it is said that
a prophet finds no honor
in his own country
their hard truths
are heard as a
threatening to melt
the caked wax
blocking the closed
intolerant ears of
once found no
in his homeland
his people driven
from their land
gobbling the land
people from villages
and regions they
since the dawn
spilling Zulu blood
into roiling rivers
petitions of the
the blood of
against the innocent
by corralling them onto
where rivers do not
flow, grass never grows,
game cannot graze;
only the dust doth blow
riddling the captives
with torments of
mocking the speakers
of mother tongues with
the fained eloquence
of bastardized Afrikaans
the dominion of the
and affirmed by exiling
a people from their land,
outlawing their language,
dividing the nations into
a fallacy of separate
destinies where a forgetful
history blessed with amnesia
will anoint the conquerors
with the spoils of abundance
stolen from the vanquished
Madiba spoke of these things
and was awarded a prison
cell for twenty seven years
but the hostages of feigned
justice are always destined
to be freed by the arrival
of an accepted truth
set free by the very words
prisons cannot contain truth
steel bars cannot imprison
the idea of divine justice
it slips through the smallest openings
like a wafting fragrance of the first day of spring
it saws away at the rust strewn steel bars
like the surest movement of a master carpenter’s arm
it melts the thickest links of iron chains
in the fiery forges that burn in the hearts
of all freedom loving people
the truth of justice
is born and takes flight
on the wings of history
covering the globes
nesting in the most
and mean estates
on God’s good earth
truth and reconciliation
can never be separated
planted together to grow
healthy nations and
trust and restoration
Madiba, you always
found honor with
the salt of the earth
the children of light
who seek to dispel
the darkness of
we continue to
walk your way
guided by your
we take the first steps
asking liberators to join
with oppressors, pairing
in a magnanimous walk
along wholesome pathways
perceiving the buena vistas
of reconciled communities
of peace, equality
and justice for all citizens
I caught a fleeting glimpse of Madiba
as he rolled by in the Canyon of Heros
showered under a June blizzard of confetti
and a resounding acclimation of love.
I was a plebe inhabiting a lower floor
Broadway office, yet my station blessedly
brought me closer to Madiba. As he passed
I was moved by his miraculous smile and felt
the colossal reverberations of his waving arm
triumphantly hailing the sweet freedom of
liberation all hostages of feigned justice
exude in the vindication of divine justice
enraptured in the joy of affirmed truth.
we are enriched
and blessed for
the time you walked
the good fight
for we shall resume
the climb to
the next mountaintop.
Well done Madiba
Rolihlahla “Nelson” Mandela
7/18/18 - 12/5/13
Ladysmith Black Mombazo
THIS YEAR 2013; IS THE YEAR OF GREAT DEATHS
Alexander K Opicho
(Eldoret, Kenya; email@example.com)
This year alone world society has lost more that ten great intellectual and political leaders. They have been lost to death in a deeply wounding manner. Human society has indeed been robbed. It is so sad. Three of the leaders have been Nobel laureates and the rest are leaders of intellectual, moral, political and spiritual stature in their respective capacities.
It began without any stampede in early part of the year some where March when Chinua Achebe, a Nigerian and Francis Davis Imbuga a Kenyan, both succumbed to early deaths caused by stroke. Rendering not only the citizens of world of literature, but also African society as well as global intellectual communities to the most desperate bereavement. Thereafter, within short while of the subsequent days, The Venezuelans president and Marxist intellectual, Hugo Chavez also succumbed to death caused by throat cancer. Even though the Pravda, the daily circulating paper of Russia contended that Chavez was poisoned; it is dismissible as only a Russian stand attributed to ideological hangover, because the Pravda also made similar allegations in relation to deaths of Yasser Arafat, Pablo Neruda and Frantz Omar Fanon, but it did not go a head to establish the factuality of this very allegations.
What we know is that human life is in most cases contested for by the three spiritual forces of fortune, fate and death. As decried William Shakespeare in his Romeo and Juliet. This time round in the year 2013, the angel of death has dominantly reigned with its untimely consequences in form of fangled early death of our leaders. Herman Melville will remain classical in his concern in the Moby Dick about death that; O death! O death! Why are you untimely?
