Category Archives: writers prompt

Gravity

Inspired by the image

astronaut-1390007_960_720

Pixabay/user:Comfreak

Sometimes

gravity just doesn’t apply

Floating in free fall

with nowhere to fall

because not everything that goes up

comes down

when gravity just doesn’t apply

cut my tether

cut my ties

not enough oxygen for the way home

Oh man, do I have a beautiful view of home though

Responsibility

Inspired by Langston Hughes’ poem “Theme for English B”

 

I like comic books, words, my twin sister, and hats

Superior Spider-man is my favorite superhero

This is true

This is surface

things I’d tell you when I first meet you

but this poem is about me

and not you

so let me continue

 

There are things we all try to hide

But we don’t aren’t

going to focus on that side

I have been given great power

Yes, listen to the arrogance in that

That I have a better life than others

That I have food and water and shelter

I know where I’m going to lay my head each night

I know how to read and write and do arithmetic

 

Yes, it is arrogant to say I have a better life

When in all actuality

That “great power” I spoke of

Should be a commonality

I cannot truly understand know the experiences of

those who do not share my security

But to them I do have a responsibility

to be the best that I can be

I have been entrusted with much

and much will be demanded of me

With great power

must also

Come great responsibility

 

I work and serve for that which endures

For indeed I have come to serve

To serve those that do not have what I have

Who do not have the hope I have

The hope I have placed on an old wooden Cross

Two thousand years ago

 

My greatest power

Is that of my Lord’s love and salvation

This is my motivation

This is true

This I will not hide

I will speak of this side

The World at My Feet

Inspired by the image

the world at my feet

Pixabay/user:Comfreak

Here I sit

with the world at my feet

and my dreams in the sky

But where am I?

What if I

kick off my shoes

how long will they take to land?

What if I

reach out my hands

will I touch the clouds?

Or the moon?

The stars?

The sun?

Or will I get

too close?

Too close to the sun

Instead of kicking off my shoes

will they be burned off my feet?

I see

but I cannot touch

I dream

but I cannot achieve

Here I sit

with the world at my feet

and my dreams in the sky

But where am I?

The Little Red Book

When my grandma died

we found a little red book

filled to the brim

with family history

birthdays

marriages

deaths.

The little red book

was stuffed between

fluffy, white towels

in the up stairs bathroom closet.

Oh the strange places we find treasure

yet to some

the little red book would not be treasure

just “useless history about dead people”

Yes, it is history

and yes, it is about dead people

but it’s my history

it is my dead people

it is my people.

With that in mind

we lost the little red book

for three years

and a week

to be exact.

We found a treasure and lost it

and found it again.

I found the little red book

in a Bible of a woman

that I never met

but know so much about.

That Bible was next to another Bible

belonging to another woman

that I never met

and know nothing about.

One from 1979 and the other from 1869

I have never met them

but they are my people

My people.

The first entry in the little red book

is a birth of a man 1847

a man that I don’t even share a name with

and the last entry in the little red book

is my parent’s marriage.

After excitement of the find

and awed page turning

The little red book

descends to the basement cabinet

with all the other family history items

pictures

letters

newspaper clippings

spoons

souvenirs

old Bibles

military dog tags

items belonging to people

I have met

and some I haven’t

They are my people

My people

The Color of Your Tears

I sit here with you crying

and I feel your anguish

I hear the quiver in your voice,

your yearning for a solution is so real

it is almost palpable

But by the color of your tears

am I most affected by your anguish.

Your tears are not like the color of the midnight hour,

for that is heaving, heavy breaths,

a hope lost, a person passed.

The color of the midnight hour tears

are meant to be cried into your thick bedroom pillow

or your mother’s shoulder.

Nor are your tears the color of lilac purple,

for that is calm, silent breaths,

a beauty found, a heart warmed.

The color of lilac purple tears

are meant to be cried during sunsets

or reading a handwritten love letter.

Neither are your tears the color of Christmas bulb crimson,

for that is loud, puffing breaths,

a fight fought, a world shattered.

The color of Christmas bulb crimson tears

are meant to be cried when everyone is gone

or leads to hitting brick walls.

Your tears are nothing like the color of old car rust,

for that is shallow, tight breaths,

a pain afflicting, a heart sickening.

The color of old car rust tears

are meant to be cried in hospital beds

or on bathroom floors.

No, your tears are not like the color of horseradish mustard,

for that is quick, hollow breaths

a fear caught, a new understanding.

The color of horseradish mustard tears

are meant to be cried alone at night

or an unsuccessful try at hiding sorrow.

The color of your tears,

my dear friend,

are the hue of algae in the morning light.

Trapping, surrounding, helplessness envelopes your very soul,

gasping for breath, the slime holding you down.

Helpless, finding no way out,

your tears beg to show some outward sign

of what your heart churns about inside.

I sit here with you crying

and I feel your anguish

I hear the quiver in your voice,

your yearning for a solution is so real

it is almost palpable.

But in all reality,

your tears are not the midnight hour

Nor lilac purple

Neither Christmas bulb crimson

No horseradish mustard

Not even algae in the morning light

In all reality,

your tears are clear,

clear as sunshine in May.

christmas-bulb3

Tarnished

Inspired by a line in a letter from a friend, “But I must add, my dear, how very cynical.”


He sighs, “But I must add, my dear,” his eyes glance over my fine features only for a moment not wanting to truly see me, “how very cynical.”

I dare a smile knowing he will not look back, “What would you rather me be?”

