Death, Cause and Effect.

I wrote this story in 2014 but with the news of yet so many gang related killing in London and around lately. There have been so many knife crimes this year. In light of this I thought I would repost Death, Cause and Effect.

DEATH

It was quiet and dark and the sun through the window was warming him just enough to keep him alert now his fight had begun.

The bench was hard but he could take that, it was the pain in his side and chest which filled his being, everything else was flat.

Fear gripped his mind, he was so cold inside yet a sweat was rippling down his back. His sight was blurred, was he going blind?

Slowly a long hidden memory came to the fore. His mother had taught him it long before he had changed. “Gentle Jesus meek and mild look upon me a little child”

OH! Jesus if you are there help me now, I did not need you then but I do now. Jesus this pain is f###ing killing me, help me help me please. Slowly he slipped forward onto the floor a darkness washed over him and he knew no more.
~~~~~~~~~~~

“Where are you going son. No, out, will not do! Listen to me boy I am asking you. Why must you run with that pack it seems to me now there is no coming back. What has happened to you, you were such a good boy at school I had hopes that you’d go far but your just like your brother playing the fool.
No your not wicked but you are not a fool and I am telling you this, in my book you’re not cool.”

“What are you doing with that? Give it me back , don’t you threaten me son I’ll give you a smack. OH! Please will you listen to me don’t take that knife it will not set you free from the boredom in your life. It will not get you a job, it won’t make you a man what has happened to you and your world changing plan? You had vision and hunger for work a decent and pleasant boy not as you are now , just a jerk.”
~~~~~~

Clearing up quietly the priest approached the the last row when something on the floor that caught the suns last glow. Red and sticky he knew what it was but he prayed to his God that it would not be true. The boy lying his arms out wide, blood flowing from his side. A thought crossed his mind but he dismissed immediately. He looked like Jesus did, you see. Arms out wide , blood from his side a cut round his forehead dripping, blood in his eyes.

He took out his mobile and took a deep breath as he dialled , ambulance, police he begged his mind running wild. The operator was telling him what to do, “Keep him warm and stem the blood is what I want you to do.” He ripped off his cassock and swaddle the lad he then notice blood on his jeans ( the best ones he had) He cradled the boy and prayed in his ear “keep trying to stay ask now, Jesus will hear.”

It was half an hour until anyone arrived the paramedic crew gently moved the priest to one side. It was too late the boy was gone, then with their radios crackling loud, the police taped the area off,with people from everywhere arriving, such a crowed.

Standing back and looking around the priest said a prayer with out making a sound. “Dear God take the soul of this boy who died here today and give him some peace, and if you have time help me find words to sooth his family, at least ” Then he sat down exhausted, he was just a man even though he was called priest.

A woman on her way home from work regretting an argument at the start of her day was wondering how to fix things and what she could say. She always said never give up, never leave a good word unsaid. Never leave things, sort them before you go to bed. Passing the church she saw her youngest boys friends , he wasn’t there perhaps they could make amends.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THE CAUSE

Photo found Here

He awoke with a jump. It was his brother rolling in drunk! Damn only 4am please don’t go over what’s to happen again. I know I must do this. I must prove myself.

It was all too easy a year a go when his best friend introduced him to the boys “you need to know” It had been simple things at first making old ladies jump, stealing traffic cones all laughing fit to burst.

When he was really trusted, got himself a name.Things became more serious it suddenly was a whole new game. They met the older boys, the ones with big fast cars. They all wore hoodies, bling and they all had facial scars.

It was money and messages that he had to run he was fit and had a bike.Now that is how easily it had begun. He often skipped school though not always willingly. There really was not any choice, what the big boys said, had to be.

His teachers all asked him why his work had slipped away he had a brilliant future and he had thrown it all away. He was a little worried but he shrugged his shoulders and wondered off, his teachers called him back but his friends told them to f### off.

