Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Void

"The Void"

The traveler wanders through the dark
Straining to find and maintain the path

The darkness does not stretch before him;
It meets him at his face.
Inside of his eyes.
In his soul.

Every sound he makes emanates from his body
Cruises deftly through the void
Bounces and echoes back
Straight through him.

The darkness infiltrates his being.
Every movement deprives him of himself.
He becomes it.
It becomes him.
Bereft of light,
They become one.

I specifically wrote this poem with no particular metaphor in mind.  I think that this kind of imagery can take on a multitude of meanings, and I wanted every one of them to be right for the individual who thought of it.  So it is.  (If this ever winds up in an English textbook, I apologize to the teachers who must accept all interpretations of it.  And to those students, you're welcome.)

There is one solid thing about this poem: the imagery is based off of my thoughts on the absolute darkness of a cave before the lighting is put in for all of the tourists. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Stay on the Straight and Narrow

"Stay on the Straight and Narrow"

I took a wrong turn in my brain today
The wrong neurons fired along the way
My train of thought more than went astray
When I took a wrong turn in my mind

Towards memories I once put aside
Pains my subconscious tried to hide
Into images affronting my precious pride
When I took a wrong turn in my mind

And I desperately tried to pull myself back
Reroute my thoughts on to the right track
But the muck pulled me farther and gave me no slack
When I took a wrong turn in my mind

And so I stood tall and looked up to see
Every memory and image confronting me
And searched out where any others might be
When I took a wrong turn in my mind

Before long, though I came to find
That I had been wise to have kept myself blind
So I turned my eyes down and followed in kind

To find the right path in my mind

There are times in life when it is emotionally unsafe to let your mind wander.  At those times, it's best to keep looking forward, sticking to the straight and narrow path of what is rather than what was, might have been, or might be.

A note on the presence of a rhyme scheme: it felt appropriate to give a little structure to a poem about losing my way.  

Friday, September 19, 2014

How I'm Wired


Rewiring is tough

New connections
In place of the old

Same destination
Different mode of travel

It has to be done right
Or the whole thing shorts out

As if the energy remembers
The old way
The familiar way
And fights the change

So alterations are made
Paths are made clear
The lights flicker on
Almost like it’s

   Brand New.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Unlocking a New Future

The future is never certain, but most of us have at least a general plan.  Life, though, can change dramatically, and suddenly even the vaguest of ideas about the future are no more.  I'm adjusting my way of thinking, and this poem came from talking with a friend about how to move forward.

"Unlocking a New Future"

What if the key to your future
Lies in your past…
Would you know where to find it?
Which decade to search?
Which pastimes to revisit?
Which relationships to rehash?

Maybe you hid it somewhere
For safe keeping,
Simply lost it along the way,
Someone stole it
While you weren’t looking

Wherever it might be,
However it got there,
The key to your future
Might lie in your past.


Perhaps the past is just the past.
The key to your future is within you
It is you.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

My first public reading!!

Last night I participated in my first public reading, and it was great!  It was a flash fiction reading planned by a former classmate of mine who is active in the local literary scene, running an organization or two.  The possum trauma I posted about earlier got fictionalized, shortened, and it was finally ready for the reading.

The event organizer pulled names from a hat to determine the order of readers, and lucky me, I got second to last.  Plenty of time for my nerves to do their little dance around my body.  But, when my time came, my voice carried through the room, the audience laughed at the right times, and they applauded at the end.

I may be able to get my hands on a video/audio recording in the future, but for now, here's my truncated version, which I titled  "The Trashcan is Alive."

Sometimes taking out the trash can be terrifying for me.  Rolling down the bumpy alley along the side of the house makes the trash can lid settle, pushing air out of the trashcan onto my hand, and it feels like something is breathing on my hand from inside the trashcan.  It’s a creepy feeling, but it’s all in my head, right?


I have good reason to fear the discovery of unfriendly living creatures in my refuse.  Why?  Simple: because it’s happened before.

I live alone with my kids, and I hold my own, most of the time.  There was one major exception a few years ago: I was home alone in the afternoon cleaning up from my dinner preparations before leaving to pick up the kids from daycare.  I had a recyclable container, so I did what I always do: rinsed it out, opened the back door, leaned out, and tossed it into the near by recycling bin.  Until that container reached the bin, all was well.  Then it landed, and the recycling bin hissed at me.

Recovering my composure after doing an impressive Nosferatu impression, I leaned over to glance inside the bin, thinking I was prepared for anything.  I am still in disbelief at what was inside.  A possum. 

“But wait,” you’re about to ask me, “Don’t opossums ‘play opossum’ when they feel threatened?”  That question entered my mind as well, but I had clear evidence that this is not a hard and fast rule for the species.  This bugger was pissed.  It was ready to fight for its right to go through my refuse…  In the middle of the day, I realized.  And yes, before you ask, possums are nocturnal.  Now we’re all thinking the same thing: rabid possum, yay!  Right.

At this point, I closed the door and assessed the situation as I finished things up inside.  I was on my own, and there was a possibly rabid opossum stationed a foot away from the door that I usually use when returning home with my two small children.  Great.

Thank goodness my dad worked nearby! I called him at work, gave him the extremely abridged version of my situation, and asked if he could stop by on his way home to see if he could help.  I might also have mentioned exactly where I kept my shovel, as well as which part of the garden needed fertilized.  He said he’d attempt to do what he could, and I used the front door to leave.

I picked up my kids, and when I returned my dad was leaving.  He handed me the freshly washed shovel and told me that my recycling bin was possum free and that the back corner of the garden probably wouldn’t need fertilizer for a while.

But, if you’re ever driving by my house after dark on a Monday night and see me running down the alley like a lame gazelle, please don’t worry or call in the men in white coats, I’m just having an opossum flashback.  It will pass.