Persona Poetry

Persona, said in context of the writing world, is when a writer writes in first person perspective with the “I” of the poem being an object, an idea, or another person. The “I”  –  also called the narrator  –  of this style of poetry can NOT be the writer themselves.  That is what makes this type of writing unique and most certainly impactful. Poets can dive in and use the (distanced from themselves) perspectives of objects, ideas, or other people to convey powerful messages, call outs, and show beautiful new ways of thinking. 

Below are a few examples of persona poetry being performed, and through these performances we can hear how powerful a poem can become when spoken aloud. These Speakers embody their chosen poems, bringing them to life and expressing them wonderfully. 

Trying my own hand at Persona poetry, I ended up with a collection that I call Breakthrough Persona. Wanting to follow the instructions of not bluntly telling what the narrator is, I decided to alluded to or hint at what my subjects where in their titles. Below are three poems from my collection Breakthrough Persona: stands of mental health, keeper of fiction that’s painfully true, and aspects of titles.

strands of mental health  

What happens after? 
What happens after the good days disappear 
and the bad are all you are allowed to wake up to?
When your feelings are fleeting 
and you get stuck in those in between moments, those transitions — 
what happens then? 
See, clothes cost money; you don't like pain; 
you refuse the drugs, the alcohol, the addictions —
you know those are more damaging, more altering,
than what you want to deal with.
Still, you chase to make a dramatic difference.
To find some reminiscences of control. 
So you find scissors. 
You know I'll grow back. 
Nothing permanent, but it feels drastic all the same. 
You grip me tight and pull me out in chunks —
you cut me off in ragged pieces,
stripping me of my color, my life, my health 
so as to change me to a shade, a style of your liking. 
Truly, what do you think of me?
Do you find my flatness borish or my curls a nuisance?
Do my split-ends and frizziness drive you mad?
They shouldn't, for these are the result of improper care —
I was not treated as treasure for what was natural, but scorned. 
You get angry at pieces of me that are of your own making,
for you did not take time to learn my ways nor 
did you take time to learn how to care for me.
Only time and gentle attention will fix this unruly, tangled, damaged mess 
that you have made of me. 

Simply learn my ways;
treat me in the right regard —
then I will follow.

keeper of fiction that’s painfully true.  

I am stained 
with tears as ink, 
with the essence of your being; 
your thoughts, your hates, and your desires.

You scratch me 
with words of graphite, 
with the shade of your mind; 
your wonders, your fears, and your wishes. 

So why do you tear me up into shredded little pieces of emotions and crumble me into a simple piece of trash — one that you don’t even think to pick up after you have thrown me towards the dumpster and missed —

why have you dismissed me so?

I am covered
with truths as fiction,
with a piece of your life;
your pasts, your presents, and your futures.

You line me 
with hordes of symbolism,
with a sliver of your sight;
Your perspectives, your actions, and your dialogues. 

So why do you fold me up into tiny squares of pretendence and hide me in the creased lining of notebooks — ones that you don’t ever think to open after you have stacked notebook upon notebook on what you want forgotten — 

why have you abandoned me so?

aspects of titles 

You get called a lot of things growing up. 
I might have been a nickname, a compliment, or an insult. 
I might have been a pet name, a label, or an evaluation.
I might be reserved for one person.
I might be reserved for many. 
When you were little, I was “curious”, “Momma’s girl”, and “mature”.
Now that you are older, I am “intelligent”, “independent”, and “childish”. 

I change as you grow and develop — 
new sides of yourself allow for others
to come up with more of me. 
So don’t be afraid, 
when I am changed on the whims of others; 
embrace me, take the new versions of me that you want, and disregard the others — 
for half of what they call you is made of their opinion, and the rest is what you decide I am. 

So that’s what i have on Persona Poetry! Hope you liked reading my blog about this topic, and maybe it will inspire you to try persona poetry out for yourself!

Literature Review – Dirt

‘Dirt’ by the Collection (Official Music Video)

In this song, Dirt by The Collection, multiple biblical figures are named and their stories are hinted at. Well after I heard this song it inspired me to look deeper these people’s stories – and what I found is only the surface. 

