poetry 101 rehab: (p \ m) decide

‘and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference’
― Robert Frost

why're we here?
why’re we here?

*Reading feedback from readers, since first writing this post as you see it below, I’ve decided to have another think about how best to take Poetry 101 Rehab forward – don’t want to lose or alienate anyone who has participated to date – let me know what you think?*


poetry 101 rehab has grown up

it’s now p \ m

and, it’s about to become raw, grittier than before

perhaps, a lot more

you may not like it, or maybe you will, either way let me know by commenting on this post, or send me your thoughts through my contacts page

best of all, post it



<decide>

dead inside (been here before),

suicide?

no, well,

(you) decide

no?

will you fight

for what you feel

 (if you even feel)

for what is real

for you

and, if not,

would you, will you, for them?

or

will

you

do (just) what you need

to

survive?

<decide>


want to be part of p \ m – all you have to do is write a poem in response to the <weekly> prompt, scribble a note, share a track (if you wish), add a photo (or not), maybe toss in a quote and then tag your post p \ m and \ or you can click on the image below

of course, the rules of p \ m are that there really are no rules…

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this week the prompt is decide, so go on, decide?

 a new prompt for p \ m will be published here at 21:00 utc every monday


p \ m | decide 

project 365 mobile | mono | square | week 24

“i’m not upset that you lied to me, i’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you”
― friedrich nietzsche

On Sunday, 14 June 2015, I launched my Project 365.

You can see all the images as they are posted to the mobile | mono | square album on my flickr account.

My plan, let’s see if I can stick to this, is to post a weekly update here each Sunday.

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dark | side | thursday | twentyeight

Do you need, desire or crave a new challenge?  Are you open to sharing your dark side?   Then read on.

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Do you have a dark side?

Or, think you may have one. Or indeed worry that you might have one. Or, for that matter, worry that you don’t and would like one? If so,  join me here each week for dark | side | thursday.

Over a period of 52 weeks, I am writing a story. A dark story that will unfold as the weeks pass. Each Thursday, at 13:00 UTC, I will post a new chapter. Each chapter will be exactly 500 words long, and will be accompanied by a photograph. You can catch up on the story so far by clicking here on dark | side | thursday

Share your dark side?

I invite you to join me either by writing your own dark story, week by week, or, if that is too much, by dropping by, now and then, perhaps when the mood suits you or, perhaps, when it doesn’t, and by sharing a photograph, poem or a suitably dark piece of prose. To cross over to dark | side | thursday create your post, tag it dark side thursday and link to it by clicking on the dark | side | thursday badge below, where you can also find all the contributions so far. Or you can simply share your link in the comments section of my weekly post. And, should the mood take you, you can add the badge to your post.

AJT_6650-Edit


This post is submitted both as 28 : 52 of my dark | side | thursday serial story and as my late response to Day 16 of the WordPress Writing 101 course in which we are invited to ‘mine your own material’.  So, this week’s chapter draws on some earlier posts, at least in part.


dark | side | thursday | twentyeight

Realisation spread through his body. A raging plague consuming him. Undoing him.

It all began to make sense.

Yes, he was the man in black. Always had been.

There was no time for this though. No time now for defragmenting the hard drive of his psyche. That task would have to be demoted, paused, left bouncing on the menu bar, until he was in a better state to deal with it.

For now, his mission, objective, goal, was simple. Survival.

And, he realised, it did’t look too rosy right now. No, not rosy at all. Not even the palest shade of rosy. Frankly, it all looked rather funereal now.

But HID!

He still had the key.

That much was true. But oh, he had more than that. He had the things he held in his heart. Not his soul, if he had ever had one, that was gone. Now after, well after -that.

A fragment of a rhyme kept bouncing around his mind:

‘The man in black, who traveled so far, put away his heart’

The fragment bothered him, something slipping away, from the boundaries of his conscious self.

Stop it. He said to himself.

Now. Now, focus, on survival.

Survive. Live. If you ever want to see her again. You must live. You must remember what it is to be the man in black.

Another fragment fiddled with his failing mind:

‘Do you know, the man in black?’

Did he, could anyone know him. Really?

He felt the ground below him collapse, fragment, he felt his body begin to slip through. He heard her voice, that voice, the voice he heard in his dreams, in his nightmares. Her voice. And those words, those terrible words, words that still made him numb.

