Staying Alive – Speakeasy #152

03-10 Rose

Rose lenses grayed with age,

childhood fantasies eroded by sands

of time; the eternal bond stretched thin from

years of barely getting by.  Insidious distractions loosened

entwined fingers, unnoticed, unhindered; illuminating the stark

realization that life was going nowhere- they’d become familiar strangers.

How effortlessly optimism succumbed to the troubles and struggles, magnified by

closed quarters.  How natural, it seemed, to accept the sunset while forgetting the sunrise.

It would be so easy.  She could save herself before the house of cards fell.  She could pull the trigger;

and then remove her fingers from the weakened pulse.  It would be so easy.  She dared to

dream of opting for more than just staying alive, or holding out for the high after

the infinite low.  Yes, it would be easy to beg for someone to help, while

wallowing in stagnant pity; to allow the course to be run, denying

responsibility for the neglected union.  At a fork, she faced

decision. Pondering, softening, she reached for him

After two beats’ hesitation, petals unfolded-

fingers once again intertwined.


This is my response to Speakeasy’s weekly prompt, which is to write a piece in 750 words or less (mine is a lot less) and (1) use the sentence “It would be so easy” anywhere in the piece; and (2) make some kind of reference to the media prompt, which happens to be a video for Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees.

While I hate the fact this song has been in my head for the last 24 hours, I had a blast writing the prompt.  It’s open to everyone, so if you feel inspired, click the badge below to read the full guidelines and join the fun 🙂


56 thoughts on “Staying Alive – Speakeasy #152

  1. Sean March 10, 2014 / 10:21 AM

    Wow, I’m never the first one. Either the time change is getting to me or there is a lot going on here. I’ll have to read it a few more times. Ahh, the remembrance of not having to go around to all the clocks in the house and cars and moving them ahead or back. Isn’t it a thing of beauty to watch how God can take a rose and unfold it each day so we can see the beauty within.

    • jannatwrites March 10, 2014 / 11:22 PM

      Haha…twilight zone Monday? Usually there are more comments, but perhaps this one was a bit out there. Basically, I wrote it as a wife realizing the relationship is all wrong, and contemplating the easy out of walking away- but she chooses to reach out to him instead, and is rewarded with hope. Thanks for stopping by to read it, Sean!

  2. Kathy Combs (@Kathy29156) March 10, 2014 / 4:17 PM

    This spoke volumes of the highs and lows of a life together…taking the good with the bad, being dissatisfied, but staying with the familiar because you are used to it. I loved the imagery you used and the comparison of a rose as it withers from its initial beauty. Still it will always be a rose!

    • jannatwrites March 10, 2014 / 11:24 PM

      Yes, there are certainly highs and lows, but love is a cycle. It’s a beautiful thing to see those who’ve held on for the long term. They have a special bond that only comes with time. I appreciate you reading this and taking time to share your thoughts, Kathy!

  3. diannegray March 10, 2014 / 8:18 PM

    It’s all about living – good with the bad. This is beautiful, Janna 😀

    • jannatwrites March 10, 2014 / 11:25 PM

      Thanks, Dianne! I agree – we are given both good and bad. It’s up to us to determine what we do with it!

  4. pattisj March 10, 2014 / 10:21 PM

    Did someone say Bee Gees? I’ve been listening to them a lot lately. I like the way you formatted your prose, covering an issue a lot of couples face.

    • jannatwrites March 10, 2014 / 11:27 PM

      Thanks, Patti! I think it’s interesting, but I know a few long-term couples (30+ years) who appeared to have perfect marriages, but experienced times when they considered walking away… but they didn’t. That thought was in the back of my mind as I wrote this 🙂

  5. Eric Alagan March 11, 2014 / 1:54 AM

    You’ve captured quite a bit here, Janna.

