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Tracie Skarbo was motivated to write by her father, who was her biggest supporter. “He was always behind me, rallying me on with my writing. I would always see him with a book in hand. He gave me a great appreciation for the written word, and the power and responsibility that writers have to shape those who read their words. He also taught me to respect nature and to value the beauty within it; my reflections on my environment are just an extension of this.” Skarbo was raised on Vancouver Island and is working on her next two books.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Mansion

It was a dark and stormy night when I came upon the monstrosity before me.  To say that the mansion that held my eyes captive was huge, would not be honest or give you a true rendition of what I saw.  It was a surreal, grandiose and grotesque creature.  It rose up out of the ground and almost seemed to laugh with its own audacity. 

I could not be choosey, my body, wracked with spine snapping shivers from the bitter cold wind and horizontal rain, made the decision for me. 

I approached her with caution; it was almost as though she could smell me and the feral fear I carried for her.  Her visage completely dark, save for one window lit in the middle of her core, resembled an un-slumbering Cyclops.  I climbed her marble white steps that led to the entrance of her mouth.  There was no lamp, no bell.  Nor was there a knocker on the tall solid oak doors, only a silver chain with a large ring on the end.  I raised my hand to pull the ring and thought better of it, like a fresh wave of common sense rushing over me with no warmth.  In the end it was the thought of my jaw shattering, or biting off my own tongue because I couldn’t control the effect that the cold was having on my body, that forced my hand.  I yanked down hard on the ring, hoping I would be heard over the din of the storm.

I should not have worried.  The bell that rang out overhead vibrated with a low tone that was powerful and sounded like a moan.  If anyone had been asleep before my arrival, they surely weren't any more.  I waited on the porch in front of the doors for moments, and was about to pull the chain again when the door opened of its own accord and I was granted access.  I couldn’t help but think that the house itself had been thinking on whether to let me in or not.  I scanned the room looking for who had unbarred the door, but no one was in the entrance way with me, save the spiders and their cobwebs. 

A gust of wind pushed at me through the opened door.  I went over and shut it, happy to leave the storm and the sound of the banshee winds outside for a while.  Somewhere in the distance I could hear a banging.  It was muffled and had rhythm, almost sounding mechanical with its regular beat, but then it would seem to stumble and the beat would be broken.  I tried with all my being to search for what in my experience would have made such a sound but nothing sprang to mind.

I walked deeper into the house hoping for some dry clothes upon the way, or perhaps a fireplace with a lit fire to sit by.  I wondered why there had been no one to greet me.  Suddenly a scent came to my nose.  Food.  It smelled like spaghetti sauce or chili.  Strange I thought.  It was past the witching hour, who could be cooking at this time of night?  My stomach didn’t seem to care about the time of night, or what was being concocted; it just wanted something to sustain it.  The promise of food propelled me forward. 

On my way down the long corridors, past the windows and their blinding flashes of lightening I got glimpses of huge paintings on the walls and in rooms.  The furniture looked mostly Victorian, smelled musty, and didn’t hold my interest.  I kept going into the deeper parts of the house. 

I came across a room that was modern, or had recently gone through some renovations.  It was strange because it resembled a kitchen; there were cupboards and drawers, countertops, but no sink.  Everything was done in a pistachio green with black lacquered knobs and pulls.  The doors of the kitchen cabinets were insane with hot pink post-it notes; blue ball-point neat writing was all over the place in lists, creative word combinations, things to remember.  Everything was so neat and organized, but when I pulled open some of the cabinets to see what secrets they held, I found them empty, the drawers too.  So many of the things that were on the counters, such as office supplies and such could have been placed in these and hidden, but whomever worked here had chosen to keep them out in the open.

I continued down through the hallways, turning a corner I found that I had come across what had to be the room that had lit the front core of the house; the one room that had given the house its Cyclops façade.  I could hear music coming from that direction.  It sounded like Mozart.  I peeked my head around the doorway to see into the room without being seen and I almost choked with fright.  It was Mozart, not someone playing Mozart, but actually Mozart.  He was pale, gauzy, and filmy, like the audience that he was playing for.  I could not believe what I was seeing nor could I take my eyes off of what I was seeing; and the music!  It held me captive in another way, as though if I left I would leave a layer of mysefl behind.  I felt a cold draft on my shoulder.

