Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tarnished

The following poem is written for Magpie Tales, a weekly photoprompt that everyone should check out!

Clumps of designer mascara
Trickle down surgically-crafted cheekbones
Yesterday
her biggest decision involved 
choosing what marble to use in the kitchen
and what cut
her diamond earrings should be
Today
her biggest decision involves
choosing the fanciest urn for his ashes
and where
on the mantle he should go

Red wine and valium
serve as the cocktail of the elite.
Tiny Pomeranians
serve as living accessories to her Gucci boots.

Running to the bathroom,
she vomits
(For once, not by choice)
He left her without instructions
or a designer clutch to carry them in
And now
she must navigate the dreamhouse alone

The 2,000 thread count
Egyptian sheets on
the king-sized bed grow cold.
Oh lonely trophy wife,
who will polish you now?

Tiny Blessings

         The following poem is a submission to Thursday Think Tank over at Poet's United.  The prompt was inspired by the recent holiday of Thanksgiving: thankfulness.  May you realize all of your blessings this year.

Mom's ambrosia salad
The way Dad cuts the bird in methodical strips
Little brother finishing my sentences
Little sister arising from the sweet spot on the couch
(she knows it is my birthright)
Puppy warmth
As he nestles in the crook of my knee
Safe, content, grateful.
Fuzzy blankets
Wrapping this family in a cocoon
of peace
Nostalgia fills the silent spaces in the room
The only talking comes
from our bellies, overflowing
with pumpkin pie and happiness.
Somehow we survived
the icy years
to arrive, intact,
 here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Navyman

Today I found myself
pulling one of your letters
from the dusty shoebox
hiding behind wrapping paper and old yearbooks.

Slowly
Under the swinging lightbulb
I ran my fingers over the aged ink
gently--ever so gently

In the moment I was touching you
for the crease of the paper
was the ridge under your nose
and i traced it seductively
all the way to the edge...

Staring in between the letters
I saw us dancing--
our shapes twisting in rhythm
to the rise and fall of the words
once again

To me,
this paper will always smell
of time and regret:
of moments captured and caged,
forever.

Where are you now?

I think you would be amused to know
that our memories
live, trapped, in a shoebox
in my closet.


The following poem is a submission to Jingle's POetry Potluck.   Thanks for reading a have a great week!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Losing It (otherwise known as "I'm.Not.Ready.")

The following poem is an entry for Poet's United's prompt of "family."  I had to go way back in the memory vault for this one, guys.  It straddles the line between poetry and prose. I couldn't decide which way to go.  I think it's a work in progress.  What do you think?


It has been going on for weeks.
 Forward, back.  Forward, back.
Wiggle left. Wiggle right.
My five year old tongue has become
a tentacle
probing the hollow space
and the mysterious "thread" my tooth swung by.
I picture myself walking around
 with dangling strings where
teeth once lived.

Eternities pass.
Forward, back. Forward, back.
Wiggle left. Wiggle right.
I'm. Not. Ready. 
I tell everyone
with conviction.
Can't they see they are asking me
to pull off a priceless appendage?
Tooth fairy be damned. 
Her promises of quarters lend no solace to
my anxious heart.

Forward, back. Forward, back.
Wiggle left.  Wiggle right.
A tiny crusader,
I would rather choke in the night
than surrender.
"No, they will not take my tooth," I vow to my Cabbage Patch dolls.
Tu-tu'd fairies could skip my pillow, thank you.
Keep your quarters, you devil creature.
I'm. Not. Ready.


With the stealth of a jungle cat
my father lures me into the bathroom one night.
"I just want some light to see it."
(Fine, but I'm Not Ready.)

Twenty minutes later my cheeks
are tearstained and flushed.
Warily, i grip the counter like a vice.
I inch my mouth open only
after he swears he won't pull.

"I just want to feel it," the charming executioner explains.
"Okay," I relent. "But don't pull.  Just feel."

Silence and stars fill my vision.  i am closing my eyes so tightly i see color splotches. 

"Kate, it's ready.  It won't hurt, I promise.  Count to three."

