Interactive Session 1-Round 1

2 Nov

Welcome to the first interactive session of the Miracle Bond! In this session we have poems  by Catherine Ayres,  Shreyas Tripathy and Lesley Crigger and a short story by Monica Crosson in response to our Descriptive Writing Task. Remember, the last day to submit your entries for this activity is 4th November 2012. We will have another round of this interactive session tomorrow. All those members whose works come in before the tomorrow’s round, will be displayed in the tomorrow’s interactive session. The comments on each poem have been posted by the editorial team. The other members can post their comments in reply to these editorial comments to express their views. Here we go:

1.November Drive -Lesley Crigger

White capped pinnacles crest the horizon

Against a cold, white sky

That the sun has decided to hide from today.

 

Trees have shed their leaves

And now colored hues of amber, burnt sienna and goldenrod

Swirl brightly under tires of passing spectators

 

Squirrels scamper here and there

In a frenzied effort

They collect the last of their rations

 

A buck stands guard

As his family grazes a nearby field

Contemplating the secret; through the wind was heard

 

Winter is on its way

2.A Drop Of Life- Shreyas Tripathy

 

A bottle of crystal clear water

A bottle for which she’d run

On a sweaty summer afternoon

Under the blazing hot sun

The clear stream of pure life

Left the bottle, kissed her lip

Ran down her thirsty throat

Like a river with every sip

A few drops managed to escape

And raced down her chin,

Disappeared, while cooling off

Her glowing white skin

Slowly her breath calmed down

Her throbbing heart slowed

The raised hair slept again

To her life saver she bowed

3.WINTER STORM – Monica Crosson

“There is neither heaven nor earth

Only snow, falling incessantly”

Hashin

 

 

I stood at my window and listlessly watched fat, white snowflakes.  I would have preferred if it had snowed on Christmas Eve and was done with it. 

Typically, by the second week of January I have stacks of seed catalogs and piles of gardening books surrounding me. I am officially done with winter.  In my own perfect world- spring would start January first.

I live in Western Washington though, I reminded myself.  Snow doesn’t last more than a few days before turning back into a bleak stinging rain that saturates everything until it feels like you’re walking on peanut butter.

But this snow was different.  The fat, wet snowflakes that fell heavy- like slushy polka dots- turned suddenly compact and dry.  For five days the snow fell- rounding jagged peaks and softening the sharp lines of conifers.

 My familiar, evergreen world had slowly disappeared underneath an ever thickening white blanket.   When the snow reached my window boxes, my anxiety level hit max and I cracked.

“Do you think it might be time to dig the car out of the drive-way?” I was grasping my chest. 

Brian, my husband of twenty years, didn’t react.  He was watching ‘Star Wars- A New Hope’.  Luke, Princess Leah and Han Solo were in the trash compactor making a desperate attempt to reach C3PO and R2D2 before they were all compressed to space refuse.

“Did you hear me?” I asked.

“I think it’s a little late for the car.”  He finally answered.  “The truck is parked down on the main road.  We have transportation.”

   The house was eerily quiet.  My eight-year-old daughter, Claire, who was usually chatty to the point of sometimes becoming annoying, was sick and had went to bed early.  My teenage boys, Rowan and Aiden, had decided to walk the two miles to the only other house within a 30 mile radius that inhabited teenagers- The Franklins, a brother and sister who, with their newly single mom, had recently moved to the area from Seattle.

 The boys weren’t too fond of Gregory Franklin- but Sylvia, they explained, was more beautiful than Aphrodite.  They said it was worth putting up with Gregory’s whining just to catch a glimpse of her gorgeous smile or to hear her lilting voice.

     I had assumed for weeks that Sylvia was Gregory’s younger sister.  No, Rowan later explained.  Gregory’s younger sister was named Samantha and looked like a spider monkey. Sylvia was their mom. 

So, when I received a call from Sylvia only moments after they had arrived – begging me to let the little darlings stay the night because they had both fallen and were wet clean through- I knew the boys had instigated it.

 I pictured them rolling in the snow over and over until they achieved the proper proportion of wetness and red-cheeked vulnerability.  I bet they were hoping for a nice long soak in the Franklin family hot tub- with Sylvia of course.

It was 5pm and the waning light cast a peculiar incandescence across the snow covered landscape that gave it an ominous feel.  I shivered.  

