The Writing Garden ~ Issue Twelve


Cover Image ~ Little Boys Dream
Guy Smith ~ Flickr

 

Childhood

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It would be good to give much thought, before
you try to find words for something so lost,
for those long childhood afternoons you knew
that vanished so completely – and why?
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We’re still reminded-: sometimes by a rain,
but we can no longer say what it means;
life was never again so filled with meeting,
with reunion and with passing on
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as back then, when nothing happened to us
except what happens to things and creatures:
we lived their world as something human,
and became filled to the brim with figures.
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And became as lonely as a sheperd
and as overburdened by vast distances,
and summoned and stirred as from far away,
and slowly, like a long new thread,
introduced into that picture-sequence
where now having to go on bewilders us.
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by Rainer Maria Rilke

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Quiet Now
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Misty Cobbles by Albaz

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We watched this town –
Fall, like some great empire,
Street lights going out,
One by one, along cobbled streets,
Going unfixed, unrepaired,
Perhaps a metaphor,
For the last vestiges –
Of the ghost town we call home.
The places we made memories
Are cast into some undeniable –
Perpetual shadow,
Through the darkness,
Two lovers laugh,
Fumbling, frantically –
A cop shouts,
And they fall – quiet now,
Yet in the silence,
Love blooms and darkness –
Succumbs –
To the light of love.
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Kevin Brown ~ kevbrownpoetry.wordpress.com/Twitter/Facebook/Instagram
Image ~ Albaz

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Not Everything Has To Be The Ocean

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https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1440752361465-3f83623776f2?ixlib=rb-0.3.5&q=80&fm=jpg&crop=entropy&cs=tinysrgb&s=dc2d60397745bb03b10622368ff87c9e

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The thing about bravery
is that it starts in the jaw.  Let it relax and sway
like the ocean,
no
like the light in the lighthouse.  You are a critical warning
and words will only drown you.  If you swallow something,
let it be pride – often mistaken for bravery.  It will feel like
broken wood and you will wish your
stomach did not have so many smooth stones
that your confidence crashes against
when you are too scared of sailing away.
But that is the kindness of bravery: allowing yourself
patience and realizing that you are living
in the blue from higher up in the sky.
Promise to try again tomorrow.
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S. R. Mason ~ theadventureto-be.tumblr.com
Image ~ Andreas Rønningen

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Pleasant Street ~ geletilari.wordpress.com/Twitter

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Grief
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Acceptance Grief Series No.5 by QueenVintage101
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It’s funny how,
when you hear bad news
it feels like time itself has slowed down to
just
one
point.
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and though your world has just shattered like a glass carelessly
pushed off the edge of a table,
you keep it together until you are alone.
You nod and assure, make sure everyone else is okay,
and when you are finally on your own,
free yourself from the confines you set
and let your mouth taste the salt of your tears.
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or
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you don’t realise you’re drowning
until you’re at the bottom of the ocean
your steps feeling heavy
and dragged
your brain working at half-time
your fingers scrabbling for purchase
on the soft sandy floor as it dawns on you
your lungs try to gulp in air
but it’s too late and your demise seems too near
so you close your eyes and hope
for someone to notice that you’re not okay.
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and

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even if you make it to the beach,
hungrily gasping for air after what seems like
centuries
your guilt still washes over you in waves
covering your toes, washing up further and further
as the tide draws near
and all would feel hopeless
if not for the ever growing knowledge
that the tide will draw back in time.
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backtrackingyou.tumblr.com
ImageQueenVintage101

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This Isn’t The Day For This

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A56 by kooookooookooookoooo

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but do we really ever have a choice in the matter?
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having trouble breathing this week
the albuterol isn’t helping
maybe it isn’t asthma or allergies after all
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my joints are all screaming and I know that I am tired
but there are bigger things at work here
than stress and not getting enough rest
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how do you see me?
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it seemed like a pretty simple question at the time
and I answered simply
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I see me walking into your arms
because you are my refuge
and my strength
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I see my hand on your heart
because we are connected
and have been connected for hundreds of years
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you weren’t happy with the answer
you told me I was wrong
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and I said
fuck you
not proud of it
we all have trigger points
you know
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and you always find mine
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you said you see a broken little girl
who after all these years
is finally getting all the pieces put back together
going to heal herself and be whole finally
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I don’t want to move forward
if it means leaving you behind
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but where does that leave anybody?
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I love you
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Emily Burns ~ Writers Cafe ~ Hello Poetry
Image ~ kooookooookooookoooo

