See*Photo*Write Challenge Response

Here is my response to this week’s photo prompt challenge at 1st Writes:

Football Saturday

I am all alone surrounded by thousands.

I would not be missed until the end.

I know the basics but it is not enough.

If I were him it would be different.

He is the favorite receiver.

The passes, cheers, victory slaps

Because I can’t throw or catch

I am on the bench.

I go to every game hoping,

Yearning for a chance at the big play –

The interception of my father’s attention.

© Brianna N. Renshaw

See*Photo*Write Challenge Response

Click here for this week’s See*Photo*Write Challenge at 1st Writes.

Under an Olive Tree

“I can’t stand it anymore. I wish he were dead. He just…exists; he’s not living.” An old woman dabbed at the corners of her eyes with a thread-bare handkerchief she kept wringing in her hands. “Isn’t there anything you can do for him, Doctor? To end his suffering?”

“Mrs. Papadakis, he’s not suffering…”

“Not suffering? He doesn’t know who he is anymore! How is that ‘not suffering’?”

“What I mean is…”

“I know what you mean, Doctor.” Mrs. Papadakis clutched her purse tightly and glanced quickly at the window where the man who had once been her husband sat staring blankly ahead. He didn’t even know she was in the room! Refusing to cry anymore, she stiffened her spine and turned for the door. “I might not be back to visit for a while. It’s too hard seeing him like this.” With those words, a wife left her husband.

Under an olive tree in Greece, Nicholas Papadakis remained oblivious.

See*Photo*Write Challenge Response

Click here for this week’s See*Photo*Write Challenge at 1st Writes.

***

Boo Boos and Band-aids

Luke gently washed Lily’s scraped knee with a washcloth before carefully applying a band-aid. Sitting back on his heels and digging in the pocket of his jeans, he rummaged through quarters, a couple of rocks, and pocket lint until he finally dug out a strawberry Jolly Rancher, which he handed to his sister. “Take this and call me in the morning if you don’t feel better.”

Lily giggled and popped the hot, sticky sweet into her mouth. “Thank you, Doctor Luke.”

This was a familiar routine as Lily accumulated scrapes and cuts like most little girls seemed to accumulate hair barrettes.

Luke stood up from the floor and washed his hands in the kitchen sink. Just as he pulled open the back door, he heard Lily ask, “Where you goin’?

Sighing, Luke said, “Out,” and slammed the door. He didn’t need to see Lily to know her lower lip was trembling and her eyes were filling with tears that had nothing to do with her bloody knee.  By the time he reached his bike at the edge of the driveway, Luke had managed to block all thoughts of his little sister from his mind. A boy needed time alone.

***

I liked Luke and Lily so much after writing their story for the 1st Campaigner Challenge that I decided to write about them again for the See*Photo*Write Challenge.

Love’s Alchemy

This week’s See*Photo*Write Challenge at 1st Writes reminded me of the poem Love’s Alchemy by John Donne:

Some that have deeper digged love’s mine than I,

Say where his centric happiness doth lie;

I have loved, and got, and told,

But should I love, get, tell, till I were old,

I should not find that hidden mystery.

Oh, ’tis imposture all!

And as no chemic yet th’ elixir got,

But glorifies his pregnant pot

If by the way to him befall

Some odoriferous thing, or medicinal,

So lovers dream a rich and long delight,

But get a winter-seeming summer’s night.

 

Our ease, our thrift, our honor, and our day,

Shall we for this vain bubble’s shadow pay?

Ends love in this, that my man

Can be as happy as I can, if he can

Endure the short scorn of a bridegroom’s play?

That loving wretch that swears

‘Tis not the bodies marry, but the minds,

Which he in her angelic finds,

Would swear as justly that he hears,

In that day’s rude hoarse minstrelsy, the spheres.

Hope not for mind in women: at their best

Sweetness and wit, they are but mummy possessed.

***

al·che·my

[al-kuh-mee]

noun, plural -mies for 2.
1. a form of chemistry and speculative philosophy practiced in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and concernedprincipally with discovering methods for transmuting baser metals into gold and with finding a universal solvent and anelixir of life.
2. any magical power or process of transmuting a common substance, usually of little value, into a substance of great value.

***

I studied Donne in college and confess that although I wrote and presented a paper on his work at a conference, I don’t think I ever fully understood the metaphysical poet.

Today as I read and pondered the poem, I interpreted it to mean: (FYI – if you are a student who ‘googled’ an analysis of John Donne’s Love’s Alchemy and got this post, please hit the back button now because I don’t want to be the reason you fail) there is no element in nature, no chemicals or materials that combine and create love. Love is not born when stars are aligned a certain way and two people drink from a magical well at precisely the same time. There are no love spells or potions. Love is from God and cannot be explained in forms of science.

Stardate

Here is this week’s response to 1st Write’s See*Photo*Write Challenge:

Stardate

Why didn’t I listen to my mother? She always told me: “Whatever you do, no matter how tragic your dating life seems, promise me you will not go on a reality dating show.”

Yet here I am at the north pole of a planet called Earth for a picnic at sunset –my prize for winning 1st place on Stardate. The temperature is freezing and there is nothing interesting in sight. The picture the producers showed us promised a remarkable sunset, but there is nothing remarkable about this place.

Ironically, there is nothing remarkable about my date either. During the show, Troy seemed intelligent and fun, but apparently nothing on Stardate is as it appears.

“Can you believe this?” I asked Troy. “They completely tricked us with a phony photo.”

“Yeah.” Troy agreed. “I mean, like, where are the reindeer and elves, man?”

Ah! A mother’s revenge is sweet.

100th Post

This is my 100th blog post! *throws confetti* 100 posts in six months –I don’t know if that’s something worth celebrating, but I felt it was worth a brief mention.

Now on with the post! Here is my response to this week’s See*Photo*Write Challenge at 1st Writes:

The Lonely Mist

Veronica felt as bleak as the lake looked. Summer was over. Everyone had gone home -everyone but her. Living near a popular summer vacation spot wasn’t so sweet when fall rolled in like the voluminous veil of vaporous haze swirling above the water’s surface, shrouding the lake and Veronica both in melancholy.

The longer Veronica sat, the more expansive the fog became until Veronica could no longer see the rock beside her — a big problem when Veronica suddenly felt trapped within wispy walls of soupy clouds, as if  the mist was alive, breathing, throbbing and pulsing with energy, feeding off of Veronica’s loneliness and desolation.

Brother John

Here is my response to this week’s See*Photo*Write Challenge at 1st Writes:

John’s words startled the serenity surrounding the Sieur de Monts Spring. “Now that Mother is gone, I can finally put you where you belong.”

Elizabeth’s attention was elsewhere as it usually was. John had spent a lifetime dealing with his sister’s flights of fancy. For years John had suffocated under the weight of caring for his mentally ill sister. In a few hours, he’d be free; he’d finally be able to breathe.

Bull frogs along the bank croaked; crickets chirped; insects buzzed. A luminous fog veiled the water’s surface. John had been waiting for the opportunity to commit his sister to a mental institution. Now that the moment had arrived, he felt no reservations.

“Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping, brother John? Brother John,” Elizabeth’s childlike voice singsonged.

Despite the heat of the day, John felt chills creep down his spine. Before he knew what was happening, Elizabeth swung her parasol at him, knocking him into the water. Sputtering and choking, he rose above the surface only to be pushed back down by his sister’s surprisingly strong hand.

“Morning bells are ringing; morning bells are ringing…” Were the last words John heard before his lungs filled with water.