PaulDChambers
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Words spew out of me in stories and poems. Published author, poet and ghost.
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I love hearing poetry recited and It's been a while since we've had a spoken word challenge. Let's read poetry out loud. I remember how nice it was to hear the voices of our Prosers when we had this challenge. Let's give it another go? You can recite your own poetry or choose a Proser to choose from your work to read. You can also choose to read another Proser's poetry if they allow you to. Post the link of your recording on your challenge entry. (sound cloud, google drive, etc.)
Written by PaulDChambers in portal Spoken Word

Hope, Oh Hoopoe (spoken version)

Cut and paste in your browser: https://soundcloud.com/pablogetsharder/hope-oh-hoopoe

Carved slices of inspiration from yellow Spanish sun

imbibing whirling words born of this hazy, lazy peace

the hoopoe hopes I hear his whooping cry of help

I hark it, friend, and eat it hungry, up with sprinkles

of warmth, the drizzles of sunkissed lizard skitters

and so I lasso swooping playful parakeets with

cerebral gossamer threads and ride high with them

flying aside their vivid green feathers in azure skies

shimmers fade gentle to dusk, chill night's creeping

bright blue turns to purples shot red, as if bruised by

hurt inflicted by busy locals numb to daily treasures

taken for granted, another brilliantine day ignored

resulting scars smear, besmirching sky’s toil and spark.

all whilst this solo man wrenches tentacle clutching

steely coils and clock springs lose grip, loosening and

unwinding to turn languid and lax. Oiled with wine

crushed of local grapes, the crux of nearby rich soil

fecund fruits that nourish earth with beauty, bounty

mediterranean. And sit I, among the whisper voices

distant dogs lamenting the strut of far stray cats

alone amid it all, invisible roots darting down

into ancient strata. By myself yet so full, fulfilled

love and life course through my veins, my carbon

spiked grey metal memories sluffed and cast asunder

break on rubble and bones of umbilical humdrums.

life flows by sonder, relinquishes, and settles at last.

[I hate my voice, I hate my voice, I hate my voice]

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I love hearing poetry recited and It's been a while since we've had a spoken word challenge. Let's read poetry out loud. I remember how nice it was to hear the voices of our Prosers when we had this challenge. Let's give it another go? You can recite your own poetry or choose a Proser to choose from your work to read. You can also choose to read another Proser's poetry if they allow you to. Post the link of your recording on your challenge entry. (sound cloud, google drive, etc.)
Written by PaulDChambers in portal Spoken Word
Hope, Oh Hoopoe (spoken version)
Cut and paste in your browser: https://soundcloud.com/pablogetsharder/hope-oh-hoopoe

Carved slices of inspiration from yellow Spanish sun
imbibing whirling words born of this hazy, lazy peace
the hoopoe hopes I hear his whooping cry of help
I hark it, friend, and eat it hungry, up with sprinkles
of warmth, the drizzles of sunkissed lizard skitters
and so I lasso swooping playful parakeets with
cerebral gossamer threads and ride high with them
flying aside their vivid green feathers in azure skies
shimmers fade gentle to dusk, chill night's creeping
bright blue turns to purples shot red, as if bruised by
hurt inflicted by busy locals numb to daily treasures
taken for granted, another brilliantine day ignored
resulting scars smear, besmirching sky’s toil and spark.
all whilst this solo man wrenches tentacle clutching
steely coils and clock springs lose grip, loosening and
unwinding to turn languid and lax. Oiled with wine
crushed of local grapes, the crux of nearby rich soil
fecund fruits that nourish earth with beauty, bounty
mediterranean. And sit I, among the whisper voices
distant dogs lamenting the strut of far stray cats
alone amid it all, invisible roots darting down
into ancient strata. By myself yet so full, fulfilled
love and life course through my veins, my carbon
spiked grey metal memories sluffed and cast asunder
break on rubble and bones of umbilical humdrums.
life flows by sonder, relinquishes, and settles at last.

[I hate my voice, I hate my voice, I hate my voice]
#adventure  #poetry  #philosophy  #spirituality  #spokenword 
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Written by PaulDChambers in portal Poetry & Free Verse

You're offended. That offends me.

The thing that astounds me

Will always confound me

Are the people who must take offense

Why not get your groove on

Click once and just move on

Take action that makes much more sense.

If I’m to be brutal

It really is futile

To censor all those that say fuck

Your offense is collateral

At pics of what’s natural

Tell me, is this really what’s up?

It’s phonetics and sounds

Description of mounds

Biology formed of just letter

Associate meaning

Gets you vent spleening

As creatives, we must be much better.

If swearing is shocking

Then get busy blocking

Don’t throw the art under the bus

The onus lies with those

It’s the users, not Prose

Censor your homes and not us.

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Written by PaulDChambers in portal Poetry & Free Verse
You're offended. That offends me.
The thing that astounds me
Will always confound me
Are the people who must take offense
Why not get your groove on
Click once and just move on
Take action that makes much more sense.