Sadder is when the Al shabab terrorists killed the Ghanaian born global literary citizen Kofi Owonor. Kofi Owonor the poet and author of This world my brother was among the people killed in Nairobi during the terrorist attack at the Westgate mall. Of course he had come to Kenya to celebrate in literary festival organised by a society of publishers in Nairobi. This is an eventuality of some month ago. In September 2013, the Irish born literary Nobel prize poet; Heaney Seamus died. He died prematurely when the world society most needed his service to literature and his literary service to human society.
A couple of some weeks ago again the world loosed two prominent artists, political leaders, human rights crusaders and intellectuals. These are none other than Doris May Lessing and Tabuley Rosseuru. Lessing was a white African living in London, literature Nobel laureate and a feminist as well as an anti apartheid crusader. She is known for her firm stand against communist utopia, championing for the courses against dehumanizing human behaviors like racisms , but mostly Lessing is known for her great literary works like ;the grass is singing, Golden Note book, Dann and Mara as well as so many other works. Whereas Tabuley was an African Congolese , a musician , a businessman , once a husband to Africa’s most beautiful songstress Bellia Belle. He was the composer and the vocalist of African Rumba music. His song Bina Mudan which we in Africa always pronounce as Simbukinya was actually an artistic and cultural bombshell. Tabuley has been a politician, who enjoyed a gubernatorial position of the city of Kinshasa for ten years (two terms).
Most disastrous is the currently trial-some moment for the world community as they all commissarriate the death of Nelson Mandela.Mandella died early decemder 2013 at his home in the Johannesburg city of South Africa. The death of Mandela is an open sore to the society. It is a window for social, political, intellectual and family abyss in Africa. It is indeed a sad moment. But what can we do? For it has already happened. We can only swim in the consolation inherent the wisdom of the Babukusu people found in the western part of Kenya that; Mis-brewed wine behooves volunteer carousers. And truly, I have personally joined the world community to commit a poetical kamikaze in volunteering to drink this sour wine of humanity .May god give us and our leaders in their diverse capacities long live. Amen.
Time is something that is always changing; yet it always moves at a constant pace. My story includes such a small period of time. In one day, there are twenty-four hours, and somewhere in those few hours of January 15th, 2011, my life changed in the blink of an eye. Within seconds, someone I love stopped breathing. It changed everything. But, my story begins a few hours before that.
Wake up. I always have to tell myself to wake up. I wake up and it is a beautiful Saturday. I walk into the living room of my house, where the sun is shining bright through all the windows and I feel like it is going to be a good day. I usually wake up on the weekend home alone, but this time I walk around until I find my dad and my little brother, Phillip.
Dad: “Phillip and I are going to a Valdosta State basketball game later today, if you would like to come.”
I immediately think of my best friend James. James is a part of my family. He got along with my dad and brother better than I did. The basketball game with them would be a lot easier to endure if James went along. He is the older brother I never had.
I pick up my phone and call James, to invite him to join us. He doesn’t answer. James always answers. His phone goes straight to voicemail. I remember a time in the past that I called James with a stupid boy dilemma. James was in the middle of football camp, but he called a timeout. He picked up the phone for me then. I am always James’ first priority, so something seems wrong. I call Drew, James’ best friend, and his phone goes straight to voicemail as well. Something definitely seems wrong. I try to convince myself that I’m overthinking. I always overthink and I always worry too much, so this could be nothing. James is just busy. He’ll call me back later.
An hour or two pass by without response from either James or Drew. As I am cleaning up my room trying to keep my mind busy, I receive a text message from my friend Emily.
Emily: “What’s wrong with James?”
Emmaline (me): “What are you talking about?”
Emily: “I see on Facebook that many people are writing on James’ wall, saying that they are praying for him. Why are people praying for him? What happened?”
Little did she know that I was asking myself the same questions. What in the world is going on!?
Emmaline (me): “Umm, I’m not sure. He hasn’t been answering my calls. I’ll try to find out.”
James was a huge part of the church community. He was the first person that brought me to the church I’ve been attending for the past three years. He was a mentor to me; if it weren’t for James I would not have found the faith that has saved me. After those texts messages, I decided to call someone from the church to see if they knew what was going on with him. Mackenzie answered my call.
Mackenzie: “James and Drew went out duck hunting this morning at a place called Ocean Pond, and James is missing. Drew is fine, but he doesn’t know where James is.”
My heart immediately dropped to my chest. The gut feeling I had been experiencing all day that something was wrong was rapidly increasing, and I suddenly couldn’t keep still.
