Thursday’s Rune: My Friendly Reminder


I used to ponder the meaning
when an attractive young lady
(she could be 50 or 60 nowadays)
would cast a trusting smile
my way and say,
‘you remind me of my father.’

Was she calling me old (true ‘nuf),
a difficult, somewhat deaf defender
(also true), or childhood disciplinarian?
A boomer, for Christ’s sake.

Perhaps it’s my ego,
maybe just plain self-guilt,
conceivably a DSM diagnoses.
I don’t know. Anyways.

I’ve finally realized
she could pay me
no greater compliment,
no higher honor, than to say,

in whatever loving way,
(or not)
she thought of him. When
she looked into my eyes,

she saw him. The first man
she ever loved.


Look both ways to understand.
Try to see yourself as another sees you.
Mind the gaps for confusion and clear understanding.

***

Gloss: DSM refers to The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the taxonomic and diagnostic tool published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Sammi’s Weekender #244 (cave)

Click on graphic for Sammi’s blog.

Dig It

Destined to climb
cliffs, walls, grottos,
towers, trees, and poles.

Discovering, exploring
hidey hole caves,
abandoned mines; hunters of
excitement and danger.

Excavators, trail blazers;
spelunker boys still alive want
to climb the stairs.


Come closer to me.
Look both ways.
Explore the Universe while you can.
Mind the gaps in the grottos for hidden treasure: the mysteries of the past.

Thursday’s Rune: Poésie de l’escalier


I thought, he’s like Cousin Eddie.
He sat there,
smart in his mind,
middle-aged,
“right” minded,
then he asked me
(innocently enough).

“What do you do,”
he says to me,
to keep busy?

Busy?
Suddenly,
I had a moment!,
ya know?

Maybe
it weren’t his fault, but still.
I swallowed hard and
played nice by avoiding
my roar of revenge.
(Fuck you very much
for asking.)

I listened
as he bragged on
for hours
giving testimonial evidence
of his high holy wonderfulness,
and dogged dedication
to his personal
world of work.

I nodded and smiled. Bit my lip,
while slowly bleeding
feigned interest.

What do I do to keep busy?

For God’s sake, Bumpkin.
I waste my few remaining days
listening to friendly folks,
feeding on family fodder;
pleasingly holding my tongue,
and sitting on my hands.
Legs crossed.
I smile

like Hannibal Lecter
pondering…

mon ne pas savoir répliquer
sur le moment
.


Look both ways. Dine well.
Choose friends from the menu, accept family from the stars.
Mind you, there are gaps.
Ponder politely the wellsprings of innocent idiocy and the moods of sensitive old lions.

***

Glos: In English, the title means staircase poetry. The last line translates as my not knowing how to reply at the moment. ‘Cousin Eddy’ is a character (Randy Quaid) from the National Lampoon Christmas Vacation movie. As for Hannibal, “Well, Clarice. Have the lambs stopped screaming?”

Thursday’s Rune: Candles in Darkness

Thanks to Dale for the photo.

(Time to go home)

The streetlight was
outside my second-floor bedroom window,
about sixty feet away,
kiddy corner from me,
but right across from Packy’s Bar.
At night, it dimly lit my bedroom.

(I didn’t like the pull-chain single bulb
that hung from a chain in the middle of the room.)

There was another light
a block farther up on Main Street,
and another was down on Washington
where a traffic signal clicked
when it changed to another color (all night long).
It had to be late and quiet to hear.

I didn’t care.
When I pushed my bed next to the window,
I could feel and smell smoke-free night air.
I saw and heard street and sidewalk sounds,
I watched the glorious night rain,
and sometimes people who were quieter at night.
Summertime I could see bugs flying around the light
as I listened to the raucous people up at Packy’s.

The light was near enough
to work with my mind adding drama to boredom
as the nearby maple-tree limbs and leaves
silhouetted diabolical shapes and shadows.

That’s how I saw them.
Frightening then. Old friends now.
Along with rain, the streetlight showed me
falling snow or eerie fog on dark nights.

Streetlights comforted me.
Now, when I get up before sunrise, I look out
to see another lonely, bored streetlight father away
on a much quieter street with no bars (just houses with old people).
I recall the days when I looked out for the light to tell me things.

I still do.


Look both ways to see the light.
Mind the gaps, the bars, and the interesting shadows.
Watch people.

Tuesday Rune: Health

Nine on Tuesday

It’s nine o’clock on a Tuesday.
The patients just shuffle in
with oxygen tanks and walkers,
some in wheelchairs, hoping
for something better
for medical science
to keep them in one piece
to keep us alive and well.

Now, for some, is the time
of politics over health,
religion over medicine,
conspiracy over science.

I look around
and I say to myself,
man, what are you doing here?

It’s nine in the morning
and I am just one
of these people.
Another old fart
or flatulentess
getting a test to tell us
what we already know.

Some day this shit’s
gunna kill us,
if our own stupidity
and pride
fail to do it first.

It’s a lovely, sunny, cool day
here in Temple, Texas,
for wondering, Bill,
what are we doing here?

