Jane Ayres

these shiny gifts

we always tell stories
things that shine
                         – allure –
              a lure for
those who
let daydreams be poems
& poems         daydreams


you were
lilac and yellow freesias
warm sugared milk 
maternal love

estuary whispers 

there are years of wasps
& years of
but most of the time
life stings

unleashing shadows

the consultant said a shadow was showing on the scan
                             try not to worry
we tried           
but once the words were out   
veiled darkness began seeping 
growing greedy 
birthing shadow spawn & we knew      
from now on   
there would always be shadows

a moment

sitting with grief that twists   
I pause   
             -   a sip of strong coffee   
             -   a bite of whisky-infused chocolate    
             (redundant birthday gift)    
you are still here   
& I am    


New life    

We can keep trying, he says. We won’t give up.
She washes freshly red-spotted sheets, pegs them on the line, listens to the merciless wind smothering hope. Later, she dreams about finding a sparrow’s nest in the hedge, hears hungry soft-feathered downy babies crying to be fed.  But when she looks again, they have disappeared.
We can keep trying, she says. We won’t give up. 


UK-based writer Jane Ayres completed a Creative Writing MA at the University of Kent in 2019 aged 57. She has work in Dissonance, Confluence, Lighthouse, Streetcake, The North, The Poetry Village, Door is a Jar, Kissing Dynamite, (mac)ro(mic), Versification, Crow & Cross Keys, Ample Remains, Sledgehammer, and The Forge. This is Jane’s first feature on The Short of It.



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Reblogs – Laura Denise & Timo Schmitz

So often we neglect to share our feelings or open our hearts to opportunities the truth can be spoken. Fear, perhaps? The insecurities or thoughts of rejection we may experience seem to guide us. But as Sarah Bareilles’s song Brave spells out quite nicely – “Let the words fall out.” May they not only remain bound in a journal. Do open up, do share your thoughts, and be amazed at what you can learn, experience, and feel!

Footprints & Silhouettes by Laura Denise

So many silent, untold stories 
in yesterday’s leftover footprints, 
in this morning’s sunrise-silhouetted 
figures in the distance. 

I am a people watcher, 
always curious about 
human nature, 
collectively and within each 
individual character. 

When the stage lights are unlit 
and the microphone off, 
I wonder about each’s 
private feelings and thoughts. 

We are not actors 
on life’s stage; 
we are each keepers 
of our own private plays, 

longing to be brave enough 
to raise the curtain, so you 
may get but a glimpse 
of a scene of what we’ve 
been going through. 

So many footprints and silhouettes 
crossing paths, 
so little we know of the bodies’ souls 
leaving the tracks. 

What lies inside the impression, 
what lies within the shadow, 
those are the mysteries 
I continuously wonder about. 

Which footprint seeped love, 
which footprint seeped grief, 
which figure is weeping, 
which figure rekindling dreams? 

Hearts upon sleeves 
are taken up by the wind, 
feelings in chests 
locked and buried again. 

So many untold stories, 
so many opportunities passed, 
to initiate conversation with another 
and simply ask. 

[Thought] You Were Gone by Timo Schmitz

Today when I saw you leaving, 
I knew, I will never see you again. 
It’s too late, I never dared to talk to you, 
We will remain strangers. Forever. 
No path crossing, you will never know me. 
And I know nothing about you, 
But I will never forget you. 

Reblogs – Jeff Flesch & Hemalatha Ramesh

Real love is eternal, isn’t it?

I love you by Jeff Flesch

heart broken into a million pieces, 
agony inside, the time in-between 
now and then, set aside 

for a moment, like an eternity, dreaming 
of other scenes, can’t possibly be reality, pulling 
me down into this demise… 

watching your hand leave mine, fingers outstretched 
into another time, breaking solidity, 

the filament continues to flicker, wavering 
in the night sky, pulling me towards belief, I 

remembering your face, holding you in arms, wide, 
trying to make another sky 

and portal to an alternative world, where the two 
remain together, not ever bidding each other 

instead, remain together they do, 
by simply saying 

I love you…  

Smirk by Hemalatha Ramesh

Their hands intertwined 
hearts allied, destiny and fate, 
smirked at a distance. 

Reblogs – Jade & JeanneMarie

Home is what we all long for, and sometimes a place we think we’ve found only to determine that’s not the case. But we keep searching…

Home by Jade 

This is a foggy path she treads. 

Hand in hand, step by step, 
inhale, deep breath . . . 
Not a word said. 

