I notice your smile, face full of love,
eyes tilted in glee, like wings of a dove.
The moment comes, and swoops me in,
times I forgot, aroused by the din.
Of music soft, gentle and sweet,
like the palm of your hand, when our toes meet.
I spin you around, your hand in mine,
to see that smile, one last time.
While I watched
white, wispy clouds
Sky’s cerulean scrolls,
(in the hand
of the whispering winds,
by blossoms and branches;
in their own Morse Code),
I heard the
sonnet of snowmelt
that murmured echoes
of Winter’s long lament.
with a cricket’s chorus,
serenading the Sun
as she slips slowly
beneath the bed-linens
on the davenport
of Horizon’s porch,
while a pregnant moon
plays shadow puppets
with the guards
against the facade
of stone castles,
in the shadows
of eve’s edifice.
Eyes’ curtains draw close
as Night plays on.
I’ll write of Nature’s song.
General Sherman (A Spoiled Dog’s Tale)
If you have followed my posts then you may already be familiar with my dog Sherman. I have made little headway in teaching Sherman to read, but we are progressing in some other equally important subjects. For instance, Sherman drinks scotch. Blended scotch. Dewar’s. It’s not quite up to the well-aged, single malt stuff, but it is still higher toned than my father’s bourbon. And Sherman smokes. Marlboro lights, in a flip top box. Don’t roll your eyes! I have a picture! None of that generic, economical, South American tobacco for my buddy! He is a “Man’s Dog”, no doubt, who also enjoys college football and SEC Gameday, particularly when the University of Georgia’s “Uga” is in the mix. I could easily feel as old as I am, or older even, but for General Sherman keeping me young... that dog and his wonderful vices.
By saying all of this I am not advocating smoking or drinking, especially if the preacher is nearby. In fact, I would discourage it in any other dog. What is good for General Sherman’s physical and mental well-beings would more than likely kill another dog, one with a weaker disposition (Yes, to my father’s mortal agony my dog is named after that Yankee general who burned Atlanta, but I am an evolved Southerner, so I saddled the dog with the name as a declaration of my pride in all of America, and not just in its lower half. Besides, isn’t it just like Father to complain about my innocent dog’s name-sake even as he sips on the General’s scotch?) I have another dog, as well. Josey Wales. Josey abstains from both tobacco and liquor, yet she and General Sherman somehow remain friends. Josey Wales is good, and she is undoubtedly smart (if a bit plain), but Josey only barks like any other dog, while Sherman... Sherman has a style!
Sherman also has a paper, a diploma, a piece of paper that states how very smart he is, but don’t believe everything you print off of the internet. That internet is full of lies. His damned paper ain’t worth the cartridge he wasted printing on it. To prove that, I will tell you that he used up the expensive color cartridge to print it, even though he is both color-blind, and black and white... literally. More proof that he is undeserving of any educational accolades.
I must go now. The bell is ringing. It is probably the “Amazon Prime” truck bringing Sherman’s new slippers. He finally found some that match his smoking jacket.
“Come Sherman, and bring your wallet!”
Blood and viscera paint the stage
A deep, murky red,
A most perfect set for the show tonight
The curtain raises,
A string of innards its crown of elegance
Let's begin, folks!
A new masterpiece must be made,
Another corpse carved in an image
You ardently adore
Slicing away the flesh,
Draining crimson life,
The play starts, but never truly ends
A performance straight
From the bowels of Hell
You'll see it all
Allison looked out her office window, pulling the long heavy blue drapes to the side to get a better look. A dust bunny flew into the air startling her new kitten, triggering him to jump at least a couple of feet in the air. She giggled at the incident and watched him run out of the room into the vacant hallway. As she peered out the bay window she could see bits of blue sky peek their way in between branches of lush greenery. Her yard was an oasis of pines, that she was thankful for on so many days, keeping her home cool on hot humid days that happened quite frequently in her southern antebellum home. She savored the starry nights though, always cool and with a bit of sea breeze to make them more inviting for front porch revivals. She never took for granted every day she was given. She loved life and all it’s many wonders. Even on days when things didn’t go quite as she had planned. She was in fact blessed beyond measure. And she new she was a lucky one.
◦ She glanced away from the perfect view of what was seemingly going to be a beautiful sunshine filled day and sat down at her desk adjacent to her bay window deciding it was finally time to start writing again. She couldn’t think of a better day and time to do it. And the thought of finishing the novel she had started before her life had been turned completely upside down, was weighing heavy on her and she felt it would benefit not only herself but others out there as well. She was excited about her future and although she would be going at it alone, she knew at the end of the day she would be fine.
◦ She began to type again. One firmly pressed key at a time. She sipped on vanilla coffee, munched on cinnamon swirl cake and drifted in and out of memories while listening to the cello playing in the background. Peace and contentment was overloading her heart and the words flowed like silk through her long finger tips. She breathed a sigh of relief when she realized she still had it in her to do what she loved the most. She was more than a writer. She was an artist. And she was passionate about her craft. She knew deep inside John would have wanted her to finish it and that he would want her to live life to the fullest without him. She missed him dearly. On some days she felt she couldn’t breath with his absence but she could still hear his soft words of wisdom, she could still feel his touch and her heart beat with stronger more rhythmic cadence than it he ever done before. It was the magic of being able to live life with someone else’s soul inside your own. An angel on standby. He was always there. And he would be the one to help her finally finish writing a book that would not only change the world but would make her a house hold name someday. She didn’t know it yet. But the time would finally come when her art would become a masterpiece. And she was finally ready to finish her novel.
