One Small Thing

Digging into the archives today.  Been out of town.  Not a lot of writing getting done.  Hope you enjoy!

One Small Thing

Little elf
Hit her head on the shelf
Went out of her mind and discovered herself
Little cat
Sleek and black
Went out the window and never came back
Little doubts
Like roots on our routes
Sometimes distract us from figuring it out
Little things
With angel’s wings
Sometimes stay near us when the telephone rings
To bring us bad news
When it’s all we can do
To stare at the ceiling and let the grief through
Little words
Like flocks of birds
Can remind us of beauty when nothing else works
Little joys
Like a child with new toys
Are so much more poignant when a joy is destroyed

Published in: on August 31, 2009 at 9:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Have A Sandwich!

Apparently, an American sentence is 17 syllables.  And an American sandwich is 3 American sentences, bread, meat, bread.  I’ve read some talk about using a minimum of words, which implies a maximum of wordiness, if that makes any sense.  Big words.  Five dollar words.  Polysyllabic words.  I tried it both ways.  The idea is flash fiction; a brief, thought-provoking tale of… whatever.

Hungry?  I just whipped up a couple sandwiches for your dining pleasure.  I even garnished the second one with a title and some rhyme I found in the fridge.  Enjoy!

Anti-governmental conspiracies vigorously multiply.
Contentious extremists formulate rebellious insurgencies.
Systematic annihilation hovers, wearing a death’s-head grin.


At Night We Go Wandering
A sleeper walks away from himself in a lucid dream to explore.
His spirit washes up some time later on a distant astral shore.
The breath leaves his body a final time and the sleeper wakes no more.

Hmm… I think I counted those right.  Ah, well, even a sloppy sandwich can taste good, eh?  Here’s a napkin.  :)


Some random things I wrote today while sitting in the coffee shop, in no particular order, with little in the way of editing.  Hope you enjoy!

Pillar of fire
Connects land to sky
Spreads to become a curtain
Astral wind
Billows through the gap
Truth becomes uncertain
The fold in reality parts
A prow of new earth
Birth of a continent starts
Blue vault of sunlight
Sand on a psychic wind
Scrape across the mind
Pain of renewal begins

Whales from outer space
Assault my senses with sound –
Sonic bombardment

Butterflies tumble
Like flower petals, or snow
On the traffic breeze

In fountaining streams
The children splash and give chase –
Mist beads on red bricks

Sometimes the sun shines so brightly
Sitting by these great bay windows
Looking outside
Makes everything in here

Matted dreds
Tangle in his beard.
His hands shake as
He counts my change.
Slowly, yes, but also

The heat radiating from the pavement warms me so pleasantly I forget my sadness over the slow expansion of this hungry city.

Cities are man-made amoebas.

her hips swing like
a pendulum
time for her
hourglass figure

Counting seconds on her skin
I fail to notice the hours
Sliding by as I slide within
This hungry love devours
And we melt into potential
Unbound feeling without form
Intense as it is torrential
Endless as it is calm
Woman, put your hands on me
And help me shape our love
I will put my hands on you
And help you shape our love


I awaken in a field of flowers
Empty but for love’s sweet power
My thoughts scatter
Petals on the breeze
As a lazy zephyr blows through me

… and the sky is breathing deep

Across the glade a distant bower
I hear birdsong call the hour
It lures me onward
Into the shadow of trees
This place speaks – my heart agrees

… and the land is breathing deep

Somewhere ahead the sound of laughter
Through tangled growth the ripples fracture
Liquid chuckle over stones
I can feel it in my bones
As I stand on the sand alone

… and the sea is breathing deep

I awaken from the dream
The vision slips away from me
I feel foggy, incomplete
In search of something I can’t keep
I look around
A field of flowers
Colors stun me
Nature’s power
Thoughts lost in diversity
As a lazy zephyr blows through me

… and the sky is breathing deep

… and the land is breathing deep

… and the sea is breathing deep

How long was I asleep?


I’ve taken today’s offering from 3WW and used it to write this poem.  “Fracture” appears as is.  “Noise” inspired the idea of sounds… birdsong, laughter, a babbling brook, wind and words.  “Vanish” is in the scattering thoughts, the dream as it escapes my grasp.

Comments and constructive criticism more than welcome!  Heartfelt thanks to the folks at 3 word wednesday!