“Are you lost?”

I turned to look at who had spoken and saw that one of the filmy patrons had come over to see why I was intruding.  He had a long pale face and was wearing a powdered wig.  His clothes boasted frills and sported buckles.  He even wore the knee high socks and had buckles on his shoes.  Such fashion would have placed him in high stature in the era he was from.

“I’m sorry.  I just came in from the storm.  I was looking for some warm dry clothes or perhaps a fire to sit by to warm up.”  I said.

“It has been a while since I have felt the horrors of the living.”  He said.  “You can’t interrupt the concert, or he will become a raving loon.  Continue your search down the hallway and I am sure you will find what you seek.”

I nodded my head and left the room before I disturbed anyone.  The last thing I wanted was a roomful of ghosts mad at me for ruining their concert.  Who knows what kind of punishment they would have in store.

The smell of the food was getting stronger, and strangely so was the sound of the banging I had noted earlier.  I was determined to find out the source of both.  I didn’t have long to wait.  I made a left and a right and ran into the kitchen alcove.  A man stood at the stove, his back to me, and he was stirring something in a large pot.  His black hair shone in the light.  He wore a pair of well fitting black jeans and a black cotton button up shirt.   Upon the countertops of the kitchen were all sorts of vegetables and ingredients.  The scent of onions made my eyes burn and my stomach growl.

“Well it is about time you got here.”  He said without turning around. 

“Excuse me?”

“You arrive in the dead of the night ringing the life bell, enter the house and you think we wouldn’t notice?”  He asked.

“Well no, of course not…” I stammered.

“Come here and tell me if this tastes good.”  He beckoned to me with one hand.  I could see the glint of copper on his right hand; a wrist bracelet and ring.

I went closer to him, peeking over the side of the pot to see what was inside.  For some reason I was bracing myself for the worst.  This was a haunted house after all.  Perhaps there was a head in the pot or eyes of newt or maybe even fingers and toes.  What does one serve up to ghosts?  I was equally shocked when all that was revealed was a pot of vegetables simmering.  Carrots, onions, celery, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, and tomatoes, it smelled heavenly. 

“It smells good.”  I said, my rumbling stomach agreed.  I looked into his face and was greeted with amazing blue eyes and a dark goatee.  His chiseled features smiled at me. 

“It will taste even better when I add the final ingredient.”  He said with a smile.

A chill ran up my back.  “What would that be?”

He bent over and opened one of the cupboards close to the floor.  There was a big red can that he lifted to the counter.  When he went to the drawer for the can opener I read the label.  100% “Grade A Cow’s” Blood.   He came back and looked at me then looked at the can.  “I am a recovering Human Blood Addict.” He confessed, then grinned widely and I could see his extended fangs. “You could say I am now a Vegetarian or is it Vegan?  I always get ‘em confused.  Anyhow I am proud to say that I have been clean and sober for three years now.” 

“I think you mean Vegetarian, although they might have something to say about the cow’s blood, I don’t think you can eat anything that comes from an animal, not just the meat.  Not that I am complaining, if cow’s blood keeps you sober, I am all for it!”  I said holding up my hands and smiling.  “But could I trouble you for a bowl of the veggies before you put the blood in the stew?  I am not one who favors my meat, or vegetables rare.”

He nodded to me and set the table: two plates, candles, a bottle of red wine and the sound of Mozart’s concert wafting down the hallway.  We got our names out of the way and the informal introductions; all in all it was a perfect beginning to a date with a Vampire.

“Looks like you were prepared for a houseguest.”  I mused.

“Sometimes we get lucky.”  He dished up our plates and poured the wine.  “It is so nice to have someone to eat with.”

I nodded and complimented him on his sautéing skills.  Then I said, “On a bit of a change of subject, there is something that is bothering me.”

“Oh?  What would that be?”  He asked.

“It is that thumping noise I can hear; it was really muffled and faded when I first came into the house, but now it’s getting louder and louder as I get further into the house.  What is it?” 