If I’m to be brutal
It really is futile
To censor all those that say fuck
Your offense is collateral
At pics of what’s natural
Tell me, is this really what’s up?

It’s phonetics and sounds
Description of mounds
Biology formed of just letter
Associate meaning
Gets you vent spleening
As creatives, we must be much better.

If swearing is shocking
Then get busy blocking
Don’t throw the art under the bus
The onus lies with those
It’s the users, not Prose
Censor your homes and not us.
#poetry  #philosophy  #opinion  #fuck  #censorship 
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Written by PaulDChambers in portal Flash Fiction

termination

It began with kiss cooling on soured shoulders in vast darkness. End written by dull lips on proffered cheek where once her smile had lived. 

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Written by PaulDChambers in portal Flash Fiction
termination
It began with kiss cooling on soured shoulders in vast darkness. End written by dull lips on proffered cheek where once her smile had lived. 
#fiction  #philosophy  #relationships  #flashfiction 
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Written by PaulDChambers in portal Poetry & Free Verse

cargo

She was a parcel marked fragile

beautifully packaged and sealed

filled to bursting with odd debris

life’s flotsam and jetsam stuffed

alongside passions, bleak thoughts

airtight, dreams held imprisoned

with shards of past harsh bastards

and pockets of self-doubt, worries.

She was marked fragile and arrived

I hold this receptacle of negativity,

begin tenderly to pick apart edges

pluck harsh content from dark insides

and place, so gently, replace the bad

with mirrors reflected and vivid lights

each day, I take away a little more rot

so that she will have futures unbroken.

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Written by PaulDChambers in portal Poetry & Free Verse
cargo
She was a parcel marked fragile
beautifully packaged and sealed
filled to bursting with odd debris
life’s flotsam and jetsam stuffed
alongside passions, bleak thoughts
airtight, dreams held imprisoned
with shards of past harsh bastards
and pockets of self-doubt, worries.

She was marked fragile and arrived
I hold this receptacle of negativity,
begin tenderly to pick apart edges
pluck harsh content from dark insides
and place, so gently, replace the bad
with mirrors reflected and vivid lights
each day, I take away a little more rot
so that she will have futures unbroken.


#nonfiction  #poetry  #philosophy  #spirituality  #opinion 
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Written by PaulDChambers in portal Haiku

Thresh

invisible threads

the links to those whom we love

all that stops the blade 

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Written by PaulDChambers in portal Haiku
Thresh
invisible threads
the links to those whom we love
all that stops the blade 
#nonfiction  #poetry  #philosophy  #culture  #opinion 
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Written by PaulDChambers in portal Horror & Thriller

Chapter 1 - Manners Maketh Man (Book 2)

January 2002.

Detective Inspector George Lentus looked at the ghost of his sister, sat in the chair exactly opposite him, and breathed out a deeply sad sigh. She'd always had something to say; always had an opinion. Her delicate, young, almost childlike face had always seemed to contradict the wisdom and fierce opinions she hadn’t been scared to vocalise. Even now, it seemed, death wasn’t going to be holding her back when it came to voicing them.

He’d always loved Polly’s spirit, admired how much fight she had in her while he was so socially inept, so unable to comfortably debate, to discuss. To converse, even, at times. He was so shamefully stunted, needing to adopt an invisible mask to get by. She was so full of vitality and life.

Was. Past tense. To be used correctly. He still had to remind himself.

His beautiful and candid dead sister, Polly, spat out the eight fingers and two thumbs that signalled the onslaught of her talking. It was an idiosyncrasy she had developed posthumously, and one that Lentus was sure he would never get used to.

‘Lenny, I think you’re being too hard on yourself. It wasn’t that bad,’ she assured him.

Gravity always took the fingers, the thumbs. Every single time she spoke. Flakes of dried blood drifted once more to the floor, resting by her feet; one bare and one with a shoe still on it. She had been dead now four years, four months, two weeks and a day. So much had happened since that bastard had killed her and left her lying in the waste ground with her mouth full of her cut off fingers and thumbs. Lentus had nearly had him. He often wondered if she would remain after he caught her murderer. He also wondered if he wanted her to. On that conundrum, he was torn.

Of course, she wasn’t actually there. Lentus always told himself that. That was a self-preservation thing. He did it now without realising it. It was nothing more than a mental tic. It was always only his subconscious speaking, he continually reminded himself. A narrative that arguably maintained his sanity, despite the fact that he could neither tell a single person about it or how it evidently twisted the pressure valve of his lunacy just enough to release the steam and keep him out of a straightjacket.

No. It certainly isn’t a ghost. She isn’t a ghost. That just wouldn’t be scientific. It wasn’t linear – and Lentus needed linear. He was fully aware of that. As had Polly been, and still does.

Regardless of whether she was conjured up by his psyche or not, he responded: ‘Polly, come on now, love. It was bloody awful. Let’s not kid ourselves.’

