The Waters of Lethe

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systole/diastole

diabolic rhythm

an unwilling heart

clogged roads

life

courses

most reluctantly

systole/diastole

brash waves drive from behind

inevitable and unavoidable

foxtrot on the treadmill

tango with wires

pounding waves

pulsed into spray

on ticker

systole/diastole

a coded tempo decrees

control

systole/diastole

a heart much maligned

cannot be repaired

systole/ diastole

measures

walls of my making

rendered inflexible

systole/ diastole

rigidity sets in

i pace

rigor mortis sets in

i forget to breathe

in my fury

systole/ diastole

evergreen memories

don’t go away

condition the core

now brittle and callous

systole/diastole

regulate

thin the blood

slow the heart

adjust the rhythm

systole/diastole

take this memory

fertile

weeds of thoughts

plunder

systole/diastole

every onslaught/ failed attempt/ wretched expectation/ wrenching betrayal/ gaping wound/ gnash and gash/ cutting word/ tightening of the heart/ suppressed retort/ repressed emotion

barbed wires of a resilient memory

systole/ diastole

a pattern of my remembrance

a curse that i live with

what wouldn’t i give

to forget

Memorize

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Offcloud

clouds

As I think, I speak.

Really?

As I speak, I do.

Not really.

The thought does not always become the deed.

Deed, indeed.

For the mind clouds over.

Inaction.

The dark cloud on my horizon?

Never.

Inaction is now a habit and defines my character.

Under this cloud, I thrive.

My head in the clouds, my feet on the ground,

I have it all.

Not for me, your world, love and concern.

Don’t cast your shadow on me.

I unthink.

Why do you presume to disturb the air around me?

I unbecome.

You are just a passing cloud.

Uncloud.

 

[99 Words]

Thank you, Rochelle, for hosting the Friday Fictioneers’ Challenge.  Shalom!

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

Stuporia

drinks

it begins with just a glass

 

the thorn in your side

being passed over

a hundred things

clutch at your throat

refusing to let you breathe

 

you plod doggedly

gulping in fresh air

whenever you can

 

a smile feels raw

laughter threatens

to slash your stomach

you are afraid

it might all spill out

powerless to contain it

anymore

your heart crushed

in the vice of a cold hand

 

and then this glass

beckons

 

a sip doesn’t amount to much

 

the blood around your cold heart

begins to unfreeze

 

astonished

it rushes to your head

 

giddy now

the world around you

ceases to be

 

ceases to stifle

 

a film covers your eyes

your senses sing

and then are lulled

 

incredible

huh

 

soon

you cannot do without

this escape

 

illusion

 

this trance-like state

now eludes you

 

years of suppressed agony

threatens to escape

wrenching life from you

as it struggles

a sapling

growing

on impervious rock

 

somewhere along the line

you have become the perpetrator

all because you sought comfort

in that one glass

 

they avert their eyes

they walk away

you are so alone

 

all you have is this one glass

refills maybe

and an olive

that’s just an afterthought

[200 words]

This piece is in response to the weekly prompt at Sunday Photo Fiction. Thank you, Al Forbes, for hosting it.

Photo prompt courtesy – A Mixed Bag

 

Elegant Exit

al_forbes

Empty velvet lined boxes

Stand proudly on shelves

Their rightful occupants

Being awaited for

In vain

 

A lesser life this

Than believed

Far from prying eyes

Too hard to bear

Exquisite pain

 

Behind lush foliage

A mansion stood

Anticipating

A fresh coat of paint

In vain

 

The vintage car

Last to go

Larger than life

No discreet way really

Inevitable shame

The pursuit of dignity

In vain

 

Deeds signed

The ink barely dry

Time to call it a day

Finally

Time to leave town

Might as well leave in style

Head held high

A fitting end to a lifestyle

Vain.

 

[100 words]

Thank you, Al Forbes, for the photograph.

Thank you, Rochelle, for hosting the Friday Fictioneers’ Challenge. Shalom!

To read more entries please click here.

