Poetry & Prose by Mark Cayou

From the Editor:

We recently did a cross-promotional post with a couple of sites, one was a writing site called TheProse.com, and the other was a publishing site called Publishizer.com. I highly recommend you read these two posts. That said, the purpose was, as always, to collaborate, to conjoin audiences, and to create more opportunities for readers, writers, and authors here at Two Drops of Ink. Mark came to us through TheProse.com. Please welcome him to the two drops family with some excellent poetry and prose. 

Scott 


Poems by Mark Cayou

Between the Drops

Cloak of peace,

Shroud of silence.

My mind hears

Only your whispers,

Quieting all turbulence.

 

Harbor of calm,

Cocoon of tranquillity.

My fears mind

Only your whispers,

Commanding all brilliance.

 

Anointed by angels,

Baptized by nature,

My mind fears

Only your whispers,

Remaining always.

-Mark Cayou


Breath of Life

At the end of breathing in

Just before the exhale,

Exists a tiny place-

A tiny place and time.

 

The time is peaceful.

The place is calm.

 

Hold upon that breath

And prolong the time,

Nurture the place.

 

Too soon I must return,

But can’t wait for the end

Of another breath.

-Mark Cayou


Prose: Childhood

By Mark Cayou

Nearing the end of third grade, my family moved to Suburbia, where we could walk, unmolested by the clown du jour, to every school we would need for the next decade.  Phones were connected to the walls, and the TV had about six channels.  We actually had to somehow move ourselves toward the beast and manually turn a knob in order to change the channel. Al Gore had yet to invent the world-wide web of societal destruction and accessing information was done through opening things called books.  Kids were raised by their parents – both of them – and the brand of our sneakers didn’t matter.  Schools did not offer free or reduced breakfasts, lunches, or summertime meals.  We were outside until dark or until someone was seriously hurt. Nobody had ADD, ADHD, or Dyslexia – or at least if we did it remained undiagnosed, and we worked around it. Sure, there was always that weird kid, and yeah, we picked on him, but I don’t recall him growing up to go on a shooting rampage.

Having grown up in a different time, in a different society with different values and expectations, and what seems like, quite frequently, in a different world, is it any wonder that I now feel out of step?  It seems that life had more permanence and stability when I was a kid. I have to wonder if my parents felt the same way. I miss my parents but am glad they are not here to bear witness to our sad new world.  Us older folks now look back on a much simpler time, not necessarily an easier time, but yes, simpler, and somehow more worthwhile.

We developed a work ethic that would serve us well for a lifetime. We learned how to communicate face to face and that our integrity and reputations should be carefully monitored. We were allowed to choose from enriching activities to fill our free time. We did our homework and suffered the consequences when we didn’t.

When did our solid foundation begin to crumble out from under us? When did people decide to ignore wedding vows and discard relationships at the first sign of conflict? When did adults with children (deliberate exclusion from the ranks of parents) start to expect a school to raise, feed, and sometimes clothe their spawn? When did it become so important for said spawn to spew their shameless selfies and insipid judgments of others across the globe? When was homework simply eliminated because students don’t have a conducive environment in which to do it? When did Mother Nature herself seem to be attempting to eradicate a vile and base element through destruction and death?

We can blame technology – in the form of internet, video games, camera phones, etc. ad nauseam, which I often do, for the decline of morals, motivation, and social skills. We can blame Wall Street and corporate greed for the economy and a growing global population for the decimation of natural resources and the strain on the education system. We can blame global warming for the abundance of violent weather events. Hell, we can casually flip blame for anything in any number of directions – that’s what we do. The fact remains, though – inescapable and undeniable – that people, singularly and collectively, are responsible for all that ails us.  And it is people, these same youngsters who can’t look us in the eye and shake hands, who can’t be afforded a permanent residence, who can’t afford to pay for a school lunch, who can’t be bothered to pry their face away from a screen long enough to engage in conversation, who we will look to for solutions to our litany of woes. Obviously, these poor little urchins are not being equipped to succeed.