Mum, she was desperate working on her own doing all she could to keep the house,the boys and make for them a home. The oldest she had lost him he had gone to drugs. She had tried so hard but he just robbed her blind and made her look a mug.The young one she had dreams for she had prayed to the Lord each day but now he was on the wrong track and now he was slipping the same way.

He knew he had become a waster, he knew that he was bad . It was the only way to be accepted and safe but the pain in Mum’s eyes made him feel bad. So he just avoided contact and hardened to her pleas. He was knocked back the other day when she begged him to stay home down on her knees.

He tried to ask his brother who ran with an older crew but he was useless as he was trapped there too. What chance was there, his brother asked, what was there for them to do there was no work or opportunities running with lads was at least something to do. It was all about status and how hard you are , what clothes you wore , what trainers and did you have a scar.
~~~~~~~~

His brother had one, on his face, from a fight with a rival gang. Okay it hurt , six days in hospital 17 stitches but he was now a big man??

Today was his chance to join the glorious crew. To take part in the big ruck was all he had to do.

Two weeks he had known about the fight , where and exactly when. It was on his mind both day and night . His thoughts were full of dread , through his blood ran pure fear it was nearly six now, the day was finally here.

Later in the kitchen when he was taking the knife , his mother caught him and shouted at him. He raised his hand to her for the first and last time in his life. Luckily she was small so he pushed her to one side as he crashed through the door and out the gate . His mother sat on the floor and cried.
~~~~~~~~~~~
Later he met the guys when mum had gone to work , they knew a squat they could use to complete their plan. By 4pm they were jumpy they were ready to a man.They left the squat and through the railings ran. Jumping , punching the air and making feral calls they had it now they all knew the plan, they had all the balls.

He wished he’d picked a smaller knife this one was too large . As he was changing it’s position. Into him a couple of the lads all barged. At once he felt a sharp and stinging pain as he fell to the floor, it felt worse again. His side felt wet and his forehead was cut where he had scraped along the floor..

By Banksy

What’s wrong man, stop messing we haven’t got the time it’s 5 o’clock now hear those church bells chime. Oh! hey you’re hurt man what did you do. You stupid f### you stabbed yourself. We have to leave you here, no good to have a burden on the crew.

His best friend helped him in to the church and sat him at the back , hold on, he said, laters. then ran off to join the pack.

So he alone now, life ebbing from his side thought of mum, school his brother and he cried. He asked the lord for comfort but comfort did not come. He prayed a childhood prayer from deep inside his mind. The priest found him,and he was very kind. He wrapped his chest and held him and asked him not to go . He tried to but he couldn’t stay he felt too tired, too low.

He heard the priests’ desperate call as he slipped away forget the ambulance he though and just pray for me today. The priest felt him go, but he would not loose his grip he felt he needed to guide this lost boy, some mothers pride and joy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THE EFFECT

Image found Here

Getting off the bus and heading for home, she was tired her feet ached but she was determined not to moan. This was important, it had to be done she needed to put her whole being into saving her youngest son!

Pushing the front door shut behind her putting the bags down on the kitchen floor she looked into the living room but there was no one there. No television no shoot’em’up games standing in the hallway she called out both boys names.

OH! well, she put the kettle on and maybe she’d ring around she had both their mobile numbers but they did not always want to be found. The doorbell rings , damn she had only just sat down she, walking toward the door the phone begins to sing.

There it is the sight every mother dreads, a policeman and a policewoman , OH! god she thinks someone must be dead.
~~~~~~~~~

The hospital was noisy but she didn’t hear a sound her lungs were filling up as she were about to drown. She had been waiting for an age now, would no one take her in. She was feeling really sick now and and felt like things were crawling on her skin.

It was so cold in there and he only had a sheet on . God he looked so pale but she supposed that was what you would look like when all your blood was gone.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

She woke up with the headache she had had since that day the shock of the police visit and what they had to say. She she knew she had to get up she knew she must today, it was the funeral and that would not go away.

Things had been different her elder boy had staid home he seemed to want to help his mother and not leave her on her own. She dare not hope he had changed but she was glad that he was there. She slowly put her face on and then she brushed her hair.

His friends were at the church like they had been that day , he was not not with them. Would this pain ever go away. The priest seemed glad to see her and he offer his support, she felt close to this man who was with her boy when for his life he fought.
~~~~~~~~~

His favourite track finished and the last notes drifted away she stood up and looked at everyone and said she had something to say.

