Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tear Bending

So, first let me say that I am a man in the traditional sense and have no qualms or questions in my masculinity. I’m big, I’m tough, and I have a good deal of facial and body hair. I smell like a man, talk like a man, and even fart in an open room just because I can. All of these things solidly define me, as what people would say is manly. Second, in reference to the first part of this statement let me say this…today at work I cried like a baby. I spilled tears much like a levy bursting forth due to heavy rainfall. My noise ran, calling attention to my tears as I tired to sniff up the running green goop set loose by my teary build up. In short form, I wept openly.
            Not that crying is unmanly, but because we are still bound as a society by the rough guy stereotype of the 1950’s it is not commonplace. The question you might have is what caused a manly man like myself to emotionally fall apart enough to weep openly? The answer is simple, a comic depicting a story from the new Avatar series. If you are aware of what Avatar is (not the James Cameron blue cat people movie), then you can most likely skip this section. If you are unaware of Avatar then I may just cry a bit for your lack of understanding, but will only give a quick explanation.
            Avatar created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. The series aired between 2005 and 2008 on the Nickelodeon networks. The story itself was about a world where people moved or bended the four elements air, earth, fire and water. They did this by moving their bodies and hands much like the classic martial arts styles originated by shaolin monks in early China. The main character was a young boy named Aang, who was the last air bender after spending a hundred years sleeping in ice. He also was the last Avatar, which is a person reincarnated each generation and has the ablity to bend all four elements. Aang traveled the world with his friends Katara and Zuko learning the other bending forms so that he could save the world from the oppression of the fire nation. Aang eventually saved the world and fell in love with Katara his water-bending teacher.
As a whole, Avatar was a beautifully fascinating series that was great for both kids and adults alike. For those that did watch all or at least most of it, you can speak of chakras and a good deal of us will imagine the explain of water moving through pools given to Aang. But moving on the whole point to my explanation is that for there to be a new Avatar the old one must pass on and rejoin the collective memories and wisdom inherited in the new incarnation of the Avatar. In the sequel to the original Avatar series The Legend of Kora, there is a new Avatar and the old one, Aang, has passed on. The comic, which made me, cry was a memory told by Kora being taught by her water bending master Katara. Now, you might have made the connection, the new Avatar (Kora) is being taught by the old Avatar’s love. The comic was beautifully simple but epically sad at the end. To view it for yourself click the link below:

            Now after reading my breakdown and the comic are you too now tear bending? If not that is okay, but you may want to check that you have a pulse because obviously you are lacking a heart YOU MONSTER! No, sorry that was out of line and I apologies, but seriously YOU MONSTER! The point I am getting at is the Avatar series was written with the colorful happy presentation for children to enjoy and with a deeply poetic meaning running through its core for adults. I can honestly see myself watching this with my kids (if I had any). At the end of the show they are happy and trying to bend the table with their fists. Me, I’m moved by the understanding that you don’t have to know the purpose only know that there can be balance in everything. (I also might be trying to bend the table).
            With the creation of an after story kids who did not watch the first one would not get the comic more than the face value of having someone that loves you enough to be with you everyday. For the adults and kids that have watched the first series th understanding that comes from change is enormous. The last air bender Aang is now gone and those that loved him and taught him will have to watch his successor go through some of the trials he did. The huge cycle of life and death with the understanding that it will always be in balance should be something respected, especially from a simple cartoon.
            Now that we have spent some time tear bending maybe its time we move on to the other things. If anything take this from what I have written, that just because it’s a cartoon does not mean it cannot teach you what it is to be human. Also crying is a human action, not a womanly or manly action.

(Please note that when I first starting writing this I stopped and came back to it several weeks later. I opened the comic again to remind myself of the message and sure enough I bent tears again.) 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

School Assignment

School, being school assigned a simple assignment to write a scene that built suspense. It needed to be between 200 - 600 words. it need to use whatever methods of dialogue, narrative, and description to exemplify the need to escape a person, place or thing. 
Here is what I cam up with. 

