“I dreamt we walked together along the shore. We made satisfying small talk and laughed. This morning I found sand in my shoe and a seashell in my pocket. Was I only dreaming?” ~ Maya Angelou
Photography "I Bloom!" by #DMS
An artist with prohibitive aptitude and flair, one would dare say
Sixtyish, masculine, gregarious to some; with that intrinsic way
On occasion, there's the love for a pint or two
A compulsion or maybe for fun, who really knew
Perceived as provocative, thorny by few; misconstrued by all
He lives’ in mystic hues of gray to blue; sketche in a slow song
He walks a path compelled by one; that is the love for his dog.
Enters, her life in the most casual way; bearing a picture to her song.
Lenient and masculine, I must reveal,
his intensity laments; as sunspots collapse into voids of incandescent spears.
The tone of his voice, the stories and all, she craves the whole bit and more.
He’s important to her in a simple way, as a rose bud to the sun it adores.
She prays that dreams come true today,
and that time splashes elation, I’d say.
As life blesses us all each morning we rise,
The precious gift in breathing deeply and being alive,
and her spirit spans the vastness in his soul; a treacherous forbidden bog,
seeking in finality to love and be loved by he that crossed into her song.
Diana Mary Sharpton © 2015 all rights reserved
“Things keep happening all around you. There is violence, there is gore, there are people who will use you and never look back to see what became of you, and worse, there are people who will break you into smithereens before they leave to make sure they don’t have to look back to see what became of you.” ― Heema Shirvaikar, Uff Ye Emotions 2.
Mari ~Part III
As a victim of a brutal assault, at a very young age, I wanted to speak out about this type of violence, its complex dimensions and how one can try to survive the shattered aftermath with a normal life. My personal struggle has been to believe in myself (this being the most difficult task beset me and the other is to admit it happened to me), being a victim is not your fault or embarrassing and an open, honest conversation concerning your traumatic event helps you and possibly others move forward in life. Don’t get lost in the brutality or its aftershock, a traumatized life is worth saving and you are loved by God. For it is in his infinite wisdom that our journey develops, matures and finally ends. It is what makes us special.
This is the last part of a short story about a fictional character by the name of Mari (a typical young Hispanic teen) who experiences the violence and guilt of rape. In part II, Mari never admits to the violence of rape out loud or even to herself because she feels guilty and ashamed, until now, and this is typical.
I appreciate your continued support of my work and hope you have a blessed and safe day.
On the fateful day, Mari woke in a brilliant mood “I am going riding to where the two rivers meet; Oh God! I love this place” and off she runs to the kitchen to eat breakfast with the family. Soon she will be riding with the wind in hair. She was excited yet still had a worry in the back of her head about Elizeo, the overseer, so she makes a final attempt to persuade her father in assigning chaperon duties to someone else “Papa can Manuel ride with me today? Please Papa, I don’t trust this man Elizeo, he looks at me with eyes like a hawk. He scares me.”
Mari’s mother immediately joins the conversation and in a stern tone she says “Mira hija! You need to stop all this nonsense, listen to your father and do not create so much scandal over nothing” “Go or don’t go dear, don’t worry your father any further about this matter”. The conversation came to a heavy end, breakfast was finish and Mari quietly excused herself walking to the patio where her black gelding stood saddled and the crazy man, Elizeo, was also waiting.
Mari was seventeen and Papa had promised her a “coming out” party, in August. A little late but oh Mari was excited. She would wear this beautiful white dress she had tried on. It made her feel like a princes and was made of Chantilly lace. It was form fitting and looked stunning on her beautiful young body “Oh my goodness! Is this really me? I look and feel so beautiful” as she gazes at her reflection in the mirror; still thinking “This will be a party of a lifetime. There will be respectable boys invited that my Papa approves. I am so happy to be home and forgiven”.
See, Mari is in love with love. She wants to meet that special young man, Papa talks about at the dinner table “Mari you will marry a good strong man that will always love and protect you my sweetness and light”. So, she joyfully daydreams and gets on the gelding. “Let’s go!” looking towards Elizeo with suspicion and they start the ride to where the two rivers meet. It is a mountainous track, about an hour or two on horseback. Mari never once spoke a single word to Elizeo during the whole journey; they just rode quietly.
