to never wake

a voice inside
shouts I’m a girl
watching shadows
that won’t stop
risking my life;

I can feel them now
burning in my stomach,
my eyes, daring me
to never wake

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just like a princess

I went out
last night a girl
a stranger
―I came back a woman

a prince tasted my lips
beneath the balcony
— made for each other

I should have realised sooner
I needed to calm down,
whatever happened
to my resolutions?
I shouldn’t have called him
so soon after last night
― just like a princess

Late night political debates

late night
political debates
burn my eyes,
I watch them
circle each other,
inching further
from the truth,
voices strained,
lips pressed;
I see it in their eyes,
the madness that urges
men to wage wars
shivers up my spine
when the clock
strikes midnight
and tragedy breaks

dreaming was easy

dreaming was easy,
loving her was hard;
she left me feeling faded,
like a pair of skinny jeans,
even when body
was close to mine
she kept on with her rebellion
against the whole world,
mistaking it for love,
keeping it far from simple,
we went round in circles
playing her games
that messed with my head,
back and forth,
touching the nerves across my ribs
so warm and soft,
before she kissed me
and everything was right again.

Meditation challenge

This week’s challenge was ‘meditation’. This was not something I have ever been good at and I had no idea where to start. I began searching online for tips on how to meditate and was immediately overwhelmed by the amount of advice out there. In the end I decided to start small.

I found myself a quiet corner and closed my eyes for a moment. I tried to concentrate on my breathing and block out any thoughts. So far so good. The next day I went to two minutes and then four minutes the day after that. While I could handle a short space of time the longer I went the harder it was to keep my mind empty of random thoughts.

So I decided to change tack and rather than sit in silence I played some soft music. This was something I could do. I focused on one instrument or the singer’s voice until it felt like I was floating. I discovered some songs were better than others at helping to lose myself.

After a week of this I realised a few things about myself, some that I already knew. I find it hard to relax and some days my stress and anxiety levels are so high that no amount of quiet sitting helps. Other times though I found I was able to block out my rampant thoughts by focusing on one thing only. This gave me a way to help deal with my issues.

Maybe I need more practice meditating. But the best things all was making time to spend each day to just sit.

Love

Molly xx

This I understand

eyes open ― dressing in silence,
stray hair falling across my face;
black jeans ― tight ― crop top;
these are the clothes I wear now,
but what kind of person am I?

part of me is still angry,
remembering the heat in my cheeks,
the warning in my head ― her words,
I ―am a dangerous thing,
this I understand.

The Witch in the Mirror – Part 43

Ailis ran until her feet were sore. She was deep into the forest now, further than she’d ever been before. Every now and then she had to stop, leaning against a tree and panting until she had gotten her breath back. The forest stretched on and on around the edge of the lake, further than she could ever have imagined.

Surely she had lost the soldiers by now. They had nearly caught her this time. She was merely floating, just like she did every day when she could sneak away from her chores. She stood on the rock at the edge of the lake and just let herself hover in the air. She never went too far or too high. She didn’t want anyone seeing her or discovering she had magic. It was peaceful in the air. She felt more like herself—where she could imagine she was secretly a princess rather than just a blacksmith’s daughter.

But this time she had gotten careless and had drifted lazily toward the treetops. That is when she first saw the men in black cloaks. She had heard all about these men that wore black cloaks. The villagers were all terrified of them. And the worst of the lot was that sergeant with the scar on his left cheek. Three jagged lines—almost like someone had scratched him viciously, or in desperation, Ailis thought. She had made the mistake of looking up as he rode through the village once. He had stared at her with those dead eyes as though he wanted to devour her.

When Ailis saw the horsemen through the trees she quickly returned to the ground and started to run. She knew she could have flown away from them but she couldn’t be seen in the air.

Ailis heard a noise and began to run again. Her plan was to circle back around to the village and return by the coastal path. As Ailis neared the village she stopped running. She ran her hands over her skirt and blouse to straighten it and adjusted the scarf around her hair. She stopped by a wild apple tree and filled her basket. It would be a ready excuse if anybody stopped her. She tried to calm the fear in her stomach.

The sun rose high in the sky when she caught the scent of wood smoke from the village. Ailis heaved a sigh of relief. Just over the next rise and she would be back in the village safe and sound.

