The Road That Makes Us

Feign; Gait; Torn; Press; Left; Labyrinthine adj. complicated, torturous, resembling a labyrinth; Look; Embed; Malformed; Gritty; Natural; Dead-reckoning (In navigation, dead reckoning is the process of calculating one’s current position by using a previously determined position, or fix, and advancing that position based upon known or estimated speeds over elapsed time and course.)

A malformed heart

Made for awkward gait,

But felt natural to her

As she made her way

Here and there; pressing on

By near-fatal dead-reckoning,

Through labyrinthine life.

She feigned mute courage,

Gritty strength, till it solidified,

Set—armor real and true;

Kept a scowling look at the ready…

Frown more than failing acuity’s view.

For, embedded in torn cardiac chambers

Where pulse keeps up resilient beat, was

Verbal shrapnel left from monsters masked

To hide murderous weapons of menage.

Sixty decades’ journey, wanderer’s path—

Gains, losses; pain, victory; faith which

Couldn’t be rent by ill winds, human

Treachery—offered an “in spite of”

Nurture, God’s seed flowered late.  A

Night Blooming Jasmine blossomed within

Unfathomable dark, deep buried beneath.

Her petals drip sparks, iridescent lights shine

For a certain few strangers who see that smile…

Not entirely extinguished, after all.

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

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Hoarfrost, Legacy of Shame

Absolute; Precede; Blip; Cabal (n))  a small group of secret plotters, as against a government or person in authority. the plots and schemes of such a group; intrigue. a clique, as in artistic, literary, or theatrical circles.); Paper; Asomatous (adj.)) Having no material body.); Hum; Stand; Above; Item; Opaque; Fremdschämen (v)) To feel ashamed about something someone else has done. )


The mother wore Fremdschämen

Like a locket beneath her blouse…

Unholy item, yet somehow sacred, an

Amulet warm against her opaque heart

Which—cut by her perfect hand from heavy 

Paper mysterious—made no hum, nor recorded a

Blip as she coldly stepped around, removed

From, her daughter—first-born child.

What shame had the girl brought on her?

Life-long enigma, this (held in confidence

Reserved only for the girl’s brother, the prince

Who looked to be his sister’s twin); though not

A figment of her imagination.  It was as

Absolute as the mother’s stone visage, had

Perhaps preceded the girl’s birth…how would she

Know?  But she felt its substance, an asomatous

Hatred standing above her every moment, waiting

For merest opportunity to demean, humiliate,

Castigate her with fearsome angry words which

Rang like razor-sharp clawed blows, stripping

The skin from small nebulous soul.

Time passed, the inexplicable cruelty grew

Heads and limbs, a monstrous entity which

Formed a shunning cabal—mother and

Siblings communicating secret looks—

From which the girl was silently excluded.

So it would remain…this unexplained, and wordless

Mutual agreement—banishment to tundra. 

Death claimed the mother, who bequeathed

The girl nothing…not one lone loving,

Or last remorseful, thought.

By then, the girl’s center had iced over—

Tears of wounding, grief, buried beneath

Decades of hard-packed snow, hoarfrost…

Incapable of loving, she wore the

Mother’s hand-me-down frowning rime.

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

Image credit: Pixabay

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The Last Reunion

I’m way behind with Pat’s Prompt:  “Consider the images, the quote, the dissonance, discord and…Write in the style and form you wish.  Remember to include the tags MLMM and (Sunday) writing prompt in your posts.”

What THEY wanted—

That’s where it all started, where

It would always and ever end;

Their wants, needs; their

Convenience and limitations;

Their rules, their way, their

Superior ideas, their say.

And if that wasn’t enough they

Wanted pretty lies, like shiny

Ribbons, wrapped ’round every

Word, gesture of my submission.

Generational deceit kept the wheels

Turning smoothly on the family cart—

Because, heaven forbid you try to

Force the truth on them:  a crashing

Head-on collision of realities.

So, now that I’d been made

Hopelessly ill by their demanding

Dishonesty—so chronic as to eat

Away, corrode and erode the soul

Same as terminal cancer—

I volunteered to host a reunion.

The flowers and tables were arranged

To perfection, and I’d been cooking

For days—a menu accommodating

Everyone’s dietary peculiarities…

Charlie, my erstwhile romantic focus, had

Remained an occasional casual friend

Whenever he came out of hiding, looking

For food he didn’t catch in the wild.

He lived deep-in, where the Woodbine Twineth;

An alienated recluse since his tour of duty

In the Vietnamese jungles had made

The war his permanent condition.

When asked if he could find, get me something,

His sunken eyes slowly appraised me…

And he inquired what my need was.

He knew my brokenness well, was thus

Surprised I’d be entertaining family

And hangers-on, pseudo-kinfolk.

I shrugged, gave no details he’d be pressed

To prevaricate about, if questioned.

“You won’t see me, after this,” I said softly,

As I poured his small bottles and vials

Into the “endless punch bowl”, and

Handed the empties back to him.

“You gonna be alright, Miss Marlys?”

“Oh yes, Charlie—I’ll be fine.

We’ll all be fine, I reckon.  Eventually.”


