Salt Bearer

a shadow from the past
cast upon a new life
a dream in the shape of you
ashes and dust be gone

exorcise this demon
feasting on the soul
crammed within Pandora’s box
left to be forgotten

haunting the mind
brushing up against the landscape
leaving your scent behind
a lingering trail of memory

like a slug
leaving mucous in its wake
tainting the path
with residue – a sticky slime

tracking your every move
we come with salt and lime
shriveling and poisoning
at once existence to nothingness

 

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Cool Lesson for Today

I teach a course on short stories. It’s probably one of my favorite things to teach because I love short stories myself. Recently in class, we’ve been looking at popular fiction and the various genres. This week we’re focusing on Sci-Fi/Fantasy. Yesterday, while working on my plan for the week I had wanted a short sci-fi film that I could show in one class period that would be interesting enough to keep my students’ attention and that would have the obvious elements of sci-fi. At the time I was working on my plan I couldn’t come up with one, but while eating dinner with my husband an idea hit me, and I thought to myself – I know, an episode of Star Trek!  – which like much of what goes through my mind, I apparently verbalized this thought, much to the confusion of my husband who then said, “what about an episode of Star Trek?” 

I proceeded to explain my prior quandary, and he then reminded me of another wonderful something…The Twilight Zone! Oh, yes, that would be even better!

In seeking out the perfect episode to show today, I landed quite fortuitously upon “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.”

This was beyond perfect! Not just for the purposes of my lesson, but also perfect amidst our recent political climate change. It was the perfect message for my students to hear, and perhaps myself as well.

Quite in awe of how beautifully this all came together, I couldn’t wait to write this post because I wanted to share just a small reminder to all about the dangers of mass hysteria/the mob effect and how we often let our fears control us to the point of chewing off our own tails. Fear of the unknown and different is not an excuse for bigotry.

Enjoy, My Friends, Enjoy!

 

What I Know of Leaves

As a child, I loved autumn – the fallen leaves raked in piles on my lawn with their musty scent always thrilled me. I remember my Dad and I raked the leaves from around the entire yard to create the largest mound possible before plunging into the mountainous pile.

I still find great pleasure in the autumn leaves, but I haven’t jumped into a pile of them in quite some time. Perhaps I need to do that again. But these days I find myself admiring the colors and shapes of leaves. I enjoy the crunch of dried leaves beneath my feet as I cross the lawn and I still love their earthy scent. I enjoy watching the squirrels scamper through them as they seek to hide their treasures.

I think the leaves are my favorite part of the season. They seem to pair nicely with jeans, hooded sweatshirts, and hiking boots.

Upon the wind, they gather and play
dancing and swirling as though
they were a sign of youth and vigor
instead of the dying of another season.

Laying one upon the other
Shifting and stirring,
rustling with
each footfall and breath of the Earth.

Hues changing, ripening
with intense beauty and fading
into the background with age.

Cosmic Spider

She weaves a universal web
connecting stars, sun, and moon.
Silky ties to a world beyond ourselves.

We’re connected just as the galaxies
hold together with invisible strands.
If we trace our web through
time and space –
we find our past, present, and future
along its course.

This is how our lives become
so entangled as to depend
upon each other.

Casting out lines,
in hopes of snagging
tiny bits of intimacy
another soul’s connection
hanging by a thread.

We dangle there
frozen in time until
the ripples of contact subside.

That which we catch
can destroy all we’ve built,
or nourish our souls –
weaving the tapestry of life.

We are mere fractals
of our cosmic spider
as she devours us
one by one.

The Wooden Frog

I’m on vacation this week staying at one of my favorite places right on the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk, Star of the Sea. We have stayed here many times over the past five years or so, and I always look forward to returning.

For those of you who don’t know, I am a skeeball junkie. I love old-fashion arcades, and Rehoboth beach happens to be the home of one of my all-time favorite arcades.

Now for the real story.

Every year we’ve come to Star of the Sea, there’s been a wooden frog in the lobby leading out to the boardwalk. The first time we stayed, we discovered through mere curiosity that the wooden frog was hollow and you could remove his top to reveal a shallow bowl. It was empty, and it gave me an idea; I decided to leave something in the frog as a gift for the next curious explorer, most likely a child.

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My first thought was a treasure map leading to a small buried/hidden treasure, but later decided that wasn’t a practical thing as the bearer of the map might not be the first to discover the stash. I opted instead to leave arcade tickets.