“It’s so quiet.” I said.   The only reply was the beeps and whirs of R2D2.  “The quiet is so weird. Don’t you think?” I glanced to where Brian had been seated to see if he was still there. He was. There isn’t a lonelier place to be than in the company of someone who has stopped caring. I felt it just then- hallow and sickly in the pit of my stomach.  “God Damn it, Brian.” I blurted.  “What’s wrong with you?”

“Nothing’s wrong, Maeve- just let me watch my movie.”

He turned up the volume.

            “No.” I said.  “We need to talk.”  I stood in front of the television.

            “Move it, Maeve.”

            I turned the TV off.  “It’s not fair.  You’ve shut me out. Now what in the name of Hell is wrong with you?”

            “What do you care?” 

            “What? Where is this coming from?” I had inadvertently stepped away from the television sensor and Brian quickly used the remote to turn it back on.  Luke Skywalker was crying out as he watched his mentor, Obi Wan Kenobi, being cut down by Darth Vader.

            “Nothing is good enough for you, Maeve. I’m sorry I didn’t get the car dug out.   I guess I’m just lazy.”  His brow scrunched into little accordion folds.  When I wasn’t pissed I thought this abnormality of Brian’s was cute- but at that moment I thought it made him look like a square-headed Neanderthal trying to figure out what fire was. “Why aren’t you out there digging? You’re a big women’s libber” 

            He went there.  Whenever Brian felt threatened, he pulled the ‘women’s lib’ card. 

            “Why do you say things like that?” I tried to laugh. 

“Who talks like that?  Women’s libber” I mocked his voice.

“You don’t mind role playing when your dinner gets served to you every night.  Oh, and by the way, I have a job!”

            “Oh, you groom dogs in the shed.” 

            “Yes, I groom dogs in the shed and I make an income from it- hence a job, Brian.”

            “I don’t need to listen to this shit from Pippi Longstocking’s mother.”  He pressed pause on the remote before stomping out the front door. 

            An angry chill enveloped me and I pulled at the heavy striped stockings I was wearing under a homemade wool skirt. I thought for a moment about what he said.  I was proud to be a creative, free-spirited person.  I liked my fun, home-spun clothing. 

Unlike him, I wasn’t afraid to express myself. I had promised myself long ago that I wasn’t going to conform to PTA conventionalism and at 43 I hadn’t.  ‘Pippi Longstocking’s mother,’ I mused.  I’ll show him Pippi Longstocking’s mother.  I took the remote and pushed eject.  The DVD player whirred and Star Wars was released.  I opened the door and yelled into the encroaching darkness.  “I ejected your stupid movie!  Now you’ve lost your spot!” 

            No answer.  Nothing- it was quiet.  I looked up into the sky. There was a small pinprick of light- a star.  It had stopped snowing and the sky was clearing.

 It was so quiet I could hear my own breathing- heavier than I would have thought. – too quiet.  Brian was out there; he hadn’t even put on a coat.  But I didn’t worry- I knew where he had gone.  He kept a stash of whiskey at the sauna we made down by the river.  He was there. He was warm. 

            I went back into my house.  I remembered when Brian and I had bought the property so many years before. It was an old barn that sat half dilapidated on four acres on the Sauk River. Everyone thought we were nuts to think we could make the barn structurally sound enough to house livestock again, let alone make it into our home.

 It was three long years of hard work and creative usage of other people’s junk.  We bargained for antique windows and doors from garage and tag sales- found molding and flooring at the garbage dump- we even made use of a spiral staircase that had washed up on the riverbank.  We did it and it was uniquely us.  I used to think that would be enough- maybe not.

            I curled up on the couch. Emerald green and so deep it felt as if you were about to be swallowed by it.  I grabbed Harvest Home, a book published in the 1970s about a small New England town that sacrificed a man every seven years to the Earth Goddess. It felt appropriate.

 The book had been made into a mini-series when I was a kid.  Betty Davis had scared the hell out of me, but in some odd way, it comforted me.  I glanced at the clock. It was almost 6pm and it was so quiet.