Published in: on August 26, 2009 at 10:55 pm  Comments (15)  
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2 haiku

Light falling through blood ~
The kitchen window is cracked
Where the
bird struck it


Amber’s bamboo chimes ~
Sporadic rhymes without words
Spoken by the wind

Published in: on August 25, 2009 at 2:09 am  Comments (4)  
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In The Whistling Grass

Pampus shivers in the wind
Like a herd beast in the snow
Tall grove of slashing grass
Left alone to grow

And childhood memories
Come creeping back to me
Countless little injuries
From playing hide and seek
Beneath the rustling feathers
Of Mother Nature’s javelins
Thick stalks give way to jackknife blades
And we go hunting elephants

And if my memory
Serves me correctly
We always caught
At least two or three
And we stayed up late
To roast the meat
Beneath shining stars
On a backyard safari

And in the whistling grass
We whistle as we go, and
In the whistling grass
We whistle as we go, and
In the whistling grass
We whistle as we go, and…

Published in: on August 25, 2009 at 1:56 am  Comments (1)  
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I want to be an astronaut,
A jet pilot, a bird.
I want to be an author,
Who wields the weighty word.
I want to be a fireman,
An arsonist, a fire.
I want to be a magician,
A walker on a wire.
I want to be a warrior,
A dragon in the den.
I want to be an explorer,
A gold medal Olympian.
I want to be an educator,
A musician, or a vet.
I want to be that crazy man,
Who owns a hundred pets.
I want to be a pioneer,
And an inventor, too.
I want to be a lover,
And loved by one like you.
I want to be a child at heart,
And see the world with awe.
I want to be an adult, yes,
But not right now, mama.
I’m having too much fun with life,
I’m only twenty-eight.
I see no risk of growing up,
Too little or too late.
As long as I keep growing,
Learning, laughing, alive,
I know I’ll be an adult,
Before it’s time to die.

Tripping Over Sleeping Lovers

Stranger on the riverbank
Walk the rolling waves
Blowing wind and make-believe
Wash it all away

Hunter on the soft hillside
Turn your eyes within
Tattoo of a predator
Belies your victim skin

Beggar of the offered nest
Hungry for a gem
Stacking golden towers up
Just to scatter them

Archer on the bridge between
Aiming for the sun
Trajectory of tragedy
Wake up, Fool, and run

Published in: on August 21, 2009 at 1:13 pm  Comments (7)  
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Circle of Seven

Stone cave
Bone in cave
Bone cave
Meat in cave
Meat cave
Wood in cave
Wood cave
Star in cave
Star cave
Stone in cave 
                                                                                                                          I will explain this one, because I have found when I shared it with a few people it completely confounded them.  Trying to explain my meaning is something I rarely do, but I think in this case it is worth doing, because I put a lot of thought into it.  The exercise I set myself here was to say as much as possible with as little as possible… basically, I was trying to capture the entire cycle of life, from birth to death, and beyond, as minimalistically as I could.  So, line by line –

Stone cave:  the sort a caveman might dwell in.

Bone in cave:  the remnants of his food.  A reference to the food chain, survival of the fittest, the interconnectedness of things.

Bone cave:  the ribcage of the caveman himself.  A reference to structure, order, which naturally leads one to ponder the opposite forces of chaos.  Also, perhaps a bit of an existentialist thought here, in the sense that we`re all trapped in these bone caves… our bodies.  What is consciousness, and how is it connected to our physical selves?

Meat in cave:  the caveman’s heart in his chest.  His lifeforce, and his love for his mate.  His desire to live, and pass on his genes.   Also, providing for a family.  On a somewhat more sinister note, this is also a very simple reference to the fact that to another meat-eating creature… the caveman himself is just more meat.

Meat cave:  perhaps not the most flattering description of female anatomy, but it is accurate (What?  I didn’t design them!  :).  This line also represents the caveman’s thoughts, his desire to mate, his instinctual lust.

Wood in cave:  have the children gone to bed?  Given that last line, I don’t think I need to explain this one.  Use your imaginations!  ;)  Branching away from that (haha, get it) this line also represent technology.  Sort of like how we go out into the natural world, harvest things there, and then make them into new things… bringing these new things back to our caves for comfort and convenience.

Wood cave:  the cradle or crib of a newborn, resulting from the last two lines…  Also, the word ‘wood’ refers to the power of Nature itself interwoven through our every day lives.  It can also be read to mean modern housing, sort of like a parallel to the first line but in a different time.

