The Gift of Freedom

Once there was a fairy, whose wings were stolen from their back as punishment for dreaming of a world that they lacked.

This was simply not done. Other fairies knew best. Fairies must stay together from their first day until their time of final rest.

“Why dream?” they scolded, and sneered, “Why are we not enough? We should be all that you think of, and all that you need, but you are a strange one, clouded by greed.”

The fairy watched as the others flittered and flew, wondering why was it so outrageous that they should wish to too. They stared at the ocean waves, and they cried beneath the moon’s wax and wane. Left to wonder why daring to dream caused the others so much pain.

But if they could not fly, that did not deter them from attempts to try.

They walked to the ocean’s edge, and built a boat to sail away. It wouldn’t be forever, it would be just for today.

All the same the boat was sunk, and torn asunder, as the fairies cried each one to the other. Leaving was simply not done. What kind of ungrateful creature did not wish to stay forever with their own, instead choosing to run?

“What will we do when you’re gone?” they wailed, and wept, “What if we are sick, and we need ourselves kept?”

The fairy watched as the others flittered and flew, wondering why happiness could not be theirs to choose. They stared at the ocean, and they joined not in any dance. The others whispered in disbelief, for whatever could cause such a trance?

Time shifts and sways, futures sought crumble and decay like so many dandelion puffs adrift and gone away.

Stolen wings get covered in dust, lying forgotten amidst dregs and rust.

Yet still that fairy stares at the ocean.

“Come here,” the elder fairy finally says, “come here and listen, my dear. I’ve stories to tell and lies to dispel.”

Once the elder fairy dreamed of faraway lands too, they longed for all that they hoped to do. But they were told only bad fairies leave, and doing so would cause the rest to grieve. You must stay, they said, you must care for us all. For who would tend our wounds should we plummet and fall?

The elder fairy believed these words, and thought it only fair that if they should be hurt, surely the others would take their turn to care. The elder fairy stayed due to this belief, watching opportunities pass with concealed grief.

But time shifts and sways, and futures sought crumble and decay.

“Look at me now,” the elder fairy says, “I stayed behind because of their words, yet when these old wings faltered, my cries went unheard.”

They told the elder fairy they were one and the same, in blood united had been their claim.

“But now they fly without thoughts for me,” the elder fairy says, “and they only wanted me to stay to sate their needs. Once upon a time I know I told you to stay, but my heart has changed and I see the hurt you bear this way.”

“What should I do?” the wingless fairy wonders. “Without wings I can no longer go yonder. When I built a boat, they did naught but tear it asunder.”

A final gift the elder fairy offered to bestow, a return of the stolen wings that they may now go.

Stolen wings now in disrepair, for all those years locked away from the air.

Flexing their wings, the young fairy laments, “I thank you for this gift, yet I fear their strength spent.”

“Try to fly,” the elder fairy says, “try to fly far across the ocean, to a place where the rest of us haven’t even a notion.”

Afraid and uncertain with wings returned, the fairy flew to the ocean, towards that which they yearned. Their weakened wings faltered and frayed, yet onward they flew, daring to dream all the same.

For time shifts and sways, and futures sought may yet come to be one day.

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In Blood, Divided

Children No Longer
by Lola Lorne

Long ago you were kind to me,
Long ago you tried to protect me from harm
You were my first inspiration
You were a hero in a little girl’s eyes

I believed in your music,
I admired your art,
I read your writing with an avid heart

When the first punch came I brushed it away
Telling myself it was just a sign of your pain
When your words became cruel I defended you all the same
Because after all, long ago . . . you were kind to me

When I asked to be taught, you turned me away
You didn’t have the time for a little girl today
I offered whatever you wanted in return
And I did not understand your greed because long ago, you were kind to me

When you took, and took, and demanded more
I could not see this as an act of a user
Even when my hands came back empty
I was just a little girl you see, and long ago you were kind to me

You would not teach me your music
You refused to ever show me the ways of art
You mocked my joy in writing, and broke my heart

When I grew up and you still hit me, I asked you to stop
You laughed thinking it funny and insulted me on top
When you said my body mattered more than my mind
I swallowed my discomfort because once upon a time, you were kind

When I gave up on asking and began to teach myself
You ignored my efforts and thought only of yourself
Instead of pride that I managed to get by
You told everyone I hurt you by daring to try

When you demanded money, and I gave all I could give
You made false promises, like so many wishes poured through a sieve
You took everything and more, until I began to sell the things I love
For gifts for your children, but even this was not enough

I should have known when you hurt me
I should have known when you betrayed my trust
I should have known on that day you sold me out to a stalker
That my love for you never truly mattered much

But I carried my tears throughout the years
I hid the constant pain you caused
Because we grew up with shared hurt
And so very  long ago . . . you were kind to me

But little girls grow up to be fierce and strong
And I am no longer someone who will stand silent when wronged
Wish me death all you want, throw tantrums, it will be for naught
Because the love I have now will always win over what you’ve wrought

Long ago you were kind to me,
Long ago you did not think compassion for the weak
But your boy’s heart has been twisted into entitlement
Your words filled with hate, so now I must speak
Because I hope this fog lifts from your heart
Because I know you weren’t like this from the start
But I won’t be hurt by you any longer
Because I am not that little girl from long ago.


