A Peaceful Mission

Photo by Pietro De Grandi via Unsplash

They piled their things onto the ship, headed for a distant land, one where the violence of their homestate would never follow them. Captain Heras assured them of safety and provided everything needed for their journey. On the side of the ship, painted in gold: “#Ubuntu“.


This is another Twitter prompt response. Word of focus: “Ubuntu”.

Young Minds of Medium Featured Piece #1

My young ones, our young ones, the Young Minds of Medium never disappoint. They rise to the occasion, responding to challenges and calls for submissions in such a way that leaves me in awe. I have been doing this for four years now and I can tell you that it does not get old. I love this type of work. Over the next three weeks, I will feature three young ones from Medium who responded to this month’s challenge, “What Do You Miss Most During This Pandemic?”

First up, is Mr. Anto Rin. Anto is the first member of YMOM and was seventeen, almost eighteen years old when we first collaborated on Medium together. I have watched this young man soar to higher heights and with each piece he releases to the world, he is growing and revealing more of what he can do with words. His work, The Last Homecoming is our feature for this week.


The Last Homecoming

Young Minds of Medium Missed Things Call

Credit

Sushil turned towards the window and looked outside at a city whose squeals of hustle had eventually died down, inconspicuously somehow, until what could be heard were only the echoes of his own thoughts. It was weird at first — for his ears to not be able to distinguish from the air the sounds that had always been there. What he soon came to realize, however, was that the silence was as deafening as the clamor.

The pandemic separated him from his family. His mother and sister were in his hometown alone. He knew he had to be with them — these troubled times were sure to have them terribly worried. After two weeks of being in quarantine, Sushil finally arrived at a decision.

He concluded that he couldn’t wait a second more.

He packed a bag full of biscuits and water, and he set off. He was going to his hometown, no matter what, even if it meant he had to walk around 400 km.

It took him half a day just to reach the limits of the city, where the highway rolled out like a glass ribbon that seemed to shift shapes under the blinding light of the April sun. For days he walked, eating nothing but biscuits, two at a time. He knew he wouldn’t be able to buy anything until he reached the next district, so he rationed carefully. The heat was stifling — he rested whenever he could in the shades of trees.

His legs began to feel heavy, the muscles lining his shins possibly torn beyond recognition. His ankles were locked as if tightly screwed, and whenever he sat down by the side of the highway, his knees made sounds that would have made a biology student uncomfortable.

The first two days had been the easiest since he was at least in complete possession of his senses during that period. It was a challenge, but nothing a man of his strength couldn’t do. During the third day, after he had grabbed a short nap, he woke up into a state of delirium, not knowing where he was or what he was supposed to be doing. He panicked reflexively and, fearing he might have a sunstroke, he emptied an entire canteen of water, which roused his body to a state of alert that helped him walk the farthest distance yet without stopping.

His sandals were almost burnt after miles and miles of rubbing against the road, and at times, his feet slipped forward from the loosening clasps of the straps, grazing against the simmering tar. It scalded his toes. He had to waste some of his water for treating them because walking with a burn felt to him like walking on molten metal.

His phone died the fourth day, although he couldn’t have known in the state he was in. It would have hardly made any difference to him. The heat had become intolerable, so he stopped moving so much during the day. At nights, he felt lost, the lights from the posts shifting the shape of everything around him for every step he took, the road studs deceiving him with their scintillating lights. But at least, he could walk at a pace and keep to it.

He lost a sense of days soon enough. He couldn’t keep track of when he slept, or when he woke up. At one point, he woke up again in delirium, so much so that he couldn’t even remember going to sleep, or that he had done so in the middle of the road. His body was burning and he was sure that he had a fever. He felt breathless, but couldn’t quite feel his heart. There was a slight pain in his chest, which spread in an outward manner until he could feel it in his ribs.

“What’s the matter?”

Sushil raised a blurry eye.

“Who — who are you? Where am I?”

Sushil could see the faint outline of a woman and kept his eyes riveted to her. Since there wasn’t any reply, he said, “Have I made it? Where am I? Who are you?”

“Why, it is me, son.”

“Mother, is it you? Where’s Shreya? Is she alright, mother?”

“She’s fine. You know I will take care of her.”

“I am not very well. But where are we?”

“You blacked out. You are home, son. Come, put your head to rest.”

Sushil managed to drag himself over to her. His feet were still scalded and felt like they were engulfed in flames. He went to his mother and laid his head on her lap. A surge of cold instantly came over him, and he felt relaxed like he hadn’t in days. An inexplicable tiredness washed over him. He knew he was delirious, but for a second he believed he had made it because there was no other explanation for it.

He closed his eyes deliberately with a sense of relief as if he was finally ready to let go.


*Inspired by real-life events: click here or here to read further.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

getting the kinks out

Massage by Emma Plunket

he hovered over
her shoulders, kneading
the knots from left to right.
she’d been tense for several
weeks worrying about the
impending divorce and
placement of their children.

what happens to a family
when both parents
cheat on each other?
who broke whose heart?
what do you say to
everyone waiting for
the truth when all they’ve
heard are lies?

she breathed a hard batch
of air from her mouth
out to the ether.
the petrissage is always
the best part of her
massage therapy.

she’s in constant need
of getting the
kinks out of
her life.


The Twitter #vss365 prompt word for today is “petrissage” (a massage technique that involves kneading the body.)

Young Minds of Medium

I am sharing this here too. If any young ones here are active users on Medium or want to be, this could be the challenge for you:


Young Minds of Medium

What Do You Miss Most During This Pandemic?

Photo by Alec Favale via Unsplash

Your theme: “What Do You Miss Most During This Pandemic?

What am I asking?

I am certain we all miss being able to meet and greet our friends and family members — to hug them, kiss them, and simply lay hands on them. Maybe you miss going to the movies? The bookstore? Having a fun-filled day in the park complete with a picnic or a game of basketball. Or, suppose you’d like to write about the loss of a loved one due to the virus or during this pandemic & your struggles with grieving because of it. What do you miss most? How has this pandemic changed you?

I am looking for:

Poetry
Micropoetry
Fiction (no more than 850 words)
Non-fiction (no more than 850 words)
And, your heart. ❤




And now, music from Mr. Billy Joel: We Didn’t Start The Fire


ACG Guidelines


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

 

Poetry Over Panic: Online Women’s Writing Group

This is a good thing. A very good thing, indeed. Please head over to the original post to leave any comments or inquiries there. You’re a bright light, Ali!

flashlight batteries - poetry

“Poetry gives you permission to feel.” – James Autry

As the world shifts, I am looking for ways to give and create supportive community. With all the emotions swirling, we are faced with finding healthy ways to process them. Poetry provides powerful prompts for reflective writing and group inquiry provides a doorway into our own thinking.

My hope is that, by writing and reflecting together, we can learn from this unusual time, and face it with loving curiosity.

Tickets are available now for my new four session series. This small group will be limited to 6 participants to enable us to dive deeper into writing and sharing with each other.

Poetry Over Panic:

Women’s Writing Circle (4 week series)

We are stronger when we lean on and learn from one another.

Join me as we continue forward into the unexpected.

Love,

Ali

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