Tears cascade as i finally surrender
to the annihilation of my tooth.
A young Atlas, every second i hold my mouth open
I am holding the earth in the sky.
"Okay." I manage, and hiccup through the sobs.
"One..." I begin, then deciding I am only prolonging the inevitable,
I whisper, "Just do it."
"It's out," he replies.
"What?" I squeal as I open my eyes to my father holding up my bloody trophy.
"How'd you do that?" Amazed, I forget to cry.
He smiles in fatherly elusiveness,
"Magic."

Monday, November 8, 2010

Strangers

      The following poem was written in response to a prompt from the blog One Single Impression and the lovely Jingle for Monday's Potluck at Jingle Poetry.

Sticky graham cracker crumbs
decorate the boy's round face
and he reaches inside his overalls
to stash some for later, presumably.

A redhead.
He looks mischievious enough to be a "Dylan"
or possibly an "Oliver"--the angelic smile
and intrusiveness as he grabs
the laces of my worn out Nikes
and pulls.

A lethargic woman in an a juice-stained dress
bends to scold.
Not red.
A mother? (No, she seems too patient)
A caregiver, maybe?

Her disheveled head lifts toward me
she gives me an apologetic shrug
While her fingers dig in her knock-off clutch
for a quick ransom

Upon delivering a dented Matchbox car
she purrs in his ear,
"We don't play with stranger's shoes..."

Strands of hair have come loose from her ponytail
and encircle her face like a halo,
floating independently of one another
revealing maternal haste and practicality

Averting my eyes politely, 
I stare at the graham cracker shape
left on the carpeted floor.

An awkward silence.

I become acutely aware of the sound
of sighing and wheezing from one of them
(Leftover from a winter cold, perhaps?) 

The blinking numbers rise steadily.
After a brief pause,
our trio is saved by the "ding" of the bell.

I step out of the elevator
into reality
While marveling at humanity's complex nature
And curious interactions
with red-headed boys

I will never know their names.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Shoreline

Okay, so here we go.  I think you can all tell where my head's at.  If you can't, please read my previous post to see where my emotions are originating from right now. 
My mom told me one time that God can handle my anger-- i should be angry with Him and then move on.  Here's to hoping.

I.

She looks down at the granules at her feet,
thinking,
"If moments of time were measured in sand,
I wish I could
go back and give you a beachful."

She looks up at the silent stars in the sky,
screaming,
"Fuck you, God.
Fuck you."

[In reply,
there is nothing but the sound
of the wind and the waves,
chanting:
chanting:
chanting:
"They were never yours to give."]

II.

She looks down at the keys on her keyboard,
punching,
"I will find the words to bring you back--
words
that can heal us both."

She looks up at the whirling ceiling fan
muttering,
"Fuck you, God.
Fuck you."

III.

An electric memory shoots from the back
of her brain
[or from the silent sky]

Lying on the beach with her friend.
The wind whipped hard that day,
mixing the pleasure of the sun's rays with gravely rain.
Irritated,
her friend bolted upright from her beach towel.
"Are you ready to go yet?"
"Why?"
"It's too sandy."
"Carrie, it's the beach."
"I know but it's windy and getting all over.  I'm going for a walk.  Just not a fan of sand.  Never have been, never will be."
"Well, i'm not ready to get up. I'm gonna lie here for a while."
"Okay, see you later."
"Bye, Carrie."

IV.

A granule of hope appears. 
She never liked sand, anyway.


       The previous poem was written as my first attempt at participating in Theme Thursday.  Everyone should check this site out!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Requesiat in Pace, Carrie 5/9/1979-10/25/2010


Carrie is the one on the far left in pink.
I'm the blond in the stripes.





Shades of Pink
*for Sizzle, who encouraged me to wear pink

In a heartbeat,
a heartbeat stops.



How the road must have been enclosed
in a snowy silence
and all of nature frozen, confused
by the sound of destruction
and screaming of metal.
Afterward.

Somehow "instantaneously"
brings me no comfort.
Surely you were a fighter--
You lingered the span of lifetimes,
if only for a split second.

Physical pain didn't scare you.
And if it did, you walked through it.
You believed
it was temporary.
I didn't know until today
that you were, too.

