YouTube Tuesday: Death in the Summer

Well, I’ve been away for a couple of days, super busy with the 50th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies at the University of Birmingham. The Symposium was fantastic, I got to see some great papers and meet some inspiring academics.

12 hour days of volunteering now over, it’s time for another YouTube Tuesday. Here’s Death in the Summer.

Death in the Summer

Icicles hanging in rows from the ceiling
Dripping freezing water onto the tiles
Until a pool that chills me forms below

It’s summer outside; inside winter reigns
Where heat cannot penetrate, and water drips
Though the icicles refuse to melt away

Children play merry games of chase in the playground
Parents bask in the midday sun with lazy abandon
And there is frost around me in this frozen wasteland

Smiles should ease the harshness of this storm
Should, a word on which to focus all attention
But still those icicles drip water onto the tiles

The kitchen is abandoned to another dimension
Where this bleak wilderness has not taken control
Nor the universe agreed upon my icy tomb

The tiles were the final place you laid your head

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Damaged

I love the short, sharp sentences in this poem to highlight the writer’s message.

Caffeinated Lynne. A Poet with A Pen.

berry

I hate arguments.
The way I’m always wrong.
How you raise your voice.
Incessant swearing.
I do everything.
I am Super-“You-Name-It.”
You say it’s My “Job” —
because you work “all day.”
So you are a slob?
You have no respect.
I am human. I get tired.
Wouldn’t you? Trade me.
The kids. My mom. Bills.
School. Laundry. The house. Tired yet?
You wouldn’t last here.
We are so different.
I love my family. You don’t.
You hate visiting.
You are on your cell —
if you go. But that is you.
“Winding-down” is it?
I love spending time
with my kids. You become bored.
Shhh! You fell asleep!
Eleven years now.
We don’t cuddle, hug, kiss– touch.
Sleep in the same room–
Anymore.
And you try– now. You
want to make it work. Like  the
times before– But it
never lasts. We are
damaged from the inside. Your
words.. they…

View original post 10 more words

Not as Young as I Used to be

Wallace stopped and bent over, his hands resting just above his keens. He took deep breaths in and out, trying his best to get his breathing under control. Pippa, who had not expected him to stop, had continued on a little further. She turned herself around and jogged back to him, placing a hand on the top of his spine and rubbing gently.

‘You alright?’ she asked.

‘Yeah,’ Wallace said between breaths, ‘just – let me – get my breath – back.’

Pippa laughed. ‘We haven’t even gone very far. There’s still over four kilometers left. You sure you can handle this?’

‘Course – I can,’ Wallace said, although his voice did not carry the confidence that he had meant his words to have. He pushed himself up until he was standing upright again. ‘I’m just not as young as I used to be.’

‘What? You’re thirty!’

‘Yes,’ said Wallace, ‘but I used to be younger than thirty.’

Pippa looked up the long, winding path that led through the park. ‘Maybe we’ll just do a short run today,’ she mused. ‘You know, to get you back into running. You said yourself, it’s been a while.’

‘No, no, I can do it. Let’s go.’

They set off again, but before long Wallace was slowing down. Pippa reduced her pace and looked sideways at him to see that his face was red and covered in a layer of sweat which shone in the early morning sun. If the way he squeezed his eyes shut over and over was any indicator, then he was in a bit of pain.

‘There’s no shame in starting off slow,’ she said. ‘A minute of running, a minute of walking, it does the trick nicely.’

Wallace nodded and slowed down to a walk. ‘Yeah,’ he agreed, ‘good idea.’

‘You’ll be back to your old fitness in no time. Just don’t let the early days put you off.’

They walked until Wallace caught his breath back and started jogging again. Pippa allowed him to keep the pace, always a footstep behind. He did not overexert himself this time, and it was nice to have the company.

When they got to the cool down, Wallace was clearly tired out, but he looked extremely pleased with himself.

‘Thirty,’ he said, pushing a strand of hair that had fallen into his eyes away behind his ear. ‘Not so bad after all.’

‘You’re not an old man just yet,’ Pippa agreed.

Simile and Metaphor

Simile and metaphor are things that we use every single day, whether in writing, speech, or thought. Yet many people are unaware of the differences between them. After all, they both compare one thing to another thing – so let’s take a quick look at them side-by-side.

Simile

Simile compare one thing (A) to something else (B) by saying that A is like (or as) B. It gives the reader an idea of what thing A resembles by providing the example of thing B.

Examples of Simile

He howled like a wild dog.

Life is like a box of chocolates.

She was as happy as a clam.

So if you use the words ‘like’ or ‘as’ to compare two things together, you are using a simile.

Metaphor

A metaphor is also compares two things with each other. However, metaphors do not use the words ‘like’ or ‘as’. Instead, metaphors say that thing A is thing B, which can help to paint a more vivid picture than a simile by creating a more direct link between thing A and thing B.

Examples of Metaphor

I’ve told you a million times not to do that.

My heart jumped out of my chest.

It’s raining cats and dogs.

There are countless examples of metaphors available online (all you need to do is search on Google).

Simile and metaphor are great fun and can be very useful in your writing – practice using them to see the comparisons you can come up with!

YouTube Tuesday: Brought Together

It’s Tuesday (again), which means another poem from YouTube. Here’s one from my book, “City of the World”.