He didn’t even look up from the newspapers when he said this, his stare locked ahead. His eyes blurred as January blustered noisily against the windows outside the apartment, hissing wind bringing rounds of drops of water that ticked on the glass with each new gust. Oblivious to winter’s bitter ululations, Lentus once again focused on the newspapers in front of him, placed with perfect symmetry on his lounge table. He had kept them there for over six weeks to remind himself that he had work to do. Constant work that required resolve that shouldn’t ever be allowed to fade with time passing. His tenacity didn’t need the visual nudge, of course; but they stayed there nonetheless. They were like birch twigs with which to flagellate himself. A scab that he would pick until he had set things right, and only then could the occurrences settle into being a less immediate scar. 

Until that time came, he kept himself wound tightly and pushed himself ever harder and harder.

His eyes fell upon the black and white text screaming out from the press once more. He knew what each one said by memory now, but he forced his eyes to take them in anyway. Tighten the torture screw once more. The harbingers of doom were banging two main drums currently, two loud beats for the nation’s sheeple to dance to. The headlines were either instilling fear or dread about the terrorists in our midst; or they were fanning the fires of hysteria about the serial killer. The serial killer that he had let slip through his fingers six weeks ago. It hadn’t officially been confirmed or denied at that time that it was the same man; but the press didn’t care about that. A lack of facts didn’t stop them speculating. In fact, most of the time, a lack of facts allowed free license to inculcate in the public a similar level of terror to what Al Quaida had managed to do with the twin towers mere months ago.

The familiar sound of eight fingers and two thumbs hitting the floor, and then ‘Lenny, don’t worry. They’ll calm down. You’ll find him, too. I know you will. You always see things through.’

Lentus wasn’t so sure. The fingerprint had proven a hugely frustrating dead end. The evil bastard evidently didn’t have any previous convictions, a surprising turn of events for all of the force that had gleaned a glimmer of hope among the remorse of a fallen brother.

When a fellow policeman fell, it hit hard. They were a tight, global network, and any loss of life at the hand of criminals anywhere caused ripples through every nation’s force. It felt like good versus evil on a biblical scale at times. And whilst there were undoubtedly corrupt or cruel cops out there in the world, on the whole, it was a majority group that made it their daily task to fight the bad guys. Lost brothers or sisters in blue boiled the blood. Vengeance was required, yet dead ends wouldn’t allow that vengeance to be served.  

It was this that Lentus felt daily, and whilst it was never said nor inferred; he also felt the accusations that were never vocalised. HE had lost Gavin’s murderer. HE was to blame. He MUST bring him to justice.

Gavin had been the 14th victim of his nemesis. He needed him to be the last. The law and all those that served it and honoured it required that he be the last to be slain. They blamed him and they needed results. Even those that didn’t blame him deserved results. Positive ones to redress the balance of his monumental mess.

He had been torturing himself with these silent accusations for six weeks now. Christmas had been and gone, and Lentus had worked through the whole thing bar the short period when he was told to go home by his team. He’d bought a reduced-price turkey crown from a Spar on Christmas Eve and some microwavable vegetables; and it being cooked was the only acknowledgment that it had been Christmas day. That, he had done purely for the memory of Polly, who had loved Christmas and sat with him while he ate it joylessly. Besides that stilted nod to the season, there had been no decorations, no music, and none of the traditionally bad seasonal TV synonymous with the time of year. There were none of the standard things that would have been happening in most average homes across the globe, as they tended to pivot around family. Family was something that he no longer had. Just gloom. Guilt. And the reading and re-reading of the newspapers laid out on the table, scars he bore cut with ink on paper rather than metal on flesh.

In the time that had elapsed since Gavin’s grisly death, he had worked and toiled, paced and pondered, beaten and furrowed his brow. Whether in the office, car or rare moments in his flat; his thoughts were continually analysing every aspect of the cases. His head hurt from the continual thoughts that raced and spun, but he could never turn them off. When he actually managed to grasp a few moments of tortured sleep, he dreamt about it. 

He knew he was obsessing. He didn’t care.

He gazed upwards and locked eyes with Polly. She spat, she spoke.

‘You’ll make yourself ill, Lenny. You’ve lost weight, you look like you haven’t slept for weeks. You’ve got dark rings round your eyes. George Lentus, you look really bloody terrible’. She was using his proper name. She meant business. Or rather his subconscious meant business and had him imagine her using his real name. Round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows.

‘You need to sleep, you need to rest. You need to get some clarity’ she admonished after ridding herself of the digits in her mouth.

She was right, of course. But her being right didn’t stop him once again replaying the events that led to the death of Gavin and the resulting scandal the press had launched at him when he had managed to let that bastard slip through his fingers. It was a witch hunt that he understood and took willingly; one that existed with or without them in his own head.

He heard the sound again. Fingers and thumbs. Then, ‘Stop it, Lenny! You’ll send yourself doolally.’

He barked a half laugh, half sob at that. That this ghost of his sister would warn him about his sanity. The irony was not lost on him. He leaned forward, put his elbows on his knees and held his head in his hands before responding without looking up.

‘I think it’s a bit late for that, love.’

