#WEPFF #WEP The Harvest (#Poem #Poetry)

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*This is my entry for the Challenge above

 

The Harvest

 

Last week we took the ATV
Down the dirt road to survey the fields
Brimming with corn, wheat, and beans

Daddy said it was going to be the best harvest yet
We’ll finally be able to pay the past dues
And save the fledgling farm

Mother Nature
Oh how we tend to forget about her
At times

She has no mercy, she does not care
Man is nothing but a nuisance
An unnatural specimen in a natural world

Since that day of his joyous declaration
She ravaged the fields with a fury my Daddy never saw before
Ruthless, savage like a shark in a frenzy

This morning, I stayed inside but
I watched as Daddy soberly walked those same fields
His shoulders slumped, his head low

The best harvest turned out to be our worst,
And his final
God rest his soul

 

(Word Count: 142; NCCO)

*This was inspired in part by the recent destructive weather we’ve endured up here in North Dakota with September being the wettest on record, and the freak but historic snowstorm/blizzard on October 10-12 where two feet of (or more) snow blanketed the fields that have only been partially harvested. This may turn out to be one of the worst year for farmers in decades.
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It Is Finished #IWSG #Writing

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As a writer, it is a good feeling when you can declare a draft of your book finished.  At least until it’s time to begin the edit and revision process.

How many times are you able to do this?

A dozen of times? More?

For me, I was able to do this once.

One time.

It was a book I wrote back in 2008 for the National Novel Writing Month. It was titled Hope Falls.  It was a science fiction-horror story.

I still have this draft although I am not sure if it will ever be published.

The story and the characters remain in my head. They want their story to be told.

But there are so many plot holes and changes that must be made.

So much…

Yeah, I’m intimidated as heck.

So, it continues to sit.  I may get to it. Then again, I may not.

Wait, my muse is telling that I did complete one other book.

I wouldn’t call it a book; it was more of a novelette sized story. A romance one that I wrote specifically for Wattpad. Okay, okay I finished two books.

Drafts.

This newest story may have more hope to see publication of some form. And since it was so short, I don’t feel quite so intimidated to go back and start revising.

Does size really matters? Does this means that the bigger the project the more intimidating it appears when you begin the editing phase?

Hmm..it is true that I tend to focus the majority of my time on the short stories, and more often than not, they are released into the world for others to read. And in fact, just about every book I’ve attempted have been abandoned before I even get to the middle part.

What does this mean for me?

Perhaps I’m not cut out (or destined) to be that prolific writer who could churn out more than two books each year (Nora Roberts is the first to come to mind), and I’m really okay with that. After writing for as long as I have, I have learned to take the middle ground in that I really enjoy (and prefer) to write the shorter stories, and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

What about you? Do you find it challenging to complete a long story (or a book)?

 

Never Forget: Looking Back (a 9/11 story)

September 11, 2001. 

The day that changed America.

I know it changed me, and my perspective on the duality of mankind (evil vs. good).

I’m finding it difficult to believe that it’s been eighteen years when it feels like it just happened.  Even now, certain images or sounds still evoke all those terrifying feelings and thoughts I had on that fateful day.

An airplane flying over my house.  A fireman on a street corner.  Any high rise structure.

It took me sixteen years to step back on a plane.  I have flown a few more times since; however I am still unable to shake the uneasiness that disaster can strike at any given moment.

In 2017, the events of 9/11 continued to haunt me so I decided to write a micro-story and eventually turned it into a video, The Bench. In a way, I did this to try and purge some of the feelings of intense sadness and of the anger over what we all had lost that day. I wrote this from a fireman’s perspective drawing upon a specific story I saw on one of the many 9/11 documentaries.

 

 

The actual photo that inspired my story:

(Someone took the iconic picture of a fireman sitting on the bench when he couldn’t find his wife anywhere)

Article detailing his story — Husband and Wife Survive World Trade Center on 9/11

Although his story had a happier ending, I wrote my story with the thought of so many others who’d lost their loved ones. And even worst, never to have their remains found.

 

My Story

 

9/11 had a profound effect on me. For several months afterward, I struggled with depression.

Perhaps in part it had to do with the fact I am from New York state. Born and raised upstate, my hometown was about five hours north of the Big Apple.  I’d spent time among those enormous high rises (yes, including the Twin Towers), roamed many of its streets, and walked along the boardwalks admiring great ships of war.

My husband and I had just relocated from New York to Raleigh, North Carolina in May of 2001.  I’d flew on an American Airline plane back to New York in July for my sister’s wedding.

On that day, a Tuesday, I was a teller working for RBC Centura in one of their branches near REX hospital (only a few short miles from the RDU airport).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annette, another teller, was there initially as we got ready to open the bank. But just before opening, she received a phone call that her grandmother was taken to the ER so she had to leave.

It was a few minutes before opening, Waller, the branch manager, got a call on his cell from his mother to turn on the news.  A plane had crashed into one of the Towers.  We quickly went back to the break room and turned on the small television and sure enough, we could see plumes of smoke rolling out of the North Tower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our first thought was that a commercial plane had accidentally hit the Tower.

An accident. That’s all it was.

With that, we opened the bank for the day.

As there were no customers yet, I rushed back to the break room to continue following the breaking news when I witnessed the second plane hitting South Tower.

I’d felt like something had knocked the wind out of me as I found myself holding my breath unable to take another.

Oh my god…that was no accident.