Vale smiled and poured me another glass of wine.  “You will need nerves of steel to find out what is the source of that sound.  When I first heard it I thought it was the heartbeat of the house itself.  Then I found out the truth, it is something you must experience.  If I told you, you would not believe it.  I will point you in the direction to follow when our dinner is over.”

True to his word, when I had a bellyful of vegetables and had tasted the great wine, he explained the route to follow that would lead to the source of the banging. 

Would this be the last mystery the house held?  One left, past the roman baths, two rights, and down the spiral staircase, then through the dank wine cellar with its earthy floors.  It was as though I had come down into the dark recesses of a living and breathing thing.  It was so warm here compared to the rest of the house.  The banging, getting closer with every step I took, began to vibrate within my chest.  Its irregular knocking sounded like dull thuds sometimes, then almost metallic the next.  I could also hear the intermittent sound of doors opening and closing as I drew nearer. 

Then I came to the final door in the hallway.  I touched the door and felt the curious vibrations coming through the wood.  I could no longer contain my curiosity.  I turned the cold knob in my hand and entered the chamber.  Vale had been right.  Had I not seen it with my own eyes I would not have believed it.  The room was a large laundry room, with high vaulted ceilings and lined with half a dozen washing machines and half a dozen dryers.  The hot humid air was tangible and smelled of laundry soap, and something else I could not identify.  What was unbelievable were the beings going about their work as I watched from the doorway.  Men wrapped from head to toe, in what looked to be gauze bandages were pulling wet white clumps out of the washing machines and throwing them into the drying machines.  They made such a racket when they threw the items in the dryers.  Like the wet white clumps were heavy and dense materials.  Then they put the dryers on and the rhythmic stumbling sound was almost deafening. 

I watched another of these bandaged men take the now dry items from another machine.  What had come out of the washing machines looking like wet globs of papier-mâché, now were hard balls of chalk.  I could now detect, under the scent of the laundry soap, the smell of drywall.  Sure enough when I walked further over to the left, there was a sledge hammer lying upon the floor amongst battered and uneven chunks of the building material. 

“You mustn’t disturb them.”  Vale said from behind me.

I looked at him with knit brows.  “What would happen if I did?”

“It would not be good for you or them.  He would see to it.”  Vale pointed to a barely discernable translucent waif in a velveteen red chair.

“He would be who?” I asked.

“The great, late Alberto Giacometti.”  Vale said and smiled. 

I watched the beings as they clumsily tacked together large quantities of the round chalk balls to an 18 foot wire structure.  It appeared to be a human form but grotesquely represented; a thin head and strange elongated limbs. 

“No! No! You are getting it all wrong, she is too plump.  Can’t you see the beauty is within her slender?  You oafs have nothing of note within your bulbous mockeries of brain sacks!  I would do it myself but alas my punishment is the lack of substantial hands with which to work.”  Alberto flew into a ghost rage; every one in five things went crashing about him, or spilling into a wall, until finally his energy was spent and he looked again about the room.  It was then that he saw Vale and I watching the performance from one side of the room.

“You!”  The artist shouted in our direction.  “Come closer; let me have a look at you.”

The closer he came to me the more I could smell the undercurrent stench of rotten pomegranate, sweet and sickly.  Somehow the smell oozed with redness that his veins no longer enjoyed.  I watched his face inspect mine from three inches away; a most unpleasant and unexpected experience.

“Superb bone structure, the cheek bones are to die for.  Brows are a bit prominent, but are still within workable range.  Lush pouting lips, I can see why you like this one Vale.”

Vale’s whole body tensed beside me and he blushed a deeper shade of grey.  “I have no idea what you are talking about.”

“Ha you have no idea what I am talking about, and I am no longer a tortured artist working with these buffoons!”  He indicated the laundry workroom and his Mummy assistants with a great dramatic swoop of his hands.  “Never mind, she has more substantial things to do then be your arm candy.”  Then he looked me directly in the eye.  “You must sit for me, or stand for me as the case may be.” 

“Me?”  I asked shocked.

“Yes you, over there, and now.”  He demanded.

“You must go and do what he demands; we will all be lost to his rage if you do not.”  Vale looked genuinely fearful of the defunct artist.