Fortunately, balance graces most things in our universe; for every action, a reaction. For every sour, a sweet. For every darkness, a light. For every down, an up. For every kid who faces serious challenges on a daily basis – to just survive, let alone succeed – is a kid upon whom the fates have smiled. This is the kid who will strive for a better grade, a stronger relationship, a more tolerant community, and hopefully, a brighter fate – for all of us. I just hope, for my grandchildren’s sake, it won’t be too little, too late.


Author’s Bio:

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Mark Cayou is a new and unique voice in the literary world. As a retired high school English teacher, Mark knows his way around everything from essays to Shakespearean sonnets. Although remaining active in education at a local middle school, Mark now has the time to pursue his more creative passions. Mr. Cayou’s work can be found on prose.com under the pen name Dark. Mark lives in the high country of Colorado with his wife Rebecca and their English Bulldog, Peanut.


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S.W. Biddulph

Scott Biddulph is a published writer, author, and poet from North Georgia. He began writing as a youngster and followed his lifelong dream of reaching people through the written word when he returned to The University of North Georgia in 2013 to finish earning his BA/English with a concentration on publication and creative writing. His publications include the following: an eBook, Apples of Gold: A collection of inspirational short stories and poems (Smashwords, 2010) and a paperback, Voices from the Heart, (Createspace, 2012). His poetry is published in Papers and Publications Undergraduate Research Journal. Vol 3 (2014) and the award-winning Chestatee Review (Spring, 2015), among other places (Check his LinkedIn profile for a full list of his publications). He is currently working on publishing poetry, creative non-fiction, academic essays, and his memoir. Scott has also worked as an intern editor for the University of North Georgia Press. As a freelance editor, he has done the layout and design of several books and magazines. He is currently working with several authors on various publication projects in which he is either ghostwriting, editing manuscripts, or doing the layout and design. Scott continues working on his memoir Twisted Ride. He also maintains a Christian blog: A Disciple's Journey. Finally, and most importantly, he is a father, grandfather, husband, and dedicated Harley Davidson rider (with a huge beard). He and his family enjoy the beauty of the North Georgia Mountains where they live—especially their screened in back porch where they love to bird watch. - "I love realism. I love writing about the raw, down-to-Earth, heartfelt realities of life. I love to write in a way that reaches into the human soul. I love to take the greatest pains and struggles in life, and make them a blessing to others. Fantasy is a wonderful, interesting thing—but real life situations, feelings, fears, and dreams are an unexplored ocean of stories that need to be told." ~Scott Biddulph~

10 comments

  1. Mark,
    The Breath of Life…I know that place. 🙂 Well said. And your take on childhood is like a page from my diary of that time. Only then I didn’t have near the appreciation for it that I do now. Thanks for the time travel! And…welcome to Two Drops of Ink!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a wonderful place and I was just lucky enough to stumble onto it by chance…i am glad you appreciated the time travel. Very happy to be here.

      Like

  2. Mark, I enjoyed your in-depth perspective of a simpler time. You spoke of many truths at a level most do not care to engage in anymore. I enjoyed reading your work, both article and poems. It was very heartfelt. I hope to see more of your writing here on Two drops of ink. Thank you, John

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, Mark. Welcome to Two Drops of Ink. I’m like Mark Goodson, I enjoyed the poems and hope that you contribute more of them.

    I think we were neighbors in Suburbia. It’s difficult to write about those times, values, and differences without people labeling us “old school”.

    From your post, “Us older folks now look back on a much simpler time, not necessarily an easier time, but yes, simpler, and somehow more worthwhile.”

    With four grandchildren, I try to help their parents teach an appreciation for conversations, non-electronic times together, making good grades, which does require reading and homework, and taking responsibility for their choices of behaviors. Since their parents and I are all in long-term recovery, getting to a place where we reconnected to those values, and grew up, took us a little longer. We hope they learn in a gentle way what is important in life, and are thankful that they didn’t know us in our addictions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Marilyn, Thank you for the kind welcome! Your comments are spot on concerning ‘our’ children. I greatly appreciate that feedback. Not only were we neighbors in Suburbia, but I think we were neighbors on another writing site a few years ago…good to see you!

      Liked by 1 person

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