“It burns,” Shel said. Her voice was far away as if she was just awoken from sleep. This was in contrast to the look on her face. Eyes wide in terror, red rings encircled the dark blue of her iris. Her skin white and shallow like the tide gone out from the shore. Mouth agape exposing dried gums crusted with blood inking the white of her teeth

            “That is its purpose child, to burn away the wandering thoughts of a godless actions of heathens such as you,” answered the tin tone voice in the speaker above Shel’s head.

            Shel tried again to turn her head to find the voice. At times it seemed like it was everywhere at once. It always followed the pain marching behind it in parade fashion. A ripping feeling above her eyes, then the warm burst of blood, then the burning, and finally the voice telling her to be still and it would all be okay.
            Shel sat tense for a moment listening; the voice from the speaker said nothing else the burning slowed then stopped. Shel was alone in her room again strapped to cold metallic table. She was still alive but her time was short. If they could not get her to admit she believed in the father they would turn the torches on. Fire would erupt from every corner of the room and she would burn writhing in agony-licked head to toe by cleansing flames. The image of her blackened body smoking as the cleaning crew entered the room to remove her body made Shel vomit bile into the back of her throat. 
“Quite your fear girl, see only the river were you float, not the falls ahead,” said the memory of Xavier. Shel recalled the intensity on his face as he spoke to her of fear and the destructive power it had.
“Okay, you old son of a vapor thief, what am I am I to do then?” asked Shel to her memory. She thought hard and did as she was trained, She breathed out the fear and took in air in that moment alone. Her mind cleared the fog of pain as called her muscles into action.
A camera set high in the celling rotated at a rate of 1 millimeter an second. In a total of 15 seconds it would move from one side of the room to the other. Moving now from right to leave the camera caught a subtle tremor in Shel’s right arm as it passed. On its return trip from left to right the camera caught a similar tremor in Shel’s left arm. In the 72-hour period the camera had been focused on Shel it had passed over her 17,280 times. Each time until now has captured a lifeless form lying on a surgical table. The female was bare and prone on her back. The camera, which was not aware of, was defined life or death could only detect movement. A job it had not needed to do till now.
            A buzzing, pulsating alarm rung out like a rooster calling to the dawn from the speaker above Shel’s head. She kept calm forming her muscles to twitch harder and faster.  Her arm only needed a pace fast enough to breach the molecular bonds of the straps. She pushed harder against the panic building within her, she knew what would come following the alarm.
            Shel stopped only long enough to catch the ever so faint sound of gas being pumped into the room. The next thing she heard was the click, click, click of an electric igniter.

Monday, May 13, 2013

April Poem Posts

April was National Poetry Month, so I tired to write a poem a day. Here are all the poems I came up with and the dates that I posted them via other social networking sites:

April 30
A poem by Jeff Lee

We held it in the heart and called it truth 
A simple act or idea given taken returned and rewritten
The foundation of actions for which banners are carried and battles are cried 
In effort to build the world around us as something bigger than us
Then the dark came 
It bled into the pure waters we all drank from 
It spilled ink across the clean unwritten pages we held as ideals 
It became the little black spot on the sun that brightened our days
It was the very soul of us all but moved in ways we never thought possible 
It ate at our tables
It drank from our cups 
It played with our children 
It slept in our beds 
A houseguest that became an assumed roommate in the corridors of our minds 
It aged us 
It beat us 
It teased us
It became us 
Our faces were mirrors to it, a place it could check its teeth and brush its hair 
It had merit
It had weight 
It had validity 
It could stand up in court 
It had us 
We gave ourselves to it and asked only for more 
It drove us 
It was us 
And we let it 
Only to find that once we asked what it was it already had bred inside us 
Now there is nothing left but it 
Now all we have is it 
And we will never let it go for it will kill us 
And even death is still feared above it for without it there is no after as there never was a before 
There is no helping us 
There is no holding us 
There is no fixing us
There is no saving us 
There is no us 
There is only it, and we would have it no other way
April 29
Am I am when i am in company 
Am I not when I am alone 
Am I something when seen
Am I nothing in places I've been
Am I feeling when I am entrapped 
Am I hollow when I am un mapped
Am I an idea if I am 
Am I an afterthought if I am not

