Success.

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Photo Credit : https://pixabay.com/en/success-welcome-invitation-1148046/

Does success elude you, and you don’t know what to do
Is life making it seem like you just don’t have a clue
Where’s all that wealth, career success and love too
Have you tried and failed, are you just chasing your tail

Do you want to give up, give in, and go home
Is life just against you, is that how it seems
Do you ask, what’s the damn point of carrying on
When nothing your trying is working, It’s just all going wrong

What is the answer, what can you do
I don’t know either, I aint got a clue
If I had the damn answer
Dont you think I’d tell you

What you gonna do
Give up on life, cant take no more of this strife
Failure, stuck in a rut
Dead ends, and blockages, at every turn
Spinning your wheels, but getting no where

Are you tired of living, are you tired of life
When you look around, do others seem to have it so much easier, right
Who knows, maybe many go through these periods of being lost and amiss
Maybe it will get a lot better, then you will have to hold on real tight
Just here, wishing and hoping, it’ll hurry up and come right.

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Funny.

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Photo Credit : Braydon Anderson on Unsplash

Funny.

Can’t You Be More Funny, She Said, Not Be So Serious All Of The Time
Can’t You Use Words To Uplift Our Spirits, And Make Our Hearts Shine
Does Everything Have To Be So Tragic, Sad Depressing And Down
As That’s All It Ever Seems To Be With You, Whenever You’re Around

What About Frivolity, Joy Happiness And More
That’s What People Are Searching For, That’s Why We Come Through This Door
Unhappy Scenes, People Of No Means, Tragedy Piled On So Thick And Deep
This Is Not What I’m Looking For, It’s Not What I And Other People Seek

I Can See That Kind Of Rubbish, On Eastender’s Every Week
Lighten Up Bring Some Cheer, If You Can, Please Do So My Dear
Life Is Tough Enough, She Said, But It’s Not What I Wish To Focus On,
I Want To Tilt My Head Towards Scenes Of Love, Lift My Soul Up Above

That Would Make Me Want To Jump Out Of Bed, Perhaps Burst Out Of My Head
With Joy And Happiness
Put Me In Good Form All Day Long. That’s An Event That Would Be Time Well Spent
Can You Be More Happy, She Said. I Want Some Happiness Before I’m Dead

Can You Lift Your Soul Up, From Where It’s Dragging On The Floor
Don’t You Try And Bring Me Down, Lift Me Up Instead Even More
Infuse My Mind And Spirit With Joy, And Peaceful Contentment
Maybe Then We’ll Build A Friendship On That, As Solid And Strong As Tough Cement

I Looked At Her, And Said I’ll Try. I Know I Can Be A Bit Depressing At Times
But Sometimes, That’s How My Mind Functions. It All Seems Out Of My Control
It’s Not That I Try To Be Unkind And Mean, Even Though At Times, That’s What It May Seem
But It’s What I Feel  Inside, At Times, In My Dark And Troubled Mind

But I Ain’t All Tragic, I Like A Good Laugh Myself At Times
Can’t You Be More Funny She Said, As She Headed Up The Stairway, Alone Away To Bed.

Hoarder.

Hoarder

Photo by Oleksii Hlembotskyi on Unsplash

I am a hoarder, I use my goods as a boarder to keep the world out
I am afraid and insecure, of the world outside my door
Its causing ructions and disorder inside this house
Why can’t they see what I can see, I am an insecure, scared little mouse

Why can’t they leave me be, always demanding I clean up
Why does it bother them so much, When they can’t see what I can see inside this house
Boxes packed with God knows what, clothes I’ll never wear
Newspapers strewn on the floor, I don’t even care

Dirty windows, unclean doors, overcrowded drawers
Don’t you touch them, don’t you dare do that
This is my security, this is my sense of self
Even if to others it looks like a God almighty mess

This is my life and how I live it, gives me peace of mind
So if you could remove yourself, I’ll get on with the daily grind
Get out now, and don’t come back
If all you’re here to do is find fault and knock me flat

This is how I live my life, this is how it’s going to be
Until the day I feel more secure, and my self esteem is intact, can’t you see
Get out, get out and leave me be

 

            

                                                                                                                                               

 

                                                                                                                                          

 

                  

At Last.

