Archive for category Poetry

Life Lessons Learned

If I could change it
I am not quite sure I would
For from the deep pain
Has come more compassion than
I otherwise would have known.

I have seen the dark
Inside the very heart of
Intense happiness,
And I have lived the death of
The sweetest most precious gift.

Losing your children
Without watching them grow strong
Or even later
Is an agony beyond
All human capacity.

What more pain it must
Be for all-knowing, all-loving
God to contemplate
The loss of those who shun the
Mercy freely given them.

We are not able
To comprehend suffering
Deeper than our loss,
But Christ died, in agony,
That we might gain eternity.

One day, I will hold
The hands of those now missing
And experience
The joy of glad reunion
Because Jesus loves even me.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Monday, January 20, 2014

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1 Comment

I’ve Been Busy, Otherwise Entertained

Otherwise Entertained (12)

Morgan woke up shivering on the bunk bed where she had fallen into an exhausted sleep. As soon as she gained consciousness, she realized her left wrist, right ankle, and back were in worse shape than she had imagined before she lay down. She turned on the lamp her mother had given them as a wedding present and realized her wrist was an angry shade of purple, almost black. Her ankle was hurting worse than it had the first morning after she fell in the ravine. Her back smarted where the whip had dug into her tender flesh.

She wished she could go to the hospital, but it was Sunday morning, she had no insurance because Tony had not been at his job long enough to gain coverage, and she doubted he would appreciate her writing a check for the cost. She knew there were a couple of thousand dollars in the account if he had not spent all the money she had deposited from her working summer jobs. She did not know the balance because he insisted since he made all the money that he should have control of the finances. He gave her a cash allowance for groceries and other spending. She knew he made good money at his present job, but she had no idea what he spent when she was not around. If the tip he left last night was any indication, there might be less money in the account than she guessed.

She tried to use the crutches to hobble to the bedroom, but found it hurt to put any pressure on her left hand. This was not a good state of affairs. She wanted to go to church because there might be questions if she were not there. She managed to hobble to the bedroom bracing herself on the right wall. Tony was still asleep and she chose not to wake him. She did not think she could take more punishment like that of last night and she had no idea what mood in which he would awaken.

She felt around in the closet her father had constructed and found a long sleeved shirt and a long skirt hanging together. She wished it was appropriate to wear jeans on Sunday morning, but knew people would stare if she did. She did not wish to draw undue attention to herself. She got fresh underwear out of her childhood dresser and limped to the bathroom.

When she turned her back to the shower, she nearly fainted. Now she knew what slaves felt like after being beaten by an overseer. No pain so excruciating had visited her body before. She almost forgot her ankle and wrist hurt. God only knew what she had done to deserve this suffering. When she got out of the shower, she took a makeup mirror and turned her back to the mirror over the sink. The reflection made her gasp. There were deep red welts crisscrossing the middle of her back. She was glad the shirt she had found was dark and thick.

She dressed and combed out her hair. She decided makeup was necessary and carefully applied it to her face. She checked on Tony again, finding him still asleep. They did not always go to church together so she figured no one would be overly concerned when she showed up alone.

She tried to eat a bowl of cereal, but found she had no appetite. She picked up her purse, and slung it over her right shoulder. Again, she felt pain shoot through her. This was not going to be easy. She hobbled out the door and shut it quietly behind her. She made it to Katie in a few wobbly steps. When her back touched the seat, she drew in a deep breath. She cranked the Cadillac and backed out of the driveway slowly, trying not to rev the big engine.

Driving was no fun, every time she made a turn or put on brakes she was reminded of her injuries. She made it to the small white church on the hill and found the parking lot already crowded. She parked as close to the building as possible and tried to walk inside without limping. She ground her teeth together to avoid moaning.

One of her friends hugged her, and she wished she had not done so. One of the older women asked what had happened to her foot. She answered that she had fallen down some stairs. She made it through Sunday school without any more questions about her condition. The teacher did ask where Tony was and she told him he had wanted to sleep in because he was very tired.

The pastor preached a beautiful sermon on First Corinthians Thirteen. She thought how that definition of love was lacking in her life with Tony, but she smiled thinking of Kelvin. Then guilt overwhelmed her and tears trickled over her cheeks. She swiped them away with her right hand. She shut her eyes and prayed that she could be forgiven.

When the service ended, she walked out as quickly as she could. A few people stopped her to shake hands and hug her. When she got to the car, she sighed with relief. She thought it had gone very well, but she felt no absolution.

She drove home slowly trying to avoid as much pain as she could. When she got home Tony’s Camaro was missing from the driveway. That could not possibly be good, but she was relieved she would not have face him immediately.

She went inside and put down her purse and Bible. She limped to the bedroom and changed out of her church clothes. She put on another long sleeved shirt and jeans. Her back smarted when the material touched the welts. She limped to the front room and took a Diet Coke from the refrigerator. She thought of the crutches, but guessed they would be more trouble than help. She hobbled to her desk and took out her journal. She wondered if it was safe to write about last night and this morning. She decided she had nothing to lose. After writing down what she experienced, she put the journal back in the bottom of one of the drawers where she usually hid it.

She took out some paper and wrote a couple of poems. One was a prayer of contrition asking for forgiveness and the other was a love song. It had been a long time since she was inspired to write about love. She thought about that and decided it was a sad commentary on the state of her marriage. After the preceding night, she wondered if she was crazy to be sitting in this apartment. Her pride prevented her from admitting to anyone else how horribly wrong she had been to get married. Now Kelvin knew she had reservations, but she did not think he would reveal what she had said to anyone else.

