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Coin Laundry

Your eyelids droop downward like old fabric and your head sinks forward as if you are about to fold in half. You are slipping in and out of reality. “The world is a washing machine,” your mother used to say. “People fall and fold into each other; they tangle and unknot; the suds between them shift and squish.

It is a slippery kind of relationship.”

The laundry mat pulses its yellow ceiling lights. An Asian woman clucks on the telephone in the back room; her voice meshes with the metallic sound of the intercom music. She is hushed. Her glass eyes flick toward your seat suspiciously. “Very good,” she says to the man in the mouthpiece. “What is your price?”

You are folding your hands in your lap. You take deep breaths and stare at the washing machine in front of you; it whirs in wide circles. It is probably 1:00 am, but you aren’t counting the hours. You glance down at your swollen ankles, torn sneakers, blistered heels. You think that the price was clear.

You wonder why the continents don’t slide in their places across frictionless planes. You think that, after all, the world’s people cling to one another with Dawn Soap arms. Our skins rub and slip, warm flesh against warm flesh, black and white bubbles merging and diverging. And, after the sliding is over, after the fingers rake through sudsy hair, a new body tumbles into another, and He begins a new cycle.

Some people claim the world began with the Big Bang.

You say that God simply pushed a coin into a laundry mat.

 

Written by Hannah Butcher
©2BorNot2B. All rights reserved.

May Writing Contest Winner

I would like to congratulate Temidayo for being May’s prose winner of the 2B or Not 2B website! This piece especially stood out to me due to its modern applications. Massive, global societal issues exist, yet they are merely glanced over by the media and Western culture. I hope you will enjoy this piece as much as I did.

You can explore Temidayo’s blog and her other works here.

Every month there will be a new winner pertaining to all genres of writing, so keep a lookout for new artists featured on this blog!

 

The Chibok Girls
by Temidayo

April 14th was the third anniversary of the kidnapping of 276 girls, from the Government Girls Secondary School, school dormitories, in Chibok, Nigeria. This poem is a cry for the safe return of the rest of the 195 girls that have yet to return.

It’s been three years now. Three years since the 276 girls were taken by force, in the dark of the night from the place that was the foundation of their aspirations. It’s been three years since 195 girls have last seen their families.

It is hard to comprehend. Always has been. It is difficult comprehending how people said that human beings could celebrate the kidnapping of girls on the path of a better future. It is difficult comprehending why the government has yet to rescue the 195 of them. However, it’s a luxury for those whose problem is to comprehend how such an evil could happen, and not in how it had happened to them.

There are things many of us will fail to fully understand. The emotion the parents feel when the next girl, who was managed to make it back home, isn’t their daughter. The emotion a mother feels when her daughter comes back with a baby although she is almost half the age, her Mother was when she had her first child. The agony some of the girls felt losing their babies while escaping.

However, despite the mess, a few thing are clear. Justice shall prevail, we are not afraid, and we shall #BringBackOurGirls.

 

 

Photo Courtesy: CNN Stephanie Busari, Nima Elbagir and Sebastiaan Knoops

I Steal the Silence

I steal the silence.

The air is crisp tonight, and my chest hums with a certain happiness,

a broken quiet.

My lungs are feathers

molting noiselessly

between breaths;

in, out.

Slowly, I bury my toes into the soil and I feel them

thrum below the earth.

The roots of the trees

spread signals across my feet;

primitive neurons clamber up my ankles.

The street lamp pulses through

its vacuum of voices,

and I swallow it up, absorb it in my pores.

 

I close my eyes

and listen.

 

Written by Hannah Butcher
©2BorNot2B. All rights reserved.

April Writing Contest Winner

Happy Sunday!

I would like to congratulate Sakshi (AKA the Escapist) for being April’s prose winner of the 2B or Not 2B website! Her writing is filled with simplistic imagery and genuine emotions, and I’m so happy to be able to share her work. Her piece “Unfamiliar Contentment” effortlessly depicts a father’s love for his newborn child.

You can explore Sakshi’s blog and her other works here.

Every month there will be a new winner pertaining to all genres of writing, so keep a lookout for new artists featured on this blog!

 

Unfamiliar Contentment
by Sakshi the Escapist 

He held her for the first time in his arms and her tiny hand gripped his finger. The touch was soft. Tender. He could already feel the walls around his heart crumbling under its power. The walls he had built for years, brick by brick. While looking at her beautiful face, he was feeling an unfamiliar contentment.

“What did I tell you?” his wife asked him. He could hear the smugness in her voice.

He raised his eyes and looked towards his wife who was smirking and looking at the tiny bundle of happiness in his arms. He got up from the chair and sat beside his wife on the hospital bed. He felt his face split into a wide smile.

“Yeah,” he said. “She’s perfect.”

Just then their daughter yawned with her baby mouth and opened her small eyes, and in that moment, he felt he had conquered the world.

