The sky was opening. Terrible, dark clouds blocking out the sun. The storm built around me, the calamity prodding me into a serene lull. My mouth pulled deeply at the chilling air. Eyes closed, face turned up towards the sickening haze of impending destruction. And I could feel the cliff ledge release me. My eyes opened to take in the tempest building to encompass my last moments. And my mind relinquished my voice. My throat burned as the air exited me in a screeching squall of sound. And as the wind played across my skin, I ran. Heavy footfalls aiming for the precipice of sky and earth. One last drag of oxygen before my feet abandoned the ground entirely.
Lungs ruptured as too much air passed through me, and all I could see was the green foam resting atop the crashing, steel waves below. Tumultuous waters ready to engulf my frame. My body, a comet, aimed at the heart of the maelstrom, begging it to eat me whole. And I pelted like hailstorm into the eddies. And the midnight undertow dragged me under to rest in tranquility. And I sunk in a hush. I sunk in unison with the beauty and the bedlam. And all was placid and dark.
Green Murder Club
“We have to formulate a plan to stop this abuse!” the greenery shouted in misery. “We’ve had it and we’re not going to take it anymore!
Late at night, all the sobbing plants called a council meeting to discuss the never-ending torture they suffered at the hands of Agnes who fancied herself a master gardener. “She snips, clips, and pulls us out by our roots without any empathy for the pain she causes us!” they moaned as they rubbed their cuts and bruises and curled their leaves to avoid further pain. “She has no empathy for us at all, as we scream in agony!”
“I have a plan,” offered Bud, “why don’t the indoor plants and the outdoor plants get together and call all their relatives to support us in getting revenge against Agnes?”
“Let’s call in Mandrake,” suggested another seedling. “He’s a murderous plant cousin whose roots look bizarrely like a human body. It’s rumored to pop up from dripping fat and blood of a hanged man. If it’s pulled up from the earth, it lets out a monstrous scream, bestowing agony and death to all those within earshot!”
“You’re a pistil!” laughed Petal, “Why don’t we ask Aunty Ivy and some of our other vining relatives to come, also. They could tie old Agnes up, and then we could have Uncle Poison Ivy cause tormenting rashes.”
“Sounds like a plan! chortled Stamen, “I’ll bet some of our deadly nightshade family would be glad to get a paid vacation to Florida and help us also.”
“I’m sure that Oleander and toxic Foxglove would volunteer their help!” offered Roots.
The friendly plants put their flower heads together and came up with a payback plan deciding to put it into play the following weekend.
At the stroke of midnight, all the assorted plants marched into the garden single file where they waited for the signal from Bud, the ringleader. As soon as Bud heard Agnes snoring, he beckoned with his filaments to all the outdoor plants to join the indoor ones.
Aunt Ivy crept into the house with her tendrils, completely wrapping her green beauty around the sleeping torturer, as Agnes mumbled in her sleep. Next, Poison Ivy marched in and rubbed her juices all over the wrinkled skin of the old bat. Agnes struggled to scratch her body as it began itching all over but was trapped in the wicked coils of Ivy. Bud pulled up Mandrake by his roots from the garden, causing him to let out a horrendous scream which caused such misery to Agnes that she succumbed to extreme death throes. Next, Deadly Nightshade and Oleander crawled into the crevices of her mouth to be absolutely certain that she was as dead as a doornail. Thorny then pricked her on the bottom of her feet but her stiff body didn’t move.
“Okay, gang,” offered Bud, “help yourself to the steaks and other goodies and whisky and we’ll have a celebration party.”
All night long, the plants kicked up their roots and played around with their styles and ovum as they cross pollinated in sexual bliss. Just before dawn, they all crept out and returned home.
When Agnes’ daughter found her body and called the police, they couldn’t determine the cause of death. “She must have had a heart attack, they said.
The plants that were still present giggled and slapped their stems in high fives as they planned their next green murder with glee! “We could even be paid assassins now that we’ve had experience! We’ll call ourselves the Green Murder Club!”
The Little Green Frog
I sat down in the pew the usher nodded at, sliding all the way down to the end closest to the aisle. As I settled in, I sighed, a certain feeling coming over me.
