Skirling

Skirling music rises and falls,
notes hang on wisps of fog
the way pipes wail on the wind,
dodging branches rain wet
and green mossy logs.

You inhale as bellows breathe,
a constant hum and thrum,
an undercurrent of droning;
groans moaning through mist
as notes make melody
weighted with truth.

You feel it chill skin,
plucked and puckered in goosebumps,
recognizing the call bone deep
like shadows called from years of sleep,

You hear with ears ringing,
ancestors silent yet singing thru time,
answering without words
to challenge and response,
to grief and sorrow,
love and loss on the air,
lingering.

Hallowed silence follows
the haunting whirl of music,
birds ceasing their song.
Water stumbles over stone,
flowing tears that cleanse and renew.
Time paused begins again.
I catch my breath, remembering.
A sense of belonging settles within,
restored.

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July’s Gift of Blackberries

A plethora of blackberries,
washed with morning dew,
rinsed with sun’s early rays,
temptingly waiting,
patiently waiting
for our nimble fingers
to pluck,
sucking purple juices
bursting with flavor,
so much to savor!

*The Greater Good of Gossip 6-21-2018

In the fine art of social discord,
gossip is the tool of choice
for the passive aggressive,
striving to distance themselves
from nasty little arguments
and dirty disagreements.

Slippery words whispered slyly
behind the scenes,
filter through repetition
like water through a screen.
What will remain of truthful grains
hidden amid the grit of innuendo
and the soft film of polluted thought?

Gossip masks intent with misinformation,
hiding originators in the crowd of repeaters,
clouds of ambiguity providing plenty of cover
in broad open blue skies of deniability.
Untraceable,
laced with mocking eyes shielding intent,
lashed with black,
mascara smudged and running
down an innocent face,
tear tracked, side-whacked.
Politicians know it’s value,
employing its silver blade
to skewer, maim and destroy the unwary,
leaving it behind in yesterday’s news,
yesterday’s trash gone in a flash.

Gossip is perfect,
good not to be confused with godliness.
After all, weapons are judged by effectiveness
rather than the soul they lack.

The gift of laughter

My mother rarely laughed out loud,
more prone to soft smiles lit from within
than belly laughs and hearty chuckles.
Once in a blue moon, however,
something we kids said or did
would set us all to giggles and full out laughter,
helplessly clutching our sides,
gasping for breath as tears ran down our faces,
contagion forcing her to join in.

Even more rarely, Dad was the instigator,
telling his joke quietly,
confident his punch line would properly
draw the awaited response.
We waited, baited,
all eyes on him as he watched Mom,
the verbal stage set for the finale.
Her face as it relaxed in surprise
crinkled in the corners of her eyes,
laughter bringing forth
the girl she once had been,
now a compatriot in humor,
one of us.

Dad’s posture relaxed in success
sitting with arms folded across his chest,
smiling without saying a word.
Subtlety, the stealth that hid cunning and planning,
was his favorite weapon of choice
to break the reserve she wore
as both armor and habit.
Thus we saw shades of the sailor courting his girl,
his shy smile bridging the gap between them,
humor linking past to present
present to future.

Laughter and love made our house a home,
created memories and stories to pass along.
We were lucky in both,
a worthy legacy for all!

Narcissist 

It was all about her,

the sun surrounded by planets and moons

duly circling in orderly directions,

fashionably ordained.

She had decreed it so.

She flamed brightly, passionately in her self reflection

yet utter coldness hung in distanced silence

between her and any others.

Venturing too close was a stunning flare of heat and light,

combustion and consumption companions in death,

a worthy sacrifice to her vanity.

She smiled, beauty without substance,

a hollow soul incapable of caring for others,

too filled with self to notice her loss.

4-26-2018. Waxy

She glowed,
shone with the moon in her eyes,
varied emotions playing openly
across features that singly taken
were mostly ordinary
but taken together
paused you with a friendly gaze.
She saw in a glance
not just what you casually presented
but caught somehow a glimpse of your soul
leaving you slightly vulnerable.

She was past the shiny newness of youth,
past the bloom of motherhood
yet somehow continued to wax
into the fullness of life,
a sense of adventure clinging
like a flowery scent,
a zip in her step along
with a zest for whatever might come next.

Waxy, that textured protective film,
protectively firm when cool,
yielding when warm,
pooling with heat into liquid puddles
brittle when exposed to cold.
She was all of those things
yet more.
The man by her side sat wordless
at the wonder of nature’s randomness
and the beauty of contrast in mismatched things!

