PANCAKES (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

Windy Night

Wind disturbs the leaves

yet it is not the trees who

search for a reprieve.

 

Onlookers

From the kitchen door,

I catch pairs of tiny eyes

peeking through the pane.

 

Better Red

Roses in autumn

remind trees who lost their green

the beauty of red.

 

Serendipity

I most enjoy walks

through these warm, grassy fields

carrying my shoes.

 

Pancakes

The syrup drips down

the sides of her tender wrists

as she lifts her fork.

——

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THE EARTH IS STILL

Oh hey! Happy New Year–and happy birthday to me 🙂 A little apocalypse to usher in the new year is always a good sign, right? I hope you enjoy this poem as much as I’ll be enjoying today 😉

 

The Earth is Still

 

The Earth is still.

No more do the tremors

that racked the mountainside

rage through the bones of this wasted land.
Once flowered rivers, who flowed with the heat of spring

—that same heat which pulsed through the heart,

igniting the veins like sparks to a fire,

now lies pierced; cracked and dead as the unending desert.

 

The last lake, dwindled down to a blackened puddle,

sits undisturbed in the silence;

a mirror to these starless nights

painted with brushstrokes of infinite darkness

 

and yet, a trembling lingers.

It sits, in the back of the cavern;

twisting the thumbs of a half-buried corpse

while it whispers into the great beyond.

——

 

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THE HERD (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

The Herd

Beats in the distance

echo along the sunrise

like a veiled drum.

 

Grass

The shift of the blades

as wind washes through the plain

warns of life’s battles.

 

On Water

Walking through puddles

reminds me to imagine

my own miracles

 

Cleansing

Rain can wash away

the bad days. It’s up to you

to let it take them.

 

Night Driving

The trip was swallowed

in the abyss of the night

on the desert road.

——

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A WALK IN A STORM

Soooo I realized I really like these 50 word stories. They’re short, simple, and yet really difficult to do well. So I think I’m going to continue doing them sometimes to improve more. 🙂 here’s this week’s:

A Walk in a Storm

Being pelted with rain made for a weary walk. The flashes of lightning in the distance patterned the sky like dancers moving in sharp, jagged motions. I felt water beginning to soak through my gloves, yet when I squeezed my fists there was nothing but rhythmic determination to continue farther.

——

 

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GALE (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

Privacy

I sat on a bench

confessing love, while a bird

watched me from a branch.

 

Regrowth

The patch of green grass

growing from dead dirt reminds

that life will go on.

 

Narcissus

They were so busy

staring at their reflections

they missed the white fish.

 

Disown

A doll made of sticks

lies in shambles in the dirt

as the girl stomps off.

 

Gale

A wind this restless

engulfs the valley in fear.

Even the stones shake.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #66 – HERE COMES THE STORM

It always starts with the clouds

seeping in after a long day’s work.

You won’t spot them,

as you mutter about the dishes,

if you don’t look out the window.

 

Your morning of watery coffee

and soggy granola will grow damp

when you go to rinse your bowl

and catch their cup on the counter,

left, empty, in the hustle to their car.

 

Then it’s your turn to pop the cover

on your two-person umbrella

and slog down the road, lost

in the downpour of your own thoughts.

 

Work will hide the sounds of the storm.

The pencil scratches drown out your personal life,

and only the occasional crack of lightning

will shock you from your presentation.

 

But the walk home finds a tempest in full motion,

the wind, the rain, and the river flooding the sidewalk

choke out all other thoughts, and all you can focus on

is that goddamn cup they left on the counter again

sitting expectantly, for you to clean up.

——

 

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WAVES ON A PAGE

My return to literature was like a sailor

returning to the salt air after a decade ashore.

 

The thin clatter of books from bookshelves

were like oars clattering into a paddle boat.

The small creak of hardback covers sounded

like wooden planks curling beneath my feet.

 

It wasn’t long before I’d raised sails,

and made my way into the first waves

on a broad, shining sea of letters.

 

After a few bumpy chapters,

the waves came rocking,

building, like a crescendo,

until each page was its own torrent

of water and hellfire crashing;

battering and beating the boat

 

and I was there screaming along,

mad with the thrill of the ride.

 

Until finally the pages shut,

the seas grew quiet,

and I found myself drifting along

waiting patiently for another storm.

——

 

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ETERNAL PEACE (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

Fall Arrives

The spiraling leaves

fall like a patterned sunset

in the autumn sky.

 

Wet Panic

I hear the wind chimes

scream in a wet panic

from the storm outside.

 

Eternal Peace

A broken Buddha

lists off, half buried in dirt;

serene as ever.

 

Butterflies Abound

The butterflies weave

between the fingers of air

like playful lovers

 

Burnt Out

Melted candles wax

drips like hot blood from the wrists

of this dead marriage.

——

 

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NIGHT ON THE BARE MOUNTAIN

When I finally reached the flat top of the mountain, I was greeted by a flatland that was more the top of a hill than a mountain—so green and grassy I could hardly believe myself. I took a nap for a while, and when I awoke the sun had been falling.

The sudden rush of cold air had taken me by surprise, marking the end of the day. Nightfall was setting in, and the air had taken a dramatic turn from the comforts of that afternoon. I had spent the day hiking to the top of the bald mountain. It had been a beautiful hike to the top. The sky had been a clear blue, with sky shrouds only at the edges of the world view.