I went to the spot pointed out by Alberto and stood while he yelled directions to the bundled forms of dust.  Hours went by, and the passage of time was marked with cramps and the shrill barks of his impassioned insanity.  More here, less there!   Over and over again until I felt myself literally being whittled away down, down, down into a 6 inch impression of his vision of me.  My head was reduced to the thickness of a blade, all the bone structure that had impressed him before, gone without a trace.  My body thin and stick like, I would never escape this house or these men again.  I had become just another victim of a house who was a man eater, falling victim to those past tasty morsels themselves.  I had become part of the freak show, a stick walking shadow.









Friday, October 22, 2010

The Fury of Coco

A writing challenge entry...
The Fury of Coco

It was supposed to be an ad for Channel the newest perfume Coco had concocted.  A photo shoot to capture the essence of the woman behind the scent, and show off her newest line of “White Innocent” designs.  Although I don’t know what she was thinking with a line like that.  Nothing about Coco was innocent.  She was a taker and a shaker; she could make the world move about her, raising her fists of fury to the sky if it failed to amuse her for long.  The more complex you were; the more intriguing she found you.

It was supposed to be my time to get noticed, to rise within the ranks of the silent movie starlets.  Another pipe dream I bought into sold to me by the lips of a slick and oiled agent.  “Keep your head down, do as you’re told and you will have no problems.  You have to be seen without being seen and Coco will tolerate you.”  So I went, despite my misgivings. 

I was supposed to be standing there with the handsome male lead.  Perhaps if he hadn’t upset Coco so much with his masculinity she wouldn’t have changed into her black rage.  You must treat a woman wearing black with kid gloves.  Didn’t any of these prepubescent men know this?  How unpredictable we can be?   You don’t challenge an Ego like Coco’s without repercussions.  I had never heard a woman scream like a Puma before, and I never want to hear that again.  It will stay with me for the rest of my days.  I was told that the shoot would be postponed for two days, and to come back, that I would be compensated for my troubles.

When I came back there was a skull on the floor, it reeked of Channel.  The very scent the male lead had complained of in the days before.  Hell has no fury like a woman scorned.  A woman like Coco who made sure, as you can see in the photo, that the young lead was shown the light.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Why do I write?

I write because frankly if I didn't I would be in trouble. Deep trouble. I would be subject to nights full of tossing and turning as I searched for my slumber. I would be a sleepless zombie woken at all hours of the night. You see when I get an idea, it is like a child having a tantrum until I pacify it with a bottle of pulp, or give it a ream of paper to chew. The idea will be there, bouncing about in my head until I give it the words it deems appropriate. Only then will it stop screaming in my ear, the text, and words of meaning seem to lull the ideas to sleep. Then and only then, can I get some shut-eye of my own.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hiccups

Here. Now.
Presence of mind
hiccup between breaths
where realms of possibility
entwine,
and co-exist

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Divine Whispers...

Recently I was asked how I thought the divine talk to us; if they even speak to us at all.  I immediately thought this a perplexing and intriguing question, worthy of meditation.  While I am not sure that this is how the divine speaks to everyone, if they speak to us at all, this is how I interpret my own experiences.

I find it is in those moments of quiet, but not necessarily when I am in a quiet room, when I hear those vibrations that so closely resemble the words of the divine.  When I am going about the chores, or the work of the day, and there is quiet in the back of my thoughts, those moments of stewing, simmering, and un-noticed pondering.  When I am on auto pilot and unconsciousness is at the helm; those moments in which my mind can hear the sound of its silence.  It is then that something will come across my vision, or a thought will come from no where.  Announcing itself, and there it is.  Yanking me from the grasp of ego and attachment and almost punching me, without effort, in its rightness. 

Those moments of ah-ha, when all resonates with pieces of the puzzle fitting together and forming more and more of the picture.  Urging me on, encouraging, that if I keep going, one foot in front of the other I am bound to connect the dots and step out of the big picture for long enough to see form in the formless.  Perhaps then it will all make sense. 

