Metaphorical Winter (Speakeasy #157)

04-14 Snow

Winter seemed reluctant to release its hold.

Shortened days chased by frigid nights stacked for months

on end took their toll. The polar vortex, unexpected and swift, consumed me.

The icy barrier layered around my heart- intended protection-

served double-duty as an impenetrable prison.

Rippling streams of affection had long ago

been solidified into distorted memories. I became unsure if the

flutter of newly-planted love was borrowed or owned. I questioned whether I

had been capable of thriving once, or whether an umbilical

noose had ensnared me from the beginning.

If I poured my concentration into it, I could

have spotted a break in the clouds; a pinpoint of light. Promise.

Future. Hope. If I tried, I could’ve engaged in a leap of faith; grasped the thread;

dared the sun to thaw me. Or, I could’ve watched my chance lead

to my demise, as I unraveled at the seams.

Trapped beneath the permafrost of indecision,

I remained rigid in a self-imposed perpetual winter. I could’ve

focused on the light but instead, I closed my eyes. Cocooned in my loneliness,

I tucked in the fetal position, head rested upon my knees, set to

face fate; indifferent toward death or re-birth.


speakeasy-newThis is my response to the Speakeasy weekly writing prompt which  asks us to write a piece in 750 words or less (mine is 199) (1) using “Winter seemed reluctant to release its hold.” as the first sentence, and (2) make some kind of reference to the  media prompt:  a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, who also celebrated his birthday in April, entitled Study of a Womb.

The challenge is open to anyone, so if you want to join in, click the badge to the left to check out the challenge details!


79 thoughts on “Metaphorical Winter (Speakeasy #157)

  1. suzicate April 14, 2014 / 6:13 AM

    Fabulous imagery!

    • jannatwrites April 14, 2014 / 10:12 AM

      Thanks, Suzicate! I set out to put together a story, but this idea wouldn’t let it happen…

    • jannatwrites April 14, 2014 / 10:12 AM

      I appreciate your support, Kathy – thanks for reading!

  2. philosophermouseofthehedge April 14, 2014 / 8:08 AM

    Great lines!
    Nice imagery with lines 1-4
    Loved this “Trapped beneath the permafrost of indecision, I remained rigid in a self-imposed perpetual winter”
    (and yet another cold front at our door…70’s now – upper 30’s tonight? darn. packed the warm stuff already)

    • jannatwrites April 14, 2014 / 10:15 AM

      Thanks, Phil! I’m glad you liked the descriptions! It was warm here the last couple days. They say it’s ‘breezy’ today, but it feels plain ‘windy’ to me 🙂

  3. S(t)ri April 14, 2014 / 8:51 AM

    Great imagination!!! Loved every single word that was used..
    Thanks for stopping by earlier!

    • jannatwrites April 14, 2014 / 10:16 AM

      Thanks, S(t)ri! It was a pleasure reading your Gargleblaster post.

  4. Debbie April 14, 2014 / 11:08 AM

    Well written, Janna, but this one strikes me as quite melancholy. Perhaps winter really isn’t quite as gone as we’d like!

    • jannatwrites April 14, 2014 / 9:56 PM

      Thanks, Debbie. I guess my current state of mind led me here (although this is an exaggeration of my current state… I’ve definitely been lower 🙂 )

  5. Madhura April 14, 2014 / 11:44 AM

    Amazingly written! Wonderful description, beautiful choice of words… As always, well done Janna! 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 14, 2014 / 9:59 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Madhura! I’m glad you liked the descriptions 🙂

  6. nrhatch April 14, 2014 / 1:45 PM

    Gorgeous flow and cadence, Janna . . . the winter of your discontent.

    • jannatwrites April 14, 2014 / 10:02 PM

      Thanks for reading, Nancy! Winter of discontent… I like that 🙂

  7. diannegray April 14, 2014 / 3:22 PM

    Absolutely wonderful, Janna! I love “Trapped beneath the permafrost of indecision” – wow 😀

    • jannatwrites April 14, 2014 / 10:04 PM

      Thanks for sharing a description you particularly liked, Dianne! (I liked that sentence, too… couldn’t believe I actually thought of it 🙂 )

  8. Eric Alagan April 14, 2014 / 6:42 PM

    A picture painted in words and embellished by that image 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 14, 2014 / 10:05 PM

      I was torn between two photos but the intricate design created by the snow on branches won out 🙂 Thanks so much for reading, Eric!

  9. Leigh W. Smith April 14, 2014 / 6:44 PM

    The ice-vise that is winter (this year especially) really slides itself into this imagery. If I had to pick a few brilliant prisms out of this piece, I’d say it really soars toward the end, and the apex of his/her depression: “permafrost of indecision” and “Cocooned in my loneliness.” Great work with the prompt!

