An Acrostic

An acrostic about The Maldives. Acrostics are not my forte. I say that before you read it. But, it is what it is.

 

Maldives lead-xlarge

 

Religion important among the islanders

Everyone who lives here must be Muslim

Paradise to all who browse holiday sites

Underwater environment watched through SCUBA

Butterfly fish float

Lionfish chase clown Nemo

Inhabitants friendly, living on 200 islands

Change coming through deeds of others

 

Ocean levels rising

Fear of losing more homes

 

Mohamed Nasheed, one-time President,

Assembled cabinet meeting underwater

Leading calls to implement change to save

Dolphin and whale playground

Influx of tourists endangering tropical paradise

Villingili Island; the highest point

Estimated to one day drop below the tide

Signalling an end to coconut huts on white-sand beaches

Tetrafied

Tetra Fish

 

Tetrafied

 

Alice knew as soon as he entered the bar she would be leaving with him that night. His beautiful olive skin and inky-black hair called out—like a siren—to her womanly desires. His indigo eyes locked on Alice’s, and he took the seat next to her. “Hi, I’m Jack. Let me buy you a drink,” he said, immediately summoning the bartender’s attention. 

After just two Martinis, Alice found herself linking arms with Jack and leaving the bar. As they climbed into a taxi, her stomach somersaulted. She hesitated, contemplating what she was about to do. She had never picked up a guy in a bar before. That was an occupation of the beautiful and confident; not Alice. With mousy-brown hair and pale blue eyes, she was too plain to ever attract someone at first sight. At least, that was what her mother told her.

Taking a deep, cleansing breath, she followed Jack along the rocky stone path to his front door. The house loomed high over them, casting a long shadow in the moonlight. A small flower garden alongside the path looked well-kept. Surprisingly so, for a single man in his twenties.

The old, wooden front door creaked as it welcomed them inside. In contrast to the aged exterior, the heart of the house was light and contemporary. Before Alice had even noticed Jack was missing, he returned; hands carrying more Martinis.

As they settled on the cream leather sofa, they began to explore each other. Their mouths locked and their bodies entwined. The electricity was sharp and Alice could feel herself start to let go. Then she saw it. Oh no. A wave of nausea flooded her bloodstream. 

“Fish!” she yelled, “I hate fish. Oh my God, they’re staring at me!”

Surprised, but wanting to reassure her, Jack said, “It’s okay. They’re not looking at you. They’re Mexican Tetra fish; they have no eyes.” 

But Alice didn’t hear. Throwing open the front door, she ran as fast as her feet would carry her. I’m never picking up a one night stand again, she thought, as she rounded the corner onto her own street.

Crooked Cottage

This is just a little piece of flash I wrote.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Crooked Cottage

 

I pause at the gate, taking in the slant of the thatched roof and pale patchwork stone. The sign says ‘Crooked Cottage,’ and I know I am at the right place. Smoke winds its way from the chimney, catching in my throat. 

I raise my hand to the door knocker, but there is a sign reading, “Do no knock. I will see you.” The temperature drops a good ten degrees, I’m sure. Suddenly, I’m aware of my nerves. My heart thumps behind my ribcage. Tanya had better be here already. The prospect of being alone with this house and its owner sends a shiver up my spine. 

When the door opens, I am greeted by an old woman with violet eyes and wild grey hair. “Come in, dear,” she says, in a voice so soft I can barely hear. I start to say thank you, but she puts her finger to her lips and instructs me to hush.

Instinct tells me to run away, but greed for the revered chocolate hangs over me like a spell. Tanya has not stopped talking about it all week. 

“Is Tanya here yet?” I asked the witchy-woman as she leads me through the house.

“Shh,” she replies, “Quiet.’

“Why are we whispering?” I ask.

As she motions for me to sit, she smiles and begins to explain. “This chocolate is the most perfectly silky, sweet, magical chocolate. Whatever you want from it, you will get.” She pauses briefly, then says, “The secret ingredient is fairy dust. But fairies are timid, they are easily frightened, so you must be quiet around them.”

With a sceptical hand, I reach for the chocolate and put some in my mouth. Instantly, I understand. My mouth bursts with sweetness, and all thoughts of apprehension dissipate as I groan my appreciation. A happiness I haven’t felt since childhood floods my veins. Licking my lips,  I turn to the old lady and whisper, “Thank you. Can I come again?”

