Rushing through, scrambling to pick up an extra minute there, a few seconds there, hoarding precious time until at long last there stretches an expanse of freedom. It begins well, loafing and eating, drinking and singing. Then, silence. All those collected minutes and nothing to fill them. You ask yourself what the point was, why save all this time only to come to a screeching halt? Shame sets in, you are wasting time, not even enjoying idle pleasures or amusing distractions. This is what your garnered moments have bought? Shake off the voice. Leave it behind. Pick anything and go.
Scent of suntan lotion in the air, with a buzz of excitement as people wander about, heading nowhere. Any excuse is good enough to be out. You feel the warmth on your body and wonder if this is what a plant feels like, your skin seems to sing with delight in it. Your smile is easier, you breathe deep all the smells of summer. A kiss of wind carries some heat away. Before too long, it’s time to go back inside, and you carry with you the tingle of sun on skin, a precious souvenir that fades all too quickly.
Be it the gentle slosh or the constant hush, there is something calming about water. The whirls and swirls as it parts around the pylon of a bridge, the whisper as it falls over a weir, the strange and fragmented reflections of light it throws back. The curious patches where currents move under the surface, or the glasslike peace broken by a passing craft, sending silvered ripples out in a vee behind it. The countless impact of raindrops as they fall upon it so that nothing is reflected. I like walking best beside water, for my soul is at rest.
I used to belong to a community on LiveJournal whose only rule was that every post had to be exactly one hundred words. It was one of those fun constraints that forced me to say things differently, to reduce a very short piece to its most essential message, to cut words that did not add to the feeling in order to bring my count down. This blog is particularly lacking in creative writing; I write quite a bit about writing, but I’m hesitant to post excerpts from my big projects since they’re very much works in progress. What would be nice is to start a regular exercise, something like 100 words, that I would post here once a week or so.
Of course, I could just shut up and do it instead of making a big deal about it beforehand. Here’s a try:
Sometimes the words don’t come out right. You open your mouth and wish you could take back the stings and barbs your tongue spits out. You gush reassurances, but what’s said can’t be unheard, wounds become scars, reminders of monstrous utterances. Regret and shame fill you, you wish you could go back, tell yourself to stop, take a moment, reflect on your pain and anger, transform it into something less harmful. Make it into art, burning crimsons and angry oranges. Embrace it. Own it. Let it go. Breathe it out with a sigh of relief instead of a hateful hiss.
So I’m no good with poetry. I’m terrible with rhythm and breaking things up into nice lines and stanzas. I do like to play around with imagery and emotions, though. Prose poetry seems the way to go… 100 words of prose poetry.