Brought Together

Brought together
By a common bond
Though we were born
Thousands of miles apart;
Here we are
Seated together,
A circle of faces
Of various races
Working and living
Side by side,
Pulled into one another’s lives
By the thrill
Of promise;
A desire to learn,
To know
Something more
Than everything
We have ever been taught.
We collide
In this spinning city,
Vibrant and chaotic,
Forming friendships
And relationships
Out of nothing
But a dream;
In and out of love,
In and out of sight;
We have all shared
This wish,
Looked up at the stars
And begged with our hearts
And our eyes
In our most intimate moments.
There is no rule
On who you are
Or who you have to be
Out here:
The hermit greeted by a lion,
Roaring with pride,
Standing strong,
His confidence encouraging
It to break out of its shell;
He rules the night
Without a pause for thought,
Defiant and fearless
Unlike the hermit,
Who comes with reservations
And a lack
Of the lion’s authority.
What they do not share in mind,
In spirit
Are the same;
Drawn into the same sphere
Of want
And belief,
Wanting to seek out
The unknown;
My family of strangers
With ambitions of
Pure delight,
United by our quest
To pursue something
Far greater than ourselves:
There for every celebration
There for every fall.

© Laura Marie Clark

If you enjoyed this, please visit my author page to purchase a copy of the book: http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/laura-marie-clark.html — or find it on Amazon

Monday Reflection: Week 12

This week’s going to be a busy one! The 50th Spring Symposium for Byzantine Studies is happening this weekend at the University of Birmingham, and I’m going to be attending, volunteering, and going to the meal on the Sunday night with many of the important speakers. With that in mind, here’s a quick glance over the past week before I begin the new one.

Poetry

bag of memories on Eliot’s Tears

directed on The Dynamics of Groove

Six Minutes and Forty Two Seconds on Creative Writing of a Baltimorean

Stories

The 50 Virus by S C Richmond

Blogs

For a great blog with lots of variety and ongoing projects including stories and poems in the realms of supernatural/fantasy, check out Tales of Ore. Take a look around, it’s a great blog!

I hope you enjoy going through these posts as much as I did. Happy reading! And if you’ve read something worthy of sharing, add a link in the comments below to share it with everyone else!

Paper Wrapping

Beware!
Watch your fingers
And open this gift carefully
For there was a time
When it was strong,
Encased in steel,
But now the outer layer
Is nothing more
Than thin wrapping paper –
Tacky
Littered with stars and circles
In ugly colours –
So take your time
And make sure you use
A delicate touch
Especially over my heart,
Where the paper is thinnest
And has been taped back together
So many times
That the colours have faded
And the shapes,
Distorted,
Are no longer solid.
So as you peel away this wrapping
Each layer
Slowly revealing more
Of what is truly hidden beneath,
Remember that one day
I may have to tape it back together again
And if you do not
Take care, if you tear
This paper to pieces,
There may be nothing left
To put back together.

Bitter Feelings

Martin threw his bag down by the side of the chair and threw himself into it with a huff. He shrugged off his jacket, then picked up the cocktail menu with one eyebrow raised, flicked through it quickly, and tossed it back down onto the table.

Ben and Luke looked at each other across the table. They both knew that Martin would get a pint of something cheap and nasty: he always got a pint of something cheap and nasty. Flicking through the cocktail menu was just one of the many techniques he used to tell the people around him that he was not happy.

They watched as he pulled his wallet out of his pocket, pushed himself out of his chair, and made his way over to the bar. It was silent as he ordered and paid for his drink, snatched it up off the bar and wound his way across the room back to the table. The pint glass was placed down onto the table gently, a couple of centimetres away from a beer mat (if the table got a ring from the glass, that would probably cheer Martin up a bit). He let his weight send him crashing back down into his chair, and drained half of the pint before either of the others could get a word in.

‘Uh, Martin,’ Luke said, when the glass moved far enough away from Martin’s lips that Luke thought he might be willing to answer, ‘what’s up?’

‘Yeah,’ Ben pitched in, not entirely helpfully. ‘Looks like something’s wrong.’

‘Does it?’ Martin asked. Then he put the half-full glass down on the table, and sat staring at them in a silence that both Ben and Luke were certain he was deliberately making uncomfortable.

Nobody liked it when Martin was in a bad mood. He was the sort of person whose misery swept around the room until it infected everyone else, even those who did not interact with him. There was something about the way he moved and his short, blunt sentences that demanded an environment of self-loathing. Ben picked up his own pint to break the tension between them, and pretended to be more interested in his drink than he was.

‘Want to talk about it?’ Luke asked, his voice betraying his hopes that Martin would let his thoughts out and release some of the bitter feelings brewing within him.

‘Nope.’

Luke nodded. ‘Right. Cool.’

Another awkward silence; the people on the table behind Martin fell into their own brooding silence, as the uncomfortable feeling of disdain began to seep out of Martin and into those nearby.

Outside, it started to rain.

‘You know, I think I might have an early night tonight,’ Luke suggested. ‘It was really busy at work today. I’m tired.’

Martin snorted. ‘Yeah. Right. Busy.’ He knew exactly why Luke wanted to get out of there, and it was clear he enjoyed spreading discomfort around. ‘Well, I’m gonna get wasted.’ He stared at Ben, a challenge.

Ben put his glass down and held his hand up to his mouth, faking a yawn. ‘I’m … pretty tired, actually,’ he said without much effort.

At the same moment that Martin’s eyes narrowed, a clap of thunder crashed down outside. Sometimes, it was as though his timing was just too perfect, as though it was more than just the room that he could affect with his powerful negativity.

There was no need for him to tell them that he knew they were trying to leave. That was obvious. The seconds ticked on, until Martin’s face began to soften, but the tension still hummed through the air between them. Luke licked his lips, words dancing on his tongue that he did not dare speak.

Eventually, he said, in a voice utterly devoid of interest, ‘Well, I suppose another pint couldn’t hurt.’

‘Be careful,’ Martin said, sounding dry and bored, ‘it might kill you.’