POETIC BLOOMINGS

POETIC BLOOMINGS is a Phoenix Rising Poetry Guild site established in May 2011 to nurture and inspire the creative spirit.

THE BIG EVENT – PROMPT #80

Our project revolves around our little corners of the world. But it’s time to broaden our horizon. Events of global importance may have had an influence on us. Can you think of one?

“HOW DO YOU VIEW your life? – POETIC BLOOMINGS MEMOIR PROJECT

Part 15: The Big Event – What one event in your lifetime had a profound effect on your life? It could be a world event, or a local happenstance. Where were you when Kennedy, Dr. King, or John Lennon got shot? When the World Trade Towers fell? Man on the Moon? Tell about something that changed the way you viewed the world and how did it change yours.

MARIE ELENA’S MOMENT:

September 22, 1963

five-year-old eyes watch
as little boy salutes
daddy’s coffin

Copyright © – Marie Elena Good – 2012

WALT’S WONDER:

ONE SUNDAY NIGHT IN FEBRUARY

I had just turned eight
and I never knew music could touch me
in the way this sound had.
They came as four lads; hair and guitars
and stars before their fame
became apparent. Across the pond
they traveled and young girls
would unravel in shrieks and screams
and have wild dreams at the sight.
One Sunday night in February
there was nary a report of disturbance
or crime; ahead of their time and my
life had been altered. Walter would never be the same.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!

Copyright © – Walter J. Wojtanik 2012

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190 thoughts on “THE BIG EVENT – PROMPT #80

  1. Marjory M Thompson (MMT) on said:

    SILENCE…

    Shots rang out in a Texas street,
    ‘or nation swept a deep silence.
    World moving in shock, disbelief.
    Shots rang out in a Texas street.
    Naiveté ended complete
    ‘cross nation shielded by pretense.
    Shots rang out in a Texas street,
    ‘or nation swept a deep silence.

    What I remember the most is the hush that descended. Classes and work dismissed, no talked or music, people wondering about with dazed looks of disbelief, even city traffic was muffled. A world huddled together in silence.

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      Yes… I was very, very young, but I remember watching the images on television… and, oh, yes… that Hush…

      and, then, later, Bobby… it was all too sad… !!!

    • Powerful, Henrietta.

    • So well written, Marjory, that it reminds me of Walt Whitman. Tragic.

    • claudsy on said:

      I was home from school that day, sick, and helping Dad wire the new bathroom. Normally the TV wouldn’t have been on during the day without Mom there, but I’d promised to watch her soap to keep her caught up.

      I called for Dad to come and watch what was happening. He came in ready to scold me for interrupting him. He never finished the sentence after I said “They killed the president.”

      I doubt many of us will forget what we were doing that day or how things fell out afterwards.

      Good one, Marjory. The refrain works so very well.

      • Marjory M Thompson (MMT) on said:

        I note too (sadly) that as each new ‘bad thing happens’ we become a bit less sensatize to the reality of the pain and loss that comes to others as a result. Good example New York verses Katrina. I am as quilty as others. 😦

        • claudsy on said:

          I understand, Marjory. It acts as emotional self-protection so that we aren’t in overload constantly and can still function. In some ways it’s as much a survival technique as anything else we use. Sad but necessary at some point.

    • I remember people’s eyes, hurt and confused. Very well done.

  2. Marjory M Thompson (MMT) on said:

    Marie, so few well chosen words that recall so much.

    Walt 😉 “….never be the same.
    Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!” Yeah.

  3. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    Meg: that image still makes me cry… and Walt, those 4 still make me sing…

    Darn… I am awake again, in the middle of the night !?! … just when I had been sleeping so soundly these past days…

    Okay… I really need to think about this prompt… (“Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah….”!!!) 🙂 !

  4. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    Mysterious Connections

    How is it that one
    single event or person
    can Touch so deeply?