    It’s so easy to walk away – because the grass is so — wait, it looks the same, me thinks 🙂

    Lisa and I have been married 33+ years and — what a ride 🙂

    • jannatwrites March 11, 2014 / 9:48 PM

      Haha…sometimes we do think the grass is greener, but you’re right – it’s the same! Congrats on your 33 years and counting, Eric 🙂

  6. paulmclem March 11, 2014 / 10:18 AM

    As I’ve said to other people, I find it hard to really comment on poetry/prosetry/proetry etc as it’s not something I normally read/write. However, I know when something sounds right and looks good and this sounds right and looks good. Excellent work as ever, Janna.

    • jannatwrites March 11, 2014 / 9:50 PM

      I get where you’re coming from Paul. I read some poetry/prose that I just don’t seem to “get”. I’m glad this sounded right to you – thanks for taking time to read and share a comment!

  7. Renada Styles March 11, 2014 / 12:23 PM

    Gorgeous. The formatting was exquisite, as though reaching a climax of a tale that peters down to the inevitable, the “petals unfold”. And throughout the whole piece, I could feel the sentiment flux.

    • jannatwrites March 11, 2014 / 9:52 PM

      Thanks so much for your beautiful comment, Renada! Your poetry is always stunning, so I’m happy you liked this 🙂

  8. Suzanne March 11, 2014 / 2:15 PM

    Beautiful structure – I found myself holding my breath until I reached the peak, then exhaling as I finished reading. Very cool. And such gorgeous phrasing throughout. Awesome work, as always!

    By the way, I’ve had that song stuck in my head since Sunday! 🙂

    • jannatwrites March 11, 2014 / 9:53 PM

      Thanks so much for your kind/encouraging words, Suzanne. I originally wrote it in stanzas but was bored with it so I changed it up a bit 🙂

  9. Stacie March 11, 2014 / 4:18 PM

    I just love the way you incorporate structure into your poems. It makes for such a visual treat beyond the treat of your beautiful words.

    • jannatwrites March 11, 2014 / 9:54 PM

      Thanks for the nice comment, Stacie. I appreciate you reading and sharing your opinion!

  10. ranu802 March 12, 2014 / 2:40 AM

    I loved reading your poem.

  11. Deanna Herrmann March 12, 2014 / 4:45 AM

    I agree with Stacie. The structure just really adds to it and it baffles me every time as far as I just don’t know how you do! I think it must take quite the effort combined with awesome talent. 🙂

    • jannatwrites March 13, 2014 / 1:49 AM

      I appreciate you reading and sharing such a nice comment, Deanna! This poem kind of fell into place… much easier than the yin-yang one 🙂

  12. Silverleaf March 12, 2014 / 8:24 AM

    Wonderfully evocative and introspective. It flows nicely, too, and I’m glad you elected to go with the positive resolution. It seems a number of us went the poetic route this time.

    • jannatwrites March 13, 2014 / 1:51 AM

      I’m glad you liked the positive turn, Silverleaf. It just felt right to go that route because even when things feel hopeless, we can search for hope.

  13. Valerie Milton March 12, 2014 / 1:23 PM

    “childhood fantasies eroded by sands of time” – powerful imagery there. Nicely done.

    • jannatwrites March 13, 2014 / 1:52 AM

      Thanks, Valerie! I’m glad you stopped by to read it.

  14. Lance March 12, 2014 / 1:37 PM

    gorgeous imagery

    • jannatwrites March 13, 2014 / 1:53 AM

      Appreciate you taking time to read it, Lance!

  15. Esther March 12, 2014 / 8:36 PM

    “familiar strangers” — that phrase really got me. It fits the poem so well, encapsulates it — until you bring it back around to her choice. Great demonstration of how a single moment of pushing oneself can change one’s life.

    • jannatwrites March 13, 2014 / 1:55 AM

      I’m glad you got that, Esther. Our lives don’t just happen, it’s a series of choices that determine our path.

