Flash Fiction: Life at 8

Flash Fiction: Life at 8

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Uncle Shankar was Ma’s older brother but I often wondered if maybe one of them was adopted. They couldn’t possibly be genetically related. Uncle was as jovial as Ma was prim, he smiled as often as Ma frowned, he was slender in build while Ma was, well, thick.

We moved in with him and grandma after Dad passed away. I was eight. Every morning, when I went out to go to school, I’d find Uncle on his chair outside beside the flowers. His face would light up when he saw me; it appeared as if the sun shone out of it.

Good morning old lady“, he’d greet me and set me a pun question which, if I answered correctly, would earn me a chocolate. I rarely got that chocolate.

But I was eight and life, couldn’t have been better.


word count: 138. This story is in response to Flash Fiction for Aspiring writers photo promot challenge hosted by priceless joy. Thank you very much for this week’s photo  @shivamt25

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Writer’s Quote: Kindness

Writer’s Quote: Kindness

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I found this incredible quote above by Nikita Gill and I thought I had to share it. We are not always kind to ourselves. We could be the cherry on top of every other person’s cake but when it comes us- to being kind to ourselves, forgiving ourselves, we are our own worst enemies.

The poem I’m sharing today as part of Writer’s quote/poem Wednesday, is written by undoubtably one of the greatest poet ever- Maya Angelou. It talks about forgiveness. And according one analysis by Prezi.com, the poem is all about a mother, acknowledging forgiveness with open arms.

This poem talks about a daughter returning home after committing (who knows what) atrocity, and amidst the blackness of the night, finds the forgiving and comforting arms of her mother, open, blameless and ready to receive her.

The Mothering Blackness by Maya Angelou

She came home running
back to the mothering blackness
deep in the smothering blackness
white tears icicle gold plains of her face
She came home running

She came down creeping
here to the black arms waiting
now to the warm heart waiting
rime of alien dreams befrosts her rich brown face
She came down creeping

She came home blameless
black yet as Hagar’s daughter
tall as was Sheba’s daughter
threats of northern winds die on the desert’s face
She came home blameless.

 

Writer’s Quote: The Mother

Writer’s Quote: The Mother

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Welcome to another writer’s quote/poem Wednesday where I share some of my favourite poems written by other authors. Today’s poet is one I have shared recently- Gwendolyn Brooks. I guess, there is no hiding the fact that she is one of my favourite poets.

The poem I am sharing today is one close to my heart- it is about a woman who has previously had an abortion, and is now filled with remorse and regret. It is a narrative and reads as a message to, in her own words, “the child she got that she didn’t get”. She wants the child to know that she is sorry for what she had done and she loves him/her.
Below is the poem, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

The mother by Gwendolyn Brooks

Abortions will not let you forget.
You remember the children you got that you did not get,
The damp small pulps with a little or with no hair,
The singers and workers that never handled the air.
You will never neglect or beat
Them, or silence or buy with a sweet.
You will never wind up the sucking-thumb
Or scuttle off ghosts that come.
You will never leave them, controlling your luscious sigh,
Return for a snack of them, with gobbling mother-eye.

I have heard in the voices of the wind the voices of my dim killed
children.
I have contracted. I have eased
My dim dears at the breasts they could never suck.
I have said, Sweets, if I sinned, if I seized
Your luck
And your lives from your unfinished reach,
If I stole your births and your names,
Your straight baby tears and your games,
Your stilted or lovely loves, your tumults, your marriages, aches,
and your deaths,
If I poisoned the beginnings of your breaths,
Believe that even in my deliberateness I was not deliberate.
Though why should I whine,
Whine that the crime was other than mine?–
Since anyhow you are dead.
Or rather, or instead,
You were never made.
But that too, I am afraid,
Is faulty: oh, what shall I say, how is the truth to be said?
You were born, you had body, you died.
It is just that you never giggled or planned or cried.

Believe me, I loved you all.
Believe me, I knew you, though faintly, and I loved, I loved you
All.

Closure-

Closure-

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One word… seven letters.
I always had this idea that to move on, to let go of the past, to put one foot in front of the other through the door called future, I had to have it- closure.

And I sought it, I chased it, I pled for it.  Each time I thought I was close to it, closure merely opened a can-worm of emotions I had no idea still existed within me, no idea how to handle them.

The search for closure led me down a path I should never have tread, a path of hurt of pain of emotions I should never have felt again. And every single time, I still kept going back, for that closure. The person In me, never learnt.

I’m only now understanding, coming to the conclusion- closure isn’t a conversation that needs to be had, it’s not a word that needs to said or unsaid, it’s not a meeting which needs to take place, one last time.

Closure, simply is putting my big girl pants on, taking that big leap of faith through the door into the future with the ideology- Life starts now. And it doesn’t matter, whatever words lie behind the door which were never said, whatever final meeting which never happened, closure doesn’t have to come from an outside source.

The only closure I need, is the closure from within myself, to be able to say done and dusted, and mean it… closure comes from me.

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Writer’s Quote: Dear Reader

Writer’s Quote: Dear Reader

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Welcome to another writer’s quote/poem Wednesday, where I share some of my favourite poems written by other authors.