My thought processes jumped to visualize duck hunting. I thought, when you go duck hunting, it is a little different from hunting ground animals like deer. When you hunt ducks, you spend the entire time on a boat. You don’t go missing on a small boat. James wasn’t playing hide-and-seek. James being missing meant that he was lost somewhere in the water. The odds weren’t looking very good. Maybe I’m worrying too much, but I’m being rational. Right? I put my phone down and slowly slid out of my chair onto the floor. I lay on the floor for hours, crying. My brother came in from outside and just stared at me. My chest was on fire; I have never felt so much pain in my life. The amount of emotional pain transformed to a physical pain that I felt in the pit of my stomach. The sun that made me happy when I first woke up now began to burn my eyes. I felt like I was sinking, but in reality the only person sinking was my best friend, drowning in icy water.
When I could finally stop crying enough to talk, I call my mom. My mom was not home this weekend; she was at the beach with some of her good friends from college. She did not take the news as heavily as I did.
Mom: “He’s just sitting somewhere in the marsh where the water is really shallow. Someone will find him. He’ll be fine, I know he will.”
I begin to feel somewhat better. I tell myself that this does not have to be a death sentence. James could be fine. I decide to call Mackenzie from church again and invite her and her mom to my house to keep me company while we wait for news.
Hours and hours pass by, yet still no news comes. The church and community decides to hold a prayer session at a local park for all the people worried about James. Mackenzie, her mom and I drive out to the park. Hundreds of people were at the park. All of them were there for James. All of us stood in a circle, teary-eyed, and prayed. I have never seen my community come together like that. Rival schools and teammates, people old, young, and teenage. Teachers, preachers, friends, athletes, fathers, mothers, so many people were at the park for James.
We went around in the circle and each person told their story of how much James meant to them. James was a brother to many. He was a mentor, a friend, a shoulder to cry on, a pal to laugh with. James was the one person that convinced a girl to graduate from high school. James was the friendly face that ate lunch with a boy that was alone and contemplating suicide. I had no idea that James meant so much to people other than me.
All it took was seconds, maybe minutes for James to drown. The water was below freezing. The gear that he was wearing was built to weigh him down in order to be able to wade in shallow waters. In deeper waters, he would surely and quickly sink. He drowned quickly, and within seconds he stopped breathing. However, it took search and rescue a month to recover his body. Days of worry and prayer turned into weeks. I had to return to school and try to go on with my life, as if I didn’t feel like it was all falling apart.
Finally, one crisp February morning, a search dog found my James’ body.
I was in my Advanced Placement Environmental Science class, and my phone rang from a number of different people. I went to the bathroom to return a call and found out that someone found my best friend’s dead body. I knew it wasn’t smart to hold on to any kind of hope that he was alive, but knowing he was actually dead made the situation suddenly very real. I tried to return to class, but I ended up sitting right beside the door, crying harder than ever. I had to go out to Ocean Pond, where I spent most of my time for the past month watching divers search for him. I had to go out there and see it.
By the time I arrived at the site, there was nothing left to see. James’ body had been recovered and I would never see him again. All that was left was a teary funeral, and abrupt good-byes that I wasn’t ready to give. To this day I don’t know how to say good-bye to James. I visit his grave, and I don’t know how to leave the picture of his face.
Losing someone you deeply love so quickly is probably one of the most difficult things to experience. I am so thankful that James left behind such a beautiful story, and such a wonderful legacy. The first day I met James, he told me, “Hey girl. You know, I love you. I really do. I would take a bullet for you.” When someone says those kinds of things to you without even knowing you for twenty-four hours, it feels strange. But, James knew time meant everything. He knew that all it takes is minutes, seconds, to change someone’s life forever.
The thing that is so astonishing about James’ story, is that he understood how quickly everything can change. When James was alive, a fellow student of his died in a motorcycle crash. James was devastated that he had not reached out to this boy before it was too late. That night, in a note on Facebook entitled “The Clock is Ticking,” James wrote a short paragraph that showed the depth of his understanding of life. He wrote, “Take time to love someone. Today, Tomorrow, For the rest of your life. Because when that unexpected day comes that they pass on, you'll be left wondering what you could've done better. How you could have made them feel more welcome, and show that you do care for them. Don't wait until it's too late like I did. Show the love that Jesus has for you to everyone you see. Let your heart break for what breaks His. Christ is enough. Let Him show you life. You never know who He may touch through you. It is so sad that it takes a tragedy like this to comprehend how our days are numbered. Only He knows. Keep your faith in Him. He will bless you beyond belief. Our job is right now. This very second. So often, God gives me a little nudge towards someone.. and I put it off until the next day.. and then the next and then the next. Stop stalling. God put us on this earth for HIS glory. Not ours.. and so many times, the things I do always point back to me and my stupid self righteousness. So do something with me. Everyone. If this just touches one person, I will have done my job. Don't stall. Judgement is a heart beat away.”