‘Don’t let him…’

But he had. And now he was, finally, facing the consequences.

The ground opened beneath him. The floor of the sealed tomb opened up and he fell into the darkness.

The desk in front of him was empty. Save for that box, his leather bound journal, and a pen.

He reached out, picked up the journal, opened the first page, read the words scratched out on to the parchment. He turned the pages, slowly, one by one. Pausing every now and then, to linger over a phrase, pause and reflect on the language. He turned to the final page of writing. He sat back in his chair, hesitated, then, picking up the pen in his left hand, began to write, the words flying off his pen, ink spraying. Then, when he had finished, he placed the pen carefully on the table, nib facing away from him, closed the journal and, with great care, wrapped the leather strap around the journal, sealing it. He picked it up, walked to the window. Holding the journal, he looked through the rain streaked portal into that dark night.

The end of the first cycle had arrived, as he had always known it would.

Now, the dance would start again.


The portal to dark | side | thursday opened on the twenty first day of may in the year twenty hundred and fifteen and will remain open for fifty two weeks.

twentyeight | fiftytwo


WordPress Writing 101 (November 2015): Day 15

poetry 101 rehab: lockdown

Do you miss the Writing 201 Poetry course by the Daily Post? If so, then join this blogging challenge and let the poetry flow!

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How does it work?

Feel free to answer the prompt, twist it or ignore it; write a poem of your own or share a poem by another author. Write about your inspiration, your creative process or other poetry related thoughts, but this is in no way obligatory. Nothing is obligatory in this challenge. The idea is to get together, talk poetry and have fun!


How can you take part?

Anyone can take part, anytime you want. Publish your poetry post and add a link to it by clicking on the Poetry 101 Rehab badge below or share your link in a comment. Use the tag Poetry 101 Rehab, so we can find each other in the Reader.

badge-rectangle

I will act as your host, and I’ll be here for you to reply to your comments, read your poetry, like and comment. While this post is the starting point for the challenge, do visit fellow poets in the link-up and chat to them on their blogs!


This week’s prompt is LOCKDOWN.

lock(ed) down
so tight
closed, guarded
nannied, harried
we can't (even) breathe
may we
come out
now, 
please
we're all growed up now
see?

My prompt today was inspired by recent events in Brussels, and if you feel so inclined you can read more about that on belgianstreets or in my recent post, ‘twentyfour’ here on this site. What will your take on the keyword LOCKDOWN be? Blog about it in a poetry post and share your link in the comments section of this post and by clicking on the Poetry 101 Badge above.

on the third day

My latest post on belgianstreets, covering the so called ‘Brussels Lockdown”, which describes my experiences of the third day of this seemingly unprecedented situation here in Brussels.

belgianstreets

Enough is enough?

On 7 July 2005, London was brought to its collective knees by a series of bomb blasts that cost several people their lives and injured scores of others.

The very next day, despite the horror, the carnage, the public transport system was up and running again. I know. I was there, and I rode the tube on 8 July like many other Londoners, whether residents, visitors or tourists. We got back to our daily lives with a collective sense of defiance to those who wanted to terrorise us. We got on with it.

Here in Brussels, the streets, at least in the centre of the city, have been silenced. The underground Metro system closed, the buses and trams, that are supposed to be running relatively normally, are (at least in my experience) as rare as hen’s teeth. And taxis, where are they? They don’t stop, whatever their…

View original post 523 more words

the next day

My latest portfolio of shots from the streets of Brussel. Disappointed that the lock down continues. It really is up to each one of us how we stand up to the terrorists.

belgianstreets

‘The rain that fell on the city runs down the dark gutters and empties into the sea without even soaking the ground’
― Haruki Murakami, Underground

Day two of the lockdown in Brussel.

Security ever present although more subdued than yesterday.

But most people stayed at home.

Who knows what tomorrow holds.

It’s up to us, not the Government, not the Police, not the Military. It’s up to each one of us. In our own, however little, way to say no to terror, no to the terrorists.

Don’t look the other way.

View original post

project 365 mobile | mono | square | week 23

On Sunday, 14 June 2015, I launched my Project 365.

You can see all the images as they are posted to the mobile | mono | square album on my flickr account.

My plan, let’s see if I can stick to this, is to post a weekly update here each Sunday.