  5. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    (Okay, Walt… thanks alot… now I am up listening to “… yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah… I Wanna Hold Your Hand…” AND…

    “Hey Jude”

    “Take a sad song and make it better…”

    I was walking home from a softball game;
    just past the rainbowy snow cone concession stand…
    where this song was playing on the little transistor
    radio…

  6. Marie Elena, Love the way you chose to use few words for yours. It sort of hit me in the “gut” with the feeling of that moment.
    Walt, I love how yours reads song-like. Perfect for the subject. It makes me think of how many girls are currently reacting to One Direction. 🙂

  7. Thank you for the prompt! (I am also going to post this on my website, the whatnot shop.)

    Death of a Princess

    Somewhere
    between L.A. and Seattle,
    in separate
    cars,
    following
    mother and father
    home for holiday,
    we paused
    our summer evening drive, gas pump
    weighty
    in hand after reports the Princess
    had died, gasped her last
    kindhearted
    breath, smashed
    amidst twisted,
    cold
    metal, world
    lost
    at the loss.

  8. Marie, Walt, I promise I will be a good girl and do this prompt properly later, but meanwhile here is a bit of fun incorporating yours with others:
    http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/there-are-too-many-prompts-about/

  9. Connie L. Peters on said:

    Just Beneath Excitement

    and anticipation
    of seeing friends or relatives,
    or visiting a first-for-you place
    or having new adventures
    lies frustration that air travel is no longer fun

    as you take off your shoes,
    go through long lines,
    sort your cell phone, change and keys,
    carry-ons, wallets or purses
    in plastic bowls and tubs,
    and stand in an electronic archway
    while guards stare
    and wave wands over your body.

    Just beneath joy lies fear
    that the world is no longer a safe place,
    an unescorted bag could be a bomb
    and anything could happen
    since the towers disintegrated before our eyes.

  10. Connie, I recognise the PAD prompt, and you have truly done it justice. I am more and more reluctant to travel these days.

    Here is the event that made the most difference to my life:

    Stages

    First Stage

    Floating on a breath of gas and air
    I watch the lights above my head.
    and white coats moving in a fog.

    I’m just waiting,
    Tranquil, woozy, my future nearly here
    in which I will touch, see, love.

    Soon the long pause will end.
    I smile, secretly. They cannot
    understand my calm
    when all around is bustle.

    Second Stage

    Mum. I want my Mum.
    Why didn’t they tell me
    it would be like this?

    Panic threatens, tears near.
    They pull me, press me, cut me.
    Can it go on?

    I scream. They tell me ‘No,
    you’re frightening Mrs Jones.’
    I can’t do this any more.

    ‘Yes you can dear.
    Keep on pushing. Push again.’
    Where are you when I need you, Mum?

    Third stage

    Suddenly it stops. Silence;
    then, thin sweet sound.
    My baby cries.
    I reach for him.

  11. The Challenger

    Explosion in the sky;
    a ball of light,
    shooting stars,
    fireworks…
    too much smoke,
    metal flying;
    disaster.

  12. What stunned the world in Nineteen Sixty-Three,
    assassination, I documented
    on round-cornered notebook paper
    between Chemistry and Spanish
    with my first bad pun
    we are temporarily un-precedented.

  13. Marjory M Thompson (MMT) on said:

    Just beneath the haze
    I reach out to remember
    what life use to be.

  14. NINE-ELEVEN IN JERUSALEM

    Sipping fresh squeezed orange juice
    On rooftop in Old Jerusalem
    I hear prayer broadcast from mosque
    See the men at the Kotel or wailing wall
    It seems surreal yet its not a dream
    September 2001 and I am actually here
    We are here on a prayer journey
    Each day walking to a different gate
    Tomorrow we go to the Mt of Olives
    But today we feel impressed to stay
    Here at the house, fasting and praying
    We spend the day in the prayer room
    Reading Scriptures, kneeling, meditating
    At 4 pm we stop and turn on CNN
    We see the breaking news from USA
    No! That cannot be, surely it is movie
    We see the panic and reality sinks in
    We flew out of Newark 3 days ago
    Wanting to shop at World Trade Center
    Now it is just rubble and death
    What a difference a day makes

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      … Indeed… what a difference a single day makes… (or, a single Moment, for that matter… ! )

    • claudsy on said:

      Iris, I wonder how many times you’re asked yourself what would have happened if you’d traveled a few days earlier, gone to the WTC to do some shopping on the way to the airport. I know I would have asked that question every day for a long time afterward. And to find out as you did, after a day of prayer that you hadn’t originally intended… that would have been something else.

