POEM: Why Blood Needs Tears

Veins are no different from tear-ducts

They flow despite themselves keeping us sustained

The return necessary for the process to continue

Even though it may be from dread or fate

Pain in the delay of the cycle

Of growth and grown and gone

We push pull and hesitate

Stifle

But still they come down your face

Blinding

Not without the lack of blood

Thank you for reading this spontaneous overflow. Please feel free to like and comment, even criticisms are welcome.

This original blog post and poem was written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her. April 2020 (C)

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SHORT STORY: Trouble Travels Down De Road

Ivy came out of her house and exclaimed, “dis day so hot and steamy!” Then, she sighed and faking a faint, she set her sights on the open road. She thought to herself, no child in the neighborhood would dare run on this burning road without slippers today. It was late in the afternoon on the island of St. Croix and unless you were sitting near the beach or waterfronts on either side of this tropical island, you would not feel a breeze bless your cheek nor forehead right now. Even the candy lady, Ms. Bernadette, down the road ran out of lemonade as well as soursop ice-pop! With even the slightest of movement, beads of sweat would rise upon the thinnest skin in places to give pause…

Here comes Big Marjorie, walking down the road with her large brown purse, silver hoop earrings and can be seen from a distance with her colorful display. Her updo and waterfall curls with her bangs were swooped to the side. As she marched downhill, all of her extended belly and curves bouncing as she hasten her steps. Ivy met Ms. Mary on the porch of her house. With a scowl on her face, Ivy said, “Whey she tink she goin’?” As Marjorie came closer with footfalls as heavy as a mighty juggernaut, you can see her pink and yellow “Sunday’s Best” dress shuffling in the breeze…

Ivy couldn’t help herself, she said to Ms. Mary, “Buh wait, whey da breeze come from?” Swiftly, Marjorie passed the neighbor’s houses on both sides of the road.

Again, Ivy blurted out to Ms. Mary, “Meson, she lucky no minibus was passin’ ‘cause she tek up the hole road like ah float in ah parade! She woulda geh bounce down foh sure. Marjorie ain geh no sign on she sayin’ ‘butt meh down please’!?!” Ivy laughed loud and hard. Ms. Mary only look at Ivy over her bifocal glasses, nodding her head.

Marjorie continued on her way to her destination, a big bright smile on her face, her lips were cherry red. In truth, Ivy nor Ms. Mary could guess what was the final destination of Marjorie this summery evening. They sat on the porch most days to “pung melee” or gossip about their neighbors around them. They would mostly make up tales from heresy or create their own curry to the mix. This evening it was to make up a story behind the mood of Big Marjorie.

“Well, she look well swell in she dress, mama. Maybe someting goin’ on down de road we don’ kno’ ‘bout?” Ms. Mary began. “Maybe we ain heh ‘bout it?” She offered to Ivy. Instantly, Ivy frowned. She was still wearing her sleep bonnet on her head, she frowned hard with her cigarette butt hanging in the right corner of her mouth. Then her lips pursed hard now as she took another puff from the ciggie. Ivy’s chestnut eyes turned dark and narrowed, then she cusssed. “Deh bettah not be havin’ no party I wasn’t invited toh, cause I neeeeeeeeeeeed toh be dey. How she more importan’ dan meh!”

Like a cyclone, Ivy whisked her way into her room for 10 minutes. There was all sorts of sounds that come from it, such sounds a small storm would make. When she emerged, she was wearing her long red thin strapped sundress, hugging her slim figure. The bonnet hid her thick and long brown, sun-touched locks. Those locks now drizzled down her shoulders and back. On her narrow feet, her gold sandals shone as though they were from mount Olympus and her smile, though her teeth slightly yellowed from her constantly smoking, were straight…her lips painted with bronze.

“Aye-Aye,” Ms. Mary croaked. “Yoh ain geh meh ah chance toh come out.” So she ran in her own house as quick as a mongoose and sprint back 3 minutes flat with a short pixie-cut wig and an eggshell colored daring pants suit. “I ready!” She bellowed out. So now, both ladies hurried down the road wondering who was having fete without them. They both were vex but excited to see who is going to want to dance with them. In their own minds, they fantasized about who else will be there. If they will have cruzan rum or Hennessy to drink with they coke? They even wondered who they will cuss and fuss at for not inviting them. Ivy let out under her breath, “is ah dam shame!” Then, her mimic, Ms. Mary squeeze out through her missing teeth, “Issa dam shame, foh true!”