Shouldn't we all be studying?
dedicated to M M Jones from Montana,
where I guess big skies make people think
about big questions and young poets thrive.
the butterflies of child-awakening
to the certainty
that school and
shame and embarrassment
were only minutes away,
is as fresh as
the flowers my love
buys every Friday,
fifty plus year later.
I would awake,
climb into bed with my mother,
telling her I did not feel well,
stomach felt gray.
I could not tell her that
the mocking I received by
my richer classmates at the
multiple lines in the fabric
of my corduroy pants
where she let my pants down
made me cannon fodder
for what we call now
I could not tell her
of the heartbreak
when somehow the parents
of my supposed suburban friends
pick me up for the weekly swim,
leaving me to watch
the sunset fall as I sat
on the stoop of our old house,
tucked away in an out of the way,
the shame still wet.
I could not tell her
of how two bothers tortured me
as I sat in the back seat
of their station wagon,
on me like curses.
Their older brother died of cancer
when that was still unusual,
and the mother wrote
a beautiful book
about his life.
I still hate them, those two,
fifty years later and it gives me
unusually great pleasure to
announce it to the world.
So I studied.
Not my schoolbooks,
but lovely and junky literature.
Friday afternoons, three children,
me the baby brother,
(anonymous, for they nicknamed me
brother as if I was nothing but
checked off category)
to the library went.
Five, five was the max
they the austere librarians
and their coda of holy silence,
would let me withdraw.
(god I can see my library card still).
By Friday night,
I had finished one or two,
ruining my eyes in
the lousy lamp light
in the living room,
falling asleep on the couch.
this, reading addiction,
which afflicted the entire family,
I did well into my teens.
I have stopped reading
which amazes the very few
who know and care.
do let us re-pose,
let us repose,
Shouldn't we all be studying?
the answer of course is
yes and no.
my studying blue period
is long since ended.
now, my biographer,
will call this my red period.
for red are the memories that my remembrances
come back to me.
crystal is the clarity
of the indignities
I recall, though red,
is the anger
at the shame and
abuse I took.
now I can write what I have always held in my heart.
those two awful brothers,
who loved to torture me,
I was glad their
wonderful brother died.
so this is my red writing period,
when the studying of a kind,
has long since ended
but the smell,
the memory of
fresh textbooks still can
make me nauseous.
Yet, I still study life around me,
as I clean countertops,
walk deserted beach isles
in early September...
is the product of years
of studying the inside out
of me, and turning that study
fruitful into poetry.
why am I writing this at 2:00 am on a Sunday morning?
I did not pose the question.
but it posed me,
and the dialogue in my mind came
sugarcane fresh and tumbling out
and will be both
recorded and recoded
("in the truth will out eventually" file)
after a fashion.
these days I sometimes study
my older poems,
whose titles I recognize,
but whose content
I cannot recall.
so double digit delight
meet again old words,
wondrous and trite,
that make believe
that all my studying
somehow paid off after all.
The holidays are upon us
Time for family and fun
Some families put the fun in dysfunctional
But if yours is not one
Take comfort in this jewel
If your family put the FU in dysfunctional
You're no different from Gods that rule
Chronos, Zeus, and Aries
Make you brother, uncle, and mother
Look like happy fairies
Dysfunctional also spells love
If you drop the dysfunctiona
And add the OVE
my brother is the safe environment I’ve created for the history of my lord. political awareness, I mean, I mean, is a darkness. my eyeglasses tell me you’ve been to see a train station. do animals wait? several impatient years later, two blindfolded mouth-breathers walk cheek to cheek in an Ohio fog that combs forward worms the length of a screen name on craigslist. I am nearly pronouncing krokodil until my tongue disappears so I can pronounce it correctly for my mother’s not frostbit ear. as for the two, they are mistaken by the disembodied poetics of local policing as the trophy nose of an odd-for-these-parts moose. any re-enactment is my father the victim of a spirited birth.
I never thought I'd have to see her like this so soon. So young. So cold.