He smiles – tries to reassure. 
She smiles – worries even more. 
This is nothing like before. 

A hundred happy endings gone wrong. 
A thousand thank-yous sit on her tongue, 
But the past’s misery won’t leave her alone.  

Please tell me I have finally found home. 

She’s Still Alive by JeanneMarie 

I looked in the mirror this morning 
and the woman who once loved you 
looked back at me. 
I thought she died. 
I tried to kill her literally, emotionally 
and in every way possible because 
I don’t want love that hurts. 
I looked in the mirror this morning 
and the woman who once loved you 
looked back at me. 
She’s still alive. 

At Love’s Beginning

I can hear the flutter of my heart, recalling the stories of our past. They still haunt me. One thought ignites a spark; my mood begins to lift and returns me to the time your words of love gave my life wings

“Tina, are you with us?” My boss and the other staff stared me down.

“Yes, I am,” as I shift in my chair, taking a sip of water from the glass in front of me. I am filled with gratitude as my boss turns back to the whiteboard, and I return to the crystal clear waters of Eleuthera.

Reblogs – Penny Wilson & Angelique Rose

We fear not being loved. Yet in other relationships, love is so hardcore and evident. Why is great love always at the extremes of the spectrum?

From You Lips by Penny Wilson

your lips  
the word I  
wish whispered most is  

When Death Came Knocking by Angelique Rose

I understand why she wanted 
To walk away from this world 
Why, when death started knocking 
She opened the door and let him in. 

She was tired of all the moments that her heart broke 
She was tired  of mustering  all her strength to put it back together 
She was tired of the endless fear  
The chipping away of her plaster encased heart 
And the fragile contents within. 

When death came knocking  
She smiled and opened the door  
“I’ve been waiting for you” she said  
“Take me, death.  I have grown impatient”   

What torture this life has been 
The never ending strive for better 
For happiness  
For success  
For love  
For acceptance  
For laughs  
And hugs  
And tender fingertips  

Passionate kisses were never so hard to find .. 

A man that would throw her heart around  
Was always around the corner 

But when morning comes 
And the truth invades 
She wished that she could not exist  
She wished that she could tear through the temporary comfort that softened her fall  
She wished she could rip through her own skin  
Make herself inside out  
Bleed until she slept an endless nap  
She wanted to break faces  
Hear her echoed screams  
Burn a house down to its bones 

Why was life so difficult? 

Why was happiness a foreign language, 
That surfaced so few and far between?  

She wanted it all to stop  
Her worry  
Her beating heart  
Her fear  
Her tears  

And then death came knocking at her door  
She smiled her own mischievous smile  
And said ..  
“Take me” 

Reblogs – Jude Itakali & Lorraine Lewis

One is the agonizing ache of unrequited love, the other is the depth of experience when feeling cut off. It seems we are constantly wrestling with one form of isolation or another.

Secret Admirer by Jude Itakali

Is it your smile 
that dazzles me 
The softness of your voice 
that comforts me 
The light in your eyes 
scrying my future joys 
Am I selfish 
for thinking you are the answer 
for dreaming you can want me too 

I’d like to tell you- 
I’m under your spell 
I’d like to speak my mind 
with the melody from my heart 
I’d like to say, I love you 
But I cannot 
Lest I spook and alarm 
For already, 
You are too precious to lose 
And a little bit of you 
Is better than none at all 

Paramour of dreams 
Peculiar with perfection 
My heart surrenders 
betrothed and bound to love you 
Meant to be, Never to be 

Alone by Lorraine Lewis

Cut off 
A blanket black 
Between us none can see 
A box the walls of a prison 
Close in 
Alone in the box fear rising 
No one to hear a cry 
Awareness stings 
Of life 

The box people 
Living lives chattering 
Unaware of the person in 
The box 
Them dying gasping for breath one 
Breath but it is too late 
A corpse lies dead 

Reblogs – Suzette Benjamin & Midwest Fantasy Writes

While these two pieces may not seem like they have much in common, look deeper. They represent one of the seasons and love, highlighting the best part of each and what we should always look for. Even for summer lovers like me, who wouldn’t be enchanted? Enjoy!

Gilded Sky by Suzette Benjamin

autumn’s gilded sky
twixt earth and winter solstice
veils a hunter’s moon

Life’s Wine by Midwest Fantasy Writes

Through all of time
we have tasted life’s wine
richness of deep nights
sweetness of sunshine days
we drink all of it in
intoxicate ourselves with each other
savor who we are as one
If we never stop searching
for sips of divine love
every minute will be worth it