Sunday, 22 September 2013

Poem - Why Can't I Be Me

I look in the mirror
The face I see is not my own
There's a stranger looking back
Someone I have never known

She's a child of my parents
And she does as she is told
Her choices made my those around,
But her heart is dead and cold.

  Why can't I be me?
  Why can't I make my own choice?
  Why can't I be free
  From what I'm told I'm to be?
  Why can you not see
  That I have to find my own voice?
  Why can't I be me?
  Why can't I be me?

I glance in the mirror
And wonder who she is
And from the look in her eyes
I wonder if she lives

She kept my parents happy
While she killed my soul inside
She's strived to keep the peace
And my heart has slowly died.

  Why can't I be me?
  Why can't I make my own choice?
  Why can't I be free
  From what I'm told I'm to be?
  Why can you not see
  That I have to find my own voice?
  Why can't I be free?
  Why can't I be free?

I look in the mirror
And make a choice this day
The stranger looking back
Will have to go away

I'm sorry if my parents hurt
By my choosing to be me
But I have to do this now
Before I die completely.

I have to be me.

Poem - Illusion of Life

Pristine walls, sparkling floors
Smiling staff, white-washed doors
Shining lights, toys so clean
Yet in this place, not all is as it seems

The illusion of life
Hides such a death
No joy only strife
In this organized mess

So very neat, and just so tidy
So organized, don't you see
Not even one thing, put out of place
From the stars in the sky, to the smile on your face

The illusion of life
With the lack of a soul
No sign of the strife
That takes such a toll.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Story - Magic Awakes - Part Three

  We slip out of the trees. The scent of water sweeps over me, carried on the breeze. Eric takes my hand and together we move toward the lake. The moment I step into the sun, I can feel warmth spread through me. As sunlight dances on my skin, heat seeps deep inside, curling in my gut. Eric's breath catches, and I know he is feeling it too.
  We step closer to the water, and the others fall in behind us. Kyra and Anthony step in front of us. Slipping barefoot into the water, excitement radiates off them. The water around them begins to move, pushing against their legs. Kyra reaching down, and the water surges higher, as if eager to welcome them. The breeze kicks up, wrapping around us.
  Nikki and Jake toss their heads back. Nikki's hair is streaming back, forming a halo behind her. Ryan drops to his knees in the mud at the lake's shore. He pulls Maegan down with him, and together they bury their hands in the soil. I can see pure bliss sweep over the others with us.
  Longing sweeps through me. Eric tightens his grip on my hand, and I know he feels the same longing I do. We turn our faces to the sun and bathe in the warmth. I can feel my skin absorbing the heat in the air. I can feel a smile play over my face as the heat intensifies. This is what I needed. Eric steps closer, sharing his warmth with e. The sun beats down on us, a brilliant radiance stirring the fire deep inside me.
  A searing heat engulfs my hand. I look down to see the flames dancing around our linked hands; I can feel the warmth of it, but it does't hurt. I smile to myself, remembering all the times I forgot to wear sunscreen but never burned. We stand there, at the edge of the lake, and time loses all meaning. Contentment sweeps through me as I stare at the fire playing over our skin.
  A sound pulls me from my daydream, a soft step as someone new approaches. As one, the eight of us turn to face the intruder. The stranger is tall, well built, and old. He's definitely fit, but his grey hair and wrinkled skin easily puts him in his eighties. He walks toward us, and I can feel the confidence in him. The stranger is strong, and he knows it. He stops a few feet away. Looking at each of us in turn, the old man smiles.I can feel myself relax, and I somehow know he is not a threat to us.
  "You're all here," the old man speaks, his voice is rough and weathered. "Good. I didn't expect you all to be here so soon." The wind whips around us, and the stranger closes his eyes and relaxes into it. After a moment, he opens his eyes and looks at us. I can feel his gaze linger on the flames still writhing around our hands. He looks quickly to Ryan and Maegan where they are standing anchored in the ground. Then he shifts his gaze to Kyra and Anthony and the water playing around their feet.
  He smiles again, his expression full of satisfaction. "It seems you've also found your giftings. Excellent. I can begin training you immediately, and you may even survive this time."
  Eric's head snaps up, and a ripple of shock courses through us all. "This time?" Eric asks. "What do you mean, 'this time'? Who exactly are you?"
  "Me? I'm simply the Guide. I'll teach you what you need to know to survive and help you to find your path. My name is Ishma'al. Now we must move, and quickly, before the mob arrives.Yes they are coming. Follow me now."