She heard a car pull up in the driveway and stuffed her papers into a drawer. In a moment keys rattled in the lock. Tony burst into the room and glared at her.

“Where the hell have you been?”

She answered, “I went to church as I often do on Sundays. You were sleeping so soundly I decided it was best not to wake you. I knew you had a tiring week and thought you could use the extra rest.”

He nodded and said, “Thank you. That was sweet of you. I am sorry I was so rough on you last night. I will not do it again. Can you forgive me?”

She could not believe what he was saying, but she did not want to upset him. She said, “Of course. It was not so bad.”

He looked at her feet and then met her eyes, “You’re wearing the bandage again. Is your ankle hurting?”

She answered, “It seemed a little worse today and I thought it would be good to wrap it.”

“Do you want to go get something to eat? I’ll drive,” he said.

She answered, “I think I will stay home, but if you want to go get some chicken that would be great.”

He smiled and said, “Sure, I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

He left and she sat stunned at her desk. She wondered how he thought a few words could erase the deeds of the night before. Maybe she was crazy, but it seemed like he would realize how badly he had hurt her. She wished she knew someone she could talk to about it, but it was long distance to call her best friend and she did not think anyone else would understand.

After about twenty minutes, she heard the Camaro outside. He came in and served their plates from the bucket of chicken and side items. He sat down on the bunk and patted the place beside him.

He asked, “Why don’t you come sit over here?”

She carefully balanced her plate and limped the few steps over to the bunk. She sat down, and he patted her on the back. She bit her tongue to avoid screaming. She wondered if he could truly be so insensitive, or if he had forgotten whipping her. She decided there was no good explanation for the way he was acting.

After they finished eating, he took their plates and emptied the bones into the trashcan. He ran a sink full of water and washed the dishes, putting them in the drainer to dry.

She got up to go to the bathroom and he asked her, “Do you want to use your crutches? I can get them for you.”

She did not want to explain about her wrist, so she said, “I am doing fine without them. They make my underarms hurt worse than my foot.”

He nodded and crossed the room. He said, “I bought a new album. Would you like to listen to it?”

She called back over her shoulder, “Sure, when I come back from the bathroom.”

She looked closely at her face after she washed her hands. She decided that maybe the damage did not show, except in the depths of her eyes.

When she got back to the front room, he started the album. She recognized the artist as Pat Benatar. She had never heard the whole album before. As the song, Hell Is For Children played she felt tears begin trickling down her face.

He asked, “Are you okay, darling?”

She wiped her eyes and said, “Sure, I just have not heard that before. It caught me off guard. It is a really sad song.”

He said, “It is horrible that some people do that to their children. When we have ours, it will not be like that. We will be marvelous parents.”

She thought, no God, no children, not after last night. Please Jesus save us all from such suffering.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Otherwise Entertained (13)

Monday was the regularly scheduled game day at Ramsey’s house, but she was dreading it this time. She did not want the group to see her in her current condition. She was tired of wearing long sleeves already. She was a very warm natured person and she was overheating.

At noon, someone knocked on the door. Her heart raced because she thought it might be Kelvin. When she answered the door, she found a woman holding a huge bouquet of red roses. She thought there was some mistake.

The woman asked, “Are you Morgan?”

She answered, “Yes, I am.”

The woman handed her the vase and said, “Then these are for you!”

She returned to her van without giving Morgan a chance to ask any questions.

Turning around and shutting the door she wondered why she had received such a lavish display. She limped to the bar and searched the arrangement for a card. She found it and opened the envelope. The message was scrawled in Tony’s handwriting.

It read, “Thinking of you with love and affection today. Hoping these bring a smile to your beautiful face. Yours forever, Tony.”

She found herself frowning with consternation. She did not understand why a man, who always said flowers had absolutely no meaning, would send her roses. He had never done anything like this when their relationship had been more loving.

She sat down in her desk chair and stared at the flowers sitting on the bar. They were undeniably gorgeous, but she felt their beauty was tainted by his recent actions. She wished she could accept them as a lovely gift, but instead they bewildered her. Was she simply going insane? Should she accept the gesture as one of love and good will?

She reached for the phone, but realized Yvonne would be in school at this time of day, and it was long distance anyway. She wanted to talk to someone who loved her, but would not react over-protectively as would her mother. Her family really could not know about this, someone would lose their temper and the consequences could be disastrous. Her male family members were hot heads who would not hesitate in using force to settle a score. Hurting a female was unconscionable, especially a female who belonged to them.

Lost in thought she jumped when someone knocked loudly on the door. This was turning into an unusually busy day for interruptions.

She limped to the door and opened it. Kelvin stepped briskly inside and closed the door behind him.

He said, “Are you okay?”

She said, “I think I might be dreaming. This day is becoming extremely strange. Aren’t you supposed to be in school? What are you doing here?”

He took her in his arms and kissed her. He said, “Does that prove you are not dreaming? I took the afternoon off, senior privilege. I wanted to see you and thought this might be a good time. Does that answer your questions? Are you still convinced things are strange?”

She tried to hide her pain and said, “Too many surprises. I think I need to sit down.”

She stumbled as she stepped to the bunk and he grabbed her left hand. She gasped.

He said, “What’s this? I thought your ankle was healing and you did not seem to mind my holding your hand the last time I saw you.”

She pulled her hand away and put it down beside her. His eyes followed the movement.

He asked, “Are you going to answer me? What is wrong?”

“I fell, spraining my wrist, and reinjuring my ankle,” she answered.

He shook his head, “This said by the girl I have watched sprint up several flights of crowded stairs in four inch spikes when late to class. Tell me another story. I disbelieve that one.”