Abraham was scared to die, forsook his wife within the lie
Think I know the reasons why; cause he was made of dirt.

These two lines are talking about Abram (whose name was changed to Abraham) when he and his wife doubted that God would fulfill his promise to make their descendants as numerous as the star because of their old age. They decided to make the promise come true themselves in own way (through Sarah’s servant) instead of waiting for God’s timing. Chapters 15 – 18 and 21 in Genesis. 

And Joseph's coat was full of pride, the blood of goats won't wash you white If I was his brother, I'd have lied, and left him in the dirt

These two lines are talking about when Joseph’s brothers (who were jealous that Joseph was spoiled) trapped him in a hole, sold him to slave traders, and convinced their dad that Joseph had been killed by wolves by tearing up Joseph’s special coat and smearing it in goat blood. 

And Moses never entered in to land he thought was promised him
He took his people 'round again, to pick manna from the dirt.

These two lines are hinting at the time that Moses used God’s power without God’s command to do so (he split a rock open and made water come from it) when giving a lesson to the Israelites. They had forgotten what God had saved them from and became ungrateful, so God told them they weren’t allowed to enter the promised land yet and that they had to roam the desert for 40 more years. 

And Solomon became so wise, with many wives and concubines
He fell for every single lie, yeah, his head was full of dirt.

These two lines are talking about how Solomon had many women in his life who did not follow God and how Solomon allowed them to influence him and his way of ruling. Solomon allowed sinful things to happen in his kingdom because of his wives’ influences.  

And David's where I got my name, abusing power, abusing fame,
He stole a girl, her husband slain, left six feet in the dirt.

These lines talk about when King David spied on a woman (while she was bathing) and then about how he used his status as king to send the woman’s husband to get killed in the frontlines of the war they were in. After the woman’s husband was dead, David took her to be his wife. 

And Peter fell to his own shame, denied his love, denied his name, He ran away, when the people came, to nail him to the dirt.

This part of the song is talking about when the Disciple Peter denied that he knew Jesus three times before a roster could crow twice. This was on the morning of Jesus being taken to be crucified, after Peter had been told he would do exactly what is described above – this is also after peter had promised that he wouldn’t deny that he knew Jesus.

And Samson only thought it fair, to let the witch come cut his hair And look through eyes no longer there as he crushed them in the dirt. 

Here the song is describing the moment that Samson told his philistine wife what the source of his incredible strength was. Once he was asleep, his wife cut his hair and the Philistines were able to capture him – the philistines also plucked out Samson’s eyes. Later when the all the philistines had gathered for a celebration (where they had Samson chained to the temple walls, on display for all to see that the philistines had won), Samson asked the severest to place his hands on the temple pillars and he asked God to give him the straight to kill the philistines. Then, with God’s strength, Samson destroyed the temple and killed all the philistines and himself in the rubble. 

And Paul would sit upon his throne and kill us with the biggest stones And wrestle with the thorn unknown, a thorn up from the dirt.

These lines are hinting to the apostle Paul, who watched the false prophet Stephen get stoned to death, right before Paul started traveling to spread God’s message. Paul taught mostly to the Romans and the other people who lived there, and he was basically the spiritual leader for that time, era, and place. 

But if the nations had a father, Joseph would redeem his brothers. Moses held the waters up, and David would become your love. Solomon would build the temple, Samson came to destroy evil, Peter soon became the rock and Paul would lead the roman flock

The next couple lines of lyrics can be stated as this: Abraham became the Father of Nations , Joseph forgave his brothers, Moses held up the waters, Solomon built the temple, David was still beloved, Peter became a strong foundation, Samson destroyed the Philistines, and Paul taught in front of Romans. 

And it's all that I can do to keep my eyes off You,
And it's all that You can do to keep me, keep me, keep me ne

All that I can see is that You can't see the dirt in me
All that I can see is that You can't see the dirt in me
All that I can see is that You can't see the dirt in me
And all that I can see is You.