Lament for the Fallen

Fallen Petals, Broken Stems
by Lola Lorne

I scoop up fallen petals, palms open to the sky
Traces of beauty scattered too soon
The heat came on suddenly
As did the storm that followed
What chance did they have to survive until tomorrow?

My mother weeps for the tulips she wanted me to see
Their stems now broken, beaten down carelessly

Crouched amidst fallen blooms I have to wonder
Did their hearts ache when the wind tore them asunder?

I scoop up fallen petals, a gust sweeps them away
Traces of beauty too fragile to stay

Winds of Change

Longing for Equity in a World Saturated by Greed
by Lola Lorne

Winds of change, come quick, I beg
This world needs reshaping from its sorry state

Dethrone the barons, their wealth ripped from oil
Elevate the working class that they should not break with their toil

Day in and day out, constant and unending
They scrimp and save with the hope for the future bending

But every penny gathered eventually bleeds away
Taken by governments and businessmen who care not in any way

They tell you to be thrifty, they tell you not to splurge
But lifetimes seep by without a single fulfilled urge

They will shove celebrity health gossip into your face
Manipulating you to forget reality, and care about their fate

The ‘poor’ wealthy, the tragic stars
Are closer to being  theirs than ours

The rich have shaped the world into their home
The only freedom ever gained shall be their own

Another year passes, yet again a dream turns to despair
Every saving and effort siphoned into medicine and care

I watch my father slowly suffocate
Told to be grateful to the government
While I drown in their tangle of red tape
Knowing with a heavy heart, any aid to be too late

So, winds of change, come quick, I beg
Lest I tear out their hearts in your stead
Winds of change, come quick, I beg
For I will do what I must to keep myself fed.

Blue Butterfly

Wind rushes through long grasses. They sway and ripple like a golden sea. The sky overhead a brilliant blue, and the sun a soothing sting. A forest rings the field, green and lush, and I walk with my hand in yours.

Voices call, singing in an ancient tongue. Familiar to my heart though never uttered. Welcoming, joyous, and I know your heart swells with the beauty of the hymn even as my heart sinks with understanding.

I walk with you, afraid to face you.

If I look back at you . . .

If I look back . . .

We walk hand in hand, your light bright behind me as I lead you through the dazzle of gilded grasses. I feel your happiness as the song calls you forward, calls you home.

The golden fields break for a river. A bridge awaits.

All the same I’m afraid of facing you. If I look . . .

If I see . . .

I don’t want it to be real.

I don’t want it to be goodbye.

It is beauty and it is ineffable, and my heart can’t help but long for it even as it aches.

Then you are walking past me, a last smile before crossing that river into the arms of peace.

We didn’t say a word but I knew.

When the dream began I thought I was here to comfort you, to lead you, to assure you this walk need not be alone.

But no. I understand now, this was for me.

A last gift. A wordless farewell. A moment offered to show me your joy, your elation. You were there to bestow solace, to squeeze my hand as you always did before we part ways.

My heart aches, yes, but it will mend with the memory of your smile.

So I looked . . .

So I looked . . .

And I saw you.

Beautiful and free, as butterflies like you were always meant to be.

Love is Varied

Love is varied.

A friend longs for outings with her lover, for fancy diners, and endless gifts. Another tells me they want nothing more than to live a life of adventure with their significant other. While yet another wishes for country living, complete with hobby farm and acres of land.

Love is varied.

As for me, these things while nice are not what I dream of, not what I long for. Glitz and glamour can be pretty but ultimately it is not what matters to me. Adventures are fun . . . but not a necessity. Shared work can be fulfilling and rewarding, and I understand the appeal but I also know the importance of  having separate hobbies and interests lest two people become too entangled with one another to the point that they grow weary of each other.

Perhaps my view of love makes me less exciting because it is not about the rush, not about strained hearts and raging passions. These things are nice, and they have their place but . . . if I am honest, it is not what I want the most.

I do not wish to know that I make someone crazy but . . .  instead that I can provide comfort, and peace. I hardly want them to lose themselves for my sake, but . . . instead become their best selves while I encourage them.

I dream of sitting together in our pajamas, sharing a blanket.

Imagining what a luxury it would be to walk at their side. To wander the night knowing if I reach out my hand, I can find theirs as we look up at the stars.

I think about a garden with the sun on my back, and if I lift my gaze I will see them there, waiting for me.

I dream of cups of tea and quiet, meaningful conversations just as much as I long for moments of laughter at the ridiculousness of life.

How wonderful it would be . . . to hear them working in another room, to simply know yes, they are there.

That is really it, I think.

Presence.

Love is varied.

But love is everything that is beautiful about the world, simply because . . . you’re there.

Hello, Stranger

Hello, Stranger

I missed you the first time.

I was cooking and did not hear you chime.

