Nour is an exceptional young one whom I have had the pleasure of watching grow on Medium. Over the last eight months, this young one has broken out of her shell and is sharing her life and experiences with us.
Tainted blue creeps in,
An armed looming shadow that threatens,
Look fiercely into its eyes, impassive
Let the ink embrace your heart, squeeze the venom out on paper,
Chase down freedom with your words.
How the story unfolds sometimes. So many lies embedded in between the lines and I foolishly believe. Destruction calling my bones for release of its pent up anger. Seeping its sorrow on my pages, adding lines. And my brain does nothing but smirk in approval, unwinding me to the core. Now all the chaos — thrown at my feet, no sealing to its mouth that keeps running.
I keep falling down.
Entirety is disarming sometimes.
Disapproval clawing its way in my mind,
Smitten by blues, add more salt to her wounds … if only you’ve done this. If only you were this …
Just stop. Press pause, go on rewind your tape and you’ll see where it starts:
All. In. Your. Fucking. Head.
I hold still for a moment. Let the truth sink in. So many inviting claws I struggle to dodge.
Oh, how it’s easier to fall into depression … but will you let in temptation?
And that’s how it starts. I breathe my screams out on paper, rewrite the story …
I change lines.
The claws are no longer inviting. ‘Cause no hunter falls for their prey.
The lies fade back to their dimension, this territory ain’t going to be stained.
I don’t pause. I keep going. Destruction no longer smirks.
Entirety could be disarming … unless between the lines you checked again.
For the rest of this month and into the first two weeks of December, I will be featuring contributing writers who answered the Young Minds of Medium“How Do You Sing The Blues” submission call.
Fatima Mohammed is a recently added contributor to A Cornered Gurl and this challenge is what prompted her to reach out to me. I have selected her piece entitled, “Feel These Feelings” because that’s exactly what it makes a reader do–feel what she’s saying. This young one is making quite the name for herself on Medium by being expressive, raw, and brutally honest. And now, her featured work:
Feel These Feelings
Young Minds of Medium “Blues Call”
i stare at it,
it stares back.
all those feelings,
ignored and unacknowledged.
all those little nothings
to become this thing
staring back at me
from the mirror.
i raise a hand,
so does it.
i blink an eye,
it does the same.
it looks so much like me.
but with eyes devoid of joy;
i strike up a conversation.
ask why it’s here
looking at me with sad eyes.
it says it’s tired of being ignored.
it wants to be acknowledged.
i stare at it,
it stares back.
then the life-altering realisation hits me
with such an intensity.
this thing with sad eyes,
all the feelings i don’t feel,
i hide in a box in my mind;
it’s become so big,
it’s filled up every inch of me.
i’m the one with the sad eyes.
when i feel blue,
i don’t want to hide these feelings
in my attempt to be positive and optimistic.
if i do,
i’ll have those sad eyes forever;
so when i feel blue,
i choose to have those sad eyes.
only for a moment though.
to let go,
i allow myself
to bask in the sadness
to feel these feelings.
*Submissions Call (I am posting this here as well, just in case any of the young ones are interested).
How Do You Sing The Blues?
This is a call for submissions. Young Minds of Medium — this is your challenge. I am looking for work from the young writers here on Medium, ages 15–25. Submissions will be reviewed and posted on Mondays and Fridays during the month of November. THIS IS YOUR TIME TO SHINE! I want to hear from you. I want to feel, connect with, and fall in love with the words you would like to share with the world.
Your theme: “How Do You Sing the Blues?”
What am I asking?
How do you handle moments of sadness? What do you do to ease your pain? Are there any favorite songs you listen to, any good books you read in which to escape? How do you move through the bad times that come in and try to take control of your life?
I am looking for:
Fiction (no more than 850 words)
Non-fiction (no more than 850 words)
And, your heart. ❤
•You will need to be a current user on Medium for this challenge. Request to be added as a writer by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Please Add Me” as the subject line. For the young ones, ages 15–25 already contributing to ACG, please submit your work in draft-form directly to A Cornered Gurl for review, scheduling, and/or publishing. You can submit twice per week, your works will be published on Monday and Friday of that week.
Please have a suitable image for your work with notable credit to its source/artist (Please include the link!). You can find plenty of great images via Unsplash, Pixabay, and Pexels. If you are the source for your image, please caption that.
Please subtitle your entries “Young Minds of Medium Blues Call” and tag your pieces with the following: “Growth” & “The Blues.” CHALLENGE SUBMISSION BEGINS NOW!
The start date for publishing the YMOM pieces is Friday, November 1, 2019, and the end date is Friday, November 29, 2019. Other contributors to ACG, please, no worries. You can submit as you normally would to A Cornered Gurl and your work will be published as well, however, a total of three pieces will be published on Mondays and Fridays for all other writers, leaving the floor wide open for our young ones. I hope you will understand and accept this.