She shrugged and said, “That’s the only one I have.”

He stood over her and lifted her hand, pushing back her sleeve, “You are obviously trying to hide something because I never saw you in such thick clothes even in the dead of winter. Now you want to tell me the truth?”

She looked away from him and closed her eyes trying to think of an explanation he would accept.

“You forget I told you I care about you. I know you, probably better than the rest of the group. You think you can deceive me. You are forgetting who I am. Now look at me and tell me why I find you more broken than I have ever seen you,” he said.

She sobbed, “Why can you not be satisfied with a simple answer?”

“Because you are one of the strongest people I know, and my questions have reduced you to tears. What did that son of a bitch do to you? Did he figure out I had been here? Is this my fault? Other people may accept your stories or fail to notice something is wrong, but I am not other people,” he said in a voice roughened by his emotions.

Morgan looked him in the eyes and said, “You really don’t want to know.”

He roared, “You think this is none of my business? You think I walk away when someone hurts someone dear to me. After so many months in my presence, you have learned so little about me. Come on Morgan, if you do not tell me now, I swear all of us will beat it out of him tonight. Don’t try my patience and remember I never make idle threats.”

“He did not know what he was doing. I made him angry. It was my fault,” she said softly.

“I have heard about the bullies who tormented you. Did you make excuses for them like this? Is that why your brothers never beat the crap out of them?” He demanded.

“No they were older and I never told them what happened, they never asked,” she said.

“Well, I’m asking, and you are going to give me an honest answer or I am walking out of here and you will never see me again. Answer me now, woman. I will not ask again,” he said with such force it frightened her.

She motioned for him to sit down beside her; he shook his head and said, “No thanks, I’ll stand so I can see your face. You cannot lie to me if I am looking at you like this, I will know if you do.”

“He came home a while after you left. We went to the Barbecue House for supper. He flirted with the waitress and left her a twenty-dollar tip. I drove to the theater and we saw a horror movie. When I was scared, he laughed at me. He refused even to hold my hand. He walked way ahead of me to the car and played the stereo so loud it made my head hurt. When we got home, he locked me out. When I stepped inside in the dark, he grabbed me and covered my mouth as I screamed. Is that enough to satisfy your curiosity?” She said looking into his eyes.

He said, “I don’t think that is the end of the story. You have started; you can tell me the whole thing.”

She nodded and continued, “I stumbled and he let me go. I fell hard on the floor and twisted my ankle again. He cursed at me and refused to help me up off the floor. He told me he had plans and told me to crawl to the bedroom. As I was crawling, he walked by me and kicked my left wrist. I nearly fell on my face. He got to the bedroom and turned on the light. He threw me on the bed and tied my hands over my head with rope. I really don’t want to say any more, is it not enough? You don’t understand, I have to relive it all as I tell you.”

There were tears in his eyes, and he said, “I need to know the rest of it. I cannot help if I do not know.”

She took a deep breath and began again, “He left the room and came back with a tumbler of whiskey. He took both our clothes off. He turned me onto my stomach and beat me with a whip. When I begged him to stop, he demanded I do what he wanted. I did it and he threw me back on my stomach. He took me roughly from behind. When he finished he drank some whiskey, lit a joint, and told me to leave him alone. I made it to the bathroom, untied my hands, and put on my bathrobe. I slept on this bunk. I woke up in pain.”

He moved to her side and sat down beside her. She realized he was crying and began sobbing herself.

She said, “It was all so awful. Now he is being unusually kind. He even sent me those roses today.”

He said, “That low down son of a bitch. He is going to pay for this.”

She grabbed his balled up fist, “No, it is not worth it. I am okay.”

“The hell you are. Now let me see your back,” he said reaching for her shirt. She ground her teeth as he pulled it up.

“Oh my God! I have seen some bad things, but this is too much. You poor darling! No wonder you did not want me to touch you. You should have gone to the hospital. I can take you now. I have my license even though I don’t have a vehicle,” he said.

“No, no one can know!” She said quietly.

“I know!” He exclaimed.

“You would not let it go. Others would not either. Someone would get in terrible trouble. You have to keep it a secret. Tell no one!” She said.

“You think I am a coward? I will give him worse than he ever imagined,” he said.

“You will let it go if you really care about me. I cannot lose you now,” she said and kissed him.

“I am afraid to touch you. I might harm you. How am I supposed to sit in the same room with him tonight?” He asked.

“You pretend it never happened and treat him just as you always have,” she said.

“You forget who I am, and try to take my manhood from me,” he said.

She whispered, “No, I know exactly who you are and I respect you more than you guess.”

“Maybe so, but you don’t understand what you are asking,” he said.

She said, “A time will come.”

He said, “I can guarantee you it will.”

She kissed him and put her arms around his neck. She said, “Thank you for not giving up until you got the truth and for listening. I needed someone to talk to about all of it. Why do you think he is being so nice now?”

He explained, “Probably because he feels guilty, is a coward, and thinks that being nice will save his ass by causing you to keep quiet about what happened. I am sure he knows he should have never treated you that way. He may be scared you will talk to the police. They would arrest him in a heartbeat after seeing your back. I will take you to talk to them if you want to go.”

She shook her head and said, “No, it would get back to others and they would not stop until they did something so horrible they would never be free again.”

He said, “You know sometimes consequences do not matter. Only revenge matters, there is satisfaction in making someone pay for his or her actions.”

He kissed her gently and said, “You know someone should put something soothing on those welts. I do not know how you will avoid terrible scars. How can you trust anyone when he did this to you?”