Painted Eggshells


Painted Eggshells

Painted Eggshells

 

filled with lies; my life unfolds

a shattering glance, my blood runs cold,

painted eggshells; breakable

crack and fall, with fractured skull

hospital beds, disinfect

the part of my life you don’t detect

one time a punch, one time a kick

lying on the floor, feeling sick

my body cries with muted pain

you took all of me, made me feel insane

although you’re gone, locked away,

I lie awake, waiting for the day

you seek me out, and make me sorry

it gets hard to breathe, I’m so full of worry

I heard you’re changed, you regret your deeds,

but that just doesn’t cut with me

the scars you left are deeply etched

and I don’t need to hear your regrets

Waggle Dance

This is a silly, little poem I wrote after watching a documentary on honey bees.

 

Honey Bee

 

Oh, come with me,

Said the honey bee,

Let me show you where to go

If you take your stance,

Do the waggle dance,

The nectar, it will flow

Now, get in line,

To see where to dine,

Just follow my dancing rear,

We all join in

Then we take to our wings

In a quest to please Queenie Dear

It may seem funny

We produce so much honey,

But the profits we never see,

They end up in a jar

And are shipped afar;

The saga of a dancing bee

Miracles

Miracles

 

Do you believe in miracles? Speculate on your idea of a miracle you’d like to see happen.

Do I believe in miracles? In short: no. Sorry to be boring and unimaginative, but I don’t. I believe we all control our own lives. At least, that’s when we don’t have someone oppressing us and controlling our lives for us. But, I do believe that if we want something, we have to do whatever needs to be done to move closer to that dream. The kind of people who really annoy me are those who whine constantly about how much they hate their lives, and how they want a better job, more money, etc. But they change nothing. They don’t look for another job. They don’t ask their boss for a raise, or more responsibility. They just keep everything the same, and expect change to fall into their laps. That annoys the hell out of me. Especially, when I know people who have worked their butts off to get where they are. Continue to work their butts off. So, that’s my realistic take on miracles. 

Despite my thoughts above, I remember constantly wishing for a miracle when Dad was slowly dying of cancer. Especially, in the last couple of months. I would see him growing weaker and weaker, and I would hope—beyond hope—that he would be one of those people you hear about who make sudden, miraculous recoveries when they are within days of death. A part of me genuinely thought he would. Until the last week. I had to keep hoping. But it didn’t happen. Because miracles aren’t real.

If I could have a miracle, though, it would have to be world peace. I would make everyone tolerant of everyone else. People could live alongside one another, knowing their beliefs are different, and be happy to call them neighbours. The whole world would get along. Now, that would be a miracle. I really don’t understand why it can’t be that way. I don’t understand why people who pray to different Gods must be enemies. I know it’s been the case, like, forever, but I don’t get it. I really don’t.

Alternatively, I would make chocolate the healthiest food on the planet. Ooh, world peace or healthy chocolate . . . tough call.

Colour & Hope

earth

 

Colour & Hope

 

Navy night  s t r e t c h i  n   g

as far as I can see,

my head resting on tuffets

of feathery grass,

warmth spirals from

head to toe,

and musty earth 

rocks

me to sleep.

Psychedelic butterflies

flit and

f    l   o    a    t

leaving trails of 

purple and blue,

flashes of beauty

sparking the sky with 

colour and hope.

Pearls of rain

d 

    r

       o

     p

onto my skin,

waking my senses to the world,

and with fresh eyes

I marvel as nature lives

all around me.

A smile tries to sit

comfortably

on my lips;

If only we didn’t take it for granted.

Moving On

Moving On

 

Moving On

 

She sweeps an eye

over her room, and

butterflies 

dance inside.

 

Leaving is never

easy, but somehow

it always ends this way,

she has to move on.

 

Feeling suffocated, 

strangled by 

love,

its confines restricting her

flighty soul;

she knows life is flowing, and

while she plays at

happy marriage,

her heart thuds

to the rhythm of the

dull melody.

They say a restless body

can hide a peaceful soul,

but her spirit is at war,

and it will not rest

until she is 

far away

from this life, in which she’s

dying.

 

She steps outside, and

life is dawning,

morning sun warms her skin,

and doubts disappear

as she walks toward … 

who knows what …  

 

Finally, she is part of it,

life is hers;

not for the first time in her 

life,

she is 

moving on.

You’re An Original

This story is based on the Sheryl Crow song, “You’re An Original.” I love to use songs as inspiration, and Sheryl Crow is one of my  favourite artists. “You’re An Original” is one her lesser-known songs. It’s take from her “C’mon C’mon” album.

 

glitter

 

You’re An Original

 

“Hey, Lomi, come over here! You have to meet this person.”