When I glanced at my screen and saw, “Unknown Caller”

I shrugged, and decided it likely a wrong number.

Now months passed, and I put it out of my head.

But what should happen then but my phone lit up on my bed.

I stared at my screen,  after emerging fresh from the shower

Perplexed at these missed calls listed as “Private Number.”

Worse yet, I did not miss just once this time but several it seems

Stranger still that it should be the exact amount I use for emergencies.

Was it family? Was it a friend?

I call and text, but no, not them.

You know my trick, but it could be coincidence.

All the same I am sad for having missed the chance

If only just to say, “Hello, Stranger.”

Break the Chains

Food for Thought
by Lola Lorne

I am not a sweet drop of fresh cream
I am not two scoops of vanilla ice cream
I am not for you to consume
My existence is more than being food

You think you’re clever, you think you’re smart
You think every girl is a fresh hot tart
But my heart is fire, my sweetness is shed
Try it again, and I will choke you dead

The Damsel & The Knight
by Lola Lorne

Why must I choose between the two?
Why must I be one or the other?

Can I not be rescued like a damsel,
And in turn save another like a knight?

Can I not use my sword to defend,
While using my fan to flirt?

Why is the blade the symbol of strength
And not the hands folded in calm reservation?

Can I not strangle an opponent with my skirts,
And in turn bumble shyly in my armor?

Why must I choose between the two?
Why must I be one or the other?

I want to be both
I want to be everything
But you would deny me
To make me feel like nothing

If I am to be but a damsel then I will scream
The scream of Lady Macbeth
If I am to be but a knight then I will dream
The dream of a knight-errant

Why must I choose between the two?
Why must I be one or the other?

For I am both
For I am everything
Those who deny me
Shall crumble at my feet

Justice for the Swans
by Lola Lorne

Swan maiden, coveted by many
Little firefly, your light a mystery
The wild hearts of the world
Draw too many eyes in greed

They tear the wings from your back
They crush your glow seeking what they lack
As the wild hearts around the world
Weep at the infliction of this heinous deed

They rob you and destroy you
Then have the audacity to ask
Why don’t you smile anymore?
Why don’t your eyes shine any longer?

Swan maiden, find your wings and fly away
Little firefly will restore their light, show you the way
Some wild hearts of the world were born of stars
Your freedom thus shall succeed

For any that dare to follow
Shall be burned in cosmic fire
Reduced to ash for your sorrow

Sky Shaper

I dreamt of a sunset, glorious and pink overtaking the entire sky above the sea. The waters shimmered with the glow of it, the sand of the beach glittering with hints of rose-hued reflection as though made of countless tiny mirrors.

How beautiful, how perfect.

“But what if it doesn’t last?” you said from somewhere next to me.

The words manifested before I could protest, and as I watched in horror the sky sundered and split. A jagged tear here, a growing crack there, and as the shattered sky fell in pieces of pink it revealed an impenetrable darkness in its wake.

The sky shards vanished into the now blackened sea.

The beach no longer was visible at my feet.

Even though I saw nothing but darkness, I could feel your presence still there.

“Nothing breaks that cannot be repaired,” I said with conviction.

You were about to doubt me, I could feel your urge to disagree. Yet before you could voice your dissent, a shimmer appeared along the shore. Then another.

The pink fragments of the sky washed ashore piece by piece.

They were broken, yes, but the pieces were not so impossible to put together. A series of triangles, and squares, of perfect geometrical shapes that while apart seemed like bits of opalescent glass without purpose but see, lock them together and something greater begins to form.

Bit by bit, the darkness lifted as I shifted the pieces of the fallen sky into place. No longer a sunset perhaps, but a dawn.

“How do you create a beginning from an end?” you asked.

I did not know quite how to answer even as I lifted the reformed sky up into the heavens to shine once again over the sea with its blush. Perhaps you are not the only one who can will things with words. By speaking it into being, I make it so.

Or perhaps it is far simpler.

“Practice,” I said at last, “it’s not my first time.”

“But what if it doesn’t last?” you reiterated, this time in a murmur.

Sure enough, a speck of darkness appeared above us.

I searched the beach for a mirroring grain of sand, then placed it with care within your palm where it glinted faintly like a fallen star.

“Nothing does without help,” I said in return.

What do you say then? Will you help me shape the sky?

 

 

Paths Cross by Chance

A Winter Wind’s Whimsy
by Lola Lorne

A winter’s night, I walked along a deserted road
My friends in step behind me
An ocean away from home

A sudden gust and a hat was stolen by the wind
Leading us to linger

Then across the street, an open door caught my eye
A figure in black stepped out into the night
A flicker of recognition crossed my mind
Was it you?

I thought about calling out
I thought about saying your name

A winter’s night, I walked away down the road
My friends now laughing following in tow
An ocean away from home

Were you startled by her sudden cry?
I felt your eyes on me as we walked on by

Had that mischievous wind not blown
Would I have ever known
That you might be just a street away

I thought about calling out
I thought about saying your name

One winter’s night our paths seemed to cross
Caught in the whims of a wily little wind
The beginning of a strange game of timing