I straightened my bright coral tie in an attempt to shift my focus to something else but it didn’t work. Slipping my hand into my suitcoat pocket, I pulled out a small stuffed frog. It had been a light green color but now it was leaning towards a grungy dark green from years of traveling around with me.
I ran my thumb over its back and for a second, I’m not sitting in a church waiting for a wedding to begin, I’m back in fifth grade, sitting in my chair next to Kat.
“Hey,” she said, plopping down in her chair beside me. “Happy birthday.”
She dropped a small green box on my desk and smiled. “Open it.”
A wide grin spread across my face as I pulled off the white ribbon and opened the gift. Inside, nestled on a bed of white tissue paper, was a little green frog.
“Thanks!” I said, picking it up and holding it in my hand. The frog was a light green with little yellow spots on it’s back and the cutest face. Its little dark eyes stared up at me while it grinned.
“Nice to meet you, Kole,” it seemed to say. I smiled and sat it down on my desk.
“I got it for you ’cause I know you’ve always wanted a frog for a pet,” Kat explained. “But your parents won’t let you. What are you going to name it?”
“Iggy,” I replied instantly.
She smiled. “It’s nice.”
The teacher rapped her ruler on the desk and the conversation ended there. I mentally fast-forwarded a few years to high school. I still had the green frog in my backpack, always there when I needed a good smile.
We were sitting at a table in the cafeteria, one slice of pizza per person.
“How did your math test go?” Kat asked me, taking a bite of her pizza.
Kat was in advanced math so we weren’t in the same class. She had tutored me for a week in preparation for this test and I had hoped and prayed I’d pass.
“I think I did good,” I answered. I glanced down at my pizza and then out the window.
“Why aren’t you eating?” she asked, setting her slice down. A concerned look spread across her face. She followed my gaze out the window. “What are you thinking about?”
That’s how Kat was. She could tell when I was distracted or upset and always managed to get me to talk.
“Well?” she prodded, nudging me with her foot under the table.
I just shook my head.
She reached across the table and grabbed my backpack which was sitting beside me. As she pulled it over the table to her, she tipped over an almost empty water-bottle which I caught just in time.
She reached into the front pocket and pulled out the green frog which she set on the palm of her hand. She wiggled it from behind and, in a high pitched voice, began to speak.
“Kole, what’s wrong?” she made the frog ask.
I smiled but still didn’t talk.
“Kola Bear,” the frog wined. “What’s wrong?”
“Fine,” I gave in. Kat put the frog down on top of my backpack and waited for me to continue. “Football tryouts are today and I’m nervous.”
“You’ve been playing football since pewie,” she said as she returned to eating her pizza. “You’re going to do great!”
“Yeah, that’s what I’m trying to convince myself of,” I explained. “But have you seen some of those guys?”
She didn’t say anything but rather put Iggy back into his reserved pocket and handed my backpack back to me.
“You’re going to do great,” she assured me.
I did make the team and played for all four years of high school. I was a wide receiver and was the member of the team everybody depended on. I led my team to three championships in the time I played and, in my senior year, helped them win the championship.
After high school, Kat and I drifted apart. I had gotten a football scholarship to Louisiana State University and was soon the number one player on the team. As for Kat, she went to Michigan State University to get a Bachelors in Literature.
Over the summers, we both went back to our home town. Since we were next door neighbors, we hung out a lot and soon starting dating.
People told us that dating was a bad idea seeing as we’d been friends for our whole lives. They said that if something went wrong, we would never be able to return to being just friends.
Our dating relationship lasted for a little over a year before we mutually decided to go back to being friends. The people were wrong though. Just because we had dated didn’t mess up the fact that we would always be best friends. If anything, it brought us closer together.
I was a little hurt after the breakup but I soon moved on after meeting Mally, a nice, outgoing girl from my college. I dated Mally for six months before she cheated on me with a transfer student. After that, I never really got back into the ring.
Kat and I still texted back and forth and talked on the phone about once every two weeks and she seemed to be the only thing keeping me in one piece. Between senior year finals and preparing for NFL drafts, I was very stressed. We studied over Skype or talked on the phone while I worked out or practiced my drills.
One day, she told me she had a boyfriend named James. At first, I was a little jealous but that jealousy quickly turned to happiness. Kat was happy with James. James had been a classmate of ours back in high school and he and I never really got along but then again, we had both changed a lot since high school. Turns out, he was playing football where he was going to school just like I was so we had a lot to talk about.