      So glad you came through. Good verse, too.

    • Marjory M Thompson (MMT) on said:

      Gives a new appreciation of life and the blessings given to each.

  15. Marjory M Thompson (MMT) on said:

    Here is an Apple
    it is not for you to eat
    but to change lifestyle.

  16. When YOU were alive?

    It was Martin Luther King Day,
    back when schools still had class
    on such a holiday, in 1989.
    My 9 year old son had returned from school.

    I asked him if they had talked
    about Dr. King in school that day.
    He said they had an announcement
    But that was all. Why is it important?

    So I tried to explain a large concept
    to a small child in words he could grasp.
    “Things have changed because of Dr. King.
    When I was a child, things were different.”

    When I was growing up:
    Black people could not marry white people,
    Blacks and whites had to use different bathrooms,
    different drinking fountains, different hotels,
    different restaurants, even different schools.
    Black people had trouble getting jobs,
    getting an education, getting justice.

    Black people were angry,
    and white people were afraid.
    Dr King wanted change,
    but he also wanted peace.

    He helped to change America
    by advocating peaceful change,
    passive resistance, reasonable discourse.
    And things are much better now.

    My boy then said, “Those things
    happened when YOU were ALIVE?”
    It was not a statement.
    It was an accusation.

    I felt guilt and shame as never before,
    Even though I was a small child at the time,
    and I had worked for the change,
    I have never gotten over the shame.

  17. It still makes my heart stop, Marie. And me too, Walt!

  18. janeshlensky on said:

    Marie, you’ve inspired me with your beautiful piece. I was a teacher in a Chinese university at the time of the student movement there. I can’t tell you how dark that underbelly was for the whole of the following year, as students were re-educated. This one is for my students there.

    Movement

    power confronts students
    as a single unknown man stands
    before a moving tank

  19. claudsy on said:

    I know we’re writing today about those big events to clobber everyone’s psyche and impact our lives forever more.

    For this first one, however, I’d rather address a small private one that had such a profound effect on my life as to change forever my attitude used to face the world. I’ll return with another piece about a grand event.

    Observance and Charity

    Thanksgiving, with its feast
    And festivities, families and fun,
    Instructed all passing through
    Granny’s kitchen that no feast
    Prepared itself, no magic was used
    Except planning and hard work.
    True lessons commenced when packed
    Parcels of heavy meals came into young hands
    For delivery to a neighboring household;
    One whose holiday came from others
    With enough to share on a cold day.
    One plate for the old lady, bed-ridden;
    One plate for the old man wheeling himself;
    One plate for an addled oldster in back;
    And another for the youngest brother;
    The last went to the matriarch sleeping
    With the living room’s finery completed
    By a wood stove with fuel supply nearby.
    Humility came with receipt of gratitude’s
    Smiles and heartfelt thanks, never to be
    Forgotten nor reduced in memory to petty.

  20. claudsy on said:

    Second poem for Profound Event Poem for PB 11-4-12 #80

    Celestial Seasoning

    The world changed when
    animals circled the world in small rooms,
    returning for retrieval and examination.
    Horizons were removed, replaced
    With sectors of space and new dreams.

    Man must go next, they said,
    Plans were ready, preparations made;
    Special men could pull it off and show
    Us ourselves from the void of space
    Through windows frosted by suited breath.

    Humans circled, then moved further out
    To take a stroll on Luna’s surface of wispy
    Dirt, fragmented rock from millions of years
    And countless cosmic hits waiting for man’s
    Footprints, a rigid flagpole, and a golf tee.

    Ones lost to exploration’s demands became
    Numbers on a stats sheet until Challenger
    Showed the world risks forgotten with time
    And reminded the complacent that knowledge
    Carries heavy risk for those that point the way.

