Poetry Nowadays

Standard

Pathetic pandering to the same tired people,
Tongue tied they can only snap the same tune.
Clubbed to deaf with cliché, hypnotized blind
They…we are prey and predator, snake swallowing
Gorging on our behinds, entangled in our entrails.
What happened to living words, dancing sparks
the match to set off a forest fire of emotion
Shattering the dam, the walls and washing pain away
Where is the blood caressing pages like ink,
Tracing the cracks in shattered hearts so we can breath.
poetry nowadays needs mouth to mouth resuscitation
So let’s pick up pens, pencils and computer keyboards
Open our spirits and let the soul breath life unto the page

Chapter One-The Nightmare

Standard

 

The room was filled with balloons and the floor was carpeted with bubble wrap. The balloons looked like normal balloons but seemed to bob strangely in the air, as if filled with something. A small child is huddled in the corner of the room, fearfully facing the only exit to the room; a large red door. The door begins slowly begins to open, creaking loudly in the process but  no one but the small boy seems to notice. The door then shuts and the balloons and dancing guests part as an invisible force makes it’s way towards the young boy, the bubble wrap crackling with each step. The small boy whimpers and his lips can be seen mouthing “Stay strong my boy, Stay strong my boy”.

His lips quiver as he keeps muttering the mantra under his breath, eyes fastened fearfully on the advancing force. Then clenching his fist, he resolutely faces the creature as if determined to face whatever challenge comes his way. Suddenly the balloons start exploding violently, spewing puffs of color into the room. POP! POP! POP! Each pop shattering the silence like a shotgun blast. The colored fog that billows from the balloons eats up the air in the room and transforms it into a mystical shadow land, the chairs, tables and people acquiring almost ethereal qualities as they are consumed by the fog.

In the fog that is created, a silhouette can be seen. A blank area where the fog can con penetrate, and it is advancing on the young child who is now standing, fist clenched and face scrunched in concentration. The crowd, oblivious to the action bursts into song “Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Kevin…” The happy joyous song striking a sour chord, each burst of merriment underscoring the young child’s advancing death. The irony of a celebration of life on the eve of his death seemed to register on the young child’s mind. He glances fearfully at the incoming  menace and then with a shout charges into the mist hoping to get lost in the crowd and make his escape through the door. He moves faster than he has ever moved before, running as if he has gained wings, but before he can even reach the edge of the crowd the shadow is upon him. He can feel the cold clammy hands gripping his neck and drawing him back as if by sheer force of will. He struggles, his legs pistoning and arms flailing but it’s as if the very air is against him and he is drawn back inexorably to his doom.

His flailing starts to slow and his body begins to grow limp. There seems to be no escape. Then from the resounding silence that had come after the balloon explosion and songs, a voice booms out, filling the room with sound.

“Boy! The whistle, blow the whistle boy! Remember what your father said, when facing death, blow the whistle!!”

The boy, moving as if through thick jello reaches for his chest where the whistle hangs. His hand rests on his heart for a moment and he can feel his heart trying to rips it’s way out of his chest. Grabbing the whistle and struggling to bring it to his lips even as the invisible hand crushes is throat, he blows with all the air left in him. The whistle’s piercing scream fills the air and the room is consumed by it. Time stops and the room is silent it the midst of the sound, each person frozen as they were. Then the aura of death, darkness and confusion is shattered and so is the room and everything else in it.

Still screaming, the echo of the whistle still ringing in his head, Kevin lurches upright, hitting his head on the top bunk. Panicked he looks around, eyes darting from place to place, thoughts running rampart in his head like stampeding buffalo. Where am I? What’s going on? Who…?

The realization hits him as he look around and sees the walls of his room and the scrunched up sheets laying in disarray and his bed that looked as if it was the victim of an aggravated assault. Sweat drips from his face and he rolls over and wipes it on his pillow in disgust and whispers “Why does this keep happening?”

Chocolate People (Written Version)

Standard

Do you remember when God made us from brown sugar, chocolate and molasses

And we danced with the sun and walked with moon?

Sang with the stars and made love to the night?

Do you remember when we were beautiful?

Do you remember when we walked, walked, danced to the beat of a different drummer,

The blood of giants coursing through our veins

And we ruled the world and were mighty, pyramids of stones raised to entomb our bones?

Do you remember when we were beautiful?

Do you remember when we were broken and captured,

Dancing in grotesque parodies of our birth dance, bound by chains of man,

Steel, stolen from our mother but our souls were free and knew we are kin of kings.

