Youth is a B—

Youth is many things, and in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge I’ve come up with this poem. Enjoy!

An unwanted burden

you carry or

a fruit unharvested,

unripened and rich?

Either way, it’s still a—

The girl running breathless in the snow

the wizened scholar at her oak desk

the nervous painter at his first art show

the determined boy standing at the pitch

Youth remains by your side, a loyal—

But now it eludes you, slips through your creased fingers

hides under pampered cheeks and stylish shoes,

hazarding appearances in soft smiles; never does it linger

leaving only laugh scars where once youth grew.

Hurry, gather what is left and preserve it in a ditch

Too late, it’s already gone, that sneaky—!

Some say youth is a blessing, a birth rite,

a bold stone, weathered not withered by the sea;

the beloved years, the black days, the winged bird in flight

but either way it’s still a B.

Here are some other Backwords thoughts on youth, age and other splendid things:

  1. Ilya Fostiy. Amnesia | Crazy Art
  2. Ilya Fostiy. Muse | The Bliss of Reality
  3. Youth Insults My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
  4. The Illusive FEAR of Getting Old | Musings | WANGSGARD
  5. Weekly Writing Challenge: Golden Years | In my world
  6. Looking Back (and Traveling) | JGTravels
  7. Thoughts on Aging | melissuhhsmiles
  8. Yelp for help…… | Obsessive Compulsive Running…….
  9. Youth is a B— | The Backwords
  10. Riding Into The Sunrise
  11. Weekly writing challenge- golden years | A picture is worth 1000 words
  12. The Defining Number | Through The Eyes Productions
  13. I am not my mother | Twisting Suburbia
  14. Weekly Photo Challenge – Perspective | Joe’s Musings
  15. Artfully Aspiring
  16. Wisdom of a Toddler | Artfully Aspiring
  17. I Couldn’t Wait | Fish Of Gold
  18. Young or old? Here’s how to tell | The Crayon Files
  19. The Elders of Us | Wired With Words
  20. Aging with grace and acceptance | Ezhealthcents
  21. I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  22. Weekly Writing Challenge: Golden Years | imagination
  23. Thirsty thirties | Scent of Rina
  24. Weekly Writing Challenge: GOLDEN YEARS | Thinking Languages!
  25. Wholehearted living… One day at a time. | masknolonger
  26. You’re As Old As You Feel | A Day In The Life
  27. Social Media has changed me | The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project”
  28. Golden Years | Icezine

Aborted Words

Here’s my take on “silence.” This piece was inspired by the Weekly Writing Challenge. I’ve wanted to write this experience for a long while, but didn’t have the right form for it. This challenge, gladly, has given me the frame I needed for my silence.

It is a Tuesday and I’ve just finished my Process class. I sit outside the library on an old, wooden bench, waiting for my friend as restless, groggy university students stream by me. Some stop, looking up at the peeling yellow walls, some make a quick right to the Tim Hortons, while others artistically swim through idle students, running to classes they’re already late for or buses they’ve already missed. In this familiar chaos I see my TA and wave. She smiles back as she hurriedly walks on.

I turn away from my class and see my friend approaching. I get up, collect my books, and we walk towards the food court.

“Yo I am so hungry!” Books cascade to the floor as she drops her bags in front of a BMO. “I need to take out some money. Is that okay?” She shuffles forward without waiting for a reply.

“Why wouldn’t it be? You don’t need my permission to take out food. I mean money.” I follow her in the line, laughing quietly to myself, not wanting to sit on the bench again. “How was class?”

“Lord, lord. Hell if I know what that man was talking about. I hope class gets cancelled next week.” She slides her card into the ATM.

“I feel you man. This class is pointless. It was $2000. For what, I don’t know. The lectures could be taught by an undergrad. I don’t know what I’m going to do for the exam. This course has no structure, all she does is ramble on for an hour and let us go an hour early. I mean, I would like to leave an hour early if I actually felt like I was getting something out of this course. Honestly, if you were there—”

“Isn’t that your TA?” She asks, nonchalantly cutting me off with her hand at the money dispenser.

I jerk my head and look. I see a women with cropped blonde hair, brown rimmed glasses, green turtleneck and black slacks. She sees me staring and waves before she leaves the building with another woman. “Yup, that’s my TA.” I smile at myself and help my friend carry some books.