Today’s poem talks about taking care of a patient with Alzheimers, from the point of view of the nurse. I love the fact that the writer, Rita Mae Reese, left the identity of the patient and the carer genderless. Leaving it up to our creative minds to fill in the blanks.

This poem, “Dear Reader“, is not a poem one reads and immediately whips out the pen and notebook because of its poetic inspiration. No, it’s one of those reads which strike a chord in the heart. For lack of better wording, it’s what I like to call “beautiful and heartwarming”, and reading it, left me wanting more of it. Below is the poem:

Dear Reader by Rita Mae Reese
You have forgotten it all.
You have forgotten your name,
where you lived, who you
loved, why.
I am simply
your nurse, terse and unlovely
I point to things
and remind you what they are:
chair, book, daughter, soup.

And when we are alone
I tell you what lies
in each direction: This way
is death, and this way, after
a longer walk, is death,
and that way is death but you
won’t see it
until it is right
in front of you.

                Once after
your niece had been to visit you
and I said something about
how you must love her
or she must love you
or something useless like that,
you gripped my forearm
in your terrible swift hand
and said, she is
everything
—you gave

me a shake—everything
to me.

                   And then you fell
back into the well. Deep
in the well of everything. And I
stand at the edge and call:
                      chair, book, daughter, soup. 

If you could describe this poem in two words, what would they be? 

All or nothing-

All or nothing-

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I don’t want to be the reason for your living,
to be the oxygen required,
For your every breath,
I don’t want to be your all or nothing.
I am a compilation of cracks,
barely staying glued together.

I want to go to bed knowing,
my breaking-
is not your breaking,
My ruination,
Is not your ruining,
When I doom one life,
I haven’t doomed two.
I can’t bear, that responsibility
On me.

If for some reason,
I do not make it,
I need to know,
That you will;
You will push through,
Even without me…

I can’t be the reason
For your living,
I am only human,
flawed… fickle.

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My words-

My words-

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It’s the only thing I have
To offer,
Guard it, safe under your
Pillow at night,
That I may know,
The demons which
Haunt me
Taunt me
Compel me
To put into words all that
I can’t handle,
Are away from the one thing
I can call my own-
Mine-
my words.

Read it,
So that I may know,
Though miles apart,
You see the pages,
Filled with lines
Of the truth and pain,
With which each letter
Is strung,
And you know,
These papers,
Aren’t just filled with words,
But a map of my journey,
Thus far on earth.

Cherish it,
Like you would the heart
Of a friend,
And remember-
Etched in the words,
Are pieces of my heart,
Which I am bestowing,
To no one else,
But- you.

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Mrs Latashka-

Mrs Latashka-

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Mrs Latashka had no money,
Bore 5 girls with her husband Monty;
Sarah was a baby when he went running,
To another woman; says neighbourhood gossip.

Mrs Latashka toiled night and morning,
All kind of jobs, to earn some money;
Never took charity, though neighbors offered,
She trudged through life owning no one nothing.

Mrs Latashka was one of her kind,
Bore 5 girls, whom most saw as burdens;
Ignored all advice- to stop the toiling,
And earn, by getting all 5 girls married.

Mrs Latashka grew old not weary,
Little Sarah had gone off to Uni,
Her joints now weak from all the toiling,
Her face aglow for, she was reaping.

Mrs Latashka had clothed all children,
With education and self dignity,
She lay- her last few breaths escaping,
With the satisfaction, it was all worth it.

It’s been a while I wrote a ballad, thought I’d write one today.
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Writer’s Quote: Domestic situation

Writer’s Quote: Domestic situation

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Welcome to another writer’s quote/poem Wednesday, where I share some of my favourite poems written by other authors. I have always loved the quote above my Maya Angelou and try to keep it at the back of my mind, always. It also goes with today’s poem, which is a narrative by Ernest Hilbert that runs on the simple theme that – love is blinding to some.

The main character is someone who should have ended up going to jail at the end of the poem, but rather, he was headed to the altar to get hitched. Like the last line said, “don’t try to understand what another person means by love”.
Here’s the poem below.

Domestic Situation by Ernest Hilbert

Maybe you’ve heard about this. Maybe not.
A man came home and chucked his girlfriend’s cat
In the wood chipper. This really happened.
Dinner wasn’t ready on time. A lot
Of other little things went wrong. He spat
On her father, who came out when he learned
About it. He also broke her pinky,
Stole her checks, and got her sister pregnant.
But she stood by him, stood strong, through it all,
Because she loved him. She loved him, you see.
She actually said that, and then she went
And married him. She felt some unique call.
Don’t try to understand what another
Person means by love. Don’t even bother.

The separation-

The separation-

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You won’t understand,
And I can’t explain,
I presume it is better,
We go our separate ways.

It’s not a little sadness,
But a walk in a dark alleyway,
Where the light at the end of the tunnel,
Is almost- nonexistent.

It comes and goes in fluctuation,
More often than not, unannounced;
I fear my love, I will pull you,
Into the darkened world, I abound.

It’s not just a little sadness,
It’s a life lived- going back and forth;
Will today be the day I feel better,
Will tomorrow be worse than what’s come.

A life filled with rainbows await you,
Do not stay in my world painted grey,
Where Faith is my only motivation,
It’s best we go our separate ways.

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