Do you remember when we were beautiful?

Do you remember when we broke the physical chains

Only to be bound by chains of self loathing and weakness,

Our pride broken and scars of shame crisscrossing our psyches,

And now our feet dance/shuffle to the white mans drum.                                                                                                                                                        But some of us still remember when we danced with the sun and walked with the moon.

Some of us remember that when God made us brown it was a blessing not a curse

And we are beautiful, sweet and powerful beyond measure.

Some of us will remember breaking breaking the chains that bind us

And rising to become who we are, everyman king and every woman queen,

Dancing with the sun and walking with the moon,

Our black skin gleaming and our teeth full of meaning

As the river of our history rolls out and our children remember that we/they are beautiful.

So come with me and remember                                                                                                                                                                          Dance with me and remember                                                                                                                                                                                  Feel, hear the THUD THUD THUD of a black man’s drum heartbeat

And feel the power of our history thrumming in our bones and humming in our souls

And grasp the future that is what we make it.

Remember when God made us from brown sugar, chocolate and molasses

And we were brown and beautiful and we danced, danced,

Danced with the sun and walked with the moon.

Remember that you, you are beautiful.

Flash Fiction: Bus-stop-100 words-Prose

Standard

The Bus-Stop Girl is there everyday at 6 on the far left of the time battered bench. Reading, head down, thick brown hair escaping the knitted cap she wore. Everyday I leave my house, 5:45, and jog around the block. I just happen to pass by as she sits down, settling her skirt and opening her book. 57

I slow as I pass and breathe “Hello”. She always hears. She, her delicate fingers capturing her escaped hair, looks up from “A Streetcar named Desire”, green eyes glowing and says “Hello”. We share a smile and I run into the night, waiting for tomorrows smile. 43

Flash Fiction: Monkey- 75 words, sci-fi, dark, prose

Standard

“Crap!” I screamed, dropping my gun and clutching my arm.10  The acid was quickly eating through my Plexy suit. I reached to my ankle to grab the Photon knife and cut the acid covered suit.25 I clutched at air and then spasmed as the acid reached my skin. 38 From the end of the hallway came a coughing laugh, almost a hoot. I grimaced, looking at the Dark One, dressed in Old World clothes, holes cut for his tail. 68 “Please,” I started my voice hoarse with pain. 

 

Wow, this is a lot harder than it looks. I will have to practice. I just wanted to post something of an example. Lol, it can be used to measure any improvement that occurs. 

My Earliest Memory

Standard

As far as I can remember, stories have been a part of my life. My mother would tell me a variety of stories: short stories meant to teach a lesson, long stories that would span days, historical stories, mythological stories and some that she swore were true that I would doubt sometimes.

I can remember the first story she ever told me, as far as I can remember. It translates to The Farmer and the Rabbit. It was a beautiful ending of a day, the sunset coloring the sky with colors so rich and pure that my young mind couldn’t even comprehend. We were all gathered around the little fire place outside our house, finishing our meals.

My brothers could be heard sucking noisily on the bones that remained from the meat we had eaten. My sister still had a full plate and was picking at the food slowly like she always did. I had already finished and was licking my fingers with gusto, trying to get all the flavor I could from the meal.

My mother stood and threw the leftovers to the dogs. Snarls and yelps filled the darkening sky as the three dogs fought over the scraps. She then came and sat down and sent my brother to get some mangoes from the nearby tree.

As he ran off to get the fruit, I huddled next to my mother on the one side and my sister hugged close to her on the other side. I stuck my thumb into my mouth and grabbed a handful of my mom’s dress in one chubby hand and settled in to listen.

My older brother came back holding four mangoes clutched to his chest and after handing the mangoes out he settled himself next to my other brother after some pushing and shoving for the spot next to the fire.  My mother waited until we were all settled in and comfortable before she started, her voice rising and falling and changing with each character.

“It was once told…” she started, telling the tale of the wily rabbit who had to outsmart the farmer to get his food.

Her voice was squeaky and sly for the rabbit and loud and booming for the farmer. She took us through the story, her words painting a picture and conjuring the characters into the night sky. We sat, mesmerized by the simple magic of her tongue as she made our hearts leap as we were running with the rabbit and our tempers flare as we discovered the spoiled garden with the farmer. Our hearts were in our throats as each time the farmer got closer and closer to catching the rabbit, me and my sister cheering when he got away and my brothers booing and declaring that next time they would get him.