Release

The day he longed for had at last come. The taste of freedom just within his touch. As he packed up his meager belongings in his prison cell. The bible, that had seen him through the very darkest of days when life seem pointless. Where no light at the end of the tunnel seemed visible at all. When all seemed lost, it was the bible and the weekly visitors from the members religious group, who told him to keep the faith. That God would help. That one day his pleas of innocence of the crime he was accused of would be believed by those in power. Those on the outside who believed in his innocence, told him to be strong, be patient. As they campaigned tirelessly on his behalf.
He stared at the pictures of the scantily clad women on the cell wall, and admired them. A reminder to himself at least he was still a man, with the desires of a man. As he continued to clear his belongings from the prison cell, he thought of her. He had tried to forgive her. To forget and move on, as he had being advised by many. They could see his anger and bitterness were destroying him. Eroding his peace of mind. His rampant desire for revenge, burned deep within his soul.

Seventeen years incarceration because of her lies and deceit. Seventeen wasted years. He had attended the group sessions in prison, and shared his anger, and bitterness, and he had to admit it helped somewhat. But he did not share his plans of revenge he had in store for her. Night after night when he was initially imprisoned , he took delight in imagining the chaos he was going to bring into her life. She was going to suffer, no doubt of that. Even if it led to a further term of imprisonment, he had decided it would be worth it. Trying out different plans and ideas in the inner landscape of his imagination.
He had never liked his cell mate, even though they had shared the same small claustrophobic space for many years. He like most of the inmates of the prison could not be trusted. He was a big man, with the grillezed face of hard living. A wild beard, small dead angry eyes, devoid of life. He was quiet sure the warden had put them together purposely, to make doing time, even harder and more unpalatable than it already was. He had spoken to one or two, that he trusted in the religious group, who visited from the outside on a weekly basis, of his plans for revenge. They had listened with patience and understanding. But were also shocked and taken aback by the strenght of his resolve to inflict pain, and bring chaos and mayhem into the life of his ex-wife.
They had gently pointed out the possible consequences of such a course of action. The possibility of never having the opportunity to renew and reignite the relationship with the young daughter who had turned her back on him. The futility of holding onto such anger and bitterness, for situations from the past. They had counselled forgiveness. The more he spoke with those from the religious group, the more at peace he felt. The burning , fervent desire for revenge easing somewhat. He had taken to reading the Bible on a nightly basis, helped him not he did not feel so alone.
He had taken a particular shine to her. The softness of her voice. The kindness and gentleness she exuded. Her willingness to listen to his angry ranting and raving, with great patience. Never would he have believed he could ever trust or even like a woman again in his life. But she was different. Perhaps being a long time member of the visiting religious group, was the reason. Or maybe her sense of peace and contentment came from turning to God. He was unsure. Those wide soft, kind and innocent eyes. The sense of peace and contentment that was wrapped around herself like some sort of comfortable overcoat. She also had become enamoured by him . By his seething masculinity. But she sensed beneath the hard exterior. Beneath the gruffness, and palatable sense of explosive violence, lay a decent man, dealt a bad deal, by life.
He began to look to the future, perhaps their future together, with a sense of hope, and anticipation. Maybe life was going to be okay, after all.

The brutal rattling of the cell door, roused him from his imaging. His size filled the frame. On either side, stood his two protectors, permanent attachments, it seemed like.
He glanced at his cell mate, who smiled callously, and slowly removed himself out of the cell, and onto the prison cell landing, and into the recreation area. Here was the man, who actually ruled the prison. The governor and prison guards may have believed they ruled the prison, but not so. His large black frame, toned and muscular from many months training in the prison gym. The bald, shaven head, and pristine white teeth. Not snarling, surprisingly, but smiling. The acne scarred face.

He strood into the small prison cell as if he owned it. His reputation for violence and nastiness preceded him. He wished to demonstrate his power to the remaining prison population, and remind them, he could do anything to anybody, at any time.

‘I believe your leaving us today. Aint that sweet for you’. His voice soft, but with an edgy undertone of menace.

I’m innocent, I should never have being in here, and I wont be coming back’.

‘In that case, I’d like to give you a gift, before you leave.’ He reached down and undid his belt and began to lower his prison issue jeans.

‘Grab him , and hold him face down on the bed, while I have some fun’, he commanded.

He could see what was coming, and without much thought to the consequences, smashed the shaving mirror close to him, and quickly picked up a sliver of the glass. He knew that he could not live with himself, if he allowed such emasculation to take place. After a brief violent struggle he implanted the sharp shard of glass into the neck of the prison king, who quickly fell to the ground, holding his neck. The sucking, gurgling sounds his jerking, shaking body made on its final journey, sickening.  The violent retribution he received from the two protectors and prison guards was swift and brutal. Thrown with force into the isolation cell, he asked for the Bible that had given him such sustenance. It was thrown in, and landed at his feet. He began to read, and again he thought of her. That softness and kindness, and wide innocent eyes

Was it real ?