In peaceful moments,
I picture you in those last few seconds
Your ears filled with the sound of
"Boogie Shoes" or Liz Phair or Stevie Nicks,
singing to an audience of birds and the trees...

But most of the time,
I picture you powerless
trapped in a cage of steel
hurdling towards death--
a place of excruciating silence.

Everyone says it was a blessing
that you died clean.
They say that 11 years is a miracle.
Messages of comfort bring me anger.
Right now, all i know
is that
you are gone.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Motor City

          I am a proud member of Poet's United and love participating in Think Tank Thursday, where writers are given a prompt for inspiration.  This week's prompt was: The Beauty in the Ugly--trying to take an "ugly" thing and make it beautiful.

          I thought i would give some background information to this poem.  When i was little, whenever we drove through Detroit (i'm from a nearby suburb), i would see steam rising out of the vents in the street.  As i child i had no idea what this phenomeon was--and it seemed magical to me.  i eventually came up with my own theory as to what was causing the seemingly impossible columns of smoke: ghosts. (hey, pollution was a tough concept at 7!)  To some who look at Detroit from the outside, it may appear like a "concrete jungle" laden with graffiti and abandoned buildings.  It is; i don't deny that--only ask you to see the beauty in the unseen...




Driving down Woodward Avenue
Ethereal pillars
take the shape
of the long dead
spirits of Detroit

Floating homeless men
with plastic tarps for winter coats
smile toothlessly
clutching lottery tickets
with greased stained knuckles

Ghosts of teenage girls
beckoning in faux fur coats,
their pants and modesty
a distant memory

Phantoms
of forgotten revolutionaries
with age spotted hands
shake their fists,
rising and rioting
still

The smoky figure 
of a music man
tapping in time
humming under his breath
'bout the smooth-cheeked philly
who's ain't never comin back

Rolling down the window
in the Automotive Capital of the world
A naive suburban girl
I stick my head out the window
and inhale

I am smacked
with sirens blaring and
the portrait of struggle materialized.
Grime. Dirt.  Blackened soot.
A metallic taste in the back of my mouth.
The behemoth machine of a city
standing defiantly
up
off its knees.

Riding through the center of the ghosts,
the spirits are ripped in half.
They dissipate
only to begin their long struggle
once again from the underground tunnels of bondage
up into the
open
air.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Prisoner

Susan over at Stoney River gives a photoprompt every week called Microfiction Monday.  The task is to generate a response in 140 characters or less.




What they didn’t know:

Under her tresses—a brain;
Under her dresses—the king’s keychain

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Emancipation

This is a weekly writing prompt given by Magpie Tales.   I decided to go a little dark this week.  Not sure if the changing seasons or spooky movies i have been watching have been affecting my brain!  Hopefully this sends a chill or two...



Dere Diare,
         
           Momma opened the door in the sky today.  She says it is time to leave Playland "for good."  i asked Momma what "for good" means and she says "for ever and ever."  
            Momma says we cant take Elise's Heavon Box with us when we go to Skyworld.  She has to stay sleepng in her Heavon Box in Playland.  i snuck when Momma wasn't looking and drew a picture of us on the side of Elise's Heavon Box in case she ever wakes up.  So she can find us in Skyworld.  Henry says she won't never wake up, she has been sleepng since my last birthday day.  And that was when i couldnt even reach the sink faucet without Mr. Bucket.  I wish we could take Mr. Bucket too.
            Henry says he is excited to go, that in Skyworld there are sooooo many antfriends  that brothurs dont even have to fight over them.  i wonder how the brothers in Skyworld remember their antfriends names if there are so many.  i think Henry is telling fibs again.   
            Momma says we have to leave PLayland because the Tall Man went to  his own Heavon Box and we wont see him no more.  He wont bring us orange crackers or crayons or Mrs. Bucket to trade for Mr. Bucket.  Diare do you think they have orange crackers in Skyworld? Henry says they have orange crackers in Skyworld.  I hope so cuz i am on wrapper 799 and i would be sad if i couldnt get another wrapper to make 800.  I think im gonna leave my collection of wrappers under Elise's Heavon Box.  That way she will still have something to play with in Playland if she ever comes out.
           I am scarred Diare.  What if lose Momma or Henry out in Skyworld?  Sometimes Playland seems big with 3 people, and Momma says there are sooooooo many people out in Skyworld we gotta hold hands "AT ALL TIMES."  I asked Momma what "at all times" means and she said "for ever and ever."
           When i look out the door Momma opened today, my eyes cry because they hurt. Do you think they will hurt all the time Diare?
          Be brave Diare.  If you get lonely you can talk to my antfriends (and Henrys too), but Pete and Smoky and Lightball can be mean so stay away from them.
           Love,
Charley