He paces the room, just like always. “Don’t play coy with me. Of course you know.”

It is the same dance every few weeks but with different sheet music. We cannot refuse but to have our words take hold and waltz through the night, without the going to the theater that I was so much looking forward to. And 1,2,3, “Remind me, please.”

He rubs his temples, “I understand what you went through was hard, an extremely tough situation that no one should have to go through. But you aren’t the same girl that I fell in love with anymore.”

I cannot help but laugh, a howl rather more, “How could I be?” I tug my sweater off, suddenly the room too hot for the comforts of cashmere. “I became someone so much stronger! You were in love with my weakness.”

“No, I was in love with your softness, your gentleness, your kindness. But now -” he sputters “now you are all sharp edges and I am afraid if I even touch you, I’ll be cut.”

“You always did have a way with words,” I sneer. Can’t he see how much better I am now than that puny, little girl he dazzled in that forever long Starbucks line? Can’t he see that this me is the only way I can cope what happened? Can’t he see I like myself better this way?

I guess he can’t. Or maybe he won’t.

I take control of my life now, say what I want, when I want. I live life how I want. I have learned to appreciate life the hard way. Back when I first met him, life was a never ending theme park roller coaster ride like on our third date to Six Flags. There was ups and downs but it would keep on going. Or so I thought.

He stops pacing and memorizes the plain, ordinary, egg shell white wall. “You were my shiny penny. I didn’t have much, but I had you. Now I have plenty, but I don’t have you.”

I break up the staring contest between him and the wall. He was going to lose anyways. No matter how furious I am at him, I still am startled at how dashing he looks in his tux. It reminds me of our wedding, happy smiles sparkled even more than the drinks did. “But I am standing right in front of you.”

“But you are a tarnish penny.” He pivots away from me in his Westwoods and paces once more. “This you, right now, is tarnishing the memories of the girl I loved. All the mean and hurtful words you spew tarnish the memories of telling your mom that we would clean up the kitchen just for an excuse to have some alone time for secret kisses. Your pessimism -”

I cut him off, “I’m being realistic.”

Louder this time, “Your pessimism about the very tilt of the earth allows you to fester your cynicism. What ever happened to the girl who dreamed of opening her own art gallery?”

“She died along with the baby,” I say, my voice taking on almost a visceral tone as it rightfully should. My breathes come shallow now.

He rushes to me now, his arms encompassing my thin form. If he embraced me like this when I first started dating him, I would have melted at his mere touch. My confidence was so delicate that I needed tactile reminders that he cared for me. But now, he fingers feel like tightening tentacles. This time, he looks me in the eye. “But I was there with you the whole time. We went through it together. I never abandoned you.” He wipes away my tear. I fight the urge to stiffen.  He then adds, “But why do I feel like you abandoned us?”

I pull away, hard and harsh, “You will never get it, you’ll never understand if you haven’t by now.”

I don’t need to see him to know he is crying. I memorized those shoulder shakes a long time ago.”Sometimes, I wonder if we would be better off if you would just leave. You tarnish everything good I ever had. My friends, my family, my love for you. Every fight like this, every cruel word tarnishes the happy memories I savor of the girl I fell in love with.”

I sigh, “But I must add, my dear,” if looks could kill, he would be dead on the marble floor, “how very cynical.”

penny

Flickr/DanielOines

It Was Written In the Sky

On a long bus ride, I was reading Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 over again. I can tell how good of a book it is by how much it has impacted me. This is going to be my fourth post inspired by it. Few books do that, where you read it and instead of wanting to just devour more of its glorious ink marks on tree pulp that was inspired by life itself, you want to compile the building thoughts from the novel and write about it.

But this time instead of applying a truth learned, I wish to write how I came upon the truth.

So there I was on the ten hour bus ride with 33 high school students who smelled like peanut butter and too much cologne. Did I mention that it was a ten hour bus ride? I think I did, but I’ll say it again, a ten hour bus ride . . .

With a book in my face and head phones (or should I say “Seashells”?) turned up loud playing Beethoven, I tried to block out the rap music and the girly-girl talk.

Across the country we went, mile after mile, page after page, song after song.

I was looking for wisdom and wonder in between the lines of a 63 year old book. Trying to block out the youthful folly around me.

Coming to one of the quotes from other books, I search for the quote on Google. While it loads, I look up.

So focused I had been on the book and on the teenagers that I tried to block out, that I had blocked out what had been transforming around me. Winter dreariness with bald trees and fallow fields, had been transformed to spring animation with blooming trees and sowed fields.

So focused on the inside, I had not looked outside. I had only seen one option, and by my lack of observation, I had deprived myself of choice.

In trying to find wisdom I originally looked to a book, and forgot the world.

What I was trying to find in a book was already written in the sky, all I had to do was look. Wisdom and wonder and life was written in the sky. No ink or graphite or typewriter or digital “little black box” needed. Only eyes or ears or hands or mouth or nose needed, to understand what was written in the sky.

Oh, how precious are books, yet even more precious are the things that inspire them.

After marveling at what had been out my window all those hours and miles and pages and songs, I looked back at my phone, and of course it was still loading.

I looked back out the window and wanted my phone to keep loading so that I would never have to look away.


“‘It’s not books you need, it’s some the things that once were in books . . . No, no it’s not books at all you’re looking for! Take it where you can find it, in old phonograph records, old motion pictures, and in old friends; look for it in nature and look for it in yourself. Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them, at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.'”

-Page 79 in Fahrenheit 451