With another sigh, he tapped the table in front of him four times and stood up, carrying the weight of fourteen unsolved murders on his shoulders; then wished his dead sister goodnight before shuffling through to his bedroom, ignoring the sound of eight fingers and two thumbs hitting the floor framing her reply. He wouldn’t sleep, not really; but laying on a bed in the darkness, whilst he should be sleeping was at least tethering him to what little normality he had left in life.

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Written by PaulDChambers in portal Horror & Thriller
Chapter 1 - Manners Maketh Man (Book 2)
January 2002.

Detective Inspector George Lentus looked at the ghost of his sister, sat in the chair exactly opposite him, and breathed out a deeply sad sigh. She'd always had something to say; always had an opinion. Her delicate, young, almost childlike face had always seemed to contradict the wisdom and fierce opinions she hadn’t been scared to vocalise. Even now, it seemed, death wasn’t going to be holding her back when it came to voicing them.

He’d always loved Polly’s spirit, admired how much fight she had in her while he was so socially inept, so unable to comfortably debate, to discuss. To converse, even, at times. He was so shamefully stunted, needing to adopt an invisible mask to get by. She was so full of vitality and life.

Was. Past tense. To be used correctly. He still had to remind himself.

His beautiful and candid dead sister, Polly, spat out the eight fingers and two thumbs that signalled the onslaught of her talking. It was an idiosyncrasy she had developed posthumously, and one that Lentus was sure he would never get used to.

‘Lenny, I think you’re being too hard on yourself. It wasn’t that bad,’ she assured him.

Gravity always took the fingers, the thumbs. Every single time she spoke. Flakes of dried blood drifted once more to the floor, resting by her feet; one bare and one with a shoe still on it. She had been dead now four years, four months, two weeks and a day. So much had happened since that bastard had killed her and left her lying in the waste ground with her mouth full of her cut off fingers and thumbs. Lentus had nearly had him. He often wondered if she would remain after he caught her murderer. He also wondered if he wanted her to. On that conundrum, he was torn.

Of course, she wasn’t actually there. Lentus always told himself that. That was a self-preservation thing. He did it now without realising it. It was nothing more than a mental tic. It was always only his subconscious speaking, he continually reminded himself. A narrative that arguably maintained his sanity, despite the fact that he could neither tell a single person about it or how it evidently twisted the pressure valve of his lunacy just enough to release the steam and keep him out of a straightjacket.

No. It certainly isn’t a ghost. She isn’t a ghost. That just wouldn’t be scientific. It wasn’t linear – and Lentus needed linear. He was fully aware of that. As had Polly been, and still does.

Regardless of whether she was conjured up by his psyche or not, he responded: ‘Polly, come on now, love. It was bloody awful. Let’s not kid ourselves.’

He didn’t even look up from the newspapers when he said this, his stare locked ahead. His eyes blurred as January blustered noisily against the windows outside the apartment, hissing wind bringing rounds of drops of water that ticked on the glass with each new gust. Oblivious to winter’s bitter ululations, Lentus once again focused on the newspapers in front of him, placed with perfect symmetry on his lounge table. He had kept them there for over six weeks to remind himself that he had work to do. Constant work that required resolve that shouldn’t ever be allowed to fade with time passing. His tenacity didn’t need the visual nudge, of course; but they stayed there nonetheless. They were like birch twigs with which to flagellate himself. A scab that he would pick until he had set things right, and only then could the occurrences settle into being a less immediate scar. 

Until that time came, he kept himself wound tightly and pushed himself ever harder and harder.

His eyes fell upon the black and white text screaming out from the press once more. He knew what each one said by memory now, but he forced his eyes to take them in anyway. Tighten the torture screw once more. The harbingers of doom were banging two main drums currently, two loud beats for the nation’s sheeple to dance to. The headlines were either instilling fear or dread about the terrorists in our midst; or they were fanning the fires of hysteria about the serial killer. The serial killer that he had let slip through his fingers six weeks ago. It hadn’t officially been confirmed or denied at that time that it was the same man; but the press didn’t care about that. A lack of facts didn’t stop them speculating. In fact, most of the time, a lack of facts allowed free license to inculcate in the public a similar level of terror to what Al Quaida had managed to do with the twin towers mere months ago.

The familiar sound of eight fingers and two thumbs hitting the floor, and then ‘Lenny, don’t worry. They’ll calm down. You’ll find him, too. I know you will. You always see things through.’

Lentus wasn’t so sure. The fingerprint had proven a hugely frustrating dead end. The evil bastard evidently didn’t have any previous convictions, a surprising turn of events for all of the force that had gleaned a glimmer of hope among the remorse of a fallen brother.

When a fellow policeman fell, it hit hard. They were a tight, global network, and any loss of life at the hand of criminals anywhere caused ripples through every nation’s force. It felt like good versus evil on a biblical scale at times. And whilst there were undoubtedly corrupt or cruel cops out there in the world, on the whole, it was a majority group that made it their daily task to fight the bad guys. Lost brothers or sisters in blue boiled the blood. Vengeance was required, yet dead ends wouldn’t allow that vengeance to be served.  
It was this that Lentus felt daily, and whilst it was never said nor inferred; he also felt the accusations that were never vocalised. HE had lost Gavin’s murderer. HE was to blame. He MUST bring him to justice.

