July 25, 2014

To Love and Be Loved ~ Part 2

To Love and Be Loved ~ Part 2
Janelle Spiers

Alright, here is the promised continuation to Part 1.

Evelyn O’Hara

Dirty dishes, dirty water,
dirty face. It is mine, I know,
but I didn’t know I was so filthy.


This bad cough hurts my thin
body, shakes my straw hair,
closes my grey eyes tight.

   Marjorie J. Riley

Family Tree
My father was rich, as was my mother.
They left it all to me. Me, their only
daughter, their only joy.  I remember
my one                        wish as a child:
that                              whoever made
the train                       made it safer
to those                       inside.  But
now my wish is to honor my parents
with the gift they left me. Although,
I still wish the train was not so cruel.

Evelyn O’Hara

The dark presses into my
little home.  The sickness
presses into my chest.


I know that coughing up
blood is not a good thing,
so I close my eyes and pray.

I know joy, even though my body
knows no peace.  Could John be any
more a tiny, precious angel from the Lord?


The innocence of youth is God’s
surest blessing to a lonely mother.
His surest blessing to a sick, poor widow

Marjorie J. Riley

Another Waltz
I wait impatiently.  Will ought to ask
me to dance.  If he doesn’t soon, I shall be angry.
It might not be right, but, ah, here he comes.
“Have                          a dance, Miss
Riley?”                        “Of course, Will.”  
The                              waltz is slow and
perfect; I do not care to go quickly.
I look up into Will’s dark brown eyes.
I wish that he would look into mine.

A Distant Place

A Distant Place
Janelle Spiers

I looked in the mirror
And I saw a face;
A phantom vision,
In a distant place.

The figure contorted
And I reached out my hand.
I tried to touch it,
But I had no command.

The face was silent,
It stared like a star.
It was then that I realized
It was myself, from afar.

I looked in the mirror
At my strange unknown face
And wondered what happened
In that distant place.

Where was I now?
I wondered aloud,
When a dark veil unfolded
And all was a shroud.

I felt a tug
And a terrible pain.
The shroud was burning 
Like a flaming rain.

As the curtain lifted
And the smoke withdrew
I saw smoldering ash,
And it was then that I knew.

I stood behind the mirror
As my reflection died.
I lived now in a foreign world;
I bent my head and cried.

A brilliant light shone through the dust
And dried my weeping eyes.
A voice like thunder called to me,
And I began to rise.

As my body floated,
I saw a great face.
I was behind the mirror
In a distant place.

July 20, 2014

An Empty Shell

An Empty Shell
Janelle Spiers

Once upon a time, a man named Kenneth Bogue was born.  He grew up to be a fine knight, brave and courageous, witty and sharp.  He waltzed right into the heart of a woman named Alma, and they married, and had two sons.  His life continued steadily forward, a man of upright intent, and noble heart.  His sword of truth was ever by his side, and so too his fair maiden.  

Days turned into years, and as they flew by, Kenneth's sons found beautiful girls, and took them to their distant homes to become their brides.  Life continued for the knight, and his days were ever blessed by the King whom he served.  He was a man of integrity, and faithfulness.

Years became decades, and as grandchildren and great-grandchildren came to visit the brave knight, his years had began to grow long.  He had had many a great victory in his day, and his maiden was always with him. 

But all things must come to an end, and even life itself must take turns with death.  The valiant knight fell ill, and no amount of fighting could save him.  He lost the battle...on this earth.  But his spirit and renewed body has risen again to live with the King he had long loved so faithfully.  His maiden wept at his side, but is was an empty shell, with nothing but skin and bones left of him.  His children crowded round his side, and all the men and women he had blessed paid homage to their beloved knight.  They loved him, and never forgot him.

I loved him, and will never forget him. 

Goodbye, Pa.

July 15, 2014

What Is Red?

What is Red?
Written by Janelle Spiers
Inspired by Mary O'Neill

Red is a candle
Glowing softly with light
A warm, dancing figure;
Flame in flight.
Red is a high-flying kite.
Red is love,
Passionate and romantic.
Red is a rose
Red is a dream,
A hat, a feather,
A chilling scream.
The sound of red is
“Beat! Beat! Beat!”
An infant heart
So faint and sweet.