“All right, all right. Let me finish my business over here, first.” The girl in scarlet hot pants and a glittering, green bikini top waves her hand to dismiss the man with thinning, sandy hair. I watch this girl as she takes the rolled up £10 note and inhales the magic powder. 

I knew this girl; once upon a time. She was different then. My best friend. We did normal teenage things, like going to the mall, shopping for shoes, and discovering boys. I recall Lomi chatting non stop about her first love; a wiry, acne laden boy called Will. But, life has changed. For Lomi, at least.

“Steph, come with me,” my friend says, holding out a heavily tattooed hand. “Stuart wants to talk to me, and I’ll only forget what he says if you’re not there.”

We approach Lomi’s manager and wait for him to speak. His eyes are fixed on me as he speaks to Lomi. “Tom Philips wants an interview, Lomi. He saw the show tonight, and he wants to meet you in the morning.”

“Yeah, sure, Stu. Whatever. Come on, Steph, let’s get back to the party.” 

Lomi is already dragging me away when Stuart says, “Wait. Lomi, you can’t screw this one up. He’s from ‘Celeb Weekly,’ and you need them behind you. You remember the heading last month, right?”

My friend stares at Stuart, and her blank eyes reflect a lack of understanding. She has forgotten. I haven’t. She was caught driving drunk after a two day bender. The headlines were brutal. True, nonetheless. ‘Celeb Weekly’ said, “In your cadillac, reaching for your Jack, there’s nothing we can say to stop you because you, Lomi Burnette, are a star.”

“Don’t worry, Stuart, Lomi will be just fine,” I say, not really believing my own words. With so many vicious stories hitting the celebrity magazines, it makes her behaviour worse. After the drink-drive story, rather than stopping or cutting back, she started to drink at ten in the morning, rather than waiting until mid-day.

A couple of weeks ago, some one-night-stand sold his story to a magazine. He said Lomi was, “deadly in the sack.” It earned her an army of new fans. 

“Thanks, Steph. Now, where did Josh go with the magic dust?” she says, glancing all around. 

I grab her arm as she starts to walk away. “Don’t get wasted, Lomi. You have to nail that interview tomorrow. You have to be sober.”

“Chill out, Stephanie. I’m Lomi Burnette. I can do anything I want.” As she shakes off my hand, she walks away, throwing over her shoulder, “Why are you here, anyway? You follow me around like a ridiculous, little puppy; stifling my fun.” She shakes her head as she says, “You’re pathetic. Just get out of here.”

Latching onto the first body who passes by, she heads toward the restroom with him. I’m caught between saving her and letting her set fire to her career. I decide to let her burn.

Stuart yells at me as I leave the party. I ignore him. I’ve had enough. Lomi was right, it is pathetic how I do everything for her and get nothing in return. I thought I was being a good friend. But sometimes friends have to do the right thing, even when it’s not the easy thing.

I hear nothing from Lomi for eleven days. Then, ‘Celeb Weekly’ publishes her exclusive interview. It seems she was not sober for Tom Philips. He found her to be, “A little, wannabe queen; dirty mouth and mean.” 

From what I can make out, my ex best friend was barely coherent. Tom’s final conclusion was aimed directly at Lomi; “Yeah, you’re an original, baby, like we’ve never seen before. You’re an original, baby. Turn around and you’re looking at a hundred more!”

Remorse tugs at my heels as I throw the magazine in the trash can. Right about now, Lomi  will be screaming and throwing things around her penthouse suite. Despite the fact that her rise to stardom came through reality TV, she is genuinely talented. It’s such a shame that couldn’t be enough for her. That’s the thing about Lomi: she could never be satisfied. Sure, her strong will ensured success. But the flip side of that came too easily.

********************************

Tom Philips’s article started the decline in my friend’s career. A photograph appeared of her falling out of a cab at an exclusive London club. The headline ran, “Caught you in a pose that everybody knows. You’ve done that a million times already. We thought you had something special. Seems we were wrong.” It was hard to return from that one. 

When my doorbell rang this morning, I didn’t expect to see Lomi standing in my porch. A spiral of sadness wound its way through my core as I took in her skeletal frame. Her skin—covered in acne—stretched over her bones, and she couldn’t meet my eyes.

“I’m so sorry, Steph. Please don’t hate me.” Her voice was a whisper, and my heart constricted. Pulling her close, I ushered her inside before anyone could see her. I knew, deep down, this day would come. Now it has, the vindication I imagined hasn’t appeared. The only feeling I have is sadness. My best friend is broken, and all those people who rode on the back of her fame have dumped her now things are tough. Well, not me. She is my best friend. That means something.