Star in cave:  the newborn in the crib, a new light to set the compass by in the eyes of the loving parents, and a source of joy and wonder.  Also, modern wonders like electric lights, to light our wooden caves, and perhaps even the headlights of cars when seen from a distance at night.  Stars in a dark cave…

Star cave:  the starry sky at night, another source of wonder, and also awe.  Following that line of thought, this line also encapsulates spirituality, the way we explain the wonders we encounter (such as the night sky) through mythology and religion.  And have you ever seen a city at night from a distant hilltop?  Star cave.

Stone in cave:  the moon in the sky, superstition and myth (werewolves, for starters, and follow the tangent wherever you like), and something of a Biblical reference… Jesus died and was placed in a cave, which they rolled a stone in front of.  I’m making reference to both death and rebirth, as well as tying the final line into the first by using the same words.  And going back to the second-to-last line, thinking along the lines of cities being star-filled caves… chasms, really, which are just caves that open up at the top… the stone in the cave is the concrete, the pavement, the weight of the world in a busy, industrialized, time-is-money society.  The stone in the cave might also be the stone in the pit of my stomach when I think about these things, and how far we`ve pushed the envelope of Nature… but so the cycle goes.
In all, I used only 7 different words, variously repeated, to try to capture the essence of life (in an admittedly simplified form).   Still, for the task I set myself, I feel pretty good about the results.  Each line builds on those that come before to create, by the end, a very concise, but (to me, anyway) very clear picture of the cycle of life.  Like life, it raises more questions than it answers.  I think the more I read it, the more I realize is written there… like a mantra, or a strange parable that doesn’t quite make sense at first glance.

And that’s my take on it!  You’re more than welcome to your own interpretations, and I’d love to hear them!  Thanks for reading!

Published in: on August 20, 2009 at 3:05 am  Comments (7)  
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Much More Than A Smile

  For some reason I am reminded of this most vivid memory:

  I have just climbed into my car to drive to a job I hate.  As I roll down the road past the school, I see a little girl skipping along the sidewalk ahead of her mother.  She has a cute little plush puppy on a leash.  As she runs and skips, her pigtails flying, the puppy bounces and drags along behind her.  Completely oblivious to this (I am sure to this little girl her puppy was real and alive and romping along with her) she continues to run and play, splashing in puddles, running circles around trees, dragging the poor plush puppy through mud and leaves and bouncing it over curbs and cracks in the sidewalk.

  Despite my lousy mood, I cannot help but smile.  This little girl and her joy are truly infectious.  And her mother, glancing up as I pass, catches me smiling.  She returns my smile with a warmth that shines forth radiantly, a warmth and pleasure every bit as bright as her love for her child.  She overflows with adoration for her precocious little girl, and I feel some of that happiness overflow into me.

  Work somehow did not seem so bad, after that.

  I have thought about it a lot, since then, both while working that day and later, too.  Often, when I am feeling down, this memory comes flooding back to me in all its glory-bright autumn color and super-charged sensory detail.  And if does not come back on its own, I can summon it, with a little effort, and then even the lousiest day no longer seems so bad.  But I did not realize the significance of this until a few months later.

  I was reading, as I am wont to do, about a subject I happened to be curious about at the time.  The subject was Zen, and the words I was reading were telling me about every day moments, and the beauty that exists in them.  Whether it be washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, playing with your grandchildren, doing whatever you do at work, or simply sitting and enjoying a cup of tea, with every passing moment we have the choice to be fully conscious, fully present in the here and now.  When we make this choice, we let go of hopes for the future, we let go of hurts from the past, and we tune in to the joy of the moment.  It is always right there, and always available.  Sadly, we are usually too distracted to notice.

  The author went on to say that we have all experienced moments of beauty and joy like this, every one of us, and if we just let our minds drift, we will recall them before too long.  He encouraged me to find these memories, to dredge them up from the deeps and polish them off.  I did so, and this little girl and her puppy bounced and romped their way through my memory just like they did on the day I first saw them.  It still made me smile, and smiling made me remember the stunning glow of the little girl’s mother, and how she so freely shared it with me.

  And that, too, was touched upon by the author of this book on Zen.  He encouraged me to share these moments, and in sharing them, help to create more moments of joy.  A memory that I keep for my own happiness is a beautiful thing, but a memory that I share with you to make you smile and laugh is a joy for both of us.  And every time we share these lovely things, we get better at it.  We notice them more often, remember them better, and give them away more freely.

  Thank you for reading.  Please feel free to share your little moments of joy, too, either here or on your own little piece of the internet.  Neat thing about the net, you can never really fill it up.  There is plenty of space for radiantly beautiful memories.

Published in: on August 19, 2009 at 5:06 am  Comments (1)  
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