Please remember that A Cornered Gurl is a read-for-all community and there will be no metered paywall or locked pieces published here. Thank you.
Sara is an incredible young one and has been along this ride in A Cornered Gurlsince I made the announcement to open it up to all Writers on Medium this past January. She is also a Young Mind of Medium and she and I have collaborated over the last three years on three projects and with each piece, I learn a bit more from her. To answer July’s challenge, Sara shared a letter she wrote for her boss who would be leaving her place of work to experience new endeavors. He was her inspiration.
In Goodbye (Well, Technically), Sara shows exactly why it is important to let those who inspire us know it. She shares her heart and she does it without being overly emotional. She is incredibly sound in her work and this is an indicator of that. And here, we have it–the reason for her feature:
Goodbye (Well, Technically) Young Minds of Medium Inspiration Call
The greatest boss I will ever know has left. Here’s to you, boss.
Hey (well, now former) Boss,
I didn’t say much when you dropped the bomb that you were leaving, but I know that what I’m thinking and writing deserves some sunlight.
When you said you didn’t want to put our jobs in jeopardy I understood how much of a role model you’ve been to me. I may not understand the entirety of the drama you were involved in, but I have an understanding of the sacrifices you made for your family and us. I have always trusted that you would make the right decisions for yourself, and that trust hasn’t faltered.
Since you’re no longer a constant factor at work, there are some secrets and “thank you’s” I would love to disclose. For starters, during my interview, I faked all of it. I had tried to look up some potential interview questions that would have done better elsewhere, but I magically came up with answers, like in an SAT-pick-the-best-option kind of way, and prayed that they were the ones you were hoping for. I was super lucky and started working the next week.
Hilariously enough, I never thought I would end up in childcare; I used to think that I would never want to work with kids. The only reason I applied to work here was because I didn’t want to work in a bank, which was what my mom had suggested since she made the same move as a young adult. Now that I want to stay for as long as possible, I realize how wrong I was about kids. So as my first “thank you”, thank you for giving me a chance. I definitely don’t think I made the strongest first impression, but you were still willing to take me in, and now I realize I’m better at talking to kids more than adults.
I haven’t turned into my mom in a lot of ways, but when it comes to working through conflicts I have only seen my mom yell so I came into this job with the same tactic. However, I’ve always known that I don’t want to be that way. After seeing you work your magic, your modeling has meant everything to me, and I continually impress myself with how much I’ve improved at talking. Thank you for pulling me out of that rut and for showing me what communication should look like.
Of course, my next “thank you” goes to last year, and I know you know what I’m talking about. I don’t think I ever thanked you properly for helping me keep my head above water, and that was wrong of me. I admit that at some point I contemplated quitting because dealing with the stress was like trying to contain a tsunami in a container, and the uncertainty of how long it would last was an overwhelming thought. It was a test of our emotional resilience and we both came out on top. Thank you for believing me even when I didn’t believe myself. Thank you for being there, for listening, and thank you for staying. I had a small idea of what you were dealing with on your end, and I’m sorry you had to deal with it, too. But seriously, thank you . . . Just thank you.
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve had and heard a lot of thoughts on everything that has happened and despite it all, I am positive that you will find something else in which to excel. There is a legacy you’ve stamped on this place and none of us want to erase it. It will be impossible not to compare the new director to you; the new guy has impossible shoes to fill. Thank you for working with us, for sticking it out as long as you did. For you, we will remain resilient.
Finally, there’s something else you’ve said that I have remembered: if you could sleep at night, then you knew you made the right decision. I’ve decided if you can sleep at night, then so can I.
Thank you for always reminding us that we’re the ones with the ball in our court, I wish you the best of luck in everything!
Zuva is one of our newest contributors to A Cornered Gurl and she comes to the publication with strength, power, brutal honesty, and “black excellence” in her bones. I love reading this young one and she decided to answer the “Young Minds of Medium Inspiration Call” with the following piece entitled: The Making of a Government Manifesto–Erasure Piece. At nearly twenty-three years old, Zuva is already making waves with her work and if you are in her way, you will be moved. And now, for her poem as our featured work for the week:
The Making of a Government Manifesto–Erasure Piece.
Immigrants are “stealing your jobs” but really it’s machines
A homeless man asks me forchange, the world is contactless now
Education is free when it protects and promotes government agenda
Does the voice of oppressors get silenced or do they learn how to whisper and
pass secret notes?
men are taught to hate feminists when we want to help them too. Nothing changes
Obesity is a money-making industry,
that’s why salads ain’t cheap
They’re crippling our NHS to privatisation
This is how it’s meant to be
Trump is to cause divide
And illustrate your rights still don’t matter
People are gunned down for being people
Children are shot then and called victims
*It is very easy to look at the world and just see the negative. But when you look again you can find and create hope.