I got drafted by the North Carolina Panthers and loved it. I loved the thrill of standing in the middle of the field, surrounded on all sides by screaming fans. I loved belonging to a team of great guys and wonderful coaches but I was still lonely. Yes, football took up a lot of my time but when I had free time, I spent it at the gym or out on the field. Not with my buddies and their girlfriends or wives.
I guess you could say being single pushed me to be a better person so when I did meet the right person, I’d be right for them too. I always had Kat in mind.
Every night, whether it was after practice or a big game, I’d look at the little green frog on my dresser and smile. Kat had given it to me and it was what kept me going.
During interviews, the little green frog was in my pocket. During pregame practice, the little green frog was in my pocket, and during the games, it was in my locker in the locker room, cheering me on. I went everywhere with that little green frog, the only thing tying me back to Kat.
After playing for a year in the NFL, I got a call from Kat.
“I’m getting married!” she squealed into my ear. My heart sank as did my moral. I didn’t play as well during the games and couldn’t find any motivation to go to the gym after practice or practice my footwork in my free time.
But I soon realized that moping about my first and really only love getting married wasn’t good for my health and soon, I was happy that she was happy. Was I still a little upset that it wasn’t me? Sure but I was happy for her.
The wedding march began to play, snapping me back to the current event. Kat’s wedding. I stood up with the rest of the people as the bride made her way down the aisle. Our eyes met for a split second and she smiled.
“I’m glad you came,” she mouthed as she walked by. I nodded, smiling back.
That’s when I realized that I wasn’t sad. I was happy.
The wedding was beautiful. The deep royal blue of the bridesmaids’ dresses went perfectly with Kat’s crisp white dress and I’ll admit, I almost cried. Almost.
After the wedding and reception, all the guests gathered on the front lawn of the church to let their sky lanterns fly away into the night sky. As I stood across from Jenna, Kat’s younger sister, I began to think.
“These are wishing lanterns right?” I asked Jenna.
She nodded. “Yeah. You’re supposed to write your wish down on it and let it fly.”
“Well then, let’s write our wishes down,” I said. She left me holding the lantern while she went to get a pen. When she returned she handed the pen to me first and I began to write.
In big, loopy handwriting, I wrote.
For Kat to be happy.
I handed the pen to Jenna and waited patiently as she wrote down her wish. When she was done, she put the cap on the pen and we released the lantern into the sky. The small fire inside of it propelled it upwards and farther away from us but before it went out of sight, I saw Jenna’s wish.
For Kole to find someone he loves.
I looked over at her and she smiled. I felt tears spring to my eyes as I realized what she knew.
“I have a question for you,” she said, standing beside me. “Are you happy for Kat?”
I nodded. “Yes, I’m happy for them both.”
“Do you love my sister?” she asked. I could tell she wanted to take the question back.
“Yes,” I nodded again. “That’s why it’s so easy to let her go like this. I know she’s happy with James. That’s all I want her to be; happy.”
Kat settled down on the couch of her wedding suite and stared at the pile of presents and cards by the door. She smiled.
“I can’t believe so many people came to our wedding, James,” she said. He dropped his suit on the bed and walked over to her, putting a hand on her shoulder.
“I’m going to bring in the rest of our bags,” he told her. “I’ll be back in a minute.”
As he walked out of the room, Kat spotted a little green box with a white ribbon tied around it. Getting up, she walked over and picked it up, carefully removing the white ribbon. She opened the box and there, nestled in the white tissue paper was a little green frog. Not the tattered on Kole owned but a brand new one with shiny black eyes and a perfect smile. Underneath it was a white piece of paper folded in half. She picked up the note and read.
Dear James and Kat,
I wish you the best of luck as you begin your new life together. This frog is a reminder that I will always be praying for you two.