Interest

He passed her on the street. In the mid afternoon, the warm breeze uncharacteristic for this time of year. Global warming, he put it down to . She smiled , then looked away. He wanted her immediately, what man wouldn’t. The clear skin, the tousled light brown hair, that slim body. The tight, well fitting clothing. That way she had of moving, so attractive. A man magnet.
Would he be good enough. Would he be attractive enough. A woman as good-looking as that, surly she was already taken, Most probably she already had a rich well to do husband, or lover. He lusted after her, big time. Viewing her for only a few seconds. Already he was congiruing up images of making love to her, and proposing to her. Getting married, and the children thay would bear together. The future life they would share together.

‘What are you straing at me for ? losser ?’

Her brutal, cold and less than welcoming response, shock him from his reverly. Perhaps she was not the porcelin princess he had being imaging. Or was it a test. The test that some women throw out to men, to see if they can handle them and would they be strong enough to be a suitable future partner. Strong enough , not to pander to her nonsense.

‘Hey love, no need to get ahead of yourself. You just happen to be in the view of what I’m looking at. If that’s your attitiude, I would never be intersted in at you at all’.

She pouted, she glared and swore in response. Just revealing  more of her unattractive character. What man, aside from a masochist would be interested in getting involved with such a woman.

He passed her by, congratulaing himself on swearving a possible future rather unpleasent relationship, with an ultra high manintense woman, that would only end in heartbreak and hardship. Who needs that, he asked himself aloud.

He carried on down the street towards the open parkland in the middle of the city, welcoming the peace and sustence it afforded.

My Guilt.

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Photo Credit : Ian Espinosa.

It was with these hands I did it. That damp night in the forest. She had to go. My mind was made up. Problems and issues as long as your arm. I was saving her from a life of toil and misery, at least that’s what I told myself, and of course, setting myself free from an unbearable situation.

I didn’t think too far ahead. I just grabbed her from that place, and made a dash for it. Made sense all round. I was sure I could be forgiven, maybe not now. But given time most would see, it was the right course of action. I watched my wife sleeping. The effects of the medication she had being given, enough to knock out a horse. Along with the tranquilizers, to help her deal with the situation. The room was quiet, aside from the bleeping of the bedside monitor. The attached tubes, monitors and syringes, like some form of grotesque accessories, only ever available in hospital trauma wards.
Her face red, and blotchy. She perspired heavily, as she twisted and turned in the bed. Her nightdress damp. As was her hair, as were the sheets. He constant moans an indication of her troubled rest. We were alone now, in the semi darkness, as I reflected on what had brought us to this situation. I watched her in the bed, unsure if I still loved her. If I ever really did. Were we just two lonely people holding onto each other out of fear.
To be fair, the Doctors had advised us against children. The risk of damage too high. With her previous career, if you could call it that. Her love of the high life. The travel, and the illicit substances, and rubbish diet, that went alongside a life in the music industry. The cigarettes, and the numerous love partners she had entertained, and liked to boast about from time to time, especially when we argued. I had begged her to have an abortion, but she refused. I was unsure if her refusal was just another measure to inflict pain and torture on our increasingly loveless sham of a marriage. The more I thought of our past together, the more angry I became. I watched her breathing, and asked myself would it not be better if she did not breath any more. I watched her for a long time, before I made my move. Reaching into the glass covered incubator, I removed my sleeping newly born daughter from it, after removing the tubes, and syringes attached to her precious body.           Placing her in the dark rucksack I ever so gently carried her from my wife’s hospital room, and out of her life. Stopping briefly at the door, to view her sleeping body, very probably for the last time.
Luckily the corridors were near enough empty at this late hour. So I made my way swiftly towards the hospital exit, only to be waylaid by the night matron. I never liked the woman, although I understood she was just doing her best. I was forced to listen to her ramblings and nonsense, and did so, to be polite. So not to raise her suspicions. Thankfully on this evening she didn’t feel the need to drone on and on, about whatever nonsense was in her head.

