Category Archives: writers prompt

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.

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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

The Moment Backwards

Clothes soaked, hair flinging water droplets, they stomp up to the shore

With every passing second more and more goose bumps crowded onto her skin

Laughter and water fights burst in to the summer night air

Like the popping of bubble gum, loudly and messy she came up for air

Under there the world was murky, yet serene. Small, yet alive

Masking her rationality and embracing her foolish bravery, she plunged

She stood there contemplating when the other girls cheered her on or called her chicken

She watched as the girls ahead of her swam, only heads showing, with their clothes hugging their frames

One by one they dunked their smiles beneath and came up spurting for the others to do the same

Running awkwardly and giggling at their own spontaneity they charged into the mildly rough sea

The girls shared a common sneaky glance and the decision was made without a word

She dipped a toe, then up to her ankle and called back to the others that it was warm

Sun setting, towels and swimsuits too far up at the house. This was too perfect of a moment to not live in.


Inspired by NaPoWriMo’s 28 prompt of writing a story backwards in a poem. Last day of NaPoWriMo! This year with no challenge!

sunset

I Remember ~ In Two Hundred Words

I remember my silent overwhelming tear when she came home

I remember the frigid Lake Superior crashing waves when we swam in our clothes simply because we could

I remember how radiant the sun was

I remember the chipped paint on his old wagon riding down the green grassy hill

I remember the earthy enrapturing smell of his paws coming in from outside

I remember how even though my eye were staring ahead at the TV, my soul only focused on her voice

I remember the unique sound that only comes from my old flip-flops pounding the floor

I remember the fleece jacket wrapped around me

I remember how warm his smile was, it reflected his heart

I remember when I first heard his voice, I was instantly enthralled

I remember coarse dirt rubbed on my cheeks and dusting my untied tennis shoes

I remember the stench of sterile and rough hospital sheets

I remember messing hand writing and Crayola markers

I remember laughter and safety-pops

I remember the first time I explored the taste of thick, fluffy pink whipped cream

I remember the joy when they said “First Place”

I remember tropical homemade smoothie for summer breakfast

I remember . . .


Inspired by the NaPoWriMo daily prompt

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Pixabay/user:cocoparisienne

Inversion

It was one of those moments

It was one of those moments where

the clock struck 13

the birds swam

the heart breathed

the mouth beat

the silence screamed

the anxious peace

the freedom was captured

the bigots loved

It was one of those moments where

the inside was out

and everything was opposite

It was one of those moments

that life throws

and minds wander to the question

is this upside down

or finally

right side up?

It was one of those moments

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Thank You, Mr. Anxiety

Why do you attack when I am most vulnerable?

Why do you find all my cracks and pulverize me at those exact spots?

Why do you invade my brain and capture my heart?

I cannot get away from you.

I cannot get away from you Mr. Anxiety.

Too often you consume me.

Too often

But I surround myself with the one who can do all things

I pray

and I can feel Mr. Anxiety slowly shrink away.

I listen to music inspired by you

and their Christian words calm me.

Britt Nicole’s lyrics hit me,

“How many years did You plan this moment here/To show me how You love me”

In my harshest, overwhelming, hurting moments is when you are the most real to me

You are with me all day long

when I walk the halls praying

when I stare out the window at your creation

when I talk about You to my friends

every moment

But my prayers are the most real and vulnerable when I am

The words need to get out

and your wisdom needs to come in

So Mr. Anxiety,

Why do you attack when I am most vulnerable?

Why do you find all my cracks and pulverize me at those exact spots?

Why do you invade my brain and capture my heart?

Thank you

You attack when I am most vulnerable so that God can rescue me

You find all my cracks so that my Almighty Lord can reinforce them

You invade my brain and capture my heart so that my Father can show me his power

Thank you

all you messy emotions for showing me the Prince of Peace’s power.

“How many years did You plan this moment here/To show me how You love me”

 

 

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Pixabay/user:PeteLinforth

Dreams

Dreams

they are our belief in the future

a belief that we have a part in the future

that we can shape our part of the future

that we can decide our destiny

that we can make our dreams into our destiny.

