The ABC’s

Today boot camp prompt is:

Alphabet Poem 

Write  a 26-line  poem  using all  the  letters  of the  alphabet.  Have the  first line  start  with the letter  “A,” the second “B,” the third “C,” etc.

All that consumes me is thought

By night, by day

Catatonic in my ways

Dead inside, alive outside

Everything has lost its color

Fear creeps into my spine

Gargoyles and goblins of my past emerge

Heart pounds against ribs

Intent on breaking free

Jagged nails scrape against stone

Light fades away from my hollowed place

Must I endure this forever

Never ending, never dying

On and on it seems to go

Push it down, far away

Quench their thirst

Serve them until death

Tell them what they want to hear

Until they cease to care

Violent are their moods

Wounding those along their path

Xerox copies of those gone before

Yelling inside my head

Zap. They’re gone

I Hate Myself

I hate myself

She whispers against her pillow

I hate myself

She buries the tears in the soft cotton

I hate myself

She rehashes the day over and over

I hate myself

The conversation repeats itself

I hate myself

The record skips and starts over

I hate myself

Why am I such a freak?

I hate myself

Her knees pulled tight against her chest

I hate myself

In the dark of the night, when no one can see

I hate myself

Why can’t I be free?

I hate myself

She longs to be more like those other girls

I hate myself

She wishes for his attention and affection

I hate myself

Why did I say the words in that order?

I hate myself

She repeats the words anew

I hate myself

In the black of what once was light

I hate myself

She’s said it so many times it’s become a part of who she is

I hate myself

She falls asleep, the words still echoing in her mind

I hate myself

I hate myself

I hate myself

Fear Cuts Deaper Than Swords

“Fear cuts deaper than swords…Calm as still water…Strong as a bear…The man who fears losing has already lost.” That’s what Syrio Forel told Ayra during her dancing lessons in George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones.


On the cusp of a new chapter

On the edge of the cliff

About to take the plunge

The plunge will either kill me or free me

I’m terrified

A montra sounds in my head

Fictious in its origin

Palpable in its truth

I can either attempt to soar

Or fall without spreading my arms

I think that today I would like to learn how to fly

Silent Tears

I bring it up while we talk of RAM.

It’s a light conversation.

I should be able to say it without a lump in my throat.

I’m really nervous about going under.

As the words come out, the lump rises.

Hun, it’s probably not even that bad.

He continues to work.

I know, just a small incision here, but the memories…

I trail off because the tears have come.

He sits next to me and listens.

Through my silent tears, I tell him my fears.

Through my silent tears, he reassures me.

I’m scared, I tell him on hitched breath.

You’ll be fine, he tells me softly.

I know I’ll be fine, but the past haunts me still.

I’ll be right there with you, to hold your hand.

I need you there to hold my hand.

A gentle hand wipes another fallen tear.

You’ll have me there and it will all be over quickly.

He holds me close and kisses my forehead.

A jest is made and a smile breaks through the tears.

He is my love.

He is my rock.

He takes silent tears and turns them into laughter.

He is everything I need in this world.

The silent tears are gone.

A smile and security replace them.

Into the Deep

Into the deep I dive.

Into this world of black and white.

Into a world of words and voices unheard.

Recommendations and advice.

Dos and Don’ts of the writing world.

It pulls me in, I have become lost.

My thoughts are mine no longer.

Stephen King, William Strunk, Anne Lamott, Robert Lee Brewer

My thoughts are now theirs to mold.

Even as I stare at my work, my eyes are drawn to the book hidden in my drawer.

To my backpack where the behemoth sits.

It waits for me to pour through its pages of publishers and agents.

Into the depths I sink.

Becoming lost to my new world.

What I Remember

“You’re going to eat us out of house and home.”

His playful teasing.

“You stop that.”

Grandma waving him off, spreading the peanut butter & jelly.

The snack they would indulge me with every visit.

Sitting quietly, smiling, soaking it in.

The mischief in those eyes.

Pure white walls.

Hard linoleum floors.

Wooden cabinets.

Wood fed oven.

The subtle smell of kerosene as the day darkens and the lamps are lit.

The curve of his finger, still containing a marble instead of a knuckle.

The shuffle of his feet as he rolls across the floor in his wheelchair.

The pull of his cane as it wraps around your waist to pull you in for a hug.

The love and pride in his face as he watches his children and grandchildren.

The rule breaker.

The rule maker.

The made up rules only applying to him.

A game was never played how you thought.

The smell of cigars.

Shaggy white hair.

Shaggy white beard.