April 24th
Some times you find madness 
Some times you find pain 
Some times you find love
Some times you find them all in the same place

April 22

i want nothing from me but fire 
I want nothing from you but presence 
i want nothing from the world but foundation 
I want nothing from eternity but being 
I want nothing from you but you 
I want nothing from me but me 
I want nothing all but nothing but love in a moment 
I want nothing but from us but the endless sea

April 16
Fumbled thoughts, dark delighted deeds
Furious fires, logical tyranny breeds
Tight woven ideas tied constricted heart strings
A man who is mortal shall never be king 
Raged ragged rough yelled mountain tops
Views from above pause angels wing flutters stop 
Merge the merry, merry the worth 
Given to the needy, need those spilled over by mirth 
Die in the moment forever of time 
Seek internal justice for uncommitted crimes
Dark days between moons lighted nights 
Peacefully disclosed hardships set right 
Swoop in from the shadow 
Dance down like the rain 
Sing loudly of harrowed
Laugh shyly upon the profane 
Wake from the madness 
Shower out water run red
Shave close around grown sadness
Dress proudly for the dead

April 15

There once was a maiden so fair 
Whose beauty was far beyond compare
One day her mirror did crash
Throwing bits and shards of glass
Now all she sees is hundreds and hundreds of gnarled glares

A servant quick entered with a broom 
Finding the main showed in gloom 
“The mirror broken and lost” 
“But with each action there comes a cost”
So echoed with darkness a voice foretold of doom

April 14

Funny to find myself here again 
In the places where I am surrounded by friends 
I smile not because I can 
I smile because there is love where I am

Oh to be isolated for so long 
Then to be amongst a chorus singing songs
Voices different but much like mine 
Each full of fire burning bright intertwined 

How could I ever be alone 
When I stand welcome in another’s home
How could I have ever had muscles to make a frown 
While I fall back into their voices ready to drown

Its madness my mind says to me 
We have no worth to merit a feeling of free
Hush I tell it noting in retort for this brains are no so smart
As they gather around I give in and being thinking with my heart

April 12

Dark fall was the name they gave to define 
The end of light when the hour struck nye 
A lasting pitch thick as tar to drown out the sun divine 
A meeting of two endless foes cut a thin bright line

Here forever and now gone in a blink
Leaving stumbling fools bumping against one another
All lost, blinded laid down decaying in stink 
A grand game of hide and seek never lacking in cover

I am told we last with dim light artificial 
Burning the earth so that we may see where we stood
But as the energy died out they blew away like dry thistles 
Dim then to dark we understood we had not done what we should 

It will come back I heard my grandfather say
The planet will turn and shrug it off too warm for its dark blanket
We will all be woken up to that bright glorious day
It has to be true if any of us are to make it 

I comb the hair from his brow while he told me the tale
The once flowing threads now like his heart feeble, tired run thin
I had no heart to tell him that all hope must eventually fail
Yes grandfather on that day our new life will begin 

He passed two days later not that any could tell 
When all is dark and it always will be 
There was no longer sunsets or sunrise or clocks or bells
No point to keep time, no reason to turn a wind up key

I feel asleep at my point no longer after he died
He was my guide and my voice from which I learned all 
I know to be honest I should let myself cry 
I now understood that even the might must fall 

I must has gotten lost in the dream lands that sleep 
I saw places and people all glowing with light 
They were all happy, no moaning, or crying, no sadness no weeps
Then a hand reached out saying come son it will be alright 

I found them both lying under blankets made of straw 
To huddled husks together quiet like babes
These humans so afraid they dug deep in their withdraw
Every day we find more bodies dead hidden in caves

To left out of fear knowing not why they ran
Digging hard and long trying any escape 
So many got lost trying in vain to save their kin and their clan 
Never again seeing light never knowing earths fate