Elizeo was in his late forties at best. He had worked for Mari’s Papa as an overseer for many years but was grotesquely unhappy with his station. He had been struggling for years to keep food on the table and every year or so there was another mouth to feed. He had started to fantasize about Mari, she was pure and beautiful and there was that hatred he had for the Patron. “He has everything, wealth, power, land and this beautiful daughter” obsessive thoughts keep coming forth as they ride quietly side by side. “I wonder what she would taste like” no one will ever know. She would never speak about it because it would ruin her reputation. So, slowly Elizeo begins to devise a plan on how he would have sex with Mari. It was the right opportunity after all. “I need to be patient and catch her off guard; I will take this lazo with me and tie her up, Ja Ja little spoil bitch she deserves everything she gets” and his thoughts excite and arouse him in a manner that is unspeakable.
Once they arrived, Mari hurries to tie the black gelding up to a tree and runs off to the water’s edge. She takes off her shoes and slides into the cool knee deep water “This is just amazing! I have missed home so much”. As she sits on a large rock facing the river a little sadness comes over her. “I wish I had never kissed Ale... I wish I could change the past” Mari reflects quietly unaware that Elizeo had crept up behind her. Instinct kicks in, Mari turn to face the danger and Elizeo is standing right behind her. “What do you want? You need to go back where the horses are tied up” Mari exclaims in alarm and in seconds Elizeo wraps her with his lazo. He ties her arms as she screams for help. He takes out his knife and cuts off her clothing and cutting into her skin; Mari is out of her mind in fear and pain screaming at the top of her lungs “He is going to kill me! This crazy man, Oh God! Please help me”. Elizeo viciously rapes Mari stripping her of her virginity, dignity and life; shattering her innocence with a brutality that haunts her for years. Mari struggles against the ropes because if she doesn’t somehow get free she knew her life would be taken right there on that sandy beach where the two rivers meet. By the hand of God, the ropes loosen and to stop Mari from screaming, Elizeo fatally places his hand on her mouth. Mari bits into his hand with all the life left in her body giving her seconds, she kicks him in the face and gets up running towards the horse, mounts and rides at a gallop pace home.
Upon her arrival, brutally raped, assaulted and half-naked, the seventeen year old, Mari, found her father, standing before him in agony and shame, screamed “And this was someone you trusted, Papa!” and he fell to the ground in tears and disgrace never uttering a word to console her. Mari didn’t get to attend her “coming out” party; she was sent away in order to silence the scandal that ensued and she also didn’t get to fall in love, with that respectable young man like the one in her dreams. Elizeo, well, he was arrested and put in prison but the damage was done.
It takes a life time to realize that pain from violence placed upon you was not your fault. Some days you can endure better than others but for me it is in the joy of life’s beautiful things that I get through most of this darkness. I have never once thought life was not worth living; I just could never understand why I was given so many thorns. Remember one thing and that is you can never know a person’s journey, or make unwarranted judgments on who they are, what they have endured and the most unselfish act we can give to one another is love and understanding. Love heals all wounds. I dedicate this piece to all people that suffer from pain of one kind or another.
Peace and Love Always Diana Mary Sharpton
Diana Mary Sharpton © 2014 ~ All Rights Reserved
1.) Photography: http://timesofap.com/politics/additional-secretary-raped-a-woman-in-nainital-.html
“Tragedy in life normally comes with betrayal and compromise, and trading on your integrity and not having dignity in life. That's really where failure comes.” ~ Tom Cochrane
Mari ~Part II~
Mari had not spoken to anyone, now, for a couple of days, locked up in her room awaiting disposition to her sinful acts. She kept thinking “If I were dead, I wouldn’t have to awaken to this shame”. Her mind and heart kept battling moments of immense despair, not breathing, at time, as each wave of agony hit. She curled up in her bed praying for sleep that would not come.
