shake of His head He tapped the walking stick to the pavement.

And.

Time.

Stopped.

A quick tip of His tongue ran across his inner bottom lip. A rich baritone chuckle escaped from deep in His throat as a familiar excitement thrummed through Him.

Let’s dance.”

He grabbed the mangled body before Him first. Male, thirty-two, head chef at a restaurant, had not worn a seat belt, was thrown through the windshield and then struck by a SUV that crushed his torso, yet left him conscious. He had been a decent, if reckless, man in this life; there was no need to let him suffer that much pain.

The young female driver is the first to notice Him. Nineteen years of age, university student, late for class after making a delivery, the car was a present from her father, she had her hair recently cut at the salon. She smiled as her panic abated when He curved his hand from where He stands, yet caressed her face and eased her fear. He snatched claim of her before the car free-felled into the water.

A six-month old infant, shaken badly in the car seat from the impact, and his twenty-six-year-old mother, ribs broken that punctured her lungs in two places were next. The howls of the now childless twenty-eight-year-old widower, sat with them, his face frozen in the pain that will be his life for a long while.

An elderly couple was next. She, eighty-three, heart failure. He seventy-six, aneurysm.

Why you saucy little minx! Married a man seven years your junior. Oh, that had to be quite the tongue-wagging back in the day. I bet you were something!

They have shared fifty-seven years of married life together. In a blink of His eyes neither will know a day apart from the other.

A forty-one-year-old female was going into Insulin shock. He shook His head.

No, not this time. Next time you’re mine.

Even as He thought the words, He could see paramedics, currently frozen in time, were on their way.

He moved about the scene, laying claim to those whose time had come, noting those He sensed were close to His calling. He was moving on to another calling when a scene off to the side got His attention.

A man on the ground, tall, twenty-seven, athletic body – runner, his face frozen in a contorted scream. That was not what caught His attention. It was the man kneeling by his side. Mid-thirties, average height, solid form, blond hair streaked with silver, former military, doctor, his bloodied hands pressed on the athletic man’s abdomen.  An abdomen that was splayed to the world. There was a grim, but absolute determination on the doctor’s face.

He walked away to another scene that caught His eye. A woman, twenty-eight, average built, a nurse in the midst of falling away from the open door driver side of a car. The result of a shove from a meaty hand of the muscular built, forty-nine-year-old male driver, his grey eyes radiated hate that seemed to block out that pain he had to be feeling with the jagged shrapnel that protruded through the windshield into his chest.

Eyes narrowed He unfreezes just that scene.

The nurse hit the ground hard, then got up, and being professional attempted to get the man to see reason, but was cut off from speaking.

“Shut up you stupid bitch. I don’t want you touching me!” It was not as vicious as it could have been when only one lung functioned properly as he went into a diatribe of racist insults until the pain grasped him full on and he starts screaming.

Walk away, go help someone worthy of your kindness.

The nurse walked away to help a woman trapped in her car. Thirty-one, heavy-set, barista by day, student by night, mother of twins. The driver side door pushed in, in a way that was painful enough to render her unconscious.

No, not her; she is mine.

He took her. The nurse saw the moment she went from unconscious to gone, shook her head sadly and went to help someone else.

He looks at the man in the car, the screaming has become whimpering. The whimpering stops as He is noticed. And like the woman who spotted Him earlier, he knows it’s his time. Where she greeted Him in understanding, this one is terrified.

A life lived wrong, will do that to some.

The man belongs to Him, but He does not like ugly. And unlike the first man, He will not take this one yet, He will let him suffer in pain for a while more.

He returns to the scene with the doctor and unfreezes it.

“I promise you, it looks worse than it is.” The doctor keeps pressure on the wound, lashing material tightly around the man’s abdomen, essentially keeping his guts inside his body. “You are not dying today! You’re not!”

The doctor lifts his head looking around and for the briefest moment He is rooted to the spot with the impression of being seen as the doctor’s fathomless blue eyes appeared to look right at Him as he attempts to get the attention of paramedics. Unlike the good doctor, the athlete does see Him and starts babbling. It’s the fear and begging and galimatias of many when they see Him and know. By now He has heard it all in the final moments. He half shrugs, very much as the doctor is doing his job; He’s merely performing His. He sweeps His walking stick over the scene.

