Lines from a Bleeding Heart

Never picturing solitude
Not with promises
People swore
Now those closest
Are furthest away
Those depended on
Are no longer there
Those who listened
No longer hear
I never understand
Why false promises are made
Does no one truly care
Is that why they’re gone
Are those really masks they wear
A heart is given
Yet never returned
They still flock to me
Pouring out their souls
Help them set problems free
Living can be hard
Everyone knows
Yet when it comes to individual strife
The empathetic are tossed away
Pitched like the trash of life
Is it asking too much
For someone to be supportive
But it returns to care
And honesty behind it
Would anyone dare
To reach out to one in need
Who gave so much love
When others called for it
So it could be done for them
Though they never admit
How they failed
Their human support
Now the empathetic is gone
They have indefinitely lost
The other ultimately won


My Element

I wanted to be fire
Big, bad, strong
A raging inferno

But I love something else

I love the ocean
Feel at home in a pool

There are other realizations

I tend to be calm
Until the winds of life
Stir me around

I am fluid
Yet lazy as waves
Lapping safe shores

I possess more depth
Than some would give credit

I hide many secrets
And much darkness

I can also be deceptive

On the surface
I may look calm
But deep down
Undercurrents tear me apart

I feel at peace in the rain
Yet flood with tears

I’m not afraid to drown
Whether it be myself
Or one who pushes my limits

Pour toxic waste on me
But I will find a way

I am water

And water always finds a way


The Abandoned Light

Abandoned stairs

The sky turned a gray he had never seen before, causing the forest to dim; something inside him whispered to find shelter. His eyes scanned the moss-covered trees. He paused. Fully turned in all directions.

He didn’t know this part of the woods.

An over-grown trail led west. He almost missed it, it hadn’t been used in so long. Moving branches and foliage out of his way, he traversed in silence. In fact, this whole region of the forest was quiet. Not a single animal or insect sounded their respective calls.

He stopped. A set of stone stairs lay before him, leading to a black doorway. His heart raced. Causing him to breathe in quicker. Moist earth permeated his nostrils. Putrid algae and decaying trees followed. Then…ash.

Studying the sky once more, he looked back at the door-less entry to a stone building forgotten in time. Left to the clutches of nature. So much so, he hadn’t noticed the rest of the structure at first. And as much as common sense screamed no, something pulled him inside.

His right foot mounted the first step. Dust, leaves, and ash being stirred in who knew how long. He wasn’t positive the staircase wouldn’t crumble beneath his weight. But he had to know what was inside.

He stepped on the second stair.  Then the third, the fourth. Careful to avoid the jagged stone that somehow survived years of the tender care of the elements. Fifth, sixth, seventh. The toe of his hiking boot caught a thick root, sending him down onto the final two steps.

On hands and knees, he lifted his head. The darkness of the doorway was much closer now. He swallowed. Why did he feel so compelled to enter this dilapidated place? Yes, he sought shelter from what he assumed was a storm, but certainly, there was a better place than this.

However, he pushed himself off the wet stone. Wiped his bloody palms on his shorts. Mounted the eighth step. Then the ninth. Finally stood on the landing taken over by fungi and ivy. He still couldn’t determine the building, but he assumed it was an old home. Built so someone could find solace among the silent trees.

One deep breath prepared him to cross the threshold. Two paces, and he was enveloped by the inky blackness. It took three seconds for his eyes to adjust. And in the distance, he saw a light. Light that must’ve streamed through a gaped hole in the ceiling.

He held his breath. Slowly placed one foot in front of the other. The wooden floors creaked and moaned, clearly unhappy about being disturbed. He prayed there were no missing boards.

A wet, acidic stench clogged his throat.

The ray of light was within reach, and he paused. Thick particles floated in the air. What had he been breathing in? The ancient debris of this abandoned home? It seemed like something more. He coughed and choked, stepping into the light to see if he hawked anything up.

A surge pulsed from the stream of light.

This part of the forest returning to its undisturbed state.

The light had claimed another victim.

And added more ash to its home.


Elephants and Dragons

When I was a child, my mother used to tell me about the traveling circus and their elephants. I used to ask how they managed to keep such beasts in the circus, and she replied, “They chain them.” Now, I grew up thinking elephants were dumb. How could I not? I saw these massive creatures being held back by a collar on one of their front legs and a thin chain. How could the elephants not free themselves?

It wasn’t until I was older that I realized the circus workers chain the elephants since birth. The young spend every ounce of effort trying to get free. But they can’t free themselves that early. Even as fully grown adults, they believe that thin chain won’t break, so they don’t even try. It’s conditioning.