  16. The Invisible Geek March 13, 2014 / 6:19 AM

    Really beautiful words. I particularly liked the formatting.Smart! 😀

    • jannatwrites March 14, 2014 / 8:34 AM

      Thanks so much for reading, TIG. Glad you liked the formatting too- I didn’t originally write it that way 🙂

  17. atrm61 March 13, 2014 / 6:33 AM

    This is exquisite-loved the up and down of emotion and how she chose not to take the easy way out-great to see the renewing of ties and hopes-me the die hard romantic obviously is thrilled 🙂 So many phrases stand out for me,like iridescent jewels-” Insidious distractions”.”they’d become familiar strangers,””to accept the sunset while forgetting the sunrise”,.”holding out for the high after the infinite low” and “denying responsibility for the neglected union.”Simply fabulous Janna xx

    • jannatwrites March 14, 2014 / 8:38 AM

      If all else fails, she can always kill him 🙂 (Only kidding… I had to tease you since more than one husband has met an untimely death in your fictional worlds!) It’s nice when things do work out in the end without anyone dying, though. Thank you for always taking time to read and point out specifics that resonated with you. I do appreciate it, Atreyee!

      • atrm61 March 14, 2014 / 10:27 PM

        Ha!ha!I like your thinking Janna 😉 I agree-killing people is easier than resolving the issue(s) amicably 😉

        • jannatwrites March 14, 2014 / 11:10 PM

          Hehe… imagine if everyone thought this way? The divorce rate would drop sharply (let’s not talk about the murder rates, though 🙂 )

        • atrm61 March 14, 2014 / 11:16 PM


  18. hastywords March 13, 2014 / 6:56 AM

    I truly loved this…the flow was incredible.

    • jannatwrites March 14, 2014 / 8:39 AM

      Thanks so much for reading, Hastywords 🙂

  19. tinkerbelle96 March 13, 2014 / 9:46 AM

    You amazing lady. How you managed to take the storyline from desperate loneliness and pain to a gentle, beautiful end-which is a new beginning in itself! Lovely!

    • jannatwrites March 14, 2014 / 8:40 AM

      I appreciate your sweet comment, Tinkerbelle! I’m glad you saw the journey in this, rather than just a snapshot of a single moment 🙂

  20. mbarkersimpson March 13, 2014 / 12:23 PM

    Powerful stuff. The pacing was beautiful, and packed with emotion. Great use of the prompts. Mel

  21. Michael March 13, 2014 / 1:23 PM

    To echo an above comment, I sometimes have trouble getting poetry myself, but this was beautiful.

    • jannatwrites March 14, 2014 / 8:42 AM

      Thanks for the compliment, Michael. I try to keep my poetry straightforward but it doesn’t always work out that way 🙂

  22. EagleAye March 13, 2014 / 2:45 PM

    I love it when you create shapes while writing such elegant prose/poetry. I don’t know how to categorize it, but I think it’s wonderful. After such a buildup, the ending was so very strong.

    • jannatwrites March 14, 2014 / 8:43 AM

      Thanks for the support, EagleAye! Writing shapes seems to be a phase I’m going through… not really a ‘thing’ I normally do 🙂 It’s fun as long as the inspiration lasts…

    • jannatwrites March 14, 2014 / 8:44 AM

      Thanks, Forgetfulgenius! I’m happy you enjoyed reading the story. After maxing out the word count last week, I figured keeping it short would be a nice switch 🙂

  23. tinsenpup March 13, 2014 / 8:38 PM

    I had to come back and see this one on the computer (rather than an iPhone) before I commented. 🙂 This is another exceptional effort from you. I can’t tell you how much I love that softening and rekindling at the end. Just beautiful.

    • jannatwrites March 14, 2014 / 8:46 AM

      Thanks so much, Tinesnpup! That’s the bad thing about shapes – formatting on a phone is sketchy at best. (Although this one held together better than the yin-yang one 🙂 ) There’s so much giving up, walking away and starting over these days, I wanted to explore the other side – sticking it out and repairing the damage.

  24. YeshuM March 13, 2014 / 8:41 PM

    Wow, Janna, this is wonderful! I love your use of the prompts

    • jannatwrites March 14, 2014 / 8:47 AM

      Thanks so much, Yeshu! I appreciate you taking time to read (as always 🙂 )

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