Wrote you a love letter Then tore it up to bits Took the shredded pieces Threw them in a pit Setting it on fire Watched the passion glow Each piece flared from another The flames of nevermore Wrote you a love letter Knew I would not send Wrote you a love letter Sealed it with my blood Stood there with the ashes As they crumbled away The wind sent some flying Forever out of reach The seasons took the rest Let it slip away Walked away in silence Left behind a stain Wrote you a love letter Knew I would not send Wrote you a love letter Words etched in my head Wrote you love, and Sealed it with my blood
TALES OF TALE SPINNING
The A to Z Epics, More or Less
I started Tale Spinning at the beginning of 2011 as an offshoot of BornStoryteller. The latter went more towards non-fiction, rants, comparisons, and observations. Tale Spinning: an experiment in creative writing was the space I needed.
Since then, I’ve gone through periods of both non-stop writing and those “dry” spells, where nothing inspired or motivated me.
Joining the A to Z Blogging Challenge in April 2011 was one of the smartest moves I’ve ever made. I’ve pushed my own boundaries over the ten years, always looking for that “challenge.” Taking risks is stimulating. A lot of what I write is expressing what is burning within me at the moment.
Which is probably why I have trouble continuing plunging into the worlds and characters I’ve built over the years. The roller-coaster upheaval of my life during these last ten years have jaggedly flowed from euphoric to complete and utter numbness. This isn’t a pity party. Just stating the facts, ma’am.
Many bloggers/writers I have “met along the way have become family. What is “Family is Chosen” for $2,000, Alex?” (Man, I miss Alex Trebek. Right now, I am Team Levar Burton to become the new host. Reading Jeopardy Rainbow!). It’d take me the rest of the day (it’s early here) to point you all out, but my thanks and love are hereby sent. I even met the woman I love writing these blog posts during that first A to Z. Present tense, even though we are not together anymore.
List Time. In case, you know, want to read past (and present) A to Z attempts. Each set starts with A on April 1st of that year. There might be a few preceding posts/teases over the years as I tried out the new voice I was shooting for.
A TO Z POSTS
- 2021: Liquid Time (Current Series)
- 2020: Nightmares from an Unbleached Soul (Lyrical Poetry, 25 posts)
- 2019: A Car In the Woods (Science Fiction/Horror/Thriller, 27 posts)
- 2018: The Abysmal Dollhouse (Serial Paranormal/Horror story, 26 posts)
- 2016: Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas (Serial Detective story, 26)
- 2014: Road Signs (Drabbles-100 words Exactly, 26)
- 2012: The Apartment Building: Swan Rise (Serial drama, 26)
- 2011: The Lesser of Two Evils (attempted SciFi satire, 23 posts)
Here’s something not A to Z that I’d love to get your feedback/comments. I keep getting drawn back to it on an emotional/mental level, but have not added a thing to it in quite a while. These were written during the summer of 2011.
Singing Songs of Joy and Peace*
We know what strict is
In the counts of the missing
The missing found
Splatters of their former selves
Shatters of what memories we had
Pushing away the viewpoints of before
It has to be forgotten
Or drag us into the mud
Meaningful deaths, but not now
They graphically get pushed away.
The clarity of the season was here
Wintery chills drifting along open skin
Particles inappreciable in white shells
Ingesting the soot of the days and nights
The wet becomes us
Slogging through the cold
We’re nothing but walking icicles
Degradation in our feet
Mornings must start with songs of Joy
From barracks to fields
To lift any spirit that could be raised
Through enforced blockage of what’s to come
Songs of Peace enforced taking Joys place
Blaring out, amplified unjust
Home is dancing in the street
Yet no dance here; our patterns are strict,
As long as this weather held.
Mercurial temperaments of nature
Have no sense of staying put
Wished away, ignoring petty whines
Pleading prayers always unheard
Chilled or sweltering
We melted or froze
In the fullness of time,
The weather changed.
Of the frozen deaths
We revoked our hearts
Set to extra toils
Making up for the dead
Of our sweat drenched backs
We camouflaged our hearts
What was left of them, numb or dead.
As long as this weather holds
“This” becomes mythical
While we wait; We wait
Continuing to give up lives
Joining the unremembered in their weather passage.