    Time spun again and shuttle service was routine
    Until Columbia streaked across a Southern sky
    Leaving personal meteors behind, scattered in
    Deserts on its way home while we watched its
    Daytime fireworks show, wondering at the future.

    Space stations rode orbits sci-fi writers predicted,
    And accidents happened as skeptics always feared,
    While school kids wrote essays and pen-pal letters
    To astronauts and specialists who rode the big birds
    To a place without air, to experiment with things unseen.

    Our future was written in the stars and in Luna’s dirt,
    A future no longer confined to Earth’s gravity or age.

  21. She Stayed

    Had she not found the love
    and joy she sought? Why,
    I wondered, still naive
    in understanding inner
    workings of a person’s clock,
    including my own.

    She was my rocking bad girl
    idol, blues rock voice, hair
    hanging wherever it fell,
    feather boas, Southern
    Comfort, kick-ass band,
    Woodstock status,
    ravaged laugh–a tell of how
    she would treat herself.

    Twice in my lifetime, she stole
    into my brain, and burrowed
    under my skin. At first, I just wanted
    to sing like Janis. Then, Janis
    died, amidst rumors of drugs,
    unhappiness, suicide. It did
    not matter why; no singer
    would ever touch me
    the way she had. She took
    a piece of my heart.

  22. Auschwitz
    overflowing
    stacks of bones lie bulldozed
    skeletons stare through the barbed-wire_
    wild-eyed.

  23. One Man vs Thousands

    One man was killed
    but a whole country
    stopped what it was doing,
    cried and viewed a funeral.

    Thousands were killed;
    all saw the planes on TV.
    I refused to cry, but sang
    God Bless America instead.

    Between those two events
    others were assassinated,
    there were riots, and movies
    depicted unbelievable horrors.

    Kennedy’s death felt so real—
    my painful reaction, visceral.
    Planes smashing the twin towers
    looked like movie violence to me.

    Was my not giving in to despair
    that day a growing desensitivity
    to violence or simply wanting
    to thumb my nose at the terrorists?

    • Marjory M Thompson (MMT) on said:

      How sad it is that over exposure to too much hurt, death, pain in real life, books, TV, news and movies deadens us to new exposure to such re-accuring realities.

  24. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    Lost Off the Coast of Cape Cod

    John Jr., Caroline, Lauren…
    How much more sadness
    can one family
    endure?!

  25. Freedom

    September 11 was a dark
    day in the land of the free
    a day our liberty was challenged
    at the expense of human life
    and countless innocent souls
    were robbed of their freedom
    taken captive to the dark domain death
    they lost the right to live the
    human life

    But there is no place where
    their voice is not heard

    Where their colors still shine freedom

  26. Marian Veverka on said:

    The Growing-up Years

    When I was nine years old, I lived in a quiet, peaceful world. Our street in Cleveland Ohio was bordered with great shade trees whose branches formed an arch over the brick pavement. My best friend, Dorothy, lived across the street and together we walked back and forth to school, joined by other friends on the way.

    One cloudy, grey Sunday afternoon a few weeks before Christmas, my aun t, uncle and cousins came to visit as I had been discharged from the hospital the day before and was still recovering from pneumonia. As soon as they left, my mother turned on the radio. It was time for “One Man’s Family” one of her favorite programs. But instead of the program, someone was making a speech. It was Eleanor Roosevelt! “What is Eleanor Roosevelt doing on One Man’s Family?” my mother asked.

    That was how we learned our country had been attacked. (My mother’s exclamation later became a sort of family joke.) I remember begging my parents to let me go to school the next day. I knew there would be no lessons, everyone would be talking about Pearl Harbor. But the doctor had ordered that I spend a week at home.

    The next morning I listened to President Roosevelt’s speech while playing paper dolls beneath the dining room table. When he said the words “The Empire of Japan”. I felt a shiver. My father followed the war in Europe, but it was far away and we had two great oceans to protect us. Now I realized that people who wanted to harm us could fly their airplanes over those waters. No one was safe, we were not safe, we were part of the world and the world was a very scary place.