April 11

The sweat smell of her is hard escape 
Wet with morning’s waking dew her scent fills my nose
The sensation of her presence there behind me 
Could there be more fire than in the warmth of her skin
Shivering still as I run my hand gently down exposed flesh 
Sparks bright but unseen strike out with pointed spears raging against my invasion 
I draw breath from her 
My lungs fill with moisture, sunlight and song 
I hold it as long as I can before exhaling 
Knowing the air I take in from her will run rivers of blood through my veins 
She is my life blood and the reason why I still breathe
I inch closer to her wanting to feel the warm rapture of her being
Slowing with caution as to not wake her from silent slumber 
But I move with clumsy actions raising small tremors across the space between us
I shall shake her awake if I am not careful, but could that be what I want all along 
“Hello there stranger,” echoes angels in chorus
“I am sorry, you were just too perfect for me to resist,” I answer feeling shame in my action
“Come closer, rock with me to sleep,” she answers all forgiven and all forgot 
I spread my arms wide to encircle her whole 
I feel every part of her pushing back against me as gravity asks like cupid between us
“There now, could there be anything more natural than this,” she questions 
“No, there is nothing more natural than you,” I return 
She rocks as I roll calling sleep back to cover us with sand 
She is my everything, she is my life, she is my foundation, and she is my lasting memory of heaven 
She is my miles of crossed hell marked by scars defining my soul 
“Never leave me,” she commands 
“Never I shall,” I comply 
Quiet again now she and I are, a moonlight face pressed against the dark blanket of space
She is my earth, and I am her moon 
Without her I am cast upon an endless sea of empty existence 
Without me she has no tide to define shores and no brightness in the pitch of night
We sleep, as we always will, always apart of each other’s orbit.

April 9th

A funny thing happened on my way to catch a train 
As I exited my home a single cloud acme low bursting forth with turbulent rain
I hailed a taxi but was passed by again and again 
One finally stopped waving my in with face smiling but plain
Once seated I gave directions but was misunderstood to my distain
To the depot on 7th the one painted like amber waves of grain
When asked once again it was my anger I had to restrain 
“The place of the choo choos, hurry up you birdbrain”
I was forced to exit on the corner of 2nd and Main
“By the gods how much more woe could this day possibly contain?”
To answer my question I was hit by a bike which truly rattled my chains
“I am sorry my friend, I did try to avoid you in vain.”
I grumbled a reply thinking of his bike lit brightly by burning butane 
The time running short I took off my leg feeling crippled by pain
Racing down the street I hastily hoped there was time I could regain
My footfalls endless and my thoughts mostly profane 
Street after street passing people and shops while nursing a possible sprain 
Turning a corner there was the glorious sight of the goal I longed to obtain
Crossing the street watching my path keeping my excitement abstained 
I entered the station checking the board only to find that our departure was detained 
I fell back into a bench heavy with grief wishing a condition more humane 
I must had nodded off for I woke to the sounding of bells and a shirt quite wrinkled and tear-stained
“All aboard,” called a porter his voice echoing like an old fashioned bi-plane
I jumped to my feet grabbing my bag putting my feet in front of my midplane
As I made way the idea of departure was one I reluctantly entertained
After all that had happened to be met with discourse surely would drive me insane 
But there it stood glorious shining a smoke stake roaring forth steam like a billowing mane
I entered my cabin and stowed my bag in a locker which was easy to attain
I sat down with relief the worry biting my mind becoming less inane
An elderly chap enter not long after walking supported by old fashion cane
“You look rather haggard, like your journey may be filled with torturous bane?”
I nodded with sly smile aying only, “oh I can’t really complain.”

April 8

Dancing devil drenched in fright 
Fools folly fumbled found cost
Cooks coated concoctions conjuring delights
Dared dim dirge derelict destinations lost
Laughing longing liquid lustful games
Gathering ganders gratefully given boasts
Burning bright boundless flames
Following fluid forthcoming founded toasts
Tearing terror triumph tailed to victors
Valiant verbose vagabonds vocally shout
Sounding songs sung soulfully sound mixers
Making mad mounds multiplied my bout 
Bring bounded backed blank books before me
My most memorable machinations must memories make
Many might masters must make ready
Read rightfully response rate rallied stakes 
Sturdy structured sentences written
With willfully wanting wording given

