Inky blackness and the faintest glow of light from around the door

The room was filled with inky blackness, and only the faintest glow of light could be seen from around the edges of the door. Once in a while, that faint light flickered, announcing the existence of someone in the hall. The sounds behind the door were mostly low and muffled, but every now and then, a shrill scream or clanking of metal could be heard. The most alarming sounds were the sudden scuffles of feet and the dragging of nails across wooden floorboards. Stifled whimpers often followed the tousles, along with deep moans and echoing groans. Sometimes the light beneath the door would abruptly disappear and then reappear as footsteps faded away. It was a lonesome place, with very little to do, but the sounds could stretch the mind, and for that, it was anything but uninspiring.

© 2021 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/door-door-lock-a-ray-of-light-5384953/

Writing prompt: Inky blackness and the faintest glow of light from around the door

Juicy jokes and buttered books

I watched the whole lot of them,
the fence line sagging in protest.
Each smoking and joking,
eying up the classics on display.
I found the sight troublesome
knowing how boys will be boys,
and as the cigarettes wore down,
I could see their restless forms
swaggering my way.
Shivers ran down my spine
as the jostling jokers spotted my gaze,
and I tried to shrink into the backdrop,
but the prowling had already begun.
Darts of catcalling
were hurled my way,
each unsettling word,
a dagger to the innocence of my soul.
This act of playfulness reminded me
of how a lion toys with its prey,
and I knew once the hunt began,
anything left of my dignity
would not be spared.
I tried to act inconspicuously,
walking backward
one trembling step at a time.
But then the books I held
began to slide right out of my arms,
and the movement
caused a chain reaction.
Like red-flagged raging bulls,
the whole bunch
began to barrel my way.
Caught in a panic,
I tripped and fell,
but the embedded asphalt
was the least of my worries.
I tried to stand
but realized it was too late,
the pride was already circling,
waiting to pounce.
In the end, my tormentors
were too tough to deter
and all I could do was fight
with bated breath
until my virtue
no longer remained.

© 2021 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/smoking-young-people-youth-be-cool-737057/

Writing prompt: Juicy jokes and buttered books

Something to cling to…

Amid the chaos
of our cluttered world,
sometimes we have only
but a past moment,
something distinctly different
from all the other colorless days.
And that one solitary moment,
the one we treasure
with fondness and love
gives us something to cling to
when we can no longer see
a single thread of light.
Those rare moments exist
to reassure us during the times
when the dark dares
to snuff out our light.
That one blessed memory
is often what unexpectedly
sees us through.

© 2021 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/black-and-white-monochrome-people-2590418/

I remember that day…

I remember the way the branches
curled towards me that day,
the way they swayed to and fro.
It was something
beautifully unexpected,
a miracle of nature,
a divine curiosity.
And I remember standing there
in wide-eyed awe,
losing myself
to the sheer loveliness,
lost in a state
of childlike wonder.
Chills crept down my spine
in delightful little bits,
and goosebumps erupted
as a plethora
of tingling sensations
washed over me
from head to toe.
But the thrill
wasn’t meant to last,
and after one breathless sigh
I blinked,
and the exquisite array vanished.
That was when
the heaviness began to gather
at my feet,
and an unforeseen darkness
approached from a place
I’d never been.
As the winds altered
their direction,
everything changed.
And the wondrous splendor
of that unforgettable day
is still nowhere to be found.

© 2021 Michelle Cook


Photo taken: July 10, 2020 in Milton, WI

Memories of you…

Sky blue eyes
And a soft squishy belly
Kind warm smile
Often watching the telly

Passionately patriotic
And oh so humble
Hardly ever a complaint
Or any kind of grumble

Lover of his country
A soldier he became
Flying the flag high
In every parade

Talented carpenter
Was his dedicated trade
Whistling while he worked
A lovely tune and serenade

Green thumbed man
And lover of nature
His dedication to God
Should have made him a preacher

Skilled kite maker
And master kite flyer
Practically nothing
Could ever go higher

Lifesaver candies
And minty cigarettes
Things he would one day
Very much regret

Was it black coffee
Or earl grey tea?
As I contentedly bounced
On his never tiring knee

Crackers and sardines
He shared them well
Convincingly trying
To tell me they were swell

Tums for indigestion
He always had a pack
And even though it pained him
His smile never lacked

Rosy red cheeks
And an almost bald head
Read his Bible every night
Before going off to bed

Sadly enough
It’s now been too long
I can’t even remember
His favorite song

He now rests with grandma
Still whistling his serenades
And his kindhearted demeanor
Will certainly never fade

I miss him immensely
He gave me my love for life
But I’m so very thankful
He’s now free from pain and strife

© 2021 Michelle Cook

*This is an older poem, written in 2017. It was written in loving memory of my grandfather, who meant the world to me.


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/beach-bird-nature-ocean-outdoors-1846694/

Burying yesterdays

The afternoon settles
into a quiet calm.
But it’s here
in this noiseless state,
where I find myself interrupted
by restless winds.
Those unexpected currents
stir up buried memories
of regretful sighs
and uneasy bitter truths.
Then with trepidation
coursing through my veins,
a quiet declaration is made.
I move in silent determination,
carefully traversing
those frustrating fields,
where chaotic blooms
begin to mushroom in my mind.
At last taking control,
seizing those past reflections,
wrestling with the delirium
of all those unspoken things.
And finally after hours
of agonizing lamentations,
those lingering grievances
begin to crumble
inside an iron-gripped will.
All those listless thoughts
long in their coming,
turning to ash,
fluttering lifelessly to the ground,
tasting their very last words.

