Love in Ten Lines

In response to a friendly challenge from Marlyn Exconde.

Love has two faces.

Love is exquisitely beautiful.

Love is extraordinarily dangerous.

Love necessitates great sacrifice.

Love birthed complex hatred.

Love will heal brokenness.

Love demands life’s breath.

Love brings vast confusion.

Love allows peaceful enlightenment.

Two faces, has love.

“Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned.”
– William Congreve

Ring Around the Rosy

You are likely familiar with the well known children’s song, Ring around the Rosy. However, you are less likely to know its origin.

Humans have had a long standing tradition throughout multiple cultures to record major events through song, prose, limericks or some other format to enable it to withstand time and change. This child’s ditty has to do with the black death (Bubonic plague) that decimated Europe in the middle ages. People were quite sure the world was ending and that Christ was returning (at least those who believed in Christ). I will address each line and then explain what it means.

Ring around the rosy.  

This was the first sign that
you were infected. A red,
swollen boil like protrusion
began to appear all over the
infected individual. The
‘boil’ had a dark purplish
ring surrounding it.

Pocket full of Posies.

The stench of rotting flesh
saturated the air making
every breath horrific. People
carried flowers or heavily
perfumed hankies to mask
the vile stench.

Ashes, Ashes… 

This was originally “Achoo,
Achoo” prolific sneezing
signaling that the end was

We all fall down! 

If you think this morbid remember that things like this are dotted throughout all cultures/races/peoples. Another example is the limerick about Lizzy Borden, an American woman who was accused of killing her parents with an axe.

“Lizzy Borden took and axe

and gave her father 40 whacks.

When she saw what she had done

she turned around and gave her

mother 41!” 

These are not only a way of recording important or tragic events throughout human history they are also coping mechanisms.
In honor of International poetry day, I thought I would share a bit of history and poetry that many will be unaware of and likely have sung to their own children. I bet you will never look at that song the same way again!

AjayTao (Ajay Mody)

Friends and fellow artists,

There has been increased activity on AjayTao’s social sites. I have attempted repeatedly to reach out to the person using his accounts but they are now moderating my comments so they do not show up on Ajay’s sites.

When I get another email notification from his sites by someone who is unaware of his passing, I now have to go to the blogger’s site to inform them because my comments are being blocked. If this is a loved one or good friend of Ajay’s then I tried to tell the person that they would be welcome here if they just introduced themselves. They will not communicate with me.

I know how difficult it might be to see his avatar pop up in your news feed or email. I know it is difficult for me as each time it happens is like a knife in my heart especially when this person will not communicate with us. If you encounter this person using his accounts, please consider asking them to identify themselves and we will welcome them.

To me, it seems only yesterday that I heard his sweet, loving voice but when I see his avatar pop up it is as if I am seeing a ghost and grief is renewed. Please help me coax this person out into the open. I do not think they mean any harm and that he or she just wants to stay connected to Ajay and that is fine. We could help him or her in this journey but this random appearance is disconcerting and confusing to many here.

Your assistance is very much appreciated.

Crushing a Songbird but expecting a Melody

Tina Blackledge

Are you happy?
I wonder.
Does it bring you hope
to make me cry?

Are you happy?
I wonder.
When you cause pain,
confusion and fear?

Are you happy,
you who were
You, who were
favored by God?

Can you feel…anything?
Do you feel any sense of hope
when you torture the
children of God?

Are you happy?
I wonder.
You, were bathed in
God’s pure love?
Why wasn’t that enough
for you?

You cannot be God.
You are not God.
So you take, meddle,
confuse and

Does it make you happy?
I wonder.
Do you find delight
when you play with people’s

You use the tears and blood
of millions, who call
God, Father, to keep
yourself alive.

Does it make your existence
any less pathetic
any less loathsome
to taint the existence
of mankind?

Thousands of years
have come and gone.
You have created madness,
atrocities, sicknesses and disasters.
You have sent your demons
to lure God’s children away
with your filthy lies.

You have crushed millions
of lives. Worse, you have
crushed souls
twisting them to your

Thousands of years…
We are still here.
We still have hope.
We still have faith.
You have failed.

You, who’s name meant
beautiful, have failed
You may be relentless
but so are we.

Are you really happy?
Enjoy it.
If it makes you smile
hurt me by causing
those I love to betray me,

Were you happy
when my innocence
was stolen?

If it brings you happiness
to destroy my career,

If it brings you joy
keep me in poverty,

If you gain delight
in stealing my mobility,

If you feel happy
causing my flesh to
decay turning me into
a monster.

