A scrap of paper

Every so now and again I change out my work bag. I have two that take it in turns, one a chocolate brown leather and the other a Vuitton look alike. They’re both fairly spacious and despite my best efforts the odd scrap of paper does occasionally take up residence in a dark recess.

Yesterdays ragged remnant, scribbled on the back of what appears to have been a grocery list, delivered this ……

Do you think, he said, you might want to love me? Well it was more of a rumble exactly, his voice deep and warm. She reached out and took his hand, pressing a soft kiss on his knuckles. Meaty hands he called them but their strength gave her comfort. The white cuff of his uniform was in stark contrast to his golden hand coloured by hours spent outdoors. She had fought her feelings from that first day when he met her at the country fair. She didn’t have time for relationships and men. She was going to be a politician on Capitol Hill. He’d put his arm around her shoulders and grinned, his green eyes sparkling with knowing. You can be the next president he said, but we are going to be together. A deep sigh brought her hurting back to the present and she slid off the bench, dropping to her knees in front of him. Jessie, she said and he lifted his head,

It was (I think) going to be a short story romance of a headstrong, rebellious girl and her long-time love interspersed with a dose of conflict and separation. A mosaic of snippets of other lives – someday there may even be an ending.

“There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.” Anais Nin

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Five Days – Day Four

I was watching a documentary on the evil scourge that is domestic abuse…

She fell to her knees, her arms clasped over her head

He was shouting

She could feel the rage, coming in waves

She daren’t look up,

He would kick her, he always kicked her and that last broken rib had taken its own sweet time to heal.

She could hear him swigging from the bottle,

The ugly sound as the rotgut flowed down his throat to ignite the physical onslaught that would surely follow

He was bad tonight, she had seen it as soon as the door burst open and he’d come staggering in, his eyes burning with malice

He’d been laid off, again.

Three jobs this year, come and gone like the few cents she made from doing the washing for Number 24 on Nob Hill,

She closed her eyes and prayed.

Five Days – Day Three

My best friends daughter is in love for the first time and brim full of romance and all the angst that goes hand in hand with it! A little twist …

She could feel his hand on the small of her back.

It felt right in a way, like it belonged

Overhead the day was quiet, the sun warm and two silent birds riding the wind as it scampered over the valley

“Em”, he said, “don’t be afraid, I love you”

His voice was low but she felt the words seared on her heart and for a moment there was nothing else

“Em”, he squeezed her hand and she was comforted by the sensuous fingers intertwined with hers, “don’t you see, this way we can be together forever.”

She felt his gaze on her face and glanced up from the ground where a wandering ant had caught her eye as it struggled over the parched earth.

She nodded in assent, her delicate mouth curved in a soft smile

And they stepped off the edge into the void.

Five Days – Day Two

A good friend of my husband has been re-diagnosed with colon cancer after being in remission for 2 years. He is an articulate, courageous man bearing a heavy burden ….

I am awake, lying in the dark

Like every night

You see, I don’t have to pretend in the dark

I don’t have to pretend that I’m upbeat and positive and brave

I can let the anger consume me, the anger that the cancer is back …. again

The anger has a companion, unholy fear and they form an omnipotent partnership

I can feel it spreading in my belly, as the enemy invades my body the fear crawls all over my skin like a virus threatening to overwhelm the essence of me

I want to reach inside myself and rip out the darkness, toss it on the rubbish heap and live.

I’m afraid of the way ahead,

What if it doesn’t work?

What if I’m too weak to fight?

What if I lose this war?

Five Days – Day One

I’ve a lifelong passion for military history and military graveyards (which might sound morbid I guess but its the story behind those thousands of gravestones that fascinates me). From Arlington to Gallipoli, Montecasino to Dunkirk millions of men and women and their families have been affected by the endless grind that is the machinery of war. With this is the ever present spectre of death ……………..

The sky is grey and wet

I’m sitting staring at the nothingness,

I’m searching for you

My hands are restless

I can feel the warmth of your skin but you’re not here.

The silence is so very loud,

I’m screaming your name,

Where are  you, why don’t you hear me?

They keep asking me if I’m alright

Keep bringing me a blanket,

Keep wanting me to eat.

I want to laugh, alright?

What is alright?

My soul is empty,

My head is full

A whirlpool of angry thoughts, you promised you’d come back.

And now all I have left is a handful of photographs,

You, so full of life

In a barren wasteland obliterated by war.

A white cross on a distant hill,

Come home

Please come home.

(photo courtesy of 123RF)

Before the dawn

Tell a story – in less than 100 words – my own challenge – (the loss is based on the truth, the birth is fictional).

“The darkness was so loud, she could hear it in her head. Slowly she moved her hand across the rumpled bed, seeking the warmth of his skin.

The icy sheet mocked her yearning, sneering at her grief. He was everywhere and he was gone.

In another place he left her, a snipers bullet dulled his amber eyes.

His last breath whispered over the sandy ground.

She clasped her belly,

Their son answered her call – vigorous, demanding,

The rose blush of dawn illuminated the shadows

It was a new day.”

An ode to the Zambezi (Zambia the final chapter)

I have a faint suspicion an ode should rhyme somewhere along the line but then again poetry is not my forte’ so perhaps I should rephrase …. “A tribute to the Zambezi”?

Anyway, moving along – my 5 cents (while its still in circulation) worth …

“Your grey green depths carry a history of the ages

From Living stone to Kaunda you have watched over the land,

Giving life, taking life, carrying the people on their journey

The beasts of the earth remain, ever present, part of your bounteous harvest

Shiny black river horses grunt their defiance to the heavens

The silent crocodiles patrol your liquidness, sweeping through the darkness

Your power is fleeting, reliant on the waters from the northern hills

Yet your voice is mighty, crashing with splendid abandon over “Mosi-oa-Tunya”

Craggy face shrouded in mist you are the heart of Zambia”