Tuesday, September 13, 2005

One Syllable Word Challenge (vrp)

At dusk last night, I sat on the stoop with a book, with all the words in my hands, and none in my mouth. There was no need to speak, and no one to care. As a child I did this most days, when school would let out, I'd read in peace, with no one to talk to. I liked it that way. There may have been no one to speak to, no one to hear me, but that meant that there was no one to judge me for all the faults I owned.

Through life I brought them with me - the bucked teeth, the hard head and soft heart, a lack of lies and my love of truth - and the words, bound in color and a lack of sound. Safe.

Frost: How I loved him, and the way he'd stroke my soul with his paths through the woods, and the way he made me feel as though he read me first and then wrote me, -drew me- next to the fence, on his horse - in each flake of snow. In that world I was not flawed, I was seen and loved and he penned me to life. Of course this was in the mind of a child, where all things are real if you wish it true and just trust!

As I grew up, I found Poe. He was dark and strange, I loved him too. He was just what a weird angst-filled teen needs when real life won't grant you a way in. I sank, cold and mute, to the depths of his view. I danced to the beat of his Tell Tale Heart, tick-tock watched as his art strove to beat from my chest. He scared me, and I loved the fear. Thought it was my friend.

Then, I met a man, and we tried to make a life, had one child, then two. He too was dark and scared me - taught me what it was to be "made" by one man's fist. In his world I was no snow flake, I was a dead leaf left to rot in the dank shade of an old oak.
Him? He was real. He was hate and pain and he had no words. He left mine bruised, and shy. I lost my books to his hand. He took from me my Frost and gave me Buk, bound us tight, in black and blue.

So I read much less, or not at all, but boy did I write - tomes of things I thought no one else knew. My own plights and pains that I would hide on a shelf in the dark. Those words were still as pure as those of Frost, but these were pure Hell, a lack of peace, the twist of a knife held at bay with the spring of wire that held them back. They were the ache for death, the sad cries of a girl trapped. They were my Plath, though I had no clue who she was. They were proof of the self- hate that I held dear.

I have grown since then, learned much. Found my words too, when I left that life. I wrote them - and some are still of pain and tears and loss - but joy and smiles and the new life I've made are there too. In this book, this one formed by the nib of MY pen, there are, once more, flakes of snow on tongue tips, and rides on horse back - paths through the woods and the glow of a full moon on a night sea.

Best of all I can stand at the fence now and know that no man can cross it that I don't ask, for it's strong, built by hands that know me, hands I can have faith in - mine.

Tagged: , , , ,


  1. For my readers:
    This isn't much like my usual posts lately - but if you read this you'll understand a little more :)

  2. "he made me feel as though he read me first and then wrote me"

    I love that description of Frost. Great post, Erin. While I read it, I actually forgot the original (one-syllable) conditions.

  3. I read this before I read the VRP page, and thought it was different to usual (not worse, but a bit weird - a bit Magic Realist if only that were a good thing).

    But it's a nice post- I'd rewrite it to allow yourselef the occasional lapse into polysyllabilicity (!)

  4. Beautiful. Truly beautiful. I spotted one two-syllable word, "longer", but it's in a sentence that is easily reconstructed without changing the meaning, so I say it doesn't count!

    This is a heck of a piece--real feeling. Thanks for sharing.

  5. AHH! I didn't even SEE "longer" even after reading this at least 4 times looking for 2+ syllable words! LOL, I'll get on fixing that!

  6. Where was that link supposed to take me? I've updated my browser and getting strange reactions.

  7. glad it wasn't just me, and now that I know something of its story, I'll tell you what I would have said even before I knew. I actually enjoyed this post and didn't notice any idiosyncracies in it. So, I'm blind and slow...

  8. I sent you my attempt. You're much better at it than I.

  9. This is still my favorite of everything that was submitted. To me, it wins on the merit of being moving and meaningful and ethereal and beautiful *regardless* of the monosyllabic requirement!

    In showdogs (our breed, obviously, is poodles), there are certain color prejuidices among judges, because of a history of lack of quality in those colors. So it is a high compliment when someone says of an "off" color dog, "THAT would be a gorgeous dog in any color."

    This would be a gorgeous piece in any color.

    At first, I thought, "I'd like to see how she would express this with no restrictions." But then, I wavered, for fear a second version might mar the perfection of this one.

    In case you can't tell, I REALLY like it.