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Winter, Is It?
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morning glow II by BaxiaArt

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The blue sky turning white, a palm filled with washed off morning dew and a pool of scattered sunshine.  I woke up today to the rhythm of winter.
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It’s been years now that I have evolved to love winter more than the first rains of monsoon, loved the calm serene chill more than the picture-perfect colourful umbrellas rattling against each other.  I have come to fall in love with the idea of winter, the idea of weak winter if I must say.  In Kolkata, it is not all ‘freezing-to-death cold’, I am sure never will be, or is ‘never’ too tough a word?  But then again returning to my romanticism… the wet roads, rather the almost wet roads from the dew, the almost-empty side lanes and the pictures gone a darker shade of grey… they all remind me of the first time I fell in love with fiction, the first ever story I composed and the first time the wet railings all throughout Kolkata streets became my companions.
The memories, rather the pictures come running back to me and it is an artwork of a canopy of dreams that had once come true.  My first writing was that of despair and ever since I have been called a ‘sad writer’, winter brings out the despair in me, heavily; encircling me tightly like shackles I cannot breakthrough.  I cannot probably explain ever, what despair does, what blissful a state that is, to me.
Coming back to more happy words, winter for me is the lonely tram that never deviates from its track, the half-closed windows of the very old houses that open to let in tons of sunshine and just a fragment of the cold wind, winter to me is the freezing of hands every time I spill cold water on it, winter is sitting, with my head against a cold shoulder looking out at the cold water and waiting for comfortable silence to arrive, winter is looking out for an early sunset, a weak sun making its way through the bold horizon, winter is capturing sudden heartbeats and losing them as I find a starry pair of eyes sparkling with joy the same way I do, cause winter has come.
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So many times, have I wondered how beautiful the wet and dry leaves look together as I look up at the sky, the way the branches let the cold sunshine in, the way the wet grass from the morning dew smells every time I run to sit on it.  For me winter is just having Lawrence and Tolstoy beside my cold pillow, my Grisham Camus and Maupassant tucked in under my blanket, for me winter is waiting for the cyclist on road to make that screech sound and the woman hurrying her fully-covered 6-year old to school.  Winter is the first tea from the just-opened tea shop, brushing my hands on my sweater to keep them warm, winter is remembering an old friend who had been too good for me to keep.
As I un-bundle the old books from the racks forgotten long ago, I feel a sudden joy tumbling down my nerves, as the blanket is taken out and I dust off the covers of the old English romantic cinemas my heart skips a beat, as I look out to see the empty electric cable wires and the row of water droplets hanging steadily, early in the morning, all I want to do is rush across the stairs and walk on lonely lanes which have the scents of old music coupled with the sounds of unknown bare feet.
This winter for me is special, I am happy and I am sad and I think I have found the exact balance between the two, this winter the pavements may look emptier to me and the couples with arms tangled around each other may just not signify ‘the romantics’, I may just keep this winter to wonder, to fall in love over and over again, to smile….
Thus, let this winter just be mine.
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Nikkon Balial ~ distortedtales.wordpress.com
ImageBaxiaArt

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Richard Carlton ~ rkcarlton.wordpress.com/Twitter/Facebook/iTunes

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My Chin On Your Shoulder

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Dsc3682 by Marell-Photography

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it seems i made love to you on a futon
that was in the wrong room
of an apartment i was renting
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but i think that must be wrong
like the room where the bed was
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i remember it to be right in the middle
of the apartment instead of
the front room facing the street
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so maybe i was new in the apartment
the futon was a sofa, unfolded —
so still really a futon —
in the living room on a sunny afternoon
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mostly that is all i remember of the sex
just us naked under the blankets
in the seemingly wrong room
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with you smiling and me
feeling happier than
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i probably deserved
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pirateedwardlow ~ Ello
ImageMarell-Photography