 

Immutable

temple

The streets unfold

I’m lost

In a maze

Of my making

 

In the unfamiliar

 

Tongues make no sense

Raucous static

 

I strive

To hear myself

 

A turn

Pockets of Faith

Concentrated prayer

The aura

Unmistakable

 

This is it

I’m home

In a strange land

 

Guided by You

I do not even question

 

The world is my shrine

I close my eyes

In total surrender

 

My Faith transcends

Everything

 

I learned long ago

No question

You know best

 

l am but a flame

Burning with the intensity of your fire

 

I know You

Have always known You

Myriad lifetimes

 

An ancient shrine

Of a long forgotten mystic

 

At the little chapel

You gazed at me

With so much compassion

My heart almost burst

 

I find You in every idol I see

 

Every stone

chant

song

flower

that blooms

 

In the people I meet

 

I now stand here

Before this shrine

And look up

To You

Yet again

 

You wait for me

All I need to do

Is close my eyes

 

Tuning in

I connect

 

Once again

 

[175 words]

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Singledust. Thank you Gina! Such a beautiful photograph! ❤

Thank you Priceless Joy for the lovely opportunity provided for this week’s writing prompt at  Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers !

Karmic Gears

crook3

 

my life

a certain cycle

karma

a sequence

i haven’t set into motion

already spinning

it pinned me down

gathering

speed and strength

with every thought

word

and action

maybe even silence

and inaction

 

i have one life

this i know

keep

the machinery oiled

iron out

the creases and folds

while i still can

before i become one

with the elements

 

this life

already

a forgone conclusion

 

atonement

for my sins

are visited on

the flesh of my flesh

the blood of my blood

the wheel in my wheel

 

and that cycle

mine own

to stop

this spinning wheel

 

[100 words]

Thank you Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers! Shalom!

Thank you, Sandra Crook , for the photo prompt.

Black Magic Woman

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Suddenly the clouds clear and you see all that is there.

 

Black magic woman.

Prowling.

Ensnaring

the young and the unsuspecting.

Mothers lock your sons away,

for she is on the move.

 

Starry-eyed.

All of nineteen. Then twenty. Soon twenty-one.

Suddenly, a very old twenty-one.

 

No illusions left.

Not anymore.

Twenty-one.

She stopped laughing.

She was twenty-one

when she ceased to smile.

 

Physical charms and black magic powers.

And the body.

Oh, the body.

She laughed.  The very idea!

No, she actually did not.

 

She cried.

For all that she thought was possible.

And all that it turned out to be.

 

They told her what they thought.

She heard their words.

Their logic, irrefutable.

Her mind, unsettled.

They were kind enough to enlighten the world.

She shone brighter in all the illumination of their wisdom.

Irredeemable.

 

On a cold November morning

the ceremony.

On a cold November night

the consummation.

 

And then the confirmation.

Intact.

Immaculate.

 

The rupture.

Perfect.

Irreparable.

 

End of aspersions.

The red badge of honour.

Conferred.

Absolute.

 

Even now

In the darkness of the day

In the garish lights of the night

 

She,

the female of the species,

goes through this rite of passage

willingly or unwillingly.

 

Her core invaded

Her story out in the open

for the world to see and approve.

Or maybe not.

 

And they all file in smirking.

Shuffle out, maybe just a little disappointed.

Through all her chagrin

To their incredulous dismay

She has managed to pass their Test.

 

Meanwhile

She holds on to the shreds of dignity.

While she still can.

 

But hey, lock away your sons.

And keep away your daughters.

Her influence knows no bounds.

The incorruptible a challenge to her.

 

Black magic woman

She has secrets and a spell or two.

 

And suddenly the clouds clear

and you see all that is there.

 

Illusions are just that-

illusions.

 

Ignorance is always dispelled.

 

But, hey, when she was nineteen,

ignorance certainly was bliss.

 

Test

Hear my Prayer

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It is all a blur now.

My eyes, unfocused,

don’t see at all…

but I know it all.

 

The malignant star.

 

Who would it be?

My mother.

I never got to her.

Well, apparently, I did get to her.

In fact, I got her.

She went cold with me by her side.

 

The ice hurt.

I kicked , clenched, contorted and howled.

For hours

On a cold winter’s night.

 

Mother- slayer,

I devoured her soul.

I waited.

 

Rejection.

I tried.

I never felt warmth.

 

Soon

I felt

nothing.

 

the quilt useless

these brittle bones

shall now snap

like branches in winter

sap frozen.

 

I am ready.

Do me a favour.

In all your generosity…

 

Take me.

Now.