But it had also been quite treacherous. There were many places where the rocks threatened to give way, and the way down was no easier. Each step felt like I was trudging through the snow, hoping not to fall into some unseen depths. I turned a corner on the main path, and was blown by a powerful gust, which knocked me on my backside and rolled me toward the edge of a cliff. My legs were dangling over the side when I finally got control again, and the wind subsided. I looked down at the eons of space beneath me, like a vast mouth of darkness, threatening to swallow me up like Jonah. Grasping for the strands of ground, I managed to scramble back to my feet, and continue down.

I was given a brief respite for most of the rest of the way down, and eventually grew accustomed to the treacherous ground and chill air. The clouds had rolled in in droves, like a pack of beasts descending in the night, and when the first crack on lightning shot through the sky, it sounded almost like they had made the call for pursuit. The rains fell then, hard. Each drop was a rock, and blurred my vision. But I was getting close to the bottom.

The tempest was in full throttle then. It felt as though it were sent there, just to trap me. I had begun running, though I couldn’t remember when. I hopped over bushes, between fallen branches, and across small gaps in the path, emboldened and afraid of what would come next. I wanted to get away before more went wrong. The trees were shaking; rattling like snakes coiled, and the path had grown thick with mud. Many steps became more like surfing through waves of mud than stepping through them.

Until finally, I broke out from behind the last tree, and the world grew quiet. I looked back at the bald mountain, which looked like Sisyphus trapped in his own hell then. But I had escaped. I walked over to my car and drove home, though I kept my eye on the mountain as it grew more distant, just to make sure the storm stayed with it.

——

 

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BEDTIME STORY

I used to tell my sister stories to help her go to sleep, back when she was little. One story I told her I remember like it was yesterday. The summer evenings back home were warm, but not hot like they are in California. Mom and dad were both out for the night, and Lizzie—that’s my sister’s name. Well, it’s actually Elizabeth, but that’s what I call her. Anyway, Lizzie was having trouble going to sleep as usual. I had tried music, I had tried lying down with her, I had tried making warm milk for her, I had even tried calling mom, though there was no answer, as I expected. So, now that all else had failed, I decided to tell her a story.

“Lizzie” I said, leaning against the doorframe of her room, “do you want to hear a story?” She turned to me with a huge smile on her face. Her eyes sparkled and her hands clenched together tight.

“Yes! Yes! Yes!” She said, bouncing with every cry to emphasize her excitement.

“Then you have to get in bed silly.” She hastily tossed her toys in a pile and jumped into bed. I grabbed the blue plastic chair from her drawing desk and pulled it over to her bed, then turned the lights out and took a seat. We sat there in silence for a few moments, while I gathered my thoughts. I could hear her short, excited breaths as she waited. In through her mouth, then out through her nose. I took a deep breath, and leaned forward, with my elbows on my knees. My hands hung together loosely between my legs.

“Ok, this story is one is about you, but it’s about a you that’s in a different universe, so you have to picture it for me, ok?”

“Ok,” she whispered.

“Ok, so picture yourself, in a boat on a river,” I must digress, I pulled the setting slightly from Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, “the sky is a blistering orange color, because the sun is setting, the edges of the night are creeping in. The river you are running down is large and strong, but you aren’t worried. You lay back in your boat, which is really more of a kayak now that I think about it, and look up at the clouds above you. They look inviting and happy. You see hummingbirds fly over you and can hear the little tweets of some unknown birds in the trees.

“You take a deep breath and feel at peace, but instead of drifting off to sleep you are compelled to sit up, and smell the fresh watery air. You look down the river and see it is leading you into a cave inside a mountain, but there’s no need to fear—this is where you were headed all this time. As you grow closer, the river slows your course, and you see the gaping opening of the cave, like the mouth of some primordial beast, stuck in time the moment before it swallowed its prey.

“You cross into the darkness of the cave—your eyes take a moment to adjust before you can see clearly. You pull a lantern from your bag, and a small box of matches. Your first two strikes prove fruitless, but on the third the match erupts into flame. Using your other hand, you shield the match from them wind, then slip it inside the lantern. When the wick has been lit, you carefully extract the match, and wave it out in the air. The smoke of the match trails off into the darkness, and you toss the remains into the river. You—”

“But that’s littering!” Lizzie intervenes. The pout on her face is clear from the sound of her voice, though there’s a yawn in her voice. She was on her way out— her protest a last defiance before sleep overtakes her.

“Hold on, let me finish. Ok, so what I meant to say was you were about to throw the remains into the water, but then thought better of it. Instead, you ground the extinguished match out on the side of your boat. You raise the lantern onto the pole in your boat, to give a dim light to the cave. The river has slowed your boat to a crawl, and you can see that it seems to stop ahead of you. Strange. Where did the water go. Ahead, there is a shore, and when the water approaches ankle deep, you hop out and pull your boat to shore. The water is cool, but not cold. Your boots slosh in the water, and stick to the sandy floor with each step. Once your boat is secure, you pull out your bag and look at the floor. Fatigue pulls at your eyelids, and you decide to set up camp. You wave your lantern around, to observe the area around you. To your surprise, there’s a pile of wood, sitting as if for a campfire just for you. You set your things down, and light the fire. The wood takes to the fire immediately, and you are warmed. You lie down, and feel the weight of your day pass over your shoulders, the heat of the fire licking at your backside. You feel comfortable, despite your loneliness, and you drift off to sleep.”

I leaned back in my chair, and took another deep breath. The moment of truth. Was Lizzie asleep? I paused and waited. Silence. She was out cold.

——

 

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