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Madness: Brenda Arledge Poetry Prompt Response, Week 5

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Alyssa is an avid reader, writer, and coffee enthusiast. She loves sharing thoughts, ideas, and creative writings with the world.


For the past two weeks, I've been in a spring break state of mind. I had grand ideas for how I would spend this time, but as Robert Burns epically penned, "The best-laid schemes o'mice an' men. Gang aft agley.” Of course like a vast majority of folks, I remember this line best from John Steinbeck's classic novel Of Mice and Men. In my skewed memory I often wrongly quote it as "the best laid plans often go awry." The right intent and meaning, but for the sake of proper credit, I looked it up so I could be sure I was correct. I'm still a bit of a perfectionist at heart. Not when it comes to grammar, though. I love my commas, my exclamation points, and I love to bend the rules in my writing.

Back to spring break. I took an impromptu respite from writing in favor of focusing on my fitness goals. Not only did I crush my workouts, but I spent a lot of quality time with my family. We managed to enjoy the brief spouts of warm weather and sunshine, accomplished a few household maintenance tasks, and leveled up in adulthood. I also took the time to play around with my plants. I'm happy to report that I now have plenty of room for more.

On a slightly unrelated note, I received an email on Wednesday that I hit my 10 year anniversary here on HubPages. I thought that was pretty cool. It's hard to believe that it's been that long. I remember the evening I signed up well. I had hit a slump with my current job and I was steadily working on wrapping up college. I didn't have a plan, but I knew I wanted to pursue my passion for writing. I shared a few of the papers and thoughts I was most proud of at the time and a couple of months later, promptly abandoned the project. Four or five years ago, I started taking writing seriously and picked back up where I left off. Here I am today.

Now that I've rambled for 350 words, I think it's time I get to the point. Inspiration often strikes me at random times. Wednesday we traveled to visit family. On the way home while keeping my eyes peeled for foolhardy deer, I thought about the madness poetry prompt. "Believer" by Imagine Dragons started playing on the radio and an idea came to me. I jotted the first three lines into the notes app of my phone and let the idea ruminate in my brain. The final result is below. Grab a mug of coffee and travel with me to the dark side.



A little slash here,

A little slice there

just to make me feel alive:

crimson drops,

sweet release.

The sharp blade

keeps the Demons at bay.

A moment

to breathe easy,

to silence the thoughts

running rampant in my mind.

Once again

I'm the Master:

in charge,

in control,

solidifying my stance

with each incision.

The high keeps me going

as red fades to brown.

Illusions of normality

waver in front of me

until the voices rise up

screaming for power

and then I disappear

to take my rightful place

in the dark corner.

© 2021 Alyssa

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