She knew that there was no work and that there was not much hope but joining gangs and using guns and knives was not the way to cope. Please listen she pleaded you are slipping away too many lives are wasted too many die this way. Something must be done and it must be soon we are loosing a generation it might be two if something is not done soon. How many more mothers have to suffer like she was. We really need to sort this out……… her voice trailed off to silence as she repeated, how many more mothers like me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cinqku Drowning.

Drowning

Nothing left

To struggle for

Such a relief , escape

Freedom.

*********

A cinqku must always have 5 lines and a perfect seventeen-syllable count. The lines typically follow a 2,3,4,6,2 format. There is no title requirement on the second line. As for syntax and diction styles, it follows the free Tanka style originally. There are no metric requirements for a cinqku poem. Additionally, the final line must contain a cinquain or kireji turn for emphasis.

Death Stalks.

Dark secrets hidden in the soul

Lost hope devours futures whole.

The beauty of the mountainside

Hold darkness that covers wide.

Fears are waterfalls hidden deep

Death stalks there, touching all

Leaving wife and son weep.

******

The above artwork is by André Mangabeira. He created this stunning piece by using charcoal and pastels on a moleskin sketchbook.
André based it on a scene from the Turkish movie – ‘Once upon a time in Anatolia’.

I read the plot and followed Andre’s lead basing a short poem on the essence of the story.

Do visit André’s blog.

André has kindly given me permission to use this piece of artwork.

Borrow The Lyrics Challenge: Ribbons.

I was very interested to receive this challenge from Jim Adams. (You can read his entry here)

Here are the Rules.

1: You need to choose a verse from a song and use it in an original poem or story.

2: You must include the name of the song and the singer at the end or beginning.

3: You need to challenge someone else and invent ONE rule they need to follow.

4 You must credit the person who started this challenge (a.k.a. PJ – I’m sorry for the inconvenience) and the person who challenged you, which was Jim Adams.

Thank you for the challenge Jim and your new rule that the song I use must contain the word ribbon in it.

So here goes. I did not want to use the obvious, Scarlett Ribbons, because I really do not like that song.

So I have gone for the song Ribbons by the group, The Good the Bad and the Queen.
The Good, the Bad & the Queen, comprising Damon Albarn, Paul Simonon, Simon Tong and Tony Allen Their first album The Good the Bad and the Queen debuted at number two in the UK Albums Chart and was certified Gold in the UK within days of its release despite little media recognition and airplay. In the United States, the album entered the Billboard 200 at No. 49. In October 2018, it was confirmed that the band’s official name is The Good, the Bad & the Queen after they announced their second album, Merrie Land. It is from this second Album that I have chosen the track, composed by Damon Albarn, Tony Allen, Paul Simonon, Simon Tong and Tony Visconti.

The lyrics are in the video.

Ribbons of War.

Out of the blue

Come the arrows that kill me and you.

Dance round the maypole while you can

Wear your coloured ribbons pray for your man.

The king’s men are fighting below the hill

Wearing their colours as the enemy’s blood they spill.

Dance in the morning feel the warmth of life

You’ll be wearing black ribbons by dark tonight.

The Queen in the castle the King on the hill

It’s the peasants of the fields the ribbons and arrows will kill.

Horses and maypoles carry ribbons blue, red, white green and black.

Flowers will bloom, in glorious dawn

Planted for the dead by those left to mourn.

***********

So there is my little anti war poem about Ribbons. I think I may of stretch the rules by using more than one verse but I do love the lyrics of the song.

