The Write Connection
October 13, 2018
The Write Connection is a free online e-zine that connects readers to authentic voices from all over the world. We pay our writers a fair wage to ensure that their writing and self is valued. We ask that if you use any of these pieces, that you please properly give credit for them. At Purple Fire, we believe that the authentic voice is the voice that calls from within. We value individuals that seek to genuinely connect with others through their unique and potent voices.
The interactive map below, is meant to be used as a collaborative connection tool, one in which writers can connect to creative collaborative work, or to just talk with each other. We are excited for this E-Zine, and hope to hear what you think!
And you told me
how after three years not
you stood behind a tree
to fetch your children, from school
they saw only the tree
climbed it and
you could not reach them
like odd fruits
when you sounded strange
heralding them down
but did not heed,
you told me and I remember
as you board the plane away now
after a night of sorrows you
were capable of such openness
I hide from the glare of your sun
As I closed the light
and said hush, be still
and stay with me
tonight in this cold
room where you
Reading Macbeth is the same as not reading Macbeth.
It’s as if I have two apples and you’ve given me five,
or I’ve been locked overnight in a department store.
Reading Macbeth reminds me of a train station in the drizzle.
It’s the equivalent of a lifelong nervous disorder.
It reminds me of a job I had in ’79 and disliked intensely,
or when our dog ran away and was consequently hit by a car.
I’m reminded of a regrettable past and the ones I’ve loved.
I’m quite tempted to pencil in a plan for tackling the future.
Reading Macbeth has over-stimulated my imagination –
great thoughts but in tiny and unremarkable circumstances.
You’re forced to ask yourself some awfully big questions.
There are long walks by the seaside and letters to be written.
You realize your own tragic history is nothing exceptional
and come to appreciate our planet’s natural beauty.
Once, you laughed so hard you wet yourself, then began to cry.
Once your father raised his hand to you, like Adam to Cain.
It’s suddenly becoming apparent you’ve misused your time.
That lives are for wasting.
I was just talking to God.
He was sitting on his helmet.
He was pissing into the rosebushes.
Every other word was a world destroyed.
He mentioned he was fed up in Heaven
and longed to go it alone,
start a business repairing furnaces,
invest in race horses,
breed showdogs on the side;
he said it was quite lucrative,
that the market was wide open.
No, you just missed him, a god’s god,
about yay-high, blue eyes,
icy fire where his hair ought to be.
We’re playing cribbage next Friday.
We’re going to a strip club,
and probably a few drinks after.
And he knows you, he said.
He’s well aware of your little ‘problem’,
would really like to help you out,
but he’s taken a pledge;
didn’t elaborate much though.
And he’s chubbier than you’d imagine.
Too many cupcakes, he confessed,
a bit sheepish about it too.
He was just in the neighbourhood
and thought he’d drop by.
At least that’s what he told me.
And I can’t imagine he’d lie about it,
not something petty like that.
I can’t imagine he’s even capable
of lying; or if he was
that he would or he did.
I sit alone on the partially wet grass
On a hot summer day
Enveloped in silence.
I don’t think about anything.
I can feel the sweat
Trickling down my back.
My sweat has a vinegary and acidic smell.
Doctors say that the bacteria
Living on my skin
Are responsible for it.
What can I do?
I bath twice a day
To feel better.
People have been harsh to me.
At times I feel isolated
But the fishes in a nearby pond
Brighten up my face.
Perhaps I was a fish
In my previous birth.
On the opposite side of the road
I behold a tree
Facing the fresh water river
On one side
And piles of garbage
On the other.
And in search
Your soul has to
travel a distance
from human being
to being human.
It’s not about
just inhaling or
amount of air.
It’s about how
renders the fragrance
Of compassion when
it is exhaled.
It’s not about
just pumping of blood
that keeps your
It’s about how
is in sync
who needs your
tune to complete
It’s not about
just to conquer
your quest of
It’s about making
your fall worth
to be carved
in the stories.
