The Heart of Winter- Christine Ray

My heart

a block of sculptured ice

buried deep behind

steel ribs

hung with icicles

offering dagger sharp protection

An arctic palace

of empty chambers

where glacial winds

flash freeze unwanted feelings

blow them deep into dungeons

blood is crystallized

in frozen nitrogen veins

heartbeat slowed

like a wound down pocket watch

My dreams haunted nightly

by my dead

again and again

they appear

bright cheeked

vibrant

unaware. . .

or perhaps unconcerned. . .

by their fates

They murmur

that I am the ghost here

rendered translucent

thin

insubstantial

from years of suppressed grief

They whisper in my ear

to remove the splinter

from my eye

that blinds me

to myself

these truths

it is time

they say

to examine the shape

the sharpness

of my grief. . .

that spring thaw

is long, long overdue


Christine Ray writes for Brave and Reckless and is a writer and managing editor for Sudden Denouement, Whisper and the Roar, Blood Into Ink and the Go Dog Go Cafe.  She is an aspiring badass.

Help Us Support One of Sudden Denouement’s Own

We are proud to announce that Sudden Denouement Writer and Managing Editor Christine Ray has been nominated for Writer of the Month on Spillwords and that her poem, On Becoming a Poet, has been nominated as Publication of the Month. We urge you to visit Spillwords between today and February 26th and vote for both Christine and her stunning poem.

While you’re there voting, we recommend that you read and rate powerful writing by SD members  Henna Sjöblom and Kindra Marie Austin.

Congratulations Christine on this well-deserved nomination!

Lost Voice – Christine Ray

siren’s golden voice
once dropped confident syllables
into air
as naturally as breathing
now stifled in constricted throat
that struggles to swallow
six-sided anxiety
hot, sour bile

college ruled notebooks
once full
of manic scribblings
compulsively captured in black ink
before inspiration could swirl down the floor drain
collect dust
sigh from disuse

pen now held in death grip
fingers have lost their grace
their nerve
fertile mind now an empty room
where silence rings
torturous tinnitus

blindfolded by fear
weight pressing down on shoulders
by the weight of giant
unseen inquisitor’s voice barks
Have you reached the bottom of yourself
are you so shallow
so barren?!
Or is truth so deeply hidden
that you must dive inside
hand to elbow buried into slippery entails
to reach it?

surgical implements laid out
with precision on a stainless tray
slide into view
no hesitation picking up sharp scalpel
with shaking fingers
a writer’s way is
always to bleed


[Christine Ray writes for Brave and Reckless and is a member of Sudden Denouement.  She is also curator at Blood Into Ink and barista at Go Dog Go Cafe.  She is an aspiring badass.]

‘Nevertheless, She Persisted’: A Shield Maiden Collaboration

1Wise-Woman

Her words, her will, her worth
Trampled and trodden
Forgotten
But for her
Flickering light
Fueled by ferocity
Molded with might
Courage compiled
Resilience reconciled
Wolves wryly grin
Circling again
Nevertheless, she persisted

 

Christine Ray

She was told little girls
should be seen, not heard
but silence was suffocating
truth twisted in her stomach
razor sharp
when her voice finally rose
from a whisper
to a roar
they tried to drown her out
their indignation a cacophony
Nevertheless, she persisted

 

Aurora Phoenix

her initial protestations
propelled by burning bile
bubbling pique
in a voice squeaky
with disuse
were dubbed whining
she scrubbed corrosion
from rusted tongue
flexed, strengthening
articulate exclamation
strident
castrating
they proclaimed her
nevertheless, she persisted

 

Kindra M. Austin

Disregard your heart, they said
Faith is for the fools
Chasing gold; bold are the weak
Dream seekers
Dreams don’t raise children
Nevertheless, she persisted

 

Sarah Doughty

Silence was her solace,
the stillness of the night,
the calm before the storm.
Her voice, long since stifled.
Her body, long since defiled.
But they never broke her spirit.
Nevertheless, she persisted.


 

[‘Shield Maiden‘ is the name adopted by these wonderful women, who are also members of Blood Into Ink Click their names for more information on the individual writers.]

Glass and Thorns – Christine Ray

hysteria (1)
Betrayal is an inside job
wrecked by muscle and
joints
neurons and
neurotransmitters
mitochondrial mutiny
lays waste
to formerly silver tongue
now struggling to find words
that used to flow like
ink through fountain pen
fatigue hangs round neck
chain woven of boulders, glass shards &
thorns
muscle spasms contort me
into balloon animal shapes
so alien, so grotesque
that they frighten the village children
like the pick axe
I plant above right eye
in hopes of blessed relief
don’t mind the blood
it’s barely an inconvenience
during insomnic ruminations
about long dormant-mutations
coded in DNA turned
time bombs
that ripped through my life
casualty count still being assessed
by medics in white coats
who write cryptic words
on shiny clipboards
while I bleed


 

[Christine Ray writes for Brave and Reckless and is a member of Sudden Denouement.  She is also curator at Blood Into Ink and barista at Go Dog Go Cafe.  She is an aspiring badass.]

‘Recombinant Selves’ – A Collaborative of 11 writers

We inherit

The wordless cry

Of all our former

Selves (CER)

 

They layer themselves

upon us

ragged cloaks

of the homeless

dragging

at our heels (AP)

 

Dusk takes one last breath

Swallowing golden specks of us

Scattered among the detritus

No light reflects

From such depths

We are the chosen (1W-W)

 

We stumble against starless darkness

searching for one truth (KMA)

 

Layer by layer, I am revealed.

The reflection looking back at me

isn’t one I recognize.

Will there be anything

worth remembering,

when I’m gone? (SD)

 

Fragmented remnants

permeate our evolution

ill-fated to dissonance

a dichotomy of our

recombinant selves (AGD)

 

Searching for a candle in the abyss,

A hope to hold onto,

To chalk sweaty palms

Gripping a frayed rope.

tearing tender flesh,

Climbing toward salvation (JWL)

 

But the stars have fallen, smashed diamonds

of our shattered images, and the lost cry

who am I? In tune with our hearts.(A)

 

Through telescopes

we focus on a point

All else is irrelevant

From the bottom of a well

our vision is limited

All else is a mystery (WC)

 

The mysterious property

of my ancestors

the progeny of dusk

I am prodigy or effigy

What I ought to be

or another misstep in

my fragile history (OP)

 

Our former

Selves

Cry:

Look

Their

inheritance! (SFF)


 

Writers:

1Wise-Woman

A.G. Diedericks

Allie

Kindra M. Austin

Ward Clever

Sarah Doughty

Stephen F. Fuller

John W. Leys

Aurora Phoenix

Olde Punk

Christine E. Ray

Sudden Denouement on Pinterest

pinterest-logo

As part of our attempt to expand our social media footprint we have expanded into Pinterest.  Take a few moments to check out and follow our new Pinterest account! The goal is to utilize media outlets to highlight the extraordinary work of all the SD writers and to direct traffic back to the SD site.

We have individual folders for the writers listed and continue to add new boards.