It Happened One Night – A Reboot

With nothing to throw between us, I was hard-pressed to figure out how to give us the privacy we required at this time. Naturally, with our history, our sleeping arrangements felt awkward.

Regardless, our anxiety finally calmed, attaining a lull under the backdrop of a rising moon; we were both soon asleep in the space we had created.

But our slumber was interrupted by what sounded like an old victrola playing a scratchy, broken record, droning on loudly. However shaken we felt, we remained mute as we watched a shadow pass by us gracefully, totally in step with the music.

I’m Back! :)

All the food and drink you could want in the backdrop of a tropical paradise. Yeah, I would call that a great getaway! And it was, except for a few things. While we didn’t encounter a hurricane this time, let me tell you, what an adventure…

The intention was to unplug and relax, and we did. I left my laptop at home, only bringing my Kindle to catch up on the many titles in my library. The goal was to read as many as possible, also jotting down thoughts to turn into reviews which I would post when I got back. I ended up reading nineteen books, so I think I nailed that goal!

While this vacation was definitely filled with much-needed downtime, who would have thought that we’d also have to deal with an ear infection, a frozen shoulder, and COVID. Yes, the dreaded COVID. We outran it for two years but finally succumbed to it. We’re okay, but I have to tell you, it sucks.

My husband dealt with mild symptoms, me – not so much. Due to my heart issues, my doc felt it best to be on Paxlovid. After three days of full-on flu symptoms, I finally started feeling a little better. Now, let’s just hope there are no other immediate aftermath complications or effects years down the road, which current research shows have the potentiality of becoming a reality.

Oh, and Paxlovid-mouth is a real thing. I’m looking forward to that nastiness leaving my tastebuds in the next couple of days. The pharmacist promised that it would eventually dissipate.

So, I’m back. A little battered, but ready to get back to the blog! While it wasn’t the idyllic ending to our time off, this past month has been somewhat restorative for me mentally.

Amee Redden

Into the Sunrise of Albuquerque 

The brilliant mass ascension,
five hundred plus hot air and gas balloons,
billowing a multitude of colors and shapes
while gracefully lifting up to the morning sky,
and removing all the air from the spectator’s lungs
as they gaze upward in awe.
The sunrise smiled
and accepted the new friends.

Sharing a Meal with Strangers 

Chance encounters, the prelude to an enchanted evening.
Friends of friends, invitations warmly extended.
Festivities are dotted with good food, good people, and good drink.
A lifelong memory of the best of times with locals.

Going Down with the Sun 

I watch from afar as the brave sail off a high cliff jutting sharply on the coastline, aiming their course directly towards the crescent of the sun. They hang in the air seemingly for an eternity until dipping too close to the turbulence of the ocean waves demands a return to the land. They ride out the last cushion of air to safety, and jubilant cheers from friends.

~~~

Amee Redden started writing at a very young age, mostly stories from traveling with her family. Amee imagines she will one day retire in a place she has come across. This feature is her first on The Short of It.

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Reblogs – Candice Louisa Daquin & Jude Itakali

Helena Nelson-Reed*

*From my research, I believe the original image (the right image) was created by the illustrator named. I’m not sure who did the flipped, black image and combined the two.

***

It seems to me that when we find the right person or people, we should hold tight. Whether friend or lover, finding a safe harbor in this indiscriminate world gives us peace, comfort, and even strength.

By Candice Louisa Daquin

Your skin collects starlight
ebony turns blue in dusk
we curl tighter till no division exists
the pounding emptiness I got so used to
dissolves.

The Artist of my Soul by Jude Itakali

Who are you that sees me so clear 
A voyeur who prowls my soul 
And drips between its layers 
Daring to divulge 
Secrets I did not know I had. 
How in so short a time 
Have you found what none has found in a lifetime 
When did you become the artist of my life story 
Deftly splodging my pain in patterns across the page 
Depicting my fears in adroit designs of nervous hues 
Smearing my dreams in lustrous colours and glossy paints 

Are you a gift sent to make me whole 
A match meant to be 
Or are you a curse… 
Bait dangled by fate 
A taste of what will never be 

Jude’s additional thoughts – While writing this, I kept asking myself; can a soulmate be merely a friend (be it a lifelong one), or is a soulmate meant to be a lover or partner?

Beauty In An Ugly Place

Redux

Awaken in you the love for yourself. 

Rise up even more in the feelings of empathy and compassion. 

Channel that goodness outwards. 

Free others to feel the same in their skin. 

Lift them up to greater heights. 

Incite others to follow a path of love. 

Your beauty will continue to become more elaborate but distinct. 

Change the world until it becomes more inhabitable. 

Originally posted on 7/29/2018 on I Write Her.

Carolyn Crossley

Spirit

I am the fire spirit risen
from Aries, I have been riven,
on the birthday of Artemis
I was born of a stardust promise.

I am to be sought not bidden.
From in a dark place hidden.
On the cusp of the gloaming,
I may be found the hillsides roaming.

Passion

Summer nights, running through forests of love
Entwined like tree branches intimacy found.
Lips kiss as if greedily taking in water.
Bodies intermingled like vines, sought and received
Wrapped in each other’s arms, passion sated.

First Born

In the November snowfall.
Through the darkness of night. My courage in both hands.
The hours drifted by. The pain was numbed by gas and air.  Suddenly, you were there – belovéd firstborn.

Unequal

When one loves
more than the other
no good can
come of it.
The other cheats and tells lies
A divorce follows.

Estrangement

the saddest thing is
to be mourning the living,
our estranged children

Eternity

October sorrows
recalled memories – birth, death,
awaiting rebirth
our promised eternity
free from human pain at last!

