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This weeks features brought to you by Duffboy!
The heavy ache of longing binds man near
to the relentless march of tired souls
who pass by Paradise in secret fear
that it won’t be as sweet as God extols
They hurl their silent armies in the gloom
and man draws ever nearer to their chants:
a siren’s song too dangerous to consume –
a poison of the heart one ne’er recants.
What makes the souls of men so full of grief?
What potion hath young Circe fashioned now?
There is a need for love and true belief
yet all the world is caught on Sorrow’s bough.
Oh, world don’t join the throngs of grim despair;
Set all your pain aside – and leave it there!
Impotent Sentinels by Tom Newman
A Walking Advertisement For Camera Companies No Longer by Raoul Isidro
This morning, I got myself a very large high performance Artline 100 xylene free black permanent marker.
The one that grafitti artists use on walls.
Back at my desk, I proceeded to black out all bright colours and logos of the camera name brand that was stiched and embelished on my camera straps.
There were quite a few of them to do, as I own several camera bodies.
Off they went for one wash cycle to remove any excess ink that might rub off on to my shirt or jacket, then a slow drip dry beside the radiator.
I am no longer a walking advertisement for these camera companies.
My camera neck strap no longer shouts to the world: “Steal Me!”
I now wear a simple, dull, dark and daggy neck strap.
I like that very much, thank you.
Wither by Randy Monteith
Art Exchange by BrightThing
I have often been to shy too say the words …….
“Please could I paint your portfolio piece..(add title) “
But like the sign that often appears with a “please don’t ask” request, says……
“Refusal can upset”……
So I have never asked “you” if I can use your photo for my oils…..
Here is one I DID pluck courage to ask the artist…..with nervousnessI have to say,
The Lady was very kind indeed!
If you would be really happy to let me paint something…… please paste in your reply your piece of work…… And I will write to you privately if I wish to pain the specific
Reasons for painting or NOT wil be personal interest choices…..and not
artitsic comment or judgement AT ALL….
Best wishes to you my friend….
In hope of some lovely ones…..
(I would be happy to consider your requests of me in return.)
Takeoff by Igor Zenin
Waste Away by Tycatz
You wanted a partner in crime,
Someone to do your bidding.
I let you scrape your boots on my face
As you fed me dirt, sweat, blood…
Never did I let you see me cry.
My voice was weak
And I was stoned.
Your pathetic attempts at throwing rocks
Cut my face
But you would not break my skull.
A mistake it was
For you to underestimate me.
Your childish claims of vampirism
Only made me laugh later.
A disgrace you are to my people.
How dare you ask for my help.
You will never breach my security,
That I was the warrior,
And I’ve only increased my training.
Show your face at my door,
With one glance I will rip you to shreds.
You may need your hands to fight
But I will not stoop to your level
And choke you as I wish.
These deep pupils are my weapons,
Don’t be so cocky not to fear me.
One glance and I will make your eyes bleed,
A thousand deaths inside your head
Screaming, I will haunt you.
You can not persuade me this time.
The fire in me is lit and burning,
I could control you, consume you,
Send you to your knees.
Not the way you had me on mine.
Do you not recall my power?
Of course not, you gave it no thought,
I wouldn’t hurt you,
I would never hurt you…
I never warned you of my demons.
Maybe if I had you wouldn’t have
Given me reason for revenge,
Wouldn’t have been so careless.
Maybe you should be regretting that.
If I wanted, I could destroy you,
Summon a million maggots to eat you alive
And watch them devour you
And you would beg and plead for my mercy
While I sit back and laugh at your crumbling ego.
But you are not worth it.
You are not worthy of entering my thoughts
Or the torment I would bring you.
You will not forget me though,
And you will waste away.
Inner Flare by SuziTC
“You’re here, you’re here,” she said with a childlike smile that always warmed my heart. Hurriedly bringing my luggage into the hospital after having just arrived from America, I dared not miss even a second of being with Mum.
Her blue eyes sparkled as I walked through the door of the hospital room where she lay; my sister was sitting close to her – helping Mum to eat a small spoon of yogurt.
I sat with her after that, not wanting to leave her side. That evening she sank into semi-consciousness and her blue eyes took on a familiar softness.
Every so often she jumped as though frightened, crying out in her sleep “Help – help!”
It worried me, it concerned me. I felt helpless. What was distressing her I wondered? I held her hand and comforted her. She wasn’t able to tell me what happened or why she was frightened. I could only soothe her each time she awoke. Next day I discovered what had occurred in the last few days. A ginger haired nurse had forced powdered medicines down her throat without mixing it with any liquid; it was not easy to swallow and mum choked. The nurse who had been very edgy with Mum, seemed unable to express the gentle and loving receptivity towards people who are ill and frail, it was clear that her heart was not in her work.