© 2021 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: Pixabay.com

My childhood

I’m the girl who collected music boxes.  Each one was delicately carved and crafted as if they were made just for me.  I remember losing myself in each heart soaring note while the fragile little figures twisted and twirled, delicately dancing to the sighs of my youth.  Watching those tiny dancers was one of the only ways I could pass the time while locked away inside my dingy little room.  I remember the thin, mustard-yellow bedspread and the thread-bare golden colored carpet.  The uninspiring small room couldn’t have been more unappealing, and my imagination was my only saving grace.  There was always a book resting on my knee and a flashlight hidden beneath my pillow.  Those two items were critical to my overall health and well-being.  Although to be found reading at bedtime often meant facing a fate worse than death, but I still took my chances because reading was my only escape.  

The window above my bed was out of reach, too high to see anything except the smog-filled sky, and that dreary view seemed to envelop everything, even me. There were many occasions when I was ordered to stay confined to my bed, so I would perch on the edge of my pillow, setting the gauge on the quarter-sized timer that I’d bought for ten cents at the swap meet.  The dial was hard to turn and always hurt my hand whenever I tried.  But somehow, the ticking noise that abruptly followed after spinning the dial made it all worth it.  My spirit was somehow calmed and comforted by the tic, tic, tic.  The tiny treasure gave me hope that one day I wouldn’t be forgotten, and I thought perhaps someone would come and rescue me before the buzzer sounded.  Sadly, most days, I was just shushed back into silence once the dial made its final round.  I always wished the familiar chime would mean certain freedom, but that was just another lie I kept choosing to believe.

© 2020 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/rain-water-window-dark-night-room-2589417/

The Perfect Color

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Robin’s egg blue
Takes me back to you

You were the loveliest creature
I memorized your every feature

But cornflower days
Were never long stays

I had you for just a short while
Amidst the decaying dandelion pile

You should’ve had more
A bit of forest green to explore

Instead the pacific blue
Became your life-long hue

Those sea green and periwinkle days
Formed all of your mahogany ways

You stayed purple mountain majesty true
To your olive green and cadet blue

Carnation pink and brick red brown
Followed you into the burnt orange ground

And bittersweet left the taste of gray
As the sky-blue in your eyes faded away

 

© 2018 Michelle Cook

*Just needed to repost this today. Been thinking of my grandfather and his patriotism. He was my hero and loved this country more than anybody else I’ve ever known. He gave me my love for the United States of America and taught me to never say an ill word about our country. I love you so much grandpa. You were a rare gem in this world and will never be forgotten by me and all who knew you. May you rest in peace today and always.

I once was…

I once was a child
Left broken and battered
Mostly locked away
As if I never really mattered

I once was a small girl
Always searching for a way
To be free from the shackles
That plagued me every day

I once was a young lady
Just wanting to belong
Only realizing my efforts
We’re pointless all along

I once was a grown woman
Looking for a hand to hold
But after a long, futile search
I discovered I’d become too old

I once was an old lady
Holding onto deep regret
Wishing the good Lord
Would just make me forget

And now I’m a crushed spirit
Dreaming of the past
The life I once knew
Just went by way too fast

If only I’d accepted
The life I’d been given
But instead I just looked down
Never really livin

© 2020 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/autumn-hand-leaves-red-puddle-2917472/

Jonathan Michael was his name

If only I could’ve held him
Seen his lovely little face
But fate intervened
And he was lost
without a trace

I wonder what could’ve been
Our lives will never be the same
Some things we miss forever
And Jonathan Michael
was his name

© 2020 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/love-clouds-romance-sky-romantic-1381420/

Writing prompt: Jonathan Michael was his name

Jumbled like Jenga

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Cardboard boxes
End to end
Will I ever see
This floor again

Jumbled like Jenga
Teetering towers
At this point I’ve got
Superpowers

Lifting, squatting,
Moving mountains
Nothing else rhymes
Except for fountains

Dizzy from exertion
I could really use a break
But my will isn’t willing
To negotiate

I’ve gotta get this done
No time to waste
Cause right now I’m feeling
So displaced

And once this is finished
I’ll have me some fun
For I’ll have earned my day
Of sitting in the sun

© 2020 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/box-memories-photos-books-1209969/

The true treasures of life

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Every day I realize
More and more what I have
It isn’t my belongings, dusty on shelves
It isn’t the things I’ve accomplished
Or even the things I’ve mastered
But instead, It’s the people
And the experiences
The beauty of life itself
These are the things that matter
The things that are worth loving
The things I want to fight for
I hope I never lose sight
Of the true treasures of life

© 2020 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/dog-girl-pet-animal-young-female-4286921/

Unrequited love

 

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I realized something today
I love too fiercely for this world.
Perhaps people think I’m disingenuous
when I pour out everything I feel.

And I wonder what I should do
about all the love I have to give.
If I could bottle it, I would.
Surely someone would want it then.

If only I could share my love
with those who really need it,
or pour love into people
who are suffering from the lack of.

The biggest problem is
love hurts when you try to hold it in.
And carrying it around inside of me
is a burden I’m no longer willing to bear.

Sometimes, I just wanna rip out my heart
and feed it to the wolves.
At least then I’d finally be free
from the urge to ever love again.

© 2020 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/people-one-window-abandoned-3111875/

The Dream

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Once lost on the cusp
of a whisper in time,
is now something cultivated,
formed and fashioned.

Evidence composed
of a sacred memory.

Sprinkled with the essence
of a divine creator.

Recorded as proof
that our existence
has never been limited
to the meager
constraints of this world.

But instead,
“The Dream,”
that wonderful, beautiful dream,
goes far beyond…

Far beyond anything
we could ever imagine.

© 2020 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/fantasy-landscape-cave-sun-light-2945514/