Wednesday, June 17, 2020

WEP June Challenge-Urban Nightmare

It's time for another WEP Challenge. This month's theme is Urban Nightmare. It seems oddly fitting now. Be sure to stop by the sign up post if you want to join in!

This poem is the result of me trying to grapple with the world as we know it. Humanity has been through many times of struggle, and people have been proclaiming that it may well be the end of the world for a long time. And if not the end of the world, at least the end of life as we know it. I can see why people may be tempted to think that way, but I have to hope for something better. Giving in to despair solves nothing.

Poetry isn't my strongest suit, but it felt like the best avenue for self-expression at the moment.

In the Streets

The forecasts of the world’s end
came time and time again.
The end is nigh came the cry,
“You must repent, amen.”
Those dates foretold came and went
and life continued on.
New voices rose as others faded
but people wished them gone.

Then science chimed in with its warning,
but cries fell on deafened ears.
“We don’t trust you!” many yelled.
“You’re only stoking fears.”
The warming planet, depleted resources.
Those in power waved them off.
Changing things would take effort.
So much easier to scoff.

Then the viral threat reared its head,
but it started so far away.
“It isn’t here, no need to worry.
It’s easily kept at bay.”
The spread came anyway, as history
has shown it surely could.
The illness spread like wildfire
before people finally understood.

Soon the streets were empty.
The world fell quiet and still.
Life ground to a halt,
by an act of collective will.
The urban nightmare set in,
as the emptied streets mirrored death.
The end of our lives as we knew them.
We all paused and took a breath.

As it turns out, pausing and waiting
was not as simple as it sounded.
People grew restless and bitter
and the problems compounded.
The allure of life as normal
was too precious to resist.
“The world must open once again.
Life must go on. We insist!”

And as life started to resume
old problems bubbled up.
Lives taken unjustly with no consequence.
More people did rise up.
“We want to change this now!
Listen to our pleas!”
They filled the streets and shouted
While others got down on their knees.

Most took to the streets in peace,
and still some violence reigned.
The message filtered through the chaos,
while many relationships were strained.
Disagreements did abound as talks ensued
about how to fix what was broken.
Ideas did flow through,
but many resentments were spoken.

The world’s ills weren’t visible to all
while others accepted them as fact.
“You can’t fix all of society,” they said
in the hopes of keeping it intact.
Change is painful for all,
but some have more to lose.
Livelihoods upended and lives lost.
Society needs to choose.

Illness rampant and unrest in the streets.
It all seemed too grave to bear.
How can it all be made right at last?
How will we wake from this nightmare?
As buildings burn and tempers flare,
we all forget to listen.
As lives are lost and futures changed
and the mounting tears glisten.

Sickness threatens with a new wave,
while our societal sickness festers.
While it may feel hopeless at times
we must stand up to the jesters.
Scary as the future is
we must work to make it bright.
Life and society will never improve if
good people don’t join in the fight.

Word Count: 465

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The Insecure Writer's Support Group

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time for another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group. Our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh has assembled another group of marvelous co-hosts: Pat Garcia, J.Q. Rose, and Natalie Aguirre.

Be sure to check out the IWSG website for lots of writing advice and resources!

Here is the optional question for this month: Writer's have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?

This is a tricky but fun question. It's tricky, because I've shared a lot about myself on this blog over the years. I think my biggest secret that I'm a little embarrassed about is how disorganized I can be with my writing sometimes. I try to plot, and I keep track of my word counts. These are simply meager attempts to get a handle on the chaos that is my writing process.

I can never write a story in sequential order. I hop in between scenes in an attempt to get an overview of the story as a whole. It's almost as if I need to write a scene for each of the major plot points in the story before I go back and fill in the rest. It's part of my process, and while it feels chaotic in the moment, it ultimately seems to work out.

As for non-writing related secrets someone might not know about me, I drink most of my cups of coffee cold. This isn't because I prefer to drink them cold, either. It happens purely through circumstance. Sometimes I get involved in something and forget I have a cup of coffee. Other times I have to put it up because my daughters both love grabbing at my coffee, so I can't have it within their reach out of fear they might burn themselves. The end result either way is cold coffee. And even though I would rather drink it hot, I'll still take it at whatever temperature I can because I want the caffeine.

Lastly, I'd like to wish my husband a Happy Anniversary! As of yesterday, we've been married 13 years.

What secrets do you have?