They both hot on the pursuit of Big Marjorie and this party…but lost Big Marjorie’s trail. Then, they both found themselves standing in the middle of a cluster of several homes. Ivy looked at Mary, Mary looked right back at Ivy…there was no way for them to figure out which house Marjorie duck in and out of sight! This made Ivy’s face turn red with embarrassment. “She gave us deh slip!” They then walked by all the houses in the area listening for music, not a jam in earshot!

Both ladies were vex, roaming along the road, sneaking from house to house…eventually, they quietly moved through the now dark street and came upon a small white house. It was so tiny, but there was faint soca rhythm sounds filtering through the air. They followed and got up really close to the house to listen. The soca music grew louder the closer they came to the front porch. Ivy started excitedly swinging her hips already in anticipation, Ms. Mary started to get on bad, throwing her hips and wide bottom in a swaying motion. “Dis is it!” They both thought. They were working up their waists, following the music and advancing up the white steps onto the porch. The door was unlocked, so they both swing on through, their eyes tightly closed and faces in passionate expressions while they worked up and danced. They came in the house bawling, “PARTY!” and then opened their eyes to now find Big Marjorie naked in the living room on top of a very old and skinny gentleman. “Oh shit!” Ivy and Ms. Mary bawl out in unison.

Thank you for reading this short story. It was inspired from my upbringing in the Virgin Islands and my Caribbean background. I wanted to share a bit of our dialect with the world. Please leave comments and constructive criticism or critiques.

This original blog post and short story was written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her. April 2020(C)

SHORT STORY: TWO HATS AND A BALDHEAD

The air conditioning was turned on high in the blue 2019 Nissan Camary as they were flying down the highway. On the radio Mercy Chinwo’s Jesus Loves Me Too Much played to the loudest setting for the volume. All three women, mumbled portions of the song as they were on their journey. Their heads were bobbing to the beat of the song, preparing themselves for the event at the Janis Jesuit Witness of The Bush Burn Episcopalian Church somewhere in Georgia where they would attend a women’s luncheon. Two of the elderly ladies wore hats, and the third was bald headed. The lady that drove the car was hitting the highway at 75 miles per hour all the way, whether the highway signs advised her or not. They wanted to make it before most guests and even more prompt than the pastor. Her heavy foot on the gas had the other ladies clinging to whatever they can in the vehicle to grip themselves for this adventure.

Understanding that they were leaving from Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, to the unknown areas of wherever this church was that they was seeking, they needed to have someone who wasn’t afraid to break the law behind the wheel. Mildred Wainwright Hubble, the driver, couldn’t turn her head this way or that since she wore a church hat that was wide on all sides. It was egg-shell colored with one pastel green sash around the head portion and lace covered it. Truthfully, if it wasn’t for that sash or lace, it would resemble the likes of a sombrero. She used the side view and rare view mirrors every now and again to switch lanes. Her stocking covered feet, overlapped her tight fitted sandals, her fat feet mashing the gas and breaks when needed. She drove as though she was blowing like the wind down I-20. In the passenger seat, sat Michaela Turner, with her head in a low fade and lips pursed into a frown. She never liked hats and took pride in keeping her head as bald as possible since her 40’s after she was told she had a head for it. Katrina Manard Mahalia Jones sat in the back seat, behind Mildred. Katrina’s hat was handmade and she took pride in her hair-hat wearing as much as possible. With every hat she made, a wig was attached to it. Today’s hat had a short bob wig under a small brimmed hat the color of sage green, with a blue sash and a single pink flower.