Dreams

they give us a purpose

we make them our purpose

to chase after this life long goal

to pursue this passionate desire

one that was bred from childhood wonders

one that was bred from teenage rebellion

one that was bred from adulthood sensibilities

one that was bred from midlife discontentment

one that was bred from waning years un-fulfillment

one that was bred from our fore fathers’ “American Dream”

And so we hunt down that purpose, desire, goal

to capture the happiness, fulfillment, success

that we projected on to it.

Dreams

they give us a reason to wake up in the morning

we make them a reason to wake up in the morning

that each day we are getting closer to the prize

when the days are tough

when there seems to be no end to the darkness

the dream is something to look to

somewhere that becomes a safe place

something where all of life’s troubles will be cleared away

something where all of life’s joys will be there

they become a magical fantasy of the mind.

Dreams

if we only

work harder

jump higher

run faster

sing louder

reach further

chase longer

want greater

we could attain them,

this is the lie they tell us

this the lie we tell ourselves

that more will be enough.

Dreams

we put our best into them

best years

best choices

best actions

best energy

best passions

best everything

and they take them.

Yet they are of our own creation

we made them

we make them into something more than dreams

more that goals

more than desires

we make them into illusions of colossal vitality

unattainable to any human hands

and we know this

but we still keep on trying

because

we like to believe

in false hopes

because they give us hope.

And today we will dream

and tomorrow we will dream

because we believe in hope.


 

In response to Jay Gatsby’s creative passion for hope and dreams in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book The Great Gatsby. 

Note: Dreams and goals are good but when they become an obsession-like idol  of perfection they cease to be dreams at all.

Gatsby

 

From Nature to Thoughts: Resurfacing Some Old Poems

I am just ‘re-posting’ some of my old poems that I thought were especially good showing my free verse style of ‘Each Blade’ and my rhyming skills in my Villanelle poem ‘Like Lapping, Crashing Ocean Waves: A Villanelle Poem’. Enjoy!


 

Each Blade

 

Have you ever

just stared at the grass?

Sit or lay down

in the grass

This sea of green

and only focus on the grass

Not the birds singing

Not the wind blowing

Not the dogs barking

Not the bugs buzzing

Just the grass

Waving your hand across

the soft and fluffy

or maybe hard and crackly

blades.

The different widths

long and thin

short and wide

dark emerald

light emerald

easy to bend

stiff blades

All these differences

and unless you get down to their level

You’ll never notice

***

What if

God sees us this way

This sea of people

with different problems

and joys

Loves

and Fears

And God could just keep on walking on the grass

But He doesn’t

The Lord gets down to our level

He learns each and everyone of us

He learns our hearts

our dreams

our relationships

how we think

our stress

Knows us personally

Have you ever

just stared at humanity?

God has

 

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hummyhummy / Foter / CC BY

 

Like Lapping, Crashing Ocean Waves: A Villanelle Poem

 

On this husk I show no qualms

But in my mind, I have confusing thought

Like lapping, crashing ocean waves, the thoughts keep on coming

 

Destroying my world while lighting my path, I let my soul burn

Peaceful raindrops and bullets firing, I am in the middle of the onslaught

On this husk I show no qualms

 

In my midnight prayers, “Give me direction,” I yearn

But when direction had come, I’m afraid, I may have fought

Like lapping, crashing ocean waves, the thoughts keep on coming

 

With all this life and it’s perceptions, will control I learn?

Will past experiences and soothing songs tell me what is to be taught?

On this husk I show no qualms

 

Not following the recipe, ingredients do churn

Mixing, mixing, mixing which should naught

Like lapping, crashing ocean waves, the thoughts keep on coming

 

I cannot show my questions and confusion for that would arise concern

So I will float in the space of my mind like an astronaut

On this husk I show no qualms

Like lapping, crashing ocean waves, the thoughts keep on coming

 

 

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Pixabay/Fotari70DX