12
Apr
15

boiler room

Boiler Room_DirSharp_20150412_161826

My soul made a sound

yesterday or the day before

The morning the wind stopped me cold

in the boiler room

by the window

hanging up clothes to dry

Immobilized, spooked, fearful, hopeful

I watched the leaves running

and the trees bending

Two birches and a Tamarack died

I wonder how long it will be

before they break

and who will deal with them

She is old and I am weak

in the head

in the heart

in all the places vital to

keeping a soul alive

and interested

in more than just living

I am tired

of interruptions

of urgencies

of jerks to my chains and knees

The rain is not good

for watering hopes

and floating dreams

nor does the blue sky make sense

The trash cans are perpetually full

the toilets and clothes and floors

are ever dirty

He is shiny and I am soiled

dim and numb

to the words

to break the spell

to stop the leak I sprang

while the Sorcerer was away

My soul hasn’t made a sound in years

or if it has, I can’t recall when

but I heard it then

in the boiler room

howling

I would have thought it the wind

but for the feeling:

something like painful

more like haunting

01
Jun
14

under the awning

Awning_640x photo AWNING_640x_the-cafe-awnings-at-chautauqua-institution-new-york-lisa-russo_zps3aa0ec9c.jpg
Image credit: The Café Awnings At Chautauqua Institution New York by Lisa Russo – prints for sale framed, canvas, acrylic, metal, art, as greeting cards and for iPhone and Galaxy cases at http://pixels.com/featured/the-cafe-awnings-at-chautauqua-institution-new-york-lisa-russo.html

 

Under the awning it took me, arrested me, foiled my plans. And then it left me, its work was done. And so was I.
 
It was a sweet awning, red and white striped, its fringes riffling in a breeze that smelled of hope. And it promised shade, I saw it myself.
 
Shade was the trouble, though. So tempting, so hard to judge… It was darker than I thought, and so much cooler. I understood, soon after I’d stepped under, when the maddening buzzing began, like an angry black fly trapped in an airless room with no way out, an angry fly that never dies.
 
My desires had seemed so simple, but simplicity is more complex than it seems…
 
For every minute of peace, there is an hour of noise. It is all lopsided and raining on muddy puddles. The sun shines in spurts, goes in when we go out. Time drives poorly, first speeding then slowing, headed for slipping away.
 
Chances slip into the yawning sky, like balloons into the ozone layer. Misfortunes are mudslides trapped in valleys. And I am caught in quixotic dreams here, under the awning.

 

Fin

157x51
Click here for more on prompt “#22 – under the awning” from other Sunday Scribblings2 participants.

18
May
14

inklings of watering cans

Desert-alterd_640x photo Desert-alterd_640x_zps3ec17c21.png
Image credit goes to Wallpapers Wide

 

Don’t do like Blanca Noire. She walks with a pebble in her shoe on the way to her grave, never stopping to take it out because there is no time. No time for anything but stop-gap undertakings. No time to excavate the inner self, to see what treasures might be found.

 

Easier to trudge the arid plains with a pebble in her shoe, the pebble as a blind eye turned toward the thirsty soil, not seeing how intellectually parched she is, and how hounded by inklings of watering cans she can’t help but be.

 

Don’t lose sleep like her. When she does sleep, she wakes dazed, forgetting the pebble and everything but how to tie her shoes, as if getting places, just the walking there, is all there is. She forgets the need to have something to show for herself when she gets there, something meaningful.

 

Easier to let her beauty speak for her, to let the golden ratio rule: the symmetry of her face, a pleasant tonal transitioning; her youthfulness, a naturally inspiring thing; and in her clear, smooth skin is the knowledge of the ages.

 

Don’t get old like Blanca Noire, surprised to find her path has led her to a day when she could have so much to say, but for all her benign neglect. She’s annoyed to find a pebble embedded in her foot and angry to see her face so dry and cracked that it can no longer speak of anything but regret.