There are those dreams.  The dreams where it all seems so real, the colors so vivid that you are sure you are experiencing reality.  It doesn’t matter that you are experiencing impossibilities such as swimming underwater with the whales, or flying over the earth into the solar system, whilst it is happening it is your reality.  I wonder if this is what it would be like to be godlike; to control your own existence and that of others. 

There are times when I sit down before the keyboard and open my mind to the possibilities that abound.  Not sure of what will come, if anything.  After some time I am sitting in front of text on a page and I am not one hundred percent sure of how it got there.  I read it and I am floored by what has been created, and I cannot claim ownership to all of it. 

Others times when I sit down to meditate and my being expands to that of a neighborhood or shrinks down to the size of a molecule, again I am compelled to contemplate the world; the layers we are capable of seeing and more often what the layers we aren’t, look like.  Questioning my part in it, what my role is in this vast play of existence, and wondering if I am taking advantage of all the lessons that are presented to me.  Or if someone on the other side, is constantly putting their hands up in frustration when they see another of my blunders.  Is that just my twisted perception?  Are they even peering at us at all? 







Friday, October 15, 2010

Pork Chops and Apple Sauce

I went to the SPCA, with the intention of looking for a Beagle.  After research I thought the breed would be a good fit for my lifestyle.  I am a long distance runner and wanted some company on long night runs.  I wanted a dog that would protect me, but didn’t bark and act aggressive to those passing by. 

Originally I wanted to get a Great Dane, but thought better of it.  It wasn’t the fact that I could see myself literally getting dragged along the pavement every time a cat or another dog would go by, or the thought that with my 5’2’’ frame a Great Dane would come up to my waist and I would feel like a dwarf next to it.  No, it was the thought of having to pick up the sub sized steaming deposits left by such an animal.  No way, that was definitely not for me.  I had also found out those large dogs live shorter lives then their smaller cousins.  That meant heartbreak.  Something I wanted to put off as long as possible. 

I am not what you would call a “dog” person, at least not one you would call in the “traditional” sense.  By that I mean one of those people who have an aversion to cats.  The truth is, I like both cats and dogs and I think that there can be harmony with both if they are brought up together, or introduced gradually.  Why not?  Men and women live together, are we not in a sense different in everyway?  Men are from mars and Women are from Venus so I have been told. 

I went into the shelter and talked to the staff.  I requested a Beagle, or something similar to the breed.  They told me it was not hopeful.  Beagles are not one of the breeds that have a hard time assimilating into families.  I asked if I could have a look at the cages for any of the other dogs that might fit what I was looking for. 

They let me into a long corridor of cages, and it was one of the most heart-wrenching moments of my life.  To see all these wonderful animals looking up at me with hope in their eyes, hoping that I would take them to a home full of love.  Tears sprung in my eyes, but I continued on, trying to be judgmental about the task at hand. 

I got to the last cage and was surprised to see a cat in the corner.  The cats were usually kept in another area of the shelter all together.  I imagine it was because the sight of a cat would upset most dogs.  This was not the case here.  I had just walked down this corridor of dogs and none of them seemed to mind what was behind cage number 7.  Perplexed I crept closer.  She was a grey short haired tabby with black striped markings; her eyes, pools of green surrounded by yellow.  She also had little tufts at the ends of her ears, like a bobcat, only not as pronounced.  When I approached the cage she came up to me mewing.  Again I noticed that the dogs took no notice of the sound.  She rubbed her head on the metal of the cage, and looked up to me.  I smiled and tickled the top of her head.  I looked past her into the back of the cage and found she was not alone.  Her cell mate was a border collie.  I immediately fell in love.  He was the traditional black and white collie but one eye was brown and the other was ice blue.  It was striking; the difference, making the brown one seem black and the ice blue one seem white.  He would be perfect I thought to myself, these dogs love to run, and are very intelligent.  I frowned.  Why was he not coming up to the door of the cage like the others had?  Like his cell mate had?  Did he have problems with human contact?  Or did he have issues with women?  I went back down the corridor to get the story of the cell mates of cage number 7.

When I asked the girls about the two I was interested in, they just looked at each other and hesitated.  Keesha was first to tell me that if I was interested in either of the two in cage 7 it was a package deal.  There was no separating the two.  If I wanted the cat the dog had to go too, and vice versa. 

