20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


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It’s infectious (Prose)

It’s infectious
those
with troubled pasts
who
can’t explain or talk it out
the need to expel demons
carried on backs, or those that are
buried deep within hearts
It’s infectious
the mountain is there
that needs to be climbed
a pillow that’s held tight to a chest
a drink that is swallowed, they try to forget
abandoning yesterday’s in place of tomorrow’s
casting aside pain, forgetting past sorrow
It’s infectious
the need to jump fences
run free through the fields
survive what has happened, the need to feel real
to unlock the doors, to open their minds
regain their confidence, leaving darkness behind
words are around you, the answers in sight
write out your feelings…please just write
©jmtacken Feb 2014


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Say you love me (Prose)

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as for words sometimes spoken
that make us think
why others speak them, take
three syllables
we long to hear, sealing anxious
weeks or months after we ceased
being a singular I

the anticipation of who will
speak first, should I, should they

I love you
why, I ask what makes you love me
because I’m kindhearted
smile at strangers, a good hostess
in and out of bed, love all creatures
great and small, or perhaps my humour
that can turn your furrowed brow
into whipped cream smoothness

Is it any of these things or these and more
we wait, it’s said, what we started
pure and raw, now concreted with three simple words
and it’s not perhaps till time has passed

when we have grown old together
we look back and it wasn’t about who spoke first
that we see love for what it is
the importance of why it was said
no longer just syllables

©jmtacken Feb 2014


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Tommy and Faye (Prose)

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ocean coloured eyes, auburn curled hair
nestling on her shoulders, stuck with him
the restaurant, crushed napkin folded
kept safe in his worn wallet

her phone number
scribbled in ink, bled from his
sweaty palms over weeks
yet he hadn’t dialed her number

small town, back woods, trying
the best she could, to get out
leave the trailer park, an inner strength
held behind her cerulean eyes

words spoken of her existence
showed determination, he felt weak
amidst her charms, her softness
his a different pain to hers

the napkin dropped near his plate
alongside remnants of mashed potato
beans and meat, he stared at it a while
did she find him attractive

then left, closing the door to her world
to begin again with his, yet
she kept dragging him back, without
a word between them

just this napkin, he couldn’t throw away
she wanted out, she told him so
was he her meal ticket to a better life
to get somewhere, was this his doubt

and then he threw her number away
‘coz he knew he didn’t have the courage
to find out, the risk of being hurt again
to try and make it work

until one summer’s afternoon
when she played so badly on his mind
like a sweet violin
he made a sign

nailed it to the pole
in the street where she worked
and he waited near by
waited and watched for Faye to see

how much she meant to him
how proud he was of her
and how, with lives so different
they were meant to be

©jmtacken Feb 2014


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Angel

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draped the angel sleeps
the cold of stone not felt beneath
surround her not with pity
she no longer feels her pain
blind to acts of cruelty
deaf to words of hate

as on earth
an angel once again

do not weep your tears
though your heart may break
as you stand before her
rest a marigold where she lays
remember not her sorrow
her soul now free to touch

the face of the stars

brush the dirt away from her
so she maybe cleansed
from those that caused her death
sit and talk with her a while
and you will hear her plea

I sleep, I ask ~ no tears be shed
just remember me

©jmtacken Sept 2013


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Breath

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I dream of the day we first hugged, my arms
around you holding tight; never letting go
for a million years

Oh how I loved you THIS much

I remember the flower that you picked
a yellow daisy from the ground
I loved you as wide as my arms could spread
those days seem so long ago, through childhood
and adult years;  you kept me safe
I hung on every word you said
back when we were innocent

but

innocence does not stay around
captured moments as a photograph
replaced with pain, lies and distrust
and as I sit amongst the daisies
remembering what we had

I whisper in one breath
don’t ever come near me

again

©jmtacken Sep 2103

 


