The crunch of January ice and snow
gave way to a squish of lawn tartare
in last night’s unseasonable showers.
The snow cover crust of yesterday
dissolved to dilute memory, save for
the tailings of ice crystals remaining from
the mining of pure driveway during the last storm.
In headlight beams, an eerie fog suspended
above the shrinking snow piles,
all melting into their muddy internment,
giving up the ghosts of
temporarily forgotten winter, and
setting us up for resurrection surprises
well before the dawn light of Easter.
Your literate “C’mon, chooses” to confront,
while my mundane choice will affront.
And likely never the twain, boop bop boop.
Given an option of which fantastic world of your
readerly acquaintance I may choose to visit,
what ornate door’s hardware I might
opt to fondle, twist, push and swing
(quite a different fantasy milieu, eh?),
inevitably I choose…None of the Above.
I never wished to participate in your flights
of fancy, no, not even your Halloween dress-ups,
because there is too much imagination inhabiting
lone and often (by definition) lonely me already.
It’s populace visit me more often than is healthy
for a grown man, despite our long walks together.
And…shhh, don’t tell…some of us
have slept together for a long time, too.
They’re why I keep a notebook next to my bed,
ready to transcribe their whispered dreams,
the pillow talk that disturbs my dreamless near-sleep.
And to jot down the license number of the poetic truck
that ran over me on its way here. The place with
the not-so-ornate door you just chose to be intimate with.
Prompted by my friend, the super-supportive and inspiring poet Kellie Elmore, for her January 25th Free Write Friday.
For Whom the Bells Toll
CT Brain Scan (Photo credit: kargig)
The girls, 11-year old Cara and her 8-year old sister Maria, had learned what to do and they quickly, quietly ran toward the front door and closed it carefully and even more quietly behind them.
Their mother, Sandra, got back to her feet and said, “Josh, that’s the last time you will knock me down, and I’m not going to watch you sit in the dark and scream at the slightest giggle from the girls anymore,” Sandra said.
She kept out of her husband’s reach as he struggled to raise himself from his chair in the darkened den, just as she had hidden herself and the girls from him those other times.
“I’m not going to tell you again, Sandy,” said Josh, a former NFL defensive tackle, “there’s no way to make it better, to make the headaches or tinnitus even marginally passable, other than that damn medication or I drop dead.”
Turning to the door, Sandra said over her aching shoulder, “You’re right, you won’t have to tell me again that you don’t like taking your medicine–which was the reason you gave the last time you hit me and pushed Cara–so I left that gift you gave me for protection when you were on the road in the nightstand drawer…protect us.”
Here is my latest Five Sentence Fiction offering, based on a prompt from Lillie McFerrin. This week: Ringing.
The snowy editor erased most of their stories again,
leaving faint marks of their plots on the moonlit page.
Sufficient are the outlines of their quests,
their obstacles, their original stories, that tonight
the authors will rewrite slightly different versions.
They have confidence in these ancient plotlines.
Again, they’ll be full of heroes and villains,
anti-heroes and victims, in tales told
not in black and white, but in shades of gray
and perhaps a spot of red. Such ultimate punctuation
signifies The End of one storyteller’s tale,
but the serialization of the other’s.
Each spring they seem to be publishing
more of their genres. In the case of the rabbits,
they populate the verdant book stalls of my yard,
of late, like paranormal romances and mommy porn.
That is, until fox busts out with all her new
midnight murder mysteries and chase thrillers.
When I sat down to write this poem, I had expected to go in an entirely different direction. But I followed the trails of tracks the rabbits and foxes left in the snow and they led me to this bit of winter poetry. I’m not thrilled with the last verse, but I’m a human and I’ll leave it to these wordless authors to so poetically tell the true tales of hot blooded life and cold running death.
Lost and Found
Forest dream! (Photo credit: VinothChandar)
Over the din of the television, I turned toward my girlfriend and mumbled, “I got lost the other night.”
My girlfriend–having muted the TV for a commercial–said, “What do you mean ‘lost,’ like you forgot your way home?”
“No, I knew my way home…it was just…never mind…just a guy thing.”
I took a deep breath and recalled how the noise of life subsided that night, how confusion and joy mixed in the warmth of a certain smile, how in that moment I felt free of being who I was and suddenly realized who I am.
As the volume came back up I closed my eyes and I think I might have grinned as I walked back down that dark path, getting lost again, leaving home…for home.
Here is my latest Five Sentence Fiction offering, based on a prompt from Lillie McFerrin. This week: Forgotten.
Toss & Turn (Photo credit: Joe_Focus)
Vagrant thoughts pass through
their dreamless minds,
indigent vagaries of consciousness
upon these, the sleepless ones,
during the nights so dark and quiet
they can hear their homeless hearts
flip on the mattress tops, or
the screeching swoosh of skin tossed
‘neath sheets, and sense the sighs
of one inhalation,
and one exhalation,
like the wind through a lost cave.
It is a call of life spent too alone
or at least too lonely.
But once they repose to recall
those times that their hearts would race
at the touch of the other,
the tender bow-draw music
of skin stroking skin, and
the echoing silver-chained harmonies
of two breathing a lullaby as comforting
as any the angels might sing,
they fall into their dreams of together.
Cold and empty are the arms
that come too soon, too cruelly, and
awaken them from this time spent
wrapped in the timeless, the embrace
of their unseen but so-real lovers.
© 2013 Joseph Hesch
Morning Smokestack (Photo credit: Mr. Ducke)
Looking like a broken spell
emanating from the long brick finger
of the heating plant’s stack,
a rosy steam plume glowed and
scattered with the wind
into a memory of palest pink.
Even busted so, it entranced me enough
to stare for a few seconds,
though continued magic became diluted
by the sun’s climb to beatify
with halos the Albany rooftops.
It’s only a winter wizard can cast
these natural phantasms,
the sun situated just so
and the brutal January cold
setting deep the peach gelatine bed
of late dawn’s horizon.
With a gentle cough the silver-hair
makes his climb to gray-on-grayer
shadow world of warm cubicles
whose light conjures as much
benevolent sorcery as a paper cut.