Archive for the 'death' Category

18
May
14

inklings of watering cans

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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

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

28
Jul
13

Less monster

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Photo credit:  “Dreamscape” © Luca Pisanu made for the CGSociety Event “Dreamscape”

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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.
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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.
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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.
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………………………………………………………………………………# # #
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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.
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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.
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………………………………………………………………………………# # #
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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…
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Fin
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Click here for more on prompt “#379 – Less” from other Sunday Scribblings participants.

21
Jul
13

I wander

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Photo Credit: “Hard Shopping” by Ekinox

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It’s a funny thing, the business of balancing

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the time to day dream, to exist in a pure state of possibility, and to set about creating from the mind’s eye, to feel the joy of inspiration

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the time to work, to make money to live on mankind’s version of Earth

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the time to notice the strings of undone things about the house—don’t touch them, not even one, for they are not separate as they appear!

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the time to be tricked, to touch a string and to follow it like an endless rope that strangles the day

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It’s like wandering through supermarket aisles in a night dream – I see my list, it’s in my hand, and my intent feels strong and sure, but the floor becomes distant and the aisles are towering strange and resistant to aim and effort – I watch myself wander and gather extraneous things, deaf to my own instruction

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I find myself at the county fair on a ride with dead controls – I turn the wheel in my hands, it spins, loose, and I slam into task after task, each with a lock to get to the next level, each with a promise that it’s the last one – I watch my lips say And then you can day dream

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But when will I wake from the night dream? If I don’t, or worse, if I do, and still effect no strength of purpose, I will continue to wander the aisles carrying the list

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not feeling the quickening of my footsteps pounding or the blood pulsing at my temple

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just carrying the list

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to the grave

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Fin

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Click here for more on prompt “#378 – Wander” from other Sunday Scribblings participants.

28
Oct
12

The Widow

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The Rainy Funeral from the movie “Sucker Punch” 2011, director Zach Snyder

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Years of decline

Months of care-giving

Weeks of hospice nurses coming and going

Days of waiting, listening to breathing

And when at last he leaves, she is shocked

Where is his body, how is it being kept, what are they doing to it, when can I see it?

She is wasted and white, won’t eat, subsists on the proteins in her tears

She venerates him, grasps at photos, keepsakes, correspondence, anything he’s written, anything that’s been written about him

She reaches out arms like a miser for gold, scoops mountains of memorabilia back to her breast, stacks it like bricks between the mortar of condolences, a despairing attempt at building him back alive again

She seethes and snaps, wounded and angry, clings and kisses, guilt-ridden and grateful

Loved ones mince their words into euphemisms and slither between suggestion and coercion

While high on a hill, between Life and Death, she stands cloudy and windblown, teetering between both doors, a feeble knuckle raised to knock, as her family waits below

Is love worth the risk of loss to Death?

Ask her at the alter and she would say “Of course,” because she couldn’t possibly know

Ask her as the widow poised between the doors, and her answer would be “Yes,” whichever door she chose

Fin

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Click here for more on prompt #343 – Risk from other Sunday Scribblings participants.

10
Jun
12

A dying court jester’s lament

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I fancied handfuls of costumes in my youth, tried many of them on in the changing rooms of Time (all ill-fitting), and in the end, pieces of cloth from each costume became the patches that constituted my jester’s attire.

When I was young, it was easy, with no trial efforts and only Ego as my advisor, to see myself in the most glamorous of costumes, to imagine my genius and vast potential!

During the dawn of Plenty Of Time, I tossed myself naked into the sea and drifted, butting into land when storms washed me there, and I wore whatever costumes were put on me by the natives.

By the Nearing Of The End Of Time, I had amused far more than I could count (of course). My fait accompli was the making of my own costume. I had roused my will to effect it, and the court at that time, they came and went, watched as I basted and stitched. The day was announced, the large crowd held their breath, and under the garish lights I danced for them, nearly all seams a-popping.

There is no joy in fabricating works of any kind if you are not born to the task.

There is no consolation in beauty because it is not your own, and in the end it leaves you to die, cold and unwanted.

