A Friend Should Be…

Losing their pride
Owning up to mistakes
Yet standing again
And brushing off the dust
Leaning out a hand, to pull you up as well

Keeping you from getting too swelled a head
Including the times when you do so for them
Not forgetting to handle with care when
Defeat seems to be ruling you then

Helping you when sometimes you need
Only a moment to decide on the deed
Now they will work it through with you
Ernest in everything they do
Soft with their words when needed
Telling you what is hard to hear

Reasons for why they stay
Even when you want them to go away
Lists that make no sense
Inside of them that you can’t read
And though you may never know
Beside you is the place they’ll go
Loving you even when you they don’t like
Especially when you need a shoulder during your plight

This is partially inspired by a line about what a friend was in a book that I read last year and also by a re-do of the Dungeon Prompt: Friendship.


Dragon Guilt

Guilt is the thing that lets you know

Just how far from the path you go

That you’ve wandered far and near

Letting go of what you hold dear


It’s a sign of when to turn back

So that your happiness you won’t lack

So turn back once you feel

Like off your skin you want to peel


Just like the boy who turned into a dragon

You find you really want to be on the wagon

Huddling close to family and friends

Knowing that with them you want to find an end

Little poem inspired by Eustace Scrubb from Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis and the trouble he gets himself into. Also by the revisit of Dungeon Prompt: Guilt – Illuminating or Engulfing the Darkness.

Different, But the Same

She’s quiet

She’s loud

She’s soft

She’s hard

She laughs

She cries

She spins around

She’s never still

She reads

She writes

She never stops

She never starts


Nothing I do will quiet her, but at the same time, she never seems too loud.

My inner voice is quiet the character depending on whose costume she’s currently wearing.

Revisit of the Dungeon Prompt: Inner Voice.

Scream to be Heard

Have you ever just wanted

To scream out loud?

To shake your fist

Shove your way through the crowd?


Have you ever wanted

To be all alone?

Not completely surrounded

Packed up all at home?


Have you ever wanted

Time just to yourself?

Without having someone ask

For that thing next to you, on the shelf.


But then how would you know

What to do with yourself

If all of your time

Was spent solely on yourself


How would you know

Just how much they love you

If they didn’t immediately come

In and squeeze you to goo


When you find the need to shout

It usually means you want to be heard

No shoved quickly aside

Ignored  as just another in the herd.


Sometimes we need to be alone

That is true of all

But just as known

Is that we want others to catch us when we fall

I have recently (if you haven’t noticed) started looking back through some of the older Dungeon Prompts. I enjoy going back and writing them over again as well as re-reading some that I or others have written in the past. Sometimes it’s what you need to help yourself feel a little better (like this helped me when I was feeling just a little bit frustrated, okay, a lot). Sometimes they just make you laugh, because you needed something a little silly instead (though this one wasn’t silly…)

The point is, the Dungeon Prompts, for all that I thought at the time, aren’t one-time things. They are the kind of thing that you can go back and re-visit, just like friend, because that’s what they are. They’re to help us ‘dig deep into our souls’ and really, we want to be friends with ourselves, because when we’re not that’s just not a good place to be.

But sometimes it’s a place that we need to be in order to work things out. Sometimes you won’t like yourself and that was what you needed to realize that there were things you needed to work out. It doesn’t mean that you won’t ever like yourself again, because you will. If you want it enough, you will work through what’s caught you in the mud pit and you’ll get out again.

Doesn’t mean it won’t be hard work, because life is hard work no matter who you are or where you are. It’s just different for each person.

That doesn’t mean that it has to be a continuous thing to work through. There will be times and places and people that will give you a moment to collect yourself, to rest, before you have to get up and start going again.

This poem and little rant were brought to you by the Dungeon Prompt: Seeking Refuge.

Tied Up in the Internet

I hadn’t realized just how pervasive my reliance on technology had become until it was cut off.

The power was out, had been for going on two weeks. All of my little devices had long since died and there was no way to recharge their batteries. I had never purchased spares in order to cover what I would need. I had also, foolishly it appears, never gotten into the whole solar panels thing in order to keep my electricity going even when the whole grid was off. I had several neighbors who did, though there’d been some kind of technical problem with one of them and the other had moved about a year ago. The house they’d lived in was gone now in preparation for building a new road.

Everything I had was pretty much on my devices: books, games, cards, accounts, all of my information. I’m sure I have some of it on actual paper somewhere, but I’ve been able to get by with only the digital copies for so long that I have no idea where to even begin looking.

I should have really thought about this more thoroughly before I moved out into a small town in the first place, even if that ‘small town’ was gearing up to become a larger town with all of the developments going on.

Just a few thoughts I’ve had recently with having spent a year without using my tech devices as much as I used to before we moved to where we wouldn’t have internet for a while. I’ve gone days without using my laptop at times and felt just fine with it because there wasn’t anything on there that I didn’t have the equivalent of in physical form due to lack of internet.

Maybe we live on the internet a little too much with all the wi-fi and fast service? We’ll never know until it’s not there anymore.

(And my electricity’s been fine and yes I have copies of things on paper and know (mostly) where they are.)

This little thought was what popped into my head with the revisit of the Dungeon Prompt: Freedom in the Modern World.

Two Sides to Balance

It was surprising just how little people remembered of their faith when they came up against someone or something that was, well, different. It wasn’t completely different; there were similarities, but just enough difference to be wrong. Many would later say that it was like looking at a particularly well-crafted doll. It looked enough like a child to make you take a second look, but just different enough that the doll wasn’t even accepted as a doll because it was too much like the child, but too still to be one.

