• Poetry

    seven times five

    As I approach the years
    We tend to hide from
    I commit to the honesty
    Of my wild beauty
    For how I am
    And not how they made it out to be

    For I degraded this temple
    Ostracized on a strange planet
    I forgot Her wealth of appreciation
    Naturally that all things
    As they are beautiful
    .HAMMER

    please find me on ig: @tiffanychammer or fb.com/groups/rockonwithtiffany

  • Poetry

    the house of whirlwinds and rainstorms

    here lies the house you dreamt up as you were reading folklore

    just like the girls growing up here, collecting daisies and trying to catch the sunlight

    as they competed for the dirtiest dress and the best kind of princesses

    that much preferred history pages and embers over glass slippers or true love’s kisses

    they were here first, before the rainstorms and the whirlwinds happened

    they were here first, wandering the halls pretending the glitter on their face was pixie dust

    and the freckles on their wrists were constellations

    they were here first, but they left the fairy lights for you

    they left the daisies carved in the front porch railings for you

    and the hollow tree behind the swing still cherishes their drawings

    just like the rose bushes still hold onto their lost hair ribbons and long forgotten tears

    the luscious garden a gorgeous kingdom just large enough for their secrets

    and for the stories they wish were in their books

    the story goes that the butterflies atop the driveway gate were the girls’ idea

    the story goes that the house wasn’t theirs, that they were travelers desperate for a home

    the story goes that they were sisters, not by blood but by stars

    the story goes that the ivy climbing the walls and windows of the mansion

    could no longer be tamed once their epilogue came to an end

    people say that once the girls learned there was no Neverland

    that the midnight hour was an actual monster, that losing your voice was not just fantasy,

    that poison did in fact come in sweet, that beauty could be cruel,

    that happily ever after was a fight rather than a given victory,

    it was as if a rainstorm broke loose and never stopped

    but maybe that wasn’t the girls’ fault

    maybe they were just the ghosts that predicted what was to come

    come inside the gate, walk the driveway

    the neighbors live a million little worlds away, telling their own stories of this place

    as they sip tea so sweet it makes you wonder what all the sugar in the world is meant to hide

    stories that are a thousand dimensions away from the actual truth, if such a thing even exists

    come now, ring the bell of the olive door as you are bewildered by primroses

    listen carefully to the sound of cats meowing and wings rustling

    that almost overshadows the soft tingling like wind bells that make your heart tingle

    come inside, enter the hallway with constellations decorating the mauve wallpapers

    rumor has it the female assassin woman who lived here painted them herself

    she turned the library into an armory and the parlor into a room filled with gowns and frocks

    after buying the house from the notorious roaring twenties socialite for whom it was a palace

    but oh well, that’s just the rumors

    let those mauve constellations catch your every heartstring

    as you stand on your tiptoes on the scarlet carpet studying the paintings of wonderland

    that are said to be drawn by the apocalyptionist couple living here after the murderess’ downfall

    come, proceed, the tour only lasts an hour

    take a look at the stunning vinyl player in rouge and lavender that will make you feel

    as if you are in a butterfly kaleidoscope

    some say it belonged to the notorious socialite

    some say it was stolen by the villainous woman who supposedly ate hearts she cut out of bodies

    others say it was the last gift the woman who always wore cardigans got from her boyfriend

    that night he admitted to cheating on her all summer long at her graduation party

    he stood on the front porch of this very house, naïve enough to still believe in a true love’s kiss

    that would patch it all up

    but word is she just took the vinyl player and shut the door in his face

    come, this house has a magnificent thirteen rooms

    in the color palette of a storybook

    close your eyes, don’t be shy

    inhale the scent of rosé-perfumed memories and freshly baked cinnamon rolls

    sweet tea greeted by epiphany sunlight and garden beets cooking

    Sunday afternoon candles and Monday evening cocktails

    take a close look at all the spice racks and recipe books in the kitchen

    you can see the sepia photos and love letters sticking out, half lost, half never meant to be found

    listen to the soft indie music playing on the rouge vinyl, take a look around

    at the tea leaves drying and the apple sauce stewing

    as you catch glimpses of a telescope and a typewriter on the back porch

    and remember the front porch with the fairy lights and jars filled with ocean rubble

    remember the rocking bench and the painting supplies

    the back porch was for the happy memories, but the front porch holds the scars of broken hearts