Perhaps at best, there is reward in giftedness, but the gods are stingy, it is only for the few.

Take heed, there is nothing you can do, rail as you may, for Destiny is the coldest, cruellest bitch you’ll ever know.  And her claws, those that are sunk in you from birth, are not her own, they are Death’s.

Thusly, here I end, a silly, spent little man who was good at nothing but failing in funny ways.

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Click here for more on prompt #323 – Costume from other Sunday Scribblings participants.

23
Oct
11

There are no goodbyes

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From Johns Vanness’ Caddo Lake and Big Thicket Series
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Soon my back yard will be bare of the old boy.

Vet says he hasn’t got long.

Of course it’s not like we haven’t had good practice at being pulled apart from one another.

The last couple of years have been hell on him and me.

Prior, we’d been mostly in each other’s company for fourteen solid years.

Some say there’s something called an angel bridge that’ll keep the two of us linked no matter what, no matter whether we’re dead or alive.

I believe it. Because even though he’s across the ocean from me, I can feel his presence.

He’s never been far away. He’s always known I’m out there.

And now he’s waiting for me to come back before he goes.

Last goodbyes…

What to make of them?

The world turns. The sun rises like a surface-to-air missile and smashes the horizon in a blast of oranges and reds. Dusk is laid down on the dying day and coolness comes with the moon, that shining beauty, so quiet and peaceful.

I throw open the window, let a sterling ray slice across my skin—I want to be healed, to be bled of bad blood and filled with right knowing and doing—and then it’s gone.

The moon is deceitful. Beauty seems as grace, peacefulness seems as time unrushed. But the moon slashes the sky as quickly as the sun torpedoes it.  Like a classless drunk, it slaps dawn on the ass.

And with the birds’ chirping the pilot lamp is lit, glows blue like cool, like hope over coffee. And soon the rumble as the fire takes hold. Soon the red hot and roaring chaos rips into the sky and heads deadly toward the horizon.

Soon the dusk and the moon and the sun again and soon my back yard will be bare of the old boy’s pottering.

Brambles will creep up the gate and in and grow sharp and poisonous thorns of guilt.

Already the grass is growing tall with torment, and at its roots, ants push up the grains they steal from my hourglass.

Moles make sunward tunnels of sorrow.

Tears of rain furrow around them.

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Click here for more on prompt #290 – My Backyard from other Sunday Scribblings participants.

16
May
11

Surrender or die

PhotobucketThe kid trained his gun on the old man’s head.  “Surrender your anger, Motherfucker!”

“What are you, a vigilante guru now?  A backstreet psychologist?  ‘Cause I know you ain’t got the smarts or the gonads to get a real degree.”

“Man, you got some serious shit eatin’ you.  It don’t matter what I am.  What are you?”

“What’s eatin’ me is worthless punks like you.”

The kid moved in on the old man, jabbed the barrel of the gun into his temple and gritted his teeth.  “Answer the question.”

The old man stiffened his back in the kitchen chair, squinted his hateful eyes toward the kid.  “Why you good-for-nothin’, pointless little piece of shit!”

The kid shoved the barrel harder into the old man’s head.  “I said, what are you?!”

“I’m the hardest-workin’ man in this two-bit town, done more and earned more in my lifetime than a lazy-ass, half-wit like you ever could!”

The kid guffawed.  “Well, lookee here, it’s two-fer-one day!  Pride and Anger.”

“Screw you, punk!” the old man yelled.  He strained all red-faced against the ropes strapping his legs and upper body to the chair.

The kid stepped back, regarded the old man in his futile fit.  “Oh I know better’n anyone how you made your money, you extortionist fucker!  And look at you now: a tempest in a teapot.”

The old man growled and fought his ropes all the harder, tried to hop his chair toward the phone.

The kid smacked the old man’s head with the butt of the gun, made a small cut above his eye.

For a minute the old man just looked at him, blank, while a bit of blood worked its way down his face and into the corner of his mouth.  He spat it at the kid.  “I ain’t scared of you, Punk,” he snarled.  His jaw muscles twitched like the withers of a mule plagued with flies.