I should have listened to her. I should have talked to her more. Seen her more. She always asked me why I seemed so distant from her, I always got frustrated and denied it.
Now she's the distant one.
We would argue often. About communication. Our feelings. Her feelings. She had a very hard life. A violent alcoholic father. She grew up untainted by her surroundings, but scarred. Chronic Anxiety and Depression. She would cry often, and get mad and angry for sometimes no reason. She said she didn't know why it happened; it just did, and that I couldn't understand. That made me angry. Even though she was right; I really couldn't.
I haven't had an easy life in the past few years, but it doesn't compare to hers. I didn't know what is was like to be as depressed as she was. To be as anxious as she was. She would always check up on me, because she always worried about me. I myself, just took it and never did it for her.
What a mistake.
I remember my 17th birthday. She was more excited than I was, and couldn't wait for me to finally see what she had done for me. She was adorable when she talked about it. I spent the day with her and she made me a homemade card themed my favorite video game, and a Key Lime pie from scratch. I love Key Lime pie.
How I wish we could make it together, one last time.
A couple days after my birthday, a package she ordered came and she was ecstatic for me to finally have it. They were custom made genuine dog tags. They had my information on one tag, and a personalized message from her on the other. Her message read, "KNOWING YOU HAS MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE, AND LOVING YOU HAS MADE MY WORLD." I wear them everywhere, even to today.
But when her birthday came around, I didn't get her anything. Not even a card. She was really upset, and I felt guilty when she mentioned it, so I never did get her anything; I felt it was too late.
Whenever she was happy, she shined brighter than the sun. She smiled and laughed and was goofy. She would make up little songs about how much she loved me, and she would do anything for me. Now, I can only imagine how she felt when I left for the night, not doing anything for her.
I knew she had had problems even before she met me. I knew she was chronically sad. I knew she had always been a rock, but had slowly started to erode and needed someone.
Why was I so selfish!?
I notice her mother is crying. Hysterically. They were so close. Her mom was so nice, always inviting me over and cooking for me even when they didn't have much food. Now, she looks like an empty husk of what she used to be. Crumpled on the floor, covered in her own tears, mourning the loss of her world.
Her younger brother sits with their dad, hugging and crying on each other, as well as the rest of her family. You can almost smell the saltiness in the air from all of the tears.
I've cried as much as I can. When I heard the news, I was in shock. I didn't want to believe she was gone. But eventually I screamed, bawled and raged at my loss. She was the only thing that mattered to me.
Now I stand here, silent and empty. My mind is numb, and all I can do is stare at her. Eyes closed, chest still, but still so beautiful. I had to battle with myself to even come and deal with seeing her like this. I finally move my stiff hand towards her curly hair and stroke it, and slowly move my hand to her shoulder. I imagine her opening her eyes and smiling at me with one of her beaming smiles. But I know it won't happen, and that's when the tears come.
I'll never see her smile, feel her lips against mine, hug her small body again. I can never hear her sweet voice again, telling me "I love you." With a glow in her eyes.
Why didn't I show her how much she meant to me? Why couldn't I swallow my pride and be a little more caring and thoughtful for her the way she never failed to be for me? Why? I'm sobbing now. I collapse to my knees and rest my hand over hers. She's freezing. I rub her hands instinctively as if it will warm them up, but it doesn't.
I just want her to wake up. I feel as if it's my fault she's in eternal silence now. Apart of the world beyond, when I want her so desperately to be back here with me. I don't want her to leave me. I feel as if I can't live without her, she was the only one I'd ever truly loved, but in the end I failed her. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, I should have shown her more instead of using only my words!
I slowly stand up still covered in my tears, and stare at her sleeping body. I watch as one drips down onto her expressionless face. I use my thumb to gently wipe my tear away, just as I used to wipe hers. Now all I can is do think about what could have been, what I could have done, and what will never be.
"I'll miss you." I whispering through my sore choked throat, and kiss her cold forehead.
"I love you."