Disrupt. 4-12-2018

She wanted to erupt but hesitated to disrupt,
waiting instead with temper asimmer!
Her ears burned, her cheeks flamed
as her eyes flared,
following the threads of discussion
which always seemed to trace back
to the root of all evil, money.

Churches needed it to run offices, schools
and take care of the poor.
Governments needed it firstly for salaries,
benefits and pension,
lastly for the voters back home.
Localities needed it for leaky schools in need of repair,
for roads no longer funded by the state
and for libraries grown beyond being repositories of books
to loan.

She breathed deeply, knowing this too would pass.
Those who have little must live in a world designed
to get its share of their tiny piece of the pie
while those who have lots work hard to be happy
while consumed with the fire to get more of the pie.
Eruptions come and go,
catastrophes and disasters come without warning
or warnings unheeded by folks unprepared.
So it was and would be again,
the world spinning on its axis,
still waiting to be appreciated
for the wonder it was.

DAILY PROMPT: Disrupt Disrupt

I fell asleep in the back of the speeding car. 4-5-2018

No rhyme or reason just plain bad luck
I chose the car instead of the truck.
It was warm, it was sunny,
and I felt so secure.
I parked by the river, so lazy and demure,
opened my book for a read,
ever innocently.
I switched to the backseat
to stretch my long legs,
lulled into sleep by true silence and warmth,
helped by the black fleece blanket
tucked here and there.

How was I to know the repo guy
only found one set of keys?
How was I to know
the former owner would come looking
not for me but his car?

So here I am on the ride of my life,
trying to hide from the raw smell of alcohol
and the guy at the wheel.
Flying down highway 41,
not pausing for lights,
now a turn onto back roads
shaded and dark.
Gravel spraying,
chatter bumps jolting
as I try to message
invisibly back here.
Should I pray for a rest stop?
Should I pray for the cops?
Right now I’m alive and that’s all I’ve got!
Shoot! Time’s up! Car stopped!
Was it good luck or bad
I forgot to get gas yet again?

I’ve been reclaimed by silence,
I’ve lost all sense of fear.
Just me and my phone
with a car that won’t run
on a red clay road bordered by cudzoo,
all things considered,
I’m feeling strangely ok!
What a day!

January thaw. 1-10-2018

January,
bitter breath of winter freezing,
blowing snow that drifts,
hiding all in a blanket of ice.
Just when no one can stand the wind
howling around the roof gables
seeking entrance through locked doors
and windows
silence comes with a thaw.

Fog slips in layers of cloud,
skimming the surface of the road
as it flies over fields and fairways,
thick as pea soup if the soup was white
instead of green.
Tires on the pavement
squish water from their grooves,
forcing spray to either side.

It sounds like spring,
but that’s the effect of a January thaw.
Warm tempts us to shed a layer or two
as we run errands bareheaded,
barehanded,
delighting in our reprieve,
knowing it cannot last.
For the moment
we cannot bring ourselves to care.
It’s forty degrees in January
and a warm wind tousles our hair
while tomorrow is far away.
Lucky day, today!

An Itch 12-28-17

Absently soothing an invisible itch
she followed her momma
with questions of this and that;
wanting, no,
needing to understand why
life was a puzzle with so many pieces.

Directed to go outside and play
she lay on her back in sun warmed grass
contemplating the forever blue of sky
and wondering at clouds
tugged and pulled by the wind.
What made the wind blow way up high
leaving stillness down below?

Why did weeds look as pretty as flowers,
or tree bark feel both smooth and rough?
Why were babies and puppies small and soft
while grownups got so big and tough?

Somewhere between childhood and teenage,
she lost her voice,
having learned that curiosity killed the cat
but not her questions,
which continued in a running dialogue with God.
Why did bad things happen to good people?
Why did death frighten instead of welcome like a friend?
Why was wrong so easy and right so hard?

Once in a very great while
she actually got her answer,
not with bells, whistles and a marching band
but in a blissful rush of peace,
a knowing calm that held her safe,
reassuring her along the way.

Apparently, her creator was chuckling
on the day she was conceived,
giving her both the ability to wonder
at all the questions he would pose
and the heart to appreciate the wonders
lavished upon her world.
With the final gift of free will, it was up to her
to create and fulfill her destiny.
Time would tell
and eternity held all the time
one could ever need.