At last, free. I placed the rucksack on the passenger seat, and headed out into the night, and onto the highway.      A plan that had being forming in my mind over the past few days, soon began to come to fruition. The sky was clear, as were the roads. I reckoned on it taking two hours approximately to get to the forest. I listened to my daughter laboured breathing as we drove through the night. My mind focused. I knew what I had to do. Eventually we arrived at the forest clearing and drove as far as possible into the darkness of the trees. I always loved the silence of the forest, even more so at night. Affording the time and space to think, focus and clear one’s mind. I gently lifted the black rucksack, in which my daughter sleep and walked deeper into the forest. The large pillow under my right arm.

When I felt safe and hidden, I opened the rucksack and lifted her out. The movement woke up, and she began to cry. Just what I didn’t want, nor need. I wanted this over quickly and silently. So I did what I could to soothe and comfort her, and held her closely. Gently I laid on her blanket while I began to dig at the earth with my bare hands. I knew it would not take long.
In the quietness and silence of the forest I placed the pillow over her smiling and gurgling face, with her small hand reaching for, and grasping tightly my little finger, with all her strength. I told her I loved her, and placed the pillow over her face, until she released her grip on my finger. In the silence, I knew it was done. I laid her in the shallow grave I had dug with my own sordid hands. Sank to my knees, raised my hands up to God and asked for his forgiveness and understanding, and also cursed him for delivering to us a child destined to have nothing but a very difficult, and torturous life. Thanks to the myriad mental and physical disabilities she was born with.

‘Why Jesus, Why have you done this ?’ In the silence of the forest, my cries of despair went unanswered.

Written in response to a photo prompt seen here : http://creativewriting.ie/writing-prompts/

Substandard.

Substandard

The work he completed was below par. Not up to what it should have being. He knew it. They knew it. Everybody on the site knew. But nobody really cared. It was after all, more money for all of them. Even when the lowly paid government inspectors came to check out the work, many were open to the large brown envelopes which everyone knew would help smooth the way of the project. Help to avoid any awkward questions or very close inspections of the work completed.
‘Get it done, and get it done fast, and get it done cheap’. That was the order from the top. Another rushed job, another contract completed at speed. Everybody making money, everybody happy. In the Arabian peninsula, the heat sapping, draining weather was always the same. No let up. Life was good here in these foreign lands, with good money to be made in quick time. The only few drawbacks as he saw it were the the lack of available alcohol, unless smuggled in surreptitiously, and the lack of a pretty woman to catch a man’s eye.
The Arabs, as determined by their governments, were forbidden to drink alcohol, which to him seemed a nonsensical and cruel law. Secondly the women were forced to cover up everything except for their eyes. Another crazy law in his view. He had being in the country for close to six months , and was looking forward to his return to normality, back to America. Looking forward to seeing his wife and newly born child whom he had yet to meet.
He didn’t want to leave them, but with the lack of employment in ‘The States’, and the subsequent continual arguments that the lack of money, and boredom were causing with his long term sweetheart, and now wife. It just seemed like the best solution to a bad situation, at the time.
In Arabia, it was good to be working once again. His happiness and joy for the occupation, replacing the depression, that had dogged him for many months, in the past. The feelings of worthlessness and failure he felt as a man. Unable to provide for his wife, and family. The thoughts of ending it all. How different it was now. Those bad times behind him, a happily distant memory. But money making was very high on his agenda, after so many, many months of being without. He had a lot of catching up to do, financially, and he was determined to catch up, in whichever way he could. Regardless of the consequences.
The management back home in America, were well impressed how he was able to move the job along with such speed. While keeping costs way down. Congratulating themselves on choosing some a competent man to oversee the work. It was of course his decision to purchases supplies and materials from the unlisted, unlicensed companies. His choice not to question the low cost of such purchases. Again his choice to pay the immigrant workers just slightly above the national rate they were paid. An incentive to work harder, and faster, which they happily adhered to. Of course, the wage they received, a pittance, in comparison to the wage paid to the workers from the west.

He didn’t like him, when he first met him. Something about him. That upright posture, and purposeful stride. The dark business suit. The tanned face, and the neatly trimmed black hair. He exuded an inner strength, an inner belief in his own abilities, in his own worth, for such a young man. No more than early thirties, Jim guessed. A man not easily pushed around, or persuaded. Jim tried the friendly route first. When that was having little impact. He went for the brutish, loud, angry path. But the schools building inspector, remained quietly solid, strong and unmoved. He demanded to see the schedule of work. Demanded to know how the work was progressing at such speed. He further demanded free access to inspect any of the materials used, and see the records and details of the current suppliers to the school building project. Of course he could not be allowed to have his demands met. So as the young inspector was leaving the building project, Jim approached him.
As he was stepping into his shiny black cadillac, he placed a hand on the inspectors arm. The inspector looked down at the hand, and then at Jim , with a look of disdain.