Monday, October 11, 2010

Autumn's Song

The following poem was written for Magpie Tales, a weekly photoprompt.


Creation on fire;
a symphony of color
playing a tune
that for a moment
drowns out humanity,
making us stop
in our tiny mammalian tracks.
Suddenly--
Hearts on fire
we must bow to a Higher Power
that allows us to sing along,
becoming
part of the chorus
of the eternal

Fairytale Revisited

The following prompt is for Poet's United Thursday's Think TankThe topic was complaints/grumbings.  I just so happen to be overflowing with material!

The prince is late.
This castle ledge is getting moldy.
My silken hair is getting split ends up here
and the glaring sun is doing nothing for my agelines.

Ominous crows circle at eyelevel
Thinking i must be a madwoman
waiting
waiting
waiting
for a charming voice from below
that bellows i will be saved,
at last.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

For my mother

I remember being in the womb
Floating in love and anticipation
Knowing
that someday the gigantic cocoon i was in
would break free
and the soothing voice
murmuring from the heavens above
would teach me such things as
how to tie my shoes,
how to write a thank-you letter,
and how to hold a grieving person's hand.
She would show me
how to make "Better Than Sex" cake,
how to roll sock balls,
and how to make my own reservations.
She would know
how to braid my hair,
how to praise my successes,
and how to cushion my failures.
From inside my ocean,
i was certain
that she couldn't help but stay with me
Because her voice was all around me
And it was all i knew of safety,
of nourshment,
of bouyancy.
Today--and on fortunate days--
i get to see her face.
But inside, above, below and all around me
i always can hear
her voice.

This poem was written for Poet's United prompt #14 of "Water" and Sunday Scribblings prompt #230 of "Faith"

The Long War

The following poem is in response to this week's Magpie Tales prompt.






                The war-torn veteran stood on the grassy slope.  It had been over 50 years since he had stood on this very spot and gazed at her house.  The deceiving sun lit the face of familiar bricks, beckoning him forth.  Since then he had lost his idealism, his youth, and his left arm.
               He was returning, at last, to her.
              Would she stand at the threshold of the door in silence?  Pity?  Anger?
              Was she even alive?
             With every breath he wished so, as she was the one who brought him onto this earth.  And he wanted to be the one to take her out of it.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Whenever

This poem is a response for this week's prompt provided by
Thursday Tales.

 I gasp whenever
the winds of time blow you
to my door once again
(And for a short time,
it is
how it was)
The rooster momentarily pauses
and allows us
a secret coupling...
He winks
before averting his gaze
in a westernly direction.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Parasite of Pain

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.”

~Kenji Miyazawa


          Thursday's Think Tank from Poet's United
          The idea or concept of pain can cover a vast field of thoughts and emotions. We must confront pain no matter how simple or hard it is. This week write about whatever pains you.

                                                    
Swallowing your poison seed
I understand the infestation
won't take too long
before it goes
from my helpless nerve endings
driven into the core of my brittle bones
And then up into
my defenseless cerebral cortex.
Deep inside my innermost membrane,
your kernal of malice
is bured under a decade-old compost pile
of rotting fear and insecurity
Adding silence,
hatred blooms triumphant.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Witness Trees

                                                Thursday Think Tank #10
                                                       Poets United

"For I dipped into the future, far as human eye could see, Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be”
~Lord Alfred Tennyson


It is said that the eyes are the window to the soul. Share with us your poem about the eyes. If we vote right now for our prompt for the week…the eyes have it.