Apparently the two of them had been on the road together for some time, and had formed a strong bond.  Collies are taught to care for the livestock they herd, making sure none stray, so perhaps he saw the cat as some kind of herd.   It turned out they were picked up in a grocery store.  Early one morning both walked through the doors, (the collie had figured out how to get the electrical eye to open them) up to the meat counter, and started in on some pork chops.  The dog had taken some of the meat and tossed it to the cat.  This is what the butcher reported, so he coaxed them into the back of the store with some more meat and called the SPCA.  He said it was like the dog was taking care of the cat, like they were some sort of family. 

I asked the girls what happened when you separated them.  Keesha told me that when they tried to separate the two of them on that first night, the collie went crazy; he couldn’t take the separation anxiety and began to run head long into the cage door over and over again.  They gave him a sedative, but as soon as he woke, he was again running full bore into the door again.  They were afraid that he was going to break his neck.  So they tried bringing him out for walks to calm him down, but he would not leave the shelter and only sat at the door to the cat section and pawed at the door.  Finally they brought the cat into the cage with him and everything settled down. 

Keesha told me that if I did decide to adopt the two of them then it was both of them all the time.  I couldn’t take one for a car ride without the other.  I had to take the both of them to the vet together and to the park together.  Apparently people take cats to the park and outside all the time.  They even have leashes for them.  I had no idea.  Most of all, Keesha said I had to invest in some applesauce; apparently the cat had developed a taste for Maya’s.  She would eat it right from Maya’s spoon. 

I knew I wanted the pair of them but what was I going to do with the cat when I went for my long night runs?  I didn’t think a cat would be able to go for a 10km to 18km run, and I didn’t think the collie would leave her behind. 

That night I went home and poured a hot bubble bath, grabbed a glass of red wine and thought about the problem.  Perhaps some kind of specialized backpack to carry the cat would work, but would a cat really want to be in that kind of contraption bouncing up and down for the amount of time the run would take? 

Then after my bath while watching television, the solution hit me.  It was during a commercial when I saw a guy carrying 3 girls in a rickshaw.  I thought that a lightweight basket carrier would allow the collie or me to carry the cat behind us.  I called Tony, a contractor I knew who was good with his hands, to see if it was possible. 

The next day I stopped at the pet store after work and bought two pet caddies, leashes for when we went to the park or for walks, food and a litter box for the cat.  After the paperwork was done at the SPCA I was a proud parent of the fury variety.  I found out at that time that the girls had named the collie Pork chop, due to the meat shopping fiasco, and the cats name was Apple sauce. 

A week later Tony had the rickshaw ready to go for its first tryout, he had even made a great harness for Pork chop.  The carriage was a metal frame covered with canvas and plastic so it wouldn’t get wet when it rained or snowed.  It had nice big wheels on it so it would have no problems on gravel or asphalt and I had no doubt it would be great for the snow as well.  It was very lightweight so I had no concerns with Pork chop being able to pull it, let alone my own ability to run with it.  And Tony had even put some extra space for water bottles or different things we might need on a run. 

I was wondering if Apple sauce would get in it and if she did get in, if she would stay in it.  I put a nice comfy blanket in the bottom of the rickshaw to try to entice her into it.  I shouldn’t have worried though, as soon as I had Pork chop harnessed into the rigging she was in the back like a shot.  She seemed to know this was her chariot. 

Tony came on the first run in case anything went wrong.  He is not a runner so he took his mountain bike.  It was only going to be a 6km trip to try it out and see how Pork chop did on his first run.  He surprised me, we got to the 6km mark and he was still raring to go.  So we checked the rickshaw at the 6km mark and once we saw that everything was great we headed out for the full 10 km.  I was ecstatic.  I now had the running partners I needed and no longer felt alone or at risk during the night runs.  We look a little like a live Christmas tree going down the road with all the reflective gear and flashing lights to keep us seen by the night drivers. 

When a reporter for the local newspaper heard about us he did a cover story, complete with pictures.  I have even entered us in some of the fun runs around the city, and I was happy my fury companions were well received by the other runners.  Some of the runners have even ordered rickshaws of their own from Tony.  I keep trying to get him to set up a website to sell them online.  Perhaps he will someday. 

