My world and Words

Roxana Nastase

Doubts and Beliefs: by Roxana Nastase


Inventing and telling stories has always been one of my favorite pastimes. I still can remember the cold winter evenings when we gathered around the fire in my grandparents’ house in the mountains and my grandfather invited me to tell a new story.

Later on, I started writing. It wasn’t something linear, mind you. There were days when I’d write for hours and days in a row when I couldn’t put my pen to paper. As you’ve guessed, there were no computers at that time, or, at least, not in households.

Writing comes easy to my nationals. Apparently, there is something in the atmosphere of the country, in its landscape or in our genes but more than one or two literary works are famous worldwide. Of course, I don’t hold a candle that my work would ever reach so far.

I dabbled a little in prose as a child and teenager, but my first love in writing was poetry. Alas, that first love died suddenly and smothered all thoughts about writing poetry further.

When I was twelve, one of my poems was awarded first prize. An awesome feat, you’d think, and it was. The competition was fierce. There was a downside though. That poem did not appear under my name and for a twelve-year child that was a terrible cold shower. My eyes open to harsh reality and remained open.

They say art and disappointment go well hand in hand. I learnt that early and that disappointment made me put aside writing any poetry for almost four decades.

About a year ago, always in July, if I remember correctly, Ken Allan Dronsfield encouraged me to write poetry again. I resisted. I had promised myself not to ever pen another poem, and, after all, I always keep my promises. Yet, he kept pushing, and the poem below emerged. Not something to write home about but as a first poem did quite nicely.

Just Me

Hanging upside down
From a tree branch,
Looking at the world
Through tinted glasses,
Waiting for unending tomorrows
Glittering with giddy reactions,
Coming to terms
With sarcastic conclusions,
Being me,
Uncompromisingly me.


I wrote a few more and almost all of them found a place in one of the two anthologies that feature my poems, right along with the poems of some great poets. I still wonder how my work was accepted but I learnt that some gifts are too precious to question.

Fluorescent Sin

Lips move slowly over warm skin
Fingers skim the edges of senses
Smooth words drive to sin
Hot breath lingers behind
Scorching kisses on the wake of assent
And feelings awake.

The Old Oak

I’ll always remember
The old oak at the edge of the garden
Contorted and battered,
Still standing, still breathing...
I touched it: so many prints on the bark…
I listened: so many sounds enclosed in the circles…
Three centuries of lives and deaths and rebirths…
Seen by an old oak.

Marriage

We’re together and apart, and that’s marriage.
We share moments of love and moments of hate,
Happiness and sorrow.
Our laughter and tears keep it together
And that bond is marriage.
We build and nurture or squash dreams
At the whim of a moment,
But we grow old together, unsuspectingly closer,
Unknowingly shaping a unit for eternity,
Forgetting though that it’s always marriage.

I still write a poem now and then when the mood strikes. Yet, I am deeply entrenched in writing prose and I think I’ll stick with that.

My novels might not make Hemingway proud – I doubt he’d ever read something like that, but I like creating characters and dialogues. Alas, my English keeps getting in the way and that’s something I’ll have to address soon enough.

I stopped submitting my work long time ago. After a very bad 7-year contract with a vanity press, I decided to self-publish and have control over everything.

I have published nine books already and I should launch three more in August. At least, that’s what I want. I don’t know if it will possible though. However, it will not be the end of my world as I know it. If it is not August, it will be September or October.

I think it is important not to give up and make the best of things. Optimism is the best feature one can have. It helps conquering mountains. I don’t doubt I will conquer mine one day.

Here’s a small sample from a novel that must be launched at the beginning of August:

The little beagle growled and pulled on the leash. She made old Maude jump ahead and almost fall on her face. The harsh move came as a surprise to Maude. She’d have never expected her beagle to do that.
Going out with Missy meant that she’d just drone along wrapped up in her own thoughts. The sedate stroll helped Maude order her ideas, make plans or think of something she’d read or seen on TV.
***
Her eyes widened with shock and the skin on her face tightened over her bones as the blood receded. The spiders that had been crawling on her back multiplied and their hairy legs left traces of fright in their wake. Her legs began to shake and she wondered for a split second if she’d be able to stand.

Now, the moon had just come out of the clouds and she had a clear view upon the hydrant. There, a severed human head basked in the light. The head had been hung to the hydrant.  

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