The term often used to describe this was ‘creepy.’

And therein lies the problem for many people.

Something, someone is just enough alike them that they don’t completely stand out, but just different enough that they don’t fit quite right either. At first, they can ignore the ‘problem’ and continue living as if nothing is even pinging off their senses.

Until something goes wrong.

Something is always going to go wrong, it’s just the way the world works. But sometimes things can go just a little wrong or a lot wrong. When thing go a lot wrong, then it’s likely that people are going to be upset. When people are upset, they want someone to blame for everything going wrong. (Whether or not everything actually is going wrong or there are just a lot of things going wrong. People forget that there will be hard times as well as good times. It’s how their faith is tested after all. Can you continue to ascribe to your faith when things go wrong or are you only a fair-weather believer?)

Why not blame the people who are just different enough to send a signal to your brain that they aren’t people after all, but dolls that look amazingly like people?

Forgetting that one of the things that their faith taught them was to accept and love others, to hate the sin, but not the sinner.

Because Faith cannot really exist without Tolerance there beside it, just like Mercy and Justice.

One without the other leaves too much imbalance in the world.

This mini-rant was brought to you by the Dungeon Prompt: Faith, Tolerance and Mutual Appreciation.

Don’t Wander

At times it feels like it will take everything

Innocent given away in return for wisdom

Maturity gained only at the expense of freedom

Looking too long into the abyss

Even as it gazes back hungrily

So often do we forget it doesn’t have to be this way

Such is life, they always say


I don’t think we have to give the world every part of ourselves in order to succeed. We need to keep that little bit of ourselves that makes us who we are otherwise we lose all meaning as we try to find the thing that says, ‘I have succeeded at this thing called life.’

Brought to you by a shuffle through the older Dungeon Prompts. This one was Dungeon Prompt: Balance and the Art of Succeeding in an All or Nothing World.

Not Goodbye

My heart beats unevenly

Only to choke me on my breath

Reality is not my friend now

Taking the small figure in shaking hands

And leaning over the too stillness to cry

Letting parts of prayer soothe the ache


The first time I had an animal die on the farm, it wasn’t just one. It was a whole litter of seven little bunnies. I sat and held their mother and cried all over her. I think she took it a lot better than I did, though she let me cry into her soft fur for over thirty minutes after Sissy (dog) had abandoned me for somewhere with less excitement. (Sissy doesn’t take people being upset very well…or at all…she hates crying and yelling with a passion and will leave the house to get away from it if she has to.)

The next three times it happened all I could think about was how I was always the one to find the bunnies after they’d died instead of anyone else.

By the sixth time, it was a goose that had been sick and not adjusting to its new home well.

Each time it happened (bunnies, bunnies, bunnies, goatling, bunnies, chickens, geese, chickens, bunnies, more bunnies, we have a lot of bunnies…) I would wrap the body (except for the goose) in bags and say a small prayer before burying the bodies in the only place available at the time (the garbage, because the ground freezes really hard). I still don’t like it when one of the animals dies, but I know that this life isn’t the end, so that when they die they aren’t vanishing while leaving only a body that will crumble and decay behind. No, they’ve gone somewhere else.

This isn’t the end of it for them, nor is it the end of this for us.

There is more. What we each believe that more is will change, but there is something there and I take comfort in that.

This isn’t a goodbye, just a see you later.

Re-visit of Dungeon Prompt: Mortality and the Human Psyche.

The Lion With The Lamb

image: Sissy and Usako, martha0stout's phone

image: Sissy and Usako, martha0stout’s phone

Pets will lie down
Even should they disagree
At what is allowed.
Cat loves to cuddle
Especially with a friend.

This little poem is for the revisit of Sreejit’s Dungeon Prompt: Peace. Also, my cat, Usako loves to cuddle. She’ll cuddle with anyone once she’s gotten used to you. Sissy’s like that too except Sissy doesn’t like fights at all. Usako will pick on my sister’s cat, Iris. This upsets Sissy and so she’ll go rushing over. She doesn’t bark or nip or anything, but a large animal showing up? That sends Usako scampering. They don’t always get along, my cat and my dog, but when they want to cuddle, they’re both at peace.

You’ve Ignored me, Now I Ignore You

I am entitled to know all his business.
–Lady Catherine de Bourgh
Reality never seems to show what’s there;
I find that demands are constantly placed here.
Getting in the way of my life, because you believe you have the right?
How is it that someone who has never cared
To help me, opinion’s now what I should share.

Alex said nothing as his father ranted and raved at him.

“Why you should take this little nothing into our family when she is just that! A nothing!”

He had to sit and listen to his father, a man who had never done a single thing in his life to deserve the title ‘father’, degrade the choice of his son to adopt a woman as his sister without his ‘father’s’ approval.

Alex stood as his father began to speculate on the connection between him and his new sister.

“That is quite enough. I will hear no more from you.”

Alex left the room, his father still yelling after him to come back.

‘You spent decades ignoring my cries, Father. Now it is your turn to be denied.’

Another little part of my Former Guardian universe using a character that I wasn’t even sure was going to show up. Alex’s father is not the kind of character that I like to write about and I honestly never thought he’d show up until he was yelling and screaming at Alex.

I really don’t like him.

Anyway, this is partially inspired by the revisit of the Dungeon Prompt: Entitlement Ideology from Sreejit.