And with these last repeating lines of the song, I will tell you this: even after all that these men did and after all that happened to them, God still kept his promises. God still delivered them. Doesn’t matter what people do, act, say, believe, God can use people for his glory. Even if they don’t know that he used them. God uses messed up and broken people to do his good works. Doesn’t matter what we think. God is sovereign. 

Beware The Men in Trench Coats

Mister oh mister won't you come and play? 
Please oh please - it’s such a pleasant day. 
I cast off my name and you cast off yours.
Then we call for each other and we live here no more. 

A child gently dances down an elegant hallway, quietly singing and humming to themselves. They hold their stuffed animal in front of them, dangling it in the air, both of them dancing to the nursery rhyme. The fox’s fur is faded, it’s head flopping as they dance, as the stuffing in his neck and middle are flat from being hugged and held. 

As tense as a deer the child freezes,  jerking their head to stare at the back of the only door in the hallway. The clicking sound of a key turning seems to echo through the hall. The old silver handle starts to open but pauses, the voices inside barely slipping through the pause. 

As frantic as a rabbit, the child runs to the nearest portrait, one of a small girl in a light blue and white ruffled dress. In a silent, rushed but practiced motion, the child shoves their toy fox into their mouth and reaches up on their tiptoes to pull the portrait girl’s long, light blue hair ribbon. A small click to be heard as something from behind the picture swooshes open. The child steps on the rim of a fern plant’s pot to jump and grab the top of the picture frame, swinging themselves into the canvas and disappearing into the wall.

The child quickly moves to slide the small hidden door close, halting to leave a small gap of light shining into the dark space inside the walls. The child peeps out to see a tall, heavy set, wide built man silently dart in and out of the forbidden room - doing so much faster than seemed possible for a man of his stature. The man stepped close to the door and shoved an incredibly large worn wooden key into the incredibly small silver key hole with an almost violent twist. 

The house held its breath. The man released his. With clam, gentle movements the man purposely removed the key. Glancing up and down the hall for reassurance that he was alone, the man raised the large key to his face. The man’s jaw twitched as he leaned his head back. He opened his mouth, his lips parting beyond, all the way to his ears. Saliva, dripping off of his tentacle-like tongues and knife-sharp jagged teeth. The man lifted the key above his head. His tongues slipped over the key like snakes. As soon as the man let go of the key it jerked into his mouth, his head whipping closed back to looking normal. The man rolled out his shoulders before fixing his coat and leaving the hall with a brisk pace. 

So, I was a Junoir helper for  Literary Seniors Morgan Love‘s and Kaite Spiers‘s Senior Showcase this past Monday. A good bit of their wonderful writing was Surrealism. My little sisters have also been watching shows that tend to put things past the point of normal. I also watched the movie, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, recently I think it has affected my writing. What I have written above is an experiment. So hope ya’ll like it. 

A Letter to a Wonderer

To Whomever Wishes To Go See What Lives In the Mountains And the Forests. 

     An old house. A father in his study, a mother off traveling, a girl left to roam the family’s woods. That’s what’s in the Mountains. That’s one of the things that find you in the Woods. Trees as old and as dangerous as the Mountains they cover. Beautiful Woods. Ancient Woods. Woods of Betrayal. 
     I call them Woods but they are Forests, said to have been growing since the beginning of time. They house strange beats, odd wonderlands, and those that want to hide. Those woods are said to hold the secrets of the universe written in their bark. It is said that their roots reach to the center of the earth’s heart. If you get lost in those woods just adapt, for you have no hope of coming out alive. But if you are careful - if you are cautious - if you bring gifts to the Spirits of Forests, then you might be able to escape only slightly crazed and dazed, but you will quite certainly be amazed. 
     You still want to go? You still want to try? If you are that dead set then these I would sincerely suggest you go find. 

Go find the girl who talks. Keep in mind, she won't say a word. But she can tell you secrets about that world. 

Go find the hole in the house, sat beneath an oak tree. After you find it, you’ll need a new key. 

Go find a bird of sunset, who has yet to fly. If you answer just right you can ask for a guide. 

