TOUCH HUNGRY: CHAPTER THREE – SHORT STORY

CLICK HERE FOR CHAPTER ONE

CLICK HERE FOR CHAPTER TWO

At the end of the work day, Frankia came home to relax, but first, the plants need to be tended to, watered and touched. Plant care created such a sense of tranquility and oxygen production within her studio apartment. During her encounters as a plant mama, she would feel her mood lighten up while the connection and appreciation of nature heightens. Touching all the plants reminded her of how precious life is, daily.

As she observed each plant she realized something. The Sliver Leaf blades were taller, it was not a drastic change but subtle.All the plants seemed to have shrunk…perhaps. She wasn’t sure now, that in one night one plant grew or the others became smaller. Her instincts told her to measure the mysterious flora that she purchased and see if her suspicions were correct. Immediately, she picked up a sheet of white paper, a pencil and measuring tape to record the data. The tallest leaf blade was 16.4 inches long.

Then suddenly, her fingers grazed the Sliver Leaf and she was paralyzed, frozen in her retreat. Everything within her was still, her heartbeat escalated. She thought, “what is happening?” She could not tell how long she was standing perpetually in place. It felt as though she was under a spell, which made her as a stone statue. The light from the window, declined into dusk as she stood. After what seemed like an eternity, she could feel her body slowly relieved of this hold.

When her body was, once again, fully in her own control, a sense of panic filled her chest. Confusion flooded her thoughts: Was it the plant that caused this reaction? How could a plant do this? No, no I may have to go see a doctor, I may be sick. She thought. Denial, disbelief and rationalizing what happened during this incident made her slow her movements and gently lower herself to sit on her couch. She was exhausted but decided to move towards the bed within her studio space to lay down. Surprisingly, she was able to drift to sleep as soon as her head laid on her pillow. Deep slumber took her and she did not realize that this was part of the enchantment.

TO BE CONTINUED…

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)

TOUCH HUNGRY: CHAPTER TWO – SHORT STORY

CLICK HERE FOR CHAPTER ONE

When Frankia returned home she was very excited to put her new plant with the others she has in her living room area. She put them on the shelf against the wall of the most lighted area of the room, near the window. In all, she owned five plants, one Watermelon Coleus, one Calatheas Rosie, two Venus Fly Traps, and the most alluring, the Sliver Leaf plant.

The excitement was too much for her to hold back once she arranged the Sliver Leaf upon the shelf. Quieting her nerves, Frankia ran her index finger slowly, from the tip of a leaf down to the small crook and center of the plant. It was warm there and for a plant that has not been out in the sun all day, that was unusual. It was so hot near the inner stem of the leaf that Frankia thought to get her thermometer from the bathroom first aid kit to record the temperature. But as she thought to leap away from the plant to commit to the task of getting the kit, her body did not respond or move from where she stood stroking the plant. All of a sudden, her legs felt a little weak and she stumbled back ultimately undoing herself from the plant’s grasp. What just happened? Befuddled, Frankia backed up four feet from the plant. She went into the kitchen where her purse sat open on the counter to retrieve the serum and plant informational pamphlet.

The pamphlet title read, “More on you plant and how to take care of it.” It continued, “Dracaena Valiveal, is a very unique flora that also requires special care than other plant life…” this was the first paragraph and she paused wondering what care is needed other than good ole sunshine and water. “When you welcome your plant into your home, prepare the serum with these instructions. Eight ounces of water, two drops of the serum provided, and one egg. It can be an egg from any animal species.” Strange…for an egg to be used to nourish a plant. She had chicken eggs in the fridge. So she went about preparing the concoction for the Sliver plant in her kitchen, blending it in her small nutribullet cup. Subsequently, other than what instruction was provided, she had not thought about how to administer the dose and the rest of the pamphlet only had decorative photography of the plant.

Feeding the plant, she simply poured the contents on the soil and watched as the liquid absorbed into the dark earth and mire. She was very mindful this time about touching the plant, though the lure to touch and become impassioned was still ever-present. The words of the store clerk resonated in her mind “…do not touch…” made her quite conscious of her attraction. Once she fed the Sliver, she moved to fill the small plastic watering can for the other plants and provide care. She thumbed through the leaves of the vibrantly colored Watermelon Coleus and moved through the house to get ready for bed.

The brilliant moonlight trickled into the living room area, across the carpeted floor, and highlighted the plants on the shelf. All was silent, sitting in their pots content from their water on their leaves, stem, and soil. There was a shudder in the terra-cotta pot of the Sliver Leaf. It made a sound like a faint squeal, too low for mortal ears. Inaudible. Stealthily, the Sliver stretched one leaf to touch the nearest plant, the flamboyant Watermelon Coleus. One blade from the Sliver curled sluggishly around the Coleus’ stem, while another blade petted the top of the plant, as though it was comforting through the embrace. Instead, there was a terrible slurping sound as the Sliver sucked up the life force of the Coleus. Subsequently, within a few minutes, the Sliver made a bird-like chirping sound that crescendos into a boisterous, indecipherable, and otherworldly screech.

TO BE CONTINUED…😬

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)

All What It Seems -Poetry

Camera poised for poses of smiles and laughter

Concealing a union’s sunset

In a horizon of demise

Portraits foreshadowing tragedy

The fights that brewed and rumbled before

The capture of curled lips with crooked intentions

Memories to play the perfect role

For an audience of none

All rights go to Juana M. Gumbs as her original poem. 01/04/2021

Poem: Focus On The Good

While the bombs go off about me

While the time-lapse scurries by

And my clothing drenched with mud and tears

And I

Just wondering while wandering

What happened

How I’d forget the details too

All the motions and how they connect

Through the motions, through duress

The distant bombs still tell of danger

And in this greatly catastrophic time

I found a crevice to hide, bound

And binding

Licking wounds encrusted with dirt and tears and blood

In belief that if I do so

Then perhaps all of this is dream

Not fact

The rights to this poem goes to Juana M. Gumbs as of 01/03/2021

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.

The Start Off…Go!

I’m writing in a place of rawness and genuine excitement as this is the 1st day to conscious living for me. I’m in the bed still of course…had a night at a party (which reminded me of how much of an introvert I am) and it definitely showed me a lot about myself. One thing being that I’m usually nervous or aren’t open to meeting new people or letting them easily into my life. As of now, I really want to life a life consciously, meticulously analyzing what I do and why. Today’s a start to live with less fear and more grit to take life in a different direction than before. I am the only enemy to myself at times, the only one stopping me, is myself through setting limitations, self sabotage and allowing distractions to wrench me from my own greatness. I discovered that I have the tools, but their inactive mostly.

Everyday should be an opportunity to make changes to oneself, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. It’s like having all corners of direction about you , such as East, West, North and South. I want to add to myself in each direction daily. Lately, I became aware that just existing is not enough. Being that I can sometimes be flighty, unpredictability predictable (more on that another time) spirited away easily by distractions and always extreme with love and laughter. I need to consciously provide balance to myself. I’m standing on my feet now and the next move is on me.

Let’s see how this living consciously lifestyle works this month. My challenge is to live and live with steps to getting up and what happens after I walk of the door into unlimited possibilities.

NOTE: It is good to try something new and it is not always set by a particular instance. First step is on you.