LOVE POEM #99 – Sloth

Sloth

 

Time passed and I forgot to write.

Despite the distance between us,

lifting that pen was as draining

as waking from a dream alone.

 

Read the other sins (so far): Lust, Envy, Wrath, Gluttony, Pride.

——

 

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FIFTY WORD STORY – Walking on Water

I balanced my feet above the water. The glistening pool seemed to beckon me in, but when I lowered my feet, I found the clear surface hard and defined. I pressed myself up and walked, splashing droplets around me as I stepped. Then, suddenly, I fell through to the bottom.

——

 

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If Atlas Could Run

If Atlas Could Run

 

I wonder if Atlas could run

with all that weight on his shoulders.

 

There must have been a time

before his knees were locked in combat

with the eternal burden of gravity

that he could run about, carefree.

 

I have known such times

where the sun shines on blue skies

and Gaea’s warmth embraced my soles.

Days half-remembered from window panes

 

drinking coffee under the constellations

before the myth became reality.

——

 

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FIFTY WORD STORY – The Interview

The ticking of the clock was incessant. Every second echoed in Jim’s head like footsteps down an empty hallway. Every shifting seat; every squeaking shoe rattled in his ears. His knee trembled like a spooked horse, trying to escape. Then they called him, and he was off to the races.

——

 

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This is the poem i wrote in eight minutes.

This is the poem I wrote in eight minutes.

 

It probably didn’t hit home as hard as I had hoped.

The stanzas are haggard and heavy,

but the lines are as hollow

as a hanging tree’s moral code.

 

The poem itself was swallowed

in the cesspool of modern scholarship

where the student ponders bad textbooks

and the teachers teach to a code.

 

“It’s all about the A to Z,”

is what the fedora-wearer said to me,

standing at the head of class

by his chalkboard learning scheme.

 

A will get you in the academy

and Z will zip you away

with a ten-thousand dollar piece of paper

and a square cap to put on display.

 

It’s too bad those two letters

can’t sandwich my life together

like the pieces of wonder bread

I ate on the way to school.

——

 

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STRIKEOUT

Like an umpire shooting bullet holes

through a neighborly batter’s defenses,

you should strike through the draft of your paper

with the black ink of objectivity.

 

Or else you’ll be an executioner.

The ink will become your vicious black hood

and the pen will be your dripping red axe

swinging at the necks of innocent words.

 

Or worse yet, you will be back in high school,

stuttering sentences in a mirror

as you prepare to ask Suzy to prom,

just to doubt you had a shot to start with.

——

 

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PEN TO PAPER – 50 WORD STORY

I touched my pen to paper, and it exploded with brilliant hues of reds and greens. The canvas of my mind spattered with the colors of reason; as vibrant as the open window at the end of the table. Then, just as quickly, it faded back to black and white.

——

 

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A WALK IN A STORM

Soooo I realized I really like these 50 word stories. They’re short, simple, and yet really difficult to do well. So I think I’m going to continue doing them sometimes to improve more. 🙂 here’s this week’s:

A Walk in a Storm

Being pelted with rain made for a weary walk. The flashes of lightning in the distance patterned the sky like dancers moving in sharp, jagged motions. I felt water beginning to soak through my gloves, yet when I squeezed my fists there was nothing but rhythmic determination to continue farther.

——

 

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A RICH LIFE

I have always had a strong imagination. When I was a child, there were nights where I would lie in bed, waiting for sleep to claim me, with more vivid fantasies about knights and magicians than the dreams that would follow. On the walk to school every morning, I would picture the world coming to an end in a new way, just to pass the time (and, perhaps, in hopes that I could somehow make the school explode).

Until one day I realized that I had to move on. The perfectly detailed gun battles, the stealth missions against giant aliens, the jumps from thousand foot buildings with a parachute—they all were too little for me. I started spending my time on schoolwork. Instead playing clips of unwritten movies in my head at night, I passed out with a pen in hand and a notebook under my head.

