6.30.2011

the pause that refreshes

languid
spent & swollen
all done with this today
you are a tall glass of water
i'll drink.

6.29.2011

how our garden grows

ah love, we know not what tomorrow brings
as children's laughter lifts upon the air
what minor chord inside our sorrow sings
a song of love combined with dark despair

as visions wrap around your heart like vines
embrace me as you have for years on end
the darkness will recede again in time
leaving us tender shoots that we will tend

come dance with me around this fairy tale
like shadows dancing round our mountain's moon
when her light shines we'll set our course & sail
across the skies like birds in flight, & soon

we'll be lit up! all somber darkness done
wild blossoms basking in forever sun.

6.28.2011

the rivers of my memory

This is part three. Please read watching the river go by (part one) and angry wasps & juicy plums (part two).

Am I sure this is right?

Presumptuous man, Frank, always has been. Of course I'm sure.
Marie pulled her hair back off her shoulders and swatted away another mosquito. Man alive, it's hot for this time of night. All I wanted was to tell him about my plans. She shifted back on the swing and closed her eyes, slowly pumping the swing. Certain that Frank was sneaking a peek at her, sitting there the way God made her, she kept her eyes closed and willed her muscles to go quiet.

"And so, Aunt Marie, we've talked about it at length, and we think that Rolling Fields is the right choice for you now. You'll be more independent there, you'll have more interaction, friends, even!" Marie was silent, looking away. Her grand-niece Serena strode into the room, monkeying with her Walkman. Oh that's not a Walkman, that's an iPod. Sheesh, I know that.

Truly curious as the fourteen-year-old plopped down next to her on the loveseat, Marie asked, "What are you listening to, Serena?" The girl did not look up until Marie tapped her arm and said it again. "Serena, whatcha listening to?" Serena smiled and started to answer, "It's--"

"Aunt Marie? I'm talking you here! This is important." Marie continued to turn away from her niece as Serena continued, "It's The Killers." Her eyes flashed under long magenta bangs. "Really, The Killers?" Marie asked, without a hint of judgment. "Yeah, they're prolly my favorite right now, they're great." Serena leaned closer and stage-whispered, "Hey, do you want to hear? This is my favorite song of theirs, it's called Somebody Told Me."

"Sure," said Marie, accepting the earbuds; loud synthesizers and guitars flooded her ears and she looked directly at Serena, mouth slightly open, head nodding in time. I like this, it reminds me of something. Yeah, that keyboard sound. "I like it," she proclaimed as Serena grinned at her. "Maybe you could make me a CD of their music sometime. I'd like to listen more."

"Sure." Serena abruptly stood and stomped into the kitchen. "Mom, can I buy some new songs off of iTunes?" Her mother ignored the question and said again, "Aunt Marie? Can we please discuss this?" These kids sure have it easier than we did, they just push a button and their music is right there, in their ears. Imagine what that would have been like.

Frank and Marie were out on his porch, a Sunday night in 1971 like clockwork for the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, hoping to catch John Hartford on the small black and white television on full volume in the den, window open wide so they could hear but still feel the breeze off the river. Marie sat and rocked until she heard it. John Hartford's banjo.

His version is so much better than Glen Campbell's, so much realer, so much less produced, ah but good for John Hartford with all those royalties keeping him afloat for so long. Marie's eyes were still closed, waiting for the vocal. So he could spend his time playing real music and steam-boating down rivers like this one. She gazed out over the Ohio as the voice lilted out to the porch:
"It's knowing that your door is always open and your path is free to walk/that makes me tend to leave my sleeping bag rolled up and stashed behind your couch/And it's knowing I'm not shackled by forgotten words and bonds and the ink stains that have dried upon some line/That keeps you in the back roads by the rivers of my memory, that keeps you ever gentle on my mind..."
Keeping me in the back roads of your memory? Knowing the door is always open and you can walk up my path? Marie startled at the lyrics of a song she must have heard a thousand times before. She sat up, blinked her eyes open, pushed away the memory, fervently looked around. Where was Frank? Leaning forward to peer through the den window, she glimpsed his backside shuffling into the kitchen. She pulled her robe a bit closer, hugged herself against a sudden chill.

Forever gentle on my mind? What did Frank just say to me?

My Indie Ink writing challenge prompt this week was from Alison at Pretty Girls Don't Eat: "These kids have it easier than I did."