 

Don’t die like her, alone and withered and reaching out for a watering can just a few million moments too late.

Fin

157x51
Click here for more on prompt “#20 – pebble in her shoe” from other Sunday Scribblings participants.

22
Sep
13

Floaters Anonymous

 photo floating_640x_LucyCampbell_painting_zps4d650c6b.jpg

IMAGE CREDIT: “Floating,” painted by Lucy Campbell, is 14”x14” acrylic on canvas and is still available to buy! Visit Lucy’s site to find out more about her work and to see more of her stunning paintings.

.

I am a floater. I feel the thick numbness sitting heavy inside my head and with it, the unwillingness to think, and I float on that laze like a stoner zones out.

.

In the mornings, I lean against the living room window jamb sipping coffee and watching for people of purpose on the busy street below.

.

The face of purpose, it looks so appealing, set with enlightened determination as it is: brows as buttresses for knowledge; eyes housing pilot lights of wisdom; cheekbones sharp with instinct; and jaws leveraged with sophistication and push.

.

I watch the people at my place of work, divide them like wheat and chaff. The chaff floats on the wind and I am there on an eddying breeze, watching the wheat—the purposeful people—feed the world with knowledge and the knowing of self. Watch and learn…

.

Or, if you’re weak like me, keep on floating, flirting with pesky ideas of becoming, wondering from whence impetus, skills, and brilliance come, wishing and waiting for them to drop down from above, and when they don’t, wondering if Truth represents their witness or if Deception does.

.

Meanwhile, those who know just who they are and where they’re going are well on their way there and, barring any deterrents, it gives them a peace, like water flowing so rapidly over stream-bed rock that no periphyton can form, no slippage can happen, only traction and progress.

.

They are at ease with their missions but impatient with all else.
The ‘all else’ will be for someone else,
Not for the people of purpose,
But for people like me—
The floaters.

.

Fin

.

157x51
Click here for more on prompt “#388 – Purpose” from other Sunday Scribblings participants.

15
Sep
13

magic wandless

kafka_weber_bureaucracy640x617 photo kafka_weber_bureaucracy640x617_zpscb5caf03.png

IMAGE CREDIT: Bureaucracy illustration – author Franz Kafka and sociologist and founder of bureacuracy research Max Weber from Harald Groven’s Flickr photostream

.

After over an hour flipping through paperwork in his cramped office, the drone discovered an impasse and broke the bad news in a matter-of-fact fashion. He’d been wanting to get us out of his “closet” even before we got there, even before his previous appointments got there, even before he left home that morning for his drudge job; and yet, each finished appointment meant another hour closer to the time he could leave for the day and fill his enormous belly with brimming pints of ale and mounds of chips and pork pies.

.

He was a massive, joyless shell of a man, the daily grievous conflict of bad-for-good having gouged a hole in his spirit big enough for his soul to escape through. The gravity of processing human cattle all the days of his adult life was pulling at his brows and drawing his jowls earthward. He seemed not even to enjoy the immense power he held over us, two members of the tempest-tossed. He had been too long a servant of the Father of Exiles who had understandably grown more paranoid and defensive with every ambush, shelling, and suicide bombing.

.

The drone would have discovered the impasse in the first few minutes of our appointment if he’d read the cover letter that I’d pushed across his desk along with the other paperwork, but he was so absent of mind that he just went along with his ruler and markers and pens and the ticking off of steps on his checklist. It was so mesmerizing, his methodical movements, that we were cast adrift along with him. My thoughts floated toward the surreal and I saw human lives as tragedies and comedies played out on the stage of capitalism.

.

The curtain opened on an empty stage.  The backdrop was a gargantuan rendering of Earth nearly entirely covered with cracked, grey asphalt, and in a tiny, far-off land there was lush greenery and warm, turquoise waters.  A few round-shouldered people dressed in grey uniforms trudged across the stage, and as more and more entered, a backdrop of a great grey block of a building dropped down from the flies.