Gavin had been the 14th victim of his nemesis. He needed him to be the last. The law and all those that served it and honoured it required that he be the last to be slain. They blamed him and they needed results. Even those that didn’t blame him deserved results. Positive ones to redress the balance of his monumental mess.

He had been torturing himself with these silent accusations for six weeks now. Christmas had been and gone, and Lentus had worked through the whole thing bar the short period when he was told to go home by his team. He’d bought a reduced-price turkey crown from a Spar on Christmas Eve and some microwavable vegetables; and it being cooked was the only acknowledgment that it had been Christmas day. That, he had done purely for the memory of Polly, who had loved Christmas and sat with him while he ate it joylessly. Besides that stilted nod to the season, there had been no decorations, no music, and none of the traditionally bad seasonal TV synonymous with the time of year. There were none of the standard things that would have been happening in most average homes across the globe, as they tended to pivot around family. Family was something that he no longer had. Just gloom. Guilt. And the reading and re-reading of the newspapers laid out on the table, scars he bore cut with ink on paper rather than metal on flesh.

In the time that had elapsed since Gavin’s grisly death, he had worked and toiled, paced and pondered, beaten and furrowed his brow. Whether in the office, car or rare moments in his flat; his thoughts were continually analysing every aspect of the cases. His head hurt from the continual thoughts that raced and spun, but he could never turn them off. When he actually managed to grasp a few moments of tortured sleep, he dreamt about it. 
He knew he was obsessing. He didn’t care.

He gazed upwards and locked eyes with Polly. She spat, she spoke.

‘You’ll make yourself ill, Lenny. You’ve lost weight, you look like you haven’t slept for weeks. You’ve got dark rings round your eyes. George Lentus, you look really bloody terrible’. She was using his proper name. She meant business. Or rather his subconscious meant business and had him imagine her using his real name. Round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows.

‘You need to sleep, you need to rest. You need to get some clarity’ she admonished after ridding herself of the digits in her mouth.

She was right, of course. But her being right didn’t stop him once again replaying the events that led to the death of Gavin and the resulting scandal the press had launched at him when he had managed to let that bastard slip through his fingers. It was a witch hunt that he understood and took willingly; one that existed with or without them in his own head.

He heard the sound again. Fingers and thumbs. Then, ‘Stop it, Lenny! You’ll send yourself doolally.’

He barked a half laugh, half sob at that. That this ghost of his sister would warn him about his sanity. The irony was not lost on him. He leaned forward, put his elbows on his knees and held his head in his hands before responding without looking up.

‘I think it’s a bit late for that, love.’

With another sigh, he tapped the table in front of him four times and stood up, carrying the weight of fourteen unsolved murders on his shoulders; then wished his dead sister goodnight before shuffling through to his bedroom, ignoring the sound of eight fingers and two thumbs hitting the floor framing her reply. He wouldn’t sleep, not really; but laying on a bed in the darkness, whilst he should be sleeping was at least tethering him to what little normality he had left in life.
#fiction  #horror  #thriller  #sequel  #taster 
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We are a literary agency seeking fresh talent. In 200 words or more, demonstrate your writing talent. We will be in touch with any and all promising participants throughout the rest of this quarter.
Written by PaulDChambers in portal Publishing

Husk.

If you asked me, if you really pushed me for an answer, I’d have to admit that I’m unsure as to the exact moment. That first step, the starting point of this quest. All I know is that my search has stretched across long and empty years. However, if I were to say it started a full, fat lifetime ago, that would also ring true.

It was my epic pursuit. My folly. The wide, wise and unwise world over, inbred town to smoky dirt streaked city, far flung country to verdant counties; both landlocked and sandy coastal, balmy and frosty hunts that spanned countless and seemingly infinite footfalls. A billion searching steps to save it. To save him.

And here it is, a mere handful of stumbling strides from my beaten track; quietly lying upon a dirty forest floor, causing my heart to spike and fall as I gaze down upon it. The whale sized shadows of scudding clouds flash moonlight and the image of branches' claws intermittently on it, a giant strobe light freeze framing it over and over as if it were a scene from a bygone age. Silver and ink. Light and dark. Then. Now.

And such a sorry and desolate sight. Just a tiny husk of papery skin over bloodless brittle bones, desiccated and forlorn as if a wind of change could scatter its remains throughout the lands. It is enveloped in a smudge of cloud, one that clings to its contours. It was something that had grown with importance; had taken on a gigantic image in my mind’s eye, only to seem pathetic now found. An errant shadow, a mistimed blink, and it could have remained undiscovered. Lost forever to rot and disappear from the memory of man and time, eaten by an animal from the shade.