She smiled, “Just because one person does something hurtful does not mean that another person is also cruel. Each one should be held accountable for his or her own actions. God calls us to let go our judgment of all others and love each other alike. Forgiveness is a gift of peace that we give to ourselves.”

He said, “I knew there was a reason I admired you. Come sit in my lap for a few minutes before I leave. This has not been exactly the afternoon I envisioned. I do not pretend to understand why you insist I keep this secret and mete out no punishment. I will warn you not to come between our characters in Ambazzar. How are you going to answer questions from the others tonight? They may not call you out on it as I did, but they are apt to wonder about anything you tell them.”

She said, “The others tend to be less observant than you. Sometimes I think they all consider me just another of the guys.”

He said, “I can assure you they all realize you are not one of the guys.”

He kissed her long and passionately. He said, “He managed to come between us again. One day I will have you all to myself.”

She said, “I would like that very much. Now you should probably be leaving. I cannot imagine what he would do if he caught us together like this. I do not think it would be pretty. He was not even happy you carried me out of the woods.”

He asked, “Do you think that is why he did this to you? Do you think he suspects us?”

She answered, “No, but there is some tension between you two. I have been watching it for months now. You are a leader, and I know he resents authority.”

He said, “I think you have a lively imagination. Take good care and don’t get hurt!”

He kissed her once more and slipped out the door. The apartment felt so empty to her when he left.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Otherwise Entertained (14)

Sitting at her desk, Morgan thought about Kelvin. He would have a hard time carrying her secret and keeping his hands off Tony. She knew he never backed down from a challenge and always defended his friends. His admission of care for her put her in the position where he would want to fight for her. He was not a jock, but he had proven when he carried her from the woods that he was strong. Only her pleas that he not act on his feelings of revenge would keep him from beating Tony mercilessly, if those worked. She was unwilling to give up the game nights, but maybe Tony would fall away from the group. She knew there would be some repercussions for his treatment of her. Even if they did not know what happened, the others would probably sense something. Kelvin might not act in reality, but Kaos had no inhibitions.

She took the green Royal out of its case and rolled in a sheet of typing paper. She thought how things were between she and Kelvin and began a poem.

Dangerous

Hidden beneath the surface
Not allowed the light,
Their passion like a jewel
Centered deep inside.

No one must hear a whisper,
No tales could now be told,
Their kisses must be secret
Treasured dear as gold.

No longer a maiden
Not counted extremely fair,
Worried, conscience laden,
Afraid promises to foreswear.

A knight golden
Striving to be white,
To no one beholden,
Spoiling for a fight.

A quite unlikely couple
Though friends throughout time,
An affair born in trouble
Surely could not be a crime.

She took the paper from the typewriter and read it over. It was like most of her poems, something no one else would ever read, but it eased her soul to write the words.

She heard the Camaro pull into the driveway and tucked the poem beneath some other papers in a desk drawer.

Tony unlocked the door and burst into the apartment, the door banging against her desk. His eyes swept the room and came to rest on her face.

He said, “I see you got the roses. Do you like them?”

She sighed and answered, “They are quite beautiful and totally unexpected.”

He smirked and said, “You deserve them and so much more.”

He walked to the bedroom and came back changed from his brown uniform into jeans and a striped shirt.

He took her hands and asked, “Would you like to have a steak tonight? I think it would be nice before we go to Ramsey’s house.

She gently disengaged her hands from his and said, “That sounds very nice. You know I enjoy steak.”

He gathered their gaming things from the black metal shelf, gave her purse to her, and said, “Let’s go then. Is your ankle still hurting? I can drive Katie for you.”

“That would be nice,” she said as she limped to the passenger side of her car.

He came around her, set the books on the hood, and opened her door.

Her eyebrows raised as she said, “Thanks Tony.”

As he closed the heavy door he said, “You are very welcome.”

He drove to the restaurant and opened her door for her. He held her arm, allowing her to lean on him as they walked inside. After they finished the meal, he helped her back to the car and made sure she was comfortably seated before starting the Cadillac.

At Ramsey’s house, he helped her inside and went back to the car.

Wagner asked, “Shouldn’t your ankle be better by now?”

Several of the others nodded in agreement and looked at her closely.

She swallowed and answered, “I guess it was a little more serious than I thought.”

Kelvin shuffled some papers and said, “I think we are in for quite an adventure tonight. I am looking forward to it.”

Tony came in with their books and gaming gear. He handed Morgan’s things to her and started to sit down near Kelvin who suddenly spread his books out into that space. Tony changed direction and took an empty chair across the room.

Morgan noticed some puzzled looks pass between the guys. Kelvin gave a slight shrug when their eyes met his.

Ramsey gave them a little background on the nearby dungeon through non-player character conversation in the tavern where their adventures began. The group rode out in high spirits.

Tony’s character, Cornelius, took the lead position, entering the dungeon first. When they encountered a small group of Minotaur, the fighting became intense.

When only one Minotaur remained, Kelvin rolled his dice and announced, “Kaos accidentally hits Cornelius in the back with his sword while aiming for the Minotaur. He does six points damage.”

Ramsey rolled his dice behind the screen and said, “The Minotaur hits Cornelius with its axe and he falls to ground, bleeding profusely.”

Max called out, “Silas attempts to pull Cornelius away from the fighting.”

Kelvin and Ramsey rolled dice simultaneously and Ramsey said, “The Minotaur lifts Cornelius’ nearly lifeless body and darts into the shadows.”

The rest of the group pursued the Minotaur, but it got away in a maze of corridors. Ramsey rolled some dice and told them, “You find a room with several doors…”

The adventure continued for an hour in which Tony could only watch and listen because the group did not return to town. When Morgan glanced at Kelvin, he gave her a satisfied smile.