April 7

Those steps you hear behind you are your past
The footfalls before you are your future
The tip toes along side you are things that will not last
The dances across from you are your culture
The stomping around you is your screaming
The crawling beneath you is your loss
The flying about you is your dreaming
The next step you take may have a cost
The path that you see is your own
So chose how your feet shall fall
Look for guidance from the whispers of you bones
Set your pace only when you hear the right call
The point of life is to keep moving 
Even when it is only to stand in one place 
So know that your journey is not about proving 
It is yours to take hold yours only to look on and face

April 6th

Crunch sounds dead leaves like fire catching 
The smell of earth and fresh dew hang in the air 
The darkness breaths deep in each hollow 
The ground is uneven alive with its moving 
Each foot fall beats deep foreboding heavy with gloom
It would be madness to stop to listen 
To catch those that linger hidden in the dark
It would be death to be heard 
But the worth far out weights all proposed terror 
The bark on the trees like walls catches ever action 
Each board sending signals as nerves in the hand touching flesh 
Be quiet and see nothing 
Be nothing and keep to the unseen 
A moment to long kept in pondering 
Leads to nothing hung heavy in sacks made for treasure
Then from the shadows comes presence 
A pressure fills our empty space 
Like a shark sensing prey in its wake 
A hunter has entered the room 
Moonlight gives nothing but questions 
Dim beauty it shows catching dust dancing between beams
As light reflects more within than without
Fear of next actions had hearts pounding 
Throats raw stretched clenched holding back shouts 
“I know you are there” comes the voice
A hardness of steal cutting from each spoken tone
“Return to the places you should be resting.”
No raise in volume but each word echoes with boom
The shadow slinks back into true shadow
The pressure in the water has gone
A step from each foot is now taken 
A prize is just around the bend shall be ours
To stop now would end all adventure 
To terry would bring hells wrath upon us
So we move knowing the moment is too soon
Out from the darkness comes form 
A hand outstretched filled with malice 
It takes hold and we know we are doomed 
“Get back to bed little terrors”
“The witching hours has past”
“Go back to your room and find slumber”
“The cookies have all been consumed”

April 4th

Could it be could it say that it is the dueling ideals that man own foreplay 
To know the right but seek out the wrong 
To set fire to bridges were footsteps still fall
To say the terrible cutting truth of things no one else saw
Are we real human or do we obly play at being men 
When all along we are beasts whose wills cannot bend
Given freedom of law or moral or belief 
To run wild and terrible but washed clean of our grief
I say let loose that howl and bail to the moon 
Call fury and thunder upon those for whom you need doom
Pull back your smile and show us your teeth
Bite deep into flesh to let loose the blood flown beneath 
Am I only a man when I know it is wrong 
Or am I truly a man while my humanity is long gone
Cannot rage birth a river
Cannot anger cause steam
Cannot sadness end screams
Cannot hunger bring solace when our true faces are seen
Is there not light in the darkness 
Is there not blood at first birth 
Is there not pain wrapped in success warmed wholly by mirth 
Am I mad for just thinking I am not only a man 
Am I crazy for believing that I am more than I am 
If my station grows old and my britches confine rather than fit
Should I only buy more to pile on top of my old broke down shit
Or if I gave myself chance to just once feel like the wind
Talk honest and loving to those of my kin
To grab hold of my love and kiss her with endless passion 
To dress my ideas and my person in an animal fashion 
Could I finally be whole 
Could I finally be free
Or would I be locked away for remembering what it should be to be me ?

April 3rd

I worry about what life is left in these old bones 
I wonder at the knowledge kept in these faded tomes
I want to keep shelter in these dilapidated homes
I wish to understand the wisdom spoken by these aged crones
I worship the magic held in the endless unknown
I wait to put down fires from rage homegrown
I wander the path but seek return to forgotten a hearthstone

