TRACING (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

Pairs

I see in their eyes

the starlight after midnight

twinkling shyly.

 

Star Gazing

I lie in the dark

on a still blanket of grass

gazing at Venus.

 

Midnight Noises

The rustling night

entices my frightened dog

with howls far away.

 

Tracing

Slowly, I trace you

against the canvas of sheets

under the shadows.

 

Mirrored Sunrise

I witnessed the dawn

as a sunset upside-down

when you were with me.

——

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STRIKEOUT

Like an umpire shooting bullet holes

through a neighborly batter’s defenses,

you should strike through the draft of your paper

with the black ink of objectivity.

 

Or else you’ll be an executioner.

The ink will become your vicious black hood

and the pen will be your dripping red axe

swinging at the necks of innocent words.

 

Or worse yet, you will be back in high school,

stuttering sentences in a mirror

as you prepare to ask Suzy to prom,

just to doubt you had a shot to start with.

——

 

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PEN TO PAPER – 50 WORD STORY

I touched my pen to paper, and it exploded with brilliant hues of reds and greens. The canvas of my mind spattered with the colors of reason; as vibrant as the open window at the end of the table. Then, just as quickly, it faded back to black and white.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #73 – HEADSTONE CHATTER

Did you hear they cut down our tree?

They dragged the kids out from the branches

then dismembered it limb by limb

until it stood empty like a hollow woman

then in a final swoop of mechanical justice

toppled her like a pair of heels on a night out.

I took a hike up the wilderness trail last week.

The white flowers were in full bloom;

I still can’t remember what you called them.

I saw a pair of cubs running through the trees.

They reminded me of Taylor and Tom

the way they roughhoused in the grass

like they didn’t even know we were watching.

They always came home with grass stains.

Do you see them anymore?

Anyway, sorry I haven’t been by in a while.

Doc told me there’s only a few months to go

and I took a trip to see your mom in Peru.

——

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HEADLIGHTS

The road had become so routine that my half-closed eyes hardly noticed the flickering of my headlights. So too did they miss the tankard smashing through the center divider; straight into the car behind me. Nor did they attend to the bloody arm reaching for help as I drove away.

——

 

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TELLING A JOKE

Trying to make a joke funny is like trying to relax.

You can’t shove the laughs down their throats

anymore than you can swallow the angst

that presses against the back of your neck in the spotlight.

 

Especially since the best laughs explode from the belly

like a volcano bursting along the mountainside,

puffing smoke and lava from its pinnacle

until the whole valley below has been covered in a humorous ash.

 

And even after you’ve gotten the whole office covered in soot,

there will always be someone to ruin the fun

by reminding you how terribly the people of Pompeii suffered

while they choked to death at the hands of your joke.

——

 

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MAKING FACES

Those parents who threatened me

that if I kept making faces,

my mouth would end up frozen

in a two-fingered grimace, forever

 

clearly never considered that the Buddha

has a smile that long outlived

all the pairs of uptights and unenlightened

who concentrated too much on his future.

——

 

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MEMORY LANE

Let’s go for a walk down Memory Lane,

the cobblestone streets that I always pass by

where you can catch my grandparents

hobbling by on canes made of willow trees.

 

Toddling around are the friendships

that sailed away before my mind molded

and got lost at sea with my consciousness,

unable to the map to find a way home.

 

Out beyond the horizon, after the sunset

are the fuzzy images of my pets

who drowned at the farm

and found themselves up in the stars.

——

 

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DREAMS OF VISIONS IN FIRE

Recently, I had a dream about fire. It was well past midnight, but I had grown cold beneath my cloak in the woods, so I decided to build up the fire again. The cinders in the fire pit were nearly out, but because I was quick about getting the kindling I managed to relight it before it went out entirely. I sat there, waiting for the flames to grow as they gnawed hungrily at the wood. When they were finally big enough, I pulled back my gloves and bared my fingers against the heat. It was soothing, like closing the door inside a toasty home on the night with heavy rains.

The longer I sat by the fire, the longer I stared into it. It was beautiful. It snapped back and forth to an unheard tune, like a lost dancer looking for its partner. Eventually, the body of heat morphed into a vision of a reality far, far away. It was a ballroom, with its own massive hearth, filled with elegant dancers, all dressed in matching red outfits. The fire snapped again, and suddenly I was looking at the cosmos, full of dancing red stars—each moving in a disjointed pattern. There was no rhythm to it, yet it somehow look completely expectable.

The fire snapped again and I was back home. Not the house I lived in, back in the village ten miles east, but home. The long expanse, across a thousand miles, through rivers and over mountains. A home I had never seen, yet had always known was mine. And looking back out at me, from inside my home, was a beautiful woman. I somehow knew she was my wife, though I had never been married, and in her arms was a small baby crying with a voice that I couldn’t hear. She looked at me, and smiled. I put my arm out to reach for her, but as I did the fire snapped at my wrist, and the images burned away.

 

That’s where the dream stopped. I can’t really explain it. The red outfits I think pretty clearly mean passion in some form or another. The cosmos make little sense to me, but the rhythm between them seems to me to mean possibly something like “the universe is exactly where it means to be right now.” The woman could mean my own desires, though I don’t know who she is. In my dream, my being seemed to have an idea of who she was—like we had met previously, or would know each other when we met.

Or, it is equally possible that, after watching Howl’s Moving Castle and finishing the third Game of Thrones book, where visions in fire are a prevalent aspect, my subconscious simply had the mystical properties of fire in mind, and felt like playing out its own vision therein. I don’t know. What do you think? Do you have any cool/strange/incredible dreams like this that you can remember? Let me know!

Oh! And make sure you have a safe Halloween! 😉

 

 

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MADNESS IN SPACE

It was just past midnight, though just past midnight could have easily been three in the afternoon from my window seat. Up there, in space, there were no real indicators of time. Our on-board clock had run out of batteries, and our watches were dead or off the preset time we had agreed to, as watches are wont to do. For all we really knew, it was in fact three o’clock. But as a crew we had decided that it was midnight, so that was the time I was sticking to.

The crew had composed of myself, James, Raymond, and Tanya. James had gotten caught up back in the Mars raid, which had just left Ray, Tany, and me. It was now down to just me. All the lights had gone out, and we were free flying through the nothingness, at a few thousand miles per hour. Tany’s body was off in the freezer. She had gotten locked in, and Ray hadn’t found her before it was too late. Ray’s body was down in cargo hold. He’d been out of his suit when the room destabilized and the air was wrenched from his lungs. At least, that’s what the records would show, and that would be my story if I ever made it home.

We had run low on food and water. Our hasty escape meant we couldn’t power up to full speed before power was shut off, and the trip would like take nearly four times the length we had expected. We had enough supply for three to make the trip at normal speed, plus a little for safety, but not enough for three people to make it going this slow. Plus, greedy Ray had decided to snipe the extra food barrels on the trip out. But with the extra food I had now, I would just barely get there, though I might have to go a few days without food. Tany knew that would be the case too, but she and Ray had been too close to each other to actually make a move. So I had.

In another hour, Ray’s body would spoil though, and I wasn’t going to take any chances on running out of food early. Not with all this good meat here. But I wasn’t quite ready to move yet. The twinkling light of the stars, like ten million glaring eyes, looked too beautiful to leave unseen. I wonder if, to them, we were just a star floating along out here too. So I sat there, looking out into the stars for a while, wondering how this madness had come to pass.

——

 

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