 As she talked, her voice melding with the noises of the wilderness around us in a harmonious melody that lulled us, my eyes begun to grow drowsy and heavy. I battled hard to reach the end with the others but sleep was simply to strong and my mother’s voice much too hypnotizing. Though I never did get to find out if the farmer caught the rabbit or if the rabbit won once and for all, I was given an experience of beauty in its purest form.

Many nights like this would follow, the stories varied but the beauty and purity was still the same. For my young and open mind, the stories were gateways that led to worlds in which I could roam for days on end. Some were scary and made me huddle closer and made my brothers puff out their chests and pretend to be brave. Some were so funny we would be rolling in the dirt, our peals of laughter splitting the quiet night like the ring of a bell. Some, especially the ones about our ancestors were powerful and so inspiring that we sometimes couldn’t help but to holler a war cry into the night and challenge the hidden dangers of the darkness.

For my young and open mind, the stories were gateways that led to worlds in which I could roam for days on end. And roam I did, exploring the vastness of my imagination and continuing stories that we would start. From that day, I have always love the art of storytelling and as I look at my mother who is now tired from working all day and can’t tell stories anymore and see that it is my turn to carry the torch and spread the beauty to the world. 

How do you want to be remembered?

Standard

How do you want to be remembered? Since the beginning of time humans have searched for the secret to immortal life. The fountain of youth, or the various magical potions that are supposed to render the user the user immortal and forever young. Our literature and our religions are based upon this desire. As of now, no conclusive proof has been found to validate any of these claims. However, there have been a few people who have discovered the secret to immortality. Not only do they live forever, but they are stuck in the very best moments of their lives.

 

Before we begin, I ask again. How would you like to be remembered? Do you want to be Alexander the Great, who lived so long ago that the earth has ground his bones to dust but he still lives and breathes life in our history books and modern culture? Or would you want to be remembered as a Hitler, who has been long dead but still reaches out and squeezes life out of people hearts even now. Or would you rather be the unknown anonymous member of the 7 billion plus inhabitants of the world, your death mourned by a few and your life accomplishments vanishing into the oblivion of forgetfulness?

 

Most of you are thinking, I can’t be one of the world shaker/movers who have changed the course of the world as we know it and have been immortalized it as a result. You’re saying I can’t make a difference.  In your head you’re already coming up with excuses and reasons why you can’t. I’m not smart enough, I am not rich enough, and I am not talented enough. There are a hundred and ten reasons why you can’t be one of these men and women who altered the world. The real reason however, the one thing that separates them from you if you are afraid. You are afraid to reach down into your psyche and see the unlimited potential there. Each human being was put on earth for a purpose and each human being is powerful beyond measure. But we are afraid, we are scared to tap into this unfathomable power and become who we are meant to be. I know. I know because I am like you. I have unlimited potential. I was put on earth, just like you, to change it. To grasp it and make it mine. But I am afraid. We are afraid.

 

But let me ask you again. How do you want to be remembered? Do you want to live a quiet anonymous life of following rules and never reaching beyond your comfort zone or do you want to become who you are meant to be? We are not all going to be Alexander the Great, men like that are molded by their life experiences into formidable forces. Without the oppression in India, would Gandhi have become Gandhi? Who can tell? But because it happened he was able to reach inside himself, scared as we are now, grasp the power within him and march forward. As a result he now lives forever, immortalized in the hearts of the ones who loved him.

 

Now how does someone like me become immortal? We can’t all appear in the history books or else our libraries will overflow. However, that doesn’t mean we can not be remembered after we pass. All it takes to be immortalized is to make difference in the life of one person. It may not be much, a simple smile may be all it takes for you to be stamped into the heart of that person and immortalized. It could simply be that shoulder to cry on presented at the right time. It could be that day when you don’t think and run into a busy road to save someone’s child. It could the time as you march in a foreign land with steel abominations in your hands and instead of shooting and ending that young life you remember that they too are human. It could be big, small or anywhere in between.

 

I ask for one last time: How do you want to be remembered? When you die will you have left footsteps in the sands of time or is all trace of your existence blown in the winds with your ashes? I don’t know how you want to be remembered. But I know one thing. I am tired of being afraid. I am tired of not having a voice in my life and being swept in the current of society. I am an individual and I am precious and I can make a difference. I know how I want to be remembered. I invite you to join me as I shed this skin of weakness and fear and step forth into the light, changing the world, one smile at a time.