2014 Poetry Theme Challenge

#15 Bye Bye Baby




Thank you once again for joining the theme challenge. Most of us experience at least one defining moment when we realise we have evolved from one state of being to another. These moments are either dramatic periods of highly charged emotion or so gentle we do not notice them until they have almost passed. However they happen we leave a different person and the old is left behind. The challenge this time is to reflect upon those moments using poetry.

It Takes Courage

It takes strength to be firm,
It takes courage to be gentle.

It takes strength to conquer,
It takes courage to surrender.

It takes strength to be certain,
It takes courage to have doubt.

It takes strength to fit in,
It takes courage to stand out.

It takes strength to feel a friend's pain,
It takes courage to feel your own pain.

It takes strength to endure abuse,
It takes courage to stop it.

It takes strength to stand alone,
It takes courage to lean on another.

It takes strength to love,
It takes courage to be loved.

It takes strength to survive,
It takes courage to live.

Author Unknown


Bye Bye Baby Challenge



Terry Clitheroe

Kinaesthesia
Questioned Images
Xenobiotic
ZZZZ Time

Divena Collins

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Jez Farmer

The Crossing 14: The Tolling of a Bell
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Peter Willowdown

Marriages
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Terry Clitheroe

Kinaesthesia

See how rivers dance as starlight twinkles
And clouds like dreams fly across the sky
Eve's wind gently waves the ranunculales
Almost as if wishing the dying day goodbye.
Birds go silent and then finally fall asleep
The bat and rat rampage whilst others creep
Whilst we poor mortals somnolent lie.

Nights creatures emerge smiling at the night
It's also the time when creatures stop and stare
As mother moon arises and spreads her light.
Seeing the moon and stars for what they do
She rules the heavens for all those who care
Their two souls unite, but mortals still a pair
Where lovers gaze and wish as one, not two.



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Questioned Images

He was quiet and would never be a hero,
By the same token neither was he a coward,
About his own business quietly he would go
Until one day a religious fanatic killed him
Who would not worry about the difference?
Murdered him, impurely on a religious whim
For sinful ideals he committed this offence.

She would never ever be called beautiful,
That's in the commercial sense of the word
She was overweight believing all the bull.
Yet inside her was compassion and love,
Gifts more valuable than fashions thought
Of how to make a dollar, all else above
Starving to death had brought her naught.

He does not know anything about truth,
Yet he speaks with authority and credibility.
He is the media and is believed forsooth.
His opinions are based on bigotry and rating
And his life is based on stating and bullshit
Worse still encouraging lies and his hating
And when necessary the truth he will omit.

Her life is based simply on her devotion
She does not go to worship or speak of Gods
Instead her simple deeds are her notion.
Sometimes she is rich, but mostly she's poor,
And she will always defer to favour another
Never ever a voyeur because she is a doer
Always important, because she is a mother.



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Xenobiotic

I have found myself, not that I was lost
And just in time I was able to use a knife
The spider of that life made me pay the cost
To cut myself free and get back on my path.
Even though its winter I must stand the frost
That disdainful breath of Fate and her wrath
I have found myself, not that I was lost

I have found myself, not that I was lost
For I was an alien living in a foreign land
An icy world where there was eternal frost
Smiles were sought and friendship bought
And love came only at an exorbitant cost
Was it love or simply an expensive thought?
I have found myself, not that I was lost

I have found myself, not that I was lost
Corporations and politicians control on life
Again today I thought about all the cost.
Global warming, ozone layers and such.
Third the world is burning, another in frost,
There is all that flooding not leaving much
I have found myself, not that I was lost

I have found myself, not that I was lost.
More that I was tangled in the web of life
Emotionless where everything was crossed
I cannot isolate myself, that is a crime
I must speak out loud, or pay the cost
And such is the purpose of this rhyme
I have found myself, not that I was lost.



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ZZZ Time…(Variation)

When I stripped my parent's bed of the sheets
I found the imprints, their bodies had worn
There was definite movements along loves streets.
Springs, with impressions like thumbprints
Outlining where for years their bodies laid
Evidence of love and its many requirements
And the love and happiness they had made.

Worked at, earned in years, shaped through time
Like a pair of shoes made only to fit their bodies.
All those nights together with feelings so sublime
As I change the sheets on my bed I look there
And see the indentation left by me alone
Soon it will be time to turn over the mattress
Then it will even out the non-events of time.



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Divena Collins

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The Crossing 14: The Tolling of a Bell

In that first January Arina's sister died. Loban and Gai had been at work when the phone rang. School was still on vacation and Arina and I had been sat in the kitchen drinking tea.
I heard her speaking then her voice changed. I watched as her face changed and instinct told me to move beside her. I let her fall against me as she hung up the phone. I felt her body sobbing and wrapped my arms around her. I did not know what else to do.
We stood there for what seemed like hours with Arina just crying. Eventually I convinced her to sit on the sofa in the living room while I tried to get hold of Loban. I was not confident on the phone but luckily Loban was in the office and came straight home.
I left husband and wife to each other and went into the kitchen to make tea. From the day we arrived Arina had taught me to make tea, whatever the occasion. It was like second nature now.
Arina wanted Gai and I to attend the funeral even though we had never met her sister. “You boys are my family, and I need you there,” she said "and Kip needs to learn about life, the good and the bad."
So on a sunny winter’s day Gai and stood either side of Loban and Arina. All of us were dressed in white, the colour of mourning. I held Arina's hand while Gai and Loban lowered the coffin into the ground. I felt her squeeze as the cemetery bell tolled out a slow monotone. Without thinking I heard myself whisper "It will be ok, mum!"
Over a few days I had learned about the loss felt by a family at the time of a death but I also learned what being a part of a family really meant.



