Tag Archives: ambition

One Humble Limb

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Might I suggest that this planet
is a single organism.
Trees and all manner of green things
are its organs, and we are its limbs, broken
over time by a parasitic aspect which seeped
through our skin, expanding
with each generation.

No doubt, so called lesser creatures
each have their place. Most step lightly, while
we complex beings employ our grasping brains to crack
and defile the soil, even as it feeds us; to destroy
the organs that supply the air we breathe;
to hate and kill our sibling limbs.

Without prejudice,
we torture our own bodies,
absorbing all manner of toxins
to satisfy our appetites and greed,
forever finding new ways to endanger
our health and this abundant earth’s
very survival.

We misread our purpose,
and even when we discern a glimmer
of sense, we appear hard-wired
to continue the cycle.

Hampered by weakness,  I try
to live a better way, often failing,
always knowing my insignificance in the scheme.
Yet if I die having admitted into my heart
genuine love and compassion
toward all members of each race and every creed,
no matter how our views might disagree,
my life will have been worthwhile.

Having ceased to be a parasite,
perhaps I’ll be satisfied.


What would be your answer to the question  in exercise 18 of Calen’s Sandbox Writing Challenge

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If you could foresee one accomplishment in your future, what would you like it to be?


©Jane Paterson Basil

Audition

Enamoured of the shallow glamour

……….of famous actors on the screen,

…..she answers an ad, eagerly agreeing

………………..to attend an audition.

The address that she’s given looks inauspicous,

……….but ambition prevails over instinct.

…..The man with the camera says

………………..she has natural talent,

adding, with a sideways smile,

……….I’ll make you a star.”

…..With gnawing shame and a little persuasion —

………………..helped by a skinful of drink —

she wears what she’s given,

……….then takes a deep breath, 

…..to prepare herself

………………  for her first audition,

not seeing that it will lead to 

……….repeated sleazy agreements and rumpled sheets 

…..until her original ambition

……………..  .seems like an over-blown notion.

Unwilling, but hungry for riches and fame,

……….she suppresses all memories of helpful suggestions

…..and, malleable to his wishes, 

………………..she kneels.

.

A wisp of titian hair floats free,

to tickle his quivering knee.

.

©Jane Paterson Basil

BURNING AMBITION

Dancer

“Sweet Jesus! I can’t stand it any longer!” said Cleo.

“You can do this. Soubressaut.” I could almost see the images of reflected glory as they shimmered in my sister’s head.

“We only have three days left… Allegro! Allegro! What is the matter with you?”

“It really hurts mum, and the painkillers aren’t working.”

It was awful for Eva when all those years ago, our mother wouldn’t allow her to have ballet lessons, but this was inexcusable. Cleo had no interest in dancing.

As I crept away, the poor girl was still complaining of the pain in her tooth.

© Jane Paterson Basil