Word Prompts

Word Prompt: Ricochet

How is it to be surrounded by walls? White perfidious walls which have nothing saintly about them. The silence has a sound, an insistent assault not for the ears but for the mush between them and the hair on your skin. How do you revolt against this but to inure yourself or fade into a screaming mad man, anything to bypass the ricochet of the static absence of sound – of a breath, of a putter of activity, of a grunt of invigoration – against the walls in mutating loudness and straight into the folds between your eyebrows. The walls don’t live or have eyes or ears. They are not alive because they persist, they are imperishable and their assault boundless, their invasion pulverising. Try prevarication, evade and deflect and lie but the walls will respond in a confrontational asperity that makes you quiver and now you are frightened of yourself because the walls aren’t sentient but you are, so you blame yourself. Only the skint sunlight pays obeisance to these walls for we don’t see them – we feel them – but for a short moment we do see them for the lightened pool on the floor, a product of this reverence and we hear the chirps of the birds. The preface of an unlived mortality is written here and the walls, constant, forever, operating on peripheral fringes purge you out of a long quiescence helped along by the false promise of time. But time stands sentinel to the swaying of this mantle of sound; these white walls retreat to the edges of your perception and there you are – deflecting now, consuming now, purging now the lessons of yourself born of this silence.

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Prompt: Vessel

How many days have I spent with a silence, a violent silence with the edges of a blur, muting the ear-splitting cry of the sun as it swashes it’s paints on the streets I am supposed to walk on and vertical surfaces that defy this very performance. An equivalency of age between my denial of viridity and I, that’s a lifetime of guilt and regrets harboured for holding a contemptuous view of the gay, the bubbly, the optimistic. I looked at brimming faces, of delight and duty and scorned, at the gullibility of swallowing that lie we are sold. Before you mock me, know that this was a hard-won scorn, having eschewed a sunny disposition at the adolescent age and consuming existential books, if only to validate a pointless mechanism. It is the scorn of the skin, the slight sting (so slight that it is usually gone unnoticed till it comes in full view) of a rift in tissue in odd places – near my mouth, eyes, hands and knees that revoked my sensibilities. This campaigning of the body in joining the earth in its tantrums, the flamboyant swagger of it’s splendid sun, ravines and reverse fissures, snow and iron releases me as if procuring an emancipation of an older fledgling from the decay of its own doggedness. When the wind blows, the earth – a vessel for the craftsmen of yore to contain – blows with it…. and why must I deny the brilliant and accidental cavorting of these fragments with my existence?


Word Prompt: Nomad

The drive up the mountain was uneventful; the winding road freshly mortared and the vehicle recently serviced, rendered not a hair out of place. On arriving at our destination, I take in the scene around me – the brown structure of the luxury resort perched stoically at the highest point of the mountain yet beautifully integrating with the surrounding undulating terrain, the patrol of police cars ready to advise the keen driver to use his brakes generously as he begins his descent down the slopes, well-to-do tourists frolicking in the infinity pool, lathering themselves with cancer-preventing lotions and desperately sipping on iced drinks. I saunter through, right to Diana’s Point, the cantilever at the edge of the resort, as if the mountain itself was stretching out it’s prosthetic arm into the landscape, with me on it’s palm and saying, “here, look at me and everything I am.” The immensity of the vista before me, of rocky mountains layered with coloured stones, sand and flora took my breath away. As I stood there, I observed a silence, a languorous and intimate silence yet one that seemed to stretch beyond the panoptic gaze.

Far away in the distance, I spot a movement, as leisurely a movement as the grand scope of such a vista affords. I imagine a sun-burnt, ruddy Bedouin face, a face I had grown accustomed to seeing, growing up, around the slowly modernising landscape of the country. I was surprised at the level of detail I could recall – the deep crevices on his face, the calloused hands and feet, variation of cloth tied around his head, a cotton drape hanging around his torso, the staccato laughter at being addressed in broken Arabic and the kindness in his simplicity and eyes. Leaning over the cantilever, I missed the presence of this nomad, who seemingly has no permanent home but in actuality is the indelible portrait of the rocky desert I call home.


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