It’s not always
Its about letting
the clot break
and the wound
bleed to heal.
It’s not always
the poems and
making it read
Its about being
and living in it.
In my position of entity with thoughtfulness I have evolved to be master of godliness
The galactic fellowship sent me the message by telepathy
From non-verbal communication I strove for clairaudient interpretation
Other apparitions are thus analysed and systematically authorised
The coming millennium will see the hour that brings the transfer of power
With a silvery green heart from the pavilion of being I take part in the vision of life we are seeing
Like an iguana camouflaged, the organ has earthly love in its visage
Mother Nature lends her power to this jewel, oxidized with vitriol
But its function and purport come from human attention and support.
In unconscious meditation I receive filtered information
I try to provide interpretation, eyes closed in procrastination
I cannot date it productively, can only reason about it inductively
As far as is generally known, this planet is not its home
He who roamed through time was permitted to tell me alone.
His skeleton excised, he appears in a special guise
As a species of angel he was raised, to use a comprehensible turn of phrase
As the soul of an extraterrestrial civilization among mankind he experiences indignation
That’s why he is unrecognizable to see, all but defying familiarity
I’m not lying when I say it contravenes earthly religious way.
In a still life’s jurisdiction I discovered my benediction
Where dreams connect for their subsistence with an unreal existence
Where love is not left to roam, but grows towards its home
I ask you, my invisible friend, who serve me to spiritual ends
Bring me back to the location of my soul’s creation.
The evil leaving this world is soaked up by clouds unfurled
A darkness overshadows the earthly sphere, but all of you remain unaware
Every creature in their fear requests asylum here
But I know my own race, having always been in this place
We who spread love and light are a rare and wonderful sight.
Experimental indecency by an external planetary affiliation has led to the female’s impregnation
As a foundling the fruit was sent to an interplanetary settlement
The creature assumed human forms and lived according to earthly norms
Until he reached spiritual maturity and sought ways of hunting clones in his thoughts
To soften his grief, they offered him inspiration and maintained contact through close attention.
No doubt my self-induced strife will be forgiven me in this life
For my persistence against man in his physical existence
But I can’t escape its traction so in the Century Forest I seek distraction
Where the demons return to see and perform experiments on me
I look down on them with my magic eyes, as they were apprenticed to me despite their lies.
Word is you're lucky if
you reach the ground
but let's hope it
doesn't come to that.
Anti-histamines at the ready
for the pandemic
Don't criticize Jane for
you'll only upset her.
We favor folk in chains
not hexagons and
I should know, I've done
lines and lines
of the stuff.
If it's humid out you
could grow cold and
funny so if I were you
I'd stay indoors,
you're too special
to be bothered to
go to work.
A warning, it's heavy
on the way down.
Multiply six by six
by six and carry on
forth and collide
into an even bigger wall
what you failed to understand
with your blue-faced
huff & puff
is the silent
i love you
think pale green search
of cucumber vine
finds & pulls to sun
the heaviness of water fruit
the harsh autumn wind
i don't expect you
to dispense devouring
in hooded disguise
you are defeated
i await trial
use a whispered growl
your tenderest ask.
Don’t know why mom threw away my first dog on the street
I guess she just could not take it anymore
This damaged me
I felt ashamed
People love their pets, and they bury them after they passed away
My story is totally different
I got this dog while she was still a little puppy from a veterinarian for free
I was a little girl who loved adventure and all kinds of pets
For many months, I asked my mom for a dog
One day, she gave me this little puppy from a vet we knew from my pet birds
I gave her a colloquial name, Chinese Character, Blessing Comes, 來福
I remember when she was very little, she was stuck behind the refrigerator
Her crying woke me up in the middle of the night
I found her with tears all over her face stuck behind the refrigerator
She always cried out loud for a long time when we left the apartment
I could still hear her crying, walking on the street far away from our apartment
One day, my mom decided to leave her on the street a couple of blocks from our home
After several months, my sister and I found her on a street near our house
My mom, too on a separate occasion
She barked at us, like saying hello
My mom and I both were glad she was still in good shape
since we took care of her and regularly got her vaccinations from the vet
I was scared she would follow me home
Gazing up at the stars I quit, and fixed my eyes below,
Where, beneath the dirt of the earth, which shall swallow
The dead, fair and ill all alike, Hell is: infernal, and eterne,
Whence, we possess fruitless hopes of our return
To Heaven. Nor, as of late, could I bring myself to have delight
In the chirping of the birds overhead. By divine light!