  27. “I thought we were the only ones”

    We’re getting married, he said after evil invaded
    the land of the free, red terror alerts stream along
    the bottom of TV screens in the home of the brave,

    the world is on edge yet those who live still must live
    and we rejoice, hallelujah, to gain a daughter,

    We ask where will the wedding be, they say Islamabad,
    and we want you to come, I stare at red alerts still
    waving in anger, new terms chanting from mouths
    of reporters—al-Qaeda, war on terror, Osama bin Laden,
    the great Satan-we are to them,

    Passport, Visa, inoculations, Malaria pills, careful
    what you say, careful what you wear, careful not to
    look American, don’t look in their eyes, don’t wear
    tennis shoes, cover your ankles, cover your wrists,
    and enter a land of conflict and startling beauty,

    We fly two days skipping Easter day to learn that
    we are not the only ones terrorized, to see that we
    have been insulated and focused on U.S. when They
    Who Dared were also attacked post 9/11,
    and our reporters failed.

    My son, his bride, a warm church strewn with bullet
    holes and grave markers of the dead, a boarding
    school showered in grenades, church after church
    bombed. At night, I hear the explosions from the brick

    factory where those who wore crosses are chained
    and forced to work deep into the night, the newspaper
    shows photos of a woman burned and she must
    defend herself in court for the rape she endured,
    but they say she caused and riots break out.

    And we call ourselves brave? We are not brave,
    I learn, I am not brave, I am soft. I am guarded by
    men with assault rifles and I shudder when I hear
    the bombs in the distance, the pounding stick of
    the guard on his rounds behind the barbed wire
    inside our compound.

    In the morning, I photograph a huddle of children
    in Sunday School, the girls in brilliant cotton
    shavar-kamese and dubatta’s, eternal smiles on
    their hearts, the woman at the Dholki with no
    front teeth, the pastor beaten and poisoned on
    the bus for being too western, for following the
    god of the U.S., the “great satan.” I hold these photos
    and remember

    these are the brave ones, the ones who dare to
    embrace True Freedom, and return to sing on
    Sundays as infidels to their neighbors knowing
    they may not live for another Sunday because they
    dare to live brave and free to choose in their home of
    great beauty and terror.

    And I am changed forever.

  28. A Crack in the Illusion

    Safely ensconced in the Midwest
    where the grass is green
    the lakes are blue
    and crime can be ignored –

    Radical terrorist attacks
    happened in other countries
    never here in the amber waves of grain
    never here –

    All other terrorist acts on American soil
    had been committed by home grown lunatics
    never foreigners
    until that day –

    Watching the morning show
    confusion reigned until the second plane hit
    then the fears began to rise
    as the tears began to fall –

    As we learned the terrorist had breached our shores
    bringing the new war here
    America’s golden aura dimmed
    as we realized we are not invincible.

  29. Same topic, just shorter….

    towers fell
    fears ascended
    holding my babies close

  30. Pingback: Seventy-Three, or How Icicles Can Be Deadly « my words are alive

  31. Marjory M Thompson (MMT) on said:

    Some events don’t change the world, they change an individual.

    1951
    A child of nine years,
    facing change mid fears,
    seeks a quiet place alone
    to share thoughts of unknown.
    Kneels in holy place,
    raises heart and face,
    Please, God, will you come along?

    1953
    God did come along, alway
    Traved by my side
    To be friend, Savior and guide.

    1955
    Mom said, “Art is just for play,
    Make better job choice,
    Go find some work that will pay.”

    1957
    Friend shared drafting class project,
    Spoke drafting career.
    What? There’s ways to draw for pay?

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      Oh, M, you are so very blessed to have had people who encouraged you in the arts… in my world, artistic endeavors were Never considered “real work” 😦 I am only just now learning to Honor my creative abilities!