That same nurse grumbled at us for sitting around our dying mother in those last hours, she said that there were too many of us and instructed us to take it in turns to sit with her. It seemed that we as a whole family, were a nuisance to her. I wondered whether the nurse herself had a lonely and loveless life.
In spite of the disapproving looks – we all stayed together quietly sitting with our mother as she lay in a peaceful sleep. She didn’t wake up. It was a rare moment where five children sat silently in unison – each conveying our individual goodbye. We did not feel any need to separate. It was a moment in time that was deeply sad; we each had our own thoughts and feelings as we sat as one. Our mother had loved us unconditionally; no words could describe the emotions we were experiencing, but the loving stillness that surrounded our tender sanctuary, said everything.
Within minutes of our Mum’s death the same ginger haired nurse tried to hurry us all away so that she could ‘get on with her work’. We weren’t permitted to sit silently and say our final goodbye in our way. I had felt that the moment of Mum’s death was sacred and I needed to come to terms with what had just happened. The nurse was keen to get the bed ready for the next patient and she made no attempt to hide her impatience. With a face that revealed an imprisoned heart she had no sentiment for such a rare and consequential event. She attempted to steal our moment of love and our poignant farewell to a beloved and cherished human being. I often wonder to this day what caused this nurse to have relinquished her own feelings of sensitivity towards others. I felt aggrieved, I felt powerless and I felt abused by the nurse in a moment of profound and personal vulnerability.
I still have an ache in my heart when I think of Mum’s last days; every fiber of my being wanted it to be different. I wanted her to be nurtured and loved in her final days and hours. But now, mostly I feel that my mother is free and she is surrounding us with her love. I feel thankful in knowing that she is liberated from a painful and difficult body.
The day Mum died I noticed the breezy day outside. Leaves were fluttering in the windy air and I knew that she was dancing with the trees – her free spirit joyful and young again. The moon was deep purple that night, with a pink ring of soft cloud around it – she was close to us – her children. After that month I felt an immeasurable bond with my siblings, I didn’t want to leave England. I returned to Seattle with a heavy heart.
I will always be grateful for the treasured friends that I came to know during the years I spent in Seattle (Washington State) but in this moment, I felt lonely. An unspoken connection with my siblings was deep-rooted and difficult to leave behind.
This is a narrative from my book ‘My Reflections of England’
SEE MY BOOK
Protected by Copyright Charmiene Maxwell-Batten 2009. All Rights Reserved.
Border Security by Michael Jones
I ran down through the labyrinth of the airport, having heard the
last call for boarding my jet. The stewards smiled their professional smile, but I knew they must be at least mildly upset, for the plane had missed its place in the take off rotation because of me.
I squeezed down the crowded aisle and the air was already stale from being breathed by too many people. My seat was 47B. I was looking: 27, 32, 41… some people glanced up at me, but nobody greeted me or smiled: until I got to my place. In 47A sat a small woman, with large, sad eyes. She was beautiful to me, though others may have considered her too thin, like a spring twig on an apple tree. In seat 47C, next to the aisle, sat a seal, round and rubbery with doleful, black eyes that looked immediately right through me and called to me as if I had known it intimately, been its lover once in the blind deep.
No one seemed to notice the seal except the woman and I. When the stewardess served refreshments, the seal had sparkling water, the woman the same, but with a twist of lemon. I ordered a salted mackerel, but they were out.
The woman never spoke the whole trip. She just gazed out the window at the sky as if she looking for something. The seal spoke constantly, but never with words. I felt her warm soul, like chocolate.
After a while I closed my eyes, and images filled my mind of sea birds and barnacles and a thick, muscular shark moving quickly in murky water.
The plane landed, and the moment the seat belt light went off, everyone erupted from their seats and began frantically gathering their stuff, as if they were all late for a wedding, or a funeral. But the three of us just sat there, content to be the last ones off, not in a hurry to be anywhere other than there.
It was then the woman finally spoke, but not to me. She leaned forward and looked straight into the seal’s eyes and said, “I saw them again.”
The seal seemed very pleased, though its expression never changed nor did it clap its flippers. It just felt happy to me.
As soon as the aisles were empty, the three of us disembarked. I left them at the luggage carousel. They had to wait for an over sized cooler of iced fish. I smiled at the small, thin woman, and she acknowledged me with a quiet steady light in her eyes and a subtle lifting of one eyebrow.
When I walked out into the warm light of day I smelled a sea breeze, glanced up at the sun and felt like the whole sky was loving me.