Ramsey suggested they take a break and have some snacks. They all filed into the kitchen carrying on lively conversations about the game. Morgan noticed Tony sullenly refused to participate. Kelvin seemed determined to keep his distance from her husband.

They returned to the den and Tony rolled a new character. In their next sally into the dungeon, Kelvin’s character, Kaos, again turned his weapons on Tony’s character. Tony was left sitting quietly in the background as the game continued around him.

When the game broke up about an hour later, Tony left the house without a word to anyone. Kelvin picked up Morgan’s gaming gear along with his own and walked her to the car. Tony was already sitting in the passenger seat with the stereo blaring.

Kelvin opened the driver’s side door and deposited Morgan’s gear in the back seat. He said, “Tony, don’t you think you should drive? Your wife seems in no shape to be handling a vehicle.”

Morgan paused before sitting down and heard Tony say, “She can drive well enough. What was your idea of killing my characters tonight?”

Kelvin laughed and said, “Just bad luck, sometimes it is all in the roll of the dice.”

He patted her on the shoulder, saying, “You take care of yourself and drive carefully. You know our numbers if you need anything.”

He closed the door and backed away from the car. When she cranked it and began backing away, he waved.

The driving was not so bad, but when she attempted to turn the stereo down Tony batted her hand away from the knob.

He yelled, “Take me to the liquor store. I need some Jack Daniels.”

She drove there and he slammed Katie’s door especially hard when he got out. She turned the stereo off and enjoyed the quiet. After a few minutes, he came out with a brown paper bag.

He said, “I picked up another bottle of Bacardi 151 so you can join me as I drink tonight.”

She took a moment before saying, “The bottle we had was not nearly empty, but it is nice of you to think of me.”

He turned the stereo back on at high volume. When they reached the apartment, he jumped out of the car leaving their gaming gear in the back seat. She gathered it and limped to the closed apartment door. She was not surprised when she found it locked. She opened the door and stepped inside. She saw him pouring Bacardi 151 into a glass on the bar.

He said, “You were right. Your bottle was not near empty. I took the liberty of preparing your drink for you.”

As he put it in her hand she said, “Thank you, but I really did not need it.”

He took a Led Zeppelin album out and placed it on the turntable. He said, “You may not need the drink, but I don’t want to drink alone.”

He sat down on a bunk and began drinking. She sat in her desk chair and listened to the music. It was not as loud as he had played the stereo in the car because he could not afford to disturb the neighbors above or in the other basement apartment next to theirs.

He patted the seat next to him and said, “Come on over here. I don’t bite.”

She joined him, but asked, “Don’t you think you ought to get to bed since you have work tomorrow?”

He answered, “It is not as late as some nights and I really need to calm down after this evening. I never realized how boring it was to just sit and watch the game being played. I wanted to punch Kelvin for killing my characters. Tonight was awful. I am not sure I will go Wednesday. I could go hang out with Michael while you were gone.”

She said, “I am sorry it was not pleasant for you. I am also very glad you did not hit Kelvin. It would have been bad for a fight to break out over the game. Ramsey’s mother might have banned everyone from playing there anymore and that would be unfair to the others.”

He said, “Yeah, I thought of that. I knew it was all an accident anyway. I have not been in a fistfight in years and did not want to hurt anyone.”

She said, “It was good you thought about it. I would hate to see you in a fight. You might get hurt and that would make me unhappy.”

He finished his drink and said, “I think I will head to bed. Work time comes early. Will you join me, I hate for you to sleep up here.”

She said, “I will be back in a while. I have a few things to do before I settle down. I will slip in quietly without disturbing your rest. Sleep well with sweet dreams.”

He left the room and then she heard the bedroom door close. She thought about what Kelvin had done during the game and smiled. She knew he would like to do something similar in real life, but she was glad he had restrained himself throughout the evening. She wondered what all of them would think of her coming to play alone, but she guessed she was enough a part of the group that it would make little difference.

She took out the poem she had written that afternoon and read it again. It was not great, but she liked it. Maybe one day she could share it with Kelvin. He might like it, but then again some people had no use for poetry.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Friday, November 8, 2013

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Late, But Here Is PAD Challenge Poem Five

Inscrutable

It was all wrapped up
Inside memory’s deep vault
Without an entrance
That would allow anyone
Access to hidden treasures.

The scenes forever
Frozen with no projector
To show them on screen
Before an anxious cohort
Who wanted to understand.

A conversation
Unimportant, casual,
Undammed the river
Letting words finally flow
Swiftly toward completion.

Exercise of thought
Became normal once again,
The concealed came out
From behind velvet curtains
That had blacked out reality.

Yet words could never
Illustrate all nuances,
Little things forever
Lost within yawning caverns,
Time buried some in silence.


© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Wednesday, November 6, 2013

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PAD Challenge, Day 4, Late Poem

Missing Sheet

The story cannot
Be told without delving deep,
Unearthing hidden
Things, which might be much better
Forever left unspoken.

Memory is not
Infallible, but leaves blanks
Begging to be filled
With words of explanation
To give credibility.

Will the sheet missing
Be the most important part
That brings dignity
To characters living out
Imaginary stories?

What reality
Can be bent for inclusion
Without tarnishing
The fabric of worlds never seen
By eyes of total strangers?

Creating is not
A purely solitary
Endeavor for some,
It is filling in the blanks
On a tattered missing sheet.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Tuesday, November 5, 2013

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PAD Challenge Day 3: My poem

The prompt was to write a “the last time I was here” poem. I am not absolutely positive I did it right, but I hope you will like my offering anyway…

Traveling Backward

Looking over these waves
Softly, slowly lapping shore
I do remember
Moments of childhood splendor
Spent dreaming in sunshine here.