The athlete goes into cardiac arrest, becoming non-responsive.

“NO!” The doctor yells, his battlefield training kicking into high gear, applying countermeasures. “I’ve got you. Do you hear me? You’re not dying. I would fight Death himself if I have to. You are not dying on me!”

A sly twinkle appeared in His eyes at the impudence of the statement. Why is He so beguiled by this man, this doctor?

The irony of this literal fight between life and Death is not lost on Him as He watches the doctor, fascinated by his tenacity to keep his patient alive at all costs.

He remembers the other lives in the balance and collects them, including the racist, so he can return to the doctor, now working with paramedics who finally arrived by his side. The athlete is His to take, but for some reason He does not want to disappoint this doctor who has fought so hard.

He sweeps His walking stick over the athlete again whose heart immediately settles. His wounds are still what they are, he will have a harsh recovery, but no, he will not die from them.

He taps His walking stick to the ground once more and all time reasserts itself.

He’ll have to balance this with another life, but this life is His gift to the doctor. The immense relief in the doctor’s face evident, his smile genuine and warm as his patient comes around.

Oh, I will have to come visit with you again Doctor.

But works calls and He must heed. He walks to the pale car that opens to accept Him and drives away to the next site.

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MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie: Wordle-161
Insulin, Posture, Shake, Suffer, Cloudburst, Immure, Hereafter, Slovenly, Radiate, Gladiola, Restaurant, Galimatias
Use at least ten of the twelve words in a story or poem.

The Sunday Whirl: 305
Drunk, Snatch, Sheer, Single, Tattered, Lash, Rooted, Dust, Curve, Sly, Spun, Blink
Use at least ten of the twelve words in a story or poem.

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie: Tale Weaver # 126 – Death
Write a story about death – from Death’s point of view.

The Color of Numbers

We are in Week 19 of the year 2017 and in that time twelve transpersons of color has been murdered in the United States.

Last Thursday Brenda Bostick, a 59-year-old Black transgender woman, died from an attack on Tuesday April 25th in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. She is at least the twelfth trans person murdered this year in this country alone – all of them women of color, one Native and eleven Black. The others are Mesha Caldwell, Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, JoJo Striker, Tiara Richmond, Keke Collier, Chyna Gibson, Ciara McElveen, Jaquarrius Holland, Alphonza Watson, Symone Marie Jones and Chayviss Reed.

Think about it: That is roughly every 10 days. Let me repeat that – Every. 10. Days. We are not even at the halfway point of this year. What does that portend?

According to the Human Rights Campaign there were at least 21 deaths in 2015 and 27 deaths in 2016 of transgender people due to fatal violence.  Bostwick was attacked on April 25th, today is May 9th, fifteen days. By this unfortunate barometer, someone has been attacked – the question is how soon will we be reading – watching – hearing about the murder of yet another transperson of color?

Please note the use of “at least” in all of the numbers given, for they only represent the murders against transpersons that we know of for a certainty. Only the heavens know how many other murders, which have slipped under the radar, have actually occurred.

The victims of this violence are overwhelmingly transgender women of color, who live at the dangerous crossroads of transphobia, racism and sexism which often lead to high rates of poverty, unemployment, and homelessness. And some of these homicides have not yet been identified as hate crimes due to lack of information about the perpetrators or motives.

It has been reported that LGBT+ people are more likely to be targets of hate crimes than any other minority group, and within that group the percentage of these crimes of misogyny, racism and LGBT+ against trans-people are higher and rising.

It is an ironic dichotomy that while this country has becomes more openly accepting, it has undeniably also become more openly hateful and worse more openly violent in its hate.

Are crimes against people of color, women, gays and/or trans new? Of course not. What is news is even with the documented increase of violence against transgender people at an all-time high and potentially rising, national media coverage is severely lacking. I’m minded of the song “Small Circle of Friends”.