“That man-woman.” She forces out a laugh. It wasn’t a question.

I frown. “She isn’t a man-woman, she’s just gay.”

“Come on, who is she kidding. She’s a man. Where do you want to eat. Knowing you we’re going to walk around this building for two hours and end up eating nothing.” She opens the door for me and we walk towards the student centre.

I try to answer, but I’ve lost my hunger. Despite how much I try, my appetite won’t be revived, won’t be goaded, and won’t be stirred – like the words I let go, unformed and forgotten.

Here’s 99 other thoughts on silence. Check them out and let me, as well as these creative bloggers, know what you think.

  1. The Sound of Silence | Through the Peacock’s Eyes
  2. Listen to the silence | Master Of Disaster
  3. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | JGTravels
  4. Eight Things I Wish I Knew Before I Taught at a Boarding School | Kosher Adobo
  5. The Sounds of Silence* | Icescreammama
  6. underwood | yi-ching lin photography
  7. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | Under the Monkey Tree
  8. Moments | anonim0us
  9. Moments | anonim0us
  10. Silent Agony | Broken Light: A Photography Collective
  11. Silent crimes | Speaking Voiceless
  12. The Sound of Silence is a beautiful thing | Amanda Montomery
  13. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | A mom’s blog
  14. Hug Her Back | Fish Of Gold
  15. Media Blackouts Insult My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
  16. As Loud as Silence | Chimerical Chicanery
  17. Unspeakable | Musings of a Soul Eclectic
  18. Aborted Words | The Backwords
  19. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | carojesu
  20. yesterday’s snow lets | y
  21. A SILENT SONG | Diary of a mind
  22. A Common Baby Myth: Babies Should Sleep in Silence.. Ssshhh! | Peek-a-boo: Baby and You!
  23. Silence « mediumblackdog
  24. Never Give Up, Never Give In: My Epiphany! | Hope and Faith
  25. Brady’s Silence (explicit) | Stories From My Mind
  26. Coyote Hill | The Seminary of Praying Mantis
  27. A Silence Louder Than Words | snapshotsofawanderingheart
  28. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | Tales from the Motherland
  29. When The Silence Almost Deafens You | Unload and Unwind
  30. Classy Broad
  31. The Day I Found My Voice | A Path of Living Stones
  32. When you said “Nobody loves you” | So Not Simple
  33. Finding what you didn’t know you were looking for… | Crap I Blog About
  34. WWC: The Sound of Silence | Learning the Anishinaabe Way
  35. Who Said So? | Buzzy Beez
  36. Silence challenge | knovak616
  37. The Silence Welcomes Me | StormieSteele
  38. Weekly Writing Challenge: Have you seen me? | Life of A Fallen Angel
  39. Silence | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  40. The Things We Don’t Say | A Sign Of Life
  41. Breaking The Sound Of Silence | At least we made it this far…
  42. In the silence of a word | MC’s Whispers
  43. From Silence Came Wisdom | Lifeinpawprints’s Weblog
  44. Blog challenge – The sound of silence « Defy The Narrative
  45. Could the end of ‘that time of the month’ be related to that time of the year? | Minnesota Transplant
  46. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | Echoes of My Past
  47. Good Grief | Wittyburg.com
  48. silence and snow | from dreams to plans
  49. Weekly Writing Challenge: Sounds of Silence | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)
  50. Jumpers for goalposts… | Dreaminspice
  51. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | Pop-Culture-Referenced
  52. The Silent Sisters | 22 going on 33
  53. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | Bringing Out the God-Colors in the World
  54. Suicide no. 27: Vow of Silence | derekalanwilkinson
  55. Silent White | Mary J Melange
  56. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | Your Original LUPUSDIVA….
  57. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | No Apologies
  58. Cable Cut-off | The Zombies Ate My Brains
  59. Silence so Loud | My Weigh To Lose
  60. Silencing the Critics’ Chorus | V Learns Something New
  61. Silence of the Blog « ph.d. in creative writing
  62. Life: The Search For Someone Who Understands You | Paint Before Death
  63. Silence | Dandilyonz-4-U
  64. Remaining Silent | Bits of Life
  65. Inexhaustible Treasure | Love in the Spaces
  66. HOW DOES SILENCE SOUND? | SERENDIPITY
  67. A moment in Paris | The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project”
  68. Weekly Writing Challenge | Fit 4 Life, LLC
  69. No More Honesty | Among the Whispers
  70. The Silent Storm | Martialing Art
  71. I’m excellent at taking criticism (see? that sounds weird, right?) | sincerelyimitated
  72. My worst nightmare is coming alive, the silence is the glue to it all | From One Crazy Life To Another
  73. This is the absolute FPiTS! | Thorough and Unkempt
  74. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | My name is Ellie and this is who I am.
  75. Ah-kya-kha-loo-i | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  76. Don’t Change That Channel-er ! | Once Upon Your Prime. . .
  77. Enjoy the Silence | Kokopelli Bee Free Blog
  78. “Oh” | Gnome Lover
  79. Breaking the Silence on Autism | Love, Support, Educate, Advocate, Accept…
  80. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound Of Silence | imagination
  81. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | sailingthroughthefog
  82. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | alysslombardi
  83. Minnie’s Quite Silent | Minnie | A Personal Blog
  84. Silence Breaker | thenaturalprofessor
  85. I’m Hoping My Mother Ignores This One. | meg lago
  86. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence – Silent-phobia | SA:ME (사메)
  87. Favorite quotes from Alabama literature | Andrea Reads America
  88. A resounding silence. | Multifarious meanderings
  89. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence? | seikaiha’s blah-blah-blah
  90. What I Didn’t Say | My Newingness
  91. litadoolan
  92. Shamed Silence Broken | Ever Upward
  93. THE SILENT TREATMENT | DANDELION’S DEN
  94. #1 | Justin B.
  95. society | yi-ching lin photography
  96. all of life is a | y
  97. The Long Unspoken | the intrinsickness
  98. Being Silent Nevermore: The Psychology of Raising My Voice For Those that Have Been Muted « psychologistmimi
  99. A Borrowed Identity to Fill the Silence. | W.T.F.
  100. Footfall | Tell Tale Therapy