Such a gift was utterly within my character, as my arcade winnings are rarely if ever, redeemed for prizes. It is my tradition to give the tickets away to a child before leaving the arcade. It’s actually my favorite part of going to the arcade; getting to see a child’s face light up when they realize that I’m gifting them my tickets.

Ever since that first year, upon our arrival at Star of the Sea, we’ve checked the frog to see what loot others may have stashed there. I’m reasonably sure that each time we’ve found something in the frog. Always some sort of anonymous gift.

This year, we discovered several pieces of what appears to be play money and various other items.

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We discovered a little note card sitting next to the frog simply saying, “Take one, leave one.” Perhaps management or the cleaning service have clued in on the game their patrons like to play.

Our trip to the arcade this morning has now supplied our newest contribution to the wooden frog. A ticket slip from the arcade will be found by the next set of curious little fingers to explore the frog in the lobby.

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I have no idea if we were the first to begin what has become this tradition of paying it forward, but to those who continue to participate, I thank you. It’s nice to see that there are still small treasures in this world to be found if you are curious enough to go looking.

The Gate

 

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The gate is open; won’t you come in?
It beckons as you pass, enticing in its mystery.
Whispering your name, you wonder how it knows.

Curiosity tugs at the hem of your skirt
a small child, wanting for attention
leading you by the hand to show you.

Crossing the threshold bears a sense of significance
though you know not why; like stepping beyond the walls of a city
you once thought you knew so well into a new hidden recess.
Your heart skips a beat, excited by adventure, it knows no fear.

A chill rushing down your spine
tiny fragments of movement
skirt the periphery of your vision.

With rapt focus and attention
tiny webs made visible by grace
of moonlight shining
sing sweetly to your memory,
a forgotten lullaby perhaps?

These webs, no ordinary orb weavers’ dream;
made of crystalline shimmers
mesmerizing and ghostly
as they dance with the breeze.

As the gate creaks closed behind,
much as you knew it would,
you wonder if you’ll ever leave.
Somewhere in the darkness, a voice
answers the thought with an echo, “if you so wish.”

Stepping forward, gazing steadily
ahead, the newly cleared path
lined with trees branches out
in the leaf-strewn distance.

Knowing only that you are meant
to follow this trail,
you reach behind you
to lock the gate.

 

 

 

Up Before Anyone Else

mornings  meant for quiet
contemplation
and                 coffee

dream storms have passed
in waking hours
our interpretation
lacking

while felines
bask in the  morning light
spilling
through windows
chasing shadows and tails

dear self,
seek inspiration
in
wild dreams
and
reflective morning silence

 

Mountain

[In response to One Word Prompt]

As a child, my family and I took week-long camping vacations to Ricketts Glen State Park in the mountains. We’d spend the week encountering wildlife, hiking the trails and falls, roasting marshmallows over a campfire, swimming at the Lake Jean beach area, and biking around the camping loops. I loved every minute of it.

I remember one trip in particular that stands out. It was the summer I met Tom. Tom was an elderly gentleman who played the bagpipes at the wooded amphitheater across the water. He enjoyed playing there because of the acoustics. The beautiful and mysterious melodies that danced across the lake drew me in; I was entranced. I remember racing around the lake at dusk hoping to catch his evening performances. He was the first man I’d ever seen wearing a kilt and traditional Scottish regalia, and I was in awe of his bizarre plaid-bag-with sticks looking instrument and its oddly haunting sounds. I vaguely remember him letting me squeeze the bag and being delighted by the honk it made.

I wish I could say that I remember more about the man or that I’d somehow remained in contact, but that isn’t the case. I do, however, remember half expecting and later hoping to hear his music each year as we returned to our family camping spot. I don’t recall ever seeing him again though.

 

 

Coordinates of Friendship

words {sifted} from among the rubble
and darkness brought forth
into the light

searching for meaning

in distance / time
(= speed)

refraction of light
allows us to see each other
clearly, but not

*the future*

this space between our two points,
the geography of your mind,
this vessel navigates by heart

determine the equation
for happiness,
graph it on the Cartesian plane;
finding longitude and latitude,
set our course.

The shortest distance between two points will always be a straight line,

but

I’d                                                                                                     rather

circumnavigate                                                                             the world

with you.