 

 

 

*If you would like to participate in the April writing contest, simply fill out a form on this website’s Submissions Page. You may send me an email or comment below if you have any questions or concerns.*

I’m looking forward to May’s submissions!

Piety

 

Between the crevices in the syntax, the sentence, the subject,

punctuation serves as an altar

to ideas that cannot be connected by splinters or nails.

Exclamation marks that yell also scream out tales.

Gentle commas swirl into periods, like silk but even softer

 and create something that serves

the crevices between the icons and the choir.

 

Written by Hannah Butcher

©2BorNot2B. All rights reserved.

Tiny Bird

I pad across cobblestone streets

and my wide eyes drink in

the world around me.

I watch as the sky releases fleets

of dark grey and water-color yellow–

Big Ben punctures the clouds.

I ask him where I am and he bends his head,

exhales a gust of bells and a metallic groan:

“A world away from your own.”

 

Something swells

in my chest and tells

me to soar into grey clouds

and release my comfort zone,

fling it down like a bomb

that I usually hug close.

I am a tiny bird,

breaking bonds, youthful yellow.

I am learning to explore.

 

Written by Hannah Butcher

©2BorNot2B. All rights reserved.

March Poetry Contest Winner

Happy Sunday, everyone!

I would like to congratulate Ralph Alley III (AKA Connor) for being March’s poetry winner of the 2B or Not 2B website! His writing follows a narrative structure and truly transports the reader to a different world. His poem “Beyond Our Dreams” shows how poetry can easily become a device of story-telling.

Every month there will be a new winner pertaining to all genres of writing, so keep a look out for new artists featured on this blog!

 

Beyond Our Dreams

By Ralph Alley III

With a siren voice singing and exhaustion coming into my mind as a guest,
my mind and soul go into a long sleep.
I stand on a small sphere of green, solid and blue liquid
that my bare feet may crush without notice.
In my blue monk robes and white wings behind my back,
black hair falls down like a waterfall to my back
with feelings of veneration from head to toe.

Spheres of light fly in the black sky,
with the Queen of the golden sun and King of the silver moon dancing together.
Nebulas shine and galaxies sparkle
and constellations run throughout space;
Oh, what a beautiful sight it was!

A male voice came out of the void,
rich as honey, but dark as blood.
He asked me, “Little girl, what do you think of dreams?”

I answered, “Dreams are the beliefs that we believe in,
reminders that gives us strength throughout the day.”

The spirit appeared,
wearing a robe of infernos,
“Ha! Dreams are lies.
Humans make dreams to believe in the lies they make,
so how can dreams be truth?”

I replied, “I didn’t say that dreams are truth or lies.
Dreams are what our secrets and hidden desires come from.
Just like there are two sides of a coin,
dreams focus on our happiness, bravery and calmness
while nightmares tell us our worst fears, anger and depression.”

The spirit then took me to a metropolis near a sea
where things were done by free will.
But then hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and heat waves
appeared of all sudden
while other natural disasters occurred
around other parts of the world,
killing so many people and wildlife.

The spirit, with a malicious smile, said,
“You may look at the good,
but you never look at the bad.
That is the nature of being human,
but it is always your choice.”

Out of nowhere, a thunderbolt came straight down from
heavens and struck where I stood.

At that moment,
I woke with sweat on my brow
and I then remembered the dream,
which took a few seconds,
and learned an important lesson.

Many people question,
“What will the end of the world be like?”
Many answer with differently,
with or without evidence,
but the truth is that we never know,
because the answer is beyond our dreams.

 

You can view more of Connor’s pieces here.

*If you would like to participate in the April writing contest, simply fill out a form on this website’s Submissions Page. You may send me an email or comment below if you have any questions or concerns.*

Never stop writing!

How to Be Happy

if you

pluck a rainbow from the sky and

tie it in a bow,

offer it as a present to

a clouded heart.

soon,

the weather channel will broadcast

the weatherman’s forecast

as a pair of sunshine smiles.

 

Written by Hannah Butcher

©2BorNot2B. All rights reserved.

December Poetry Contest Winner [Plus How to Submit]

Congratulations to Chloe Coates for being the first poetry winner of the 2B or Not 2B website! Every month there will be a new winner pertaining to all genres of writing, so keep a look out for new artists featured on this blog.

Doors to Life
by Chloe Coates

What are we,
man,
woman,
child,
that have the chance
to bring forth life
into this hopeless world?

A smile,
a laugh,
an idea.
When allowed to grow, to thrive,
they produce a beautiful thing…
happiness, life, love.

We, humans, are the doors
to
life.

*If you would like to participate in the January writing contest, simply fill out a form on this website’s Submissions Page. You may send me an email or comment below if you have any questions or concerns.*

Good luck, keep writing, and have a very happy New Year!

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