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Poem - Frailty of Words

We sit in total silence
I don't know what to tell you
I see that pain searing your eyes
But words fail me and break on the ground

Your heart is breaking apart
And there's nothing I can do
I see your world torn to pieces
But words fail me and strike the earth

Your tears flowing fast and free
My shoulder catches them all
Your eyes are lifeless and dim
Still words fail me and shatter on the ground

Your mind tears your heart to shreds
As what you want and need collide
Still you know I love you with all my heart
Even as words fail me and hit the earth

Poem - Twilight

A rising moon and setting sun
A shifting change, nearly done
Day retreats and fades to night
The mind awakes with loss of sight

Muted sounds, a hidden time
Bright and dark, the dusk of rhyme
The flowing change from day to night
The hope and fear of now's twilight

Colours fade as stars appear
Light to dark is now my cure
My hope is found in darkest night
This faded time holds me tight

In a world of black, I see no other
Greying shadows now my cover
My hope and peace I find in night
This darkness lends me all its might

Friday, 13 September 2013

Musing - Fear; failure and success

Dreams. Vision. Passion. Success.These are the things that drive us. They move us, give us something to strive for. We fight for them, to reach them. They linger, sometimes just out of sight, and sometimes well within reach.

There are so many things that can hold us back from following our passion. Lack of finances, opportunity or training. But among all the challenges we face, there is one that is simply the hardest to overcome. Fear. Fear holds us back in ways nothing else will.

Most of us are familiar with fear. One of the most common ways we see fear is a fear of failure. It tells us we aren't good enough to make it. We'll never be the best, never even be seen. Why bother trying when we'll just fall flat on our faces? There are countless books and movies that deal with this fear. They show people of all shapes, sizes, beliefs and colours all facing down their fear of failure and finding their dreams. They conquer their fear and achieve greatness.

But there's another fear. It's more subtle. It hides. It doesn't make sense, so we disregard it; so often we don't even realise how terrified we really are. it's the fear of success. Yes, you read that right. I know you're asking why anyone would possibly be afraid of success? Why would anyone fear achieving what they strive for, and dream of? I know you're asking, because I asked the same thing...right after I realised how very afraid I am of seeing my dreams come true.

I've spent the last year working on a novel. When I started writing it I was so excited, but the closer I got to the end, the harder it became. Completing my novel meant success, and that scared me. But I finally did it. And then I began revising. Editing wasn't hard either. Time consuming yes, but not hard. Yet, the closer I got to the end of each draft, the scarier it was. Now I was facing not only the completion of a novel, but the fact that I would be ready for readers.

I was so afraid. What if it was bad? What if no one liked it? What if it was so horrible that there was not salvaging it? Yes, I was afraid of all those things. But even more so< I was afraid of my story being amazing. I still am. Yes, I want it to be fantastic. I want to captivate my audience. I want everyone who reads it to fall in love with my book. I want to reach people, to move them, and to impact their lives.

I want that so badly. It's my dream, my passion to change people's lives with my stories. It's also my greatest fear. What happens when my book becomes a best seller (it if ever does)? What happens when someone tells me how it changed their life? So much is unknown. I know what failure feels like. It sucks. So does mediocrity. But as hard as they are, they are also very familiar. Success is an unknown.
The uncertainty is scary. But it's more than that. What if I'm never as good again? what if I disappoint those looking to me? What if I find success and it changes me? Wouldn't failure hurt that much more after reaching your goal? And where do you go when you've reached the top of the mountain, and there's no where left to climb.

You learn to fly. My first mountain was reaching "The End" of my story. After that, I had to learn to fly a little, so I could reach my goal of revising. There is always another goal to strive for, another dream to seek. And for me, I think there will always be that fear to conquer.

But along with these fears, there is one more thing I face. It's not quite a fear; more of a desperation. I can no longer stay where I am. I'm facing down my fears because I'm desperate for a change. I need to see a difference in who I am, and chancing this dream, pouring everything I am into it, will change me. Succeed or fail, I'm not on a journey. I will be someone different at the end, no matter what that end may be. I can assure you, it will be well outside my comfort zone.

