Once Upon a Time There Was Silence
Good morning (I say as I yawn and stretch). The kids are off to school, I have my cup of tea, and I’m ready to get on with the day. So, what is in the plans? Not a lot, hopefully. It’s Thursday and, with any luck, I can get some work done before the Tornado wakes up and takes over. One thing checked off the to-do list is my response to today’s challenge, which as you might have guessed by the pic and title, is “Once Upon A Time”. I like this one. I love fairy tales, but my favorites were never Cinderella, Snow White, etc. Other than Sleeping Beauty, I read the fairy tales (the original versions believe it or not), but after a while they were all the same. Everyone lived happily ever after. I wanted to live happily ever after, too, but at some point…it got boring. No one ever tells you that, do they? So, around the time I was 11 years old, I discovered Hans Christian Andersen. Mind.Blown. Seriously. Fairy tales that weren’t happy? Fairy tales that were sad and had the death of the main characters? And they had a moral! Oh, this was my kind of story. And they had their own magic, and love. A mermaid who falls in love with a human man and visits a sea witch to trade her voice, which would have won the man’s heart, for legs and painful, bleeding steps. A tin toy soldier in love with a toy ballerina who survives trial after trial to get back to her and in the end dies with her in a fire, forever together. So, I decided to write my poem about one of my favorite of Hans Christain Andersen’s stories. It’s just a small, short story, but has a huge impact. And, I’m almost caught up. One more day to go after today. Day 7’s challenge was Silence. Sit for five minutes in silence and see what happens. I waited until my kids were in bed (like most parents who only know the silence that brings) and then I listened. Have you ever noticed how, even when it’s quiet, there’s not any real silence? Especially if you live in the city, and I live near a busy highway. Even in the country, when I was growing up, it wasn’t specifically quiet, but there were moments of stillness, a hush when all the insects and birds were asleep. Or at least the ones who weren’t nocturnal. So, that’s what I thought about when I wrote my poem for Silence. And then I wrote another one. I am putting both up. One is a Trifall, the other free verse. Two different poems, and I hope you like them both.
By Jessica Scott
Once upon a time…
I strike the match to see it light up
And in the flames I see my life
The way it was supposed to be.
Warm, fed, happy…
Happily ever after is just a cold street,
A box of matchsticks,
A freezing house at the end.
And I’ve only sold a few matches today;
Father will surely beat me tonight.
A new year but the same old story:
I’m so cold and hungry.
I strike another match and see
Red slippers…a mermaid…a queen walking in the snow.
The flame, so warm, goes out,
So I strike yet another and I can see
Inside the house in front of me where I sit
In the snow.
Oh, Grandmother, hold me in your arms one more time so I know I’m loved.
No! Don’t go! I won’t let the flame go out.
I strike the whole box quickly and Grandmother,
So beautiful and smiling, takes me in her arms and turns to walk away,
And as she does, I can’t help but feel sorry for the little girl
Who lies sleeping in the snow,
A blackened pile of matchsticks lying beside her.
The Silence of the Stars
By Jessica Scott
Look at the stars at night,
Spinning across the midnight sky.
Pinpoints of distant light,
My lazy thoughts with no reply.
Why are they so silent,
Made of gas and searing fires?
Are we too violent,
That we should burn on your pyres?
Tell me why no answer,
Ready to listen, to make amends,
To cut out this cancer,
To join you, then the sky transcend.
By Jessica Scott
In silence we sit,
He and I,
Things we should say unspoken between us.
Truths and lies twist together
Until I fear I’ll suffocate.
His silence is deafening,
And I try to ask
What it is that keeps him so quiet.
But his stony heart
Keeps to itself…
And I am left alone.