P.S. The frog’s name is Iggy
Kat sat down on the floor and held the frog close to her heart, tears in her eye.
in the life
to let loose
...as the equator
or stated borders
and every girdle
how and where
one really stands
to the world
at the gulf...
like a word
Dreaming of Northern Lights
Tendrils, branches, vines and sheaves
Shimmer 'cross the heaven's floor
Shades against black gown of eve'
Silk threads of her dress harness pure
Magnetically charged particles
Flickering winds of the solar
The Northern Lights spectacle
Aurora Borealis; Polar
Steeped in the atmosphere's kettle
As tea leaves, permeated then seep
Mist crawling; creeps and settles
Like fiery flames; lick and leap
Ebon night sky shining 'lucent
A maestro and orchestral glow
As to touch the milk white with brilliance
Endless appearing, it flows
Mysterious form, shifts and bends
Vitreous colors; mystical
Dances in dreams as it lends
Its radiant green tentacles
photo credit: Christopher Marten Photography
I am surrounded by green of all types
I love it all
I love feeling the harlequin green grass beneath me
It tickles my legs and arms, though it's lively and soft
The big Oak and Evergreen trees blanketed in squishy moss surrounding me on all sides
I look to the sky and it is blue, but I imagine it as a seafoam green
The birds, the bees, and everything else that roams about is jade
I am wearing my favorite emerald dress, decorated in ruffles and silk
I pick a single clover and it has four petals
My lucky day in all this green
Taytu knew what she could do with the immense power she possessed. She was well aware that she had something unique, that she was quite different from others. Everyone wanted her abilities, for she had been on this path before. If they put their hands on her power, however, no one had the grasp of reality how to handle it. So far, nobody had the grits to take it from her. She knew that if they ever tried it though, hell will break loose, and she’d do so much damage before she could relinquish it unwillingly, although she never had any intentions of harming a single breathing soul. She just wanted being left alone. Having such kind of dangerous power is a burden, and for others to envy it could not do any good.
She isolated herself as far as she could go. She was being granted her wish for a while until one day, she stood on a chair, a rope tied around her neck. She was condemned and placed in the pits of darkness. On the day of her sentencing, she didn’t know how she got there, but she didn’t want to unleash her power and then harm innocent people. But, she faced a big predicament of saving herself and others. She though, at the end of the day, every hero should be for himself . To her defense, she had urged the town people not to push her to the edges, so that day, hell indeed did break loose, which only left ruins.
The strangers surrounded her and chanted, screaming at her being. As she tried freeing herself without unleashing her power, her rage took over, and a streak of lighting flared from her green eyes; and then her fingers emitted fibers of bolted thunder lights. She released coated fireballs from her hands into the crowds. The crowd panicked, because they didn’t know what to do with her. They knew they could not control the green light flashing from her eyes, so they began running away. She screamed and let out fire from her euphoric eyes,blasting anything that stood on her way. After the blast, everything turned to dust, and the city submerged in chaos she did not want to cause.
Suddenly, the sky went blank, darkness swirling around and roaming in the green sky.
because of the green skies
His earliest memory ever glides over him like silk. Soothing his pain and bringing him peace. Just before the sky was torn apart, the first time when his skin met the earthly cold. When he lived in a realm untouched by time. Where only kindness could float over the spirit soaked in an emerald glow. In this far memory, he heard whispers of his first mother.
Just angels and demons playing chess over humanity’s dreams,
you can call it life, my son.
Said love to the baby in her arms.
You have so much yet to learn, my treasure.
But I, your mother will keep you warm, until the balance in you will free us.
When all the games will end.
Green eyes turn gently to a being beside her.
Angel Gabriel, take him and guide him from the darkness. If ever it polluted him beyond his human strength, bring him back to me. I will help him embrace the good and heaven in him. My all-knowing airborne. I hand him to you in unbreakable faith. Wrap your wings around his little body and always tell him of the force that will help him survive. The guardians of fire, water, wind, and earth. But don’t let him forget, about the forces that mean him harm. Protect him with every measure possible. My heart shall follow your mundane path... I am always with you, my son. You are forever loved.
The baby is put into different but just as kind arms. Light radiates from the little body and covers everything in sight. The mission begins. Now it’s all up to him.
Mathew opens his eyes. He has finally found the strength that he was looking for.
Now he must fight.
Absent of vibrant colors
Accompanied Father for
Reds, yellows, greens
Hidden as muddy browns,
Blues muted to dull
A terrible shame,
A world half experienced
When surrounded by
Nature’s marvelous show
Father travels to
America’s Last Frontier
With his 3 children
In celebration of retirement
Sprinkled with pinks and purples,
Meet cobalt sky
This trip MUST be
With eyes capable of receiving
Such magnificent beauty
Children gift Father
He slides them on
“What do you see, Dad?”