What about you? What is your dream? What fears hold you back? How desperate are you to see a change in your life. Comment and share your story with me, or ask questions about mine.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Story - Magic Awakens - Part Two

  Eric drags me to my feet, and we start to run. We stick to the grass as much as possible. Rounding a corner, we see the city's oldest park. Grass stretches as far as the eye can see. There are rolling hills, huge trees, streams and even a lake. We wander through the park in awe, marveling in the softness of the grass beneath bare feet. It's not long before we find ourselves strolling along the ban of a crystal clear stream. Sunlight shimmers on the water's surface, and I can feel myself relax into the heat of the day.

  Eric takes my hand in his, and we stop to absorb the wonders around us. The stream laughs and sings as it plays among the rocks. I can smell the water, the plants, the life all around us. We follow the stream into a thicket of trees. The leaves are lit up and glowing, as if they have been kissed by lightening.

  My heartbeat drums in my ears, and my pulse thunders. I know the others are nearby. I can feel them moving through the trees. Between one step and the next, we move from dense forest to an open clearing. I can see the others moving into the clearing in pairs. On the far side of the clearing is the park's lake. Deep and clear, it gleams a deep, rich blue.

  I look around at the others, and I know we are family. I know we are stronger together, that simply being near each other will strengthen us all. We're going to be needing that strength and courage, if we are to have any hope of doing what's needed.

  Eric is still holding my hand, and I look around. There are four others here. I know them, the way I know Eric. I have always know them, even thought we have never laid eyes on each other before today. I see NIkki and Jake, both seem to hold the wind in their hands. Both are pale, with white blond hair and the lightest of blue eyes. Near them are Maegan and Ryan. I can feel the earth welcoming them. With hair as rich a brown as the soil beneath their feet, they truly seem to belong to the Earth.

  I turn to my right, expecting to see another pair. Kyra and Anthony should be here. I can feel my confusion spread through the others. Something is wrong. They should be here. We need them.I hold tight to Eric, and together we move in the direction they should be. We aren't complete without them. We won't be able to accomplish what we need to without them.

  I glance behind me, and as I expected, I see the other four following us. Instinct is screaming at me. I know Kyra and Anthony are in trouble. We have to find them. Racing through the trees, I lead the others to the far side of the park. Moving out from under the trees, we move quickly over the rolling hills. We stop short of the street on the far side of the park.

  In a small valley, just out of sight of the road, there's a crowd gathered.I can feel the anger in the mob, and I can see Kyra and Anthony surrounded by them. The two of them are standing back to back, and somehow I know the crowd's anger is directed at our missing pair.

  As one, we move through the crowd. I can feel them staring at us as we weave between the angry bodies. We step into the centre of the ring and quickly move around the pair we'd been missing. Without a word, Kyra takes my free hand, and one by one, our group takes hold of each other. We're finally together. Now if we can only make it past the crowd and back into the shelter of the trees.

  I have Kyra on my right and Eric on my left. Our circle closes as Maegan takes Eric's hand on my other side. A charge sweeps through me. I can feel it; heat flows out of my right hand.I can feel it flowing through me. Moments later I feel a solidness slip into me. I feel the ground beneath my feet, firm and reassuring. That strength winds its way into me; anchoring me to the ground. A breeze flows over me, teasing my hair. I feel light. If not for the solidness of the earth beneath my feet, I fear I would float away. Rain begins to fall from a clear sky. Cool and refreshing, I feel alive. Heat sweeps back into me from my left hand, from Eric.

