Dreams #PoetryChallenge #Tanka

Theme-based poetry kicks my muse hard and when the theme happens to be “Dreams,” she rides on the waves, eager to explore each one. I tried to restrict her to one Tanka but another one just flowed. She has more in her pockets but I have reserved them for my next book.

A box full of dreams
She carries it with poise
Some just flutter away
Catching them is unrealistic
What is the fun of cluttering?

***

She buried her dreams
In the valley of despair
The deluge of tears
Drowned the irresistible
Empty-hearted, she sits forlorn.
© Balroop Singh

***

Inspired from Colleen M. Chesebro’s #ThemePrompt at wordcraftpoetry.com

Thank you.

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Anything for Dreams

There was a spring in her gait, an elation that propelled her, an eagerness to fly, a yearning to have wings! She had been invited by the university to receive her gold medal. She was the topper of the year. She had waited for this day.
How could she forget this day? The day her bones felt lighter. The day she broke some!
Now what?
“Let’s cancel the program. Your foot needs attention.”
“I am good,” Laila hid her pain with a wide smile.
She ignored the swelling on her foot and got into the car. No broken bone could deter her determination to receive the honor in person.

Thirty years after the fall that had changed her gait, she says, “Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy. Sometimes we take them for granted.”
“Do you regret your insouciance to injury?”
“Never.” Anything for dreams.

Louisa’s post inspired me to play with this prompt that I saw at Dare Boldly and followed the link: Prosery Prompt at D’Verse 

The rules and prompt are: 

“Write a story of 144 words or less (not including the title). The story must have a beginning and an end, and should not be poetry. Sounds easy enough right? Here’s the twist: You must use the poetry line I have given you within your story. You may alter the punctuation, but you must use the line in its entirety.”

Today, the chosen line is taken from Spring Azures from the book Wild Geese by Mary Oliver: “Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy.”

Respect Or Love?

“He who wants a rose must respect her thorn.”

“Choose one,” the command was loud and clear.

I was confused. How could I choose one? I didn’t know love and was too young to understand respect but I was argumentative and would always rise against the commands.

“I want both.” I spoke with immense confidence.

I was pushed aside. My turn was over. 

One by one each person was given a choice and they left the arena with the group they opted for. I kept on waiting. My blood boiled at the authoritative voice of the leader who took pleasure in his arbitrary designs on us. Who gave him this power to rule over our emotions? Why are we here? 

I looked around, trying to figure out the place. How did I reach here? Strange, stern faces stared at me.

“This is your last chance to choose,” I could hear some kindness in this voice.

“But why?” Before I could speak another word, I was dragged away into a dark alley and my sobs could be heard.

*****

Some dreams keep coming back probably because some notions remain dormant in our subconscious minds. Whenever I read a disturbing book about injustice, my mind hurtles back and transports me into unimaginable lands that I could have seen in movies.

Love – the basic emotion that connects us with life and people.

Respect – the essential trait that raises man to his civilized state.

How could anyone survive without them? This question has always haunted my mind and keeps coming back whenever I see or hear about any atrocities being inflicted on fellow human beings.

Love can still be pretended but respect can’t be faked. It reveals itself through our body language. 

“I love you.” “You are my best friend.” I have heard many such refrains from people around me but I could make out from their body language and actions how selfish their love was. It changes its contours according to the situation.

Respect cannot be claimed. It shows itself, it reflects in the eyes. It is an offshoot of love.

Can you choose one? Yet there are people who have none. 

Thank you for reading and pondering. Please share your thoughts.

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They Soar Higher Than Clouds

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Sue Vincent’s #Writephoto

Dark, rumbling clouds stirred him out. He stretched and looked around. Some of his friends were flying high but he couldn’t miss the sound – muffled yet clear.

“What are you digging?” Vendatta stood at the edge of the valley.
“Souls.”
“What for?”
“To lend… to exchange.”
“Really? But souls are said to be free. They soar higher than clouds.”
“Beliefs don’t misguide me. I know my passion.”
“Where do you find them?”
“Some are buried and some fly high. Some I capture and bury.”
“Can you lend me one?”
“Sure,” said the Digger.
“Can I keep it forever?”
“Depends! If you have the inclination and the strength.”

All his depression melted.
Vendatta was a changed man now. He knew his destination.

Thanks to Sue Vincent for an inspiring Thursday #writephoto prompt Soar

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Expectations Of Writers And Readers

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When a writer puts the first word on paper; a dream world opens before him, a world that ignites his creativity as well as fantasy. Former makes him produce his magnificent work but the latter makes him a celebrity overnight (in his dreams.)

You may be writing out of creative compulsions or the satisfaction of venting your voice could be your trigger, most writers harbor a secret wish – to be read, to be reviewed and admired. Admiration comes easily but you never know how hypocritical it is. Reality hits you when you see how much money you are earning from your books.

You may stay determined with the cliché – “never give up” but when you read others’ work and feel that many average books are overflowing with 5 star reviews; you wonder whether something is wrong with you when you feel like dropping a book that has been fetching 5 stars… (for whatever reasons!)

However, there are critical readers too. They know what they want, their discerning eye can’t be escaped. Their expectations are immeasurable.

You think you have the most original ideas, you would be the best seller but your readers feel you ramble, you repeat and the setting of your story is vague or the title of your book is a misnomer.youtuber-2838945__340

You think you write perfect English, your beta readers are excellent helpers and you have a long list of friends under the acknowledgements but your readers find typos and structural errors in your book.

Each reader expects an amazing book; he doesn’t want to think what were your compulsions or exhaustions. He doesn’t want to buy your excuses. He doesn’t want to digest your lack of finances for hiring an astute editor. All readers are not writers and they have every right to judge your book according to their own parameters. All readers are not kind enough to overlook imperfections in the plot, style of writing or characterization.

Then there are writers who focus on money. They write just what sells. The day writing becomes a chore for you, you are no longer a writer, and you become a businessperson, churning out book after book, devoid of any real emotion.

Your writing may not be “like a windowpane” or “impenetrable fog” but it has to be an “exploration,” it has to “enrich the life of those who read it.” If it is just inconsequential chitchat between a few characters, going around in circles, you may befool a few readers but not all.

Robert Frost’s definition is worth pondering: “The ear is the only true writer and the only true reader. I know people who read without hearing the sentence sounds and they were the fastest readers. Eye readers we call them. They get the meaning by glances. But they are bad readers because they miss the best part of what a good writer puts into his work.”

Are you an “eye reader” or a critical reader? Do you drop a book if you don’t like it? What do you expect from your readers?

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.