~~~

Carolyn Crossley, ©🦊VixenOfVerse, is a poet and writer from the Northwest of England. Previously published in the first The Short Of It book – The Sound of Brilliance, she has also been published in the anthologies, Poetic Vision and Purrfect Poems. Carolyn has a thriving WordPress blog: Backfromdarknesstolight.com containing haiku, senryu, and other poetry forms. Carolyn’s first feature on The Short of It was on November 20, 2020, and featured again this year on 5/27/2022.

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Reblogs – Bree & Tom Alexander

Relationships are complex, aren’t they? So, so good that we crave them when we are lonely and ready to add the next to the trash heap when we’ve had enough.

Once Around the Sun by Bree & Tom Alexander

Once around the sun 
with no touch from anyone 
with no fun 

Such a strange and lonely time 
in the history of this planet 
I dream of little moments  
like brushing past you on the stairs 
your aroma so sweet upon my senses 
your hair so finely spun between my fingers 

Round and round but never close enough 
In my past life 
it might be weeks, sometimes 
could be months between 
those shivering connections 
molten to the core 
on fire, inside another 
But now  
I count in “years”… 

Heaven knows, we cracked the code 
perpetual motion–  
Won’t do what we’re told  
can’t douse our passion 
Forget trying to explain it 
I need hands-on demonstrations 
You and me 
weren’t meant to be alone 

It’s been too long  
since I worked the buttons loose 
on your jeans 
It’s so long… since 
I pulled your head to my bare chest 
let you listen to my heart 
Round and round yet never together 
Endless motion yet no connection 

Now it’s  
once around the sun 
all these months without touch 
without caress 
without our fun 

How I dream, how I burst  
for the memory  
of that breathless surrender 
eyes connecting 
and the quietly blinking pleasure 
as I shiver beside 
You bite my shoulder 
prolong the moment 
So many barren seasons, now 
O, I’ve been aching for you 

My fingers (my nails), my fists (my wrists), so dissatisfied  
my arms (my sighs), my thighs (my hips), so prone 
Once around the sun 
so many months between 
without touch 
without caress 
without undress 
without breath 
O, an end must come… 

As We Kissed… by Tom Alexander (2006)

As we kissed I sensed the change 
as we fucked I could feel 
that fire dying, brutally sobering… 

The next time you called me 
I lay motionless, foetal by the phone 
already sharpening my excuses… 

As we watched that film, I knew 
this would be the last we shared 
listening for some good dialogue to use… 

As you slept so silently that night 
I lay awake, forging a letter 
to get me out of these games… 

Heartbreak

Redux

My pain is nestled in these lyrics.
Bringing back those days of hurt so acutely, so clearly.
Wounded beyond repair, devastated by the despair.
The US once my cure for loneliness, no more.
Shattered in an instant.
Unease in my core, life flickering out of my heart.
Every moment of remembrance takes me back when you split US into two.
I fear I’ll need a lifetime’s worth of healing to get back my equilibrium.