Com Ed smokestacks
Framed against a bleak purple sky
And rusted chain-link fences
Color my earliest memories
The Com Ed plant stretches along the southern boundary of my hometown
A barrier reef, a defense against the world outside
But from those ugly towers of cement
Spells of gray smoke plumes rained up and out
blanketing our roof and aggravating my asthma
While my parents never thought
That the mucous sacs residing in my ribcage
Were suffocating, crying out for relief
I knew better
I spent my earliest years
In a house where nicotine plumes
Had tinted the walls the color of jaundiced skin
As if my house’s liver felt the effects of all the alcohol that passed through it
I remember thinking once that if they cut me open
My lungs might look like those walls
Suffocating under a dome of smoke and dust
I think my hometown killed my lungs
And tried to kill my voice
I still wonder if that was my father’s intention
When he came home from work
And wrestled me and my brother into submission
Suffocating under the weight of his arms as he commanded us to fight like men
I thought it was funny then, but
It doesn’t make me laugh anymore
Suffocating like my mother under the weight of the house
And the children as we expanded
Overeating the foods we knew were too sweet for us
And only slowly realizing that our mother and father
Didn’t even sleep in the same room anymore
And I wonder if when she left my father to raise us
She thought we would never see his anger
And when she found the release she couldn’t find with him
In the arms of another woman
I was proud of her
Like my brother
Our father’s pride and joy
Who spent twenty minutes every school day on a bus
weighed down by the weight of words like sissy and faggot
Knowing he would have to come home and face our father
Where he swore he could see those same words in his eyes
As he watched us grow from little soldiers into big queens
who stared through TV screens into worlds of black and white that seemed
so much more colorful than our own reality
and more beautiful than yellow walls, gray smoke, and purple skies
He suffocated too
Under the weight of the world his family dumped on his shoulders
He somehow managed to hold it up long enough
For us to escape from underneath
Though it may not have been his intention
My father is the one who pushed me over the fence
I may have scraped my knees against the rusty posts
But I made it over
Those wounds will heal long before he can breathe again
With every resigned sigh,
With every late drunken night of slamming doors and spewing his hate
I drew strength from the anger and disappointment in his eyes
They pushed me over those chain-link fences
And far away from those smoke stacks
Misty and shrouded in the dark, ugly haze of dust and memory
Where I hope they’ll remain
I once knew a girl called fly
A magical girl
One that could fly high,
Higher than the clouds,
Higher than the moon,
Higher than the planets,
Higher than the glazing sun,
Even higher than the highest things ,
Thoughts thoughts millions of them,
You'd be surprised to see all of them floating around you,
But when fly flew through the wondrous clouds,
Bunches of foamy fluffed shapes formed like candy floss,
Up until the highest thoughts,
From Tazmanian clouds to words on the page of a book,
fly died that day,
she never returned home,
her family was sick of worry,
years later her mother followed her little fly in death,
Her father and little brother Miikey, lived for a while but soon Miikey got stabbed with an axe by accident by an old man in the forrest chopping trees,
fly's father was the only one left, he soon died of old age at the age of 106,
soon enough people started to talk about fly's family,
thy said wow look at that kite fly,
fly was proud of that,
and now from this day people talk about fly,
some even say if you sit on the top of the highet hill in high vally on the night the moon is full and at i's highest point you may see a glimps of fly flying through the dead winter night sky.
My castigation was decided long before my backslide. And that is inexcusable, the righteous might declare "unfair". But I don't want any belligerent accusations against this 'unjust watchfulness' from above. Some entity must have understood that I didn't need guidance; I needed walls: some forcing to reach my destiny. Without my jailer, I'd have chosen one of three and let them lead me into a darkness that the pitiful call 'demons'. Claws and teeth? No, each monster was irreplaceable and I loved them. If possible, if they could comprehend a 'love', I vow they would have loved me. But the Warden took them: my punishment before my crime. Perhaps the disposal of these beasts seems considerate, but toss aside those foolish illusions because the burden has not lessened rather, it is unfamiliar. Omitting strength, for I lost my foundation, I stand in fear with this hole. The Three aren't returning; I'm left with loose bindings - the knots are the songs of my memories. Beautiful Terrors, do I need you? Let me tell you their stories.
I remember his voice calling for me. "Daisy! Flowers for you." It was our little game, and I'm sure he made girls jealous when he handed me a bouquet of roses.
My name was Petunia, but I hated that name, and I loved all that's yellow.
So when we were little he took my hand, and we went into a treefort, and he dubbed me Lady Daisy.
He was 7 and I was 4, and there began my adoration.
Then I was older and heartbroken, and I was calling him. "Waldon! It's hurting me."
He arrived so soon, I was still in hysteria - that of a 14 year old gone through breakup.
Then I cried harder because somehow my brother presented me with a tulip and declared, "It's an early present from the only boy who's going to love you more than I do."