Witness Trees

They watch our scurrying in silence.
Building our anthills with fervor,
marching in lines.
They can't understand the noise, bloodshed and horror.
They observe us slaughtering each other
with colossal machines of death.
Back and forth we run
moving dirt this way and that
in rhythms of chaos and explosions.
In their motionlessness
they must think we're lunatics
Racing, pacing, interlacing stones with sky.
They must know by now that they should be afraid.
And even if they could grow eyes,
surely all they would do is cry.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Halfway

This is a submission for Sunday Scribblings #227, and this week's topic was "halfway."

Halfway

I sit here.
You sit there.
5 feet apart.
But it seems more than 5 feet
because
in that distance
there are miles of hurt
there are highways of mistrust
there are oceans of pain.
I could fill the sky
with what you've done.
In that distance
is a space
that can't be bridged.
5 feet apart.
Here.
There.
And Halfway
is nowhere.

                                       

Monday, August 9, 2010

An Award! Yay me!

I am really honored that Traci over at  38 and growing awarded me with the Versatile Blogger Award.  This is my first award and i am truly grateful for all the wonderful comments and support.  You guys are awesome!

Now i need to tell you seven things about myself:

1.  My favorite book is Charlotte's Web, and yes, my pen name is the character from the book.  Templeton's scrappy and conniving and can be bribed with food (much like myself)!
2.  I like to eat dry cereal.
3.  I have two feline roommates, Frankie and Wilson.
4.  I recently started computer dating.  YIKES!
5.  I still feel about 8 or 9 most days.
6.  My TV remote is currently lost and i'm hoping it finds itself.
7.  I have written a Young Adult novel that i think is pretty good, but i don't know how to proceed.  (Meaning, how to get my stuff out into the world).  I also am trying to get a poetry book together, as well.  But for a girl from Detroit who doesn't have much knowledge about the business, and self esteem for that matter, getting to my dream of publication seems daunting at times!

Now comes the fun part.  i get to nominate 10 other blogs that i feel deserve this award.  Here are the blogs i frequent regularly:

                        Madison at Afternoon Tea
                         Crystal at Autism's Bitch
                        Brenda at Beyond the Bozone
                        Wookie's Girl at Bleeding Insanity Again
                         Mavis at Cinnamon Synonym
                          Amity at Dreams are My Reality  
                            Ellie at Ellie Garrett
                        T at T's Subplot
                            Rebecca at Just a Thought
                          Jack at Letters from a Sanitarium

Thanks again for reading!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mirrors


Jenny Matlock gives a prompt that must be kept intact and used somewhere in the writing (it's in bold).

           Young Henry was exhilarated beyond belief when the Traveling Circus came to town. He had waited all day in line to see Fredrico the Fantastic Fortune Teller! He would finally get an answer to the most pressing question on his heart: did his beautiful classmate Mabel like him?
             Stepping in the tent, Henry posed this question to the marvelous Fredrico, who stared fixedly into a giant crystal ball. Fredrico narrowed his eyes stated mysteriously, “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.”

            “Huh?” Henry replied, getting angry that Fredrico had taken his nickel and given him nonsense in return. He had been duped!  At that moment that his overbearing mother popped her head inside the tent, “Mr. Ford, get your little butt out here this instant!”

            Henry scurried outside muttering, “What a sham!”

Haiku

Magpie 26
 

Drip Drop Drip Drop Drip
You are the watering can
to my thirsty soul

Friday, August 6, 2010

My Sanctuary

The Thursday Think Tank
Poets United will put out weekly poetry prompts in hopes of inspiring great poetry. We will attempt to do so every Thursday. This is not a requirement of our members, it is merely a way to provoke our creative urges.

PROMPT #9:
Sanctuary: a place of refuge
 
My Sanctuary
 
My sanctuary lies in a musty church basement.
It is decorated with uncomfortable metal folding chairs and smells of strong, black coffee.
My sanctuary doesn't have a choir.
In fact, instead of hymns I hear anthems of despair.  Anthems of desperation and, at times, surrender.
I don't find angels either. 
The voice of God sounds exactly like the stranger sitting next to me.
In my sanctuary i find my fellow tribe members.  And they will keep me safe from the visions in my head for a short while.
I am sheltered from the monster that whispers, "This time you can handle it."
This church basement holds
laughter and tears
hope and redemption
death and life.
 