To those of you out there who think they are dog people, I say try a cat; and for those of you who are cat people I say try a dog.  You never know when you will get two characters like Pork chop and Apple sauce that will make you view the world in a different light.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Liquid Ladders

Dorothy climbs up her liquid ladders
Ascending to her secret heaven
She beats on her chest, her soul
Clamoring for attention

Night comes and under the stars
Dorothy visits with the planets position
Seeing rainbows within Saturn’s rings
While Grandfather Moon tends the harvest

Peering out of cracks
Of her silken aloneness
She tends to the webs of her
Woven fantasy

The burgundy overtones
Have scorched their names
Within the echoes
Of her memories

Shrill and bray words
Erupt from her
In bouts of
Ceaseless movement

And I fear time drawing closer
Closing in
I feel small
Because it is not my fight

Dorothy and I, so similar;
At different times
We tread in the same shoes,
See through the same mirror

Yet we are not the same,
And although I have the sensation
That I am forever on a see-saw
With Dorothy on the other end

I have to let the dervish spin,
The tides draw out,
And the sun set,
So she can learn to live again




Sunsets and Love

Sunsets are magical,
Hearts beating
Against an impermanent drum,
Enjoyed only by those
Who are aware of them

The sun does not care
If I am here, sitting on the beach
Watching her brilliant dance,
She is unaware of my eyes
Reaching out to her
Struggling to grasp onto the moment,
I try desperately to prolong
These fleeting moments
Of pure flame’s beauty

It is no use,
She is a woman after all
And when the fires are lit
There is no stopping love,
She looks over her shoulder
Her final goodbye
And then continues her long trek
Intent on kissing the Moon.


Homeward Bound

My run three quarters finished
I veer to the left and
Down the hill to the beach

I traverse over virgin sand
Breathing the gusty
Briney air
Guilty of my footsteps
Marring the beauty
Of the landscape

I look for evidence on
Beached logs
Carvings of lovers past
But they too are smooth
And without mark

The rollers
White and frothy
Contrast dark grey
Clouds
And the mainland
On the horizon
They reach for my toes
With mirrored reflections
I smile my greeting

The heaven’s showers
Open
And the downpour soaks
Me within seconds
I am overwhelmed
With joy of being alive

I turn and run back
And see I am no
Longer alone
A small old lady
Has decided
To brave the weather
With her two small dogs

She walks slowly
Picking things up
From the sand
Now and again

She has a kind face,
And when I raise my hand
And smile my hello
Her smile makes me wonder
If she is a Bodhisattva
In disguise

I continue on my way
Up the steep hill
Homeward bound

It's All About Timing

Everything wonderful in life
Is all about timing

The way a special person
Will come onto your path
Not when you are full of want of them
But when you are most ready to
Receive the relationship

Those moments of lingering
Before a first kiss
While you look into the eyes
Of the other
Reaching deeper shades of desire

The way friendship grows deeper
As years pass
Delving further into
Understanding
And growth

Those moments when across
A crowded room
You find a pair of eyes
And you hold on to the electric connection
Between the two of you

The way a fetus must
Reach maturity before leaving
The protection of the womb
Before bestowing its voice
To the world

Those moments when instead
Of fighting for control
You learn to let go
Until you learn to do nothing
While leaving nothing undone.

Casa Rosa

I submerge into the warm,
Deep, watery cradle
Steam swirls its tendrils
Through my hair; about my face.

Cascades of round bursts of scent
Wipe stress and tensions
With a delicate touch
And slight of hand.

The glass door
Secures this womb
Where all sound
Seems far away; muted.

A skylight in the ceiling
Showers diffused natural light
I accept it rejoicing
With open arms.

Thoughts and words
Swim the ripples about me,
I look up and think
That this would be an excellent

Vantage point for a meteor shower
A glass of wine
A plate of candles
Soft music

Perfect for
Pondering a
Celestial
Ballet 

African Dreams

Night swathes me
In a cocoon of tranquility
And yet slumber is
Elusive and aloof.

