Friday Fictioneers: Up From The Debris, We Rise (A Reminder, & Tribute To Maya Angelou)

Since I first read I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, as senior in high school, I have regularly turned to Maya Angelou for inspiration. This week, I have read this stunning poem more than once, may finally get it. Having laid myself bare on Huffington Post, on Election Day, only to feel more naked on Wednesday (made worse by taunts and hurtful comments on Twitter), this poem gives me hope today. It is a reminder, like this photo by Sandra Crook, that there is always color to be found.

Thank you to this supportive writing community for rising each week, to the 100-word challenge that Rochelle Wisoff-Fields throws down, and the beautiful positivity you spread. If you’d like to join us, check out her blog Addicted to Purple, for more details. As always, I appreciate honest, constructive feedback.


© Sandra Crook


Up From The Debris, We Rise

“But mama, everything is so gray; how can you smile?”

As they passed the burnt out buildings and stone debris, Julia held her daughter Audrey’s hand tighter.

“In winter, snow turns black with soot, but when it melts, the tulips still rise and spread their color.”

Her daughter still looked confused; she exhaled hopeless.

“Don’t believe that it’s over, my love. Hope is not gray; we can always find color. The sun is still in the sky; the flowers will return in the spring, and we must always rise.”

As they passed tumbled bricks, the child smiled.

(97 words)

Did you want to see me broken?  Bowed Head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, weakened by my soulful cries? …  I rise. 

If you’d like a real treat, and I mean inspiration, watch Ms. Angelou read her poem!


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About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
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42 Responses to Friday Fictioneers: Up From The Debris, We Rise (A Reminder, & Tribute To Maya Angelou)

  1. I honestly don’t know how to comment with the backlash and everyone’s opinion of what the outcome was on Tuesday.. but I don’t see why you would have been the recipient of taunts and mockery for what you wrote.

    On a good note, I will be checking out that reading from Maya. From summary it reminds me of the semi-autobiography book from Dorothy Allison – Bastard out of Carolina. It was banned at one point and school libraries but Stephen King and his wife backed the writer for her story !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ducky! I was mocked because there are assholes in the world, and despite the fact that I didn’t say a single derogatory word in that piece, they felt compelled to say things like “how you feelin about hope today? Idiot.” Way of the world. That said, I’m proud of that piece and this… and if you can read this poem and really FEEL it, you are golden. 😉


      • Strange world indeed. I think the moment I became cognizant of the ways of the news I began to shy away onto oblivion.

        And the little gears are clicking away in my head .. dare I say I did feel something indeed? Golden like pony boy , tis the dream since I was grade 5

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Never lose hope. This is the realm for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Dawn,

    You fought the good fight, I hope you can find some joy in that. Uplifting story that I found joy in. As for Ms. Angelou’s poem…it doesn’t get much better than that. 😀

    Shalom in the truest sense of the word,


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Iain Kelly says:

    Nice take, and I hope we can all find some colour in the world, even in the grey times.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dale says:

    I love this, Dawn. And, Maya is my ultimate, favourite I want to say Mentor (I also read a few of her books and am totally inspired by her) and bravo on your HP post. Truly a good read.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. neilmacdon says:

    A message of hope. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  7. HonieBriggs says:

    Rule # 1, always look up. }Hugs{
    Very nice story.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nahid Markosian says:

    Thank you, Dawn.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes, we will always rise. Perhaps a little bent and slightly frazzled around the edges, but we will. Sorry people reacted with taunts and mean words to your thoughts.)


  10. Pingback: Friday Fictioneers: Up From The Debris, We Rise (A Reminder, & Tribute To Maya Angelou) | ugiridharaprasad

  11. Sandra says:

    A message of hope. That’s in short supply right now, so thank you for issuing a gentle reminder. And congrats on Huffington, never mind the detractors. You rock!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank God for poetry and colorful hope. ( and for writers =you)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s true, the tulips will rise. Lovely sentiment.


  14. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    A touching story of optimism. I also read your HP piece and think it was a beautifully optimistic piece. There is nothing to be ridiculed in your story. Don’t let some simple minded rude people get your down. (That goes for the outcome of the vote as well.) Finally thank you for sharing Maya Angelou’s poem. It is stunning.


  15. gahlearner says:

    That’s such a beautiful and uplifting story. I’m so sorry you had to endure the hatred, but I applaud you for being brave and speaking up. This is what decent people need to do these days. Everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Nice metaphor and thanks for the poem. It helps.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Michael Wynn says:

    Uplifting story. It seems everyone’s looking for hope at the moment. Sorry to hear you came in for abuse but try to stay brave and continue to believe in what you value.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. liz young says:

    The mother has the right attitude, though at times it’s hard to emulate her. Well written, Dawn.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I think we need to find hope… they say that you didn’t have to be racist to vote for him that can’t be named, but you sure were willing to accept it, which to some extent is even more disturbing given that we know what such things can lead to…. still we have to have hope.

    Liked by 1 person


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