Neptune’s Dysfunctional Playhouse

Bite; Smooth; Open; Deserve; Paradox; Semaphorism (n.)) a conversational hint that you have something personal to say on the subject but don’t go any further—an emphatic nod, a half-told anecdote, an enigmatic ‘I know the feeling’—which you place into conversations like those little flags that warn diggers of something buried underground: maybe a cable that secretly powers your house, maybe a fiberoptic link to some foreign country.); Tension; Playhouse; Neptune; Stalemate; Muse; Thieves

Use at least 10 of the words to create a story or poem.  The words can appear in an alternate form.  Use the words in any order that you like.  Tag: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie and Wordle.  Click the link above to participate.

In Neptune’s playhouse

The Dutch former sea captain

Commanded his family with a bite,

Creating an ambience of gnawing tension.

Love, if you should all it that, had to be

Deserved; earned by tasks perfectly

Completed, his stated goals achieved.

There was no warmth without agenda,

Quid pro quo; ‘do what I say, not what I do’.

And certainly no smooth, open communication

Between him and his children—he delivered

Directives to be obeyed without discussion,

Nor mute distasteful twist of lips.

Frequently he reminded them, in pharisaic tone,

“No matter what, you’ll always have family”—

A paradox he didn’t survive to see

Played out in failure, as his offspring

Scattered, lived estranged from one another.

Some were thieves of various description;

And liars, all schooled in secretive deceits.


His values, views of success, were diligent

Work, education; respected professions with

Enviable salaries; keeping polished appearances

According to acknowledged conventions.

There was no room in his home, his mind,

For a muse—which tragically, his poet daughter

Longed for…and perhaps was, herself.

Thus, their relationship would remain

At complete stalemate, the silence echoing.

Long after their parents’ demise, she had

One brief contact with her youngest sister,

In which the sister prattled on in bragging

Manner about her children and grandchild.

The elder, muse-sister, arched speechless

Eyebrow—a semaphorism the younger

Woman would never have recognized, being

Steeped in denial and alcohol, and

Parroting the Sea Captain’s guiding dictate

While displaying his same emotional distance.


In Neptune’s playhouse, he could be the

Only god—jealous, he’d abide no other; not

Even muse-daughter’s true love, so natural.

The Captain swallowed her soul, left her

Floundering in the sea, cries unheard.

But she would yet be rescued by

Heaven’s faithful Father; freed

To pen her heart’s blood in lines of

Phrases, imagery, soft and spiked words—

A lengthy exorcism to heal parental scarring,

Restore the gem God created to gleam.

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

Image credit: Pixabay

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