Now I nominate Fandango this, that and the other. My extra rule that the song must have the word home in its title or lyrics.

Have fun , I did.

Drowning.

Drowning

Cold

Can’t breath

Lungs bursting

Pain exploding

Out of time and breath

Drowning I sink deeper

Darker ever the light recedes

I am trapped hopelessly in weeds

Held fast I silently breath my last

So sad, there’s nothing to flash before me.

A

Wasted

Pointless life

No one will miss

I leave not a mark

Unseen, unheard, undone

Wasted years lost on cold hearts

No songs for me, I was not free

Unloved, uncared for, useless, wasted

Lost from the beginning I could not see.

Thursday photo prompt: Sign #writephoto

Death  was  tired, that just goes without saying  really. It was a full moon and this  always  played  havoc  with his  old bones. Shivering he  crossed  the moors alone  and  weary. As  he  crossed  the horizon …he  is  Death  and if  he  wants  to cross an horizon  I am not  going to stop him are  you ? he cursed his job.

As he  hobbled  on he was truly  regretting  that  he had  allowed  his apprentice  to have  the  night off  and  take his  horse out  for a ride. Death pondered  once again the pros and cons  of  upgrading  to a car or  a helicopter but  the last time  he had  mentioned  this  to the man upstairs  he had  been told in no uncertain terms  that  scary horses were, what was expected  and scary horses it  would  remain for himself  and his  three apocalyptic brothers.

Suddenly  he  saw  the sign in the distance, it looked  to any passing  mortal , like  an unusual pub sign. It was in fact an empty frame in which a wizard’s hat was suspended. This to the informed, indicated  the presence  of  an Enchanted  Tavern.

Tonight  Death had an usual job. One  of  this  earth’s  oldest  soothsayers had  come to the end of  a very long  and  busy life. The chap , Nigel by name , had  overseen many a century  of wars, evil doings, shady deals and even shadier politicians and of late a Brexit . It was the Brexit  that had  been the  sight too many  for Nigel.

Nigel sat  by the  fire in the  huge  and yet cosy hostelry  surrounded  by old friends  and old foes, eating a sumptuous meal of steak and ale pie and chips. A huge bottle  of Malbec  sat on the table  in front of him.

It had been noted by the regulars  that Nigel  had  absolutely  nothing to say  tonight . This was most unusual  for him because  he  was always  telling  tales of  death  destruction  and  dystonian futures. Not tonight Nigel  was on a mission to eat his dinner  and drink as much wine as was un-humanly possible.

As  the door blew open, Nigel put his  knife  and fork down , and as clearly  as he could  with a mouth full of  meat and pastry, addressed  the Spectre as he entered.  “Your early, Death  me old friend. I ‘ave  not  finished me dinner yet” 

No one  bothered to look around as  Death entered  and approached Nigel’s table. “Calm down I am here now  and I am quite  happy to sit awhile  and enjoy a rest , it’s bloody raw out there. ” Death replied as  he plonked  a large egg timer  down on the table  between himself  and Nigel. “We have time enough for  you to share a pudding  with me while we let  the sands run out.I have never diddle anyone  out of  anytime. ”

Taking  an empty glass off of a passing barmaid  Death poured himself  a good measure of wine. He sat down , groaning loudly  and took a large mouthful which  ran straight through him and unto the sawdust floor.

Nigel and  Death  finished  the  meal, the wine  and  a spotted dick  and custard  then sat in silence  watching  the  last of  Nigel’s life drain away. As the last grain of  sand  fell on to the large pile  laying  in the lower part of  the timer Nigel let out  a huge belch and  stepped out of  his  body. Death  dragged himself up out of his  warm and  comfy chair.