Go find the writer and ask for his stories. They’ll tell you what to find and where to wander without worries. 

Go find the artist who captures memories. Search through her collection but do not give her yours. 

Go find the twilight but wait until after the morning. This is important. If you don’t then you’ll never see the dawn. 

     These are just the first - they’re as far as I got. If you go any farther then I suggest you keep watch. The things in that forest are not as they seem - for the sweet will be mean and the mean will just scream. If you find a small thing, avoid at all costs. If you happen upon a big just act like you're lost. If you see a young tree then you better help it sprout, but beware the old oaks and what hang about. 
     I know this is cryptic, but it's the best I’ve still got. If you wait just an hour then you’ll get a head start. 

Traveler I beg you - trust this Old Man. For I have seen things you will never understand. 

This is a letter about a forest in another world. This is a letter written to those who like to wander. This is a warning. It hints at ways to survive a magical forest that tends to be just outside of normal in terrifying ways. This letter is written by someone who has braved those woods, came out fast enough to keep his good sense, and continued to live to tell his stories. Others don’t come out so lucky, and most just don’t come out at all. 

Big Brother, Big Brother – Big Brother Death.

Big Brother, Big Brother - Big Brother Death,
have you met the puppy who has three heads? 

Big Brother, Big Brother - Big Brother Death,
have you seen Persephone and all her flowerbeds? 

Big Brother, Big Brother - Big Brother Death, 
did Hades ever tell you ‘don’t speak to the dead’?

Big Brother, Big Brother - Your hands are so cold. 
Could you say ‘I love you’ like she used to do?

Big Brother, Big Brother - Where do you go?
When hades says to leave and I can’t go?

Big Brother, Big Brother -Do you know my name?
‘I have forgotten’ as you like to say. 

Big Brother, Big Brother - What is growth?
Persephone says it’s odd that you do not grow 

Big Brother, Big Brother - You’re called death
You call me ‘little girl’ or ‘sweet Beth’ 

Big Brother, Big Brother - Would you reap my soul? 
Hades says it’s gonna happen once I’m old

Big Brother, Big Brother - You’re finally home!
You brought strangers, but not a soul? 

Big Brother, Big Brother - Who are these men?
Their loud and mean and they don’t like bread.

Big Brother, Big Brother - Why so sad?
Are these big, fat gods just here to make you mad?

Big Brother, Big Brother -What do you dearly hold?
You grabbed me close and you won’t let go.

Big Brother, Big Brother - Are those tears? 
And your hugging so tight like I’ll disappear.

Big Brother, Big Brother - What do they want?
The tension is rising, The rope’s pulled taut.

Big Brother, Big Brother - The story’s not done, 
so why are you acting like Fates been spun? 

Big Brother, Big Brother - Big brother Death. 
Why are you locked away? Like an animal with debt? 

Big Brother, Big Brother - Big brother Death.
Hades said he’ll keep me, till you’ve paid your debt. 

Big Brother, Big Brother - Death, fight back! 
Why won’t you ever overcome what you lack? 

Big Brother, Big Brother - I want to see you.
But the lighting strikes me every time I do.

Big Brother, Big Brother - I want to see you.
But the man with a trident stops me with blue. 

Big Brother, Big Brother - I want to see you
I want you to hold me like you used to do

Big Brother, Big Brother - I feel so cold.
Will I finally be what you’re able to hold

Big Brother, Big Brother - Big brother Death.
I loved when you called me your little Beth.

Big Brother, Big Brother - Big brother Death.
It seems I won’t see you, before my last breath

Hey, Big brother, Big brother Death. 
I want to thank you, 
For calling me Beth.

This poem is a continuation of my The Grim Reaper post, and it continues the story from her viewpoint. This poem is meant to be read sort of as a nursery rhyme, with a bit of the tune Baba Black Sheep mixed with the sing-song ramblings of a curious child. 

But this poem starts after Death has brought her to the Underworld  – since she is a child she began exploring everything she was allowed to. (after she got over her fear of all the fire and brimstone of course.) The poem then goes into her becoming more comfortable in her new life before Zeus and Pesiden hear rumors that Death had taken a living child from the surface world to the underworld and was raising her.