    the promise of a happy ending crumbling as the boy who risked it all left empty-handed

    the loneliness after a day full of people, as the notorious socialite was left alone

    the darkness of a woman so scorned she ferociously screamed into the void for an apocalypse

    the woman standing on the doorstep of her most infamous murder

    that same woman curling up on the porch steps clutching a blooded knife,

    hands shaking for the first time in her life

    oh well, that is just how the stories go, there’s no telling the truth really

    moving on, make your way to the drawing room

    where two cats sleep in blush armchairs, one tabby named Ella, one grey called Cinder

    from here, feel free to enter the breathtaking observatory

    where young papillons prepare to take flight as doves and bluebirds sing you a song

    and don’t forget the library, which holds every fairytale ever written, both cruel and pretty

    these too were left here for you by the two girls who started it all, savoring every single story

    run your finger along every history page ever forgotten, every dream ever conquered

    and realize that it was the woman called wicked by many collected them with her bare hands

    priding herself in bottling the starlight of a life envied by many, spinning twisted tales of her own

    remember to visit the attic, where you will find crescent moons and faded canvasses

    as the remains of a world ending while the earth kept on travelling around the sun just the same

    take a peek into every bedroom: they all have their own lipstick secrets and vintage myths

    just like the theatre where, as whispers say, the notorious socialite spent her final hours

    desperately trying to get lost in a world of sunken secrets much like her own

    do make sure to skip the gallery of ghost stories, though,

    for it will haunt you all the way to the manor’s other wing

    the tales of names buried, faces covered and blood shed for absolutely no reason at all

    will draw tears from your deepest cores

    and please, fiercely walk past the museum of open books in the south wing

    perhaps it was the cardigan girl, or the notorious socialite, or the vile assassin,

    but one of those women, you know, had a strange relationship with endings

    for she never could let go of what was long gone

    take your time walking the corridors

    and imagine, just imagine, the voices, the footsteps echoing, the rustling of dresses

    the silhouettes, the brushes of rosé-perfumed memories

    imagine the kingdom of ‘’what if’’ and ‘’if only’’ and ‘’could have been’’ inside these walls

    imagine the stories of moments, seconds behind the portraits gracing the staircase

    imagine that you can hear a rainstorm tearing this house apart

    imagine the windows shattering, the door break, imagine the roof collapse

    imagine the ivy, the willow trees, the rose branches desperately growing into all the rooms

    trying to protect the stories of their kingdom

    imagine the thunder in the attic, of all the times the world ended without ending

    imagine the lightning striking on the front porch

    every time the assassin woman’s knife ignited a fire in her own eyes

    imagine the kitchen, the parlor, the library and the observatory flooding

    taking away everything like all the women of this house once lost everything

    imagine an earthquake running through all the fairytale books and secret garden spots

    terrifying the fireflies and chasing away the young butterflies not yet ready to grow up

    just like those two girls with whom it all started, who had to grow up before their time

    imagine the whirlwind that tore illusions to pieces so many times

    imagine the hurricane picking up the pieces that could never make something whole again

    imagine the eclipse darkening everything like all the times the sun went down on the daylight

    imagine a sky full of stars coming down on the house to take back their constellations

    imagine a cyclone ripping the house apart,

    like all the words, minds, hearts and souls that were ripped apart here

    imagine secrets floating out onto the driveway and out the gate

    imagine truths flying out of burst windows into the garden and beyond

    imagine the dimension between true and false finding a way into the universe

    imagine the flood waves bringing along every brittle bit, every piece of paper

    and leaving it on the streets, like ashes ready for erosion

    imagine all the whirlwinds, tornadoes, thunders, rainstorms, earthquakes and hurricanes

    imagine all the floods, fires, lightnings and apocalypses breaking down this house’s every inch

    like the stories of those who lived here were broken down by each and every inch

    until every shout, every scream, every whisper, every word was silenced, hushed, muffled

    and left to folklore’s mercy

    they still haunt this house today

    the age of their era is never-ending

    so, as you take one last look over your shoulder before stepping out on that front porch again

    remember; this is the house you dreamt up

    while reading folklore

    but it could only ever be a home

    to ghosts and their stories

  • Non-Fiction,  Poetry

    Age Seven

    Seven years old.

    Naivety knew me well and insecurity held me tight.

    I was happy, I was innocent.

