Have Heart For A Better Humanity

at the end of a day

Photo: Monique Laats on Pexels.com

 

When a place of worship crumbles

Into hell of gore and pain,

And the sorrows of the many

Become what connects us all again,

Know that care can conquer ugly

And that compassion outdoes hate’s disdain,

As long as we eject terror

To heed the better, deeper call,

That anything that harms our kinship

Diminishes the very core of all,

Just as anything that builds it

Can lead humanity to standing tall.

 

 

For Debbie’s Six Word Saturday

 

Soul Searching

NewZealand InbarAsif

Photo: Inbar Asif

 

Would you sell your soul

To sorrow?

Would you reap

Hate’s awful gain?

Would you let go of

Tomorrow

So false power

Rise again?

 

Will your heart see

All humanity?

What will you allow,

Sustain?

Will your soles

Feed earth

Or hollow

Out it’s wealth

To drain?

 

Will you leave

Your soul abandoned?

Will you let your spirit

Die?

Or will you hold on

To the morrow

In a world

For you

And I?

 

 

For the SoCS prompt: Soul/sole

 

 

When The Ice Breaks

greenland icebergs-933003_1920

Photo: Barni1 by Pixabay

 

He said he’ll be home when the ice breaks.

And every day she waited, one baby tugging at her skirts and another growing restless under her heart, and tried to not look at the field of crosses planted right outside her window. Reminders of the many who the frigid sea or dark winters or the loneliness of this place at end of the world had claimed.

Some days she hated Greenland. The endless nights. The gnawing cold. The monotony of the same few faces and the bickering that eventually picked open old scabs and gauged new hurts for the next arctic dark to revisit.

Other times she couldn’t fathom living any other place. Summer’s endless light. The sparkle on the water. Pups, babies, and not-so-babies frolicking. The wide spaces full of breath and warmth that thawed old sorrows into joy. It felt like coming home.

Will he?

 

 

For What Pegman Saw: Greenland

 

The One Place

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

She ran and wouldn’t stop till she got there.

It didn’t matter that she had a stitch in her side or that something hard in her backpack kept slamming into her ribs or that the lower branches of some trees slapped burning licks against her cheeks.

She would not stop.

At last she saw a glimmering reflection and the slight opening in the dense woods that signaled she was almost there.

Her attention drawn to the sight ahead, she missed a crawler root and fell hard. She lay there, the breath knocked out of her and pain coursing through her body where it hit the ground. A gnarly stump poked out of the earth not two inches from her eye. It would have done real damage.

She was almost too miserable to care but her eyes still filled with tears. For the pain. For the helplessness. For the exhaustion. For so much more she could not find the words for and couldn’t afford to. Not yet.

She had to get up or she’d never move again. The backpack pressed heavy against her and she couldn’t help but remember other weight pinning her down. Unwelcome. Uninvited. More tears sprung. Then sobs that came from someplace between her diaphragm and belly button and competed with the stitch already jabbing through her chest. It was too much. It had all been. Too much.

Finally, after what seemed a decade, her breath calmed and she found strength to push up to her elbows, then her knees, then up to lean against a tree and shift her weight gingerly onto each leg.

Nothing broken. Or nothing broken that would prevent her from getting there. Her elbow throbbed and she was bleeding from scratches on her face and a badly skinned palm. There would be more abrasions underneath her pants where a tear bloomed red at the knee. But she was up, and some burden had lifted in the crying, even if it left her heart hollow with sorrow and echoing with despair.

She filled her lungs with a long breath and a tardy sob escaped to join the others but then her body shuddered one last time and she steadied.

She walked on. Not running now, just dogged determination.

The forest peeled away to reveal the clearing. The pond glowed and the purple light remained as she’d remembered. Lush greens licked the muddy banks and a clump of cattails whispered in an almost nonexistent breeze. The tree, too, was still there, just as it had been before: it’s bark missing in places, it’s silvery leaves rustling as the very breath of the place coursed through it from root to leafy tip.

“I’ve come back,” she breathed, and touched her scraped palm to the exposed trunk. Skin to blood to skin.

An echo filled her chest and she knew it knew her, and the relief made the jagged hole in the center of her self heal some.

This was the one place she never felt completely alone in.

She’d last left it thinking that her old life would not chase her to the new, and she had tried – for longer than she thought she could endure – to pretend that she no longer longed for what she had believed in and had given up. She could give it up no more.

“Will you help me?” she whispered. “I’d forgotten how.”

And the tree rustled and a ripple ran across the water and into her core, and her body softened so completely that she slid to sit leaning against the trunk. Welcomed. Invited. Warmed.

She’ll sleep. And she will dream. And she will wake to find the way back to herself. To her true realm in her rightful time.

 

 

For Sue’s WritePhoto prompt

 

Unabashed Bash

red-velvet-cake-3960016_1920

Photo: Fawaz Sharif

 

She would not apologize for throwing a party to celebrate her last menstruation.

“Oh, but I will have a bash, if only to bash the preconceived notion that we women have any reason to be bashful about our body’s machinations,” she declared when her husband paled at the idea and her sons bloomed into a matching shade of pink.

“We gals bleed for a good chunk of our lives,” she pressed on, ignoring the slight green hue that crept onto her sons’ faces. “It is the blood of life, the blood of disappointment, or relief, or missed opportunity … but it is our blood, made by our bodies and relinquished so new lining can accept a future product of intercourse.”

