The bitter taste of Orange

The bitter taste of Orange

21 February 2017

 

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They lived in a small house by the sea and when the weather was not harsh he would go out with their small boat to get some fish for their meal., else they would have to rely on the barley porridge that Estelle made. The barley was bought thanks to the latest catch Bart had made and that he had sold at the village earning him some sacks of barley. Estelle, his wife, always thought that the barley was better because wheat tented to get musty in their small house by the seashore.

 

When Bart was not fishing either because the weather was bad or because the catch would not be good, Estelle stayed at home knitting. All of Bart’s sweaters had been made by her and she had even started making him full jumpers.

 

In the twenty years that they had been married they had never quarreled once. It was not that they got on well about everything but simply that Estelle had quietly said “Well of course dear Bart you are right. I am so sorry that I did not understand it right the first time over”. In the early years of their marriage Bart had thought her to be giving in out of love for him and then slowly started suspecting that he may be simply superior to her mentally. While this thought tickled his ego and made him sometimes want to stray away and find a girl who would be more his intellectual equal, the long time passed with Estelle made it impossible for him to even draft such a plan.

 

Estelle made an excellent marmalade of the oranges that grew in the orchard around the house. It was really strange to see oranges growing so close to the sea but Estelle had her way with nature and from the fist orange tree that she had succeeded in planting during their first wedding year, there were now more than 40 orange trees growing around the little house.

 

The best days were when Bart could get the fish and Estelle could make one of her special “Coulis” with the same oranges except that the taste was not at all like the marmalade she made but rather like some delicious soup-like sauce she used as dressing with some herbs to go together with the fish.

 

In all the years they had lived together, Estelle had expressed only one desire and that was to float in the sea as she did not know how to swim and he was not sure whether he could help her swim at the coast as that is where the waves were the roughest. He kept thinking to himself that he could surely do it one day when he did not have to attend to the catch as she would have taken up the space useful for the catch and made them lose money if he had given in to her desire.

 

One day, coming back from his usual fishing trip he found Estelle her face resting on one palm and her other on the table. In front of her there were oranges that she had seemed to be cutting when she had died all of a sudden. He carried her in his arms overcome with grief and lay her on the bed. He was thirsty from the day’s toil so thought he should drink something before dealing with the situation. He seized some of the oranges and swallowed them but their taste was extremely bitter and had nothing to do with either the coulis nor the marmalade that Estelle had made for them.

 

Bart went back to Estelle and wondered what to do. He knew he could not just bury her like anyone else. He cried with anguish at the thought that he had never fulfilled her desire of floating in the sea. His mind then made, he called for the local priest to bless Estelle. When that was done, he rowed to the farthest point of their coast where the sea met the delta and put her body in the water. He thought that she looked too beautiful to die. He wept in grief at the way the orange strands of her hair spread out in the water.

 

They say he must have got lost in the tempest that ensued because he never came back after her sea burial. Some say, he chose to go with her because living without her was meaningless for him.

The oranges in the orchard still grow and the women from the village come and pick them freely and somehow, they always have a unique taste for each marmalade made. The oranges which are strangely extremely bitter when eaten naturally make a heavenly marmalade when the right quantity of sugar is added. The orchard lives on….

 

Reading of the story: 

ophelia-dorota-gorecka-photography-28205

Pink Orange by Instinct Primitif/ Intidhar Kammarti

 

 

 

Egregious

Egregious

29 July 2016

 

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Courtesy angelslightworldwide.com

 

Night-bred haunt

Lurking in passage

To nowhere

The ship sails

Passengers in vests no tails

Shortened evenings

 

The bell rings

Reminder of call

To children

Huddled small

Inside my bosom’s stairs flight

Beseeching the light

 

Pass through me

I am needle’s eye

Pulsating

With keen sight

All without now stark blindness

Only morrows’ fight

 

Villainy

An art of living

The words dark

The craft deaf

Resonance but lonely theft

Forming the letters

 

Breath fetters

When guided by voice

Sunken deep

Into heap

Of sporadic movements sly

Catcher of the rye

 

Taste heavy

Laden with the guilt

Egregious

Waverings

To hate people but love things

Dissolute matter

 

Reading of the poem: 

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Courtesy allwallpaperzfree.blogspot.com

Yonderhead – Thomas Feiner

All that Numbs You – Thomas Feiner

Dinah and the Beautiful Blue – Thomas Feiner and Anywhen

The taste of cinnamon spice

The taste of cinnamon spice

20 July 2016

cinnamon pinterest com
Courtesy pinterest.com

 