“Oh look outside the window, there’s a woman being grabbed
They’ve dragged her to the bushes and now she’s being stabbed
Maybe we should call the cops and try to stop the pain
But Monopoly is so much fun, I’d hate to blow the game
And I’m sure it wouldn’t interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends”

While the protest song covered several events as commentary on human apathy, it song was inspired by the case of a woman who was stabbed to death outside her home in Queens, New York, while dozens of her neighbors reportedly ignored her cries for help. That the woman then was presumably CIS and the women now are trans make no damn difference.

The point of it being if it’s not in our own back yard many don’t want/care/are afraid to acknowledge it. I live in NYC, where there is a heavy LGBT+ influence. These deaths were of note here before Brenda Bostick’s murder in Chelsea, a neighborhood of New York City, placed her in our proverbial, if not literal, backyard. That these murders happen anywhere is horrific enough, having one happen here in the city of The Stone Wall Riots, a place pretty much considered the birthplace of gay liberation and LGBT+ rights, it seems especially galling.

In a sequitur/non-sequitur Sunday was the MTV Movie & TV Awards. In an unprecedented move MTV removed genders from all of their categories. Men, Women and Non-Binaries competed against each other for the honors. I’m waiting for the day when the news reports on a male, female or non-binary event it will be reported without the “trans” modifier. Not because I do not want to talk about transgender, but because what happens to a man, a woman, or a non-binary, that the person is also transgender should not matter.

It is an unfortunate fact that stigma based on sexual orientation is still widespread. I know there are documents, commentary etc. covering the myriad psychologies of those who commit these types of crimes.  None of it excuses it. Preaching to the choir, hiding it from the news, not talking about it and/or outright dismissing it, will make these murders go away. Public education, policy change and community efforts are needed to address this. Overcoming these prejudices will take a lot of work. A LOT of work.

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Let’s see how others are slicing it up this week:

Slice of Life logo

Slice of Life Writing Tuesday Challenge – Two Writing Teachers


52essays2017
Writing Our Lives #52essays2017 challenge – Week 19

A year-long weekly personal essay/memoir/creative nonfiction writing challenge. To learn more about this challenge or to participate, check out Vanessa Martir’s website and learn about it.

 

Winners Lose – Losers Win

in
dread
tears flow
bitterly
down already wet cheeks
for names and faces I know not
in the past’s horror and in the fear of tomorrow
I wonder if the end begins
with powers-that-be
watering
away
life
life
for
the men
the women
children and babies
their breaths snuffed in odorless death
less than one hundred days in, it is how things will wage
for those who will not pay the cost
it does not matter
who will win
when all
will
lose
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National Poetry Writing Month (NoPoWriMo) 2017
National Poetry Writing Month 2017Day 7 


A to Z Challenge - F logo
A to Z Challenge F is for Fibonacci Spiral

Today’s form adds up to the Fibonacci Spiral

The Fibonacci Poem, or Fib Poem for short, is a single stanza poem based on the first 7 numbers of the Fibonacci sequence 1,1,2,3,5,8,13. The first and second lines are one syllable, the third line two syllables, the fourth line three syllables and so forth following the Fibonacci sequence. It traditionally ends at seven lines (13 syllables), but some have taken it longer following the sequence.

The Fibonacci Spiral poem is a more structured poem with two stanzas.

The 1st stanza has 13 lines, the 2nd stanza has 12 lines. The last line of your first stanza is repeated to become the first line of your second stanza with no gap between stanzas. Repeat the syllable count to form the spiral for a total 25 lines altogether. If this confuses you just look below.

The syllable counts must be as follows:

stanza 1
1st line – 1 syllable
2nd line – 1 syllable
3rd line – 2 syllables
4th line -3 syllables
5th line -5 syllables
6th line -8 syllables
7th line -13 syllables
8th line -8 syllables
9th line -5 syllables
10th line – 3 syllables
11th line – 2 syllables
12th line – 1 syllable (word must be at least 4 letters)
13th line – 1 syllable (repeat of the word above)
stanza 2 (remember there is no space between the two stanza)
14th line -1 syllables
15th line -2 syllables
16th line -3 syllables
17th line -5 syllables
18th line -8 syllables
19th line -13 syllables
20th line -8 syllables
21st line -5 syllables
22nd line – 3 syllables
23rd line – 2 syllables
24th line – 1 syllable
25th line – 1 syllable

Though not required, the poem should be Centered for the spiral.