Red is death –
A bleeding heart,
That starts to tear
Loved ones apart.

Red are rubies
And ripe strawberries,
Apples, tomatoes, and cherries.
Red is emotion
Tender and true
A happy ending
Given to few.
Red is a racecar
And a plastic cup
Red is a game
Don’t give up.
Red is life
Frail crying at birth
Full, well-lived days
Laid back in the earth.
Think of embraces
And wounds that have bled
Nail polish, late sunsets
If they couldn’t glimmer with

July 10, 2014

Writing: A Desirable Pain

I recently considered: What is true writing?  Writing isn’t merely pinning words to a page and watching them make sentences, and writing isn’t imagination painted by letters.  Writing is definitely not words seeping from your fingers into your pen, so what is writing?

I’ve been thinking about what writing really means.  Sure, it can be some of the things above; lots of imagination, pages, and pens, but true writing is something far deeper, far more painful.

I love writing and think that my life would be terribly dull without it, but writing is harder than it sounds.  That is blood, sweat, and tears, throw in several headaches, and prolonged periods of irascibility and moodiness.  Sure sounds fun, doesn’t it?

I have found a comparable occupation to writing.  Parenthood.   Now, I have no personal experience with this, but observation has led me to this conclusion.  When you write, you are the parent of every word that leaves your mind to your page.  You must take control of it, before it gets away from you.  But you are also destined to be forever tied to your “child.”

Some days can be wonderfully easy, everything behaves perfectly, and the docility is paradise.  Some days can just be slow, nothing happens, no matter how you try.  And then there are the days where it seems that no one can make it out alive.  Throughout all of these days of mixed emotions, it is still necessary to never give up, because one day, you will find that moment of realization.  That moment when you can say, “Ah, now I understand.  Now I know why I slave away, now I can see the importance.” 

When you put everything you have into your work, everything in you will be reflected into your work.  Throw yourself into it, mind, body, and soul.  Writing may not be easier when you plunge your life into it, it may be ten times harder, but if you can look ahead to see the end result, as with anything in life, your attitude will change.  Let the world see who you are through your writing.  And then, when it emerges, leaves home and sets off to make its own in the world, shed your tears, like any parent should, but have courage.  It will reflect you.  No one will think you someone other than who you really are.  But be careful.  Take care that you are whom you would want the world to know.  If you examine yourself and find a person you would not like to meet, change your heart.  Your story will change with it.

July 4, 2014

To Love and Be Loved ~ Part 1

To Love and Be Loved ~ Part 1
Janelle Spiers

Free Verse Poetry is something that has been grasping my attention as of late.  I have put together a novelette in verse, and hope that you enjoy it.  Many thanks to my dear writing coach.  This would be one sad story without her.  :)

This is the first installment of To Love and Be Loved.  The scene is set in the era between the first World War and the Great Depression, often known as the Roaring Twenties.  This was an era of lavish parties, (think The Great Gatsby), and also an era of impoverished working for the lower class.  

Withthat said, I introduce you to Marjorie J. Riley in Part 1 of To Love and Be Loved...

Marjorie J.  Riley

The Looking Glass
Marjorie Jane Riley,
green eyes, dark hair,
pale                 skin, soft
face,                 and all
the riches in the world,
or so the mirror says.

All the World’s a Stage
I couldn’t be happier.  I have
a world at my beck and call, and I
have a purse full of money to spend.
I never                         leave a party
until                             after two, and
I host a                         party every two
Saturdays.  This is my stage, and this
is my role.  I wouldn’t change it, no
matter how much I was promised.

Be Yourself
“Be yourself, Marjorie.”  My mother always
told me.  Well this is me: rich, spoiled, happy,
me.  But is it?                          Sometimes I
wonder if this                          life of parties
is really all                               there is to life.
Could there                             be more?  And
if so, what is it?  I look out into the streets of
Boston and wonder, Am I myself?