20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


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Withered Hands

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She slowly got up from the ragged green chair,

hobbling to the kitchen, stirring something

as it boiled and rumbled.

The aroma reminded me of my grandma’s house,

long ago, me, a curly-haired child,

being chased away lest I get burnt.

A little girl sat playing on the floor,

a home-made rag doll, much-loved, it appeared.

The lady spoke to the child in a language

where I would not ever find proficiency-

yet I knew exactly what her words were.

In every place, every time, we are all one.


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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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Metamorphosis

Gossamer veil before me sliver of light
peers furtively through trees that have seen a hundred years
absence of day with steps I place, now in sudden fear
not knowing of where I go or where I’ve been

disconsolate foot steps, crackle leaves beneath my feet
forest of deadened branches hang eerie, blackened sleep
who am I, where am I, behind or in front
cautiously tread direction lost steps to find myself

one foot wrong shall I be left in a world I do not want
one foot right will I find myself forgoing the life I’ve led
brush what my eyes before me see, start anew without the ink
trunks of deadness, branches hang life to them is lost

renew yourselves, birth new buds like I must do at life
banish cobwebs of my fears, eradicate self doubt
step into the daylight, know who you are and why
blackened forest take your leave, be reborn like I


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The Window

Her world
behind the window
cracked and rotted wood
falling flakes of paint

curtain not of any colour
greyish hue
old, no longer pretty
need replacing

her world
behind the window
peering out to the garden
sliding her hand along the grimy glass

that she was once able to see through
clearly, but now cannot

how is her mind
behind the window
casting her eyes on weeds
below that need
removing for they old

no longer cared for

and she asks herself …. why don’t they come to visit anymore


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Note to Self- Writing Prompt

Dear me at the age of 30-

I hope you survived this long

despite of the ravaging storm,

if you are still going through

the same situation as me

try hard to get rid of it

because there is more to life

but this numbness

you must have embraced so

comfortably by now,

if you have got rid of it

never forget your experience

embrace your new life

and take those steps

you have earlier been 

too afraid to take.

whether you are still dealing

with it or not,

try and help others-

listen to them, let them speak,

never be judgemental

for I know how it feels

and you too, I know.

Sincerely, the being that is you

at a younger age of 17.


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HANDS

Her hands, crippled with arthritis, clutch the flour sifter
and scoop just enough flour to knead the flaky pie crust.
Knobbed fingers, spotted with age,
lovingly stitch dresses for a little girl’s dolls.
Warm rough hands, callused from hours, hoeing in the garden,
hold a little girl’s hands in hers, as they walk to the piano lesson.
The little girl knows,
all is well, the world is safe and she is loved.
She is with grandma.

Her hands, crippled with arthritis,
scrape clumps of cookie dough onto the shiny sheet.
Knobbed fingers, spotted with age,
stitch a wedding gown for a not so little girl.
Warm rough hands, callused from years of putting tractor parts in bins,
hold a little boy’s hand in hers, as they walk to the lake.
The not so little girl knows,
all is well, the world is safe for her son,
he is with her mother.

Her hands, crippled with arthritis, clutch the flour sifter,
only at Thangsgiving, now.
Knobbed fingers clutch a pen, attempting to catch a piece of life,
and put it on paper.
These hands have known the touch of a woman’s hands,
which pass on the love that has gone before.
These hands have held the hands of children,
have dried their tears and her own.
She carries on, she is the daughter.


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My 100th Post

Hello everyone,

This is my 100th post here on 20 lines and I’m really feeling elated. I joined the community with no motive other than practicing my writings. Now, I think this community has started playing a very vivid role in my life. I always look forward to coming back here, reading, writing, just relaxing with a glorious peek into others’ lives and of course, their imaginations. Whenever I’m here, life seems easy. It is sort of my way of escape from reality.

Blogging is good, it is indeed wonderful. I have even not yet completed 100 posts in my primary blog- hence, I think that shows how much I’m in love with this community- with the authors- with the readers- all of you.