If you experience happiness
torturing my body
with chronic pain and exhaustion.

If you felt happy as
you broke my heart
taking the only man I
ever loved,

If you find joy in
taking my

I know your game.
I know your tactics.
I know your name.
I know your end.
You lose.

All of your efforts are
We are at war and when
you attack me, it
gives me opportunity
to poison your hope
because I refuse to
let go of mine. I
pray it is a bitter taste
upon your palette.

I am happy knowing
that I irritate you. I know
you hate me and I am grateful.

You have been trying to destroy
my body, mind, heart, and faith
since I was a very small child.

I must scare you, my God given
purpose must scare you, because you
have been trying so hard to destroy me.

You are desperate and for you
to pick on a human child of God shows
the depth of that desperation. I may not
always be strong. I may not always
feel hopeful, joyful, or even thankful
to my Father but I will never
give up the fight against you.

I have survived hardship, heartbreak,
suffering, persecution, and I
know the future holds much more
but you are denied victory.

When you finally cause this body
to fail, I will go where you are not
allowed to tread. I will enter the gates of
heaven and you will be one
step closer to your
permanent demise.

I know, according to
society’s measurement, I am nothing.
Yet, I am a child of God, under persecution,
and I hold firm to my hope and faith.

That makes me a warrior against you and
that makes me dangerous to your
evil plots. I will reveal your hand.
I will show those struggling that it is
you and not God that is causing them
pain. I will name you and place
the shame upon your shoulders
where it belongs.

I will help the hopeless
find the light. I will fight to reveal your
evil plan in their lives. I will use my last breath
to expose your charade so all can see
and know their pain is due
to a once beloved angel
who is embittered, jealous, and

You pick on the weak
and helpless, creatures you
consider to be useless. You think
we are beneath you and undeserving
of the Father’s love. We are undeserving
but He chose to love us anyway.

Are you happy?
I wonder.
No matter how hard you have
tried throughout the millennia,
you have not managed to destroy
the hope and faith that we continue
to hold in our hearts.
We continue to teach our children
We continue to die in the name of
our Lord. In the name of our Creator, in
our Loving Father.

Why wasn’t His love
You had everything and threw it

Now you spend your existence
making yourself happy by
hurting God’s children.
Worse, you do this with the full
knowledge that you will
never win, never, ever.

Go ahead, keep trying
You will not win.
You will not win.

I am weary, I am tired
and it is not my destiny to
destroy you. But, I will
thwart your plans in anyway
I can and I will serve the one
who will bring your eternal

Go ahead, smile.

Heart Song

tropical vista5

Photos courtesy of photostock on Yahoo 2015

Heart Song
Tina Blackledge

This piece is dedicated to my eldest sister and her husband as they quickly approach their first anniversary on May 24th. Congratulations Nance and Joel.

Standing upon sun warmed sand
Crystal blue water softly swirls
to fill the impressions her step

Looking upon the horizon
thoughts wonder to that
wonderful day one year
ago this very day.

Anxiety, nerves, fear, love,
wonder and gratitude ruled the day.
A broad smile reveals the thoughts
occupying her heart and mind. It
was a glorious day but what
captures her thoughts
is the realization that each
day since has shinned
a bit brighter than
its predecessor.

tropical vista4

Minnows tickle her toes
as she sips the robust Jamaican Java
that has taken possession of her taste buds
mingling it’s essence with her own. A
sigh of pure contentment is followed
by the realization of another occupying
this soul-renewing space.

Arms emboldened by love and overflowing
with gentle strength enwraps her waist.
Familiar lips nuzzle words of love into her ear.
His presence melds into her own; hence, his
sudden arrival offers completion rather than
startle. When life’s tasks demand they part it
ignites an unfamiliar, intense longing for his return.

tropical vista2

“Good morning wife” he softly announces.
“Good morning husband” she mirrors his tone.
How many moments expired she did not
know, nor did she care. She could get lost
in his embrace forever and be content. She
was awe struck by the way he turned
a mundane title of social station into a
word of love, praise, and appreciation.
When he said, ‘wife’, it sent shivers throughout
her body as he poured an intense volume of love
into that simple title.
It was a love word burning with passion.
A word that held healing, great honor and respect.