I challenged Jules at Michon Michon: "Wet leaves, black beans, gasping for air." Read her response here.

gentle on my mind

6.27.2011

angelus

A beautiful poem by my grandmother. I didn't appreciate this one for some time, but now it seems just perfect. Funny how that happens.
God, if a God is there beyond the sunset,
Bid me believe that you are kind and true--
Tell me to think that evils round about us
Came into life because of us, not You.

Teach me to know the glory of Your sunset
Means something more than just a perfect day--
Help me to see that now Your day is over
Sorrows are ending, cares will fade away,

Just as the colors of Your radiant sunset
Fade into nothing in the western sky.
Oh, teach me God, to know Your mighty purpose,
Tell me that You are there for such as I.

6.25.2011

to infinity & beyond

i thought i had soared
before, but now i really
know about flying.

injured

Teensy itch
starts to crawl,
festering within,
mad scratching,
seething skin,
flames lick the surface.
I scratch, pick, tear at the itch,
rip it out. That hurts.

6.22.2011

angry wasps & juicy plums

This is part two. The story begins here: watching the river go by

"Marie. Are you sure this is right?"

"Oh Frank, of course I'm sure. What would keep me here anyway?"

What would keep her here anyway? Frank sighed and reached for his iced tea, idly noting the ice cubes clinking against the heavy glass tumbler and staring off into space. The ice and the glass measured time with the breeze against the torn chunk of the aging canvas porch awning. Clink flap flap, clink flap. I gotta get that thing fixed, he reminded himself, as he did each time he sat out here.

He put his feet up on the porch railing and focused for a moment on the lamppost across the river, the one that illuminated the little park area with the grills and the gazebo. The lamp flickered off and on again in a regular pattern that he knew by heart, off for about two minutes, on for four, off for two, on for four. Maybe one day the DPW guys would come by and fix it, but he hoped it wasn't any time soon. He liked how the light marked the moments as they passed. Marie slowly rocked the porch swing, her eyes closed.

As the lamp flickered on, Frank allowed himself to steal a glance at her there in her swing. She sat erect as she always did, her chin slightly raised, appearing alert and far from dozing. Her hands sat lightly in her lap, palms facing up. Her feet grazed the floor and her legs pumped just slightly, enough to move the swing about a foot in either direction. Her mane, more salt than pepper these days, cascaded across her shoulders and ended in curls just above her breasts. Just at her nipples, really, he noted tonight, her hair has grown a tetch, I wonder if that tickles?

Frank shifted a bit as he felt that last thought in his gut, ah, better change the subject, old man, you're sitting here buck naked with your oldest lady friend, she might not appreciate the appreciation. He shifted his gaze back over to the park and a movement at the gazebo. A couple stood there, close together; a woman looking out over the river with her hands on the railing, her man directly behind her with his hands around her waist.

"Would you like another bite, Frank? These are so good, aren't they?" She held the dripping red plum to his mouth and he slurped a bite. "So ripe. Where's that stack of napkins?" Marie handed him the plum and rummaged through her bag. The wind off the river blew her hair into her eyes; without thinking, he reached and tucked a strand behind her ear. She started, a tiny jump.
"Marie? Come over here, Marie." Delicious and juicy they were, but the plums were no contest for his want of Marie. "Come. Sit with me." She dropped the bag and met his gaze, her hazel eyes dancing. He patted his lap and beckoned her. She sat on the bench. He patted again. Standing and taking a step so she stood directly before him, Marie hesitated.

"Frank. What are we doing here, Frank? You want me in your lap, really?"

"Yes, really, Marie. Come sit with me."

She lowered herself to his lap and he held her there, one hand lightly around her waist and the other resting just above her knee. She looked at her hands for a long moment, then raised her chin high and looked directly at him. Now that she was here, he scrambled for what to do next. He just looked, searching her eyes.

"Marie, I..."

"Aw, ants!" Marie jumped up, knocking the half-eaten plum onto the gazebo floor. "What a shame, Frank, those delicious plums!" She set about shooing ants from their plates as Frank stood and brushed off his trousers. Frank, you bastard, you missed your chance. 

He pulled himself from the memory reluctantly, taking another sip of his tea. "Marie, can I get you anything? You comfortable there or you want some more tea?"
 
"I'm good, Frank, I'm just fine."

"Well, I'm going in for just a moment, Marie. Gotta use the gent's and I'll bring us out some tea, just in case you want some." He rose slowly from the chair, bare thighs resisting, preferring to be stuck to the wicker with sweat and heat. Pulling his robe on loosely, he swung open the screen door and stepped inside, glancing back at Marie, who still sat with her eyes closed.