  32. Life Events – Personal and Not

    Of course there are the big ones that I am sure
    Everyone remembers and can point to as life-defining
    The assassinations – I remember all of them, where I was
    What I was doing; the tears, the sense of hopelessness
    How jaded I became as time went on and marching anywhere
    Didn’t end the war in Vietnam, but Canada was different back
    Then – we did let draft dodgers stay here – so there was that

    But I remember Kent State and how outraged I was over those
    Shootings, it took me a long time to settle down after the days
    Of the flower-children and peaceniks …
    The space-race was exciting but also scary, especially when astronauts
    Burned up on the pad, and then the Challenger – I’ll never forget
    Seeing that school teacher’s mother watching the thing explode
    Someone had a zoom lens on her the whole time and it was almost
    Like being inside her as you saw the excitement on her face change to
    Realization and then horror, and that picture of dawning horror
    Graced the cover of many American magazines the following
    Days and weeks; I remember feeling a surrogate sickness wondering
    How she could possibly be coping with such tragedy so publicly
    And on and on – the Air/India flight that crashed over the Atlantic
    Just east of Newfoundland with almost 400 passengers aboard
    Princess Diana’s horrid and senseless death, the Oklahoma bombing,
    Columbine – that was something parents found almost impossible
    to comprehend …

    Of course, the capper had to be 9/11 and for me,
    It’s probably something I personally will never get over – I know
    Coming from a Canadian, that probably sounds odd – but there are things
    That happen, that get inside you that you just can’t shake and for me
    That’s one … similarly, the shooting in Norway two summers ago, is another
    They are tragedies of such enormity and puzzlement that I know I will
    Study them, write about them, debate them even – for all time probably

    On a smaller scale but no less important to me, are child abuse cases locally
    Especially ones involving parents torturing their children – I find myself despairing
    So totally I have to pull back, try not to think about things for awhile
    Or I get far too close to the abyss, that gaping maw with which I am all too familiar
    And these are just the things that affect everyone to some extent –

    When I haul out my laundry list of personal life events that have had an impact on me …
    It’s actually not that long, thank heavens, since all of the foregoing have effected me profoundly …
    Still – the suicide of my psychiatrist over seven years ago ranks as one of hardest things
    I’ve had to deal with, and I’m still not done with dealing with it, not nearly finished
    With that grief; the deaths of my father and brother have had a huge impact on my life
    But the sudden death of the young son of close friends – that bothered me more than most
    And even though it was over ten years ago, still bothers me, makes my heart ache

    Being mentally ill has had more of an impact on my family than on me, I think, except for when
    I betrayed them – that is still my most shameful memory, the thing that when thought about
    Too long or in any depth, can drop me to my knees, or leave me depressed for days, even longer
    Hell, even dwelling on being adopted and the various types of fall-out from that simple everyday happenstance – depending on the day, the week, the year –

    Any number of things could be considered the one most life defining … from the death of a beloved pet to the day the towers crumbled to our first trip to Europe … I should mention, I suppose, that not
    All life-defining moments are tragic or bound up with sadness … for some reason, those seem to be
    The ones that rise to the surface most easily but I know the first time I had something accepted
    For publication, the wave of bliss I rode was unlike anything I’d experienced since our daughters were born
    And that’s another thing, it was so long ago, but having our girls was a miracle that took us over twelve years of trying – their births were life-defining moments, and good ones
    That’s sometimes hard to remember especially as post-partum depression accompanied the second’s birth –
    I think some things that are hugely influential in life don’t appear that way until long after the event
    It took me more than three decades to appreciate how profoundly lucky I am to be married to the man I am

    As Billy Joel’s famous song puts it, “And so it goes” and indeed, it does I realize as I try to pick and choose the most significant of my life events – it’s just not do-able, at least not by me … everyone I light upon, suggests another and then one more and so on … and that’s not a bad thing really, is it?

  33. Kennedys and King
    Stopped too soon
    We were never young

  34. Wow…all of these are great! I seriously don’t know what to write about. I’m too young to remember the attack on the World Trade Center, or any of the President’s assassinations. The only thing that’s had a major impact on my life was when my brother died. But I don’t want to keep writing about that and making people feel sorry for me…I probably just won’t write.