From there, it goes through her struggles of separation from Death – for this is when he is confined and basically ‘enslaved’ to Hades as punishment.  The poem ends just before Death is allowed out of his prison, and he is forced to watch from afar as his ‘little Beth’ takes her last breathe. Then he reaps her soul. 

Hope ya’ll enjoyed!

So i’m a lizard…

so im a lizard. seems like on odd title. but it’ll make sense as we go. 

I’m the head of the D&D club here at MSA. for those who don’t know what D&D is, it stands for Dungeons and Dragons, and it is an IRL role-playing game.  

D&D is a game where you get to take your imagination to the next level. there are varying degrees of how you might play the game depending on how dedicated you are and/or how long you’ve been playing. But the first step to playing this game is creating your character. 

so for those who are new to the game, creating a character can seem like a daunting task. there are so many choices! but I’ll walk you through ( and hopefully simplify) the process just a little bit.

so the first step is choosing a Race. you could be a human, a giant, a satyr, or a rat! You could even create a new race if you wanted to.  But in most cases, there are your standard choices: Dragonborn, Dwarfs, Elfs, Half-Elfs, Half-Orcs, Humans, Halflings, Tiefling, Gnomes, Goliath, Genasi, Aarakocra, and Aasimar. And there are tons of other races out there, and tons more you could create! which brings me to my title – my newest character is a lizard!

the second step is Class (basically your job/whatever your good at.) and for this, there is a list:

  • Barbarian
  • Bard
  • Cleric
  • Druid
  • Fighter
  • Monk
  • Paladin
  • Ranger
  • Rogue
  • Sorcerer
  • Warlock
  • Wizard

these classes are basically choosing how you fight. Barbarians are known for rushing into battles and going on a rampage. Rogues are known for being skilled thieves or assassins, and Bards are known for ‘enchanting’ people wherever they go (whether with magic or other means we will never know.)

Each class has its own strengths too; like Monks, who get bonuses for dexterity and wisdom, or Druids, who get bonuses for wisdom and intelligence. And once you get your level or XP high enough, you can multiclass! then you can combine different classes and have more spells or abilities. 

then you get to chose your ability scores. these are your Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Strength is pretty straight forward, so I won’t explain that one, but I’ll give a little more insight on the others. 

Dexterity is basically how good you are at climbing, jumping, sneaking, hiding, running, etc. I relate Constitution to saving throws (when your death was pretty much certain, but you still get to roll to see if you survive) and Charisma is jokingly thought of as the bard’s highest stat, but it’s chalked up to how good looking and persuasive your character can be. 

Intelligence and Wisdom are very similar to me, but I looked up some phrases and stuff to try to clarify which is which.

Intelligence is knowing Frankenstein wasn't the monster. 
Wisdom is knowing Frankenstein WAS the monster.
Intelligence determines how well your character learns and reasons.
Wisdom describes a character’s willpower, common sense, perception, and intuition.

And I found this one to try to describe all of the stats. 

Strength is being able to crush a tomato.
Dexterity is being able to dodge a tomato.
Constitution is being able to eat a bad tomato.
Intelligence is knowing a tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is knowing not to put a tomato in a fruit salad.
Charisma is being able to sell a tomato based fruit salad.

And once you are done dealing with those 3 things, you finally get to design your character!!! this step is when you gave your character their name and appearance, along with their background, lifestyle, beliefs, and how they interact with others. this is the step where you get to flesh out your character’s personality, looks, and friends and family. 

the final step is assigning equipment and/or gold. On websites like DnD Beyond, they usually have to option of starter equipment and such, so this part isn’t so much of a hassle. 

But those are mostly the basics! hope this will make your journey to create a character I lot easier – remember you can be as creative as you’d like!  you could even be a lizard. (btw my lizard’s name is Eek Ard!) 

happy playing!

Influenced by Others

Abstract Anxiety by Madison White

There were um, lights - different circles of red, white, purple, orange - 
filling non distinctive shapes. 

