A Beginning to a Story, one just out of sight.

I’ve wanted to talk about the news these days, but one story piles on another until they waft across the sky like clouds. What was it that I saw, out there in faraway? What was it that the newspapers quoted and released, whether true or subjective idea? In fact, what is true these days.

The Olympics which bring to light a son’s fear of his parents? But wait, not here, not yet. Could it be that sport fills man’s dreams, but forgets the art of losing with honor? Perhaps, but not here, not yet. What of the Trumpets of Doom or Jousters of Certainty and Light, should they join us? No, not even this would bring me to write. The typewriter is calm tonight. Evil rests upon the wires which I must answer, but not tonight. The office is closed.

The hearth is lit tonight. A rousing fire finds itself a home putting rouge into your cheeks. The nanny waits in the kitchen with the butler, cook, and maid. A small staff who make their bread and butter as I make mine. Their fortune is tightly bound to our own. I close my eyes to the world for just a moment, then open them and see you. You should sit up straight at the table and wait for me to speak, but you natter on, your mind obviously elsewhere. There is no haste between us. You barely dream of my world. I worry constantly about yours.

The children lean upon the table in need of sleep, but I keep them with us still. They are our children. After a day of plunging arms into laundry, shining knives and forks for the dining room, of making beds and fluffing down into new homes for pillows, you still sit leaning into the gossip of the streets. Our world, as it is told, is one of parenthood, workplace, and hearth. There is more to it, more than the onlookers would understand, for our world is one of patience. The coin in our accounts is barely enough to keep you, my love, but keep us it does. Your hand at the art of homemaking stretches everything we own into beauty, art and song. The children are your pearls about your neck. They are my weeds within our garden, blooming and winding their winsome charms to please you. They run and play. The tutor who comes three days a week and is shared with out neighbor, that master of knowledge, will soon fail in his duty.

How much longer until we flee to our own place far across the ancient skies to the beginning of lives?

How much longer indeed?

“Children, I have changed my mind this evening. Your story of Princesses and scholars must wait until the morning when the sun shines and voices rejoice. Help each other to bed and leave your mother and I alone.”

“Good night, my loves.” Her gentle voice showing no surprise at my change in mood. They rise and help the youngest, the eldest picking her up with a kiss on her angelic cheek.

“Good night, Mother. Come tuck us in soon, please.”

“Of course, my dears. Father and I will be up in just a little bit. Go get Nanny to help you get ready.”

As they leave, my gentle daughter turns back to look at me. Her small sister is already asleep against her neck.

“Father, you don’t have to worry about us. We’ll do what we are bidden We love you both.”

My wife rises and turns her head to me. She moves the length of the table and waits for me to move my chair.

“Is it time to go so soon?” she says as she sits upon my lap and lays her head upon my shoulder. I cannot answer, my heart frozen despite her answering warmth.
I lean my head against hers.

“I don’t know.” The dark circles in around us, even the staff leaving the quiet alone. “It will be this week. I’ve made the changes that need making. I don’t know how much longer.”

The Road

I was breathless when I finished this,
Breathless and filled with awe
Walking beside you to the music,
To the Grip of the Invisible
Whose voice rose inside yours.
Gasping, I followed you to the end
Of the road, to the moment before
Where your eyes closed
And your story began. The ship.
I tip my hat at the collection box for tips.

Drunkard

I watched you,
Your gin swilled with lime,
Just before you work,
Just before you open that door.
Just before you drive.
I used to talk to you.
Deep talks, listening ears,
Listening to your promises,
To your future dreams,
To your fight between good and evil.
Listen, boy!
I saw the bottles mount up
I saw them empty
Cigarette ashes coating
Your mother’s furniture.
I saw you ignore responsibility
As you spread your empties and partials
In places you had no right
To contaminate.
I used to believe you,
But now I know you are a drunk
In search of an opportunity
To wile away hours uselessly.
You blame the economy
For not being a hero…
You had your chance.
You dropped out of everything.
Sweat means only that your pearl
Skin glistens.
So you blame, so you dive into bottles
That drink from you.

Rain

There is a quality to rain,
When your heart is low,
When the desire to breathe
Wanes and the tides of death
Want to intervene.
We forget the lost ones;
The ones with no hope,
With no love,
With no dreams left.
It takes so little to hold on,
To give a hug to a stranger.
Needs to be fulfilled.
But empty time fills the hopeless.
Change is not inevitable,
The void of contact into that dark hole
In the center of my heart
Overwhelms and ties my hands,
But the water calls.
Water for cleansing,
For growth.
How I wish for a storm!

Love, a Tiny Tale

I met him at a social function. He caught me before I fell off a cliff. Inebriated, I fell off the cliff of love. We were engaged two weeks later and at a distance of 3,500 miles we found a way to marry. That was thirty-six years ago. I’m still falling off the cliff of love.

Coffee and Baristas

Barista, oh thou who
Serves the ambrosia of the gods,
Bring me that potion,
That heavenly anointment
Of caffeine and coffee beans
Steeped and encouraged
To bring the life to my world.
Bring me coffee, barista.
Bring me the strength to
Face the day with guile,
Awareness, and compassion.
Coffee, oh the beverage
of the millions, handed to me
By the expertise of one
Who knows that morning
Has arrived.

A Tiny Tale of Dragons

I was introduced to this form by a very lovely young woman. She’s off to college in London and doesn’t have a lot of time. I have time, but sometimes lack the words. This is based off my first experience teaching summer school.

The teacher stood in the classroom door. The first child swore at her as he arrived. She didn’t get upset, no, she turned into a dragon. The dirt of an unswept hallway became ashes of rude children. Stunned, the child took his seat and cautioned each child as they entered. “Shh, she’s really a dragon. I guess we have to learn this summer.” It was a lovely class for summer school. After all, not everyone had a dragon for a teacher.