Kindred kind

Twining in your breath

Your lips paint

Molten lava

Straying from known peaks summits

Shoulders to unwind

 

Lamp to post

Within dark alleys

Bringing light

Bursting sight

Visions of colours reeking

Lip to lip speaking

 

Lonely street

One-sided entry

Neck to neck

Our tongues meet

The taste of cinnamon spice

Flaring up the night

 

Reading of the poem: 

 

Elm – Hammock

In the Middle of this Nowhere – Hammock

Then the Quiet Explosion – Hammock

The taste of Heaven

The taste of Heaven

9 July 2016

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Courtesy pinterest.com

 

She had a way with the city’s streets, always choosing those which were less crowded yet where she could find things that people left out of their apartments for lack of space as they bought newer and trendier things. She never could understand how people could throw away such useful and sometimes even beautiful items. She even once found a lovely mother-of-pearl comb with only two broken teeth and it amused her as she touched the matching empty spaces in between her own. She cackled to herself at this amazing coincidence while she pocketed the comb. “You were made for me dearie” she said her shoulders still shaking with mirth as she made her way through the rest of the contents of the bin where she had found it. Nothing more which she could use she thought to herself and moved on to the next doorstep.

 

A man opened the door suddenly and started yelling at her to go away so they would not have such bad luck any more in those streets. “It’s all your fault old hag with your evil eye and brooding ways” he yelled at her disappearing figure. She walked hurriedly on thinking that it was not so much bad luck as bad blood. “Those youngsters in the neighbourhood, pff”, she muttered to herself. Somebody should have set them right long ago when the first ones started slinging mud on houses and pulling girls skirts if they ventured out alone, she thought. If someone had had the courage to do so when they were first trying their luck, it would never have come to this.

 

She did not care much as she was always safe in her hiding place when the gang boys came out at night looking for a fight. Sometimes she would watch from the roof of a neighbouring building as they taunted people and stole money from street vendors. Most vendors had given up trying to sell anything during the night but the busy streets of the city were always bustling with tourists and the cops were there so they could make so much more than during the day where they would have to bear the heat and barely have 5 customers in a day. It was when they went back home through the badly lit streets of the suburbs where no policemen dared to venture during the night that they risked the most, yet some were daring enough to attempt it. Some wise enough to know how to find their way like her would stay and sleep in secluded spots throughout the city during the night and only venture back home during daytime. If they were lucky, the police patrols did not catch them and lock them in for the day. Not that they cared about going to jail but they were sure that what they had saved from the gang boys would definitely be split amongst the cops at the jail and they would not be any better. It would come as no surprise that most of them always slept with one eye open, ready to spring to their feet and run if any policemen were to spot them.

 

She suddenly stopped in the middle of her thoughts that trailed away when she realised that she had reached a part of the suburbs that she should not be in at this time of the day. Stupid old hag, she muttered to herself disparagingly. She could not believe how she had let her thoughts run wild to the extent that she was now in this mess. With all those thoughts about the city, her legs had automatically adapted to her mind and she had actually walked out of the suburbs and to the edge of the tourist zone. It was almost sunset and it would take her almost two hours to get back to her hiding place even if she walked quickly and she knew she could no longer maintain that pace at her age. She looked around instantly identifying all the alternate hiding places but she knew she would not really be safe there as the gang boys used them too when they sat lurking waiting for the adventurous vendors returning home with their treasures after a good day’s work.

 

She realised she did not have a choice now anyway and made her way to the first of the hiding places. Her stomach was growling as she had not found any food nor had she met any vendor kind enough to offer her some of the leftovers from the day’s work. Most vendors knew her as she had been the local teacher for years before she retired and many who had been her pupils were grateful and would offer her some food. Not the choice morsels of course but those remaining at the end of the day that no customer would have wanted. She never complained anyway and was grateful for their kindness. When her only son had married, he had continued staying with her but after his death his widow had chased her out of the house and she had taken to the streets. The widow was known to have been making merry with one of the local policemen even before her husband had died so the old lady knew it would be pointless to complain.