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Alice, Twenty Years Later

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Alice by NRichey

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The steady tick
of his pocket watch
tumbles her down
a hole in her mind
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old, dry, and dusty,
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and she cannot
suffer the sight
of a white rabbit,
striped cats.
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So she keeps dogs
to chase them off.
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Married, with a
daughter whose mind
is the looking glass
itself, she watches
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his watch. Watches
for rabbits, for queens
and cards. She smells
opium when he smokes
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his pipe, though he
only smokes tobacco,
and she holds their
daughter painful tight.
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Against carpenters and
walruses and hatters
and mercury-laced tea.
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They still live
in the corners of
her vision.
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And when her daughter
turns her head too quick–
Alice knows that she
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watches too.
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S. E. De Haven ~ snuffyart.tumblr.com
Image ~ NRichey

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Scrambled Eggs

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Elderly Dementia by carts
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scrambled eggs
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i hear voices chattering
from within the home
hear him laughing at space
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he hears nothing
but his eyes dart around the room
and the smiles tell him he is understood
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even though the stories make no sense anymore
he tells them anyway
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and wonders if she’s still listening
wherever she is
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the clamor soon dies down,
time for bed check
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his alone time
with thoughts of her lying beside him
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next day’s breakfast will bring more stories
he’ll get through the day with a scrambled smile
a laugh or two
and hope she will save her last chuckle
for him
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at their rendezvous
when he hears that late night clock
ticking,
in what’s left his mind.
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Jacob Erin-Cilberto ~ Writers Cafe
Imagecarts

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I Did Not Become A Writer

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They never wanted
Me to be a writer
Words . . .
Were such silly
Useless things
Toys – perhaps
To play in times
Of boredom
But seriously,
Why write?
Why waste your time?
Those words
Resounded in my ears
And for many years
Words were left unspoken
Not a word
Writ on the page
My heart
Empty of song.
I stood silent
In the crowds
And only watched –
A featureless character
On barren landscape
Alive, but not living
A shell – without its contents
A whisper in the dead of night
Unheard ~ Unspoken ~ Unversed
And when I finally
Picked up the pen
My veins filled with ink
And words blossomed
At the touch
Of fingertips to blank page.
I experienced –
No dry well
No fallow lands
Instead, ink gushes
Like I’ve struck oil
And nothing
Can stop its flow.
In early days
I was imprisoned
By lack of words
No voice – no song
but now
I’m imprisoned
By flowing thoughts
And soaring words
And I gladly place
My shackles on.
I climb these prison walls
I SPEAK – I SCREAM – I WRITE
And oh, the passion flows
I know not where it takes me
But I gladly go
And no, dear reader
I never became a writer
For how can you become
Something you already were?
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Sumyanna ~ sumyannawrites.wordpress.com
Image ~ Sacha Soares

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he-wanted-to-cry-quietly-but-not-for-himself-james-joyce

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27048135991_6730c36bfa_oGrateful thanks to Guy Smith for the beautiful cover art
Please do check out his (Flickr) page to see more of his brilliant creative work
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Issue Twelve Writing Prompt

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Need for Shelter by LevAni11

Need For Shelter
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If you have been inspired by this writing prompt to write poetry, a short story, or a spoken word recording on your website, writers page or social media, please give a clear indication at the end of your work it has been inspired by this prompt, accompanied by the url of issue twelve, then send me the url link of your post (by 14th January) through the submissions page.  In issue thirteen I will list the individual links in this section to all the creative work inspired by this prompt.

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If you’d like your poetry, spoken word, short story or essay included in a future issue, please see SubmissionsThe next issue will be published in January.

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14 comments on “The Writing Garden ~ Issue Twelve

  1. Another amazing issue. Took me awhile to get here, Suzy. With all of the holiday hubbub, the writing life stops for a small (consequential) while. Each poem dug into me, the memories of childhood, of love, of weathering time, of sex and happiness. What a combination! And the photos are just the ones they should be, with each poem. Brilliant.

    • I’ve been taking time to get back to people too Pamela… no worries! It takes a month or two to get back to normal! 😀 Oh, love the way you describe that.. celebrating all the bits of life, that’s what writing is about for me. So pleased to hear that… thank you so much for reading and for the lovely thoughtful feedback!! 🙂

    • Aahh, thank you so much my dear friend, that’s a lovely thing to say, so pleased to hear you are still enjoying these issues. Your support and encouragement is greatly appreciated! Maybe the winter one will be even more cozy!! 😀

  2. Thank you, Suzy; your efforts are always appreciated. I like the sense of ‘time’ that seems to flow through this issue. The combination of video/ aural pieces works well, I feel. Some good pieces here which I am checking out in more depth. All the best. Chris.

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