When the Reaper Calls

It’s a call to depravity, I know it for such
He’s put the voices there and I want it so much
With an angelic façade it’s only me I deceive
He offers a gift, have I the guts to receive?
His susurrus guides me down sacred halls
Can the grim not heed when the Reaper calls?

Unlike the moth I know I’m playing with fire
Letting him taunt the release of my desire
Knowing once set free there’s no re-containing this
And like Judas my fate is sealed with a kiss
Only in Death can I live – no, I do not stall
Can the grim not heed when the Reaper calls?

Releasing all that society has my soul caging
I’m wanton in the hold of my disengaging
And the dark shadows rise from deep in my core
As I take the mantle and Thanatos takes score
My back arcs in the throes of sinful enthrall
Can the grim not heed when the Reaper calls?

His susurrus guides me down sacred halls
Only in Death am I living – no, I do not stall
My back arcs in the throes of sins enthrall
He smiles knowing at last, I realize it all
I the new Keres moan in murderous gall
The grim to his kind Reaper – I heed the call

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Lesser known among the gods of the mythology, Keres a daughter of Nyx, is a sister of the widely known Thanatos. In spite of being colloquially known at the Grim Reaper, Thanatos is actually the god of peaceful death. On the other hand, Keres’ forte is violent death, primarily over a battlefield in search for dying and wounded soldiers.

And Nyx (Night) bare hateful Moros (Doom) and black Ker (Violent Death) and Thanatos (Death)…
— Hesiod, Theogony 211, translated by Hugh G. Evelyn-White

Today at dVerse Victoria prompts us to say it again with the use of repetition.

dVerse ~ Poet Pub | Meeting the Bar – I’ll Say It Again (and Again and Again)

Photo Challenge #145: Just A Little Tighter

– Painful by Natalia Drepina

– Painful by Natalia Drepina

Holding onto hope
What it once felt like
I wrap it just a little tighter
But it’s a slippery rope
Trying to cope

With so many sins acquired
Every time I remember
I wrap it just a little tighter
Around the sorrows in which I’m mired
But my hands are getting tired

My soul the garrote
Sometimes untangling
I wrap it just a little tighter
Around my throat
In desire of Charon’s boat

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Today at  MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge #145 we are prompted to use above image as inspiration for a poem or short story. This is what came to me.

Yesterday Haunts

like water in desert

the beauty of you quenches

my lips part – breath gasps

for the feel of your strong arms

that have yet to hold me close

><——><

a bloom of scarlet

stark against a white canvas

then sheets – now snow drifts

both give note to the battles

of my birth and of my death

><——><

where there is no sound

one hears how your voice  trembles

its timbre thrills – pains

gripped in memory’s cruel grasp

yesterday haunts tomorrow

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Today at dVerse Toni has us exploring the Tanka in its more traditional use. Having written non-traditional and super tanka before, I challenged my self to string a few together for something of a little narrative. The first tanka above are lovers at first sight, the middle – a soldier’s poem on his birth at his death and the last tanka – the lover left behind who remembers.