Free Time?

Is free time actually time to do whatever you want, or just time you’re not paid to do what others want?

I am doing it again. I stop, removing my fingers from the keyboard. I had just finished planning my day for the week. It was a strange, surreal moment. I had done similar things before, organizing and planning my day. But this time was different. This time I  realized how stupid I am.

How many times have I “planned out” my day, in order to make sure it was well “spent?” Spending a day? When you think about it, the concept of spending a day is absurd. The concept of planning a day may be even more so.

Capitalism has infested my vocabulary. The jargon of the workplace has infected my thoughts. My “free time” is influenced by my work habits. Is free time actually time to do whatever you want, or just time you’re not paid to do what others want?

I can’t escape the demand to prioritize, organize and mechanize. Though I may not be at school or work right now, my mind is psychologically wired to be in work mode, simply because that’s what it’s most used to. I can’t simply relax because I am not working or at school, nor do I suppose anyone can. Capitalism stains, and no matter how hard we may try to wash it, some dirty residue remains.

Thanks Weekly Writing Challenge for messing up my week. What the heck am I going to do now?

Some other cool posts that may trigger deep thoughts. Reader be warned.

  1. Lunch | The Magic Black Book
  2. Random Bits of Conversation Overheard Over Time | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  3. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts | Finding Life
  4. My Darling | Broken Light: A Photography Collective
  5. DP Challenge Weekly Writing Challenge: Staring Off Into Space | Sabethville
  6. A veteran’s fondest memory | From One Crazy Life To Another
  7. Knowledge Insults My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
  8. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts | khaula mazhar
  9. Weekly DP Challenge – Lunch posts | Its all about a bit of this and that.
  10. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts | The Solidarity Ramblings Of A Wisdom Seeker
  11. Lunch: Fantasy Vs. Reality | Write Through Life
  12. Lunch Day One/Weekly Writing Challenge | standinginthestorm
  13. Blue Monday | Stories from aside
  14. Today I’ll defer to the dog | Life is Unfolding
  15. Lunch, Day 1: Too Quiet « there’s this book i’m reading.
  16. Lunch Break, Day 1: The Distant Banana | Stealing All the Sevens
  17. DPchallenge: Lunch break…or not | Mindful Digressions
  18. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Post | lifethoughtenergy
  19. Daily Post Challenge: Lunch Posts | Flooding August
  20. Lunchtime | Living and Lovin

What Am I? We are The Fallen

This is a continuation to the poem What Am I? that I posted on Tuesday in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge. I had the idea for the short story a while back, and decided to try it out in a poem as well. Hope you enjoy. Comments and feedback are always welcome.

