Stealing Lemons

Embracing this vulnerability I am carrying these last few days – and entertaining the anger stage of grief – I will keep in the Creative Corner side of my writing in this evening’s blog as I did with this afternoon’s post (visit it here: This evening’s selection was literally the production from an assignment accompanying my last attended PD (professional development) as a high school English teacher in a readers writers workshop, June of 2017. Sharing space with two of the most down-to-earth yet eccentric ladies, their feedback & encouragement truly brought this piece alive as we modeled various authors’ craft, style, & voice those two weeks. Pulling again from one of my first published poems in volume LIX of the Pulse magazine produced by the Department of English at Lamar University in the fall of 2011, I built this vignette around my free-verse poem with a slight edit to the original work.

A raw form of writing with vibrant language, I shed light on my personal stance on handling life in the manner others expect me to versus what comes naturally for me. Further, despite negativity or injury, I will overcome. I always do. Writing enables the victory.

My thoughts on lemons:

15 June 2017
Stealing Lemons
Danyale Word Antley

It is unfortunate for a writer to be snuffed out to the point they no longer write. It is similar to taking a weapon from a soldier. The catalyst for balance. Thoughts once promoted and protected. Defending the mind’s ability to release. Yet, when a forum is compromised, the speech must close. Silence. Inevitably so. A hacking if you will. Protection mode begins. The walls close down and barricade the secrets, unmovable.

Ironic. There is safety in writing. And, there is safety in not writing.


2011, ed 2017

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade they say.
What if I don’t want fucking lemonade?
What if, before I make up my mind, it takes several lemon possibilities?

Perhaps I want sweet tea with a squeeze of lemon, or better yet an LIT?
Maybe a lemon drop, in the form of candy, or a shot?
Or a zest of lemon for that sugar cookie drop?
I might even want to gather up several different types of meat,
Dip them in my special lemon-garlic-butter sauce,
Maybe squeeze a fresh cut lemon over some crispy calamari,
Mix it up for that perfect mix to dip my oyster on the half shell raw.

All these close-minded, smiling fools insisting on lemonade,
With their cookie-cutter lifestyles and endless town parades,
There must be a perfect balance of sugar to the sour,
Where they all take that special sip on the same fickle hour,
Frowning upon anyone who considers a different option,
Judging them and hiding all their horrid lemonade concoctions.

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade they say.
Well… I don’t want your fucking lemonade.

We must write. It is our breath.

Like a soda shaken up and left to sit… the chances are it will explode. We are full of bubbles, vigorously moving. Our thoughts… thirsty for a page.

We must write. It is our breath.

When you are a writer, you think you will savor every meaning layered in rhetorical devices covering pages upon pages of leather-bound journals housed in an etched, wooden chest (not any form of paper bound in any manner stacked in cardboard boxes, rubbermaids, shoved in night stands, at the bottom of your purse, in every pocket of your backpack, or drifting…). Your transgressions, aspirations, imaginations, realizations, and thoughts… Believing your words will inspire more works… You claim you write everyday.

The truth. It’s gonna hurt to admit.

You might be crippled by fear. Wrapping around your throat about to kill you fear. Someone opened your journal… Journals. You were mocked. You were laughed at. You were judged for your faults. Your dreams were squashed on, stomped on, shot at. (He was such an ass hole).

The adventures were erased. The reality spiraled. Your mind… Dark.

The journal… Journals?

You tore them to shreds. You threw them into the fire. Ashes… lifting up… up… up…

And, you stopped touching the page.

Then, someone hears your journals amidst oral discourse. You are inspired. Your sins, hopes, desires, acceptance, and vulnerable honesty fuel your unquenchable yearning to transcribe the story. (He is your everything & your tomorrow.)

Writers must write to maintain an internal balance as well as a personal pursuit of happiness (Thesis). An innate calling should not be ignored as denial wreaks havoc on the mood. There is a sense of foreboding in daily work, unfinished business lingering, clarity is in shambles, and people… people irk the hell outta you… they are the accused culprit in preventing the process: The release.

The time is approaching… Your life’s journal will become public information hidden behind characters, plot, setting, conflict, emotion, POV… nestled behind chapters, parts, epilogues, prologues, and title pages.

If I don’t write, what kind of hypocrite am I?

Almost 40… Life has been one helluva tumultuous, adrenaline filled, sensory explosive ride thus far. So… Writing. Whatever it is… It better be damn good. It’s time. 5-4-3-2-1, WRITE. For me. No one else. Pseudonym? No.

I will write brave from now on.

Here we are almost a year after this emotional piece, and I am putting it out there beyond a room full of educators. I may be mocked. I may be cheered. I may receive indifference. Regardless, the writing is my happy. To be a happy momma in a blending family, I have to do me, too.

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