My sanctuary is no longer in the shape of little white pills.
Now my sanctuary is in me.

Ten Little Piggies

Hey all! Welcome to Thursday Tales.
Here, every week on Wednesday/Thursday, we offer you a photograph to base a short story on, and no, you don't have to write thousand words!! The rules will be put up in the prompt too. And we hope you shall have fun writing on the basis of a picture.(It's harder than it seems.) Any one who participates will be added to our Tales Train.
Tale #19
Ten Little Piggies



       The ancient mermaid had finally earned her legs after 575 years, exactly.
       As she walked down the beach for the first time, the granules of sand squished between the stubby tentacles on the bottom of where her fins used to be.  (It kinda hurt actually.) She instinctively felt under her breasts for her gills and was met with hard, stony ridges instead. The new airholes in her head felt very small and inadequate indeed.
       The sun seemed angry up here, beating on where her scales used to be and slapping her face.  There were strange beasts swimming overhead in the light blue expanse of sky.  She missed the dark blue comfort of her home.
       It was extraordinary not to have to use her arms for movement.  She quite didn't know what to do with them, first holding them out parallel to the sand and then folded them into her torso.  Being human was a such a complicated ordeal!
       She had been told that she only had about 3 days before this body would break down from lack of feeding, so she decided she must begin looking for sustinance at once.  But where to go?  She was alone and a feeling of dread washed over her.
       Maybe this wasn't such a good idea, after all...


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ashes

Microfiction Monday #42


Only the crumbling walls remember now.


Only they recall the screams of the small children.


The burning of flesh and the witch’s maniacal howling.


The oven that held dark secrets was gone.


The very last gumdrops


Had long ago melted in the unforgiving sun.


New growth had sprung up, covering the dilapidated peppermint stairs.


Only the crumbling walls remember now.

Saturday Centus

Saturday Centus #13
100 word meme using the prompt highlighted in bold.

The summer breeze flowed through my fingers spread out like a starfish, as we drove last weekend.  Randingo and I were checking the local garage sales for hidden treasures, and I had just disclosed the fact that I had started a blog a few months back.


“I don’t get it,” she says, “I’ve told you before that your poetry is good. What’s different about hearing it from complete strangers?”

“That’s just it…they don’t know me. Their comments therefore have to be sincere, right?” I explained.

“Yeah, they don't know you," she pondered. "Now i see that’s why it meant so much.”

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pawned

Magpie Tales #25

Pawned

The leathery old man at the pawn shop reached across the glass countertop and blew cigar smoke in my face.
"Ma'am," he rasped, "You can't sell this lock.  Not while your first love still has the key."

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Swimming

The sun cuts like a knife
through the watery surface
 and the bottom of the pool suddenly
becomes a place where
brilliant diamond-shapes
come to dance.

someone calls my name from
across a vast expanse
and i leap unabashedly into the atmosphere
secure in the knowledge
of being caught.

Because i am little i do not feel
the iciness of the water as it hits my skin,
for i am wearing an imaginary cape
(if you didnt notice)
I do not taste the salty chlorine,
for i still have remnants
of hot dog stuck in my teeth.
I can't feel the sting of water
going up my nose
for ive learned enough to
hold
my
breath
upon
impact.

Inhaling deeply i lie on my back
pretending to be a dead log.
The balloons of air tucked deep in my stomach
will be my secret supply of oxygen.
i push my belly above the surface
showing the birds and squirrels
my neat trick

If i wanted
I could roll around in any formation,
wiggling my toes
and somersaulting into oblivion and
watch the blue underwater world spin
round and round like the dryer.

So when did i learn fear?

today
i rip the plasticy smelling water wings
off my arms
and step to the edge of the world
and i dont care
if someone is there to catch me
when i leap into the air
because i remember now
what i once knew as a small child:
that
i
can
float.