‘Here, take this package. You’ll enjoy it. Will make life easier ‘, offering him the stout envelope.
‘My life is fine, I don’t need nor want anything from you’, and he pushed the envelope away.

Early the following morning just as the sun broke the horizon, and work began again on the construction project, the young inspector returned accompanied by two further car loads, of similarly diligent civil servants. They enforced an immediate cessation of the work, and went about examining the materials used, and the contracts signed. It did not take them long to come across anomalies. Materials not up to standards, and regulations. Works completed in a haphazard and unsafe manner. It was enough evidence to enforce immediate cessation of the project.
Jim watched from the portacabin office, where he liked to oversee the progress on the site. With his favourite coffee cup in hand, he watched the young inspector accompanied by two policemen approach his office.

Bursting through the door in the blazing mid day heat, disturbing the dust and paperwork in the office.

‘ I am closing down this project’, with immediate effect’. He spoke slowly, with much assurance and calm authority. ‘You, as the project co-ordinator here, bearing full responsibility for all that goes on in this project, are to be prosecuted for using substandard and dangerous materials, and engaging in unsafe  and haphazard working practices. Endangering the lives the the employees currently working here, and the further employees and children who would have attended this school in the future. Also you are further to be prosecuted for attempting to bribe a government official’.

With that the two policeman stood either side of Jim, and escorted him down from his office. The next few weeks passed quickly, and before he knew it, he was enduring the sweltering heat and blazing sunshine from the confines of an overcrowded Arabian prison cell. He was slowly coming to terms with the violent prison guards, who delighted in tormenting and torturing their prisoners, especially foreign prisoners. Coming to terms with his violent prison cell mates, none of whom he could dare to trust. Forced to stand for up to twelve hours a day, it was an impossible torture. The stench of urine, of continual perspiration. The sense of claustrophobia, of being unable to move freely, of being trapped, with no space of his own. With unfriendly people he did not know, using a language he could not understand. The continual pushing and shoving. The sense of violence waiting to explode at any moment. His very real fear of homosexual rape. The lack of sleep, his anxiety. Wishing now, had he being given his time over, perhaps he may have being a more honourable, honest man. Not racing headlong chasing money and wealth at any cost.

His only contact with another english speaker, was the weekly visit from the middle aged man from the American council. His job to keep Jim informed of the likely date of his court case. It could take years, he had being informed. Arabia was in no rush to release the inmates of their prisons. Jim in a strange way looked forward to these weekly visits. At least it was some human contact, without the fear of violence. A short sense of freedom. A brief thirty minutes out of the stinking , overcrowded cell, that had being his home for the last three months. With someone he felt he could trust.
He walked into the light grey plastered room, with the open windows, accompanied as ever by two severe looking prison guards. He noted the brightly colored  bird sitting on the tree branch outside the window, chirping away  happily. Jim looked at the bird, and smiled, envied his freedom. The ability to do what he wanted, when he wanted. To have his own space. To fly away and be free, anytime he choose. The man from the American council entered the room. Jim immediately noted his more than usual serious demeanor. His grey and  drawn face. The deadness in his eyes. He sat at the table, slowly, and opened his black briefcase. Hids movements were slow, as was his speech.
Quietly he began. ‘Jim, I have some news from home, and I’ll come straight to it. I’m very sorry, but there has being a fire  back home, and their have been fatalities. Jim held his breath, and began to perspire slightly. The veins tightened in his arms and shoulders, and he clenched his fists. ‘It’s your wife’, then he stopped, to steady himself,and catch his breath, and after a moment, ‘and your newborn child. I’m so sorry’. Jim listened, but didn’t really hear, and asked for him to repeat what he had said. He sat back in the soft chair trying to comprehend what had being said, his body feeling weak. ‘ The initial outcome of the investigation are, the fire was the result of the substandard materials been used, when the house was first built’. ‘If there’s anything I can do’, his voice trailed off.
Jim sat back in the chair, and quietly muttered to himself, ‘Substandard materials, substandard materials’, over and over. Precisely when the thirty minutes were up, the two prion severe, angry prison guards , roughy lifted Jim from the chair. Pulled and dragged him back towards the overcrowded, sweltering, stinking, violent prison cell. The man from The American council watched for a moment, as he stood underneath the ceiling fan, enjoying its cooling air, before taking his briefcase, and making his way towards the exit.