Ailis left the forest and walked across the field of heath that ran down to the beach. In the distance she could see the village’s fishing boats bobbing on the open sea. They wouldn’t return until evening with their catch.

She could hear hammering from the blacksmith’s forge and she smiled. It wasn’t so bad being the blacksmith’s daughter. It could have been worse. Bryn was a highly respected artisan in the village and that afforded Ailis more freedom from menial chores than some of the other girls her age.

Ailis took an apple from her basket and was just about to take a bite when she saw the four horsemen blocking her path.

‘You there. Girl. Stop.’

Ailis shuddered when she saw it was the man with the scar. She was frozen to the spot.

‘What business do you have out here? We have been hunting a young girl seen in the forest. What do you have to say for yourself?’

‘I—I was just fetching apples. To make my Da a pie.’ She tried to control the nervousness in her voice.

‘A likely story. Who is your da?’

‘The—the blacksmith—Bryn—the blacksmith.’

The sergeant looked at her more closely, searching her face. His black gloved hand involuntarily stroked the scars on his cheek.

‘How old are you, girl?’

Ailis felt tears well into her eyes but forced them back down. The pendant between her breasts was turning hot.

‘Just take her here, Hom. Nobody need ever know.’ The second horsemen leered at her. Ailis fought back the urge to wet herself.

‘This little one is not worth your effort.’

A woman appeared behind the horsemen. Hom turned in his saddle to see who dared address the black cloaks. It was just another peasant woman. Hom drew his sword. The sun glinted wickedly on the blade. He smiled viciously to feel its familiar weight in his hand.

‘Why don’t you go about your business, old woman, before I slay you right here.’

‘You don’t want to kill anyone today.’ She moved her hand from under her cloak. ‘Return to your camp.’

Hom looked at her uncertainly for a moment before sheathing his sword.

‘Come, men. Let us return to camp. We will take the wench another day.’

He glared at the woman and turned his horse. The four men rode away in a cloud of dust.

Ailis collapsed to her knees with shock.

The woman cupped her hand around Ailis’ chin and raised the girl to her feet.

‘Run home, child. You need to take more care with your gift. It’s not your time yet, but soon.’

Ailis looked questioningly into the woman’s eyes. They were dark but flecked with blue, like snowflakes.

‘Go.’

Ailis found her feet moving quickly toward the village. She looked back over her shoulder.

The woman was gone.

Wild west mythology (aka the gun lobby)

a desert landscape – dry – hot –
not even a breath of air to stir the dust.
the plain stretches to the horizon
where it meets a jagged line of eroded hills.
this landscape is old, barren – unfertile.
there is no sign of life, but a worn trail
hints that these plains have been crossed before.

a steam train rattles around the edge of the desert.
click clack on iron rails until a lonely outpost appears
in the distance a rustic timber building
a small outback siding where the train never stops,
never, even though it slows for the slight grade
the train never stops, except for the man in the cape
and black hat. the train stops because the man
in the black hat wants to get off.

the bar is filled with the usual characters –
a tired barman wiping glasses – ranch hands
washing trail dust down their throats – a card game
quietly underway at a table in the corner –
a barely dressed woman is draped over the back
of the tall one, the one with the pile of chips.
a honky tonk piano fills the air, mingling
with tobacco smoke and sweat.

all heads turn and stare
at the the man in black.
the woman covers herself up,
moves quietly back to the shadows.
the man with the poker chips drops
his eyes to the table – better not being noticed.
the barman nervously places a bottle of whisky
on the bar, he wipes a tumbler clean with the rag
hanging from his shoulder, places it on the bar
next to the bottle. the man in the black hat
uncorks the bottle and takes a swig.
everyone breathes a sigh when the man
takes the bottle and sits at a table.
he is prepared to wait, for such a man
brings only one thing – death.

The more things change

Gossip mongers fear
the fairy rath,
where December slows,
women sing at the bail,
warm palms against skin,
cheeks against bovine flanks,
milk sparse in the churn;

gibbous moon rings
fire lit faces,
bare feet scuff cobbles;
superstitious silence
drives poor women
from their homes,
for aren’t they to blame?

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