Another week has flown. I almost didn’t make this one. It’s been a tricky time and I’ve been kind of overwhelmed. Back on track now. The last editing gig is almost done and the tangle of personal bits and bobs are starting to resolve themselves at last. Anyway, moving on. Just two of us taking part in the challenge, so no voting required. Not sure if the change of days has affected things or if the stars of creativity just failed to align for the folk who would usually appear. We shall have to see. In the meantime, here are the entries inspired by Jono Dry’s art.
Fibro, my Frenemy – by Theresa Derwin
It tears at my insides, fiendish claws of pain ripping away my flesh.
Yet when I look at my skin, all I can see is the pale, bruised packaging for the pain that lives inside.
The wrapping that hides my inner agony.
Fibromyalgia – or Fibro.
It’s an old, familiar friend by now. Or would that be frenemy?
I ‘got’ Fibro over ten years ago, after major surgery. It snuck up on me, niggles of pain here, a purplish lump there, swollen joints, sickness, and tiredness.
It was unobtrusive to start with. Before it really made itself known.
‘Nothing to see here’, it said. ‘That pain, it’s just a blip. You’re recovering from surgery. What do you expect?’
My family and friends echoed those sentiments.
Then blamed me.
You’re doing too much!
Are you sure you didn’t overdo it? Or you’re not imagining the pain?
Like it was some sort of embarrassing peccadillo, an affair perhaps, and it was all my fault.
Or it wasn’t real.
So, I questioned my own sanity, until a friend directed me to a website.
I read through pages and pages of information, absorbing data like a vacuum sucking up dirt.
Then printed it, hi-lighted excerpts that screamed ‘yes, this is you!’
Then test after test, therapy that didn’t work, meds that sometimes did and sometimes didn’t.
Now, I still live, I’m here. Weaker in body but stronger in spirit and mind.
And words are my therapy. My muse is my medicine.
I’ll not be truly well again, but I will continue to fight, onwards and upwards, because I know no other way.
I will always keep fighting.
It isn’t in me to quit.
Slip-skin – by Dion Winton-Polak
I lie, frozen, rooted savagely to the spot.
Hot, holy hole. Wholly unwholesome,
Dumb, mute with acute pain. Insane.
And the blame? Who’s to blame for the
roaring red lace-work that’s etched in
my flesh, for the flame of the shame
that has rendered me numb?
Is he done? Has he gone?
My tongue hides in the roof of my mouth,
pressed tight out of sight, out of sound.
Lips stick. And the stink! I can’t think of
a stench more profound than the acrid
aroma surrounding the bed.
I wish I was dead.
The thought steals in through the cracks
of my skull, unobtrusively creeping,
seeping and steeping and leaving me dull.
I stare at the wall, and feel myself fall
out of sight, into mind.
His darkness throbs with fiendish glee
but it’s empty, hollow, abandoned
and free from the troublesome feelings
of pity and doubt. I could scream
but is anyone here?
Does he even feel fear?
Snake-like, I’ll wind through the labyrinth
I find in the fecal confines of his head.
So lightly I’ll taste/smell his memory, cut
through his history, he’ll barely tell.
I will shatter his fucking shell.
Send him to Hell.
Plutonic is a word that comes to mind,
his hatred’s deathly chill. A dearth of
personality. Banality belies the charms
he wove to trap his flies. Rage dies
for a while letting sorrow sink in.
That nauseating grin.
It catches me cold, and clutches, crushes
my heart. I start! Through his eyes
I espy his fulsome lips, reflected in glass
as he peers at his profile and slaps
at his arse like a champ.
My soul cramps.
Peccadillo, he calls it, his one tiny sin,
snaring tourists to take them apart.
Stone heart, wrapped in morello skin,
fleshless and deathless, maggoty
sour to the tongue.
I expand and I fill him, scraping his thought
from the arches and whorls of his brain.
With sinuous flexes I stretch and I shuck him,
the broken, despicable, cancerous thing
that I fling in disgust to the bed.
Let him feel what it’s like to be inside my head.
So he lies, frozen, rooted savagely to the spot.
Wretched Raoul, rotting.
So, yeah. Bit brutal. Sorry about that. The reason I use images to help prompt these pieces is that they speak to people in so many different ways. Sometimes they’ll help us to soar, sometimes they’ll drag us to places we’d rather not be. That’s it, I guess. I’ll post the next challenge up on Saturday 15th June, so keep your eye out!