In the distance, sirens was bellowing. The music was at top pitch and the women was more concerned with arriving early that neither of them noticed the trouble brewing in the rare of the car. In a flash, Mildred caught the lights of the police car in the rare view mirror a mile away and put both fat feet on the brakes! The car screeched for a few feet before it stopped. The cop clocked them a few miles back, but neither of them saw. Too busy bobbing their heads and the music as well as the dastardly driving was distracting. Mildred cussed loudly. As soon as they came to a stop, Mildred told Michaela to take the wheel and say she was driving. Michaela was the oldest…Mildred thought they could play on the sympathy of the officer. Then Mildred scrambled to the back seat to escape and deceive the police officer. Katrina just watched in amazement when the women switched seats. Their seemingly elderly demeanor movements went away and Mildred’s quick jack rabbit jump into the back seat happened in a blink. Michaela on the other hand, struggled to get into the drivers seat. Her slip for her decked out two piece skirt jacket suit almost got caught in the gears while she threw her legs over in the drivers seat to save her friend. Unfortunately, she knew that throughout the years, Mildred has incurred a few speeding tickets and most were unpaid.

The police officer finally came to a halt behind the 2019 Nissan. He wore his classic cop shades, salt and pepper mustache and hat as he strolled up to the ladies vehicle. Michaela rolled down the window, grinning, hoping her winning smile will soften the officer’s heart. She paid for all those teeth.

The officer said, “Good day, ladies.” He looked at each one of them, a frown worn on his lips. Katrina was seemingly nervous. “Ma’am, do you know how fast you were driving?”

Michaela quickly blurted out, “Officeeeeeeeerrrr…we are on the way to a grand event at a church in Georgia. We are trying to get there. I wear glasses, as you can see. I relied on pure faith, not sight.” Her teeth like large chiclets as she grinned away the deception. Katrina in the back seat behind her, just erupted and broke wind from her nervousness. It was loud and stinky, but Michaela maintained eye contact with the officer.

“Ma’am, you were driving at 91 miles per hour in a 70 miles per hour zone!” The officer announced, “That is way over the limit that is allowed and is considered reckless driving.”

“Jesus take the wheel,” Michaela blurted out, feigning faint and clutching invisible pearls at her short neck. “I swear, I had not noticed the speed zone. Is there a solution to this? We were moving with divine purpose, you see officer.”

“Lady, I don’t think Jesus could help you out this situation, but I’m a god fearing man myself. I can pray for your safe passage…after I write you up this here ticket…It will take me a few minutes, though. I can see y’all was in a rush. Y’all could pray until I come back. Where’s your driver’s license and insurance for the car, ma’am?”

All Michaela did was drop her jaw, she couldn’t protest. Mildred put her head down the entire time, not uttering a word, while Katrina was passing gas loudly in the back, excusing herself after each one. The stench rose and muffled them in the car. Michaela quietly rolled down all the windows.

After the officer left them a ticket that all three women would have to put in to pay for, Mildred then told the two ladies she would take to the wheel once again for the remainder of the trip. Michaela said, “No! Nope, now this is on my record, we may not have any more blessings between here and our destination to deal with your hot foot!” She pouted.

Mildred shouted from the back seat, “well, let me at least sit in the passenger seat! Geez and bread! Don’t lecture me now. We almost the same age!”

FROM THE AUTHOR: Just practicing my creative writing. An attempt at humor. My niece and I were taking a trip to Augusta GA when we saw some ladies with two hats and a baldhead and she inspired the name for a story. A close friend of mine provided some plots on the adventure. Please use the comments section to give your thoughts and criticisms on this short story. I write on different genres and haven’t found my niche, yet. Thank you for reading!

This original blog post was written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her. (c) 2020

SHORT STORY: POUR MY HEART

This was their first valentine’s together and Laurie was careful in choosing every item with precise detail. “Everything in love,” she repeated to herself as she went about purchasing balloons, cupcakes, chocolates and even a jar to put sweet messages to honor him. When she arrived home, Laurie was so ecstatic while putting all the items together and carefully writing a letter to him so that he knows why she invented the “Pour My Heart” jar.

Before he left for work that morning, she quickly slipped into his vehicle to create the display of items. In the passenger seat of the car she put the cupcakes, gift bag with chocolates and all five of the helium balloons. The balloons were an assortment of stars, hearts and one balloon that said “You are Special”. He always let her know as long as they were together that he was not into celebrating holidays, but she wants him to always know that he is loved. One more thing to make the display complete, the “Pour My Heart” jar! She forgot it in the house!

