Agony, My Friend In The Dark – A Collection of Haiku Poems

Warning: if misery is a current mood, do not read any further.

1. Agony, my friend

In the dark corner, surmise

My impending doom

2. Misfortune mature

In an Amalgamation

Evoking anguish

3. Great cloud of twilight

Which creeps in subtle states from

Dawn to dusk, untouched

4. Bloodline curse bestowed

Upon the fated bastard

Begat of brute loins

5. Deep the jaws of grief

That devours contentment,

To shit out despair

6. Divine fortune ebbed

As chance flees this dastardly

Game of existence

7. Vast tree, forsaken

The branch siphoned of majic

‘Til none prevail

8. Life manufactures

Anguish with every angle

No matter the trend

9. Nightmares manifests

From much dismay and peril

Dwindling all our hope

10. Suckle my pain out

From this broken place, derived

From all this sadness

These original poems are written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her in March 2021 (C)

Journal: Am I a Narcissist?

How would you feel if someone constantly tells you that you are a narcissist? Do you believe it, research it to see if this describes you? Do you go to a therapist for a mental evaluation to see if you are one? I’m at a loss as to what I should do. Can someone tell me where to start or what I can do to get help?

Dream: Caves to Alternate Realities

Most of this dream I can not recollect but what I can remember, I will write as much as I can so that it makes sense. We all understand that most dreams may not make sense or may make sense while you are in the dream state.

I found myself in a barren cave made of dark brown-red clay. I seem to have been wandering, lonely for some time it seems. There seemed to have been a mission I was on, but as time passed, I forgot. Along the way throughout the cave system, entrance off the main path. Curiosity took me to enter the path, a dark hole in the wall. On the other side was a lighted enclave which was also made of the same dark brown-red clay, except there was a forest. There was a flourish of weeping willow trees and vines with purple-pink flowers all over them, and there was a breeze. I don’t know where it came from and turned abruptly to exit from where I came. Back into the cave system.

The cave was not cramped in most paths but spacious enough for me to walk upright without my head crazing against the roof. In some portions of the cave, the roof was easily twenty feet high. As I walked further, I found that the cave had wildlife that roamed the length of it, mammoths, to be precise. They were huge and shaggy with long hairs that also matched the color of the cave walls. They could stand still and you would not notice them, but when they move, you could hear, see and feel their presence. Why mammoths? Not sure why my psyche pulled an extinct creature into my dreams but the mind has a way of showing you things and manifesting symbolism in their place.

That’s all I can remember…my subconscious will reveal itself in another dream state, soon.

This original blog post was written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her in January 2021 (C)

Blog: Is This Working?

I was given a writing prompt to describe eating fruit in four paragraphs, with the absence of revealing the fruit by name or color. I did create four paragraphs for this challenge but, I felt no end in sight. Here is the first paragraph:

“My mouth watered profusely as I stared and waited on the store clerk to peel, cut, and cube the sugary honey-hued flesh. The lush ripen husk bore an overflow of sticky juices that ran down the blade that sliced it. The scene caused a ruckus in my abdomen, pangs for hunger called out of my being. I looked around then consciously brought my hand over my stomach—as though commanding it to simmer.”

I’ve been doing writing challenges for the entire month of January, to improve my writing skills or using writing as a way to explore my talent. Writing prompts have been very helpful and I’m trying to diversify, writing in different genres and styles in order to find a niche.

This week I’ll do journaling instead of fiction. I’m very free spirited and the rigors of writing in a certain context is waring me out. It’s only been two weeks, I’m fatigued. Let me try this writing challenge from a different perspective…

Unfinished Business at Hollow Manor – A Short Story

A few weeks ago my mother was lowered into her final resting place of the EverGreen Memorial Park. My three siblings and I surrounded the hollowed burial place to mourn her passing. As I stood there with glass tears in my eyes, my mind filled with the bittersweet memories that still held images of my mother—her presence, her voice, her hugs, kisses, her love.

After the somber ceremony we went to my mother’s home. She hadn’t moved since we all lived together decades ago. Reluctantly, we walked into the house. None of us wanted to be there, but mom left some loose ends and we couldn’t decide who would be the one to tie them, so we all decided to work together. The house looked as if it was vacant for months—no dishes in the sink, brown house plants, stack of newspapers sitting on the coffee table. None of us were ever really good with keep up with her, so mom’s illness came as a total surprise for us. In some semblance of respect for her, we pooled money together to hire home care nurses to watch her. Some of us—two of us, came to visit on a monthly bases. Her passing was still a surprise, however. We separated and each took a room to complete. The emotions flowed heavily as we sorted and collected forgotten memories of our lives—joys, disappointments, successes and regrets.