17, and I understood fascination. And Willow (for though it's girly, I liked it more than Waldon, and he let it be) was entranced by a wild girl. She was a shockbomb - a warm sungirl that rocked stilettos and never littered nor waited past a minute.
He fell for her so hard from so high.
One day that girl kissed him straight on the lips, then jetted off to England.
Said he could follow her in spirit.
I couldn't hate her because she left his body, but it was hard to appreciate his body when the government took even that away, insisting he be laid beneath cold dirt. Then too many questions: "Why did you hold his hand for three days? Were you thinking of following? Petunia, why won't you buy flowers for the gravestone?" Then there were horrified eyes when I asked who Petunia was, because I had forgotten. Or, truthfully, there was no Petunia, only Daisy. And Daisy had Willow. The Flower and the Tree: that was supposed to be the story. So I refused to buy flowers, and without any sort of ceremony I stopped being 'Lady' and became 'Crazy Daisy', who talked to her demons. Now you see why I never wanted to part with Number One, because although he was a monster (you can't deny the terror of a body with no spirit), he knew me best.
Dear Warden, I've no suicide in me, and there's none left could lead me there, and it may be that I've grown taller, but I'm practically blind.
She was weak since I can remember. I'd say her vulnerability was pneumonia, which I can only presume led to my hatred of 'Petunia': two words incredibly similar when reason encounters a child.
And I liked her name "Maribel" because it sounded like a flower.
I mimicked my brother, but he was persistent that I must call her mother.
Again, this made no sense until 8, when I had a revelation that all this time I'd had no family. At least not in the heart of a girl, because Maribel wasn't a vibrancy to look up to., though she was my one relation.
There was just her in a bed. Sometimes a man visited but I never knew why Willow grew tense; all I saw was my mother acquire spots of brown. How I loved brown, because it seemed as though she was genuinely Mother, like all those other moms that the sun tans, or that could be given filthy hugs that left patches of dirt. In turn, I always welcomed that man, and he was a 'saviour'.
And Willow's father.
Death found both Willow and that man (I know, now, the difference) before I understood 'abuse', and try not to blame me because she never complained and I thought abuse meant people were unhappy, but I saw both of them smile. I laid her beside him, but with space inbetween: a ground for my casket. Because I'd gone slightly crazy and I was telling Number Two that if I awakened as a zombie, I'd need to be able to find his hand first.
That was nuts. But Warden, I don't fully understand. You stopped her bleeding, but I'm left with nothing. I hear their voices in my head, telling me I'm healthy, but I know I'm barely breathing.
I dealt Three tragedy. And in doing so, I guilted myself into worthlessness. Classic to the moral law is: it is not acceptable to introduce a roommate to a shady character. But I ignored the concept of shady - applauded my nonjudgmental attitude, because with my twisted past I would have also been a shadowy figure. With a sweet, sweet smile, I handed that bright girl over to a Peacock who promised to give her 'a good feeling.' And I ignored her tears, because he said he'd please her.
Maybe if I hadn't been loopy, the only way I could "be" with One, I might have noticed that me and he weren't the same, and I could have judged him like the others.
Annie, I'm sorry, please just shine once more.
Even if you're afraid of me and my wickedness, don't be sucked into the gloom, because I can't offer advice to resurface, when I think there's none.
Now, there's Zero for me to turn to, because that's what I am. I am empty. I suppose that's what happens when I trust a boy who leaves, yearn for one who's weak, and think I've the durability to rely on myself (but I've equaled a pitch black crater for a while now).
You're more clear now, Warden. I can understand why you've taken everything. Since nothing I had would give me my fairyland ending. But where's my reward? I need my gift first, because these feet don't know which direction to head, and it's more like I was holding onto rocks that cut me while they warmed me. My feet kick against the waves, but in this half-in half-out position I can't get a good momentum, so a hand now would be nice.
My stories, did they surprise? I hear all this chatter about monsters, but I think we've got them wrong. Monsters simply have a hold one you, and there's no release before you've no choice but to part. They are strong, and it's true that I saw nothing stronger than the Willow. Only my jailer saw my potential, and he directed me to Zero. He asked for recognition so that I knew my task was not optional and he raised my walls until I stood there, lonely - pushed into belief in myself. But now I am the strongest I know, and I am walking on wind, and from up here I cannot see a single barrier. But Warden, don't you ever leave because if those walls break for a second and I see my demons, I know I'll lose flight and beg them to come back. And that would be the end, because there's no chance Number Four.