Finally, her mother came into the room and sat at the edge of her bed, grabbing her hand said “My dear sweet child, your father has decided you will travel to the United States and live in a Catholic boarding school for your high school”.
Mari protested vehemently “Mama, I don’t want to leave my home please Mama, please forgive me, I will never do this again, I swear please let me talk to Papa!”.
Mari’s mother shook her head and simply said “Querida he does not want to speak or even look into your eyes right now”, “Pack your things, we are leaving on the morning train.”
The following day began fresh and splendid after an early morning tropical shower. Mari could smell the earth mixed with jasmine, an aroma familiar and adored, for which she cried about inside and after a two day journey Mari and her mother arrived at their final destination. Her room was like a prison cell, small, cold, tiled, no bath room (the bathroom was a communal down the hall), a single bed and dresser, nothing else and this was where she lived for the next three years, summer, winter, fall and spring. School and the tedium from the dorm mother, Sister Roach, helped cure the immediate pain of loss, but a hole had been created which would always be there. It was just less prominent as time went by.
One day Mari’s mother comes to visit. It was the beginning of summer and although there were no classes, Mari was involved in many activities. “Mama, I have missed you so much!”, “How are you? How is Papa?” Mari spoke in a quiet uncertain manner. She kept thinking “Mama what did Papa do with Ale?”; however knew very well this was not a conversation to have. Mari could not stop thinking about those days three years ago, it weighed deeply in her heart.
“Mari, I am here to take you home for a summer visit”, her mother quickly stated. “Pack your things; we leave on the evening train.”
The gloom instantly disappeared, as if someone had handed her a gift of life. Mari was happy again, she rushed about packing; they were letting her come home for the summer. She was a strikingly beautiful young woman now, fully developed and yes still a virgin. As she readied herself, she kept thinking quietly “I wonder what Papa will say to me, he has not spoken to me in three years.” In the back of her mind and deep in her heart, she was scared of being rejected again. The trip was long and tedious; however they both arrived safely home. There standing in the patio was Papa and Mari for the first time in three year began to cry openly, sobbing “Please forgive me Papa?”
He hugged her tightly stating “We have missed you my sweetness and welcome you home with open arms, there is nothing to forgive.” So, Mari made it home!
However, there were restrictions, placed on Mari by her father. A man by the name of Elizeo was hired to watch over her, at a distance, during those long summer days when she would go horseback riding or walking about. He would report back to the father every evening on the day’s actions and/or events that transpired something Mari never knew. Elizeo, a man of middle age, lived with deep anger and regret in his heart. He had five or six children, a wife of fifteen years with no passion left yet there were those needs. She would always reject his advances “Elizeo, every time we have sex, I get pregnant, I don’t want any more children, STOP!” He was frustrated beyond words and began to covet the beautiful Mari at a distance. Once, when she ventured to bath in the spring, he watched, as she took off her clothes. She was voluptuous and so ripe. Large pointed breasts, with long nipples, well defined buttock and he fantasized her taste on him over and over; relieving himself sexually, on occasion, as he maintained a close yet vigilant eye on his assignment. He kept thinking to himself “Well she has this reputation of being a slut at a young age, it serves her right, and I am doing what every man would do.”
Towards the end of July, Mari asked permission to ride by horseback to where the two rivers met, a good two hours away. Her father granted this permission with the caveat that Elizeo ride with her for protection. This was the first time Mari had ever met Elizeo and from first impression, something about him made her uneasy “This man frightens me!” The hair on the back of her neck stood on end and this time she was going to speak-up. Taking her father aside she said in a quiet tone “Papa this man frightens me, can you assign someone else to the duty please”.
“No mi hija, I have full confidence that he is a man of good character, go have fun and be safe, my sweetness.” Mari set aside her protective instinct for the desire to see the river and at the break of dawn; they rode off towards the intended destination.