  I can feel the power in the air, in all of us. The mob surrounding us feels it too. I can see unease move through them. The crowd gets restless, and I know we need to take advantage of their hesitation. I take a single step toward the trees and the mob in front of me backs away. As a single unit, we walk together. The crowd parts; I can taste the fear coming off them. We walk through them, and they fade from in front of us like mist. In moments we are back under the shelter of the trees. I can feel the life here. We pause for a moment, and we all breathe deep. Then we head for the lake. We need to be there. We were all drawn there for a reason. It's where we belong. There's something there that we need.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Poem - Flight Of Dream And Fancy

The flight of dream and fancy
Rising up on darkest sky
Taking wing o'er deepest sea
Soaring far on inward eye

A rising moon showers dreams
Upon the sleeping minds
The stars above, granting hope
Upon nocturnal kinds

Dreams and hope, shadow's gift
Darkness hides the pain
Night takes wing and takes the mind
To soar above the sane

The flight of dream and fancy
Pulls away from life and "truth"
Reality is now unreal
As my mind sees life anew

Poem - Background Of Your Life

The music plays
So softly
Almost forgotten
In the background of your life

The rhythm flows
Steady and strong
Like the beat of a heart
In the background of your life

A soothing tune
A whisper of sound
Barely heard
In the background of your life

A lonely beat
Persistant, relentless,
Of dreams unrealized
In the background of your life

The music speaks
Sharing a story
Of thoughts unspoken
In the background of your life

The sweetest of notes
Chiming a song
Of who you should be
In the background of your life

A relentless hum
Constant, forever
The music plays
In the background of your life

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Poem - The Truth

Life has destroyed me, and broken my heart
Pain has weakened me, torn my world apart
Fear has engulfed me, and stolen my home
Life has betrayed me, and forced me to roam

I hide this pain inside with an unreal smile
I think to myself, "I'm ok for a while"
If I say the right words, they'll think I'm alive
When all the while, I fight to survive

So I'll speak of God and all that He's done
I'll show them my "dreams"; they share in my "fun"
But it's not really real, the pain's setting in
The world will see me, my lie's wearing thin

I want the hurt to end; I don't care how
I want the pain to stop, to fade away now
If I need to die, it doesn't matter to me
So take my life, I know where I'll be

Poem - To Your Feet

The world spins around you
Sweeping you past your fondest dreams
And you think you've lost your chance

The storm rages overhead
Drowing all your deepest hopes
And you've heard the doors slam shut

So you've got to stand, to your feet
No time left to be afraid
You've got to break, the walls around you
It's time, take the chance.

So stand, to your feet
Reach for the stars above
Break the chains, that hold you back
It's time; take the risk

The darkness covers all
Smothering your brightest light
And you think you've failed again

The wind drives against you
To shove you to your knees
But you have held your ground

So stand, to your feet
No time left to be afraid
You've got to break, the walls around you
It's time, take the chance

So stand, to your feet
Reach for the stars above
Break the chains, that hold you back
It's time; take the risk

You held your ground; you refused to bow
You would not break, so stand
Stand your ground, refuse to bow
Never break, just stand

Monday, 2 September 2013

Story - Magic Wakens - Part One

  I wake with a start. Sunlight filters through my curtains, bathing my room in a warm, golden glow. Breathing deep, I become aware that something has changed. Drawing the scent of the night's rain deep into my lungs, I can taste the difference in the air. Something fundamental shifted in the darkest hours. I can feel it singing inside me, and I know the world will never be the same.

  Cranking on the radio, I nearly deafen myself as music come blaring out of the speakers. I quickly turn my stereo down, and I grab whatever clothes are handy. The material feels course against my skin, but it doesn't matter. I have to know what has changed. I force myself to listen past the itchiness of my jeans and listen to the radio.

  I shift the station, but all I hear is music. Every station is playing music. The songs change, but no one comes on the air to announce any floods, or the start of World War Three. Logging onto my laptop, I surf through the national news sites. There are no earthquakes, tornadoes, or eruptions. There's not a single report of any major disasters, unless you count the latest teen idol's decent into anarchy.

  I keep looking. There's no news worth reporting at all. No one has solved the world's energy demands, or found a way to feed the homeless. Nothing good, and nothing bad. Despite the lack of news and the cheerful beat still banging out of my stereo, I know something is different. Something has shifted at the core of my world.

  Downstairs, my roommate has already left for work. She's probably been gone for at least a couple hours. As usual she's left a note taped to our refrigerator. "Dear Jaynie, I packed you a lunch when I was making mine. We're out of milk; can you stop and grab some on your way home? Kimberly" Nothing out of the norm there. I send her a quick text anyway; maybe she's heard something at work?

