‘New Beginnings’ by Stevie Preater

I am pleased to welcome a new participant, Stevie Preater, with her take on the prompt of ‘Partings’. The standard and variety of entries this month has been fantastic and voting will open tomorrow. In the meantime I will leave you all to enjoy this latest entry. 🙂

steviepreater says:

September 23, 2013 at 5:23 pm

train track

New Beginnings

‘I’m going to miss you,’ she said, kissing me stiffly on each cheek.
‘I’ll miss you too,’ I said, but I didn’t believe myself. I would not miss her, not at all.
It was all a show, for the benefit of my father, who loved both of us and could not, or would not, see the tension between us.
Maybe I would miss the house. My bedroom was my sanctuary. Taking down my posters and photographs and seeing the pale walls marked with white circles of blu-tack residue had been hard. They had looked so cold I had wanted to cover them up all over again.
But I knew that I could put them up in my new room. My new space. A space where my step-mother did not feature at all.
I would miss my dog. I still wished so much that I could take him with me, to guard me and keep me safe as he always had done. But the University halls would not allow it. Besides, it comforted me to know that he would be watching over my father; taking care of him.
I hated the corny things that people my age were saying. I didn’t feel as if I was starting ‘a new chapter of my life,’ or ‘becoming an adult.’ I felt the same as I always had. Just now I would feel it in a different place. And that made me hopeful.
I hugged my father and words failed us. Instead of cry, he heaved my luggage onto the train, straining with the effort.
The summer had been a rainy one, and now as I settled down into my seat I watched drops racing each other down the window pain, my father and step-mother standing quietly in the background under a large, black umbrella.
I felt as if I should cry. The whole world seemed to be encouraging me to do so. But I did not. I couldn’t. To force myself would have been false.
The train pulled out of the station and all three of us waved at each other. Suddenly I gasped. For the first time in months, maybe even years, I felt the heaviness in my chest dissipate. It was terrifying. It felt as if there was nothing tying me to the ground. But maybe, I thought, in time that could come to be a good thing.
Sometimes saying goodbye wasn’t so hard after all.

(c) Stevie Preater

‘The Ghetto’ by Andrew Geary

I am pleased to share another thought provoking entry on this month’s theme of ‘Partings’ from another new participant, Andrew Geary. Thank you for taking part Andrew and for your valued contribution.

THE GHETTO

man walking

Another building jumps
into the terrain, its lights charge
the hollering in the barbershop.
I remember how you hated
those who defended the sanctity
of this place, now you stand there
alongside the protesting.

‘The renewal is eating-up
the neighborhood,’ you say,
‘this is our home,’ but this is no home
for rising. Even when they level
the derelict charm of tenements,
there will always remain those who yell
at the progress of things. You stand firm,
believing in the value of this place
and this life, and you will teach
our child to value the comforts
of squalor. You see me, behind a counter,
to feed our son, but I won’t see him,
bitter, or worse, in love with this
hole. I’m leaving, but you will always stay–
fear is your life.

(c) Andrew Geary

‘Grief’ by John Skendall

I would like to welcome another new participant in the mini monthly competitions – John Skendall – with his piece prompted by the theme of Partings. Another strong entry and this month is shaping up to be one of the best yet. Please swing by and see the entries to date; I’m sure that you will find something that you like.

John Skendall says:

September 9, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Grief

baseball

We were going to play catch,
to pass this baseball
wound in cord, skin stitched tight,
back and forth
in a quiet arc
until the night came
and our eyes strained
to see anything at all.
But when I turned to release just now
you were gone—
Mom and Dad on the deck
pouring lemonade,
cousins orbiting the house
in playful pursuit,
and me here, under this
empty blue sky,
staring at your impressions
in the grass
watching the ball bounce
and roll, too fast to chase.

(c) John Skendall

‘Parting’ by Margie Brizzolari

It’s been a good day for entries into the September mini writing comp!
Hello and welcome to another new participant, Margie, with her beautiful poem.

Once again I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributes to these monthly competitions – I enjoy reading all the entries and discovering new blogs in return.

Margie Brizzolari says:

September 9, 2013 at 11:39 am

Thanks for these prompts. Here is my take on it.