Several hours later, they arrived. Mari dismounted her horse, tied him up to a tree branch and roamed off, alone towards the river bank. She took a spot on a large rock alongside the river, placing her feet into the cool water below, thinking “this is heaven on earth”. Distracted by pleasure, Mari suddenly realized that Elizeo had quietly crept up behind her and as she turned to face him, instinctively alarmed at his close proximity, she became frightened and distressed. Elizeo quickly placed a choke hold around her neck, dragging her to the ground. Her mind started screaming, heart beats raced and her only conceivable thought was “This guy is going to kill me!” He was older, stronger and began brutally dragging Mari to a sandy beach area, tearing clothing as he drug her along, choking her, where at times she could not breathe and blanked out. Mari kicked and screamed violently, she wanted to live and almost by the grace of God, Elizeo makes a fatal mistake, placing his hand over her mouth in an effort to shut up the screaming, Mari opened her mouth, sinking her teeth deep into his hand tissue, quickly drawing blood and pain. In agony, Elizeo loosened his grip, Mari automatically thought to herself “Now fight and run or die”. She kicked him in the face, knocking him down to the ground. Free, Mari, got up and started running towards her horse, second later she is on her way home. Her mind was completely blank all that mattered was getting home.
Upon her arrival, brutally assaulted and half-naked, the seventeen year old, Mari, found her father, standing before him in agony and shame, screamed “And this was someone you trusted, Papa!”
Diana Mary Sharpton © 2014 ~ All Rights Reserved
1.) Photography: http://www.kirsisalonen.com/html_kuvat/2010/lady_godiva.html
“While analogies are useful, however, they can also be misleading. They smuggle in assumptions that can be wrong.” ~ Michael Mandelbaum
On a Personal note:
Victims of violence typically feel it is their fault and are full of shame. This impediment can last a lifetime. I want to thank my son for taking my hand, pulling me up from the floor and walking with me until I could walk on my own. This is love!
Mari ~Part I~
A discolored trickle of water ran down her leg, oblivious she continued bathing in this natural spring surrounded by bamboo and ferns. It was a favorite place secluded from the world and she loved the feeling of deliciously cool water against the nakedness of her maturing body; puberty was secretly taking control.
Her mind was intent and in a slight hurry, full of fantasies of a young preteen. Yet, the minnows kept biting fiercely at her legs, distracting her thoughts. It wasn’t the normal nibble. She reached into the water to scare the tiny fish away a couple of times, to no avail. “What’s wrong with these fish, today?” thinking to herself, leaving the warmth of her fantasies for a second or two to deal with the agitation. Frustrated and in a hurry, she leaves the pool and commences to put on her clothing and notices, her underwear stained in blood.
Oh My God! Her mind starts to scream, silently, heart pounding, blood is pumping rapidly and the temperature in her body began to climb rapidly “What is wrong with me?” Instantly, feeling guilty, frighten and dizzy all at once, she decided this was NOT information she could share with anyone. “It will go away!” thoughts bounced in comforting waves to a mind that had quickly sped out of control. In all this commotion, not once did the Marcella notice the young man, hidden in the brush, quietly watching her. Was he a predator or potential suitor?
Ale (nickname for Alejandro) had secretly watched her for some time, now. She always showed up in the early morning as the sun began to rise. He was intoxicated with the sight of this beautiful young girl with breasts emerging in natural points entering a spring layered in steam. He wanted to touch and caress her breasts. His body ached in pain with this yearning. He would fantasize, for hours, how they might feel, in his hands and her skin was a creamy olive tone, something he had never experienced before which added to his heightening allure. “How will I approach her?” “Can I approach her?” thoughts raced through his mind; however there was the small fact that he was much older than Mari (nickname for Marcella), probably by six years. There was a life time between his experience and her innocence in addition to a powerful father that owned everything in sight.
Mari, absorbed in realization that life as she knew it was changing, she ran on to the house leaving Ale in the brushes. Full of worry, she decided not to tell her mother. After all “Everything would change!” she thought to herself. She had heard her dad comment on various occasions, during suppertime, that she would have to have a chaperone when she became of age. “What did this mean, good grief what am I going to do?” She didn’t want her life to change; she wanted freedom to roam the countryside on her horse. So she kept silent and as days passed, the menses seemed to go away. To Mari, who was not aware of facts concerning her maturing body, this gave her instant relief and soon she was back to normal, and decided to bath again in her secret place.