She looks so peaceful tonight. Even though she slammed me with some big news for sure. Frank walked slowly through his den, headed for the kitchen, head in his thoughts. What can I say, can I say anything? What can I say to her? He stopped at his desk out of habit, looking past his old Underwood and searching his desk for what? He forgot what he had stopped here for. Dammit, Frank. His eyes landed on the box, there in its spot next to the vertical files, and his heart skipped a beat.

The delicate box, hand-carved in cherry with malachite inlay. He had chipped and carved it himself, setting the stone in channels and leaves, vines and greenery to wrap her up in, for her to get lost in, with him. He meant it for her forty-fifth birthday, how many years ago? And here it was, on his desk, ungiven, imploring him to open it. He pulled it out, blew off a fine layer of dust, and opened the hinged lid.

His own reflection startled him, staring back from the underside, lapis flowers framing his surprised expression in the mirror. The contents of the box were familiar: a postcard from his trip to San Francisco inscribed "be sure to wear some flowers in your hair" on top of several envelopes containing letters he could likely recite by heart and had never sent. A tattered copy of the Yeats poem he loved, a pressed moonflower in wax paper. As he lifted the stack, a crisp and dead bug tumbled to the bottom of the box. He looked closer. A wasp, what the? Ohhh.

"Hey Frank? Think you could gimme a hand here for a sec?" She fairly bellowed at him through his kitchen window. Placing the plate in the drainer and drying his hands on the checkered dishtowel, he grunted. "Coming, Marie, gimme just a minute here."

Down the back porch steps and around the corner, he stammered when he saw her. "Ah, Marie, what are you doing up on that ladder? C'mon down, you're too high there with no support."

"Damn wasps, Frank. I'll get 'em. Just hold the ladder for me, I'm a little shaky."

"Marie, please. Come down and let me take care of that for you."

"Honestly, Frank, you think I can't take care of these bastards on my own? I can do it, Frank, I don't need your brute manly strength, you know. Just hold the damn ladder for me, I need to go a bit higher."

"Oh, Marie, for crying out loud." He strode to the ladder and secured the base with his foot. Grasping with both hands, he looked up. "Marie, you..." Frank swallowed hard. There she was, several feet above him, swinging a yardstick and wielding a can of Raid. Holding that ladder with strong bare legs that traveled all the way up to her peach of an ass, hugged by lavender panties, her floral skirt swaying. He felt weak. Hang onto yourself, Frank, hang on. That's Marie's ass, nothing more, nothing less, look away, Frank! For crying out loud. He looked down. "All set, Marie?"

"Dammit! Ah, damn wasps!" Marie cried as her last strike and spray provoked the fury of an angry half-dozen evicted wasps. "Damn!" She faltered on the rungs as she quickly descended. About four feet from the ground, she jumped, tripping over Frank's feet and whirling dangerously close to the porch edge. "Damn wasp got me."

"You okay, Marie? Here, gimme that," Frank barked as retrieved the can of Raid from the bleeding hearts, where it had landed. He sprayed with abandon. "That should do it. Are you okay, Marie?" His heart was thumping under his t-shirt.

"Aw, Frank, it stung me. It hurts." She held up her arm for his inspection. He took her arm without thinking, raising it to his mouth. He brushed the raised heat of her forearm with his lips. She winced and then stared at him as she broke out in gooseflesh. He pressed his lips harder to her skin, finally sucking hard as though to draw the poison out of her. "Frank?" she choked and tears sprang to her eyes.

He dropped her arm quickly; she bowed her head, her hair hiding her eyes. "Thanks. Thanks for the help, Frank." She scurried to her back door and disappeared as fire licked his insides.
That fire was so familiar, he could feel it now, smoldering deep in his abdomen like bright embers cradling tunka stones. Or was that his bladder? Dammit, Frank, you have to pee, get with the program here. He blinked it back and stumbled to the bathroom, stopping by the fridge after for the pitcher of iced tea.

Marie jumped at the slam of the screen door, her eyes calming as she took in Frank's bathrobed silhouette. He poured the tea and handed her the glass. Holding tight as she grasped it he looked her directly in the eye for the first time in who knows how long. Frank you gotta say something, it's now or never, man.

"Hey, Marie. Marie? I want to keep you here, Marie. Stay here. I'll be why you stay."