I think I’m still the youngest one here(by age and by experience) and I feel good that I’m being encouraged to write- to hone my skills by my lovely fellows over here. I want to thank Melissa in particular for allowing me to be a part of it. And yes, thanks for the nick name- Howie! And I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being with me, reading some of my self-absorbed and foolish posts, helping me even when I wasn’t ready to help myself.

Thank You!

Love,

HA


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A Sobering Thought

The paper told me of a man who died.
Obituaries do. Was this a man I knew?
No, no one. What, then, took me well aside
and caused such consternation? What to do?

Then there it was like blood upon the snow:
His age at death was 63. His years
too few, three sons, two daughters who must go
through life without their father. His wife fears

the future, has no energy for time
that stretches out into infinity.
I think about this, realize that I’m
now 67. He was 63.


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Dreams, Like Wine, Need Time To Age

Vicar

Vicar (Photo credit: Nick Kidd) A Man Who Isn’t Afraid to Dream!!!

So, I was strolling through the internet this evening, really rather bored, but trying to keep my hyper-vigilant brain from worrying to death over the fact that my husband has been on his motorcycle for 5 hours on a trip, and hasn’t called me even once to let me know he’s alive, and I came across this little nugget of delight:

Vicar Quits To Become Elvis Presley Impersonator

And it got me thinking about dreams. I may be mistaken, but I think it is safe to say that everyone in the world has had at least one dream while growing up. Of course, depending on where you come from, the dreams would vary drastically. I imagine if you are starving in a hut in a third world country, getting enough food to live to puberty would be a common dream. However, in America, the dreams are probably a little bigger and less life-sustaining. For me, when I was little, I dreamed of being an architect. My favorite uncle,  The Master Debater and All Around Most Awesome Uncle Ever, my Uncle John, gave me some of the tools an architect would use, and I spent endless hours designing fantastic mansions. Then, after a relatively small amount of time, I realized that I just kept designing the same mansion over and over again, and the luster wore off the dream. Well, that and the amount of math involved…So, I moved on to other dreams (tap dancer, stand-up comedian, Comparative Religion Professor), but the only other one that ever stuck was to be a writer.

In my family, there are several excellent, published writers, and even more just as excellent, unpublished writers. What is really cool about this dream, though, is that we all write different genres, and none of us write with the same kind of “voice”. For instance, my brother writes about his church ministry and how he and some other financially strapped guys were able to build a church from scratch. Yes, he and I have the same sense of humor, but our interests couldn’t be further apart and our approaches to life are spectacularly different. My mother wrote many, many romance novels. They are actually really clever, well written, and juicy… but have you ever read a graphic love scene written by your mom? :(   I can barely read a romance novel, much less one written by my mom, and to write one…I am not that gifted. Romantic I am not! I have an  aunt who writes young adult books, including some kind of strange book that lets you make decisions throughout the whole thing, which then changes the ending. Witty and interesting, but beyond my abilities…..And another aunt that wrote science fiction back in the 60′s and 70′s. I was told that one of her books was made into a story for some drama series back then, but I’ve forgotten all the details. Strange that our interests never once seemed to cross over with the number of writers in this family, but so far, that is the way it has all turned out.

I blew off my dream to write most of my adult life. I’d written a couple of fiction books as a teenager, but I cringe to even speak of them. They were horrible. I just figured that my writing career would go the way of my architect career…no where. I just didn’t have the imagination one would need to create a believable story.

So, I lived my life, married, had a family (not in that order), and worked my little accounting jobs and all but forgot my childhood dream.

Then, I set up my blog, and I started writing about stuff I was interested in, or things I felt I wanted to share about myself, and boom! The dream came back to life like Snow White being kissed by Prince Charming! And you know what? It occurs to me that I am now in a better position to be a writer because I’ve lived a whole life. I’ve endured this circus show called life, and now I actually have something to say. I have something I can write about from the heart, and with real honesty and conviction. The dying embers of the flame of hope have been fanned into a roaring bonfire, and for the first time since I was a little girl, I have a real dream to work towards!

And vicars who quit their jobs to become Elvis Presley impersonators serve as a MASSIVE inspiration to me…Thank you, Vicar! You are my hero.

You are the wind beneath my wings… :)

I just think we never get too old to dream, and we should go for it!!! What is your dream??

– Bird

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