By the time we were done going through all the things that once mattered, the feeling of a life long lived seemed to flow about. It was her home. It was our home. Even though she’s gone, It will always feel like our home. We all lived most of our lives there. Some of us grew up, left, returned and left again. Our very beings were forged within those walls. As we gathered in the black SUV, still shedding our tears, our hearts were full. But grief took us in waves. I sat in the passenger seat, watching our home shrink away on the horizon and I smiled through the grief. I smiled as the happiness followed us from behind.

Credit to Jae Davis, as Editor of this story.

This original blog post was written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her in January 2021 (C)

Blog: Opinions and Some Facts…Pandemic Woes

These are just some of my observations from media to actual occurrences while I am out and about in my local area and travels.

The ordinances placed upon us to stand six feet apart while wearing face masks, is a hit and miss with the human species as we contend with this recent pandemic. What is it about us that allows us to not only disobey orders but justify rebelling against them. I have heard all the reasons in the world as to why someone doesn’t wear a mask or not accessing mindfulness in order to stand at a distance away from strangers in the grocery lines and other public venues.

Immediately after the pandemic began affecting the current populace, Many of us felt like we were extras in a real life science fiction movie. A small group of folks felt like sooner rather than later we would find out that the infected would die and turn into zombies, just as our favorite zombie tv program. Not even the media could tell us how the disease was contracted. Paranoia set in, people in lines at the store was harassed and yelled at if they sneezed or coughed.

I have heard or witnessed people create reasonings to not wear masks that pertain to different ideals and idiosyncrasies. For instance, I saw a video from an individual that earnestly explained that God will protect them from the pandemic, as they avoid buildings with requirements to wear masks. Nothing is wrong with religion or belief, but I wonder if they feel the same way now, whereas, the anniversary of recorded cases is upon us with numbers still elevated across the America. Other people would rationalize not wearing masks because they can’t breathe well while wearing masks. Another group of individuals may wear masks below their nose because they feel that masks are uncomfortable. But then there are those that have medical respiratory issues and have had to use other means to breathe or contracted respiratory infections, such as bronchitis.

There are some that just refuse to wear mask because the threat is not real to them. In their world, the pandemic happens to other people, so they saunter into the local venues without masks until someone stops them to remind them that they cannot enter unless they wear face coverings. Then, you disturb their world. Perhaps that individual without facial coverings may retaliate, maybe they will just leave without tension. Some come back, mask in hand, begrudgingly fixing that mask upon their face while walking back to the building’s entrance.

We never knew life would come to this. Our fears and dreams culminating into a horror-fest. Such is life now, after the pandemic.

This original blog post was written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her in January 2021 (C)

Poem: Dark and Light

Time has a night and day

In between, I have given all that I can

Especially offered my heart

Which has been eaten as though it was an apple

Masticated, swallowed and digested

Never let that heart fall into the hands

Of someone hungry for theft

But without care for that which they hoard

Love being taken for granted

Left out in the cold

Is the coldest darkest night

This original blog post was written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her in January 2021 (C)

Blog: Soundtrack Of Our Lives

Music today does not have the same impression on me as the music from the 80s and 90s. It is hard to find inspiration in just booty shaking, clout chasing and corny puppy love songs. Music back in the day was more relatable, it felt real and even inspired you in many ways.

There are a few songs that I would like to add to a playlist for a soundtrack of my life. Songs that still make my heart sing, rave or dance. Songs that remind me of love making, lost love and finding a new love.

1. Doo Wop (that thing) – Lauryn Hill

2. Bitter Sweet Symphony- The Verve

3. Ex-Factor – Lauryn Hill

4. Waterfalls – TLC

5. Truly, Madly, Deepy -Savage Garden

6. This is How We Do It – Montell Jordan

7. Don’t walk away – Jade

8. Gonna Make You Sweat – C+C Music Factory

9. All Around The World – Lisa Stanfield

10. Baby Got Back – Sir Mix-a-lot

Baby Got Back is a favorite at Karaoke bars all over. So don’t give me the stick eye for that one. You’ve heard the song before, you cannot deny how catchy it is and even of you can’t rap, you’d still singalong.