She knew, without doubt, that every time
he uttered this precious title, he was thanking God for
her. She loved him that much more for awakening
this understanding within her heart.

tropical vista3

“I awoke to find you missing from our bed, my love,
and I thought something might be wrong. I see now
that you had an urge to watch the sun rise. I spotted you
here where the ocean kisses the land and my heart caught.
I watched as the brilliant morning rays reached across this
vast ocean to set your auburn crown ablaze with glory.
Woman, you are a rare beauty with a heart to match.
You amaze me every moment of everyday.
How blessed am I that God gifted us to one another?
This past year has been the most wondrous,
miraculous, exhilarating year of my life. I
do not know how it is possible but I feel even more love
for you now than I did when we exchanged vows.
How can one heart hold so much love without exploding?
My darling love, believe me when I tell you,
I did not know happiness and joy before you.
Once you agreed to become part of me
joining my heart and soul
I became the man God
had always intended.
My lips carried praise
as I planted each step toward you.
I praised God, in earnest, for your
willingness to become
my wife, friend, and lover.
Dearheart, you are everything in my life
that I did not realize I was missing.” he confessed to her.

Soft tears ran unabated down his cheeks. She kissed
them away permitting her own to blend with his.
Cupping his countenance, she journeyed to
his soul pouring herself into his loving eyes.
Bathing him with generous kisses,
she took pause upon his lips.
Barely touching the delicate skin,
she teased him with small kisses.

Capturing her love swollen lips with his own
he communicated his need for her. The
beach was empty and it would remain that way as it
was a private bungalow, which had been rented
for them by their families as a second honeymoon.

tropical vista

Another glorious week remained to enjoy this
paradise as they explored the apex of pleasure
offered by one another’s limitless generosity.
Her loving blue eyes drank him in as they
lay there spent and very content. His
adoring gaze met hers as she made lazy
circles with her fingers on his chest.
She laughed when he shivered knowing
her playfulness had caused it. Allowing her
hand to rest upon his heart,
she became entranced by the life
song it played.

“My Love, did you know that our hearts beat
52, 560,000 times throughout a single year?” She asked.
“No, no I can honestly say I did not know that.”
he replied lightly and gave a chuckle.
complete randomness into their
present circumstance.

“Yes, after I read that little morsel of truth I had to admit
that I was not surprised by the astronomical figure.
I know its true because before God brought you to me,
my heart broke a little more with every
beat causing pain and despair. “, she admitted.

“Now, each beat strengthens my heart
and heals my soul.
Its rhythm compliments yours
to create a heavenly melody,
which only we feel and hear.
This is our life song.
A love story that could only
have been given life when
we pledged ourselves to each other.
Strength and fortitude entwine
with love, compassion, and sacrifice becoming
impenetrable to all who would offer ill will.
Unbreakable to all who would dare threaten it.”

“Husband… my darling prince… my soul mate,
I thought it impossible to love you more
but with the steady thrum of our heartbeats,
each passing moment reveals a deeper
layer of love that few ever reach.

I love you, Husband, and I thank God…
and you
for the best year of my existence.
I can hardly contain my excitement
knowing there is so much more to our
story!” smiling mischievously,
she punctuated her statement with
a passionate kiss.

Winter Silence

Blue winter moon
Photo credit: Cold companion, ©2006 Retrieved March 1, 2015 on Google search.

Tina Blackledge

Life’s breath embraces
each crystalline fractal
as you exhale into the
moonlit winter night.

Unfathomable treasure
is revealed as pure rays
of light dance gently
upon the freshly
fallen snow.

Each work of
art takes flight upon
this cold night
Ever so gently it
takes its place of honor
among its brothers and sisters.
Each unique and beautiful
but all are one.

Only in the moonlit sky can
the full beauty of winter’s glory
be realized. The light illuminating
each reveals its splendor and perfect
form without causing it to fade.

The noise of humanity is muffled
enabling you to hear beyond
this moment hearing the
whispers of your soul.

A few wayward flakes fall
upon your cheeks and nose
causing a sensation
to rush through your body
as they kiss your warm flesh.
You shiver involuntarily
and thank God for this

This place is reverent as
the entirety of nature
recognizes the solemn
beauty they have been gifted.

A moment of perfection.
A glimpse into paradise.
A gift of splendor and awe to
be savored by all in utter and
complete silence, for God is here.

Your soul is aflame with His
presence allowing you
freedom from the cold.

Offering praise and thanksgiving
you crumple to the bed of snow
thanking Him for gifting you this
moment in time.

You marvel at all that is
occurring within this silent
winter night. Is it possible that
this is the first time your eyes
have seen, your ears have heard,
your mind has thought,
or your heart has felt?

Truly, It must be.
A silent winter’s night
is a gift and an opportunity
to meet your creator so
do not squander those
perfect slices of paradise
we are gifted.

Look, listen, feel to
have each revealed to
you and be filled with
awe, love, and wonder.