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      Erin… please reconsider… please write about your brother…. please write about your brother as many times as you can… you will know in your heart and soul when you have worked through the pain enough to not write about him anymore… <3!!

    • I have to agree with Hen here, Erin. Don’t be afraid to write about your brother. Not only will the writing help with the healing process, his memory lives on in your poems. And this is the perfect forum for sharing those memories, you will find few other places more supportive than this little poetic garden.

      • Thanks Henrietta and Mary. I decided to take your advice…

      • I so agree with Mary and Henrietta, Erin – I don’t always go crazy and become overwhelmed the way I did in this poem and in fact, have written about my own brother’s death many times as it affected me profoundly … Don’t ever be afraid to write about your brother – I think sometimes being able to focus on just one event and doing that well is really helpful for both poet and readers … it’s so nice to have your perspective here in the garden, if I haven’t mentioned it before, and you do some very fine work.

  35. Three Minute Wait

    Three minutes can become an agonizing eternity
    Alone in the bathroom at 4 A.M.
    I hold that white plastic stick like a talisman,
    Praying that the tiny spark of hope
    That always resurfaces at times like this
    Would not be extinguished once again
    With tears of disappointment.
    After years of dealing with a malfunctioning body
    Flooded with deceitful hormones,
    I understood that crushing emotion all too well.
    I’m afraid to breathe,
    Fighting back another wave of nausea,
    Wondering if this could just be anxiety,
    Maybe a touch of the flu,
    Or perhaps something more…
    My hands shake as the timer rings
    And I glance down at the indicator,
    Terrified of what I’ll find.
    In that moment,
    Two pink lines showed me
    That miracles can happen,
    Even to someone like me.

  36. Also wanted to share an older one that I wrote the day of the tragic movie theater shooting in Aurora, CO earlier this year since it seems to fit the prompt so well.

    A Light Against the Darkness

    Evil is not the monster under the bed
    Or the boogey man lurking in the shadows.

    Evil is real.

    Evil walks the earth in human guise,
    Bathing in acid rivers of hate,
    Stripping away any shred of humanity
    To commit unspeakable acts of violence.

    Evil is a coward,
    Preying on the innocent and unsuspecting…
    An explosion of rage that destroys a city bus,
    A destructive shower of bullets
    In a movie theater or at a summer camp,
    Silver wings transformed into lethal missiles
    Raining terror down upon an unwary nation.

    Evil leaves toxic footprints upon the ground,
    A poison strong enough to evoke
    Images of the most horrible atrocities
    Just at the mention of a name…
    The gas chambers of Auschwitz,
    The killing fields of Cambodia,
    The bloodied plains of Darfur.

    Evil is a powerful adversary,
    Bloodthirsty and ruthless,
    But just as surely as evil exists,
    Goodness exists, with more power and greater numbers.

    Let the good-hearted people of the world
    Stand together against the growing evil,
    Casting aside that which may divide us
    In pursuit of a nobler cause,
    With faithful hearts and fervent prayers
    Sent heavenward because only
    The light of love and tolerance
    Can stop the encroaching darkness.

  37. A Moment in Time

    Isn’t it strange,
    How one thing can change your life?
    One single event,
    One solitary moment in time.
    One sentence,
    A phrase or two.
    And the world you knew
    Is gone forever;
    Lost in that event,
    That moment in time;
    Changed by one sentence,
    A phrase or two.
    “Last night Cameron died”,
    As simple as that.
    My dad’s eyes
    Full of tears,
    A sight I’d never seen.
    That moment changed
    My ten-year-old life,
    Stopped my heart,
    Set the world spinning.
    It’s never been the same since;
    Four years later,
    The pain’s still there.
    No amount of tears
    Can drown it;
    No amount of time
    Can change it.

    • That pain never truly goes away; we just figure out a way to move forward with our lives while carrying that loss around as a scar in our hearts.

      This is a beautiful poem, Erin. The amount of skill and maturity your writing shows is staggering, I just can’t wait to see how far this will take you! Thanks so much for deciding to write and share this.