African masks adorn the
Walls of this room,
Complimenting the photos
Of Elephant and Giraffe,
Pictures my mother captured
On Safari.

Zebra print blankets,
And mosquito netting
Hung from the ceiling
Haunt me with desire
For the land of Lion, Cheetah and Jaguar.

I want to set my foot upon
The soil of mankind’s ancestors,
Listen to the roar of thunder
Across the Kalahari plains,
While Hyena laugh
With their litters
Under a setting African sun.

Ocean Cliff Melody

Teardrops of light
Fall
From her eyes
Roll
Down her cheeks and
Drop
From a delicate jaw.

She can see him
Out on the ocean’s cliff
Playing his fiddle.
Its sad melody echoes
With longing and loss
Piercing her heart with
Another ever fresh wound.

His soul vibrates
Over the chords;
Upon blended note
Like the scent of his lingering
She can never erase.

Swimming over the
Rolling brine
Sea whispers a warning
She has come too close
To the edge,
To him,
To what was;
What can no longer be.

She gave Neptune
Her legs
In exchange for his life,
Years ago.
Rules must not be broken.
She watches him
From her watery cocoon
While her soul burns.


Lazy Sunday Mornings

My father took my brother and I fishing on lazy Sunday mornings
When early pungent mist hovered over the water; like a second skin
Giving the lake a spooky visage and making me feel as though its
waters were eternal

We would have to traverse this wonderful old bridge that stood over
the water
It had big gaping holes that time had eaten from the wooden planks
My brother and I thought we would fall in sometimes, or that a
bog creature was sure to
Rise, drawn by the creaking planks protesting our weight
 
I would pick out one of the fattest night crawlers and put it on the hook with the utmost
Care; my little fingers pink from the cold dawn
I would fold the wriggling worm over upon itself just how my father instructed

I would request that my bobber be red side up, always a silly superstition with me
Red side up meant I would catch a fish, if not a fish then I would see something else
That piqued my curiosity

Then we would sit for hours in the quiet serenity, watching the bobbers and the water
Bugs that would skitter over its surface, I was always amazed at their grace and the
Way they seemed to defy gravity

The loons would call out across the water; lonesome with birdsong
I would feel so connected to nature during these times; knowing I had a part in it all
Grateful for this glimpse of oneness

I knew, even at this early age, that these moments were fleeting in present
And that even if I tried to hold onto them with two fists I would be disappointed
Time marches, kids grow, but memories last a lifetime

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tiny Dancers

Raindrops slip and fall from the clouds embrace
Rejection stings their hearts as they reach back with crystal spires; a one armed stretch towards the lovers that thwarted them
Their bottoms round with friction, become voluptuous glittering tear gems
Facets reflecting disbelief of the cloud’s murderous treason

Wind rushes forward to try to save them
He is hopelessly in love with the tiny dancers
He tries to scoop them into his invisibility, but he lacks arms
He possesses fingers but they are splayed; providing no use
Helplessly he watches his beloved, witnessing their annihilation

He wails to the clouds, promising revenge
Stirring them into a frenzy
They laugh and mock his impotent ways; for they are only a veil and there is nothing concrete that his rage can wear away
He is left with puddles and broken wet kisses

He calls to the sun and speaks to her of her beauty, telling her how he wishes he could dance for her amusement, if only he could get rid of the boastful clouds and their ire some ways
She winks at him, firing her solar flares into a skirt-less dance, she becomes a wrathful goddess; the passion filled heat consumes the troublesome moisture

Over time, she won’t let humidity rise; drying out wind and the soil he dances upon
Soon all is brown, dead, and dirty; wind becomes tired of her demanding affections
Fire runs amok in the valley and mountains, sending smoke signals to the goddess; he is quick to capture her wandering eye
Wind relieved, wishes for nothing more then the slightest cool dampening dew to moisten his lips and voice

Fire does his best to quench the suns taste for flattery
But no matter how hard he tries, his flames never reach high enough to caress her face
She becomes bitter and tormented; soon she can no longer stand to see wind and fire so free to dance upon the earth while she can only watch with stillness from above
She draws the clouds under her once more, banishing them from her vision

Soon the tiny dancers are free to fall once more…