Her love is in the shower when she races into the bedroom and into their walk-in closet to retrieve the jar. As she slipped out the room while he was in the bathroom and she closed the door quietly behind her. Finally, she got to the car and laid the jar on the seat, in front of the cupcakes. Laurie stood back to admire the display on his passenger seat. Then, there was the ringing of a phone somewhere within the car, nearby. She was stunned because her boyfriend’s phone is always on his nightstand near his side of the bed whenever he is in the house. Where was the ringing coming from? She looked around the front seat as well as the passenger seat of the car and could not find a phone. The ringing stopped momentarily, but then started again frantically. She looked in the back seat, then stopped again to listen carefully as to the location where the ringing possibly came from. Laurie checked the compartment between the front seats, nothing. Then she looked in the glove compartment and heard the ringing intensify. There was papers and other objects in there, even a gun. She had not known about a gun that he owned, though suspicious, she did not touch it. While digging around in the compartment she found a pregnancy test and dropped it instantly…when realizing what it was. The phone started to ring again, and this time she saw it. It was a flip phone, black and it flashed furiously as it rang. It felt like five minutes or more before she picked it up, then put it to her ear to listen.

The person on the other line spoke first. It was a woman’s sultry voice that whispered from the phone.

“Greg, I’m so glad I got you. Happy Valentine’s, baby!”

FROM THE AUTHOR: Just practicing my creative writing. Please use the comments section to give your thoughts, criticisms on this short story. I write on different genres and haven’t found my niche, yet. Thank you for reading!

This original blog post was written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her. (c) 2020

SHORT STORY: NOCTURNA TOUCH

The mundane ringing of the door alerted the store keeper, Travis, to the presence of another customer. It has been a long day, with few curious folks entering and exiting without purchases. Perhaps he may be lucky this time, so he perked up and offered salutations to them.

“Hi there, look around and let me know if you need assistance,” he uttered the same script as he did for anyone that crossed that threshold. At first he thought it was genuine, but time has made it habit.

“Okay,” they would usually reply. This time there was no response, just a nod of the head from a woman with wide almond eyes, heart-shaped face and black bangs with a ponytail. She had not looked at him, just nodded while she looked at the first product near the door. This made him curious, because it was the dildo section. It would be a lot to say that this was not the type of store most women would come to alone to peruse through sex toys and novelties. In his experience, most women would come with a man or other femailes. It wasn’t always the case. He looked from his booth, follwing her with his questioning eyes. Something about her…her stark ivory colored skin, in contrast to her obsidian hued hair brightedned up the room even in the dull lighting. The features of her face he analyzed, starting with her cheekbones, high and youthful. She carried herself in a way whereas she seemed older…but he was not sure. Observing her clothing, he noticed she wore all black, even her stockings, black fishnets. Finally she made her way to him after looking at the bedroom candies and handcuffs.

“So, what do you think,” this Aphrodite spoke to him for the first time. The lilt in her words offered that she may be foreign.

Travis mouth was caught open for a bit, being that he was taken by surprise and roused from his thoughts of her as she turned her attention on him. Unknowingly, she was the best thing he saw all day, probably all week at this business. Even as he closed his mouth, he had no words for her in that moment. Before he could blink, she was in the booth with him. She closed the door and now she was in his world walking toward him before he could think to refuse. To his surprise, she held his face before he could protest or even react, and kissed him so deeply, that every hair on his body rose electtrified around him. It scared him a little at first and then he became compliant, soft limbs except for one. His pants bulged and she welcomed him into both her hands, caressing. Taking in his hurried breaths, then low moans, he even almost closed his eyes because the escatasy was all encompassing. At this point he wanted to know more of these emotions, this higher vibe provided in her delicate hands, stroking and cuddling. Before he knew it, she unbuckled his belt and unzipped his pants through her power. Her will be done, the obsidian haired maven, alluringly licked the palm of her hand and massaged him as he was ripe and extended. Travis gasped then sighed as he felt the wetness against him. That feeling was everything and his head felt as though it was going to pop. The only thing that kept bringing him back to awareness was that he remembered that anyone can just walk in at any moment. That thought made him more eager, anticipating the next sensation, the waves of delight was out of this reality. While he knocked his head back as the electricity coursed through his back from her hand job, he gave into her wildness. In a swift movement, she was on her kneess and he looked down at her charcoal hair in that high ponytail and she grinned up at him at first, then burried her head in his lap.