    • jannatwrites April 14, 2014 / 10:09 PM

      Thanks for reading, Leigh. I enjoyed reading your comments about what stood out for you. Our physical winter was quite mild (Arizona didn’t get hit like much of the country) so I couldn’t draw on that for inspiration!

  10. pattisj April 14, 2014 / 9:38 PM

    Your writing is amazing, Janna. Trapped beneath the permafrost of indecision–what a great line!

    • jannatwrites April 14, 2014 / 10:18 PM

      Thanks, Patti! I’m glad you liked that line (permafrost is a term I usually use, so I was pleasantly surprised when it came to mind 🙂 )

  11. Silverleaf April 15, 2014 / 1:10 AM

    Wonderful! So rich I had to read it twice – and it was equally enjoyable the second time 🙂 Lovely and inspired.

    • jannatwrites April 15, 2014 / 8:21 AM

      Thanks for reading (twice) Silverleaf! I’m glad you took the time to stop by 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 15, 2014 / 11:40 PM

      Great! I’m really glad you liked it, Susan!

  12. paulmclem April 15, 2014 / 10:10 AM

    First read…err…what! Second read. ah, I see. Third read – Wow! Still no expert on this form of prose but I can’t help but admiring the ambition and scope of this piece. Excellent work.

    • jannatwrites April 15, 2014 / 11:42 PM

      First of all, I’m glad you took the time to read more than once. Secondly, I’m relieved that the multiple readings brought understanding. Your “wow” is a huge compliment, Paul. Thanks!

  13. Carol Ann Hoel April 15, 2014 / 11:21 AM

    I like the way you used the first prompt right at the start. Great piece, Janna. I wondered how you would treat the second prompt. Very well done! Blessings to you…

    • jannatwrites April 15, 2014 / 11:43 PM

      I’m glad you liked the effect of the piece, Carol Ann. I didn’t have a choice about the prompt sentence placement, but I did hope the references to the other prompt weren’t too blatant or out of place 🙂

  14. clarbojahn April 15, 2014 / 12:35 PM

    LOVE it!! the imagery is so intense. It drew me in from the start. I like the first sentence. And you seemed to just flow with it. Great word choice! 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 15, 2014 / 11:47 PM

      Thanks so much, Clar! I’m glad this kept your attention. I would agree- it is pretty intense 🙂

  15. peggyshope April 15, 2014 / 1:11 PM

    the imagery is wonderful – I especially like your line: Rippling streams of affection had long ago

    been solidified into distorted memories

    • jannatwrites April 15, 2014 / 11:48 PM

      Thanks for taking time to read and share the line you liked best, Peggy. I appreciate you taking time to read it!

    • jannatwrites April 16, 2014 / 11:37 PM

      Thanks, Tinkerbelle96… I appreciate you reading it!

  16. Bastet April 16, 2014 / 9:03 AM

    Wonderfully done…your word picture is fantastic!

  17. theinnerzone April 16, 2014 / 9:07 AM

    Lovely imagery. I particularly liked: dared the sun to thaw me.

    • jannatwrites April 16, 2014 / 11:39 PM

      I appreciate you reading and pointing out a line that ‘shined’ for you, TIZ. (It’s late… now I’m just getting silly 🙂 )

  18. Sandra April 16, 2014 / 9:55 AM

    It sounds like you lived my winter, Janna! I have been so weary of this cold, to the point of pouting in fetal position. Spring came earlier, but yesterday we got a fresh layer of almost 2 inches of white snow. It was so depressing. I can totally relate to this poem. This winter definitely made me feel indifferent toward the day-to-day life.

    • jannatwrites April 16, 2014 / 11:41 PM

      Well, in all honesty, our winter was quite mild. (Arizona escaped the craziness that plagued most of the country…. but we’ll be sweating it out this summer, I’m sure.) Hard to believe you have that much snow this late. I hope your spring comes soon, Sandra!

  19. Mollie Claire April 16, 2014 / 4:08 PM

    Brilliant, as always!
    My favorite lines:
    I questioned whether I
    had been capable of thriving once, or whether an umbilical
    noose had ensnared me from the beginning.
    So many ways to feel that one.

    • jannatwrites April 16, 2014 / 11:44 PM

      Thanks, Mollie Claire! I added that part later on, yet another reference to the drawing. I kind of liked the idea that something that was supposed to nourish, could ultimately be responsible for the demise.

  20. Suzanne April 16, 2014 / 4:25 PM

    Gorgeous, stunning imagery!

  21. M. L. Sexton April 16, 2014 / 6:08 PM

    This was beautiful and very vivid!

    • jannatwrites April 16, 2014 / 11:45 PM

      I think I did go a bit dramatic on this one, ML… thanks for reading!