Sunday, May 12, 2013

First Flash Fiction

By B.C. Pope

Pain was the first thing Ram could understand. The very first idea that his mind worked to accomplish while swimming up from below his unconscious dreamed existence. Next came the thin blurred line of white, curved at the edges far too bright to accept. But as bright as it was the white line was at least less real than the pain, which began to crash upon him like the tide coming in to shatter castles built upon the sand.
“AHHHHHHHHHHHH,” Ram cried out as the pain struck again completely opening his senses to the world around him.  A black room, a single bright light, a shadow standing before him, everything bent and blurred all but the pain.
Ram slumped forward but did not fall, there was a force holding him in places just enough to give a reprieve but not enough to loose him to gravity. His eyes opened again becoming clearer allowing light to dance across his retina bleeding into his mind, information processed images and becoming cognition. The shadow, now solid against the black background became a man. He was average height, but loomed over Ram teetering on the tips of his toes. The man’s clothes were of business dress, a pair of black slacks, white shirt, tie, and dress coat. These items tied him together as one might tie a knot to remind themselves of something important. Ram looked closer unable to make words to question. The man in his suit just stood there looking at Ram. But not really looking, mocking him with a smile painted wide and proud across his blank face. The madness of the smile stood a stark contrast against the pressed neatness of the suit he wore.
“What is going on?” Ram croaked through dry lips. “Who, who are you, what is going on, why am I here?” Ram continued to question.
No reply from the man, he only smiled wider and bowed his head. Ram could feel anger mixed with fear crawling up his throat. Sensing this man in the suit turned away from Ram and walking a few paces to a table. His hand reaching out and pressed a button on top of a black box. There is an audible click as the sides of the box slid away exposing several racks of metallic balls. Neat and ordered like the man’s suit they stood awaiting something. Another click followed and a single ball rolls away from the others down a slide creating a sound like sand and water rushing out a pipe. CLANG, rang out the ball marking the end of its journey.
“For the love of the Gods, what is all this?” Ram bellowed out in frustration. The man only turned again and walked slowly into the wide welcoming arms of darkness cutting the room from light.
“HEY, hey come back here, dammit you son of a whore, COME BACK HERE!” shouted Ram full of fury and rage. Ram’s empty threats returned only empty echoes trimmed in the sound of another ball sliding down the machinations of the box.
 “Please, let me go,” pleaded Ram into the dark. “I have money, any amount you want it’s yours. Whatever it is I can give it to you, just let me go.” Ram’s voice broke while he pleaded, he could feel the wet tears begin to fall.
Over and over Ram called out into the dark never given a response, never hearing anything but a rolling ball and a clang. Ram counted the time it took a ball to fall, the time it took to reset, the time it took to count the time. It all passed around him just as the ball passed from a static state to a different static state. He was alone with nothing but his thoughts, his count, and the darkness.
Ram moved from pleading, back to anger, to silence and back again to pleading. Ram’s mood turned again at the same time a ball hit its end. As if the box knew Ram’s mood had changed another light shone down before him. It illuminated a simple sign saying only Save Him Save Yourself.
“Save who dammit, what is this crap you expect me to do?” hammered Ram’s voice against the darkness.
Ram’s mind loaded with emotion grasped hopelessly for reason. The rushing sand and water sound continued over and over mocking Ram’s questioning. Clang rand out the box, another light came on flooding over a mannequin wearing a neatly pressed black suit.
Another clang another light this one showed a man bound to a board a mirror reflecting back another Ram. Ram’s eyes danced over the man, he was not the same but was the same. Ram could feel the desperate climate of their plight, he could empathize with it, own it for himself. Ram’s eyes moved to the sign, Save Him, Save Yourself. It was all clear, each broken piece came together, Ram knew what must be done.
Ram stopped breathing long enough for his body to remember it needed it. He gasped air back into throat filling his lungs to bursting. Ram was drowning alone in a room filled only with a machine, a black suit, and his remaining sanity. But his head has surfaced long enough to make it real in his mind. Ram gave in to the idea, sinking again into ocean of doubt knowing his next breath would be on dry land.
“I understand, let me free, I am ready,” Ram spoke softly into the darkness. His request was answered with the sudden release of his bonds. He fell like a rag to the floor his legs atrophied from lack of use. In time Ram was able to crawl his way to the suit. Ram remained on the floor allowing the blood to flow freely back into his deprived extremities.
When able Ram stood, dressed himself in the suit and moved to stand before the man. All the lights but one went dark around him. Ram could not fight it; a smile without reason slowly started to spread across his face.