Then it shows you brushing through 
blurry grass;
your under someone’s feet
as feelings swell;
your rushing through clovers as the music 
your anticipation to nothing. 

There were plenty of light taps against 
mixed with the clattering of multiple cutoff 
Multiple deep thumps like splashes underwater
thundering in your ears, almost like a train.
of grain being piled. The loud buildup clearly ended 
into a calm noise of a rice filled shaker.

This poem was written after watching Otavia – Abstract video art, which was posted on youtube by Anat Gutberg on April 2, 2016. You could go and watch it if you want to. (Other junior literary students have already seen it, but the link is above if you want to watch it again.) 

I wrote that poem as an attempt to replicate the sounds and images from the video. Abstract Anxiety is a free verse poem – I basically wrote my train of thought after watching  Otavia

A Small Child by Madison White 

Laying in your 

A small 

Wrapped in a 

Their hand tight on your 

This poem, A Small Child, was also an imitation. The goal was to copy the format, or the stanzas, of The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams.

The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams.

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

So I’m gonna end this post by saying this: using mentor texts is a really good way to experiment with your own writing style. Imitating a certain characteristic that you like of another author’s work is an easy way to expand your abilities and try something new. And you don’t have to imitate the same thing every time; you could imitate the topic, the tone, the message, the format, the word count, the line count – you can pick whatever you want to imitate!

Everybody has different strengths, and imitating others’ work is a great way to grow – and that applies to most everything! But don’t forget that even if imitating is a very helpful process, you still need to get creative and come up with your own! 

Chapter 3: Familiar

This is the next chapter following Chapter 2: a Raven.  BTW, these chapters are NOT in chronological order. They are just in the order that I come up with them. 

Hope yall enjoy!!!

Chapter 3 - Familiar 

I watched from the rafters of our newly built cottage as my Mistress worked on one of her new recipes. The potion was for Ms. Harrget's knees so that they wouldn’t hurt as badly. That was what I had been told when I asked why I had to go collect herbs from the muddy side of the creek. Mistress knows I hate getting dirty. But I get muddy when the Mistress needs me to. Only when she needs me to.

Mistress's Hatchling played close to her feet, pulling on her dress every now and then for no reason. I still wasn't sure if I liked him. He would throw his tiny wooden soldiers at me sometimes. Or pluck out my feathers. And throw his food at me. But Mistress had shown concern for her hatchling because he made no noise. Whenever something was wrong, he would just throw stuff or bang on things, but no sound would pass from his lips.

That didn’t stop Hatchling from wanting to do everything with Mistress. And if Mistress had something to do in the village, she would call me over, place me in front of Hatchling, and run out the room. Then Hatchling would grab me as if I was one of his stuffed toys. He wouldn’t let go until she returned. It was odd.

But today Mistress’s Mister came home! And I get to ride on his shoulder and sleep in his lap when he gets home. Sometimes, he even takes me hunting. He taught me to fly through the woods, and when I see a small rabbit or squirrel or something, I either dive and bring it to him or I fly back to Mister and show him where it lives. It is very fun! Then we go home and then we all get to eat yummy stuff!

I turned into a boy today! Mistress said I did well - it only took me 2 days of trying! And she gave me a name - Ki. She said it means strong. But I am a weak crow, I don't have strength like Mister. So I'm a little confused with my name, but Mistress gave it to me, so it’s a good name. 

It's Hatchling's birthday today. He is turning 3.  Mistress said I was to stay as a boy while Mister’s sister, (i was told to call her Aunt?) stays with us for a month. Clothes are difficult. But if Hatchling can wear them, so will I! 

 Aunt said she came all the way from the capital - she even brought gifts for all of us! I got a toy soldier. I don’t know where “the capital” is but Aunt says it is a very fine place with shops and crowds and markets and royalty. But Aunt had to explain what those things were, and then she got onto Mister for not teaching his children right.