.

The building sat on two thirds of the asphalt and its many doors were gaping shark jaws through which the round-shouldered peoples of the world disappeared to sit behind grey desks under buzzing fluorescent lights and count the hours of the days, of the weeks, until such time as they could count the currency rewarded them for doing jobs not well liked or done. Their only respite was a half-hour lunch and two, fifteen minute breathers per day in break-rooms with tiny portholes with views of the far-off land.

.

I caught myself desperately squinting to see what went on in the lush lands, blinking and squinting and leaning forward as far as I dared, and I thought I could make out what looked like sunny islands and beautiful people with glowing tans bathing in fountains of youth and sunning on the decks of sailing yachts and toasting each other on castle balconies with Dom Perignon White Gold Jeroboam—

.

The drone uttered an emotionless apology laced with impatience and I went home to fill out another form, a different form, to stay up until four in the morning so that I could get it postmarked in time, so that I could stay in the bone-chilling drizzle another two years. Oh but it’s a lovely, bittersweet chilling in the knowing that there is no magic wand, but magic can be made if we care enough to make it.

.

Fin

.

157x51
Click here for more on prompt “#387 – Currency” from other Sunday Scribblings participants.

25
Aug
13

just another day

 photo DreamRain03_640x_zps4d5df9e3.jpg

Photo from Dream Meanings
.
I returned to the base of Wind Mountain on a hike with friends, some old, some new. It was such a high, we decided to continue it. We chose an urban adventure this time, and around 4 o’clock the next morning we set out walking with our dogs, down the sidewalk along a neighborhood road, no particular destination in mind.
.
It was beautiful for awhile, what with the light of the morning creeping up, eerie at first, then floating, a thin glow barely on the horizon like hope showing itself from out of despair. People stepped unsteadily out of their houses, squinting in the mist in robes and curlers with coffee, cigarettes. And eventually kids began to be let out with basketballs and skateboards and some with nothing but trouble to cause.
.
We walked past one kid getting an old penny-farthing out from a garage. About the time he sped past us on it, I got a call on an old cell phone I no longer have. Yet there it was, the sturdy, silver Samsung flip-phone ringing in my hand. We all stopped and looked at the thing like it was a space pod. A kid screamed bloody murder, jarred us out of our trance. I shrugged and answered the phone.
.
An androgynous voice droned in my ear the news of my father’s death. I said, “What? My father died years ago!” and yet I cried and cried, tears which were a long time coming, ones I hadn’t cried the first time he died. And when I was done, I closed the old phone and buried in under a rock. There was no other way to take this but as a sign to return home, and thus was a destination made clear to us.
.
We cut across the salt flats and too many cities, mountains, and fields to count, until we saw the old dirt road up ahead. We hung a left onto it, and there, at the very end of the road, was the old homestead, like it was before it was renovated. The old carport was there off the cinder block base. And the huge rectangle of mostly glass that sat atop it and jutted out from it, had the old ramp slanting down from the sliding doors to the great eastern lawn, like freedom, like a dock to all of the Atlantic ocean.
.
My dog, Nova, and I went upstairs to find my mother, searched all the rooms for hours as the sky grew darker and darker, and by the time I gave up looking for her, I could see dangerous clouds coming down from Canada, each full to bursting with killing intent. I started toward the spiral stairs and caught a glimpse out the eastern windows. Rain was starting to come down like spears with blunt ends on a lawn strewn with smoldering briquettes and half-eaten hamburgers.
.
I ran down the stairs and out the door to the carport and found marijuana everywhere, some of it burned, some still fresh, strewn like a ripped-apart bale of hay amidst a wasteland of bitten-into burgers and hotdogs and buns. Rain spears were turning into streams from the sky and I looked outward from it all just in time to see my friends down the dirt road, leaving, high as kites and fat with food, and the one on the tail end of them was my oldest, dearest friend, and he must have felt the heat of my eyes on his back because he turned and grinned and waved a big, happy goodbye.
.
I whirled around and ran back through the door and into the house and I started back up the spiral stairs. I could see poor Nova stranded there at the top of them treading and circling all nervous and beside himself. He was on my heels as I ran down the hall and into the expanse of living room like a Nebraska prairie, and I could see it then, that the western half of the ceiling was soggy with moisture and the eastern half was beginning to sag and drip great handfuls of water and sodden drywall.
.
I looked out the eastern windows and could barely make out the silhouette of my mother at the clothesline trying to hang clothes up through walls of rain. I crossed the soppy carpet to the sliding doors to tell her the house was coming down. Nova wouldn’t come. I had to go back and pick him up in one hand and manage the sliding door with the other. We scarcely made it out and down the ramp to the grass before the doors fell outward onto the ramp.
.
I hollered to my mother, “We’ve got to go Up On The Hill!” and then I ran around and down under the carport and into the house that way to my room to gather up clothes to take. Nova jumped up onto the bed and curled up like it was just another day, then my mother wandered in, dry as a bone.
.
Neither of them saw the wall of water coming down my closet, drenching half of my clothes, making it impossible to choose outfits that made any sense. Neither sensed the urgency of the situation or the severity of my distress, and in the screaming madness of that, I was forced awake, solitary but sound, to just another day.
.
Fin
.
157x51 photo SS-1.jpg
Click here for more on prompt #384 – Solitary from other Sunday Scribblings participants.