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twentyfour

‘It was the possibility of darkness that made the day seem so bright’
― Stephen King

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This post is began as something of an experiment. It is, started out initially at least, as my response to Day 14 of the WordPress Writing 101 course, we were invited (I’m late to the party – again) ‘to recreate a single day’. I’ve decided to twist the prompt, because that’s what I do. So, rather than recreate a day, I’m going to share today, my day, with you, my readers. That means I plan to update this post throughout the day, never tried this before so let’s see what happens? Let’s hope writing the post doesn’t get in the way of the day I have decided to write about. Ha.


12:00 Noon.

Woke very late, after months of not sleeping well, this day I slept through until noon. Woke to texts and news bulletins warning that the Metro has been shut down here in Brussel. Pouring with rain. Not a good day to visit Brussel. I’ve realised that I have no food, my plan was to visit Marks & Spencer and buy some comfort food. Comforting to see, courtesy of BBC News, that heavily armed soldiers are guarding both M&S and the Apple Store next door, now need to plan how to get from Molenbeek (yes indeed) to the store.


12:45


13:24

After coffee and hot shower, wrestling with html to insert columns (something I would have learned had I stuck with Blogging X01, decide to give up and just type. Now time to go out and see if I can take photos of whatever is, or is not happening. Wonder if I will stick with this 24 style post? Catch you later. maybe?


13:43

Now time to grab my camera and go see what’s happening. Catch you later?


14:25

Buses seem to be operating. Well this 86 to Brussel Centraal is anyway. Hard to write post with one hand and strap hang with the other. Never a dull moment 😉


14:49


15:47

Light fading now. Parts of central Brussel resemble a ghost town today. Is this freedom or fear. Who wins on a day like this?


16:16

Ok, time to head home and check the shots I took on the street.  Also, I’m soaking wet and my fingers are freezing and my mobile battery is about done.


16:45


16:55

I can see I need to tidy up some code in this post. Realised it’s not that easy to try and post on a mobile whilst also trying to document troops on the streets with my Nikon. About which more later. Photos now downloaded to my Mac so now to review and edit. Will probably post some here and also over on belgianstreets.


17:27

Uploading shots from the streets of Brussel to belgianstreets. And watching BBC news talk about Molenbeek, from my flat, in Molenbeek.


18:10

Posted gallery of images from my walk around central Brussel this afternoon. Now time to take a break and have a bite to eat…

Check out my photos on belgianstreets.

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19:56
So much for that break


20:45

left the warmth of bar, heavily guarded by soldiers and now heading back home to Molenbeek.


22:28

Now relaxing with a glass of wine and just watched my interview on BBC World News which featured many of the photos that I took today. And, when I decided to try this experimental post I thought it would be just another ordinary day…


23:41

Here is a rather poor recording of the interview that I gave earlier this evening on the BBC (it may take a while to upload and be ready to review). With apologies for the poor audio and wonky angle, I’m tired.
With thanks to the BBC I am delighted to have uploaded the unedited live interview that took place on Saturday night, this replaces my rather shambolic amateur capture…


01:06

Actually after a day like today, it’s hard to just, well, sleep.


02:10
And so, to bed, perchance to dream.


11:09

Another late rise, although in my defence I didn’t really fall asleep until around 4. Time to make a coffee and think about the rest of the day. At least it’s stopped raining and it was a peaceful night.  May go back out shooting again today or maybe just curl up and read, been a while since I did that.


11:11

Coffee brewing.AJT_0400


11:56

So, I set myself a period of 24 hours for this post and the time has now come to wrap. When I started typing away yesterday I had no idea what the day would hold.  Which made me think that we never really do. But many of us live our lives as if there would always be another day, another 100 days, so we perhaps don’t live the day in the way we would if it really mattered. Yesterday there was no terror strike in Brussels, thank goodness.

There can only be real peace if all of us care about the world we live in, care about each other, think about each other.

When we look at the terrible periods in history it is often those that sat back, did nothing, didn’t care, couldn’t be bothered, thought it was up to someone else, that caused as much harm as the perpetrators of evil and terror.

So let’s stand united against terror. They can only terrorise us if we let them. There is a role for each and every one of us to play.

Even little acts of kindness, care, compassion and understanding matter.

It’s not necessary to be a hero. Just don’t look the other way.