Gently, with trembling fingers, I pluck aside the faded streamers that crisscross its sad shape and swipe away the red smudged corks, patina bottle tops and cigarette butts that frame it. I ease my hands softly beneath it and grit my pulsing breath before lifting it into my arms in a cloud of sour scent. Detritus flakes fall from the underside of the cadaver, shrivelled skin, sealable baggies smeared with white fingerprints, faded and perfumed letter scraps and faded sparkles. Barely registering as weight, the shell is cradled to my chest as I move my ear to its torso, daring to hope my quest was not fruitless.

A faint ticking in the ribcage informs me a life force still holds fort. Shocked, yet hopeful, my thoughts race away from me. It isn’t too late. I might still save this sad creature. Tentatively, I carry my delicate cargo to safety, out of the gloomy trees and to sunnier worlds and eras. The warmth of sunlight and sounds of nature stirs in this creature the briefest of movements. And then, I watch agape as eyes tremble away a surrendering layer of skin that open, slowly, to reveal blank, blind eyes peering through the smirch that still contains it. It shudders as if filled with fear yet remains in my hold.

Unseeing, the eyes fall away from me as a black tear wells up in the corners of each dry orb, only to moisten upon a few blinks. They swivel round and now have a pupil that I watch focus upon me.

‘Who are you?’ I implore. My reply, simply more blinks, sharpening the gaze that holds me.

Cracked and dusty lips open as if for the first time in all eternity and its dry mouth gulps greedy air, like a free diver emerging from hunting pearls. Nourishing air is taken in, pumping its emaciated chest and expanding its form. It breaths out dirt into my wincing face, the odour of its lungs tacky with tar and dust. Seemingly cleansed, the breathing continues and settles to a deeply rhythmic tempo.

I repeat: ‘Who are you?’

A fleeting smile, and its tentative voice appears in my head without the need to move its lips.

I am just finding out. Feed me. Please.

I take my refugee home and place him, for that is what I have decided he is, on a blanket from my childhood. I set to building him a shelter made of books set upon each other. Heavy tomes interlink with frivolous novellas that in turn lock into novels. I use song and poetry to bond the papery bricks and complete the roof with the words of wise men and women; alongside articles and reports from free thinking publications. He grows inside, jitters give way to the occasional sigh of contentment as he feeds.

The walls of this house I adorn with images of my family and friends, past and present. With a pen passed down through generations, I write upon spaces between the pictures the stories of those shown in these portraits. With each adage and every yarn, the cloudy shroud dims a little more and the dark casing of this husk grows warmer in hue, fatter in form.

‘Who are you?’

Soon, we will know.

And so growth can be seen with each addition. I enrich his life with animals and fauna, sunrises and sea salt, with knowledge and culture. As each day passes, nerves give way to quiet confidence as he absorbs all that I thrust upon his person. 

Politics, and facts fill him, healthy food and minerals nourish him. I carpet his home with maps of adventures and morsels of delicacies from around the globe. Trinkets and coins are hidden in cupboards, locked up with the snarling fiends that want to reach him, to sink their teeth into his rounding flesh. That which sucks of his life is set apart, so that he may focus on that which is before him. And what now lays before him is the world without the shallow glitter, the clutter and the shit outside of the fusty gutter.

The time is upon us. Quest's end. 

So today, I watch proudly as he rises calmly on his two sturdy pink limbs and emerges from his house of empowerment. He is grown. Gone is the dark shroud that held him, and sloughed off is the flake of rot that covered him. Weightless shoulders squared and sturdy, head high. A toothy grin mirrors mine and eyes sparkle with life and humour. He is older, but exudes wisdom borne of the earth.

‘What is your name?’

You still don’t know?

‘Yes. Yes, I think I do’ I beam, hairs on end as I see this repaired being for what he is.

Measured and understanding, open minded and grounded. Hidden are the negatives and dark driving forces; to be replaced with that which counts and a level-headed outlook on life. There is still fragility, but it is accepted and held aloft as a mace to ward off black beasts and gloomy worlds. 

Eyes, open, he freely sheds joyful tears as he stands before me. Face to face.

And without another word, he climbs inside of me, and we become the same. History and present face the future. The mended fused to the man that was broken, now the mender.

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We are a literary agency seeking fresh talent. In 200 words or more, demonstrate your writing talent. We will be in touch with any and all promising participants throughout the rest of this quarter.
Written by PaulDChambers in portal Publishing
Husk.
If you asked me, if you really pushed me for an answer, I’d have to admit that I’m unsure as to the exact moment. That first step, the starting point of this quest. All I know is that my search has stretched across long and empty years. However, if I were to say it started a full, fat lifetime ago, that would also ring true.

It was my epic pursuit. My folly. The wide, wise and unwise world over, inbred town to smoky dirt streaked city, far flung country to verdant counties; both landlocked and sandy coastal, balmy and frosty hunts that spanned countless and seemingly infinite footfalls. A billion searching steps to save it. To save him.

And here it is, a mere handful of stumbling strides from my beaten track; quietly lying upon a dirty forest floor, causing my heart to spike and fall as I gaze down upon it. The whale sized shadows of scudding clouds flash moonlight and the image of branches' claws intermittently on it, a giant strobe light freeze framing it over and over as if it were a scene from a bygone age. Silver and ink. Light and dark. Then. Now.