      • I echo Mary’s comments Erin; the simplicity with which you recount this just emphasizes the amount of pain it caused and the effect this “event” has had, and continues to have on you …

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      It is simply heartbreakingly, absolutely Gorgeous… !!! ❤ ! Through your pain, I try to release my own… "…No amount of tears/Can drown it;/No amount of time/Can change it" Thank you, Erin!!

      • Henrietta Choplin on said:

        There is a music video, Erin, by LeAnn Rimes called “Probably Wouldn’t Be This Way (Official Video)” that so captures the profound sense of loss and pain that we, as human beings, can go through at times, when we loose someone very important to us… I have played it over and over… there is some comfort in knowing we are not alone in our pain… ❤

      • Thank you all so much! Your comments are very comforting. I really did not want to write this poem, but now I’m glad I did. Thanks!

        And thank you, Henrietta, for your suggestion. I will have to check that out.

    • Just beautiful writing, Erin. We all learn to live with enormous pain, that stops taking over our lives, but stays inside.

  38. Pingback: The Big Event (a haiku) | Metaphors and Smiles

  39. The Big Event (a haiku)

    Two tiny people
    showed me the true depth of love,
    woven of my womb.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2012

  40. I know I am a week behind on prompts, but I didn’t want to miss one for this memoir project.

    Quadrupley Changed

    Twenty
    years ago,
    I heard someone say,
    “you can’t understand
    God’s love for us,
    until you are a parent.”
    The words haunted me
    I cried out…often!
    God heard my cries and
    in His timing,
    He answered.
    Four times
    over.

    © Kelly Donadio – 2012

  41. Pingback: Happenstance and Impact | Two Voices, One Song

  42. I realize that I used a personal event for this BIG EVENT prompt. Here is a proper post for this prompt.

    The Politics of Media

    A politician taking his life
    during a press conference.

    Media outlets
    choosing to print and air.

    Changed my news reporting career,
    forever.

    © KED 2012

  43. Pingback: PART 15 – The Big Event | Two Voices, One Song

  44. Pingback: Setting My Sights On Seeing | echoes from the silence

  45. ejparsons on said:

    I Wish We’d All Been Ready

    An evening quite some time ago
    A concert in New Brunswick
    Woodstock, if I’m not mistaken
    On a cold Canadian night
    The music played
    And the crowd praised the Lord
    Me included
    Although not sure I belonged there
    Until the end
    When the invitation began

    “The King is Coming’ started
    And the pressure mounted
    My hands began to sweat
    Then my brow
    And down my neck
    My heart rate increased
    As they made their case
    For heaven or hell
    If only I could make it through
    This song, I could go home
    But then,
    It went on
    Verse after verse
    Word after word
    Eating at my lost soul
    Calling me to repent
    And give in
    To a Savior
    That I needed to know
    But didn’t
    Or wouldn’t

    Then it ended
    The song, that is
    And several people bumped their way by me
    On their way to the front
    Answering the call
    The call I was fighting
    Could I go home now?

    Then the voice over the loudspeaker said
    “Now is your time….your time to answer His call”
    Then another song started
    More powerful than the last
    A song that hit me hard
    A song that broke me down
    A song that started my feet moving
    Toward the front
    To accept Him
    Once and for all

    “A man and wife alone in bed
    She hears a noise
    And turns her head
    He’s gone
    I wish we’d all been ready.”

    “I wish we’d all been ready”
    A sad song of truth
    About those left behind
    When the eye twinkles
    And He returns for His own
    To take us forever
    With Him
    On high
    That’s where I’ll be
    Because thanks to that night
    And that song
    I am ready

    (C) 2013 Earl Parsons

  46. Fly Like An Eagle

    It was the twentieth July
    Nineteen hundred and sixty nine
    At four eighteen in the afternoon
    Eastern Standard Time
    A crackled transmission from
    A quarter million miles away
    Echoed through the speakers
    At Mission Control in Houston
    As Astronaut Neil Armstrong declared
    “The Eagle has landed.”

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

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