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Street corners

Prostitute Approaching Car on City Street

sounds of revelry 
spatters
the night
split skirts
ride high on corners
trading skin for money

eyes of youth through
windows stare to lie on backs
open legs - knees bent

MISCHIEF

 ~ but never kiss

the lowly have it tougher
battering or death, risks
lined up on the street 
calling 'honey what you want'

are they empty

remembering

the little girls they were
and how they sell themselves
exhibiting their wares
but who am I to judge

the top girls don't have corners 
there's no mayhem in their world
unlike the street lamp hussling
tease and flaunt their 'goods'

they do 'a job', as I do mine
and who am I to say
this is how they live their life
from day ..to day..to day

©jmtacken Sep 2013


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Foreplay

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against the doorway
I am pushed; that edge I love
the masculine boss

violence not shown
no hate unleashed or anger
piercing stare I swear

the heat extracted
burns hot, as a blacksmiths iron
soft, intense blue eyes

my breathing quickens
I anticipate your move
it is milk chocolate

smooth as silk against
my tongue, swallows and wants more
do not hesitate

your first move,  your voice
perhaps soft sweet whisperings
body beckoning

how shall you begin
hot breath on quivering skin
nibbling with your teeth

gentle, with power
my resistance is futile
I need, I want ~ now

whisper words of lust
I implode with what will come
feet unsteady sway

hands upon my cheeks
lips velvet brush against mine
giddiness begins

within my cells
I awake, body arches
foreplay has begun

I evaporate
languishing into your arms
like chocolate melting

©JMTacken 2013


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A mother says goodbye

My fingers wrap around your wrinkly hands

vision blurred, as my eyes well with tears

my lips touch velvet; your soft brown hair

and I do this ov’ and over again

in the short time that we have

rocking gave us comfort cradling you in my arms

with tears that touched your lips

that now would never speak

another chance I beseech, to gaze into your eyes

that are the colour of the sea; embrace your warmth

against my skin, but this will never be

a mother should not outlive her child

I begged take mine, in place of yours

I laid my hand across your heart

a heart that beat no more

why was life so fleeting, the time we had too brief

you were ripped away from me, I’m left behind to grieve

there are no answers

life we know at times so cruel

how do I go on living – living without you

try to remember me, you were called away too young

there is no rhyme or reason, for why this has been done

time they say the healer; one last hold, one kiss, I beg

so as I hold you to my breast, this torment that I bear

know that I so loved you and this last wish I share

wrapped in cotton white, take your pastel coloured wings

my angel child and fly

and with each breath I’ll think

of you, till my time comes, to die 

©JMTacken Sept 2013


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Life without…

in solitude her footsteps slow; in robe of pink
through empty rooms,  she wanders
no laughter or voice that echo in her days and nights

life strange and silent,  meals for one
with simply why,  as she reaches for the
cupboard door as she did the day before

views once shared by two hands held
her arms now crossed she sees the morning rise
the quiet moon,  with only her eyes

no one to share

do her children know the loneliness
she faces in the minutes,  hours,  the days ahead
with wrinkled trembling hand she reaches

for the phone upon the wall
and stops ~ with a piercing felt within
they have their lives to live

clutching his jumper to her breast
breathes the smell of him;  slowly with care
folding delicately,  it’s placed upon the shelf

with memories

a life now lived without him by her side
what is life to be now ~ what does she do
a broken heart that family cannot heal

words and hugs are not enough

thoughts of where she was born flood back
piercing her heart ~ there is
no home to return to,  there or here

so many years where he knew what needed to be done
paved the way with his decisions, she is lost
she knows not how to cope

he will return he will be once more by her side
she sleeps with fingertips that
trace his pillow where he lay his head

and dreams of his protection

and as her silent teardrops fall,  she sits next
to the empty chair and talks as if he were still
beside her ~ her hand reaching in the air,  in hope

that he will return

©JTacken Sep 2013


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The Gate was open

fingertips trace the suede
that swaddles the comfy place
we’d sit and watch old movies
leaving imprints of my identity
across where you’d lay your arm

the kitchen table where we shared
our meals and laughter from the day or
serious conversations on world
events with stifled yawns from me ~
sits barren

looking sideways to the crooked frame
hanging on the wall; giggles remembered
and stamped feet, how you never hung it
straight ~ the memories of ‘us’ ~ just
simple things

the gate not mended; the grout worn and
fallen; rubbish stacked behind the shed
it would be cleared ‘one day’ ~ things undone
things left; importance now ~ very little
within our walls of home, love held
between four fences ~ that had value

we broke down, distracted by so many things
sweet madness; sweet love of ours
disappeared between the palings
as you drifted out of reach and
that’s what mattered

now with suitcases
at my feet ~ my sweaty hand grips
the handle of the unpainted
door ~ the unfinished
I must say adieu