Fooled was I by my fancies, fooled was I by Fate;
She drove all my hopes away and barred the gate.
Never on my mouth could I situate the tiniest smile,
Not with my words of truth, nor with my many a lie so vile.
My soul be damned, and wicked my mind; yet with each day
Passing, a visage I wear; and a cloak, and my part in life play.
To the end of time, methough, to my sorrows I would be bound
Till a voice of silver rang in ears of mine, most profound.
As the mind perplexed and full of dire questions
Doth relieve when logic it finds, and true reflections;
And as the barren land, desolate and utterly withered
Doth relieve when with drops of rain it is watered;
Thus was my relief, when thou, with thy heart, so warmly greeted me,
And having removed me from all of my worries, restored me fully.
Now thy spirit I keep close to the bottom of my heart,
Where it illuminates my feeble being’s foundations so dark,
And shines as unnumbered stars that are with fire alight,
And as the Moon in the night sky, everbright.
She was the kind of woman who could have made anybody swallow not only their words but also their tongue, with a glance. Yet, she was demure as she listened to me prattle on about oil wells drying up and the dwindling of jobs in the middle east.
Her left hand clasped in her right, lay on her lap. I watched for twitches of the hands or of the legs which were crossed under the flowing paisley skirt that covered her ankles.
I watched the coal black eyes which neither blinked too often, nor stared unblinking. Most of the time, they were fixed on me, as I spoke in halting sentences, of a world I could have described in my sleep. Occasionally, they moved - never roved - to her hands, to one of the paintings on the wall. It was in those moments - not when she looked at me but when she looked away - that I saw the depths in those eyes, the universe caged in her eyes, expanding away from me.
I faltered. Was I making a mistake? Had I perhaps read too great an interest into those eyes that took in too much, gave out too little? What about the demure expression and the restful posture?
Yet, the eyes always returned to me. Sometimes, she repeated my words without sound. I watched in ecstasy as the rosy lips moulded each word that had once been mine and was now hers.
When her eyes were upon mine, I dared not breathe. Each word I spoke was wrenched from some well deep within myself for I'd much rather sit simply and gaze upon her. I feared that, were I to stop, she would move on to a host more entertaining than I. And when her eyes left me, if only for a second or two, the well dried up instantly and I choked upon my spit. I would have begged upon bended knees but she returned her gaze to mine. She forgave me the relapse in attention and I, shuddering at the thought of being forfeited, ploughed on, in the vein of riyals, dinars and dollars.
It was only to be expected - she snapped me closed and put me back upon the shelf whence she'd picked me up. Of course, she was not like the others. She was a gem in the rough - she'd picked me up and dusted me off. But now, I was back where I belonged as she linked hands with the gangly fellow behind the desk and walked off into the twilight.
When I close my eyes and imagine a family, I automatically picture a two parent household with children. I picture a mother who’s happy with her job and kids. A father who’s devoted to his family and loves his life and the kids who are ultimately cherished while they grow up. My image is true for the most part, except for the whole dad experience. Cross him out and that’s my family.
I have no dad but I have a hardworking mom, a teenage sister, a loving kokum (grandmother) and an energetic little cousin, as well as two kind uncles and a black dog.
When I do the math, I have to cross out the men in my family. My dad who left. My uncle who went to jail. My other uncle who’s living in his own little world. And no grandfather to speak of... yeah. That’s my family.
In order to understand why this is, it’s important to note some history. Way back in the day, there were my people, the plains Cree. My ancestors believed in a strong community and had a firm belief in love and support in one another. It really did take a whole village to raise a child.
