John is a poet and short fiction writer who enjoys collaborating on stories with other writers, and partaking in challenges.
Introduction and Summary
This article was inspired by fellow poet and writer Brenda Arledge who kindly provides a different word prompt each week. I have combined two of Brenda's word prompts here: 'Laughter' and 'Letter.'
Word Prompts Help Creativity ~ Week 23 (Laughter)
Word Prompts Help Creativity ~ Week 24 (Letter)
I always admire what the other writers come up with in response to these word prompts. but if I am to participate I have to wait for my muse to find a slightly different angle or alternative meaning of the words provided.
The words Brenda chooses usually lend themselves to positive, uplifting and inspirational poems and stories, whereas mine tend to lean towards the darker side of the psyche or life. These two poems, 'The Clown ~ Laughter is Just Skin Deep' and 'The Letter' are no exception.
When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.
— J.M. Barrie ~ Peter Pan
The Clown ~ Laughter Is Just Skin Deep
The clown makes everybody laugh,
red nose and painted grin,
but no one knows the suffering
he harbours deep within.
Appearances can oft' deceive,
jokes may disguise despair -
a lonely soul depressed and sad,
who has no one who cares.
So don't fall for the laughter,
a wry smile, or silly tricks.
Search beneath the funny face
to see what makes him tick.
No, don't believe the jester,
the joker, naive, or fool.
Heeding words expressed in jest
leave you drowning in the pool.
The make-up that defines a clown
is often tracked with tears,
that can't be seen by you and I,
but are caused by deep, dark fears.
Laugh at his funny antics,
and applaud his skill and art,
but underneath may be a man
who harbours a broken heart.
It's funny; in this era of email and voice mail and all those things that even I did not grow up with, a plain old paper letter takes on amazing intimacy.
— Elizabeth Kotova
I wrote a letter to My Love.
My mouth couldn't form the words,
to tell her it was over.
Our love had flown like birds.
A text message would not suffice,
an email much too cold.
I tried to tell her face to face
but I was not that bold.
So, a hand-written letter it would be,
something that's rare today.
I tried expressing what I felt -
she'd understand, I pray.
I wrote each single word with care
so my writing would be clear,
and show that I had taken time -
though I knew she'd shed a tear.
And now I wait with bated breath
for My Love's prompt reply.
I know no matter what she writes
it's a 'given' that I'll cry.
I wish love was forever,
but too soon it often ends.
I'd like to salvage what we had
and still go on as friends.
But I must be realistic
and prepare to read the worst -
that she'll erase me from her life,
like a red balloon, now burst.
Pensively I checked the mail
each day for the next week.
Finally, a letter came -
addressed in purple ink.
I'm not revealing what it said,
I do not kiss and tell.
But one thing her letter taught me -
is how to write a "YELL!"
© 2021 John Hansen