“Why,” he spoke softly, “It…” He couldn’t finish his words only fell off a cliff as she performed this art. He closed his eyes and she sucked and wet his tender head, so he thrusted his hips as a response. The lights behind his eyes, they flickered and danced while he slipped into this mist she took him into. Instantly he thought of holding her ponytail to get a better hold of her pacing. Just as he thought so, he found that his hands made the movements as quick as his thoughts.

FROM THE AUTHOR: Just practicing my creative writing. Please use the comments section to give your thoughts, criticisms on this short story. I write on different genres and haven’t found my niche, yet. Thank you for reading!

This original blog post was written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her. (c) 2020

SHORT STORY: SOMETHING ANCIENT

FROM THE AUTHOR: This is a true story, one of my own haunting experience. Practicing my creative writing skills. I have been writing for almost as long as I have been alive, and since I first learned to write a proper paragraph in elementary school. This I create today, comes from my reality but an alternate reality for some. Thank you for reading!

“Come, put on your nightgown. You should never be naked when you sleep.” Mammy whispered while she dressed me and tucked me under my favorite blanket. I never slept without my favorite blanket or pillow. Without my shield and dagger, which those items represented to me as such, I could not fight of the visitors.

“God don’t like nudity,” My mother whispered again, “It should be shame that is felt when you gaze upon your own body, stay covered.” She gently tucked me under the blanket and patted my tummy. “Let us say the lord’s prayer and then Psalm 23.” We both recited the lord’s prayer, chanting it in unison, my voice a pitch higher than her own. While we chanted to the Christian God, I was also saying another prayer in my mind to that same God. Please God, don’t make me be touched and talked to by anything while the night rose. Please keep me safe from harm. I squeezed my eyes tight until tears welled up in the corners of my little child’s eyes, but mammy had not seen the tears. I hid all my horrors, all by myself without anyone to help me, but God.

“Alright, when two or more are gathered, God hears our prayer.” Mammy believed that whole heartedly. I tried to believe it too, my childlike understanding still wished for good and fairytale like adventures, but the night rose to some things that were more…sinister. My mother got up from my bedside, approached my room door. Opened and closed the door behind her and I focused as much as I could on her footsteps leaving me behind, walkine down the hall to her own bedroom. I sighed, very loudly. Not because I was relieved or secure, but because I had to fight again.

Sleep came to creep up on me before I can brace myself for anything else. My mind was set on the task that will surely come, but my body was tired from all the games and playing I did all day. The night was different. Why must I be afraid of the night. What I have learned of night has made me afaid of it. Terrified, really. The window brought light in my room, a steady illumination. It should have been comforting, unfortunately, it was not. As sleep took me and I dreamt away, A lowly black mass began to collect itself near the wall beside my bed. Slowly accumulating, and as it did so the sound that came from this mass was of flesh tearing. Pushing itself forward from whereever it emerged, It began to form a head of the carcus of a bull and it wore the dark sludge that was it’s body as though it was a dress. The darkness of its sludge was darker than the darkest corner in the room, where light could not reach. This entity bore no human attributes, nothing about the thing was of this earth or reality. Mammy would call it a Jumbie. In caribbean culture a Jumbie is a monster or mischieveous spirit. It did not come from a dead person like ghosts. It is believed that jumbies can harm you.

