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Christmas 2017

I’m on a train, Christmas Day, heading to see my mother in her hospital bed. She is 92, 93 in February, that is if she survives this crisis. I look out the window and snap a photo, thinking, “I hope she’s feeling warm and bundled up.”

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Orphans at the circus

The elephants came to town, and the nuns gathered up the lot of us. A generous donor had paid for tickets for the “orphans” to attend.
We really weren’t orphans as most of us had been seized from our families for whatever reasons, but that was a mere technicality. We were going to the circus!
One entire aisle was held as “reserved” and we felt rather proud to be so close to the action. I’ll admit it was lots of fun to see the stunned faces of many folks observing our parade. One nun led the pack as she walked the entire length of the row to sit as a bookend on the right.
Child after child filled one seat after another until the other nun was able to take her place as the bookend on the left.
Sitting nearest to the nun on the left I was first to be handed a frozen ice cream bar in exchange for passing the box down the row. I was audacious and asked the vendor who had purchased for us the treats. He pointed to a man way up in the seats behind us. I, along with other children and spectators surrounding us who’d heard my question turned to look at the man.
I stood on my seat and waved a thank you until my left-side-bookend-nun grabbed me and sat me back in my seat scolding, “Have some respect. That man didn’t do this to be part of the circus.”
© Zora Zebic 2016


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Musing of a beggar

Sitting on a ragged blanket, a white styrofoam coffee cup at my feet, I took a deep breath to compose myself and shield me from the daily struggle. It wasn’t easy being a panhandler and it sure as hell was not a life for a fifteen-year-old homeless girl.
I shook my head forcing the real thoughts out. They wouldn’t do me any good and would serve only to offset my attempts to reach a state of imperturbability. Once I reached the state of mind-quiet I was reaching for, the growls of the anti-panhandlers would fade away from me. The noises would not become a blight on my soul.
My legs felt as though they were wooden and, as I reached the highest state I could hear only the chirping sounds of birds. I held this sound as I focused on a vision of heaven inside my mind, knowing my eyes had achieved a blank expression.
© Zora Zebic 2016

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You ain’t no poet


He said, “Hey there I heard
Your poem. It was absurd.”

“How so man, please tell me?”
“It didn’t rhyme,” said he.

“Dear man it sometimes goes,
Poetry is called in prose.

Without structure, form or line,
And picturing words to define.”

“Well, you ain’t no poet,
Poems rhyme I know it.”

“I gift to you this time
A poem set in rhyme.”

Dedicated to a snarly bass player.

© Zora Zebic 2016

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He looked up to look down on me
What put him where he could not see?
What spun his head that he’d believe
In his own lies to self-deceive?
I told his sullied soul truth hurts
One day he’d reap his just desserts
He’d plagiarised words for profit
My words to fill his money pit!
I said his flaw was in his head
A better man would just have read
Another could not get along
Her habit to squeeze toothpaste wrong
Why couldn’t he just bend it back?
What past grief caused his soul to lack?
© Zora Zebic 2016

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Peace is the abandonment of memories of pain
As the seed left of the berry ravaged by the bird
Forgets the fate that brought it down to the earth and rain
To root, to sprout, to flower, to bear forth fruit again.
© Zora Zebic 2016