The kid smacked him again.  “I’m not playin’ with you, old man.  Surrender your anger or die!”

The old man blinked at him.

NOW!” the kid yelled.

The old man shook his head like to clear it.  “Naw,” the old man mumbled, “This can’t be real.  You can’t make someone change their whole way of being with the snap of your snotty fingers…”

The kid grabbed the old man by the hair at the back of his head and pushed the gun upward under his jaw.  “This ain’t no snap of fingers, you old fuck, it’s this: I pull the trigger and end your life or I don’t.  What do you choose?”

The old man’s eyes darted back and forth in his head all crazy.  He tried to struggle.

“I said: What.  Do.  You.  Choose.  Mother.  Fucker?”  The kid shoved the gun harder into the old man’s throat and angled a bulging eye at the old man.  He cocked the trigger.  CLICK.

The sound was as loud as a mortar shell blast in the old man’s head.  All of what was left of the neurons in his brain were going haywire, the synapses bristled to near overload.  There was nothing he could do to help himself.  The pressure in his head was building and building, becoming unbearable.  His head was going to blow up even before the gun went off.  He closed his eyes.

The kid gave the gun another upward jab.  “Hellooooo!

The old man’s eyes flew open, filled with fear.  He gagged, couldn’t breathe, struggled wildly like a drowning man.  The kid let up a  bit on the gun.

“I think I’m having a heart attack!” the old man gasped.  His eyes darted back and forth.  He began to shake.  His chest heaved uselessly.  “I think I’m dying!” he croaked, and then his body went limp.

The kid slapped the side of the old man’s face repeatedly.  “Breathe, motherfucker, breathe!”

Nothing.

The kid started to panic.  “Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit…”  He ran around the kitchen in circles.  Then he went to the cabinet, got a glass, filled it with water and threw it on the old man’s face.

“POP!  You gotta wake up!”

The old man stirred.  The kid shook him, then looked him in the eyes real close. “Pop!  Are you OK?”

The old man’s eyes fluttered.  He opened them and there were these youthful, urgent blue eyes all wide and looking back at him.  It was the funniest thing he’d ever seen.  He burst out laughing.

The kid let out his breath.  “Pop?”

The old man tried to lean forward but he couldn’t move.  This also amused him and he began laughing again.

“Oh, sorry, Pop, let me cut these ropes.”  The kid got a knife from the block and cut his old man loose.  Then he got some rubbing alcohol and cotton and cleaned up his cuts.

“Who are you?  A cherub?” the old man asked.  He observed the frightened reaction on his son’s face and this, too, was a riot and he busted out laughing.

“Geezus,” the kid said.  He tested him.  “Pop?” he asked.

“Yeah?”

“You know who I am?” the kid said.

“Why?  You don’t know?”  The old man went into fits of laughter.

“POP!”

The old man stopped himself, cleared his throat.  “Yes, you headstrong and aimlessly roving boy of mine!  I know who you are, you little shit.  Jonah is your name and you are the last-born son.”

The kid Jonah sighed, relieved.  “That’s right.”

“And when you came of age you were swallowed by the great white Whale of Peace and you left the fold and became a weirdo and lived on a commune complete with its own guru!”  The old man roared with laughter.

Jonah waited for a lull.  “Yeah, OK, Pop, I see you’re alright.  A little too right, maybe—”

“Ain’t no such thing, boy!” the old man said before buckling under laugher.

Jonah hugged his dad.  “Alright, Pop, I gotta go.  Macey and the kids are waitin’ for me.”  He turned to leave.

The old man grabbed his hand, looked up into his eyes.  “Your mother’d be proud you stuck up for yourself.”  He though a moment and added, “Finally,” then he cracked up laughing again.

Jonah kissed his pop on the forehead, where the cut was.  He turned and walked toward the kitchen door, happy for his pop, but sad for himself, that it wasn’t him who became enlightened this night.  He pushed through the screen door, heard it slam on his old man’s laughter.