While the Jumbie came to visit for a while, I slept undisturbed. After this horn adorned mass completed its materialization in this plane, it watched me as I slept. Though it had no eyes in that bull skull, it concentrated with intensity, on my small body under my shield, my blanket. To my horror, it was still there when I finally opened my eyes at the dead of night to look upon it. I was startled by this being, but have come accustomed to strange entities visiting me during the night. At first, I could not take my eyes off of it…this bull skull, which with its dark mass below it, seemed like it was floating on its own. In my life, at that time, I have never seen anything that I could describe was like it. I was so shaken with bewilderment, I threw my blanket over my head hoping that it would deter this thing from coming towards me. Perhaps it would leave, because my blanket shield would keep it at bay and it would vanish back to wherever it came. Out aloud, I chanted my secret prayer, over and over again. God would come protect me, that was the idea. How much more protection would I need to be free from this curse!

It still haunts me today. I am still here to tell the story.

This original blog post was written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her. (c) 2020

Poem: The Cosmic Laughter

What food GOOD THOUGHTS are?

You, my livewire to the universe

The light within you a BURNING STAR

And I connected infinitely there in

Time non-existent where we are

SHARING KNOWLEDGE

Wisdoms we live

Good food

We feed

THOUGHT

INTO

WORDS

Into

Life

Breathing within just

Galaxies light years from

Our physical limitations

So we meet in its center

In mediation

The only heaven

Where WE can INDULGE

IN COSMIC LAUGHTER

Disclaimer: this poem was created from the universe within me. All photography and original art for this post was created or captured by Hetheru Mer Djehuty. Thank you so much for your support. Please feel free to like, comment, criticize, make suggestions or say “hi”.

This is an original poem imagined, written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her.

DreamScape: Leave The Lights On

I met him in my dreams…

Suddenly, I was there, in the silence of night with giant trees looming and stretching as shadows on its walls. The house was still, but spoke to me through my subconscious awareness. Through my own eyes, I glided towards the back of the house to the double doors that I remembered from my childhood home, so long ago. Though it was night, only the full moon’s illumination was present to guide me, while the trees on the walls of the house continued to yawn and stretch as a monstrosity, stalking. The concrete rectangle that was a path before the red painted double doors, still had etchings from chalk that displayed a childhood game called *Maryl that we played with boxes drawn and golf balls. There was light in all the windows, protruding through all the louvers of every window in the back of this house. I stopped gliding towards the house abruptly. My limbs as if I was immersed in water, but I was not swimming though.

The lights were bright through the red painted double doors as well as the kitchen window and the window that represented my parents room, the master bedroom. All brightly light, it seems as though the lights were pulsating. In my current state of floating I watched as they made a display of call and response, one shining brighter than another, and they continued to do this for a few moments as I floated about the concrete floor outside. Waiting. Then all the lights ceased and there was one that burned the brightest, the dining room. There was a shadow that slowly materialized as I was finally allowed to float into the house. This family place I called home in what seemed like lifetimes ago. I visit on occasion, but only in dream as though when I occupied the space as a child, it was a dream then.

The dining room was the brightest I have ever seen it, in life and in dream. It seemed as the though the light emanated from the walls and roof of the room, and it burned my eyes at first, but then my eyes adjusted to the illumination as I entered. I was not alone in the room, they was another with me. It was him, my lover and friend, standing near the back wall of the room. He has never been here before, but this is the brightest I have ever seen this house. When he realized it was me, he reached up to take hold of me by my waist, tearing me from my floating state of being. His touch became real to us both, it seems. I wish he was sleeping next to me right now. Consciously, outside the realm of dream, I felt my hands grab hold of the sheets next to me, with fists curled tightly around them, I pull them near. We were both relieved to see each other. He was wearing the same clothes from earlier and I was wearing a chiffon night gown my subconscious dreamed up and we held each other forever…

The illumination, which I still was curious as to where it came from. Did it come from him? My mind eased, taking this scene as my current reality, I felt so elated to be with him, taking him now, where I go as I sleep. I can have him in both worlds and relish in our playful banter and whimsical adventures together, lost in timelessness…

*Maryl a game played in the Caribbean during my childhood. Square boxes would be drawn with chalk on concrete and players would take turns, rolling the golf balls and catch them in the drawn boxes.

Disclaimer: this dreamscape was created by my subconscious mind and cannot be replicated. All photography and original art for this post was created or captured by Hetheru Mer Djehuty. Thank you so much for your support. Please feel free to like, comment, criticize, make suggestions or say “hi”.

This is an original work imagined, written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her.