When the waters rise shall we return to “that” time —
To what we were before we crawled from below?
“Is this what happens when the world cries?”
We ask and yet no answer have…
Up, to breathe the crystal air,
We rose, and rising, changed;
And now, must return —
With the fishes,
Ever rise again?
Walk earth, breathe air,
Become what once we were?
From deep inside the questions rise,
“What have we learned, to try again?” …
When you’re young, you’re ten feet tall and bullet-proof. Then you get older and realize maybe you aren’t.
“Chain, chain, chain, chain of fools…”
The speakers in the bright blue super-duty blasted Aretha Franklin’s ’sixty-eight classic across the sun-baked, Kansas landscape. On either side of narrow, gravel road, serried rows of head-high, silk-tasseled sentinels nodded and bobbed in the hot, fitful breeze.
Sam peered at the field of fast-ripening corn, through bleary eyes. He’d been glued to their monitors for hours, “Man, it gets any hotter they’ll be harvesting pop-corn.” He grabbed a bottle of water from the cooler and downed it in a few gulps. …
Duncan held out his plate of home-cooked spaghetti and meatballs, their Saturday night staple. “Pardon-me-Sam — cheese, please.” He waggled his eyebrows at Samantha and nodded to the dish of grated Parmesan.
Four-year-old Amanda collapsed in helpless giggles. Her brother, Benji, caught off-guard, snorted into his milk. Even his twin-sister Samantha snickered. It never got old, no matter how many times their dad trotted out that silly, punny joke. But at the old ripe age of nine, the twins were much too grown-up to admit they still enjoyed the game.
“Jeez, Dad, look what you made me do.” Benji dabbed at the wet spot on his t-shirt. …
“I’ve hauled everything from dead bodies to live chickens, and fuck, do they stink. The chickens, not the stiffs.” Charlie tipped his cap back. “Whatcha wanna know, son?”
Charlie come from Alabama. When he’d had a few, he’d say as he didn’ have no effin’ banjo on his knee. Then he’d talk about how his great-grand-daddy’s momma was brung over from Angola on a slave ship. He’d tell some a’ her stories from home — ghosts, ‘n lions in the tall grass, an’ such.
I didn’ put much stock in no lions, but them ghost stories was corkers — mos’ scare the pants off ya. …
“Pull” Boom. “Pull.” Boom.
Grand-papa’s bass rumble repeated the single, uninflected word, punctuating it with the relentless shattering of clay pigeons.
Simon’s mother patted his shoulder with a gloved hand. “Isn’t this nicer than poring over those silly bits of paper?” The chill breeze whipped her hair into her eyes. She tucked the loose, chestnut strands under her paisley headscarf and pulled her collar close against the brisk, fall day.
“No.” Simon’s nose was red and runny, and his toes were numb even in wool socks and sturdy, leather boots. He wished they were home, sipping hot chocolate in front of a crackling fire, or snuggled together with a favorite book on the comfy, over-stuffed, morning-room sofa. …
When meeting new people, you should always put your best foot forward — though, sometimes you need a little help from a friend
“Hey. My name is Caledonia Greengrass. Please-ta-meetcha.” Callie squinted at her reflection in the fly-specked, wavering glass. What she saw staring back didn’t fill her with confidence: baby-fine, mouse-brown hair skinned back in wispy French-braids; down-turned, apologetic, hazel eyes; and a small, pink, rosebud mouth, poised to beg pardon for whatever’d just passed its lips.
“Such a sweet li’l mouth — a perfec’ cupid’s bow,” her ma always said. …
One more little bit of you left today;
Another tiny piece,
Hardly noticed —
The bit that remembered my name;
So many little things, fading away;
Into the waiting dark,
Don’t go gently —
Don’t go at all…
Out with the tide, I watch you floating farther and farther from shore;
Trying to reach you, touch you, hold you; selfishly wanting more;
I know you’re still in there; I saw you peek
From deep inside those eyes,
Then gone again—
Clouded over. Can you see me?
I‘m probably asking too much of you,
But God’s not listening,
Or not answering —
Please, can’t you…
I’ve heard so many times from tired, sad, bewildered folk mourning the loss of a loved one: “I just stepped out for a coffee.” “I slipped home for a shower… for fresh clothes… for a few hours sleep.”
You’ve been sitting by the bed of a loved one, day after day, knowing the end is coming, knowing their next breath could be their last. You wait, and wait, and finally, inevitably, you have to take care of some mundane chore — a bathroom break, a breath of fresh air.
It’s almost as if your loved one sensed you were gone and chose that moment to quietly slip away. As if they’d been tethered to this earth by your presence and when you left their side, the tenuous connection, the slender strand binding them to you finally loosened and they were freed. …
Hello, again. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? My little joke, Dear Diary. It’s only been since last evening, but a lot can happen in a day — a banana can turn to mush in a day…
You probably think it odd for a man to keep a diary in this day and age, but when I was a child, my father was always going on about Socrates and how an unexamined life wasn’t worth living. So, I decided to keep a diary. …
A celebration of the fleeting joys of summer
Summer is serenity, sipping on sweet tea,
Glide back and forth on an old porch swing,
Swing creaks to the rhythm of your heart —
Heart-beat, shimm’ring heat,
Waves rise from silent street,
While the white-gold sun pours down in a butterscotch day;
Summer is laughing, bare-feet skipping
’Cross dusty playground, to metal-chain swing,
Pump legs, body bowed and arched —
So high, touch the sky,
Soar, swoop, Could I fly?
Sweeping, swinging, wind rush, fall then rise to the azure skies;
Summer is tart, sweet, ice-cold lemonade,
Watching the neighbors rock and swing,
Wooden glider grumble and groan —
Fans flap, face sweating,
Tired feet, slow kicking,
Rolled down frosty, sun-kissed glass, chill drops surprise bare…