 

Generous

A Fish out of Water

she watched
she waited
a school swam by
a shoal waltzed away
they didn’t invite her
she didn’t belong
she sat quiet
immobile

tugging at the membrane that covered her
her eye loomed large as the serrated teeth worked away
blowing a bubble she puffed up
the ripple in the water pushing her ever so lightly
she rolled away into the safety of the rushes

from behind the rushes she watched the world
she kept her rudder stable
and moved her fins ever so lightly
just to stay in place
behind the rushes

imminent threat appeared
her space was compromised
she shifted readily, accommodating them
they tried to take over, push her away
from the secure nest of her rushes

she grew a few spines
for protection
she hated being hurt

they tried to gnaw on her spines
she puffed up in anguish
a bubble escaped her mouth
her wail of agony
became a song of joy
on hitting the surface

a man on the boat above
had never heard anything like that
he waited
and waited
and waited some more
soon his patience was rewarded

in a sea of torment
she blew the most beautiful bubbles
reflecting the colours of the rainbow
that popped into a thousand songs
when they reached the surface

the circle of boats waited in wonder
and were treated to the most beautiful orchestra
they had ever heard

underwater, they gathered ominously
shaking their heads in disapproval
they looked at the rushes
and aghast
watched the bubbles pop

it must be the rushes they said.
‘they are special’
a foolish one was quickly silenced when she said,
‘it was… wait, and didn’t you see?’

the bubble maker withdrew deeper into the rushes
and waited for the commotion to end
could she just be allowed to continue with her bubble-making
please?

then they called out for her
the bubble maker said nothing – could say nothing
just continued making bubbles

by accident, the rushes moved
and they glimpsed an ordinary puffer
heaving to push out a bubble…

no!
it cannot be you
not you.
not somebody like you

the bubble maker moved away

deeper into the rushes

and stopped making bubbles
never having known company
she shied away
a wise soul saw this and said

‘don’t disturb her,
keep them bubbles coming.’

report kept busy

worked overtime
‘o wise one, the bubbles are a reflection of an inflated ego
she puffs and puffs up with pride
those eyes too huge for our kind
grow wide and monstrous with every effort
yes i agree
the effort to stay in the rushes is great,
but methinks
she thinks
she is too good for the rest of us
even better than you
o wise one- when has she ever paid heed to you?’

the wise one could not help, but agree.

‘fine, let’s get a new bubble maker.
let’s teach this one a lesson’

so a new bubble maker was brought in
given a swanky new nest of rushes
an unlimited air supply
and gallons of fresh water
and a palette full of rainbow tints

the old bubble maker’s air supply was cut off
the reeds withered and rotted away
the water was rendered stagnant

she who chose to be unseen
became invisible

immersed in clouded waters
disillusioned
for she had only been minding her business
doing what she had always done
only making bubbles

the rejection and the derision
made the bubbles grow rare
but like every rare work of sweat and tears
grew more beautiful

time was not on her side

after puffing up in one last effort
she froze
thinking of the vast ocean
beyond this murky little lake

if she could have got away she perhaps would not have
she loved her little space too much

one more bubble, she thought
as she looked over at the ineffectual bubbles
made by the new flavour they all flocked to see

a dark cloud of ink
ejected by a helpful little cuttlefish
ensured they didn’t have to see her
anymore

her gills stuck together
immobile
they found her
floating above the rushes
belly up
bloated

in eager haste
they cut her moorings
attached a scroll to her fins
and set her free

already rotting inside
she floated to the surface
becoming the bubble
she had spent all her life perfecting

the world up there knew her
they had been waiting for her
rejected underwater
she did not understand the care they showed
while taking her in their hands and placing her gently
on a bolt of silk.

‘if only we had found her alive,’ they said
‘of course, even while dead she is beautiful
have you seen spines such as these? ‘
they wondered
‘wish we could take her home’

 

the scroll attempted to tell them another story

filled with arrogance
she grew these poisonous spikes
inimical to existence
against the common good
swollen with pride
she succumbed
thought she made bubbles
nobody ever saw them
this end is a befitting one
this is what happens to those
who do not conform

it was written in scrollic,
the ancient language of the sea
nobody understood
but thought the script looked beautiful

so they mounted her in a tank
in the museum
where she fixed her big, beautiful eyes
gazing in wonder, at the world
in her secure tank she is admired
for being herself
spines and all

becoming a huge bubble
with all the concentrated effort
of holding it all in

she sometimes dreams of the ocean
the ocean she has never seen
longs to swim away into the vast expanse
a tiny speck in the mighty order of things

meanwhile
the scroll inscribed in scrollic
is placed by her side
a reminder

a reminder that nobody understood
but
everybody wondered
how so much beauty
was possible in the world

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Praise