I forgot to sign up for the Indie Ink Writing Challenge for this week, but after much whining, my lovely friends provided me with three delicious prompts for this story: Lasidaisical gave me "staring out into space..." and my Sunshine directed me to write about ants at a picnic. And lovely Grace O'Malley said "Ripe red plums, angry wasps, love letters in a wooden box, at least 500 words, and I believe in you." Aw.

6.21.2011

foggy

drowsed up in your
hand on my breast
you stir me around

as your morning breath
meets my coffee breath
it all dissipates.

6.20.2011

lemonade

gonna sing along loud
pick fresh vegetables
find new shiny things
lie still in the dark
write down every word
creating distractions
til this is all over.

the big time, baby

A lovely friend and reader of this blog just had a baby, congratulations mama!! She wrote to inform me that at the Catholic hospital somewhere in Michigan where she and baby are getting to know one another, her access to the runaway sentence is blocked because of inappropriate content.

Inappropriate content! Jesus christ on a bike, people! I am all pleased and feel like I've really hit the big time up in here. Let's celebrate! Let me think, what kinds of inappropriate celebratory activities can we come up with? Hmmmmmm.

6.17.2011

confession

drawn to sweet drama
like a bear to wild honey
save me from myself.

the nearer your destination

time slides
into a pool
plastic balls
of every color
frolics madly
screams & spins
then passes out
on the sidelines
naps & dreaming
of ocean waves
wakes in a start
tasting of salt
pours cool water
in a tall glass
drinks it down
& slides again.

6.16.2011

dizzy surf

at the edge
exalted
i wade in
farther
& farther still
till the waves
knock me over.

6.15.2011

your morning kitchen

Crossing time
and mountains
kissing your apple
cheeks coffee
steam twining
through our tangled hair
yukata leaves your shoulders
let me look at you.

banner week

It's a good week! Not only has the runaway sentence been named Blog of the Week at Poets United, but one of my poems has been published for the first time over at Indie Ink today. Please go, and read, and comment, and browse.

I wonder if this means I can call myself a published poet? And it's only Wednesday. What else can we do this week?

6.14.2011

watching the river go by

He answered the phone on the sixth ring. "Hello."

"Ah, Frank, it's Marie. Hey Frank?"

"Yes, Marie. Beastly night we got here, don't we?"

"Yes, Frank. It's just sweltering out there. But still, I have something to ask you. Frank?"

He paused before responding. What could be going on next door tonight? "Yes, Marie?"

"Frank, I'd like you to meet me on the porch tonight. I know it's hot and sweaty out there, but Frank, please meet me anyway. There's something I want to talk with you about." She clicked off the line before he had a chance to object or ask a thing. Well, then, of course he'd meet her.

He washed the dishes, took the garbage out to the curb, watered his three indoor plants: the old aloe, the jade attempting to escape from its pot (noting again that he must transplant her soon), and the wayward tubular begonia. "Here Sugar, tsch tsch... here, Tunie, tsch," he called and the felines dutifully meowed in sync, sitting pretty in front of the dishwasher. "Tsch, my good girls," he said as he presented them with their Fancy Feast and fresh water.

What on earth could Marie be wanting to talk about? It was unlike her, unlike either of them, to ever consider sitting out on the porch on a hot summer night like tonight. That was strictly a spring and fall activity. Must be something big. What on earth?

Fourteen household tasks and an episode of Frasier later, he slipped a bottle of Deep Woods Off into his robe pocket. Bet we'll be needing this on a night like tonight. It was quite nearly ten as he gently clicked the screen door and eased down into the worn cushion of his wicker chair. Not more than two minutes later, Marie's flip-flops characteristically smacked against each wooden stair as she alighted. In one hand she held a citronella candle as the other kept her bathrobe closed.

He watched her walk to her end of the porch, placing the candle on the table between them as she passed, then slipping off her flip-flops and dropping her robe, as he had watched her dozens, maybe hundreds of times before. Once she had settled in her swing, he stood and removed his own robe, folding it neatly across the arm of the vacant wicker chair.

They sat, the breeze tickling their naked bodies, watching the fireflies above the front lawn and the steamboat lights below listlessly drifting on the Ohio River, for quite near fifteen minutes. The damn hound down the road started its howling till a loud slam shut him up. Then he spoke. "Damn mosquitoes. Blood-sucking parasites. Out in legion tonight. Dammit, Marie, what are we doing out here tonight? They are gonna eat us alive."

"Oh, Frank, don't I know it. This is important, though. Here. You better spray some extra, Frank."

"Got it here, ah!" he replied as he slapped a mosquito on his thigh, waiting for that metallic smell, the telltale sign that the damn thing had done its job. "What's going on, Marie?"