 

The streetlights fluttered before lighting casting a long shadow of her solitary figure. She slunk back into the darkness and made her way through the rubble of a torn-down building to where the first hiding place was. As she opened the gate of a run-down building behind the one fallen, she realised that she was not the only one who had chosen this spot. A cigarette glowed in the dark and the smell of tobacco filled the air. “What you doing here, oldie pants, you has a death wish tonight” quizzed a voice and a few others snickered. She recognized the voice of the leader of the gang boys. She knew him well as she had observed him many times from afar while he led his gang. She had known his parents too as they had both attended her school and been childhood sweethearts. She had witnessed them going from childish love to ecstatic adult love and they had eloped when the girl was pregnant as they could not afford a marriage. After their son was born, things had changed drastically as she had become an occasional hooker to pay for their expenses and he resented it but was not able to find enough money through his vendor job. To compensate for their dire circumstances they both smoked extensively and were high almost all the time but ultimately died of lead poisoning as they had been buying altered weed from an unscrupulous vendor who cut his weed with lead powder to make it heavier. The young boy had been placed in an orphanage before making it to a juvenile detention facility from which he escaped and then started the gang boys with a few pranksters who had left school and were loafing in the streets all day and terrorising the neighbourhood in the night.

 

She did not answer but thought the better of attempting to run as they would catch up with her in no time so just moved into the room where they were all sitting together huddled. She felt the young man rise to his feet. “I saying you has a death wish tonight”, he repeated inching closer to her. She could feel his stale breath and menacing stance and as her eyes grew accustomed to the darkness she could see that he was flexing his muscles, showing off to the pack that he was a true leader. “You mean to say you have a death wish tonight” she corrected almost automatically. He froze and she could now sense the pure anger in his body as he curled up his fist and looked like he was going to hit her. Instead he just pushed her on the floor and as she fell with a thud he started laughing hysterically pointing at her and looking back at his friends chanting repeatedly “granny’s be all mum, sitting on her bum”. She could feel the searing pain in her hip and thought she must have cracked it when she fell down. Tears welled in her eyes but she continued “you mean granny will be all mum”. The young man’s jaw dropped open and although she knew this was going to get her a beating if not worse, she simply could not feel any fear any longer. Her hip was throbbing painfully but that was all she felt.

 

The young man rushed to her and yanked her to her feet yelling at her that he was going to f… kill her now as she could not just stay down and stay quiet like grannies were meant to. She looked at him calmly her face inches from his and told him that his granny had never been quiet. In fact, she and her had been good friends and very talkative ones, she said, so it was sad that her friend’s grandson was doing this. He recoiled at this as if she had been a cobra who struck him. “You lying grannie pants” he said with attempted sneering but his voice was shaking. He had no memories of a grandmother and even those memories of his parents were so distant he was not sure whether it was real or just a dream. “I am not lying, it is the truth, she said, and I knew your parents too”. One of the boys from the gang yelled out “She telling the truth DH, she been a teacher and all. The whole town gone to school with her”. “Shut ya trap”, DH yelled back. He seemed to calm down though and then realised that she seemed to be standing crookedly. “What you got now” he snarled at her. “I think my hip is broken” she said wincing as she attempted to stand on her other foot to relieve the side of her hip where the pain was searing. He made a sign to the other boys and all of a sudden she found herself lifted in the airs. They carried her out to DH’s car and took her to the city’s hospital where they left her in the waiting room. Before the nurse could ask them anything they had taken off as quickly as they had rushed her in.

 

The next day, she was resting in the ward with a dozen other patients who were too poor to afford private rooms when she heard the door creak open. She wondered who it was as all the day staff was still sleeping and the night shift had not bothered much about them after their first two rounds. It was DH and he was carrying a small plastic bag. She sized him up and realised that he looked so young and forlorn in the early daylight, not at all the menacing thug of the night before. She felt sad as she thought back to her days with his grandmother who had been a good friend of hers and yet was glad that she was no more so she would not see what had become of her only grandson.

 

DH slunk into the room shiftily looking around and making sure nobody from the staff was around. She wondered what had brought him here again. When the gang boys had first brought her to the hospital she had realised that DH felt some remorse at having broken her hip and wanted to make amends but she was not sure why he had come back. She looked at him blankly as he reached into the plastic bag. Slowly he took out with a hardly suppressed pride a few red juicy tomatoes and presented them to her. “Eat” he said. She almost snatched the first one from his hands and as her remaining teeth sunk into it, a smile lighted her face. He grinned a crooked grin and she realised that he was actually handsome under all that dirt. “What’s it tasting like” he asked? “The taste of Heaven” she answered with another smile as she took the remaining tomatoes from his hands and rested them on her lap. He grinned again sheepishly and said “I ain’t gonna push you no more grannie pants”. “I know” she said. He nodded and quickly left the room as he heard the hospital personnel slowly start their day. One patient next to her asked her if it was her grandson. She looked at her and thought to herself “well it could have been” and then nodded smilingly at her neighbour. She slowly stretched back on her side thinking it was nice to have a real bed to sleep in for once and drifted into slumber.