28
Jul
13

Less monster

 photo dreamscape04_zpsaa8d921f.jpg
Photo credit:  “Dreamscape” © Luca Pisanu made for the CGSociety Event “Dreamscape”

.
I was amidst a small party of faceless acquaintances, and we were navigating steps amidst columns, turning corners, taking in the sights like wares before us, a renaissance festival amongst the woods perhaps. We were in a collective state of quiet, discovery, adventure, appraisal, the respectful togetherness of a unit.
.
There was no sign of distress until we were walking back to wherever it was we had come from. As we walked down a steep dirt slope thick with rocks and the roots of trees, it became increasingly clear that a man among us was falling more and more deeply into darkness. I felt him intend to lose his footing and tumble away from us, down and down toward a shallow ravine of slow-moving muddy water.
.
He came to rest on his back where the ravine widened into a brackish pool. He rolled himself into it and allowed himself to sink to the bottom, but it was only deep enough so that the water barely covered his face, an awful face like Severus Snape, with dead eyes staring straight up. He breathed in the brown water and I thought that would be the end of it, but blood and another fluid of a different color began to rise from the area above his throat, and I could barely make out his hand there. He must have torn into his throat with it, to end it sooner.
.
………………………………………………………………………………# # #
.
I popped up from a dip in the ocean and cleared my eyes. Edith emerged a moment later slicking her hair back, her ancient face made smooth with the water pouring down it like olive oil streaming down marble. And her eyelashes, my eyes were drawn to them, and they became all there was. They were remarkably long with tiny sparkles of water resting in the bends of them.
.
When Edith was alive in Pocasset, we would walk from her weather-beaten house to the sea wall and down the steps, Edith in her apron style swim suit, white bathing cap and Pinwheel sneakers and me in my black bikini. I’d help her to the steps down to the water and she’d descend them slowly, gripping the rails with her blue-veined hands, and ease into the water, breaststroke-kicking serenely with legs as white as her Pinwheels.
.
………………………………………………………………………………# # #
.
I woke excited to call my mother, to tell her I’d seen great aunt Edith in a dream, and ask if her lashes were really that long, because I certainly hadn’t noticed…and then the memory of the strange Snape sequence crept in, and I felt in general like I could do with less monster and more magic…
.
Fin
.
157x51
Click here for more on prompt “#379 – Less” from other Sunday Scribblings participants.




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.