I conquered such waves
Shimmering over surface
On my narrow skis,
No one knows the songs I sang
To God, earth, water, and sky.

Now I have nothing
But memory to link me
To those magic times,
I come again a stranger
Not visiting for so long.

The water calls me,
Makes me want to leave safety
Far behind my back,
Dive deep and grab hold a rope,
But my boat, drivers, are gone.

I linger land locked,
Wishing I could retrace paths
That are no longer
Left open for one such as
I have now fully become.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Sunday, November 3, 2013

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PAD Challenge, Day 2, My Poem

Today’s prompt for the Poem-A-Day Challenge is to write a “news of the day” poem. I had not caught the news on television, so I went to Google News. I found little I wanted to read, but one article seemed timely…

They Did Not Tell US

Sometimes government
Gives citizens incomplete
Information or
Tells what appear outright lies;
Politician propaganda.

Everyone wanted
Improvement to the system,
But it was working
For many of the people;
Now it’s totally broken.

Some who were happy
With the coverage they had,
Now suddenly find
Their health plans being cancelled;
Replacements cost a fortune.

The outrageous fines,
The unneeded coverage,
Increased premiums,
Bank breaking deductibles;
Were never even mentioned.

Insurance reform
Was the promise as given,
But the cure seems worse
Than the symptoms of disease;
Affordable it is not.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Saturday, November 2, 2013

I hope I am overreacting. I hope it is not the disaster it seems, but I am concerned that we may all be in for worse than we have ever dreamed.

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I Am Late, But PAD Challenge Poem 1

The prompt for the Poem A Day Challenge Day 1 was to write an appearing poem. I am late as I did not get it done on November 1st, but I hope to stay current from now on… A tip of the hat to someone who made me think with a rather caustic remark…

How Things Appear

I am a writer…
I usually call all words
My beloved friends,
But when my motives become
Objects of question, I doubt.

Are some words really
So bad that using them in
Description causes
Others to feel besmirched when
The intention was no harm?

Maybe I need to
More carefully filter
The words I employ,
For I do not wish to cause
Anyone pain or offend.

People do come in
Varieties, differences
Are quite obvious,
I count it a great blessing
We are not exactly alike.

Red, Yellow, Brown, Black, White,
Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist, Agnostic,
Democrat, Republican, Constitutionalist, Independent, Confederate,
Heterosexual, Homosexual, Bisexual, Transsexual,
Male, Female, Young, Old, Overweight, Skinny,
Morning people, Night owls, Mentally ill, Able bodied, Differently enabled,
I could go on forever…

Is using a description evil?
I love people of all types, I write,
I celebrate what makes each of us individual,
We are each one an original,
God loves us all alike…
But maybe I should be more careful with my words,
Keeping up appearances and being politically correct…

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Saturday, November 2, 2013


I may never hear the end of this one, but my creativity took the reins and I spoke from the heart.

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I Have Been Productive Today

Of course I stayed up all night, but I took a nap between 7:00AM and noon. During the dark hours of the morning I had a burst of creativity. I hope you will enjoy the following offerings…

Deserted

Wondering where you
Might be hiding on this night
When all the stars shine
With such brilliant clarity
Above this earthly coldness.

I have no chance to
See your face among the others
Lingering so near
Because you are now absent,
Doing whatever you do.

I wanted to reach
Beyond these four lonely walls
So I could somehow
Share in the wonderful life
You are so richly living.

I am totally
Lost among those few ignored
By your provision,
You are moving far away
Into tomorrow’s distance.

Your greatest treasure
Alludes my outstretched fingers,
No effort of mind
Can make your goodness return
At this moment to grace me.

Wondering where you
Might be hiding on this night
When all the stars shine
With such brilliant clarity
Above this earthly coldness.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan 
Monday, October 28, 2013

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I found these weeds attractive. I sometimes think God’s greatest creations grow wild.

 

Otherwise Entertained (6)

She lettered in chorus during her freshman, sophomore, and junior years. Before she completed high school in the first quarter of her senior year, she took a trip to Washington, D.C. with the chorus. There was a competition held there for groups from all over the country. Tony insisted Morgan go, even though she was hesitant to leave him.

The trip was memorable because she visited some of the highlights of the city. She wished the time spent in the Smithsonian Museum had not been very limited. There was so much to see. The Washington and Lincoln monuments were inspiring. When she sang in the National Cathedral, she found its glory overwhelming. The Capitol was gorgeous, as was the White House, but she was disappointed in the great mall. The litter everywhere detracted from the beauty of the area. 

She did not call home to talk to her husband often because long distance was so expensive. There was a dance, but she sat to the side in her royal blue dress, only watching the others. She was often left alone when her roommates decided to do something interesting. She shopped for things to take home to Tony and her parents. She found a tee shirt for Tony, a necklace for her mother, and a carved pocketknife for her father. She also bought commemorative postcards. Traveling by bus was not very pleasant, reminding her of the harrowing times she had spent on school buses through the years.

When she returned home, she and Tony celebrated by going out for steaks and drinks. Morgan loved feeling her husband’s arms around her again. She had felt uneasy while so far away. She belonged back where love surrounded her.

She thought of this trip when they were planning their vacation. She hoped to go back and take time to see everything Washington contained, but Tony wanted to go to Panama City as they had on their honeymoon. Morgan could not argue. She had enjoyed the first trip tremendously, except the motorcycle accident. She had scraped herself up quite a bit and chipped a front tooth. He did not seem to realize his recklessness had caused her harm. She hoped the vacation would be more relaxing.