The egregious screws are welded holdfast
As we sing songs of Joy and Peace
Nevertheless the vagaries of weather;
Nonetheless what clasps us to those songs.
Opposite actions enforced.
~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~
“Songs of joy and peace” come from Joni Mitchel’s beautiful song, River. I had listened to it only minutes before when I shut off my music app and tuned into that night’s writing group, River River Writer’s Circle. The prompt was “When the weather changes.” The above happened, was shared, and got the suggestion: “Think about expanding this out” (well, “stretching it out”). So, I let it sit, came back to it, and the above is the result.
Thank you, Ms. Mitchel. A sad, but integral song for many. What I wrote is no reflection on her song. The fourth line of the first stanza stayed with me.
The opening stanza from Joni Mitchel’s River is:
It’s coming on Christmas
They’re cutting down trees
They’re putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
Oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on
EDIT: Boy, am I dense!
RiverRiver Writer’s Circle.
I just realized it. Not planned at all. Doh! Oy! :::palmface:::
Julie and Steve In teenage lust angst Lantern lit, hidden nook Atrocities attacked ere consummation Sending them heedlessly running along On Old Blackwash Road Julie was screaming Until her voice decayed Steve pulled ahead No thought of her pumping away Julie tried to catch up Down Old Blackwash Road If words could take aim Steve would have heard her pleas Curses tossed through him Voiceless, running still Left alone under moonlight Fever pitch dashing on Old Blackwash Road Steve's mind was blanker Except for grinding terror Pushing himself faster on It was primal, fierce As his lungs began to seize Slowing on Old Blackwash Road Julie haven found above Crawling up an ancient oak She saw Steve plunge to the ground Closed her eyes ridigidly shut Prayed, then dug her nails into the wood Surrounding Old Blackwash Road Steve's wails turned raw Before they abruptly terminated Julie clung for more than her worth Tree sap glued her to her spot Unaware of it till morning light Dawn awakening Old Blackwash Road Time moved through Julie Frozen to the spot Heat of the day came fiercely Freeing her from tree secretion Setting her down upon Empty Old Blackwash Road She fled the scene half naked The ground was bare of Steve Her throat hurt as she sobbed aloud No tears were left inside her As she stumbled upon Route 40 Connected to Old Blackwash Road Julie withdrew and hid inside While the Sheriff did his best Steve was never found, even a tiny bit "It's happened before," they all knew for true Julie shrugged. What could she say or do About Old Blackwash Road?
MIND FULL DISMANTLED
A lifetime of perceived perseverance is draining
Far too many called it stubbornness
Negative and judgmental in any context
Sending one on a downward spiral
Until germination of persevering takes root again
Having one’s voice heard
Acceptance of differing viewpoints
Acknowledgment that the now of you
Has surpassed the images of your past self
That others have held onto
It is a Sisyphusian task you live
Beginning anew, evermore
Almost reaching the goal
Believing that this is your path
Your purpose exposed
Yet derision erodes the journey
Brings you to your knees
Or so it seems
Cursed to continue evermore
Translated as stubbornness
Which sets off dismissal
The you that is now.
When I’m Sixty Four (Remastered 2009) · The Beatles
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
℗ 2009 Calderstone Productions Limited (a division of Universal Music Group)
Released on: 1967-06-01
Producer: George Martin
Composer Lyricist: John Lennon
Composer Lyricist: Paul McCartney
Fuck the city Overblown, hyperactive concrete and stone Greasy street food; greasier people Racing around, step on or over Searching for the bright lights Eclipsed by the shadows To hell with the city Nearly everyone’s oppressed In some misguided way Bend your neck, never knees, As the fight to make it Truth ends in buckets of the kill. Screw the city As it screws with you Power, status, held in slimy claws There’s heartache in the streets Trod upon with running shoes. You deserve what you get Obliterate the city Turn off the lights You can’t see the stars shine Blinded eyes obfuscate Nothing to see here; move along Dwindle yourself; something is wrong. Fuck the city Obsessiveness and greed Hatred and fear Isolated in ignorance Shriek your outrage Bellow your unscripted song.
Crumbled mass of memories
Beating to remain
Drift away in pieces
Day by week
Week by month
Our chorus has refrained.