  22. jstansfeld April 16, 2014 / 7:13 PM

    Another winner with amazing imagery. There is much to quote but most has been already done by your earlier commentators so, it is a little lame but I add “ditto” Cheerio, Jane

    • jannatwrites April 16, 2014 / 11:45 PM

      I appreciate you taking time to read it, Jane. Thanks 🙂

  23. tinsenpup April 16, 2014 / 9:18 PM

    I love this. You consistently produce wonderful writing, but every now and again you come out with something extra special like this. Last winter (in Australia) felt a little like this for me. There came a point where I could no longer listen to my own thoughts, they were so clouded by the never-ending greyness of it all.

    • jannatwrites April 16, 2014 / 11:49 PM

      Well, I guess we can credit the great prompt sentence! (Thanks, Tinsenpup 🙂 )

      Your comment made me smile – I’m glad this one stood out from other things I’ve written. That’s always nice to hear! I can’t imagine being in a winter that affected so deeply… I think this is a result of living in such a mild climate for so long

  24. atrm61 April 17, 2014 / 7:17 AM

    Oh Janna,this is so mesmerizing-I think I have read this at least 4 times already and still want to read again!A tapestry of emotions woven intricately so as to hypnotize the heart into looking below the obvious!I love each and every sentence here-awesome metaphors!My most fav line was tough to choose but I think my vote went to ,”I became unsure if the flutter of newly-planted love was borrowed or owned”One word-WOW! :-).

    • jannatwrites April 18, 2014 / 8:53 AM

      You are too kind, Atreyee! Thanks so much for your glowing comment… I do appreciate you reading it (four times) – I know you’re really busy 🙂

      • atrm61 April 21, 2014 / 1:06 AM

        Janna,am anything but kind ;-)And I loved reading your poem-it felt so good just tasting those words-wish there was more and you know I love this kind of writing -more so cos I cannot write like this 😀 Ah,am not THAT busy-and never too busy for a friend and you are my friend-period.

        • jannatwrites April 21, 2014 / 7:27 AM

          Thanks, Atreyee! I suspect you could write whatever style you decided to try.

          This idea actually played off something I did years ago. (The words in this one are all new… just the idea is borrowed.) I’d have to dig it up, but I actually wrote a metaphorical poem about the seasons (as in life)- I don’t remember the content now, but I do remember I had thirteen lines per season. At the time I wrote it, it was winter, but spring has returned since then 🙂

        • atrm61 April 21, 2014 / 9:20 AM

          13 lines!Wow!Am already wowed-one of these days I will take a break and just go read some of your previous posts from the past year and further 😀

        • jannatwrites April 21, 2014 / 9:24 AM

          Oh, I don’t think I ever posted that one! It was the first thing I wrote after not writing for ten years 🙂

        • atrm61 April 21, 2014 / 9:31 AM

          Ohh-send it to me pronto 😀

        • jannatwrites April 21, 2014 / 9:34 AM

          It’s five years old now… really, not that good… but I’ll let you decide 🙂

        • atrm61 April 21, 2014 / 9:47 AM


  25. Renada Styles April 17, 2014 / 8:54 AM

    “a self-imposed perpetual winter” says it all! I absolutely love how you used the idea of winter throughout this piece. You captured the frigid essence of winter within the person’s heart and soul.

    • jannatwrites April 18, 2014 / 9:01 AM

      Thanks for reading, Renada! I’m glad you saw what I’d hoped to convey 🙂

  26. mbarkersimpson April 17, 2014 / 2:53 PM

    Great work, Janna. This piece is haunting, heart-breaking even. You’ve created a wonderful story, frozen in time for us all to enjoy. Thanks for sharing.

    • jannatwrites April 18, 2014 / 9:02 AM

      I appreciate you taking time to read and share your thoughts, Mel. Maybe I will write something a little less depressing next week 🙂

  27. Natalie D April 17, 2014 / 4:05 PM

    Oh, sigh. I so feel for anyone suffering Polar Vortex blues. And here you turn them into a work of art…

  28. EagleAye April 17, 2014 / 5:32 PM

    Oh this is so sad and lonely. This poem has such great power I feel as if my heart’s ripped out and stomped upon. Of course, a writer can only do that if she possesses extraordinary skill, and you my dear, have exception prowess to write a piece with such strength. Kudos!

    • jannatwrites April 18, 2014 / 9:07 AM

      Your comment is a huge compliment, EagleAye (it is a bit disturbing to be lifted up by someone else feeling his heart’s been ripped out and stomped upon, though!) I appreciate you reading, and for sharing your kind words 🙂

  29. fatgirlinboxinggloves April 17, 2014 / 6:11 PM

    Lovely work, Jana. The following especially spoke to me: “Rippling streams of affection had long ago / been solidified into distorted memories.”

    • jannatwrites April 18, 2014 / 9:08 AM

      Thanks, Karen – I appreciate you pointing out a line that stood out for you… always fun to see what speaks to people because it’s so varied by person.

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