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one” 
― John Lennon


WordPress Writing 101 (November 2015): Day 14

 

dark | side | thursday | twentyseven

Do you need, desire or crave a new challenge?  Are you open to sharing your dark side?   Then read on.

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Do you have a dark side?

Or, think you may have one. Or indeed worry that you might have one. Or, for that matter, worry that you don’t and would like one? If so,  join me here each week for dark | side | thursday.

Over a period of 52 weeks, I am writing a story. A dark story that will unfold as the weeks pass. Each Thursday, at 13:00 UTC, I will post a new chapter. Each chapter will be exactly 500 words long, and will be accompanied by a photograph. You can catch up on the story so far by clicking here on dark | side | thursday

Share your dark side?

I invite you to join me either by writing your own dark story, week by week, or, if that is too much, by dropping by, now and then, perhaps when the mood suits you or, perhaps, when it doesn’t, and by sharing a photograph, poem or a suitably dark piece of prose. To cross over to dark | side | thursday create your post, tag it dark side thursday and link to it by clicking on the dark | side | thursday badge below, where you can also find all the contributions so far. Or you can simply share your link in the comments section of my weekly post. And, should the mood take you, you can add the badge to your post.

AJT_6650-Edit


This post is submitted both as 27 : 52 of my dark | side | thursday (yes, I know it’s late) which is a milestone in itself as it marks the opening of the second half of the story, and even includes a minor revelation, but it is also my response to Day 13 of the WordPress Writing 101 course in which we are invited to ‘play with word count’. For my own ‘constant readers’ you will know that this story is being told in 52 instalments each of 500 words. So I think it qualifies, you tell me. Or not.


dark | side | thursday | twentyseven

No. He was. Not. Dead.

He remembered it all.

The first day he had walked in that place, how he had felt, misty ambiguity, the strangeness of that place, the feeling of calm he felt there. And yet. Those plastic flowers. The faded photographs.

That hole, in the ground.

Her empty eyes. Dead inside.

Her hand in that of the man in black.

He screamed out loud. A scream from the darkest part of hell. He screamed. In the name of ‘hid. He screamed and screamed until his throat was sore and grating. He screamed as he remembered the snow, snow, on snow, on snow, his way blocked, the cold, the fear, the loneliness. His hopes smashed, pulverised under all that snow, the heavy burden that smothered his mind. Cut off the very air to his bursting lungs.

He screamed.

And no one. Not a soul.

No one heard.

Him.

But. Then. He thought. No. Not like this. No.

He tried to open his eyes. Tried to push his body up, his fingers numb, his mind more so.

The man in black.

A knife sliced through him. His stomach turned to water. His head pounded. He could not breathe.

What was it, about the man in black?

Who was the man in black?

He knew.

He had always known. Right from when it first started.

His eyes would not / could not see. Would not see what was there to see.

His fingers gripped the key. His body, mind, spirit (he had no soul, not now, maybe he never had) would not give up. He was not ready to move on yet. Not yet. Maybe never. The spectre of the man in black would not leave him. She would not leave him.

Or maybe he, he could not let her go. Not yet. Not after all this. All they had lived (or died?) through. Together.

His fingers tightened around the key.

This bloody key would yet save him.

If only he could bloody remember.

Faded photographs. Her photographs. Moments in (their) time.

The man in black. Yes, and him.

Her.

So much to remember, so bloody much to forget. Or not.

And then, his freezing, numb, fingers, found it. A narrow crevice in the unyielding stone floor.

Her, again, he remembered her. Again.

Not unyielding. Oh. So, not.

Pushing that to the back of (what was left of) his mind, he grasped the key in his freezing fingers. Pressed it deep into the yawning crack in the floor.

He pushed it deep, deeper, pressing it into the folds of the earth, he felt the floor vibrate as the key penetrated the folds of the crevice his fingers had opened in the floor.

He felt the ground beneath him move. Heard the ground below him moan as it was violated, torn asunder.

He heard her cry.

‘Don’t let him…’

And then. At that precise point in time. With no doubt.

He realised that he, no one else, was the man.

In black.


The portal to dark | side | thursday opened on the twenty first day of may in the year twenty hundred and fifteen and will remain open for fifty two weeks.

twentyseven | fiftytwo


WordPress Writing 101 (November 2015): Day 13