Let the days go by
Time is translucent
Affixed by artificial means
Seconds are meaningless
Hours, years, what do they share?
Try to keep track of this dark despair.
Say: “It’ll be over soon. We’ll return to normal.”
Hope that’s true, but, it’s written in the wind
Carved deep by our wants
Fashioned by others invested greed
It’ll all be over soon.
Hah! Don’t hold your breath.
Don’t cross my boundaries
While I obliterate yours
My space is limitless
Go back to other shores
I am eternally right
You know you’re always wrong.
Don’t come closer
Don’t you fucking dare.
Hide behind a wall of hate
Imagine I don’t give a shit
This world is for the taking
One breath will never come.
History becomes what we think
Nothing learned; ours to repeat
Our earth creeks and shakes
As it senses and retaliates
In the beginning, one
So at the end. None.
Crumbled mass of what we were
Bleeding to remain
Feeling wasted, dried to dust
Yet we wait behind closed doors
Time isn’t after us
Nothing is holding us.
**Apologies and credit to The Talking Heads.
NIGHTMARES FROM AN UNBLEACHED SOUL
Writing In Captivity
The AtoZ is a challenge. I take that seriously. Since 2011, my first foray into this, I have changed gears from year to year. I like stretching beyond my comfort zones. Some of it has been well taken in both Stats and comments. Others, like this year, not so much.
I am pleased with what I chose to do: write 26 Lyrical Poems under the theme title. Write every day in April, except Sundays. I have written poetry before, many well received by the readers. But, I write in that style intermittently.
This was truly a challenging April.
If you’ve followed from April 1st with Awakenings to Zealous O’er the Seas, you’ve experienced my venting, wistfulness, wishing, observations, and anger through my words. Some I rhymed on purpose, some I just let the words loose.
Every single poem was written with a genre of music or musician’s styling playing in my head. I did not intend to appropriate any specific song; it’s the overall mood they convey and are masters of. I’ve written songs before, but I have no knowledge of musical notation and I don’t play a musical instrument. I hear it inside and then turn to someone to collaborate with. From humming it out, setting the beats (as I see them), hearing it played, gets me going. Seeing how the meter is off from one (or many) line(s) starts my rewrite of the lyrics if needed. Tweaking the piece, scrapping whole verses, you know: first to finished draft.
The music that drifted around me as I wrote the poem daily (I don’t pre-write) is varied:
- Big Band/Crooners; Folk music; Rap (as I understand it); Sea Shanties; Rock; Heavy/Thrash Metal; Alt Rock & Alt-Country; Punk; Romantic-ish; Blues; Singer/Songwriter.
- Artists: Tom Waits; Leonard Cohen; The Kinks; Joni Mitchel; Peter Gabriel; Kate Bush; Sousie and the Banshees; Alestorm; Dean Martin; St. Vincent; later Beatles; Beck; The Clash; The Cure; and others that my mind can’t latch onto right now.
Nightmares from an Unbleached Soul
Why Nightmares from an Unbleached Soul? What does that mean, to you? What do you think it means to me? I asked that question near the end of the month and got one response.
Noor Anand Chawla wrote:
I think your title alludes to the fact that you lay yourself and perhaps your worst fears, bare to your audience, through these 26 pieces. “Nightmares” refer to your worst fears, and “unbleached soul” refers to the absence of restraint and being absolutely honest about your feelings.
Perhaps my explanation is too simplistic? What do you think?
Noor pretty much nailed it. I feel that nightmares go beyond our sleep. They are all around us. It could be people, situations, personal fears, perceived fears, and hurt that you feel has been done to you, or that you have done to yourself.
Noor also got the “Unbleached Soul” part. I would add to that when we follow the crowd, stop thinking on our own (or made to stop), refuse to look at things from another angle = Bleached. Soul or Mind: interchangeable.
Overall, I am a non-conformist. I despise the statement “We’ve always done it this way!” For me, there is no box for me to think out of. It’s been imposed on me time and again. Not my thing. I’m creative. I don’t always follow mindless rules, inflexible, with no desire to even listen to a different POV. Sometimes I’ve done that: those are the times I get headaches constantly and down more aspirin than I should.
Try Noor’s blog (link above). I think you’ll enjoy her writing.