She sat back, pushing gently in the swing, taking in the cloud drifting wistfully across the full moon. "Frank, I felt you should know that I'm planning to sell the house. That you have a right to know. You know."

He took in an audible breath and held it. What? She's selling the house? What? "What do you mean, Marie? What do you mean, selling the house? Why would you do that?"

"Frank, you remember my niece Sharon? From down in Zanesville?" He nodded yes, he remembered. "Well, Sharon's been talking to me about the house. Thinks I'd be better off not being all by myself in such a big old house. Says I should consider selling it and moving into Rolling Fields."

He guffawed. "Rolling Fields! Marie! You aren't serious. That's no place for you." What on earth is she thinking and why on earth would she leave her home, the river, this porch, me, ah me, why would she leave me, and this?

"Frank, you know as well as I do that I'm no spring chicken. That house gets bigger every year. What with the mowing and shoveling, the heating and cooling, you know that's all pricey, Frank. It goes up every year. I'm on a fixed income, you know. Aw, Frank, I hate the thought of leaving my house, I hate it. But I think I should face facts. Don't you think so?"

He did not respond, could not respond. Don't you think so? Face facts. He watched the steamboat slowly amble. He slapped another mosquito. He breathed in the aroma of citronella and Deep Woods Off. Is this really the end? It can't be the end. What will happen to her if she sells the house? Ah, dammit, what will happen to me?

He allowed his mind to wander as the breeze raised the hair on his arms and everywhere else. For how many years have we been doing this? When was the first time, back in '74, oh yeah, of course. So much younger we were then. She came over that night, we shared some iced tea on a perfect September evening, I had just gone back to school and her shift was over. It was well past dark and now, huh, who started it? I just know we both were sitting there buck naked enjoying the breeze in five minutes flat.

Oh I bet she thinks I pay no attention to her. I bet she still thinks that. She was perkier then but oh how beautiful she is right now oh how beautiful sitting there like an angel on her swing look how her hair flows all around her oh her hair twirling down there to her roundness I cannot even think about this Frank stop thinking about this you are not supposed to think about Marie's breasts for crying out loud or the rest of her either FRANK STOP THAT


But he couldn't stop. In the space of a moment, it all flew by. Marie on his porch. Marie on her swing, her head back cackling eyes bright with laughter. Marie talking about the chickies at her feeder. How the nuthatch climbed down the trunk of the tree. Her epic battle with the squirrels. The herons on their nest at riverside. The kingfishers screaming down the stream to the open river. Marie. Marie aglow, her robe undone taking the breeze on all of her Marie, oh Marie. My Marie. Marie!

And here came the words of the poem he wished he had ascribed to her, his poem for her, he could recite it as though he had written it himself, the one that ended with


I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

The need to slap another mosquito awoke him from his reverie. Damn mosquitoes! Didn't they have a rule about sitting out here like this in July?

"Marie. Are you sure this is right?"

"Oh Frank, of course I'm sure. What would keep me here anyway?"
This week, my Indie Ink writing challenge is from Miranda at My Eclectic Bookshelf, who admonished me thusly: "Blood sucking, full moon, citronella, howling, and a metallic smell... now go!"

The poem excerpt is from "He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven" by William Butler Yeats.

This story was inspired by the most-special-of-all John Hartford and his song about a couple watching the river go by together, in a rather nontraditional manner. Please listen to the song. Pretty please. You will be glad you did.
Share Watching The River Go By by John Hartford

6.11.2011

what remains

rubble & broken things
struggling
people offering help
people who'd rather pretend
it didn't happen
people passing judgment
a squashed swimming pool
a busted heart.

6.10.2011

bright star

gimme some rainbows
spontaneous dancing 

commemorating just
how far we've come
encourage plentiful
frantic celebration
cheering & freedom
trust & yeah, love
i'll be a happy poet.

6.09.2011

the tree's words, part 1

give me oxygen.
seed, seedling, sapling, tree. my
life cycle. (the tree)
(This poem was written by my good friend Alex, who wants my readers to know that he likes kickball and tree haikus.)

approaching denise

rear facing riding
when you leave the city you're
in suburbs unknown.

6.08.2011

california

in dreams, imagine
hard stars in my eyes, heavens
glancing off my want
enveloping you
in salty celestial
cloudy waves. (come home)

6.05.2011

little boxes

"Lulucakes, what am I going to do without you, ooh ooh, you-ooh?" sang Marion across the sunny kitchen to her sister, Luella. Mimi still couldn't believe it, even though the ceremony was happening the very next day.