As they  left  the tavern, no one  took any notice of  them. Death,  though not  a frequent visitor  never caused a stir.  Outside the two spirits looked up at  the sign and  the cloudy sky. “Before  we go” said Nigel  ” Who’s  hat  was  that ” Death looked at him in shocked surprise and replied “You mean,you, the greatest soothsayer of  all, don’t know”   Nigel looked Death straight  in  the eye sockets and hissed “Na , if I knew I wouldn’t  ask ya would I.” Death  grinned , to be honest  he had a permanent grin. Slowly  he  he guided  Nigel away and  out of  earshot and  replied ” Well I suppose it doesn’t matter now  it belonged to ……………………

Back inside  the  tavern  everything  went on as  normal …or what passed  for normal in those circles. The cleaner sighed  as he  cleared up the  sticky mess of  food and  wine  that Death  had left in his wake.

****************

This  is  my  entry  for

Thursday photo prompt: Sign #writephoto

 

Rememberance

Major John McCrae .

Poppy photographed on the First World War battlefield of the Somme near the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Flanders Poppy on the First World War battlefields.

Inspiration for “In Flanders Fields”

During the early days of the Second Battle of Ypres a young Canadian artillery officer, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed on 2nd May, 1915 in the gun positions near Ypres. He was a friend of commander Major John McCrae .

John McCrae was a field Dr in the same unit as his friend Alexis. For some reason the Chaplin was called away and so John was asked to take the funeral service for his friend. It is thought that in the evening after the funeral he wrote his most famous poem. In Flanders field.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Poem is so sad, it speaks of how so many young men died, cruel and painful deaths on the muddy fields and squalid trenches of Ypres. He talks about the larks bravely singing, as I see it he is alluding to the fact that life just goes on as this evil war raged. “The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.”

They died so quickly without warning, though better that than maimed and dying slowly in agony. They were young, they had lovers, family and then they were gone so suddenly. I think they hung around for a while as ghosts trying to adjust to death.

The dead, he tells us, implore those who follow them to take up the torch and fight the enemy to the end. For if they loose or shirk the challenge the dead will never rest and forever haunt the poppy fields of Flanders.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Just a thought crosses my mind. What would those dead men buried under Flanders field have though of the tanks and foot soldiers of the 2nd world war. The young men of the 1st world war thought they were fighting the war to end all wars…………. Sadly they were so wrong. War strides on as I type.

I think the video from Black Adder goes fourth says everything there is to say on war.

poppies

Scary October 28

Here we are at the unholy month of October. I thought I would do a paranormal, witchy, unholy bunch of poems, some new and some old.

Don’t forget to check out Jane Dougherty and Kat Myrman‘s plans for this month!

Today’s poem a Halloween Etheree.

Photo from Pixabay

Come

Hither

She gently

Said, beguiling.

He was drawn right in

She got under his skin

Kiss me she lustily said

He could not resist her at all

So she hungrily bit off his head.

Which became pumpkin a lesson to all.

Photo from Pixabay

Scary October 22

Here we are at the unholy month of October. I thought I would do a paranormal, witchy, unholy bunch of poems, some new and some old.

Don’t forget to check out Jane Dougherty and Kat Myrman‘s plans for this month!

Today’s poem is about trying to hold off death.

Would you stop if I asked you

If I pleaded what would you do.

Would you stay a moment longer

If promised,my love would make you stronger.

Could I slow your path,stop the ravishes of time.

If I showed you love sublime.

Would I halt your advance in any tiny way

Could I cheat death and make you stay.

If the tears that fall upon your face

Could chase off death, make it leave in disgrace.

I would hold my breath for eternity

If it meant that you would stay with me.

Scary October 21

Here we are at the unholy month of October. I thought I would do a paranormal, witchy, unholy bunch of poems, some new and some old.

Don’t forget to check out Jane Dougherty and Kat Myrman‘s plans for this month!

Today’s poem is a release from evil control. Another Etheree.

Image from Pixabay

Escape

Lost

She ran

Blindly to

Escape the man

Who beat her each night

Sadly into the arms

Of the dark angel of death

Who took her for his very own

Gratefully taking his hand she sighed

Free at last her bruised soul, now she had died.

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