  I turn on the t.v. and grab an apple. I channel surf as I eat, but nothing jumps out at me. Every channel has the same old shows, and the news is just showing traffic and weather. In disgust I turn it off and glance out the window.

  I can see my neighbour mowing his lawn. Cars drive by at their normal sedate pace. Everyone seems to be going about their day, business as usual. I shake my head, puzzled, wondering for a moment if this was all just a dream.

  I grab my bag and head out the front door. I freeze on my top step and just stare. The air around me is alive, glowing and vibrant. It's as though the air itself has been charged with power somehow, and the wind moving through my hair feels electric. The grass around me is greener than I have ever seen it, and I can't help but take a moment to look around.

  Every colour I see is more vibrant, more real than anything I've ever seen. Yet everyone is walking along with their heads down. They stare at the sidewalks or their cell phones. Some are lost in conversation, while others just seem lost. I don't understand why they don't see the vibrancy around us. Can't they feel the power in the air? Don't they taste the life in it?

  I breathe in, and I can feel the power in the air being drawn into my lungs. I breathe as deeply as I can, and I hold my breath for just a moment. I can feel the energy that surrounds me, and I can feel it settle deep, into the lungs. It winds it's way inside me, and I don't understand why no one else feels it.

  Moving down my steps and away from my home, I head for the college campus. My class starts soon, but I can't seem to make myself hurry. With every step I see changes around me. Plants are more alive; their colours more intense. Birds sound sweeter; even the magpie's screaming sounds almost musical.

  I draw in another deep breath. The air itself is heavier. How can they not feel it? It's like trying to breath water, but with each breath I feel more alive. A light breeze brushes against my skin, and a sweetness fills my head. I can smell the plants around me, a spicy, honeyed scent that makes me feel euphoric.

  It's with a smile on my face that I move through the college doors. I'm instantly surrounded by what I can only describe as mayhem. Noise drills through my skull and the air inside these walls smells stale. The dim light from the florescent bulbs is harsh and unforgiving. The atmosphere here feels dead, as if whatever has changed the world outside hasn't quite filtered down into our building.

  I wade through the noise and chaos, headed toward my first class of the day. History has always been fascinating to me, but right now I'm more concerned with the present. I made it about three steps before I feel an arm flung over my shoulder. I glance up through dark bangs to see Sue beside me.

  At a stunning 5'8", Sue is easily three inches taller than me. Slim in ways I will never be, she outshines me in every way. Blond hair, blue eyes and a mouth straight from every guys dream, Sue is the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. I have no idea why she decided to be my friend.

  The first day of college, while I was trying to figure out where to go, Sue introduced herself and kind of adopted me, said I was her new sister. From that moment on, she spent every possible moment with me. She chose the same classes, drags me around between them, and basically has made me her shadow. I'm dark to her light, and with golden-haired Sue beside me no one sees me. Trust me on that.

  A hip-check from my other side, almost knocks me to the floor. Only Sue's arm over my shoulder's keeps me upright. I don't even have to look to know it's Chris, Sue's best friend since birth. The two of them travel everywhere together; heck they even chose this college together. Both well off, popular and gorgeous, they are the elite of the school. I will be the first to admit, that always being in their shadow has opened quite a number of doors for me. I've been invited to all kinds of events simply because of my proximity to the "power couple".

  I'm jerked out of my thoughts by Chris and Sue pulling at me. They hurry us along, and the crowd parts around us. As they drag me to class they fill the air with their chatter. They flirt back and forth like a new couple, but all their talk is meaningless noise. Somehow, I just know they are as oblivious as everyone else I've seen.

  We slip into our seats, and I pull out my notebook. I have no idea if I'll be able to focus, but no one else seems to have seen a thing. I'm again hit with the feeling that this may have all just been my imagination. Dr Jackobs walks in then, and he calls for the class to listen up. A thrill goes through me, and I just know he's going to explain what's changed overnight. But all he does is let everyone know about a change in time for the upcoming exams.

  Meaningless. I can barely pay attention through the rest of the class. The rest of the morning is no better, a barrage of useless information and mounting noise. I can feel it pushing against me. My classrooms all feel like cages, and the hallways are suffocating me.