A Sparkling Haven in Small Town Heaven
I was groggy when the train that had been rumbling along the tracks through the snowy darkness of the mountains, came to an abrupt stop. Actually truth be told, I was drunk. In desperation to flee the disapproving glare of the woman next to me, I disembarked quickly not realizing until it was too late, that I had made a grave mistake. This wasn’t my stop. And I suddenly found myself standing alone on the platform in the middle of nowhere, as snow swirled in the velvet sky, catching in my hair and sending cold rivulets of moisture trickling down my spine.
That’s one way to sober up Johnny, I told myself peering into the inky blackness.
Before I could figure out what to do next, booming thunder cracked through the air, and in the blinding glare of a lightning bolt, I saw snow and sleet showering a canopy of evergreens. I’d read about thunder snow but never seen it before in all my thirty-six years.
Two boys around the age of twelve came running toward me and the next thing I knew, I was led through the pine-scented forest to a quaint little town unbelievably adorned with thousands of twinkling lights wrapped around every cottage, hotel, and light post. Like Christmas had just thrown up there.
By the blissful warmth of the hotel dining room fireplace with a glass of wine in my hand, I found myself sitting and conversing with the two strange kids like they were my best friends. Jaylen and Alex, they said their names were, and I felt so soothed in their presence, it almost made me forget, just for those few precious minutes, about… him… that other twelve year old boy back home… the one with the sapphire-blue eyes and lopsided grin that I had killed just days before.
“It’s too bad you got lost on your way to your friend’s cabin,” Alex breathed.
“Should’ve stayed on the train if you wanted to reach your destination,” he drawled impishly.
“But Jaylen and I are glad you didn’t. That you got off here instead to see our amazing little town; don’t you think it’s cool that we get awesome weather, like thunder snow, every day?”
Like ghostly whispers, memories came back, of me numbing the pain, chasing away the shadows of my torment, first with shots of vodka, then whiskey, then the dregs at the bottom of an old bottle of spiced rum. I ignored the voice mails on my answering machine from my colleagues at the hospital, urging me to man the hell up, deal with my failure… get over it… although of course… they used different words… platitudes and gentle clichés.
Danny’s heart surgery was meant to be a slam dunk as far as surgeries were concerned and, during my career, I had performed over three hundred of them. Cardiology was my sub-specialty and aortic valve repairs were something I was so skilled at, patients from all over the country sought me out. I never lost a patient until I lost Danny. Due to complications, he didn’t make it. And the fact that he was a twelve-year-old kid whose personality made sparkling sunshine on clear blue water look drab, was a devastating blow that shattered me like smashed icicles on concrete.
“Don’t worry Dr. Monahan”, Jaylen said, “the weather here isn’t dangerous; nothing is.”
It took sheer mental strength to concentrate on the thoughts beginning to gnaw at me. Like why were these kids outside in the middle of a stormy night helping a stranger through the woods? Why were we sitting in a hotel dining room that should be closed at this hour? And where were their parents? But my brain could hardly process any of it. I felt hypnotized, in some sort of trance, a sensation completely different from the effects of the alcohol in my blood.
Jaylen’s dark brown eyes sank into mine and, as I studied his movements, his mannerisms, a kind of déjà vu doused me. Like the proverbial deer in the headlights, I froze and gaped at the way he shoveled apple pie into his mouth, sprinkling crumbs everywhere. I was spellbound by the way he aimed that dazzling smile right at me like I was the only person in his life that mattered. But the real shock hit when he removed his coat to reveal a t-shirt sporting a beautiful snow leopard. In the months leading up to his surgery, I had become somewhat of a father figure to Danny. Growing up in foster care, he needed a friend, and from the moment we met, he latched onto me. We went swimming at the local wave pool, ate ice cream at Vanilla-Creamery, and explored the zoo where Danny’s favorites were the big cats: the leopards, tigers and lions.
Snapping out of my reverie, I turned towards an odd spine-chilling sound: metal coat hangers in the closet colliding into each other. Like someone had pushed them. Only there was no one there. The hangers were dancing and jingling all by themselves.
A second later, I caught hints of blue pooling behind Jaylen’s brown pupils and while this should have freaked me out, I remained calm.
“Danny?” I whispered. But before I could even hope for an answer, a gust of wind whipped through the entranceway, coating the chocolate-colored floor with snow. Footprints, like those of a child, appeared in the powder-white flakes.
“It’s ok, just our mischievous friend Caleb.” Jaylen said in a singsong voice part melody, part laughter.
“And yes, doc, it’s me Danny … now … Jaylen. When I crossed over into the light, this enchanted town offered an eternity of happiness I’ve never felt before. Like you said earlier, Christmas puked everywhere… and isn’t there always magic in Christmas? Now that you know I’m… in a better place… you must go back to saving lives.”
“And I should stop to buy Christmas lights along the way,” I said with a bittersweet smile.
It was all a trick,
It was all a trap.
Everything I've ever done.
Every friend I've ever had.
Man, they're probably feds.
Or just working for the government
In some way or the other, and with
Technology and a microphone and cameras
On every cellular device that are pretty
Easy to access, it's not that unbelievable
That someone, somewhere, at some time or another.
Some beings are watching, listening.
Don't believe lies!