The minnows were behaving this time and leaving her legs alone but she sensed danger. Her father had taught her this sixth sense, a critical aspect and awareness in dangerous surroundings such as these. So she quietly listened, to the light breeze, rustling bamboo leaves and a constant hum from running water, analyzing each sound carefully, nothing. Mari was a patient young woman and waited for a long time, listening, not moving, after about ten minutes she began to relaxed and enjoy the bath; however vigilant at the same time. Suddenly there was a “Crack”, a twig snapped, by force! She became freighted, heart rate spiked, this sound was not natural, she had to get out of there and fast. Quickly dressing, she runs up the path towards the house. She looked back a couple of times but nothing. The whole incident left her shaken and out of balance.
Ale was angry with himself for not being more careful with his footing and kept thinking “See this is what happens when you don’t stick to the plan!” Ale wanted to seduce Mari, she was a virgin, a budding innocent flower that he had to possess and touch. He also realized that she would not come back to the bath anytime soon. He was going to have to approach her in a different setting. So, he would watch her in silence as she went through her day. Up at seven a.m. for an early morning ride, nowhere in particular it seemed, she just loved to gallop across the country side. In the afternoons, she would take her pet goats out to the pasture, sitting and watching them graze. So on that day, Ale decided to walk up to her and ask her about her goats. “Good morning Mari, my name is Alejandro and I noticed your fine goats” “Would you be interested in selling the reddish one?
Slightly startled and leery, Mari received the stranger in a polite, yet contrite manner. “Nice to meet you, Alejandro, but these goats are my pets and are not for sale”.
Ale immediately saw an opportunity and asked “May I sit with you for a little while and talk?” Mari never had been approached by a young man’s attention. Something was happening, it’s like her body’s temperature started to rise, her head was pounding, and she could feel the importance of being cautious slowly waning from her mind.
Mari wanted to talk to him too and said “Sure”. They spoke for hours and he maintained a respectful distance by late afternoon.
When it was time for her to leave he said “May I see you again?”
Mari was intrigued and said “Yes”. These interludes went on for a week or so, as Ale slowly seduced Mari, first he brushed up on her and excused himself as they sat, closer and closer to each other, touching her hands, hair and arms. Mari, unknowing would explode in emotional desire with each contact. Feelings that were exhilarating and new, she wanted more of whatever Ale was trying to do! She started looking forward to those afternoon encounters, sneaking away as much as possible just to talk to him. Finally, Ale got the courage and kissed Mari. A first kiss for her, emotions provoked that would be recalled over and over in infinite detail for the rest of her life. Mari was completely seduced; however her mother started becoming alarmed with her daughter’s erratic behavior.
Missing for hours at a time, her mother decided to call her aside and asked “What is going on with you, where have you been, Mari?”
“Nothing, Mama, I am fine, really”, “No Mari! Tell me the truth, now!” and so she did, everything from the arrival of her menses to the adventures with Ale. She told the truth and faced the consequences of her actions. Her mother in a high-pitched voice filled in pain and disappointment asked her "Mari, my dear sweet angel, did this man touch your private area?" “You must tell the truth because he had no right!”
Mari could no longer speak; it was the beginning of the end of a way of life as she knew it! Her father would be told and the pain of his letdown was devastating to young Mari. He was furious with this news; ordering a doctor to check her body in a personal and intrusive manner to ensure her hymen remained intact. Then she was ripped from her home, like a criminal, a shun to society and sent away to boarding school, the goats and horse were sold off and Ale, well he was lucky he didn’t shot or serve time!
Diana Mary Sharpton © 2015 ~ All Rights Reserved
1. Photography: http://thisgirlhasissues.deviantart.com/art/Teenage-Girl-Swimsuit-Stock-355877563
Diana Mary Sharpton
Diana Mary Sharpton
“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”