Posts Tagged ‘DP Challenge’

cemetery walkIn response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Gone, But Not Forgotten.”

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On Someone Else’s Island, 

A picture for his eyes

to rest upon, Face, tilted up

and to the left, smile meeting

the light. Dark Hair, Golden

Glowing in the sun.

A pen for his hands,

paper to hold stories

or poetry, lines

to contain thought.

A toolbox with saw

and lathe; trees to work

into useful things; practical

on deserted planes.

Seed, a seed to sow

his seeds, to grow his fruit

into dripping delicious


No company; for we know

that his best work comes

when he longs for contact,

is lost in the reality

of human shortcomings.

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What stands between you and where you want to be?

What stands between you and where you want to be?


What is it, really, that is between myself and who, where, or what I want to be?

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This daily prompt spoke to me, because it does rather apply to me.  I suppose you could say I am living the scenario described within.  I have left my home to travel the world for a year (or 2, or 5…).  I did have to decide what to bring with me. In terms of decorative or sentimental things, that means: Not much.  Each personal item was weighed against whether it would be useful on the travels, or easily replaced by similar items upon arrival.

There is one thing that I brought with me that serves no useful purpose.  It does not have much relative value; in fact, probably none to anyone except me.  It has traveled with me wherever I have gone since it was given to me.

You see, there are many levels of associative memory involved in this item.  My great grandmother, who taught me to write poetry and was my best friend until I was 12 years old (I wrote her letters almost every day, and she wrote back to me as frequently) collected music boxes.  I also developed a great love for music boxes as a result.  As a graduation gift from high school, my parents gifted me a custom made music box.

Made of rosewood and with a custom swiss movement.

Made of rosewood and with a custom swiss movement.


When most other kids were asking for a car or a trip to Mexico (My brother asked for, and received, a television set for his graduation), I wanted this.  I didn’t ask for it, my parents just knew me well enough to know I wanted it.   Mom chose the music to go inside it – our favorite piece of music.  Variations on a theme by Paganini  – by Rachmaninoff. So, you see, this piece has a bit of my great grandmother, both of my parents, my mother and I and our mutual love of something, and myself in it.

Over the years, this has gone with me everywhere I go.  I have taken it to university, to every home I’ve lived in.  It has seen every heartache and every good time.  It has been the one “thing” that has never been lost, misplaced, or stolen.  It holds my memories in it.  Some of you will recognize…some of these.  Tickets to a Chicago Bulls game and tickets to a family reunion dinner.  Tickets to a comedy show and my pass as cast at a Medieval Fantasy Faire.  A ticket to a play in which one of my best friends starred. A tiny ceramic bear with a signed “I love you”, a gift from my first love.  A celtic knotwork cross. There are more things buried underneath this top layer.  But it is where my treasures lie.  It’s precious and invaluable.

Music Box 2

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Weekly Writing Challenge: Fifty – Write a short story in only fifty words.  Condense it.  Tell as much as possible with as little as you can spare. Here goes:


I’d never looked in her handbag before, and now it felt like sacrilege.  Gum wrappers, old receipts, enough loose coins for a coffee. Lipstick.  Empty tampon wrappers. Three letters, stuffed into one envelope.  A keycard from a hotel.

Her suicide note hadn’t said it, but I knew.  I’d always known.

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DP Weekly Challenge:  The Power of Names

Warning for triggers about child loss and infertility.

There is an empty space in my life.  It is a vacuum, a hole that I don’t know how to fill, or whether I should.  It is, unfortunately, a common void in many lives.  Many of you will know the pain of this.  I’m sorry. 

Our family is complete.  We have three beautiful, fantastic boys that i would not trade for anyone, or anything.  Each of their names has a power over me, and over anyone who knows them.  That power is associative; the memories we have of their actions, the way they’ve shaped us, the way they’ve made us laugh or cry or excelled in such a way that made us absolutely burst with pride.  The power of their names brings every memory to life with the mere mention of it, which is why I named that part that of mine that is missing.  And that name will always bring associative memories as well, but the memories are not of grueling days changing diapers or nights spent nursing a colicky baby.  The associative memories are all fantasies, suppositions, and what ifs. 

When my second son was nearly two years old, I lost a child I didn’t even yet know was growing inside me.  I began to miscarry and that was the first that I knew of my pregnancy.  I know nothing of what could have been; who the child would have grown into, whether the child was a boy or a girl, what they would have enjoyed learning most or what their favourite meal would be.  And I began to dwell on the what ifs – by not knowing, I think I was deprived of the opportunity to mourn for a specific person, I had no tangible, or even real, memories to hold on to or to treasure in my grief.  To some people, mourning a pregnancy that was so early and so unexpected seemed a bit like an act of hubris; those people we can make our own judgments about, hm?  But I needed something to grasp.  In my mind, I’ve named that child, and I’ve imagined that child growing through each developmental stage, I’ve imbued that memory with a personality and a curious nature and a stubborn streak. It comforts me to know that child is not a non-event, that child is not an empty space, that child was, for the blink of an eye, my child. 

Claire Elise.  That is the power of a name. 

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The Daily Post‘s Prompt is Leaving.






I loved him where my breath was caged,

between the space where truth and desire dwell.

The cell tightened by dimensions,

each inhalation grew my shoulders,

brushed against the cold walls,

knees clasped tight to chest

scraped and bled against concrete,

the unlocked door drew shadow bars

upon my face.

VKF 2014


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For today’s Haiku challenge on the Daily Post:




Wind blowing past graves
Stones leaning in twilight depths

One day for Goodbye

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