They checked in to the Fontainebleau in the early evening after driving most of the day. She and Tony showered together, taking their time, before getting ready for supper. They ate seafood in the restaurant and then went swimming in the indoor pool. The full moon hung huge in the sky as they walked the sugar white beach. She gathered shells, even finding a starfish and a sand dollar. They only had three days and those hurried by like the seagulls flying over the ocean. She managed to avoid sunburn on her pale skin because Tony kept her slathered in Coppertone. She did the same for him because he also had a light complexion.

On the drive home, they narrowly avoided an accident because Tony fell asleep at the wheel. Morgan’s scream probably kept Katie from sustaining significant damage and might have saved them from injury as well.

She hoped this time she would be pregnant, but it did not happen. After all their lovemaking, it seemed a baby should result. She began to think something was wrong with her, even imagining she might be cursed.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Monday, October 28, 2013

 

2013-10 Contest Proof

 

2013-10 Featured Proof

I am grateful:

1)   Alex arrived in California safely.
2)   Laying out the Sweetwater Camera Club pages for the Chapel Hill News & Views has become considerably easier.
3)   I am enjoying writing Otherwise Entertained and believe it may develop into something significant.
4)   Window 8.1 works better than I expected.
5)   I am getting some use from my Adobe Creative Cloud membership.

You are highly creative, gifted with the ability to fulfill your dreams. All it takes is consistent effort. Make sure you take the time today to share your talent with the world. You never know what blessings you may bestow on others through your work. So many people are looking for something to allow them a few moments of escape, you can provide this gift.

As a prompt, write about someone who left you alone and how it helped you grow. You might write a poem, a story, a journal entry, or even a note for future use. This should be simple because everyone has suffered abandonment.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope it entertained you. If you enjoyed your time here, you might want to enter your email address above and subscribe to Chronicles. As I indicated, the snippet from Otherwise Entertained above is the sixth part. The whole story is on the blog, so you might want to catch up by reading the earlier pieces if you are new here. The archives contain a great deal of material you might enjoy, so feel free to explore.

I hope you have a totally awesome day and return here often in the future.

Always,
Jo Ann

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Creativity Continues To Visit

Today seems to be one of those days I am given a multitude of words. I hope you will read this blog entry and the one before it. They might have a positive effect on you and that would be exactly what I wanted…

First, I want to ask you to do me a huge favor, click on the following link and like Hope’s picture on Facebook: Douglas Oaks Animal Hospital  Costume Contest Hope. We are trying to win an annual exam worth $115 from Hope’s vet. This would help me a great deal because it is always a struggle to afford this expense. You do not have to be my friend on Facebook to help, just like Hope’s photo by following the link. I would be so grateful for your help.

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This is a copy of the picture you should like on Facebook. Hope really wants to win…

Live Life Fully Alive

Things come at you
So very fast,
Do not overlook
The ones meaning
The most to you.

Discard the weeds
Which would tangle up
Your purposes and
Weigh you heavy down,
You have no need of them.

Devote your moments
To those things you love,
The ones that feed
The creativity of your mind
Giving you sustaining strength.

Make plenty of time
For the people who
Support your dreams
And encourage your heart,
They are precious treasure.

There is no time to waste
On meaningless negativity
Or most hurtful hate,
Make yourself positive,
Live life fully alive.

Forgive others, for peace
Within your heart will
Only then reside,
Be kind, helpful, generous
And reap bountiful returns.

Things come at you
So very fast,
Do not overlook
The ones meaning
The most to you.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

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The littlest things can make a big difference. You never know when the smile you share will lighten someone’s heavy heart. The kind word you say could heal a wound. Everything you do matters, so make sure you spread love abroad in this world. The soul you touch could later touch your own.

Let all you do be done prayerfully, ever mindful of God’s presence with you and in the world. You are never forgotten by the Creator of the Universe. He has His eyes upon you continually and He lavishes you in His unconditional love. Not a moment passes without His notice of you needs, your desires, your dreams. Christ holds you in His hands always. Let His great peace surround you and be kind wherever you may travel.

Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes and you are apt to get blisters… Walk a mile beside someone and you are apt to understand what troubles them and how to help them… Be a friend, not just a spectator to another’s life… God will amply bless you for your generosity… No good deed goes without reward!

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Embrace Your Gifts

You may not think so,
But you are a being
Blessed with creativity.
You were meant to
Live fully well and
Achieve your fondest dreams.
You are gifted with
So much talent,
You must firmly believe.
No one can make you
Do what you need to
Accomplish besides yourself.
You are a wonder
Filled with great passion
Able to do creative magic.
Just apply yourself,
Make a conscious effort,
You bring beauty to life.
Do not hide the fire
Burning within your soul,
Set it free, it will make you whole.
Give your heart a chance
To reach out to the world
Creating things of lasting value.
You may not think so,
But you are a being
Blessed with creativity.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I hope you will create something to share with the world today. You have unique gifts to contribute to other people’s lives. Anyone can engage their creativity if they only make an effort. You have the talent and ability.

This post is a little different than some, because I have already blogged today. Please visit the previous post.

Always,
Jo Ann

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Ramblings Of A Sleepless Mind

You are not required to stay up all night to reap the benefits of my activity. Please just follow along…

Journal 10-22-20130001

I want to start up my business again, but I don’t have any capital to begin… I guess dreaming is the best I can do. I wish I could win the lottery, but somehow I think that is unlikely since I do not buy tickets… If wishes were horses, beggars would ride…

My dog, Hope, has expensive tastes, she likes pistachios. I can hardly afford them for myself, what am I supposed to do now that the dog begs for them whenever I get the bag out?