They lived, fought, and thrived in their homeland following their own tradition and laws. Then everything was uprooted in first contact, when the First Nations met the new settlers. The newcomers wished to establish roots in the land the First Nations occupied. The First Nations provided hospitality to the settlers and taught them how to survive. They did not know what was in store.
A couple decades passed, and the Europeans had settled. Under the Indian act, Residential Schools were created, taking indigenous youth from their communities, and putting them in often cruel environments. The motto was "kill the Indian, save the child." And they did, minus the second part.
They banned the youth from speaking their native tongue, alienated them from their families, and taught them how to be rule abiding Christians. Although this varied according to severity, oftentimes the children had awful experiences at these Residential Schools.
Where once they had support, love, and their culture to guide them, they now had nothing. They had to figure out how to live in a society that wasn’t made for them. When you have no family to support you, or nothing to fall back on, you fall on yourself to cope. And there were not many good strategies for that.
Substance abuse, domestic abuse, self-harm, etc; all unhealthy coping mechanisms for these now wearied, lost people. The aftershocks would wash down generations and affect family after family, including mine.
I always considered myself lucky growing up. I was one of the luckier ones, the blessed ones. Sure, I didn’t have a father, but I had a strong loving mom and small family that loves me. I didn’t have paternal guidance, but I had another powerful form of love. Some kids didn’t have any love.
It has taken me a long time to learn, but I now know it was the inter-generational effects of colonialism. It was my friends and their oftentimes abusive or dysfunctional households. Or my friends and their parents struggling to make ends meet for them. Or the substance abuse of my relatives. Or the high incarceration rate. Or my immediate family and three generations without a father. The effects have all conspired into what we see today in society.
It all started with my great grandfather and his time in Residential School. I don’t know what his experience was like in there, but I do know that it disturbed him enough that he became a drug abuser. His experience there misled him. He didn’t know how to be a father to my mother and so she was fatherless.
Consequently, my mother grew up with my kokum, who held the home down and took care of three children by herself in a tricky time. Being a single mother meant that she had to double down and play both roles to the best of her ability. As my mom grew up, she had lots of responsibilities on her shoulders at a young age. When she was a teenager she moved to Prince Albert and met my father.
My father was a kind and generous man at one point, but he was still flawed. Late in their relationship he became abusive and it was a destructive environment. He had attended residential school at one time in his life as well, and he wasn’t a prepared individual. He let his inner turmoil consume him. My dad left early in my life. It was a tender age, where I remember who he was, but not how mean he had become. It continues to affect my life since then.
My mother repeated the cycle and took care of two children on her own. All of the responsibility was placed upon her. She had to be a rock for everyone in her family. She had to be everything to her two kids. I am very grateful that she took care of us.
Last year, my uncle was convicted of second degree murder, which was lessened to manslaughter. He was the last strong male figure I had in my life and now he’s incarcerated. It’s all just one big cycle, where most of the time the men can’t cope and it’s left to the women to pick up the pieces, at least, in my experience.
It hurts when I think of that image now, and as much as I wish that I had a dad, or my uncle wasn’t in jail, or that I had a grandfather; I can’t change the past. And maybe I can’t change the past, but there’s a bright side to this story. We can all reflect on our families’ realities, and recognize the effects that history has had on us and move onto healing from it. This is how we affect change. It starts with ourselves.
Nights distant in time, long as it seemed they were eternal,
endlessly spreading their darkness,
not knowing that it was scheduled, at dawn,
a new day, a new sun, renewed hope.
Ghosts, diseases, afflictions, with valid and stamped passports,
like sinister nocturnal animals loose adrift,
swarmed from house to house and soul to soul,
making villainous and sordid harvest for soulless lords.
Our parents and ancestors surpassed such olden nights
and today, free and forgotten of horrendous nightmares,
we dance and sing,
boasting and toasting in life’s feast,
throwing to the skies sound and honest a laughter.