I got a degree in finance, and was set up with a steady job. The office walls had that dirty, faded white color that looks simultaneously unfinished and ancient. Things were pretty good. During my breaks, I got a brief moment to myself to breathe. I usually spent this time picturing what it would be like if I were outside, but company policy was that all breaks not spent on the can were to be spent in the break room. Then it was back to the tip-tap­ of the keyboard.

And that was twenty-five years gone. Nothing changed. The occasional pay raise kept me feeling humble about myself, while the company’s profits quintupled under a budget plan I had proposed. They even offered me full health insurance coverage—and I mean FULL. They even scheduled check ups for me, I was considered that important to the company. Plus, the big guys said they could write off any costs anyway.

Then the day came where the check up didn’t go so well. It was an overcast day, with the sun just barely peeking out from behind the clouds. The doctors’ office was colder than it was outdoors. I came in for a routine check up, which I had once a year, and the doctor found a strange clump in my chest. The tests came back a week later, and they told me it was breast cancer. It had progressed fast, too, and was likely to begin impacting my health seriously within the next two months.

The company gave me leave—something that came marking both my twenty-fifth anniversary with the company, and the tenth year since they monopolized the market (of course, in America they can’t call it that, but the results were the same). I went to Spain, to Germany, and a load of other countries to try to clear my head. The head of the Euro branch of affairs found me a top-notch place to stay at, and I began to burn through my hefty savings.

One night, I took a break from the parties and the escapes, and went to bed early. I was nostalgic about my life. I had called family, friends, and even past co-workers about my conditions. My childhood memories of imagining things before bed came back to me, and I closed my eyes to picture myself in a meadow. It started well, but soon I had lost myself in a story about beautiful queens and valorous knights.

And it struck me that I had never been valorous. There was no adventure to my life. Sure, I was frequenting the top of the top in society, but the blow was hardly fulfilling anymore. There were no roadside breakdowns. No struggles. No victories. Just fun. So much fun, that it didn’t feel special anymore.

The next day I took a walk through the street market. An old couple was deciding between two vegetables, while a child ran from his parents in ragged clothes. They all had such smiles on their faces. They had made it. No, they weren’t spraying champagne into crowds of cheering faces, or sleeping with gorgeous models, but they had the heart-wrenching expressions just the same.

I walked my way up through a cobblestone tower with a name I couldn’t pronounce and looked out over the world. It was a misty day, with just enough fog to coat the horizon, but not so much to cover the city. They didn’t have ledge guards here—if you fell, you fell. And as I stood there, I pictured the life I could have had. I could have ditched that class, went on that hike, or went to that dinner. Maybe then, I wouldn’t be standing where I was now—rich, famous, and utterly alone.

And I jumped.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #58 – THE TOP OF THE STAIRS

Falling in love is like climbing a tower of stairs

only to lose your footing on the way up

and come crashing back down to reality

with everybody else.

 

The first flight of stairs is full of life.

The suspense of togetherness in a world

devoid of individual cares and niceties

creates a shared fire for cold winter nights,

 

but come the second flight of stairs

the kindling will burn low, and it will be

up to one of you to make it whole again.

Some people don’t know how to make a fire

though years of experience often help.

 

If you can manage the second flight, the third

will be less stressful. Your body will be accustomed

to the rhythmic pacing, and won’t tire from climbing.

You might even find yourself bored

and come back down, wishing to relive past loves,

until you hit the bottom and find

they don’t come by moving backwards.

 

The fourth flight is where people often trip

rushing to what they think is the finish line—

a room with white dresses and church bells.

Yet when they turn the corner, and see

another set of stairs, their footing fails

and they go tumbling down again.

 

But maybe, just maybe, you’ll make it up

past the fifth flight of stairs; past the long last leg

of this long climb we subject ourselves to,

and find yourself on your death bed

next to the only person in the world that matters.

 

Maybe then you’ll realize the stairs weren’t love,

but that the stairs were life, and that you were lucky

to have someone there to accompany you

all the way to the top.

——

 

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