“Oh My God”
Father instantly transports
To an extraordinary world
Bursting with colors
Of the entire spectrum
Muddy browns, only the moose as
Visit his eyes now,
A world fully experienced!
Will You Forgive Me?
May I use your name?
Its pitch and sound is soothing and full of, what perhaps some will say, beauty.
She won’t hate me, but instead see me for me,
Then again, she can’t see.
The green on this leaf is strikingly loud, Did you pick this color?
May I trace its edges and caress them with my fingers?
They stand out so green.
A combination of blue and yellow, but from where?
Did you mix the bright light with the shade of the sky?
I’m sure she’ll like them and love them as much as I do.
One time I asked you to help me, remember?
She screamed and was crying,
The loud howls brought me out of oblivion,
They pierced my brain and angered my soul,
They awoke the darkness in my brain and unlocked a closed locker where I hid my secrets.
The keys were her screams,
her thrashing of my being,
May I call it depression? Maybe simple sadness.
I didn’t know what to do, so I called you.
I’m sure you knew. They tell me you knew.
You didn’t make a difference,
but she eventually did stop crying.
The silence was louder than my thoughts as I looked at her rest.
Her pale face and blue eyes reflected the very light I assumed you used to create the green.
I can see her.
She’s still screaming, but silently.
She sits still while her blood trickles out her brain,
And her mouth says nothing.
I’m sure they’re looking for me, but you knew the truth.
I was scared.
When my finger pulled back the tears on my face bounced off from my shaking of fear.
What have I done?
Perhaps, I thought, they’d understand my anxiety.
I’m sure you did.
The tears landed on the ground that seemed to have been sand whilst the powder at the end of the muzzle smoked.
The time slowed and the clock ticked
1…… My tears and her blood levitated as if gravity didn’t exist.
2…… They hit the ground and splashed ever so softly. She looked at me.
3…... I called you….
She looked back at me.
That pale face with blue eyes drew a line to mine.
Still, the tears rolled to the ground,
They avalanched off my bony cheeks.
They connected with the piney wood on the ground that was sand to me.
Sand that I once sprayed red with the blood of my enemies.
It stained my memories with the hideous sight of children crying,
Of my gloves soaked,
Dripping red that once belonged to a daughter.
Clenching her hand to mine, her eyes gazed at me,
Displaying clear terror and confusion.
They too were blue, but her skin, my, her skin was dark.
Scorched by the sun perhaps.
My hand caressed her soft cotton-like cheeks as her mother howled in anxiety above me.
My overseers scolded me, for the round wasn’t for her, but for the guy next to her.
My uniform didn’t make the difference I had hoped,
In fact, it made no difference.
I called then too, you remember?
She didn’t know why it struck her chest, she never knew why,
Did you forgive me then? I hope you did…
4…… Now, I held her again
This time, her face pale and her skin as white as the clouds in the sky,
She looked like the girl who had a mother.
I close my eyes and desire the same as both of them,
The blood under my skin ran through my veins,
cold like never before, as if I had been injected with ice.
The sirens sounded nearby, and I looked to you, remember?
They broke through the door, told me to freeze, as if it was an option.
My blood was already cold. My heart was dead…. As was she.
I looked for you, for twenty years and I never found you.
Trapped in two cells.
One in my heart and the other over my being.
Here I am now, over her.
Her rotten body has fed the creatures around her,
Her bones most likely break upon being touched,
Her skull, still with the hole I made.
Her body… lying still inside the case,
Are you here now?
If not, I’ll be there soon…. Maybe….
But you understand right? I tried right?
Perhaps, now she’ll understand as well.
The roses now lay at the bottom of the stone.
I lay on them and look at the sky,
The very sky whose blue shade you used for the leaves
the roses still mesmerize me,
I find myself under the midst of a scary silence that draws out my emotions and tears
Here, I sit in a fearful quietness, wishing, praying, and hoping it ends quickly.
The gun is cold, the muzzle might smoke,
But I don’t know.
I hope you understand,
I pray that you’re real