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The title tells it. That’s me. I have discovered I am a literary renegade. Initially, this caused me grief until I was able to shake the condemnations out of my system. “Who,” I asked myself, “is this man who reviles my writing style? Do these erudite souls confine themselves into a prison of conformity?”
I came to learn of my lack of writing orthodoxy when I attended a writer’s conference. After the first session, I felt like Edward Scissorhands had had his way with me. I felt shredded to the core of my being.
The reason I attended was to learn how to better my writing skills. I’d seriously believed immersing myself in the company of writers, agents and publishers would provide me with the confidence and instructions I needed to set out on my goal to be read. Unfortunately, that was not to be.
I have since concluded it may be best for me to go on without any further attempts to pay to gain education or accreditation. After all, it is in my best interest to remain faithful to myself.
The agent advised me my writing style was not “acceptable.” Apparently, there are rules to writing, and I dared to present a short story I had written the night before in a style I learned is unique to me!
After listening to me read my story, the agent demanded I tell him if I was writing in the 1st person, 2nd person or 3rd person. I was befuddled by his question having never been taught these concepts.
(I should inject here that I have not fully attended or graduated from either primary or secondary schools, and that is another story for another day!)
I like to tell a tale which exposes the thoughts and emotions of all or some of my characters. I’m told no publisher will ever consider putting my words to print for this breach of writing etiquette!
He further condemned my story because it started out as a typical romance to end suddenly with a shocking ending and he said to me, “People don’t like to get shocked.” “What?” I’d questioned silently, to then ask myself, “Has this guy never ridden a roller coaster?” The condemned story is Emerald Rain.
His final verdict was to tell me my style of writing was “old-fashioned.” Apparently, he doesn’t have the social skills to know a lady a mere few months from turning 60 would probably be offended to be reminded of her elderliness.
I did shake the agent up a bit, I could tell by his expression when on the spot I created the theme for a story during another authors idea-asking-session. The story will be called Memoirs of a Reaper. The novel tells the tale of a renegade reaper who reminisces from the minds of the souls he collects. All of the deceased and the Reaper will speak in the 1st person!
I have concluded the literary rules are made to be broken! I compare it to the world of music. How dull a world we would live in if classical music was the only musical style allowed to be recorded.
I will move forward and embrace my style as a rock and roll writer!
© Zora Zebic 2016

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Emerald rain

The clouds were swelling. She asked, “Tell me, did you ever see something like that?”

“See what? What are you looking at?” He asked. She turned to him and answered, “I’ve never seen green clouds!” “Naw, me neither.” He replied.

“Well maybe the sky will pick up a bunch of emeralds, and they’ll fall. We’ll gather them up and sell them to the jeweller.” Finishing her thought, she breathed in deeply then added, “I love the smell of rain.”

He looked away from examining a little critter he had pulled from the leaves of a cabbage plant. The suffering creature looked like a snail missing the shell.

“How would the sky pick up emeralds?” he asked. She smiled widely saying, “I saw it on television. The sky has dumped fish, real live fish, stones and other strange stuff.”

“You know you are nuts, but I like you. I like you a lot. But remember planes drop other colourful stuff.” He bellowed with laughter at his words raising his jacket over both of their heads just as the raindrops began to spatter. No emeralds fell from the sky, no fish, no stones, no nothin’ but rain.

He put his arm around her, protectively all the while thinking how she was so very like a snail without a protective exoskeleton. Pulling her close he started to sing a love song, one he had recalled while his heart had begun to feel as though it were physically swelling in his chest, and he asked, “Is this love?”

He questioned himself, dreading his words. A small wave of panic coursed through him. “Did I screw up? What if she thinks I only like her as a friend?”

Another thought pushed past his frantic thoughts, “What the hell am I thinking. I was her father’s hitman; why would she want to be more than a lover to me?”

“Why are you holding me so tight? Are you afraid of the rain?” She looked up at him, and he slowly eased his grip. He stopped ducking the inevitable and met her eyes.

Her expression of concern for him made that swelling feeling in his chest return. Instead of resting her head on his shoulder, she sat straight. Her eyes continued to scan the skies for the emerald rain she had envisioned.

The sky quickly darkened, and he saw the sky light up with a bolt of lightning. He started to count the seconds until he would hear thunder. His mother had taught him each second between the lightning and thunder meant how many miles away, the worst of the storm was.

An explosion of noise made the earth below him shake. “How weird,” he said to her, “On one spot of my thigh, I feel hot rain.” He looked at his thigh, and his chest tightened in horror. The warm liquid on his leg was blood that flowed from a gaping hole that obliterated most of her face.

He looked over at the hedges and saw her father standing there, the shotgun aimed at him. “Prick…” His final word, muted by the blast of the AR 15.

© 2016 Zora Zebic