They had lived together their whole lives, sisters Mimi and Lulu, in the rambling house on Summer Street in Longview, New Jersey. The house in which they were raised, the one with the two staircases and the overabundant flowery backyard. After nearly three-quarters of a century, their lives together were about to end.


Lulu was getting married.

Lulu trilled in reply, "Goin' to the backyard and I'm gonna get ma-ah-ahh-rieeeed," as she filled another vase with fresh cut hydrangea and shooed black Molly off the counter. Mimi's eyes overflowed as Lu flounced out of the room.

The wedding was beautiful, as it damn well should be when one waits 72 years to tie the knot for the first time. High blue skies, pungent freesia and lustful peony. A simple gown even more antique than the bride. And then off flew Lulu with her betrothed in a shower of sunflower seeds, to her new rocky homestead in Maine. "I'll call you when we arrive, Mimikins!" her lilt trailed off.

Next morning, Mimi was already at the kitchen table as the sun began to stream through the blinds. She drank earl grey from a dainty flowered teacup and contemplated what might be next. Really, what was next? Molly purred in her lap; Queenie and Princess sunned on the tile floor.

"Maybe I should go to the lake house... this place is too big for us now, isn't it, girls? What are we gonna do with ourselves?" Mimi leaned back and surveyed the room containing her life. There was the mantle clock that she had found in her mother's hope chest. And there was Cedric, the ceramic bunny all the grand-nieces and nephews loved to hold.

Her eyes landed on a pile of boxes. In the flurry of Lulu preparing and packing for her new life, much had been upturned and was out of place. Curiously, one of the boxes was labelled MIMI ARMY. Really? "Mimi Army? Hmmmmm, curious! Let's go see what's in that box, girls."

She sang as she cut the crispy yellow tape holding the box together. "Little bah-xes on the hill-side, little baahh-xes maaayde of ticky taahhcky," and then a sharp intake of breath as the dust flew from the box flaps and she peered inside. "Ah, Molly love, what have we here?"

Mimi knew immediately the contents of the formerly crisp white package on top. Her dog tags, wrapped in a white linen nurse's cap, and entwined, exactly as she left it, a slight silver chain bearing the tiniest heart pendant. She untangled them from the linen ribbon; slipping both around her neck she pressed them to her sternum, breathing in.

Here were photos of the girls, here were postcards and letters from Lulu and her other sisters. Here was a pressed flower. Here was a pen she remembered, and her diary. And a small dog-eared Bible, the kind they hand out for free. Searching, flipping through, ah yes, there it was.

A bundle of letters tied in a pink rick-rack ribbon, fading blue ink in loopy longhand on each envelope: Ms. Marion Clarke, Summer Street, Longview, New Jersey. Loosening the ribbon, she counted twelve letters in all. Twelve. That was all.

Dearest Mimi, my love, my every breath reaches for yours. Where are you as you read my words? What are you doing? With whom do you spend your days now, away from me? I cannot bear to be without you. When and how will we find our way home? With love, your angel, Beatrice.
She folded the first letter with care and returned it to its yellowed envelope. She re-tied the pink rick-rack around the bundle and placed it back in its box. Folding the torn flaps over themselves in closing she sighed, "All right, my pretty girls, it's time for us to get some air."

She hummed a tune as she passed by the framed photo, Mimi and Lulu by the lake all teeth and freckles and smiles, her housecoat sweeping through the back door to the flowery stone patio.

Little boxes, on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky-tacky, little boxes on the hillside, and they all look just the same...


It's Indie Ink Writing Challenge time again. This is a piece of pure fiction, based on real people, inspired by Nikki's challenge: "The adventure of an ancestor in any pursuit. Where they've gone, what they want, what they hope to accomplish, anything." The photo is not mine, but is borrowed with thanks from the U.S. Army Medical Department Museum's historical images on Facebook.

6.02.2011

ridiculous

you can walk out now
but you'll be missing out on
the very best part.

6.01.2011

watch & warnings

hunkered down in my basement office
as the national weather service says
tornadoes on ground to the east and west
traveling in the direction of our town
where you blithely eat deli sandwiches
in the car chattering with our kids

black as midnight outside my window
thunder reverberating like a kettledrum
bouncing off the fields and mountains
i wish you were home i wish you were home
ah please let's all be home cocooned
as before's darkness is irrelevant now.