Parting

older couple

Parting is not sweet sorrow
Tis the death of all tomorrows
Today you gaze at me and sigh
“My wife will soon be coming by”
I squeeze your hand
I understand
You’re leaving me
Moment by moment,
Day by day,
Inch by inch
And I never got to say goodbye.

(c) Margie Brizzolari

‘The Zephyr’ by thegazzer

Please welcome another new contributor – thegazzer (otherwise known as Khadija I believe) – with her take on the theme of partings. A big thank you to her for taking part and another strong entry.

thegazzer says:

September 9, 2013 at 4:37 am

The Zephyr

birds at sunset

You sit on your rooftop with a sense of devastation and demotivation, thinking ”Am I worth living?” . You just sit for hours with no motive. Your head is down, a train of thoughts run inside your brain. Suddenly you speak to yourself ” Am I ready for the compromises?” and in return you just receive silence. You are surrounded by many voices but you seek for a known voice, but again you just receive disappointment. You concentrate further and you hear a chirp. You force yourself to look upwards and you see that bird, flying above your expectations. ” Wish I could fly like them.” , is what you say to yourself. But then you realize flying like that needs real guts and courage which is lacking in a disappointed person like you. You gaze them further as they fly towards the setting sun. ” When was the last time I saw the sun set below the horizon?” , is what you remark. Before you praise this phenomenon any further, its already gone. But you know it will come up again tomorrow. Just like our hopes. Experiencing darkness is the way to sense the joy of watching the rays of sunlight again. As the zephyr touches your face, you held your head high and decide to take the courage to fly high. Above from others expectations and to wait for the sun to rise again. You are determined to fight the darkness no matter what. You believe nothing can stop you and you promise yourself to move ahead.

(c) thegazzer

‘The Start of a New Journey’ by Shadesofelarbe

I would like to introduce a new participant and a new blogger to the mini monthly competitions. Welcome to the blogging community and thank you for sharing your work.

shadesofelarbe says:

September 9, 2013 at 12:25 am

The Start of a New Journey

crying

I pointed at the offending thing. As if by pointing I could add feeling to the cold lifeless thing. I trembled as the anger built in me. I couldn’t hold back any longer and raged at the person.

“How dare you! How could you have done this. You have ruined everything I once loved about myself. You have made me hate myself. It is all your fault, don’t you understand?” In a second the anger had slid away to be replaced by a cold sadness. My chest ached as the first tears came with words, “I have nothing anymore. No one to go to. No where I can relax. Nothing I enjoy.”

As the words continued the tears became a steady stream, “I hate you as much as I can hate myself.”

For minutes I sat there, staring into blue-grey eyes. I studied them. Was there understanding. Did I finally realize how much I hurt myself?

My reflection could tell me nothing I did not already know. I hated the person I had become. I was nearly 25 and acting as if I was a 50 year old spinster in days past. I had no friends, I chased them off. I did nothing except work. I hated the life I was living because I knew the life I had been living.

I took one last look in the mirror. This was it. This was the day I would change something. This was the day I would leave the depressed weary me behind. I needed to do something. I couldn’t just sit here, again, after that.

I gathered only what I would need for the weekend in a small bag. I left a hasty note on the pillow: Needed to get away for weekend, see you after work Monday. I powered down everything that didn’t to stay running. I hid away what needed to be hid. I cut off the light and stood in the open doorway.

I took a last deep breath before turning back to the mirror.

“I still hate you, but maybe after this weekend, I won’t hate you as much.” I shut the door behind me and took the first steps down a new path in life.

(c) Shadesofelarbe

‘Moving On’ By Jan Strickland

Thank you again to Jan with her entry in to this month’s mini writing competition on the theme of ‘Partings’.

MOVING ON

teddy<

The house, once a centre of laughter and family ties, looks sad
Its curtain-less windows like gaping black eyes
The items unneeded sit on the pavement for collection –
An old fridge, a chair, an iron frame of a bed
And there, amongst it all, a little worse for wear
Bruno the Ted

A much loved bear, the sympathetic ear of a thousand secrets
The reassuring presence when bad dreams caused restless nights
The children have grown and Bruno is forgotten, discarded
The very essence of his being lost in the busy bustle of teenage angst

Now the cell phone and texting friends allow secrets to be passed on, giggled about
Who needs a teddy, who needs its comforting presence?
He is discarded for the bin men to find on a heap of unwanted chattels
Left on a pavement, weather beaten and forlorn
Who cares any more?