    I loved to play pretend in the trees

    And chase snakes in the grass.

    I had a mother and a father, 

    I had God and I had imagination.

    I had music in my ears.

    One by one those things, they left me.

    Goodbye daddy, goodbye Jesus.

    Goodbye childhood, goodbye love songs.

    All that was left was a fearful child,

    Alone.

    It happened in just one day.

    A sunny afternoon.

    Innocence taken. Age seven.

    There in the closet, no one to catch my streaming tears.

    No one to come and save me.

    No screams came from my mouth.

    My voice was gone.

    All the playing had come to an end.

    No more make-believe, no more barbies.

    No more pirates.

    Civility and anxiety were all that hugged me.

    No one else offered comfort or safety.

    So I clung to them with all my strength.

    The fields behind that house

    Grew tall with wheat and weeds.

    They soon became home,

    Where I could run to to be alone.

    I saved myself.

    I hit my peak.

  • Fiction

    you dream of some epiphany

    He couldn’t find him. He couldn’t sleep.

    When Judah hit the ground, his mouth opened instinctually. Earth, dew, wet mud. He bit his lip as he rolled deeper into the trench. In the distance he’d heard screams, gunfire, the pulsing stomp of so many feet. He heard him.

    “I’m coming with you,” Nathan had said. Judah’s jacket was too big on him, but he wore it like a second skin. The cuffs crawled down from where he’d rolled them up to his elbows, following his bad decision like baby ducklings.

    “Maybe you shouldn’t—“ he’d tried to argue, tried to be the responsible older sibling he knew he should be, but he couldn’t hide his smile well enough. He was tired of being alone. “Oh, she’ll hate me for this,” he laughed as he pulled his brother under his arm, ruffling his already messy hair.

    She’ll hate me for this. He couldn’t sleep.

    His sister jumped into the dip in the path. A five foot drop, a somersault, two grass-stained knees. “Don’t leave me here alone!” She called from where nature reclaimed her. They weren’t supposed to go this far into the woods without an adult. “Jude!” she yelled.

    “Gabby, I don’t know,” Judah hedged, but she turned away from him and began to climb over a tree root curved around the shape of a wheel.

    “I’m not going to wait for you,” her voice carried her body into the dark, like every warning story he’d ever ignored. He climbed down slowly, carefully, and hoped their parents were too busy with the others to notice they were gone.

    I’m not going to wait for you. He couldn’t sleep.

    The Fever took the money first. The money. The food. The light in their eyes, in their voice, in their last breaths. “You stay in school,” Gabby said, a baby on her hip, a new husband in her hand. “I can keep it steady. I can do it.”

    Nathan was eleven. He didn’t understand how bad things might get, but he could keep a secret. “Let me come with you!” he whispered in the night, but Judah made him promise to stay behind. He had an important duty. He’d tell her that Judah enlisted and show her the compensation figures.

    She wouldn’t get mad at him. Not for long. He was still a kid. “I’m older,” Judah told him. “It’s my job to look out for you.”

    It’s my job to look out for you. He couldn’t sleep.

    “I can’t wait to go home,” Nathan said the night before. Judah’s jacket is torn on the left sleeve, but it finally fits him. Nathan folds it into a pillow and settles down while the wind whips their daydreaming memories into sharp focus.

    Judah’s still there when it happens. In the woods, in the waiting room, in the window of the night he can’t take back. He’s at home and gone as the red seeps into the hand-me-down fabric, as it seeps out, as his brother—as Nathan bleeds out between his fingers. He urges him to say something.

    Nothing happens. Judah can’t find his words. His voice fails him.

    His voice fails him. He can’t sleep.

    He’s given an out. He can go home with the body or sign on for another mission. He doesn’t think twice about doubling down on the distance, signing away a future destined to be buried with his old coat. All he can pass down now is a sense of accomplishment, a vindication, the relief of providing.

    He won’t return without proving himself. Without honoring him, honoring her, honoring them. Something good, or at least worthwhile, will come from this. It has to. He’s sure of it.

    He can’t sleep.


    This piece was inspired by epiphany and a little bit of seven, both by Taylor Swift. It’s a character study of one of the main characters of my novel. I immediately thought of him the first time I heard this song and I can’t wait to listen to it on repeat as I return to revisions.

    I am @LilyMeade on most social networks, but most active on Twitter.