And such a sorry and desolate sight. Just a tiny husk of papery skin over bloodless brittle bones, desiccated and forlorn as if a wind of change could scatter its remains throughout the lands. It is enveloped in a smudge of cloud, one that clings to its contours. It was something that had grown with importance; had taken on a gigantic image in my mind’s eye, only to seem pathetic now found. An errant shadow, a mistimed blink, and it could have remained undiscovered. Lost forever to rot and disappear from the memory of man and time, eaten by an animal from the shade.

Gently, with trembling fingers, I pluck aside the faded streamers that crisscross its sad shape and swipe away the red smudged corks, patina bottle tops and cigarette butts that frame it. I ease my hands softly beneath it and grit my pulsing breath before lifting it into my arms in a cloud of sour scent. Detritus flakes fall from the underside of the cadaver, shrivelled skin, sealable baggies smeared with white fingerprints, faded and perfumed letter scraps and faded sparkles. Barely registering as weight, the shell is cradled to my chest as I move my ear to its torso, daring to hope my quest was not fruitless.

A faint ticking in the ribcage informs me a life force still holds fort. Shocked, yet hopeful, my thoughts race away from me. It isn’t too late. I might still save this sad creature. Tentatively, I carry my delicate cargo to safety, out of the gloomy trees and to sunnier worlds and eras. The warmth of sunlight and sounds of nature stirs in this creature the briefest of movements. And then, I watch agape as eyes tremble away a surrendering layer of skin that open, slowly, to reveal blank, blind eyes peering through the smirch that still contains it. It shudders as if filled with fear yet remains in my hold.

Unseeing, the eyes fall away from me as a black tear wells up in the corners of each dry orb, only to moisten upon a few blinks. They swivel round and now have a pupil that I watch focus upon me.

‘Who are you?’ I implore. My reply, simply more blinks, sharpening the gaze that holds me.

Cracked and dusty lips open as if for the first time in all eternity and its dry mouth gulps greedy air, like a free diver emerging from hunting pearls. Nourishing air is taken in, pumping its emaciated chest and expanding its form. It breaths out dirt into my wincing face, the odour of its lungs tacky with tar and dust. Seemingly cleansed, the breathing continues and settles to a deeply rhythmic tempo.

I repeat: ‘Who are you?’

A fleeting smile, and its tentative voice appears in my head without the need to move its lips.

I am just finding out. Feed me. Please.

I take my refugee home and place him, for that is what I have decided he is, on a blanket from my childhood. I set to building him a shelter made of books set upon each other. Heavy tomes interlink with frivolous novellas that in turn lock into novels. I use song and poetry to bond the papery bricks and complete the roof with the words of wise men and women; alongside articles and reports from free thinking publications. He grows inside, jitters give way to the occasional sigh of contentment as he feeds.

The walls of this house I adorn with images of my family and friends, past and present. With a pen passed down through generations, I write upon spaces between the pictures the stories of those shown in these portraits. With each adage and every yarn, the cloudy shroud dims a little more and the dark casing of this husk grows warmer in hue, fatter in form.

‘Who are you?’

Soon, we will know.

And so growth can be seen with each addition. I enrich his life with animals and fauna, sunrises and sea salt, with knowledge and culture. As each day passes, nerves give way to quiet confidence as he absorbs all that I thrust upon his person. 

Politics, and facts fill him, healthy food and minerals nourish him. I carpet his home with maps of adventures and morsels of delicacies from around the globe. Trinkets and coins are hidden in cupboards, locked up with the snarling fiends that want to reach him, to sink their teeth into his rounding flesh. That which sucks of his life is set apart, so that he may focus on that which is before him. And what now lays before him is the world without the shallow glitter, the clutter and the shit outside of the fusty gutter.

The time is upon us. Quest's end. 

So today, I watch proudly as he rises calmly on his two sturdy pink limbs and emerges from his house of empowerment. He is grown. Gone is the dark shroud that held him, and sloughed off is the flake of rot that covered him. Weightless shoulders squared and sturdy, head high. A toothy grin mirrors mine and eyes sparkle with life and humour. He is older, but exudes wisdom borne of the earth.

‘What is your name?’

You still don’t know?

‘Yes. Yes, I think I do’ I beam, hairs on end as I see this repaired being for what he is.

Measured and understanding, open minded and grounded. Hidden are the negatives and dark driving forces; to be replaced with that which counts and a level-headed outlook on life. There is still fragility, but it is accepted and held aloft as a mace to ward off black beasts and gloomy worlds. 

Eyes, open, he freely sheds joyful tears as he stands before me. Face to face.