What’s on your mind? Funny you should ask, because I have been thinking about trying to start my magazine up online. It would be a literary and art magazine showcasing a wide variety of talent as it was when I published it in print form. I do not know if I have a wide enough network to gather submissions, and I am not sure I have the discretionary time to afford all the effort required, but I am considering it. I have the prerequisite software for it and I think I might be able to secure web hosting… Am I ready to take the reins as editor and publisher again? It is not an easy job, for writers are sometimes troublesome, but I like a challenge… I wonder if I am too old to begin doing it again. It is a huge task and requires diligence… So that is what is on my mind…

Have you ever noticed that as a usual thing every other version Microsoft releases is great? Take Windows 98, great; Windows Millennium, not so good; Windows XP, great; Windows Vista, not so good; Windows 7, great; Windows 8, not so good; Windows 8.1, decent… Why do we beta test for them on every other release? Seems like their software engineers would get it together every time. Maybe they need to quit rushing out versions and wait until they have a solid release…

I just realized it was after 2:00AM… I am wide awake and feeling creative. Why is it that nighttime seems to be the time of ideas for me? I want to be a morning person, but it just does not work for me. I am a hopeless night owl. The daytime world just does not have the appeal of after dark… Is something wrong with me? I wake up when the sun goes down… not the greatest attribute.

I should have known coffee in the afternoon was a mistake, but did that stop me? Not in the least did it dissuade me… Sometimes I disregard the better part of my judgment. So I am up and feeling full of energy halfway through the night…

Why am I still in this place when I really want to move forward? Maybe fear is stopping me, but what is that about? I fear failure, because it is very hard for creatives to succeed. I fear success, because it would overturn all sorts of things in my life. I want to perfect things before I bring them out before others, and that keeps me in a stalled state, because really I can do nothing perfectly.
I am determined to get past these barriers to achieving the life I want, but it is hard… One step I can take is being positive, another step is to gather the material for what I want to accomplish. These are easy things and I should be able to do them, one small step at a time.
I am capable and I believe that my dreams can become a reality, so as I advise others, I must make the effort and continue going forward…

Going With The Flow

Rolling, that is what happens
When you allow time to wash
Over you without resistance,
You roll forward creeping into
Places you never realized you
Were really meant to go.
Time overtakes you and takes
You over the rough spaces
Where intention would not
Allow you to succeed without
A great deal of extra effort
You might unwillingly expend.
Your perfectionism cannot
Hinder you because the momentum
Comes from beyond yourself,
You drift on currents that lift
Your fragile spirits up higher
Than you ever imagined going.
You roll, a creative force,
Unstoppable, moving through
Both time and space with only
One idea to carry you onward,
A positive declaration that you
Will finally accomplish your dreams.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Adjusted the settings on my mouse… Now this clunky mouse works like the best I have ever had. Who knew tweaking the software could make such improvements? Now I think I love the Logitech M705. It is like having a whole new mouse.

Just fixed a cup of coffee because I have decided I want to stay up all day… Should be no problem, the night is nearly over and daylight will soon arrive. Now if only the coffee cup cools down enough that I can drink from it…

Mom gave me some pens she has not used. Ink pens! Gel pens! I love free pens… My Mom is the greatest! Happy, happy, happy!

If you wish to achieve, you must first believe! You can exceed any goal you have decreed! Just continue forward and your effort will manifest what you are working toward!

Coffee! In a seasonal cup, coffee, what more can you ask for?

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Fulfilling A Need

What do we want?
Poems!
Where do we get them?
We make them!
How do we do that?
We engage our creativity!
Who benefits?
The people of the world!
Why does it matter?
It wakes people to happiness!
When can we do it?
Now, because time is slipping by!
What do we want?
Poems!

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Invitation Only

Come! Whispered on the air,
Inviting you to join
Others already there…
Come! Such gentle care
Exhibited for all,
Do you want to share?
Come! Do you dare
Accept the invitation,
So very fair?
Come! Do not delay
Make your choice right away
While you have the chance today!
Come! Christ beckons,
The Spirit encourages,
Come as your heart reckons!
Come! While time makes way
Because the moments flee quickly
Hearken now for seconds slip away.
Come! Your choice cannot wait,
Be fast to answer the quiet call
For it urgently decides your fate.
Come! Whispered on the air,
Inviting you to join
Others already there…

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

These are the nighttime, early morning, ramblings of a restless mind. You should join me at Jo Ann J. A. Jordan on Facebook if you would like to follow my adventures there… Lots of things make it there that never see the blog. I only put it all here today because I thought you might like to experience the process.

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I am grateful:

1)   I have equipment that helps me reach my creative potential.
2)   I am old enough to choose my bedtime, most of the time anyway.
3)   People still visit my blog, even though I am no longer doing the Creativity Project.
4)   Life is a gift we can enjoy in the moment.
5)   People are a precious blessing when they touch my life.

As a prompt, write a how, what, when, where, who, why poem. If you need an example, reread the one I did above. If you are a visual artist, instead of poet, picture something that explore at least one of the aspects. I know you can do this, and I bet you will enjoy it. Your creativity is at least as bountiful as mine.

Thank you so much for visiting Chronicles and reading this post. You might find it enjoyable to browse the archives. There is much material contained there. If you like what you found here you can subscribe for email updates by entering your address in the space provided.

I hope your day meets your expectations. Generally you get out of the hours in direct proportion to what you invest, so make each moment special.

Always,
Jo Ann

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