Tanka have a 5-7-5-7-7 syllable count, per line.  The first two lines of the tanka are known as the kami-no-ku – upper poem, the last two lines are the shimo-no-ku – lower poem.  The third line. middle line, is the kireji or, cutting line or pivot denoting the difference between the two parts.  This is important to remember when writing tanka.  There are also no uppercase letters, no punctuation (except for the short dash, like an aspirated breath) or title. Tanka are subjective and can be emotional, opinionated, sensual, and lyrical.  They move back and forth through time and use elegant phrases or euphamisms, simile and metaphor.

dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Meeting the Bar – Form: Tanka

Another Forgotten Soul

I hear the steady rhythm of a familiar beat
The beat that belongs to my heart
Each intake of breath induces own brand of sweet

I’ve been lectured its beat won’t last through the night
A motif I’ve heard several times before
This new morning again dispels that tale and again I’m alright

Well as right as right can be with these tubes in my chest
The clicks, chinks and whoosh, a daily orchestration of my machines
I half think to ask to take them out they’ve done their last test

I’ve buried children, a husband, and friends
The blessing and curse of having a long life
Outliving those who would be with me at my end

No longer with the ones of my long life’s sharing
To pillow my days with fond memories
I slowly die alone attended by some other’s caring

Who will last close these feathered eyes is out of my control
With no one left to rescue the memory of my name
I wonder how long before I’m another forgotten soul

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At dVerse we’re asked to pen our fears. This is mine – that I will outlive everyone who would love and advocate for me. That I will die, not necessarily by myself, but definitely alone.

dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Poetics: What Are You Afraid Of ?

Real Toads – The Tuesday Platform

senseless

Nine and seven years
You abandon us here
In this world
Mad with anguish

Skipped to the words
Take them
Spoken in hate
Go away and die
Because of him

The need to spite
Mattering more
Than to live for us
Your own daughters

<>==========<>==========<>

A week before Mother’s Day. Trying to make sense of the senseless. She had been saying for months that if he kept pushing her she’d leave him permanently. We were all praying she would. None of us thought it would be like this. Leaving a note and two daughters.

From some of the comments below I see I need to clarify something. The above poem is from my muse, taking the view point of the two daughters. The pain feels real to you, because it is real to me. This past Monday night/Tuesday morning,  I lost a friend, the girls lost a mother to suicide.

dverse

dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Quadrille 8: Skip

daily-post

The Daily Post | Abandoned

real-toads-buton

Real Toads : The Tuesday Platform

sol

Slice of Life Writing Challenge : Two Writing Teachers

Princely

prince-graphic

It’s after 11pm, the train pulls in at 34th Street and two men get on. They were young, no more than 25.  One has his iPhone connected to a Bluetooth speaker, loudly playing Prince’s Little Red Corvette.  As the doors close behind him, the one with the iPhone turns the volume down. As the train pulls out of the station, it was clear he could barely hear the music anymore. Addressing everyone and no one he asks: “Ladies and gentleman, I don’t want to be rude, but my headphones are broken and I can’t replace them until tomorrow. But I really need to hear me some Prince right now. Is it okay if I turn  this up and share it with you?”

This was Thursday night, hours after the news of the death of Prince has shocked the world. From the outpouring of positively to the young man’s question, one would have thought the pastor  just asked the church for an “Amen!” after a good sermon. I am guessing most of us on the train were still reeling from the news, I know I still was.  The reaction was about the same, so he turned it up just as the opening lines of Let’s Go Crazy was coming on.

Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life

He wasn’t just listening to the music, but part quoting/singing along with it. Once it reached the part of “Go crazy”  a good portion of us on the train had joined in with him. It was an impromptu mini-concert/singalong for quite a few stops. It was continuously amusing as the unaware boarded the train and were thrust pell-mell into the ad hoc celebration. Luckily most joined the fun, or at the very least nodded agreeably with the contained madness.  And contained madness was exactly what it was until Purple Rain came on.

It seemed, as one, we all became quiet as the opening chords played. It was penance. It was salvation. It was redemption. It was church. It was a reverent moment of silence, just listening to him…

I never meant to cause you any sorrow
I never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted to one time to see you laughing
I only wanted to see you
Laughing in the purple rain

And again, as one, we came out of that reverent trance to sing the chorus together. Some with heads down, but hands waving slowly in the air, feeling it. Yes, there were some people crying and it was alright. I could not help, but think Prince himself would have liked that. He would have enjoyed that moment of oneness among strangers over his songs.

Thinking about how we mourn artists we’ve never met. We don’t cry because we knew them, we cry because they helped us know ourselves.

Juliette (Elusive J)