The Fallen

“Well then. I won’t be seeing you again” Hielo said, drifting through fragmented clouds towards Nieve.

Nieve looked out the fortress’s white window, towards the green ground and the crystal skies. In adjoining homes and distant forts, soldiers prepared for the first battle of the season. “I agree,” Nieve said through frozen lips. “We are the seekers. The seekers never make it back. We need to burn some holes so it is easier for you weaklings when you come. You know how it is, the mature ones first. It’s only fair. If you hurry up – that is if we even leave you anything – you may get some flesh.”

Hielo frowned, refusing to look out the window. “Of course you won’t be coming back. No one ever comes back from a mission, regardless of its success. This war is pointless. I might as well kill myself now and save them some trouble.”

“Wouldn’t you like to bite into some warm flesh?” Nieve goaded. They carried no weapons into war, only their cold, cutting teeth.

“I’d rather stay up here, nice and cold.”

Nieve ignored Hielo. “Things are changing at the front, I don’t know why but they are. I don’t think they even know why it’s happening,” Nieve said, looking at the distant ground below.

“How would you know? Have you been to a battle? Have you met anyone who has? None of us have and none likely will, for not long at least, meet anyone who has been to the front.”

“Yeah, I know I haven’t met anyone but something has changed. The winds are colder in the main fortresses—”

“You’re going to die Nieve. The weather may change and the winds may shift, but your death is a certainty, a certainty since the day you were made – written, signed and ensured by Sol.”

“The winds may shift in our favour.”

“Aye to that. May they bring us more swiftly than usual to our death.

Thousands of white soldiers fell from the sky, eager to make contact with the enemy, to solidify a front for those who would inevitably follow. There was no home territory, nor a place to regroup and collect the fallen. Not one soldier would be buried. The wind moved through their ranks, gently steering the paratroopers as they fell. The cold air cut across their exposed skin, but they were used to that. The cold reassured them.

Some clung to their neighbours hoping to mass a group attack. Bracing themselves for impact, the group stood a better chance of staying intact. Nieve tried to link to a comrade but a wall of air separated them. Teasing and testing, the current ripped them apart, then brought them together, but not close enough to touch. The wind directed their attack; the soldiers forfeited control of their bodies when they fell from the base. They moved in dizzying, spiralling flurries. Nieve looked towards the green ground, as it transformed into unfamiliar colours, obscure shapes and sounds popping sounds.

Nieve wept. Actually, Nieve’s body wept. Home is in the heavens. If we die where do we go? The snowflake melted in the winter air, the first in a succession of flakes to liquify in Earth’s atmosphere. The fallen became indistinguishable, lost faces in the grey slush; dead before they breached the front. How do you mourn a face you can’t remember, dissolved into a puddle of greyness?

Once sharp flakes, now shapeless droplets, cold rain exploded against hard, dry surfaces. Street lamps, glass windows, parked cars and green grass glistened in the rising sun, crystallized in blankets of ice. Drops of rain don’t burn, sting, hurt; but they clung, like kerosene on wood they clung and seeped in, waiting to be ignited.

“It’s snow Tommy. You’ve seen this before, every year this happens.” Dan dragged his feet in the snow, not waiting for his son to follow.

“Yeah daddy but it tickles when it melts in my mouth.” The boy traced down single flecks of snow as they fell from the sky. His mouth open and his tongue flailing, he rarely caught anything. They moved to quickly for him to catch. He couldn’t  focus on a single flake, for they merged together and danced quickly as they floated down the sky. Tommy’s toes tickled, planted in the pooling snow they began to burn. He frowned. The flakes seemed to dance around him, deliberately avoiding his tongue.

Dan called back, cautioning. “And they will sting like hell when they bite your tongue.”

What Am I?

The Weekly Writing Challenge  seemed interesting, so I thought I’d give it a go. I’ve broken my post up into a poem and a short story. Check back to see the answer to the poem in the short story. Comments and feedback on both are welcome and appreciated.