“Mom …” her eldest groaned, but she silenced him with one of her ‘looks’ and glared a warning at her youngest, who appeared ready to chorus. At seventeen and sixteen they had squirmed through several variations of “the talk” in their lives, and would survive this one, too. Especially as they were old enough to be instrumental in causing a female’s monthly cycle to not cycle … If they were capable of ravishing girls’ bodies with more than their eyes, they should be able to stomach the realities of what girls’ bodies are capable of, as well as what women both endure and celebrate.

“I’m not going to force you to be here for the party,” she clarified. The vivid relief on all three of her menfolk’s faces was hilarious even if she couldn’t help being somewhat insulted. “What I will not do is lie about what this party is for.”

Her body had reached a milestone, and she wasn’t going to pretend it was nothing worth a mention. Not when the two young men (and the one which had preceded them but never made it through to birthing) were proof of the very miracles that female bodies – like her own – had been capable of till now. This called for proper celebration.

She rummaged in her bag and pulled out a scribbled-on napkin. “Let’s see. I’ve made a list. There will be invitations, perhaps shaped like uteri, or like tampons. I hadn’t decided.”

Now that her attention was no longer fully on them, her sons eyed each other and began to beat a slow but determined retreat. She raised an eyebrow in their direction and did not challenge them, but when her husband deigned to follow his offspring, she tapped the seat next to her in more order than invitation.

He sat.

He’d learned long ago that anything to do with “women’s time” was best not argued with or over. He hadn’t the foggiest idea what it would be like to have a period (or be pregnant or lose one or give birth or nurse babies, for that matter), and he wasn’t sure he wanted to have more of an idea of any of it. Certainly not the bloody business, which always gave him the queasy willies. So he kept his mouth shut and nodded at what he thought were appropriate intervals as his wife kept on with her planning monologue.

It did not stop his mind from sending fervent prayers that Carrie or Michelle or Linda, or anyone with double-X chromosomes, and therefore far more suited for such planning, would stop by or call and rescue him from being his wife’s audience.

“So,” she enthused, “for the cake? What do you think? Red velvet?”

His favorite. Well, not anymore.

He didn’t think he’d be able to touch the stuff again.

 

 

For the SoCS prompt: abash/a bash/bash

 

Black Friday

Photo prompt: © CEAyr

 

“We’ll call him Friday,” Emmaline stated.

Roger glanced up. They’d just left the restaurant and he had urgent emails to check. “Call who?”

“Him.” She pointed toward the bike, which was parked across the alleyway between a bush and a wall.

He squinted and frowned simultaneously. Emmaline’s cryptic tendencies were sweet sometimes but annoying most other times.

He saw no one. His frown deepened. A stupid black cat perched on his bike’s seat, fur puffed as if it had just stuck a paw in a socket.

“See?” Emmaline laughed. “He adopted our bike on Black Friday. Let’s call him Friday.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

Joy Ride

Berlin ride InbarAsif

Photo: Inbar Asif

 

Low to ground

Safe and sound

Sharing smiles all around

Their devotion

Abounds

As they glide

Side by side

Through the streets

In joyful ride.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Devotion in 25 words

 

Ice Maiden

castell-deudraeth-portmeirion-wales-p

Photo: Castell Deudraeth in Portmeirion, Wales

 

“My room is haunted,” Daria mentioned over toast and jam.

Margaret rolled her eyes and Daria stopped chewing.

Margaret sighed. Vacation or not, her twin was sure to find drama someplace.

“Honest, M! Something kept whispering ‘Aber Iâ’. What does that even mean?”

“Ice haven, Miss,” their waitress manifested with more tea, Welsh rolling heavy on her tongue, “also, glacial estuary.”

“And?” Daria pressed.

“There used to be a mansion on these grounds, Miss. In the 1700s. Was called ‘Aber Iâ’.”

“See?” Margaret looked pointedly at her sister. “You must’ve heard someone say it and it stuck in your mind.”

“Someone said it in my room!” Daria insisted. “All night!”

The waitress shifted uneasily. “What room are you in, Miss?”

Margaret glared.

“Might be the bwbach, see?” the young woman fiddled with her apron. “She can be restless sometimes but she’s never done no one any harm.”

 

 

Trivia:

  • bwbach — ghost or phantom in Welsh
  • Aber Iâ — Ice Haven or Glacial Estuary in Welsh. Also the name of an old mansion that used to stand on the grounds of what is now Castell Deudraeth, a hotel in Portmeirion Village, Wales.

 

For What Pegman Saw: Portmeirion Village, Wales

 

Celebrity Stalk

green celery carrots and pepper flakes garlic

Photo: Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

“I will not celebrate with celery,”

She said, and then

She frowned,

For no celebrity that’s

Worth her salt

Will turn down green

When it is found.

 

“We can still have a

Celebration,”

She tried correcting course,

But the celestial already

Knew

She had no true

Remorse.

 

 

For the SoCS prompt: Cele-

(I was having WAY too much fun with this one! 😉 )

Fly By

fly by moon OfirAsif

Photo: Ofir Asif

 

Fly by

The moon

And kiss a new star

Goodnight.

 

Fly by

The sun

And let its light touch

Your mind.

 

Fly by

In play

To draw a blue skies

Outlined.

 

Fly high

Today

And know I’m not far

Behind.

 

 

For the Sunday Stills challenge: High flight