©JMTacken2013

 

 

 


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Barometer

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There’s a storm ‘a coming, she double takes
the barometer, arrows it to be
always reliable; no doubts on days she reads
yet outside her sparkling window
shines skies of blue, clouds of white
where’s the storm pray tell

tumbling greys, foreboding winds gyre
across the fields, lightening spike fires
remembering from her past, she taps the glass
the arrow stays, casts off her pinny
station switch, for the man to give
the forecast

barometers on the blink; she ‘tsk tsks’
and dry cloths the watered sink
back turned; dusts the faces looking back
at her within the photo frame
their ‘two’ smiles engulf the room till
a knock against the door, she heaves a heavy sigh
fingers comb her straggly locks

not expecting company, who would venture
out, with a storm about to hit
probably Mrs. Jones, ‘cup of sugar’
‘have you milk’
she feels a push to chest
steps tripped back, hand strikes hard
against her cheek, steel is cold
it rests upon her throat
‘don’t fight bitch’ yells the
guttural voice ‘or you can
kiss those kids good-bye’

seems the arrow was correct

©JTacken Sep 2013


4 Comments

Into the deep

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Photo Credit - http://io9.com/iconic-black-and-white-photographs-colorized-911645264

PLunged into clear;  whilst murky
slept beneath avoiding
air bubbled skin
bring boats;  navigate the coast
in search of me;  my thoughts
you won’t recover
yet I fear not
breath in my lungs
will expire soon, my last
farewell to life and loves
that I have known

yet there is peace floating
bathed;  nudged in silence like your hand
in darkness across a wavy bed
for our fingers never held in love
Strike would find its way ~ as waves
CraSH towards the shore in search
of rest;  the current pulled them back
as I with you returned for
insults;  punishment

with one last look water veiled
plastic upon my skin; arms braced
I still shield myself from you
let the water gently fill my eyes
as I fear not
I shall escape into the darkness
into the sea of graves as others
have before me, indeed a privilege
of the life you found unworthy

and as I rest upon the sand
shards of light flirting with my skin
fish that pick my bones
there is freedom
no fight ~ no breath ~ no hate ~
I fear not
the TORment of you will disappear
the abyss will have swallowed me
and left you ~ a hatred memory

©JMTacken2013


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APRIL POETRY CHALLENGE

Final for the April Challenge – sorry I’m a little late in posting.

Transparent solitary tear drop falls
meandering down an opaque cheek
before another grows and spills on
a course not identical yet a twin

Lips moist against the tear that flows
eyes blink a little shake of head
try to dispel the ache the pain
sobs so strong but body weak

Capturing moments of happiness
swirled between weight of pain
steely knife penetrates the heart
my actions callow I did this

Trusted not your love of me
emerald eyes tainted vision
accusations taunting
closed ears to fake apologies

As the vinyl circles
scratched with needle music sour
your lyrics droned
none of them with meaning only rhythm

Cadence of untrusting words
delusional what you screamed
yet lipstick collars marked your trail
of where I had not been

How could I feel the guilty one
casting fault upon myself
whilst knowing that you shared
your love your heart with someone else

 

 

 


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Walk On

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This was a photo prompt that I did last night, I hope you don’t mind me reposting on 20 lines. Critique always welcome.

Like soldiers aligned in rank
they maintain their stance
encircled by the mist

the ebb and flow of tides
barnacles invade
clutching wooden feet

imbedded in sand resilient
in forceful battering winds
with valour silent alone

their guard of honour
united for ever more
they persevere
defending pier

and countries shores
how many were
their battles
opposing mother nature’s force

in squalls and sheets of rain
currents circling oceans floor
with rotted splinted wood
their hubris will endure

scratched
and cut with shells they hold
wraith like soldiers marching
into war

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