Today, I’ve learned the elephants are rather intelligent beasts. A tribe of colorful nomads were kind enough to give me a lift as I traveled to a neighboring kingdom for information regarding their new mounts for knights. The tribe rode on the backs of elephants to get around.

My mount was a grand female named Tu’kash’i. The nomads won’t tell me what it means. They fear it will disrespect the elephants if they reveal name meanings. I decided that Tu’kash’i meant “clever soul” because she was, indeed, intelligent. She took great care with me, and the wisdom in her dark eyes astounded me.

At last, we arrived at the kingdom, and I bid the nomads farewell. The king received me eagerly. Nearly jumping off his throne at my approach. I swept low in a bow. “I come from the north to observe–”

“Yes, yes,” the king exclaimed. He clapped me on the back. “I have been expecting you. What I have to show you is marvelous. My brother–your king–should be most impressed.”

I was hurried away before properly introducing myself. Led by the king out the back to a private courtyard. How could I protest? But what I found left me speechless.

Multiple dragons rested on the ground. Every single one of them chained.

The king laughed at my face. “Do not fret! They cannot hurt you. They are as hostile as a mouse.” He proceeded to approach the nearest one and smack it on its flank.

I must say I was rather shocked the ginormous beast didn’t eat him on the spot. But I studied the dragons harder. I had seen dragons in the wild before. Magnificent creatures that could have serious attitude problems.

The dragons I had seen before were solitary, territorial. They were might and eager to display how fierce they were. Their scales shimmered. Their wings glowed. And their eyes reflected the fire within their bellies.

These dragons…these dragons were lackluster, their colors dull and faded. They appeared sickly. Not anything like the robust, wild dragons. They were chained five feet from each other and didn’t pay one another heed. Their wings were limp and useless. Not a single one seemed interested in what was going on.

Needless to say, I was extremely horrified. “A-are these the mounts?”

“Nonsense! These are my pets.” The king broke into laughter. “I have a new breed of horse for the mounts. Sturdy, fast, and full of endurance. They are perfect for knights.”

I couldn’t take my eyes off the tamed beasts. No. The conditioned beasts. It was so sad to see them this way.

The king returned to my side. “I see you are more curious about them for the time being. Well, allow me to tell you a story. When I was but a wee lad, my parents would let me watch the traveling shows that frequented our kingdom. My favorites were the elephants. Do you like elephants?”

“Yes,” was my absent response.

“Well, I learned the masters would chain the young until the young gave up on freeing themselves. Then I learned that the adults were traumatized enough to know not to fight the chains. I thought to myself. If such a strategy works on intelligent enough beasts as elephants, why not try dragons?”

He clapped me on the back again. “Obviously, it worked. I have three generations so far that are this tame. Maybe I should start my own traveling show, eh?”

I didn’t answer. I couldn’t answer. What would I say? Other than I felt like vomiting.


Magenta Baubles

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Quick Update

I thought I would take a second to give you all a quick update. I know I’ve been posting more photography than writing lately. I’ve been working through a few health issues, and let’s be honest, photos from my computer’s library of the years I’ve been taking pictures are much easier to upload than writing a story or poem.

But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing at all. I officially only have one scene left to rewrite of my young adult novel. Because the rewriting process has removed a chunk of my word count, there are a handful of scenes that I can add back in that I took out what seems like ages ago but will help my story’s flow overall. Then I’ll be ready to move onto the editing stage. So that’s been really exciting for me.

Just so you can get a peek into how my brain works, the short stories and poems that I put on this blog are never really…planned. They just come to me. Usually, the first line is inspired by an event, something in nature, an interaction, or just something my mind decided to make up. The rest follows. None of my short stories or poems have a designated “end,” so I’m just as surprised as you guys are to how they play out. And that’s one of the things I love about writing them. They’re spur of the moment things I have to get down then share with my readers. It’s fun for me, and I hope it’s fun for you.

Long story short, please don’t think I’m abandoning this blog, or I’m only going to be posting photography from now on. I will have more short stories and poems when I can focus more on the things around me. They will come. Inspiration is everywhere and never runs out. But I thought I would let everyone know what was going on.

Always remember to keep your imagination. For you never know the crazy places it will take you.

–Rose


Sunrise, Sunset

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Ever-changing
Yet constant
Multi-colored
Yet monochrome
Always on the move
Such beauty
Such inspiration
A new painting each day
God’s painting
Surely only Divine can fathom
The depth and flow
Saturating the sky
Shining day and night
Vivid pigments
Yet subdued
No two identical
Embraced by sun and moon
Enhanced by stars
Celestial phenomenon
For all to enjoy
Yet only if you look
Take the time to observe
The wonders above your head
The glorious wonders
For us to discover
Slivers of hope
In mundane life
May we rise
And never be set
In benighted ways 


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