Mistress says we have to move today. Mister and I loaded the cart with food and things. They said we’re moving to the cliffs, and I got permission to fly ahead and be on the lookout! If I see anyone on the road, I fly back and tell Mister so he has time to hide the wagon. I’m not sure why they want to avoid other people, but it’s fun getting to fly so much! 

Our new house has a secret hole in the back wall - and Mister and I got to explore them today! We wandered around for a long time and I didn't realize how many trips it would take to map them all out. The tunnels and caves were actually a huge network leading all over the place. Eventually, once I was old enough, Mister would take me with him to the different towns we could access for supplies and stuff. That was when I got my first taste of humans shopping in crowds. It was chaotic. And smelly. And I got lost multiple times. But mister was always able to find me. Then we’d travel back through the tunnels-making sure no one followed us of course. 

But this time it was different. I was in crow form, sitting on Mister’s shoulder when some guards of the town started attacking Mister for no reason! I managed to claw one guy's face off and take out his eye, but one of the other guards got hold of me. Mister was beating most of them, as he was a very strong fist fighter and swordsman, but once he realized I was trapped he barreled into my capturer, knocking 2 guards and himself to the ground. After that, it was a flurry of arms and hands as the guards grabbed Mister’s hands and held them behind his back. I managed to fly out of their reach and I circled above their heads, knowing there was much else I could do. 

I watched as they dragged Mister down to the jails of the building with banners I had been told to avoid - a black flag with a witch-burning sewn on in red. And I knew I had to tell Misstress what had happened.  

The Order of the Ravens had captured Mister. And no one stays sane after being caught by the Ravens.  

I wonder

I Wonder By Madison White

As my mind drifts forth and back and forth and back and forth and back  - 
In a cycle 
that never seems
to end.

And as my soul seeks out the hope, the end, the hope, the end, the hope, the end - 
on a graph 
that can not 

As my feet take me far and near and far and near and far and near and far - 
Down a trail 
of endless walking,
without halt.

And as my hands silently reach and grasp and reach and grasp and reach and grasp - 
Yet it all 
Slides through, lost
my grip. 

As I begin to feel the hurt, the pain, the sorrow, the grief - 
That has avoided 
And eluded me 
For years. 

And I begin to feel the things oh the things and the things, oh the things and the things - 
the world offers
Yet no thing 

So still 
I wonder 

Life likes to move in circles. Well, I guess it could move in triangles. Or Squares. But that means it could move in Rectangles too, right? Along with hexagons or pentagons. Or maybe it moves like dice, showing a different face for different scenarios. 

Nevermind. Let me start over. 


Life Moves. 


How about that. It’s that simple. Life moves.

It moves in any and every way possible. It moves backwards, forwards, frontwards, toward-wards, high-wards, round-wards, and loop-de-loop-wards. It will shove you through some doors and yank you out of others. It will hurl you into windows or fling you up chimneys or make you crawl up blistering stairs. But it doesn’t let you stop. 

Granted, it may slow to the pace of a snail, dragging you, day in and day out. But other times it may keep you shooting about like a rocket ship on a racecourse, making sharp, jarring turns and baffling you with the fact that your ride has yet to fall and flip over – even though you thought for many a time that it was going to anyway. 

But I’ll say it again –  Life Moves. 


And that poem, titled I Wonder, is about what happens when someone who had inwardly become numb was finally gifted their feeling back into their cold body. Correction, they finally wanted to be able to feel again.  

But they found they were unsatisfied. They found that what they had tried so hard to escape from, still existed. And the poem ends on that note. 


So let me ask a question:   Did you relate to that poem?  Did it remind you of someone?   And are you going to fall into despair again after seeing that you might not always find what you are looking for?  

Or are you going to continue to allow yourself to hold tight to what you have regained, to let life guide you, and continue to feel – even if it hurts. 

Chapter 1 for the NaNoWriMo Challenge!

So for those who don’t know what NaNoWriMo is – it stands for National November Writing Month! It is when authors plan in October and write a complete novel in just one month! There is an entire website dedicated to this kind of thing (here’s the link if you want it).  

But written below is the first chapter of a novel (name TBD) that I am writing with the website! I hope you’ll enjoy it and comments are welcomed!