The local papers made much of the

Horrific mystery; wondered if “Old

Charlie” had suddenly snapped.  But

No one would ever find him.  His

Campsite was abandoned, just a little

Shrine left behind:  a bouquet of dying

Field flowers, and a paper heart…

“For Marlys”, scribbled with burnt match heads♥

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

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No Ordinary Kiss…

Michael, that saucy Aussie, asks us to write about a kiss:  “You can use the word in any form you choose, create your own context but mostly have fun”.  I tried to avoid steaming up my blog…but alas, I may have failed.  I’ve combined Michael’s prompt with the WP daily post word, “Spicy”.

A spicy kiss

Will hit or miss,

But just a peck—

What the heck?

A gentle buss

Can calm a fuss;

Though smack-attacks—

Finesse, they lack.

And sloppy smooch

That tastes of hooch?

Too coarse, uncouth—

Don’t even think

Of coming back.

Kiss me ‘neath the coconut tree—

I’ve been yours before you knew me.

You were my Sir Lancelot—

One imagined kiss, and I was caught.

Just dreaming of your kiss, I swoon—

Morning, midnight…misting afternoon.

Kiss me as first winter snow falls—

Ignore the years, youth’s passion calls.

Blow me a kiss before you go—

I’ll hold that snapshot

Forever, you know…

And, if Fate should bring your return

To quench my ardor’s craving—

Bésame, mi corazón; mi amor, bésame mucho!

As, my heart beats love for only you—

And my every kiss, I’m saving.

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

Image credits:  Francesco Hayez, “The Kiss”, 1859 (Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain); Andrea Bocelli, “Besame Mucho”/YouTube

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Veiled Angels

Prompt by NEKNEERAJ:

Use image as inspiration for a poem or short story.  Alternatively, if you are an artist or photographer, use this as an opportunity to showcase your own work.  Click link above for more info regarding prompt.


Mesmerized, caught up

Within winds of Time Eternal

‘Mid notes—the melody no man has written

Psalm, prayer printed in choir’s thumbed hymnal—

Where veiled angels have walked

Millenniums, left footprints in

Mauve-gold sand of God’s song,

That those He calls can ne’er be lost.

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

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Polly, from Forgotten River

Climb; Vague; Sadness; Perish; Pangs; Nepenthe (n.)) A drug or drink, or the plant yielding it, mentioned by ancient writers as having the power to bring forgetfulness of sorrow or trouble. anything inducing a pleasurable sensation of forgetfulness, especially of sorrow or trouble.); Neolithic; Four; Offhand; Reappear; Sallow;  Abdicate (v)) to renounce or relinquish a throne, right, power, claim, responsibility, or the like, especially in a formal manner ).  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.

It was no doubt the nepenthe

Polly ‘secretly’ swilled at 10, 2,

And Four, in her warm Dr Pepper*,

That had turned her rose milk

Complexion sallow; made her

Soft mind go vague, prompting

Murmured offhand non sequiturs.

She had all but abdicated Life;

Climbed backward into hull of

Heart full-broken by less suave

Swain, who swept what small

Sense she might have possessed

Into barn loft’s fallen hay….

Now ‘n again, you’ll see her

Reappear—near-ghostly figure

Of abject sadness—penning

Pitiable lines when pangs of

What she can’t-quite-remember

Assail her with longings to bury

Guilt (murky), and perish beside

Forgotten River…where neolithic

Stones sometimes still glitter.

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

*In the 1920’s and ’30’s Dr Pepper advertised its soft drink by that name, with a slogan to “drink Dr Pepper at 10, 2 and 4 o’clock…”

Image credit: Pixabay

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The Road-Runner (MLMM Saturdays Mix)  Teresa’s Prompt:  Today we’re going to explore characterization, the way a character is revealed throughout the story.  Your writing should focus specifically how we get to know the character: through the narrator directly stating information about the character, through their own words and actions, and through the way other characters react to and interact with the character.  You can share the story of a person you know or a made up character in 250 words or less. It can be prose or poetry.  Once you’ve written your piece please tag your work Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie and Saturday Mix.

Apologies to Teresa, for I confess I went a different direction with her prompt.  Seeing the do-able word-limit, and having just experienced a true slice-of-life, thumbnail-character-sketch, I wanted to share.  So, I’m linking to Teresa’s prompt—but regular MLMM-prompt readers needn’t feel obliged to read. 🙂

Seated at the bus stop outside the library, in a lovely neighborhood, I watched cars and people go by, and thought thoughts while I waited for my bus home.

I saw an older man about to cross the busy 3-lane street on foot, and not within the pedestrian crosswalk.  It fascinated me, how quickly he moved.  He was a fairly small man, trim—obviously in better physical shape than I; he wore a cap to protect his head from the sun; and as he came closer to me, I saw he had a little white brush-mustache.  So he was no youngster, trotting nimbly and confident through mid-afternoon traffic.

When he got safely across I smiled and called out to him, about how amazing it was that he could run so swiftly (as I, carrying 50-60 extra pounds of weight and using a cane, couldn’t have done it to save my life).

He smiled back, and barely broke stride as he replied in a delightful foreign accent:  “I don’t want the police to catch me—I’m not ‘jaywalking’, I’m ‘road-running’!”

I was still laughing out loud as he jogged a block down the incline…in the direction of the municipal police department.  He had doubly enriched the joy of my library trip.

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

Image credit: Pixabay/Road Runner

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