  We join the throng in the hallway after our last morning class. We head to the outdoor cafeteria. Set between the buildings, this area is surrounded by brick and stone. Cement tables are scattered on a concrete ground. It's harsh and feels kind of dead right now, but at least I can see the sky. I need to feel the air against my skin. I crave the sun and the wind. The moment we step outside I feel a weight lift off me. I can breathe again.

  Not one person in the entire college has noticed how the world has shifted. The air is electric. I can feel it, deep inside, curling in the pit of my stomach, waiting. Every breath I draw builds this feeling in me. There's a current under my skin and a buzz in my head. It's getting stronger as we sit to eat.

  Chris and Sue fill our lunch hour with mindless prattle. They rave about the parties over the weekend and the upcoming football game. Our table quickly fills with the usual characters, but the conversation doesn't improve. Nothing they say matters, not one syllable of it. I want to scream at them. Why can't they see it? Are they blind to the glow in the air? Can't they hear the music all around us, or feel the power on the wind?

  I shove myself to my feet, ignoring the looks Chris and Sue give each other. I know only that I have to get out of here, to get away. I need to be away from their meaningless chatter. I need to feel the air,to draw in the power as I breathe, to feel the wind move through my hair. I need to feel the heat of the sun on my skin, and feel the living earth beneath my feet.

  I can feel my friends staring holes in my back as I walk away. I can barely keep myself from running as I weave my way through the tables. The concrete is hard underfoot, and I head for the grass as quickly as I can. I move toward the greenhouse, and the garden behind it.

  I step into the warm air of the greenhouse. I can feel the life in here, and I draw it in. I move quickly through the plants, headed to the back doors. Through the glass walls I can see someone outside, standing at the edge of the garden. I don't know him, but the way he moves is so familiar. I slip out the door, kicking off my sandles, and walk toward the center of the garden.

  The stranger walks beside me, and I notice he's barefoot as well. Surrounded by earth and plants, we drop to our knees. Digging my fingers deep into the soil, I feel the current under my skin leap to life. I gasp in sheer pleasure, the sensations overwhelming me. I can hardly breathe, and I just sit there with my hands buried in the soil and a stranger kneeling next to me.

 He turns toward me, green eyes glowing and skin like moonlight. His voice is soft as velvet when he finally speaks. "You feel it too?" he asks, as his hands seek the soil. I can only nod as I feel the energy racing through me, singing through me.

  "What is it?" the stranger's voice is quiet, "What in this world has shifted?"

  Finding my breath and then my voice, I answer, "I don't know," I say. "But why can't they see it?" I ask, nodding toward the students milling around the school fields.

  The stranger shrugs and shakes his head. Then, suddenly, his hands find mine under the soil. I feel an explosion deep inside me, and the current under my skin roars to new heights. I hear him gasp, and my breath catches. My pulse stills and I realize I know him. Eric. I know him. I've always known him.

  Somehow we're both a part of this, whatever this is. It's vital, necessary. This change is the most necessary thing to have happened in generations. We are the key to this change, but it's not just us. Eric and I look at each other, and we know there are more. We have to find the others, the ones who can see the change we see.

Poem - Line In The Sand

I stood firmly
I knew what was okay
I drew my line in the sand
But the waves washed it away

I stepped back from the rage
Crashing down on me
So I knelt in the sand
And drew my line again

But your anger came again
And I retreated once more
I redrew that line in the sand
And said I'd hold my ground

Time and time again
I stepped back from the pain
The waves battered down on me
And I was forced further back

My line in the sand
Is still there before me
I know what's not okay
But it keeps finding me

I stand firm
And try to speak my mind
But I'm never heard
And your rage desroys my line

I need to dig deep below the sand
I need to find the strongest stone
That will help me hold my line
So it won't break beneath the rage

Poem - Alone

I trusted you
I needed you beside me
But when I turned to look
You were never in my sight

I wanted you
I needed to be held
But even in your arms
You were never really with me.

I dreamed of you
I felt your body next to mine
But still I knew I was really alone
Because I knew I'd soon wake up

I trusted you
To be always on my side
But the moment I needed saving
That's when you turned on me

I wanted you
I needed to be loved
But even at your side
You never showed you cared

I dreamed of you
I dreamed you had my back
But still I knew you'd turn on me
Because I knew I'd soon wake up.