Chapter 1: Water hemlock 
     Tod squats down, pointing at a small but fairly tall purple splotched plant that   had large triangular lacy leaves and multiple small clusters of tiny white flowers and calling out to his sister, Milly, to grab his leather-bound blank field journal, a pencil, and the old worn herbal book that he had sat on the ground over by the backdoor, along with his side-saddle leather bag that was just inside the door of the squint. 

     She jumped from where she had been standing behind him with a great gush of wind rustling the sibling’s hair and clothes as Milly pulled her magnitude of silky brown feathers out from the magical tattoos on her back. She spun on her heel and took a few steps away from her older brother - then she launched herself into the sky. 

     She flowed the small winding river creek back to the cottage, skimming just above the trees with her hair and her dress flapping in her face and swirling around in the wind. It was a very short distance for her, being able to sail on the wind instead of climbing over the large mushroom-infested roots of trees, crossing the clear and minnow filled creek, or stumbling up and down flowered and mossy covered hills. She gently dipped down and softly landed in the clearing just behind their home, pulling in her wings once she had settled on the ground. 

     She lightly ran up to the patio, past her aunt Raka (who was reading a new book on illusions), and pushed open the window-like door to the greenhouse. She leaned inside and grabbed Tod’s bag; then she walked by the back door, crouched down, and picked up tod’s stack of books. She then came and stood in front of her aunt, curious at a sight she hadn’t noticed before - her little brother Vory had found his way to the top of the roof of the cottage again and was preparing to jump off. 

     Milly pointed this fact out to Anut Raka and then ran over to the clearing. She pulled out her wings, causing the neatly cut grass beneath her feet to tremble in the wind her wings created and jumped into the air.

     After Milly had told Anut Raka the Vory was on the roof, aunt Raka placed her book in her lap (keeping her thumb between the pages) and looked up. 
“I’m ready Vory.” 
      She continued looking up, hearing the pounding of the young boy’s feet as he ran towards the edge of the roof. Raka watched as her nephew jumped over her head - and landed on the ground in front of her as a tiny grey fox with brown and black markings. She smiled, applauding, and praising his flawless transformation and his careful landing. 

      The tiny grey fox bounded over to his aunt’s feet and began to pat her on her leg. She picked her book off her lap; Vory wigged his tail and back legs to pounce and jumped up onto his aunt’s lap. She stroked his soft fur and wondered what her other nephew and niece were up to. 

      Milly dropped down through the trees and quickly slowed her fall with a couple quick flaps, creating a few bursts of air. She pulled her wings in, fixed her clothes and hair, and headed over to Tod. He was now sitting cross-legged under a tree with the river gently bubbling behind him. His spot was close to the plant he had found earlier, and he was chewing on some blackberries he had found while Milly was gone. 

      “Here’s your things.” Milly said, setting the bag down by what she thought was the plant from earlier and walking over toward Tod. She plopped down beside him and laid her head in his lap, closing her eyes.

 “Tod. I’m taking a nap now.” 

He sighed, stroking his fingers through her soft, silky brown hair. “Can I at least get my book?”

A grin spread across her face. “No.”

He sighed again. 

Milly sifted her shoulders, getting comfortable. “Did you think of what the plant is called?”

“Yeah. Water Hemlock. The whole plant is poisonous.” He reached up and tucked some of his sandy-grey hair that had fallen from his low ponytail behind his ear. “It grows by branching out, while the things it is mistaken for grow more straight up and aren't purple-ish. It likes to grow in wet marshy places like ditches, beside rivers and recently flooded fields - If I remember correctly.”

She glanced up at her brother. “You always remember.” 

He thought for a moment. “True.”

They sat without saying anything more, reveling in each other’s presence for a time. The sounds of the forest swelled to fill the silence, creating a soothing sound for both of them. 

“If my wings pop out, you can pet them if you want.” Milly said as she snuggled her shoulder into his thigh, not bothering to hide her smug smile. 

He looked down at her with a soft smile on his face, still petting her head.

“Of course.”