4.Rain- Catherine Ayres

The morning hangs a large wet sheet on its washing line,
And it flaps angrily for hours,
Making everything flustered.
Then suddenly, the rain is gone,
Exiting abruptly,
Ashamed of its truculence.
A wood pigeon swoops expansively across the lawn,
And the world is left bewildered, short-changed,
Blinking back a million tears.

 

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14 Responses to “Interactive Session 1-Round 1”

  1. miracleezine November 2, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    @lesleycrigger November Drive is a beautiful poem, descrpitively written and with some beautiful details. For example, the first line of the poem itself creates an illumious imagery that takes the reader in the moment. Though we do think that ending could have been a bit better, for example Lesley could have talked about the winter breeze that’s on its way,embarking the winter. What do you think about it? Leave your thoughts in reply to this comment.

    • Lesley November 2, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

      Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I’m often told my poems end too abruptly. It is something I will try to work on. I have a hard time knowing when and how to end things.

    • Natasha November 3, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

      I really enjoyed this poem also, does remind me that winter will soon be on its way. the word usages and choices you had made the poem delicately done and in a nice flow and manner. the ending, i agree, could have been a bit better. i felt like the poem just hit a dead spot and randomly ended out of no where, i think you could have made it more powerful describing other situations and experiences of fall/winter coming. i do like your poem and it was very well written, maybe just revising the ending would make it golden!

  2. miracleezine November 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    @shreyastripathy We have some mixed thoughts about this poem. The poem have some very nice deatils but at some points a bit better usage of words could have really put across the point beautifully. We would suggest Shreyas to work on this poem again.
    What do you think about it? Leave your thoughts in reply to this comment.

    • Lesley November 2, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

      I liked this poem! I am not a fan of the classic Love/Romance theme as far as poems go. This was different, something I haven’t seen before. My first impression was that it fit the descriptive writing requirement but then at second reading I could see the above commenter’s point. However, I like the poem the way it is. I fear changing the word usage would change the diction of the poem, which I really like.

  3. miracleezine November 2, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    @catherineayres Rain is a magnificent piece of poetry with some very beautiful deatils. We would suggest Catherine, to look over the second line of the poem as it seems a bit forced. What do you think about it? Leave your thoughts in reply to this comment.

    • Catherine Ayres November 2, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

      Thank you for your comments. I am going to look again at the second line. It’s great to get both positive and constructive feedback.

    • Lesley November 2, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

      Very nice, I think everyone can imagine this happening outside thier back door. To me each line is like it’s own little scene, which I like very much. Great Job!! I think it would be great if the line about the bird was taken out and put as the first line of a new paragraph and adding some more lines. then you’d have the first half about how terrible the storm was and the second about how things just go back to normal after. Does that make sense?

      • Catherine Ayres November 5, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

        It does and it’s certainly something to think about if I were to extend the poem

  4. miracleezine November 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    @monicacrosson It is a very nice story. Some great use of descrpitive writing in the story. We really liked the way you have written the character of Brian, it is the key point the story. Also, we really liked the minute descriptions that you have used to comment on the nature.
    Just one thing, you could add on some more to the description of the snow at the starting. What do you think about it? Leave your thoughts in reply to this comment.

    • Lesley November 2, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

      I thought this was very descriptive and well written. I liked the bit about the boys the best, very realistic. I can relate the main character’s cabin fever. The only thing, in my opinion, to consider is the part when the two start to argue. It started a bit abrubtly for me. All the sudden she was pissed and I would like to know why. But you have done a wonderful job so far, I hope to read more of this story!!!

  5. Allison November 3, 2012 at 3:08 am #

    @catherineayres

    Perhaps it is just the confessional poet in me, but I immediately connected to the imagery and sentiment in your poem, “Rain”. I could feel that cold, damp bed sheet on my skin. My nose caught the hopeful smell of laundry detergent fighting against the whips of wind on a bleak, November morning. I am reminded that I must surrender to what is. I should not resign myself to grey skies, exclusively. No matter how dreary or “flustering” any given situation may be, the sun finds a way to burn through the fog. Burdens can be lifted from me when I least expect it. Thanks for sharing!

    • Catherine Ayres November 5, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

      Thank you what a detailed response I appreciate your comments

  6. Shreyas Tripathy November 3, 2012 at 5:29 am #

    Thank you so much for the response. I had actually written this in a hurry as my college exams are approaching. I’d work on it again after 9th of November

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