So, we sit and wait,
neither early nor late,
to have some clinician guide
say it has not gone away.
“If you stroke out,
give us a call, and
have a nice day.”


Look both ways.
Understand life backward but live it forward for as long as you can.
Mind the gaps for the fountain of youth, the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and life everlasting. Amen.

Thursday Rune (Kip)

Temporary Friendships

I never understood him.
He told me things,
as others have,
where truth
may have been shaved,
distorted, or it was not
exactly as it was.

He was my roommate,
at times a friend,
but solid ground
did not bridge us
for very long after
I went one way,
he another.

Many silent years later,
Yolonda found Kip.
Living in Florida,
where he has since died.

It’s hard to say
what matters,
so many years later.
I wonder what
I saw then, that
I cannot recall now.


Look both ways but mind the gaps.
Hold on to dreams and memories. But sometimes,
I wish I knew then what I now know. At other times,
I wish we didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.

Sammi’s Weekender #235 (mirror)

Click for Sammi’s blog and links to other blogs for prose and poems.

Timeless Reflections

For twenty-seven thousand days and nights
what you have seen is not all that ever was.
You see in me today’s truth, one perpetual now.

With one look I never judged anyone.
I reflected an eternal present
without darkness, forgiving the past,
each glimmer gone, days and nights
numbered and stacked
upon your tired shoulders.

Like ashes from wood burned
in past fires, days forgotten, names confused,
adjusted appearances, time
carefully dealt from fate’s shuffled deck,
one at a time until there was none.
Lines of life get clearer, youth
forgotten there, inside grandfather’s mirror.


Mirrors can’t look both ways.
The reflection they cast is only today.
Mind the gaps and fix the cracks, everyone has history.

This mirror hung in my grandfather’s house 100 years ago, then in our dining room from before the day I was born. Click on the photo to read Sylvia Plath’s poem, “Mirror.”

Friday Fictioneers: My Sold Soul

Many thanks to the wonderful Rochelle for herding us cats on Friday Fictioneers. We write micro-stories inspired by a new photo each week, provided by very creative and imaginative compatriots. Here is the photo and my story for this week.

Click on this week’s PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy to link to Rochelle’s Blog.

Genre: Satirical Epistolary Fiction
Wordcount: 100


Dear Mr. Bill,

Back in 1969, you agreed to our soul safekeeping if you got lucky with one Fancy Fox.

Enclosed herewith please find your damned, odoriferous, devil-moth eaten, blackened, rotten soul.

Our Diabolical Board of Demons directed soul safekeeping be returned to original owners since repossession is inevitable.

Due to Texas PowerGrid uncertainties, the ravages of our dark virus experiment, and subsequent chip shortage, we are terminating soul safekeeping, forthwith.

Please store your stinking, grain alcohol-soaked spirit in a warm, damp, moldy place until we confirm by certification your final demise.

Insincerely,

Wormwood Chinaski,
Human Soul Safekeeping Division


Look both ways, keep smiling,
mind the gaps of the damned, and ride the soul train.

Click on Mr. Wormwood to link with all the other stories for this week.

Friday Fictioneers: Let’s Party

Many thanks to the wonderful lady, talented artist and writer, and patient friend Rochelle, for herding us cats on Friday Fictioneers. We write micro-stories (fact or fiction) to a new photo each week, provided by some very creative and imaginative compatriots. Here is my story for this week.

This week’s prompt (PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.) provided, and I bet painted, but Rochelle. Click the image and go to her blog to learn all about it.

 


Happiness Is

The outdoor social party was to welcome new arrivals to the senior center near Seattle. Bill, a newcomer, volunteered to serve special lemon-flavored ice cream.

“This is the best party. Everyone is happy to meet you, Bill,” said Marilyn, the Social Director.

Bill said, “Have some ice cream, Dear, everyone loves it.”

Back at their condo, Yolonda said, “Gawd! I can’t believe you spiked their ice cream. I hope no one finds out.”

Bill removed the bottle of lemon-flavored drops from his pocket. “A little THC never hurt anyone. We’ll need a big bus for next week’s pot shop run.”


Look both ways and share the love.
Mind the gaps and quash old fears.

Click the meme to read all the other stories.

 

Sammi’s Weekender #227 (ramshackle)

Click on this graphic for Sammi’s blog.

 


Revelation of Genesis

Deserted, dangerous
Ramshackle houses
Former family homes, once
Functional buildings,
Businesses, barns, refuge
From the hot Texas sun
Or driving storms of
Wind and rain.

Suppertimes, nights of dreams,
Homework, plans to plow
Cotton-farm acres.

Now it’s all abandoned, forgotten,
Seen but unnoticed or ignored
Peppered along the otherwise
Scenic road drives on, once dirt,
Now blacktop paved roads
Memories forgotten or
Buried in nearby family
Cemeteries. Unwanted,
Unloved by ungrateful
Outsiders who see
Only haunted eyesores, sadness.

A mess to be cleaned up
By the next generation.
Past lives carried into the
Graveyards of the forgotten.


Look both ways and wonder.
Who were they? What were they like? Where are they now?
Pay attention to the message and mind the gaps.