I love the AtoZ Blog Challenge. I’ve come across some amazing writers, and many have become online friends. Their pieces are varied from all types of fiction to creative non-fiction to reviews and more. That’s a big part of why I come back.
As I mentioned above, I like a challenge when writing. This gives me that opportunity with the potential to reach well beyond the people who follow me. I’m not hawking for new followers. The performer side of me wants people to want more, for the readers to take what they will from the piece that can touch them &/or make them think.
I am disappointed, again already mentioned, with my stats and comments this year. This was the smallest audience of all my years participating. I went out on a limb, poured a lot of what’s inside of me (as Noor mentioned), and while getting some amazing feedback I wonder what didn’t connect with others. Normally, I’ve had serialized stories that are long in length. I get that. Long posts are sometimes passed over, especially when you are blog hopping.
If I join in again next year, I have a lot of contemplation ahead of me.
Big thanks to Arlee Bird and all the other hosts who worked on this year’s Atoz Blog Challenge. It is obvious how much work they have put in. It shows in many ways.
Big thanks 2, to all of my readers, commenters, and supporters. Too many to name, but know your interaction is priceless.
Stay safe and healthy, everyone.
NIGHTMARES FROM AN UNBLEACHED SOUL
What is desired most? Yakshinis need to know Love, greed, or spirits raised Yakshinis endure inside the Ashoka Tree Avni ran in a frenzy desperation From the news that came her way Avni cried deep without cessation Nitesh, her love, passed this very day With mudded feet, a soaked saree Avni's heart battering, at a rapid rate Finally she stood at the bole of the tree A branch held her up as she rued Nitesh's fate What is desired most? Yakshinis need to know Love, greed, or spirits raised Yakshinis endure inside the Ashoka Tree Offering up the tributes, of camphor and ghee Avni sang the mantras, performed the rituals Vichitra, the lovely one, emerged from the tree "O, my dear Avni, what desire did you choose? "Please, oh please, bring Nitesh back to me" Vichitra fades away as Shankhini takes her place "Avni is this truly desired? He was taken by the sea." A softly spoken "yes," said with reverent grace. What is desired most? Yakshinis need to know Love, greed, or spirits raised Yakshinis endure inside the Ashoka Tree Thirty-six Yakshini materialized, facing Avni Each gesturing above her body's sacred space Glowing fronds from all alighting successfully Vichitra glided to her, placed a hand on her face. "Avni, with remorse we could not honor your plea Yama, God of Death, commands Nitesh stay. Yet, Nitesh beseeches for his essence returned to thee Which we have done for the child the heavens sent. What is desired most? Yakshinis need to know Love, greed, or spirits raised Yakshinis endure inside the Ashoka Tree "She will be balanced, the desires we bestowed Nitesh loves you, and forever more His essence runs through her, his energies flow For this child, who is Bimala, One who is Pure." Foliage keeps dying, cycle of life renews The Ashoka Tree, green throughout the years Avni passes on, her time was overdue Sharing Nitesh's inner core with her mother dear. Yama escorted Avni to Nitesh One held the other; one breath they achieved For she was always his earth And he her heartbeat For she was forever his earth He her heartbeat, Eternally.
X, Y, Z are usually the tough ones on the AtoZ Blog Challenge. This year’s Y almost broke me. It took a long time to put this idea into life. More could be said, but less is more. Most of the time.
My theme for this year’s AtoZ Blog Challenge is: Nightmares from an Unbleached Soul. 26 lyrical poems during the month of April (no Sundays). It started on April 1st and ends this Thursday on April 30th. After that, a week or two later you’ll be able to find Reflections on the experience. I hope you found new blogs to like and follow. If you still wish to, go to The Master List.
I’ve asked a few questions along the way: what genre of music you think suits the lyrics best? Who or what style of music was in my head when I wrote these? My last one for the week:
- Why Nightmares From An Unbleached Soul?
- I’m curious.: How do you interpret it
- for yourself?
- why do you think I chose that as my theme title?
MUSICIANS, or people who know musicians, hear my call I would love to find someone to collaborate with. Not every one of the 26 Lyrical Poems are winners, I know that. Many will need some tweaking if I take this further. I would just love to hear some, or all of these, put to music. Anyone knows, please email me.
Comments are always welcome.