I met new people today
Their personalities must be full
And lifetimes in the making
But I just got the free sample
Where you don’t really know if
You want the whole thing
Or the sample was quite enough

Really I’m a nice person
And I’m sure they’re nice people too
And I’ll really actually not mind
Learning more about them if the conversation flows
Not like wine that is poured purely for social etiquette
But if it flows like a song
Each instrument still playing notes of their own
While dancing with the others
Until the song is over.

Friday Fictioneers | Scratches

Scratches. That’s what I lived by. A cautious cadence of scratches meant a gentle road, a juddering attack of scratches meant some winding or turning, and no scratches meant relief, sleep, a chance the journey was over.

I was lucky, I knew. Some displaced souls escaped in much worse conditions. Hundreds of humans in tiny shipping containers, some bodies touching bodies that were only still. Not thinking of the guilt I feel for those left behind.

The scratches started again, the hay around me a comfort blanket of freedom as it carried me to what I hoped would be safety.

Story written using the above photo prompt for the Friday Fictioneers challenge by Rochelle.

Twiglet #240 | The Stars Burn

Saying the stars burn
is like saying that
Life is for living!
It sounds poetic,
Insta quotable.
But it is a mere
Fact. That I wish more
people listened to
Really listened to.
Not just heard as part
of the herd that just
follow, and not do.

Written for the Twiglet prompt.

Each line of my poem has 5 syllables (this started by accident and then I tried to continue it). Is this a named type of poetry at all does anyone know?

To That Woman In Pizza Hut

To that woman in Pizza Hut, who I think was with her family, her son and grandson, or maybe her brother and nephew. Who’s son/brother was checking out a woman in leggings. When your grandson/nephew came back to the table and told you “Dad’s watching that woman.” When you smiled at him like this was a little joke. Like this was acceptable behaviour. Because your son/brother is of the generation where objectifying women is not only acceptable but encouraged man to man. Where objectifying women is overlooked by other women as we feel intimidated to stand up and call out this behaviour. Yet men have no issue standing up and cat calling us.

To that woman in Pizza Hut, who’s young male relative noted behaviour of his father, looking to you for your opinion. Your acceptance, your smile, they will form vertebrae of the backbone of how he treats women. They will continue the system we women want to break.

To that woman in Pizza Hut, this is what I wish I’d said to you. “Please talk to your nephew/grandson about what he saw. Please talk to your nephew/grandson about how it’s not okay. Please talk to him about what he witnessed in an open way, allowing for conversation but making it clear the actions of his father aren’t okay. Please talk to your son/brother about his behaviour. Please talk to him in a way that women from your generation couldn’t imagine having the freedom to talk in. That I wish you now felt you had the freedom to talk in.”

But of course I said none of this. I am a feminist. I am a woman. I am comfortable being in uncomfortable conversations. And yet I let this opportunity pass by. Another globule of cement fixing a sexist brick on this young man’s wall of ideals.

To that woman in Pizza Hut, who was objectified by a man from a time I wish was further in history than it seems, I am sorry I did not speak out for you. I hope next time I will do better.

Weekend Writing Prompt | Summer Nights

The glow of fire
millennial fire mind you
4K on YouTube
“most realistic HD crackling”
Cosies me on summer nights
summer nights cold with neglect
not lonely
content in my own company
Candles join the party
black amber
wild lavender
all the plants I grow are wild
really they grow themselves
I just let them live rent free
Their flames move like arms at a rave
a rave more real than my fire
scents of drunk grass, unwashed souls
smeared in metaphorical mud of mental illness
we all seem pigs in mud these days.

Written for Sammi’s Weekend Wrting prompt!

#writephoto – Subsea

Her messy bun held. Just. But trailing plaits swung like pendulums impending doom. The pair helped balance her as she tried to bear the weight of the hydria. Sun warmed water sloshed from its brim, making her sandals slippery and her path more difficult.

Her nimble frame, encumbered, but still nimble enough to weave through sailors unloading ships, stall owners shouting for custom, and other serving girls like her cargo-ing the morning water. Or maybe the furrow of Athenians just had little desire to get tangled within the mess they sensed she would make.

Visages of a large broken urn being their responsibility or their goods soaked to useless steered them from her path. However she could see little through the handle and did not notice her path taking turns she had not planned, taking her closer to the water’s lapping edge than the road home.

All it took was the unfamiliarity of the stone and the slip of soaking sandals to topple her and her guest into the blue. Cold hard waves broke her fall where the sun had not yet warmed it, and as she bobbed on the surface, despair seeping into her bones, her master’s hydria began to sink. She’d managed to earn some fish a new home, and herself a week of pain she could not begin to imagine.

Written for the #writephoto prompt linked here, photo below.

Twiglet #236 | The Last Word

I always had to have the last word
To feel I’d won the fight.

You always let me have the last word
Because you cared more about us than winning.

Thank you for all your losses so we could win and weather
The storm I was the eye of
That we still suffered together.

I now see
It’s not you vs me
It’s us vs anything life attempts to make us hurdle
I’m ready to take one, two, three for the team
And let you win
And if I have learnt a goddamn thing
It won’t feel like I lose
But that we just sail out
Onto calm waters
Our hands gripped tighter
than they were before.

Prompt from The Twiglets

Friday Fictioneers | Blurred Lines

“Blurred lines. How do you know where the boundaries are if they act in so many ways?”

“You could just ask?”

Story written using the above photo prompt for the Friday Fictioneers challenge by Rochelle.

I immediately saw the blurry lines in this image and thought of the song. I wanted to write about it but as I felt what I wrote (albeit super flash fiction) was enough to get across the point I wanted to make.

Friday Fictioneers | Peel My Skin

My skin peels away from flesh, my flesh from milky marrow, leaving nothing but my naked soul exposed for all to judge. I step out, beaming spotlight of raw sun highlights the pockmarks seared in from hate and anger. Without my shield my anger has melted, without my comfort blanket of body I can ask truly for forgiveness. “Please. Forgive me.” The limp lips of their lifeless face cannot. It is up to me to forgive myself. But if I repeatedly forgive myself, will I ever stop?

Story written using the above photo prompt for the Friday Fictioneers challenge by Rochelle.