Broken But Not Dead

(a poem by Earl Chinnici)

Photo by Curt Cornum

how long has it been
since i saw your pretty face
we were grown children

and you went your way
i suppose i went mine too
it seems both are true

but now i’m broken
many decisions do haunt
this body and mind

broken but not dead
a peculiar state i’m in
and time passes by

unable to ask
these questions upon my mind
will you be afraid

if only you knew
how much i think about you
would you run away

or would you reply
that i’m also on your mind
and that scares you too

would you tell me then
that you’re also quite broken
but hide it so well

your kindness a front
and the smile on your face
who could ever know

years have passed us by
a peculiar state we’re in
strange to see you here

i yearn to touch you
to hold your hand as we walk
any place or time

maybe it’s silly
or maybe we always knew
we would meet again

broken but not dead

Connect with the author: Earl Chinnici


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Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is LOVE and we’re relaxing the rules a little for this one to show some love to some lovely love stories. We’re shooting for something similar to a CleanWIP Magazine Relaxed Friday, but right smack in the middle of the workweek and all about LOVE.

Photo by Jill Wellington

Let’s crank up “The Love Edition” with Love Abideth Still by Scott R. Rezer

March, 1863. The War Between the States has raged for nearly two years.
Five months after his death, the body of Sarah’s estranged husband, a Union soldier, finally comes home for burial in Philadelphia. Taylor’s burial, though, rather than putting her unresolved grief to rest, begins a journey that will not just test her faith, but will plumb the depths of her devotion to her dead husband.
When anger and sorrow push her to the edge of despair, Sarah turns to the few letters sent to her by Taylor from the frontlines in a desperate need to understand the guilt she feels over his death. But, as the war continues to tear the nation asunder and rumors of a Confederate invasion threaten the North, Sarah’s own sense of patriotic duty begins to awaken. And with that newfound obligation, she discovers in the letters she once dismissed as weak attempts to convince her of his duty to the nation, that Taylor’s voice has the power to soften a heart grown bitter and cold from beyond the grave. Taylor’s letters, though, do not tell the full story of his life as a soldier, a story Sarah will never know…
From the bloody battlefields of Winchester and Bull Run to the quiet streets of Philadelphia, Love Abideth Still is a fictional story based upon the lives of the author’s Civil War ancestors whose sacrifice—like so many others who loved and lost during the War Between the States—has not been forgotten. It is a moving story of war and forgiveness, one in which a young woman discovers that it is possible to fall in love again with her husband even when separated from him by the finality of death.

From Miss Mae, we present Kiss Me, Mr. Hitchcock.
What’s a girl got to do to get a guy to kiss her?
A guy who’s new in town. Who flashes a practiced lady-killer smile. Who drives a dashing Porsche.
Maybe she shouldn’t confront him with a baseball bat. Or get herself locked with him in a library basement. Or get him involved in a feud with an old boyfriend.
But then again, maybe she should.

Also from Miss Mae: Dove Island

How much does a man love a woman?

Does he love her more than family?

More than life itself?

When crisis happens, only his heart can determine the truth.

Rescued Hearts has a kidnapping, an undercover deputy, and a couple of scenes with guns if suspense is what you like. Mary Wade and Brett set off a lot of sparks every time they’re together, too. Read about their love story in Rescued Hearts!

Professor Hannah Wagganer spends her days teaching history, and her nights dating Glen Arbor’s new mail carrier, Jasper Morgan. Not only does he spark Hannah’s heart, but he has become best friends with her cat, Jingles. And, now that we have your attention, you can learn more about Secret Valentine by Cherry Christensen directly on Amazon.

Much love, everyone.

Harvest Ball

By M. L. Farb

(Photo credit: Allef Vinicius)

I started writing poetry in college, when I took a one-week graduate-level poetry course. I ate, drank, and slept poetry. It seeped into my blood and still pumps through me, impacting all my writing.

My favorite lesson from the poetry course was: Poetry is a snapshot of life. Capture the senses and emotions of a moment.

The following poem is still a work in progress, capturing a moment in my early-married life.

Harvest Ball

New parents with six-week-old baby in tow,
we trudge through snow to the harvest ball.

Exhaustion from baby nursing nights
and intense school days
melts under music.

We jive and spin to the
rich brass call of Sing, Sing, Sing.

I float in his arms as we
trace the steps of Strauss’ Vienna Waltz.

We laugh our way through fast songs.
He has natural rhythm and style.
I follow in stumbling imitation.
Walk like an Egyptian and Cotton Eye Joe

I lay my head on his shoulder
to the gentle swaying of Lady in Red.

Our baby watches from her car seat,
then begs to join.
We dance, her nestled between us,
until she falls asleep.

A limbo line starts.
I try my luck and startle to find that
pregnancy limbered my joints.
I skim under the stick at waist height.
He cheers me on.

We return to our dancing.
Two become one in music and movement.

Hours later we return home,
the dance making our steps light over snow
and our hearts ready for the coming struggles.

Connect with the author: M. L. Farb


CleanWIP Magazine has obtained from the author non-exclusive right to publish or republish this content. The author retains copyright.