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Peter Willowdown

Marriages

Decay fell in love with Beauty and did everything he could to win her favour but Beauty was enamoured of Youth and spurned his ardent advances.
"Fair vision of Beauty," said Decay, with his soft gentle voice like falling leaves on autumn winds.
"Here is a garland of faded flowers I have plucked for you. The bright and garish colours of spring and summer have fled with all their cloying scents and power to distract, leaving the subtle tints and musks of passing time. Let me place it about your neck and admire you."

"Never," declared Beauty in horror, holding her delicate snow white nose and shirking back fastidiously. "It is old and ugly and smells of mildew and rot! What are you thinking of?"

Decay hung his head in shame as his beloved Beauty skipped nonchalently away to bat her fluttering eyelids at Youth and brush his body with her breasts.

"What can I do to win her hand?' thought Decay to himself as he wandered through a field of flowers, idly draining them of colour until their petals fell away and their leaves wilted and withered.
As he trod beside the banks of a river twilight slowly descended and a nightingale began to sing from its home in the eaves of the wood.
"I know," thought Decay, "I will compose a song in praise of Beauty. I know that she loves music - perhaps that is the way to her heart!"

And so, decay composed a song and when he had finished he took it to Beauty and sang it to her in his soft gentle voice like falling leaves on autumn winds.
He sang of the fine white threads of silver he would weave into her golden hair so that the moon would look down at her and wonder;
he sang of the creases and wrinkles he would place beneath her eyes and on her brow, signifying care and wisdom; he sang of the gentle caress of accumulating hours and days and the slow blossoming of innocence into experience...
but even as he sang his expression turned to one of dismay and his sofy gentle voice, like falling leaves on autumn winds, faltered in his throat, for Beauty had turned pale and was staring at him aghast. She placed her dainty, dove-like hands over her ears and squeezed her eyes tightly shut.

"Away!" she cried in a pitiful and tremulous voice. "Why do you torment me with these vile and terrible notions. Have you no sense of style or finesse?
I am enamoured of Youth, who tells me how fair and golden my hair is whilst gently blowing upon the fragrant down at the nape of my neck. He praises the soft milky whiteness of my bosom whilst fervently kissing the snowy orchid of my throat with ardent lips of fire.
Go away, old man, and sing your ugly songs to the crooked Willow-maids weeping by the river or to the Witch in her house of bones in the heart of the Ancient Forest."

Poor Decay! What could he do? He so loved the fair but haughty Beauty but she spurned his every devotion, thinking only of Youth and his artful, casual flattery.

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Now it so happened that one day, as Youth was out doing manual labour in the fields and the sun was flirting about him, brushing his muscles and handsome face with her warm fingers, he saw a pale and enchanting figure moving slowly in the distance, her dark hair gleaming like midnight as she stooped to mourn a fallen flower or some small dead animal laying in the grass.
It was Sorrow - and even from a distance Youth could see a tiny silver tear at the corner of her sweet, sad eye, shining like a flickering star.
He immediately fell in love and, forgetful of his labour, went to speak with her.

"I have been wandering in the Land of the Blind," he told her, "my eyes beset by false forms and colours. But seeing you I see clearly at last and will never worship Beauty again. She is naive and superficial, whereas you are possessed of a true inner pulchritude that has captured and enslaved me. You must consent to be my bride."

Sorrow looked at him in a downcast manner but she was not altogether displeased and two weeks later the two were wed and thereafter were often to be seen together searching the meadows and hedgerows for evidence of mighty Death's passing and the ruination of mortal things.

Poor Beauty was distraught.
So distraught in fact, that fine white threads of silver began to appear in her beautiful golden hair so that the moon looked down at her and wondered. Tiny creases and wrinkles appeared beneath her eyes and on her brow and slowly, slowly, she became used to the gentle caress of accumulating hours and days upon her flesh and the blossoming of innocence into experience.

Eventually, one day, her thoughts turned to Decay and it came to her that perhaps he was not such a bad fellow after all, with his soft, gentle voice like falling leaves on autumn winds.
To cut matters short, after a long engagement, they were finally married.

Decay was ecstatic. Beauty was relatively content.
Needless to say, neither Youth or Sorrow were invited to the wedding - but Sorrow came anyway, a tiny silver tear at the corner of her eye shining like a silver star.
Weddings always made her cry (as did most things).

Afterword.
Youth was not in the least put out by not being invited - it was Cup Final weekend (Forest Elves V. Glasgow Goblins) and he had a couple of mates around, each armed with a six-pack.
Of course, were this fiction, Youth would have married Beauty, whilst Decay would have met and successfully wooed Sorrow but alas - I am merely a reporter, not a novelist! As to whether either couple were 'Happy Ever after', I am not in possession of the full facts and so decline to comment.

In due course of time Youth and Sorrow had a son, Patience, a stooped and somewhat foppish fellow by all accounts, whilst Beauty bore Decay a beautiful daughter, whom they named Wisdom.
Footnote to the Afterword.
When they grew up Patience fell in love with Wisdom but she would have none of it. Indeed, she scandelised all of Tir na n'Og by taking up with Death, who, by being Immortal and more-or-less coeval with Creation itself, was somewhat older than her.
They eloped amidst much hullabaloo and honeymooned for seven weeks in sunken Atlantis, during which time not a single creature, from the lowliest amoeba up to the elephant and sperm-whale, perished or even caught so much as a cold. Things on earth were getting pretty crowded in fact.
Patience, somewhat against his nature, got rip-roaring drunk on moss-elixer, smashed up several leprechauns's toad-stool maisonettes and a scale model of Toad Hall. When he finally recovered he was so shame-faced and mortified he took a job in the National Census Office which he kept for the rest of his life.
He remained a bachelor. Ed.

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