 

When the nurse came to check on all the patients, she found her in the same position. “You need to lay on your back again grannie” she told her but to no avail. On attempting to move her so she would lie flat on her back again the nurse realised that she was cold and rigid. She slowly turned her on her back and as she did so, she sensed before she saw small red items rolling on the floor from the grannie’s bed but she could not focus on them for she was mesmerised by the look on the old lady’s face. She seemed to have died in something close to an ecstatic moment and even death could not make her smile look ugly as it continued to light her face. She bent down and gathered the tomatoes muttering “must have been some tomatoes for you to be so happy grannie”. “Sure were” yelled the old lady’s neighbour, “she said they tasted like heaven”.

 

When DH came to know of grannie’s death, he was guilt-ridden thinking it was the broken hip that had caused it but the gang boys found out from the cops that she had actually died of a natural death. He attended her funeral from far and that night, all the gang boys were busy with the earth on grannie’s grave. The graveyard keeper who was watching to see whether they were gravediggers was astounded to see them actually pack soil on the grave and throw something into the soil. He watched as night after night they watered the soil and decided he would find out what they were up to but was bed-ridden for a week and could not follow their antics anymore. When he finally resumed his graveyard shifts, he realised to his surprise that they had been growing tomatoes on the old lady’s grave. One night, he even saw the leader of the gang boys crouching over the grave and as he moved closer within earshot, he heard him say “I hope you tasting them grannie and they be still like heaven”.

 

You Say ‘Tomato’, I say ‘Tomato’ – Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

 

Your touch my soul soothed

Your touch my soul soothed

28 September 2015

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Courtesy fanpop.com

  

The taste of the salt

I can feel it on my lips

Remnants of the Sea

 

I see now your face

Glorious revelation

Like the love in you

 

Your thoughts in bosom

Connection mind to mind starts

Synapse expansion

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Courtesy pixcooler.com

 

The Beauty of You

Past the living flesh and bones

As in you I melt

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Courtesy archive 4plebs.org

 

Images you toss

Born from the welding of us

Wordsmith worked so keen

 

Toss us now unto

Delicious soar of Heart’s fires

Kindling flames of Love

 

Lost in this embrace

Deep word to word locked

Your touch my soul soothed

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Only Love makes Perfect Sense

Only Love makes Perfect Sense

15 September 2015

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A whiff of your scent

Captures my aching nostrils

Signals our parting

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The taste of your lips

In heated argument roam

Provoking my own

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Your footsteps echo

As they slowly fade away

From my memories

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The glory of you

Between Dark and Light

Your faceless presence

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Courtesy walkingwithvision.com

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The feel of your hands

Deliberate and loving

Lost in our caress

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All this forever

Planted in our DNA

Fickle cell mutates

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Height of Senses: ache!

Within your torrid embrace

Height of Senses? Love!

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Forsake all Senses

Only Love makes Perfect Sense

Make it Only Sense

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Courtesy YouTube.com

Getting the Tune right

Getting the Tune right

11 September 2015

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Courtesy pinterest.com

 

Tune into my mind

The dark waves that carry you

Distort frequencies

 

I will wash your spleen

Into clean iridescence

By Love now transformed

 

Give me your worries

I will chain them to the Earth

Lo! I break your clasp

 

Fly free in the skies

Reality is but clay

For you to model

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Courtesy riverbankoftruth.com

 

The child within you

Is lost in the wilderness

Totems spare you fear

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Simple is my tongue

Comprehension extended

To grant you solace

 

Let go of the weight

Love your only Totem lifts

Sets alive your Heart

 

Find my inner child

Let bonding bring a new growth

Past fears we’ve hidden

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Love Marisha Karto peupledepapier blogspot com
Courtesy Marisa Karto on peupledepapier.blogspot.com

 

Feel through the abyss

For your Heart’s music to set

Getting the Tune right

 

I will feed you fruit

Plucked from heavenly pastures

Of our own bearing

 

We will taste honey

From bees flying in freedom

Humbling greatest breeds

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We will colour Life

Now passion beyond reason

To music reposed

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Courtesy thespiritguidenetwork.co.uk