Bright, lively skin.

A wide smile that never fails.

Love.

Mischief.

Laughter, most of all.
That was Grandpa Joe.

That is what I remember.

Gray skin

His eyes closed, never to sparkle again.

Weeping and wailing.

Lifeless.

This can’t be Grandpa.

Who is this man?

Where are his jokes?

Where is his cane?

Why is he so gray?

The mischief gone from his face.

The smile replaced with stone.

I want him to make me peanut butter and jelly.

I want him to tease me.

I want to hear him laugh.

This is not what I remember.

The Cost of Inspiration

Inspiration isn’t free.

It comes with a price tag.

The cost can be high.

The cost​ can be low.

It all depends on the risk you’re willing to take.

Inspiration comes in many forms.

It may be the subtle hint of a memory from long ago.

It may be the dream you had last night.

It may be the hard lesson you learned and will never forget.

It may be a lack of inspiration that pushes you to reach beyond your comfort.

Either way, there is always a fee.

A piece of you is left behind with that inspiration.

A piece of your heart.

A piece of your mind.

When you write, inspiration is the currency and your soul is the one to pay up.

Recovery is tough.

Recovery is found in the feedback.

How little that recovery is!

We write more than anyone will ever read.

Our return is so small.

Is the investment worth it?

It is to me.

Her Name is Anxiety

Her figure stands just behind me

Always lurking

Always reminding me I’m not in control

Always making my heart beat faster

My chest tighten, my head spin

Does she realize I see her shadow?

Everywhere I go, she’s there

I try to shake her eerie gaze

A chill runs down my spine when no wind is present

I turn and yell

“I know you’re there!”

No response

She is quiet and patient

What she is waiting for, I know not

Why she looms day after day

If I knew, maybe I could help

Maybe I could free her

Can others sense her presence?

Do they feel her piercing eyes?

Do I dare ask?

I lie in the dark and still her shadow covers me

I stand in the sunshine, but it’s rays do not reach me

“What do you want?”

I whisper in the stillness

No reply

How do I rid myself of that which I do not understand?

On the softest of breezes I hear my name

I turn, but no one is there

No one but the shadow

The ghost of someone in torment

The ghost of someone broken

The remnants of someone defeated

The ghost of…Me?

A Close Call

Hands twist inside my stomach

They claw at my throat

My eyes burn

Hot tears slide down my cheeks

I can’t breathe

The floor is hard on my hip, my shoulder

The carpet scratches my face

My body shakes

My knees instinctively curl toward my chest

What am I supposed to do?

What could I possibly do?

It would ruin me

I couldn’t live

I couldn’t move on

Every move I’d make would be rigid with pain

Darkness would consume my soul

The world would hold no joy

The sun would grow cold and hostile

The faces a blur

As my body shakes

As my vision melds into indistinct objects

As I lay halfway between the hall and the bedroom

As I think about what could have happened

I feel my heart tearing

I feel my muscles tightening

I feel the life being pulled away from me

I feel him being pulled away

This can’t happen

I won’t let it happen

I will be at his side

My light will not leave this world

The reason the sun shines

The smile that lights the room

I will pick myself up

I will wipe my tears

I will be at his side

And I will not give up

I will fight until my dying day

Is It Worth It?

Laying flat on my back, I stare at the black behind my eye lids.

A touch of vodka lingers in my system.

A touch to help me sleep, but I was only being silly.

What could possibly help me sleep tonight?

I go over my speech in my head.

The thought of all those faces staring at me in silence.

My voice the only thing to ring through the room.

My heart begins to race.

My stomach twists and turns.

All those faces.

I continue going over the words.

I need to remember to do my power stance tomorrow.

My power stance?

For a 5 minute presentation?

My eyes fly open and I pull my mask up.

I reach for my phone and make a reminder.

I lay down and stare at the black again.

I start to go back over the words.

I pull my mask off again and remove the reminder.

We aren’t going over that tomorrow.

I lay back down.

Words sing in my head.

I tell my brain to slow down.

I tell it to stop.

It doesn’t.

I look at the clock.

Have I really been laying here awake for an hour?

Will it really be only 4 hours until I rise?

Finally sleep comes to my aid.

Well…Maybe not.

A dream interwoven with bouts of waking.

A dream about today and how terrible it will be.

3:30 comes too soon.

I want to be at home.

I don’t want to be 4 hours away from the one person who can guide me through it.

Too many hours spent fixing potential problems.

Too many hours spent doing the job of another.

Too much time spent with people I don’t love.

As I sit writing this I wonder.

Is it worth it?