The hunt was on for another idea.
Then another member of the community posted a submission that included a parent making a sacrifice; one born of desperation--and something in my mind shifted. The feeling that story gave me reminded me of something else... something tinged with desperation.
It took me a while to remember what that 'something' was: a poem I'd written years ago, called 'For The Lost'. Not that I'm very good at poetry, but I was experimenting.
Obviously, as it stood, the poem wasn't suitable for the challenge (which was to write a piece that had the same first and last lines BUT the meaning of the words had to change). Still... I decided it had potential.
So I sat... and I thought... and then I thought some more (it's what writers tend to do). Until, finally, I hit on the idea of using the original poem as the 'backbone' of my challenge piece and interspersing it with a more detailed monologue. In effect, I'd have two monologues, by the same person, but hopefully different enough to keep the reader engaged.
It was a format I hadn't attempted before, but I was more than eager to give it a go. My 'old' poem was about to evolve into something new.
And I'll be honest: I'm quite pleased with the end result, though I don't suppose I've pleased all of the people with this submission either. The point is, as writers we should never be afraid to revisit old ideas and build/incorporate them into something new; something that excites us.
Whatever you write, be it lyrics, poetry, short stories or novels, you should treasure each of the ideas that your imagination gives to you, because you never know when it will 'come in handy' for something else, or spark a project you hadn't initially considered.
SUCH PAIN (previously 'For The Lost')
Giving way to disbelief.
Was it only this morning, when happiness was all I knew? Golden sunlight coloured everything; as I was driven to hospital, and handled with care. Like a precious treasure.
As shock invades,
Tears are not nearly enough.
Now my mind is divorced from reality, working on a different time-scale; slower. I watch the doctors and nurses as they move around me, with serious expressions and softly spoken conversation. I can feel my lover’s hands, wrapped around mine. Part of me wants to shake-free from his grasp; though it’s my only anchor, in a world I no longer recognise.
What is it they are telling me?
No life exists?
How can anyone be so stupid? Is this a genuine mistake or a twisted joke? You’d think, with so many letters after their names, they’d have more common sense. It’s just not possible… I’d be able to tell if something was wrong; there’d be physical pain, a sense of something tearing free. There’d definitely be blood.
Nature isn’t this cruel—taking life without warning.
A silent scream begins to rise,
Horror sweeping all aside,
I’m empty now.
I’m afraid of needles—but that’s what they insist on. Pinpricks, blood tests and knives; I assume they’ll use knives. The doctors and nurses keep smiling at me, and I wonder if they’ll smile as they work over my unconscious body; stripping me of more than lifeless, unneeded tissue. I don’t want to close my eyes, I want to see and know for sure… but I have no choice.
No comfort in the voices,
They bring only words.
When my eyes open again, I can see the tears in my lover’s gaze and feel his hands on mine once more. I watch as his lips move, knowing that sound accompanies the action… but I can’t make sense of it. Others come; awkward and bizarrely cheerful, talking about the future. Why won’t they leave me alone?
What good are they?
No beauty left in anything,
No scent sweet enough.
I’ve always loved sunflowers; all flowers, if I’m truthful. Now I’m home, there are vases and vases of them; kindly meant, but funereal in feel.
Dreams are blackened,
Funny, how the sun has disappeared. The world is full of shadows now; an everlasting twilight that never brightens with morning’s welcome, but slips into night’s embrace with a contented sigh. I see a lot of night. I cannot sleep.
Time has no meaning,
A life hangs in limbo,
No healing here.
My lover’s eyes are filled with worry. It pushes aside the suffering that mirrored my own; that showed me I wasn’t alone, and comforted me. He says he loves me, and it’s time to move on, to live and try again… but the wounds are still so raw. How can I?
Memory is cruel,
Life is precious,
Death requires grieving.
Even now, with two years passed, I haven’t forgotten. Though life goes on, I am forever changed. Fear is still a living thing, curling around my heart and mind.
Goodbye my first,
My unborn family,
I think of you.
Alarm-bells are ringing and people are rushing. Death hovers over me once more. There are so many things that can go wrong. One heart has already failed, leaving me far too soon. Is this life any stronger? Has fate become kinder?
My lover’s grip is tight and steady, immovable fingers I cling to. I will be strong; through the burn and trauma of contracting muscles, and the voices of strangers all around me. Time moves so slowly… until I hear it; the scratchy cry I never thought would come.
Giving way to disbelief.