What Am I?

Thousands of white soldiers fell from the sky.

We swayed in the wind, marched to the death beat.

We feared no man, gun or sword – only heat

For us; hear no mother weep or child cry

You know we are the dead before we die.

But did we not once lay by your cold feet?

Did we not fall for you; for you death meet

So fearless, you may walk where dead corpses lie?

We won each battle, we lost ev’ry war

The sun made sure of eternal defeat

Still we fall from the sky knowing not why.

There is no colour in our ranks, warmth nor

Life. Some bleed red, we grey, when death we meet

Hushed, crushed, stepped on, stepped by; silent we die.

In the meantime, while you wait for the other half of the post, check out some other great cliffhangers:

  1. Coming Out To My Sister | Basically Beyond Basic
  2. A dark act | MC’s Whispers
  3. A Lethal Clue | MC’s Whispers
  4. An unexpected awakening | MC’s Whispers
  5. Weekly Writing Challenge-Cliffhanger | A Veil of Enlightenment!
  6. Too Damaged | donnainrecovery
  7. Music Reviews Insult My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
  8. B.O.G.O. Blog Post!! | The Fiction of Michael R. Wilson
  9. Big Shot Jerk Face (or, how I met my husband) | East Meets Breast
  10. Weekly Writing Challenge: Cliffhanger! | Finding Life
  11. Weekly Writing Challenge: Cliffhanger | The Uncustomary Housewife
  12. Cliffhanger/Weekly Writing Challenge | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  13. Weekly Writing Challenge | girlinaland
  14. What Am I? | The Backwords
  15. The Daily Post Zero To Hero Challenge that is Simply the BEST Cliffhanger | The Playground
  16. First Time Out | Fish Of Gold
  17. Words Give Me Wings | Finale to an Entrance
  18. Weekly Writing Challenge: Cliffhanger! | diamondroseranchmn
  19. My dearest bundle | From One Crazy Life To Another
  20. Life Of A Book Lover
  21. Weekly Writing Challenge: Cliffhanger! | Dear Blog ’14
  22. Broken Promises Insult My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
  23. Weekly Writing Challenge: Cliffhanger! | imagination
  24. Cliffhanger Part 1: Disaster In Space | Musings of a Soul Eclectic
  25. You Never Can Tell… | Babbleogue
  26. Cliffhanger challenge | Passionate Dreaming
  27. Seeking the Star | Leonas Lines–Poetry Plus
  28. 2000 Words Worth of Pictures… (Part 1) | The Armchair Socialite
  29. 2000 Words Worth of Pictures…(Part 2) | The Armchair Socialite
  30. Resistance is Futile, Time for a Change | Mary J Melange
  31. i made it | Musings of a Random Mind
  32. Finding “The Light” | Leonas Lines–Poetry Plus
  33. A Night at the Club | Graced Images
  34. The One with the Goddess Pele | Jackie Cangro
  35. The Raven’s Omen | The Crone’s Apprentice
  36. Weekly writing challenge: Cliffhanger | La chica de la burbuja
  37. Showdown | Perceptive Pot Clueless Kettle
  38. Weekly Writing Challenge – Cliffhanger | Joe’s Musings
  39. Cliffhanger | The World Has Room For Improvement
  40. Weekly Writing Challenge: Cliffhanger (Part 1 of 2) | Gradual Thought
  41. Where’s The IT Guy? | My Play Nook
  42. Cliffhanger writing challenge | lizzyloveslipstick
  43. Was it THE cabin? | thewhitewaylife
  44. On the edge… | A Path of Living Stones
  45. Weekly Writing Challenge: Cliffhanger! | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)
  46. Cliffhanger (1/2) | The Write Might
  47. if and when | staying.cool
  48. Ojhri Camp disaster (Part 1) | A mom’s blog
  49. Cliffhanger, Part Two/Weekly writing challenge | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  50. Weekly Writing Challenge: Cliffhanger! | MARGARET ROSE STRINGER
  51. life on the edge | wannabepoet
  52. Oh boy | sophosfashionoracle
  53. Living with Depression & Anxiety – Finding Meaning? | Diary of Secrets
  54. The Right in the Wrong | Random Thoughts