All of my soundtrack tunes have significance in certain parts of my life. What are your top ten songs that make up the soundtrack of your life?

This original blog post was written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her in January 2021 (C)

TOUCH HUNGRY: CHAPTER ONE – SHORT STORY

Frankia Krane collected the small shovel, potting soil and a terra cotta planter pot set from the garden supply shop. She took her time looking at all the indoor plants in the nursery. There was a vivid array of selections all about her and every time she passed a plant she wants that very one, then two steps ahead she would fall in love with another plant.

She finally came upon a plant that was very unique from the others. The leaves were similar to that of a snake plant or Dracaena Trifasciata. Snake plants usually have speckles of green and cream colors, naturally detailed in natural waves and ripples with long, tall blades for leaves that look as though they want to reach for the sky. The only difference is that the other plant bared leaves with a texture like that of a lizard or reptile, with splotches in spectrums of browns and greens, with varying tones commencing from the very tips of the leaf to where it connected to its roots, hidden in the rich dark brown soil. The tag on the pot read, Dracaena Valiveal, also known as the Sliver Leaf Plant.

As though the plant’s leaf was charmed, Frankia instantly became compelled to caress the Sliver plant’s leaves. The texture of the leaves instantly incited an emotional response from Frankia. While she stood there near the table, stroking the leaves of this two-foot tall plant, she did not care if anyone was watching her. Though not far in distance, the store clerk, an aged woman stood watching her as she smoothed and massaged the plant’s blossoms. A cooing sound escaped Frankia’s lips, and a calm and nurturing feeling washed over her mind and body. She was not consciously aware of herself in this moment. There was also a cautionary note below this plant’s name that read, “please do not touch.”

“Excuse me ma’am, can I help you” The older woman who was on staff at the garden shop offered.

“I was looking for a new houseplant…and I think I found the perfect one!” Frankia responded.

“Well,” said the employee, “This one is a new species, similar to the snake plant that its origins are from the Congo Basin.”

“Congo? You mean in Africa? Well…”

The clerk spoke abruptly. “Oh yes. They both have origins in that region of Africa but the Sliver Leaf grows specifically in Equatorial Guinea, deep in the rainforest…growing wild, but still very rare.”

Frankia only blinked, then her attention went back to the plant.

“Oh and please do not touch it. Just water occasionally and we have a specific liquid…serum that helps with its nourishment. If you would like to purchase it, I’m available to receive your payment.” The little old lady said then motioned towards the direction of the cash register. Frankia immediately picked up the plant pot and followed the little old lady to the front of the garden shop.

TO BE CONTINUED…😬

CLICK HERE FOR CHAPTER TWO

This original blog post was written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her in January 2021 (C)

Blog – Behind The Mask…The Hidden

Our bodies withhold organs and things. Fluids, secretions and bacteria all at work to keep us from meltdowns and combustion. We grow from babe to adult and neglect what is within us…apart from the known, the spirits we harbor. The Hidden, the one watching through our eyes that witness all and everything, collecting all data within the black box which is our subconscious. You can access that knowledge.

The Hidden is of an energy that is indestructible, that can only be recycled in a process called reincarnation. Hindu, Buddhism, Taoism and many ancient cultures believed in this universal law where as energy cannot be destroyed but converted or transferred. The Hidden divinity extents itself beyond the five senses of our physiology. That sixth sense, the ability for us to sense danger and consciousness through self realization.

Now, this is not a supernatural tale, it is real life. The reality of us all. I don’t want to suppose that perhaps the you, you think is you, was perhaps someone else. Or you are the creation of an entity beyond your comprehension. All this time as you grew, you were experiencing all as though it was your very first time. Your first bike, your first kiss, your first job and so on, believing every bit of it and accepting your limitations as a body bound entity.

One way to reach out to this conscious and aware entity is through meditation. In this state, the Hidden is eventually revealed through time and practice. Please research more on meditation on your own. I practice different meditation techniques through my religious practice. But at first meditation can be difficult. Do not give in, you can achieve this access to your inner self. One technique is to shut the world out by sitting quietly, upright in a chair, listening to your heartbeat and breathing from the diaphragm slowly. Allow yourself to focus on your breathing alone. Now in some cases you can chant, but in most cases the focus on the breathing should be enough. I cannot say when the Hidden will reveal itself to you, because everyone’s experience will be different. Eventually, you will engage with this higher consciousness and in that union all will be revealed to you.