And without another word, he climbs inside of me, and we become the same. History and present face the future. The mended fused to the man that was broken, now the mender.
#fiction  #nonfiction  #horror  #education  #mentalhealth 
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Written by PaulDChambers in portal Haiku

creeping haiku

peripherally

seen skirt clad legs uncrossing

perverts - eyes so fast

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Written by PaulDChambers in portal Haiku
creeping haiku
peripherally
seen skirt clad legs uncrossing
perverts - eyes so fast
#fantasy  #poetry  #culture  #upskirt  #pervert 
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Written by PaulDChambers in portal Poetry & Free Verse

Snowflakes in Dachau

As brother and sister, ably we walked free

as kin and kind, they, imprisoned in pens 

we were just visiting, able, at whim to leave

they knew not of the why, nor when the end

Contemporary man should witness past's worst

our ancestors were able to bestow on his kind

this camp built for death was but the first

and will forever be ingrained in our two minds

Us teenage siblings, shocked straight to cores

wet eyes cry silent screams, burnt flesh in nose

black and white corpses tattooed on mind's eyes

gas chambers, as showers, pushed in their droves

Barbed wire, mutilation, SS killing for fun

with their politics thought their right to purge

savagely parting mother, daughter, father, son

until death of all ages, normal, fulfilled an urge

Masses followed their orders, commit atrocities

in the name of truth, pushing millions to die

how close are we now from such division of peace

and new differing dialect's Arbeit Macht Frei?

20
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Written by PaulDChambers in portal Poetry & Free Verse
Snowflakes in Dachau
As brother and sister, ably we walked free
as kin and kind, they, imprisoned in pens 
we were just visiting, able, at whim to leave
they knew not of the why, nor when the end

Contemporary man should witness past's worst
our ancestors were able to bestow on his kind
this camp built for death was but the first
and will forever be ingrained in our two minds

Us teenage siblings, shocked straight to cores
wet eyes cry silent screams, burnt flesh in nose
black and white corpses tattooed on mind's eyes
gas chambers, as showers, pushed in their droves

Barbed wire, mutilation, SS killing for fun
with their politics thought their right to purge
savagely parting mother, daughter, father, son
until death of all ages, normal, fulfilled an urge

Masses followed their orders, commit atrocities
in the name of truth, pushing millions to die
how close are we now from such division of peace
and new differing dialect's Arbeit Macht Frei?
#nonfiction  #horror  #education  #politics  #culture 
20
5
5
Juice
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Written by PaulDChambers in portal Poetry & Free Verse

hope, oh hoopoe

Carved slices of inspiration from yellow Spanish sun

imbibing whirling words born of this hazy, lazy peace

the hoopoe hopes I hear his whooping cry of help

I hark it, friend, and eat it hungry, up with sprinkles

of warmth, the drizzles of sunkissed lizard skitters

and so I lasso swooping playful parakeets with

cerebral gossamer threads and ride high with them

flying aside their vivid green feathers in azure skies

shimmers fade gentle to dusk, chill night's creeping

bright blue turns to purples shot red, as if bruised by

hurt inflicted by busy locals numb to daily treasures

taken for granted, another brilliantine day ignored 

resulting scars smear, besmirching sky’s toil and spark.

all whilst this solo man wrenches tentacle clutching

steely coils and clock springs lose grip, loosening and

unwinding to turn languid and lax. Oiled with wine

crushed of local grapes, the crux of nearby rich soil

fecund fruits that nourish earth with beauty, bounty

mediterranean. And sit I, among the whisper voices

distant dogs lamenting the strut of far stray cats

alone amid it all, invisible roots darting down

into ancient strata. By myself yet so full, fulfilled

love and life course through my veins, my carbon

spiked grey metal memories sluffed and cast asunder

break on rubble and bones of umbilical humdrums.

life flows by sonder, relinquishes, and settles at last.

18
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Written by PaulDChambers in portal Poetry & Free Verse
hope, oh hoopoe
Carved slices of inspiration from yellow Spanish sun
imbibing whirling words born of this hazy, lazy peace
the hoopoe hopes I hear his whooping cry of help
I hark it, friend, and eat it hungry, up with sprinkles
of warmth, the drizzles of sunkissed lizard skitters
and so I lasso swooping playful parakeets with
cerebral gossamer threads and ride high with them
flying aside their vivid green feathers in azure skies
shimmers fade gentle to dusk, chill night's creeping
bright blue turns to purples shot red, as if bruised by
hurt inflicted by busy locals numb to daily treasures
taken for granted, another brilliantine day ignored 
resulting scars smear, besmirching sky’s toil and spark.
all whilst this solo man wrenches tentacle clutching
steely coils and clock springs lose grip, loosening and
unwinding to turn languid and lax. Oiled with wine
crushed of local grapes, the crux of nearby rich soil
fecund fruits that nourish earth with beauty, bounty
mediterranean. And sit I, among the whisper voices
distant dogs lamenting the strut of far stray cats
alone amid it all, invisible roots darting down
into ancient strata. By myself yet so full, fulfilled
love and life course through my veins, my carbon
spiked grey metal memories sluffed and cast asunder
break on rubble and bones of umbilical humdrums.
life flows by sonder, relinquishes, and settles at last.

#nonfiction  #romance  #adventure  #education  #science 
18
5
13
Juice
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