Clouds part
Just to give us a little sun

There’s a limit to your love
Like a waterfall in slow motion
Like a map with no ocean
There’s a limit to your love
Your love, your love, your love

There’s a limit to your care
So carelessly there
Is it truth or dare?
There’s a limit to your care

I love, I love, I love
This dream of going upstream
I love, I love, I love
The trouble that you give me
I know, I know, I know
That only I can save me
I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go
Right down the road

There’s a limit to your love
Like a waterfall in slow motion
Like a map with no ocean
There’s a limit to your love
Your love, your love, your love

I can’t read your smile
It should be written on your face
I’m piecing it together
There’s something out of place
Oh

I love I love, I love
This dream of going upstream
I love, I love, I love
The trouble that you give me
I know, I know, I know
That only I can save me
I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go
Out on the road
Because there is no limit
There’s no limit
No limit, no limit, no limit
Limit to my love

Songwriter: Leslie Feist, Jason Charles Beck
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group
Licensed by: UMG, [Merlin] FUGA Aggregation (on behalf of Arts & Crafts Productions); UMPI, SOLAR Music Rights Management, EMI Music Publishing, CMRRA, UBEM, UMPG Publishing, and 8 Music Rights Societies

When you get older, plainer, saner
When you remember all the danger we came from
Burning like embers, falling, tender
Long before the days of no surrender
Years ago and well you know

Smoke ’em if you got ’em
‘Cause it’s going down
All I ever wanted was you
I’ll never get to heaven
‘Cause I don’t know how

Let’s raise a glass or two
To all the things I’ve lost on you
Oh oh
Tell me are they lost on you?
Oh oh
Just that you could cut me loose
Oh oh
After everything I’ve lost on you
Is that lost on you?
Oh oh
Is that lost on you?
Oh oh
Baby, is that lost on you?
Is that lost on you?

Wishing I could see the machinations
Understand the toil of expectations in your mind
Hold me like you never lost your patience
Tell me that you love me more than hate me all the time
And you’re still mine

So smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em
‘Cause it’s going down
All I ever wanted was you
Let’s take a drink of heaven
This can turn around

Let’s raise a glass or two
To all the things I’ve lost on you
Oh oh
Tell me are they lost on you?
Oh oh
Just that you could cut me loose
Oh oh
After everything I’ve lost on you
Is that lost on you?
Oh oh
Is that lost on you?
Oh oh, oh oh
Babe, is that lost on you?
Is that lost on you?

Let’s raise a glass or two
To all the things I’ve lost on you
Oh oh
Tell me are they lost on you?
Oh oh
Just that you cold cut me loose
Oh oh
After everything I’ve lost on you
Is that lost on you?
Is that lost on you?

Songwriters: Laura Pergolizzi / Nathaniel Campany / Michael Gonzales
Lost on You lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management

Originally posted 7/26/2018 on I Write Her.

Duane L. Herrmann

ANOTHER WORLD

The hills are alive
with coyote chorus
excited tipping
of the young’uns
rolling over prairies
on the winds
as full moon shines
her silvery glow.
This is their land too.

WINTER SUN

Clear cold days
to wake the face:
bright sun
with no warmth
shines
of no mind
for comfort
as winter
freezes on.

RED BLOOD

All have red blood,
and pumping heart.
All cry in pain
or distress.
Though varieties,
life is united
in simple ways –
why can we not see
these unities?

MEMORIES BE

Memories can change
be overlaid,
gain new meaning,
become
a friend they weren’t
before,
but effort,
process,
must be made.

OBEDIENT TO THE END

Daddy said he loved us
with all his heart, and cried,
then said to face the wall – quiet!

Then he brought the little ones
and told them to stand too.

He went up the line
one head at a time…

Explosions.

I ran!

WARNING SIGN

The sign warns:
“Clean floors
prevent accidents.”

Just as truly
it can advise and mean:

      and mean:

“Accidents
prevent clean floors.”
True too!

~~~

The work of Duane L. Herrmann has been published in print and online, in over a hundred journals, more than fifty anthologies, plus seven volumes of poetry, more chapbooks, a history, and a sci-fi novel; all despite a traumatic, abusive childhood embellished with dyslexia, ADHD, cyclothymia, an anxiety disorder, and PTSD. Duane was first featured on June 19, 2020, and again on December 4, 2020. Some of his thoughts were also selected and published in The Sound of Brilliance. His latest feature was posted on June 24, 2022.

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Reblogs – Robert Okaji & The Blighters Rock

The price one pays for living is uncertainty. It’s up to us to put the pieces together.

Rain Forest Bridge by Robert Okaji

To cross 
you must first 
trust the strands 

to hold. 
The second tentative 
step precedes 
the next, 

each successive one 
gaining strength: 
here to 

there, now 
to then, a summoning of 
entreaties 
within 
one’s faith. 

Vapor meets cooler air, 
forming droplets, 
clouding the far side. 

I have feared endings 
and the strictures of the unseen, 

but here 
in this vast 
swaying, 
I know 

one line 
bisects the void. 

“Rain Forest Bridge” first appeared in Four Ties Lit Review in August, 2014. 

Mosaics by The Blighters Rock

we are mosaics 
from shattered tiles rearranged 
our image is made