(C) Jan Strickland

Heartbreak by Abby Grayson

I am happy to share the first entry in to this month’s competition with you. This is from a new contributor and I would like to welcome Abby on board.

I have been thinking of a way to promote other writers’ work more effectively rather than simply have it displayed on the main competition page of this site, as it has been up until now. Therefore, if the authors are happy for me to do so, I would now also propose to post all competition entries as and when they are received. All copyright of course remains with the authors and should anyone prefer for me not to publicise their work in this way, then they should just let me know at the time they post it on the competition page.

My overriding aim for this blog is to provide a forum for writers to share their work and encourage each other and I welcome all contributions. The writing prompt for this month is ‘Partings’.

Thanks

Abby Grayson says:
September 3, 2013

HEARTBREAK

angry face

I stare at the floor, there lies the gun
Oh my god, what have I done?
I didn’t hesitate; didn’t think twice
I know I will now pay the price

I thought you loved me one hundred percent
Until I read the text you’d sent
I was confused, it didn’t make sense
I wasn’t with you on the tenth!

We had not visited that hotel for a year
Then it dawned on me, my biggest fear
It wasn’t meant for me, that text
It was meant for your college ex

It broke my heart and ruined my life
You were about to become my wife
Our future together seemed sure and strong
How the hell could I have got it so wrong

The thought of you in another man’s bed
I just couldn’t get it out of my head
You tried to say it didn’t mean a thing
It was only a stupid little fling

I got angry and opened the drawer
I shouted at you and called you a whore
Before I knew it I had fired the gun
Oh my god, what have I done?

(c) Abby Grayson

TIME

HOURGLASS

TIME

I am cold. I am cold even though it is bright outside. It looks warm. I have lost track of time. Is it Summer already? Inside days merge. Some are even lost completely. The irony is that just when time has suddenly become more precious I find it a fleeting entity, hard to keep hold of as it slips through my fingers like grains of sand. My hourglass is filling up exponentially but all I can do is sit and look; watch, wait and reflect.
Visitors start to arrive as I continue to gaze out of my window. Sure enough, there is Paul’s battered red Ford squeezing into a narrow parking space between a lurid green Mini and a gold Land Rover. He, Molly, and kids tumble out. For a second his guard is down and I notice how tired he seems. Then he looks up and catches me watching. His face lights up in an over bright smile that, even from this distance, I can tell doesn’t reach his eyes.
As I wait I adjust my scarf and ask for my pillows to be plumped up for more support. I want to be sitting up properly when I see them. I want to remember today for as long as I can and ensure a strong memory lingers. I want them to remember me and not my illness.
I have passed through a spectrum of emotions; disbelief, numbness, anger, guilt, fear and terrible crippling sadness. Why me? Why my family? I have already started grieving for what I am leaving behind.
But today is different. Today I am at peace and I am in charge for once, not this disease. Me! I know I will only have a small window of lucidity before I will have to self-administer more drugs, which are only ever a temporary relief from pain. But although it has won I won’t be beaten.
My family enter and Paul comes straight over to take my hand. He is gentle, like I am made of glass and could shatter into a thousand pieces at any second. His smile is sad and this time it does reach his eyes.
“It’s okay,” I say, “It will be okay.”
His Adam’s apple is bobbing up and down furiously and his top lip quivers slightly. “I don’t want you to go.” His voice catches and I can see him struggling for composure in front of his girls.
“I know,” I smile. “I feel it all; from what you want to say now but can’t, to what you may later wish you had said. Promise me you won’t ever look back in regret as I know your heart and love you for it. All of you.”
They stay for half an hour and I turn my head to watch as they slowly walk back towards their car. Paul stops, looks up, and places one hand across his heart. I close my eyes and press for more drugs.
It is time to say goodbye.