When the third plane hit Pentagon less than 20 minutes later, I was thinking, my god, we’re under attack.

My heart was racing. I couldn’t help but wonder – where will they hit next?

Unbeknowst to me at the time, my brother, Rick, was working that very morning at the American Airlines Southeastern Reservation Center in Cary, NC.  He personally knew the coworker who took that agonizing call by one of the flight attendants (Betty Ong) from Flight 11 (the plane that hit the North Tower). But when the call initially came in (between 8 and 8:30am), no one (including him) except for the supervisors knew of the tragic events unfolding.  The coworker was told to keep the call discreet as not to spread panic through the center.  Unfortunately, no one was able to get help in time for her and the passengers of Flight 11.  Rick said that this coworker was so distraught, they had to resigned.

It was sometime before 10am when I began hearing that the FAA were grounding all flights. I also remember hearing that all planes were accounted for…all except for one. That one, Flight 93, crashed in Pennsylvania.

Throughout this whole first hour of being opened, not one single customer came to the branch.  The main phone did not ring. At. All.

I was still the only teller.  Annette was gone.  Remi, the part timer, wasn’t due in for another hour. Throughout this entire building there were only myself and the branch manager.

It felt so eerily strange.

Up to this point, I was feeling a little frantic and unnerved, but managed to keep myself together.

A little before 10am,  I decided to go back and check on the news for any new information and watched disbelievingly as the South Tower collapsed.

 

Oh. My. God. Did I just see an entire high rise crumble to the ground?  How was that even possible?

Less than 30 minutes later, North Tower fell.

There was a loud buzzing in my head as my mind tried to decipher all that had happened. This was such craziness! Who would do such horrific acts?

I was stunned.  I was afraid. Then I became angry.

Whoever was responsible, needed to pay for all those lives lost.

I was so livid, I really wanted to smash something.

Anything.

The phone rang.

It was my husband, Jay, who’s a teller at another bank across town. A former soldier who fought in Desert Storm in 1991, it was his calm voice that snapped me back from the edge I was about to fall from.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

I had to take several deep breaths before I could answer, “Yes.”

After all that had happened up to this point, the bank decided to keep their branches opened; but the rest of the day was a blur for me.  I don’t remember if Remi ever did come in.  I’m sure he did. I do remember the only two customers who came.  One of them took the drive-through, the former owner and CEO of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Everything felt so surreal.  I couldn’t tell if I was awake or asleep. I suppose I was in shock, but I can remember the utter relief I felt when we finally locked the doors, and seeing my husband waiting in the parking lot.

Thank god, I can finally get away from here!

For the next week or so, the skies over us were empty. Silent. The RDU airport nearby was practically barren of all life.  Rick was given nearly a week off before returning to the Reservation Center.

Our lives, everything, had changed forever.

Feeling secured in our country had only been an illusion.

Even today, I can’t help looking over my shoulder every once in a while for the next disaster to strike.

 

What about you? Where were you on September 11, 2001? How did that day change your life?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nightingale #Poetry #Spoken #Poem

This short poem was written for a group on Facebook – WE PAW Bloggers

 

 

 

 

Nightingale

 

The nightingale weeps a lonely song

Its mournful tune filling the forest

Splintering every branch and bark

While shedding pieces of a broken heart

As beacon for its lost mate

Isolation #microfiction

The cold, sinking, sickening feeling sweep through my body.

Again.

My palms, sweaty. The pounding in my chest is making me dizzy, breathless.

It’s that knowing that there are things you can’t control, or things you just don’t want to face or deal with yet…

Why can’t it all just go away? Why can’t I hide in that recess of my mind where everything’s sunny and happy? Where the responsibilities and burdens are not pressing down on me so that I’m unable to breathe or function?

Oh, how I long for the days of innocence! When the evils of this world haven’t touched me yet. When life was blissful, and I was so naïve.

Where has she gone? Will I ever find her again?

Do I want to?

Time keeps marching forward.  The world passing by as I sit here at the window, watching out.

The desire to interact long gone.

Here, where I sit, familiarity’s my friend, my comfort.

Out there?

Chaos.  Fear.

The unknown. The pain of the past.

My heart’s splintering as my mind. Torn between wanting to remain here, and stepping out there.

Freedom. Oh to be free.

The better question is–to be freed of what? 

 

 

 

 

Reckoning #FlashFiction #Microfiction

*Written for the MId-Week Flash Challenge

 

Our souls. Our history.

All that we ever were.

Lost in the glowing whiteness.

 

Will the sun ever return its gaze to the earth?

Will its heat be sufficient enough

for our re-awakening?

 

Man

world’s greatest predator

the first to perish

 

Poetic justice

 

 

Caged Bird #Poetry #WEPFF #WEP #IWSG

It happened again
I feel so bruised. Battered.
Each word cutting, slashing
How one’s tongue can hold such power
Damaging. Damning.
More so than a hand. Yes, even more so than a sword.
I lie here, on the bed, trying to catch a breath
In between gasping sobs
He’d promised
I should have known better
My eyes sweep across the four walls
Their lavender-blue hues once beautiful
Now they’re nothing but bars
And I’m their prisoner
His
Oh how I long for freedom
To sing and to fly
However or wherever I wish
I should have known better
No sooner had I accepted the yellow ring
He clipped my radiant wings
And now I sit here like
A caged bird
With dying dreams of lofty peaks and open skies

 

 

*Author’s Note: This poem was written for the following writing challenge:

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