Jen’s No Rules Friday

You see all my light.

She remembers a time before me.
She remembers a time before cell phones and HDTV and internet and me looking down at my phone instead of at her face.

She remembers pound cake recipes and what to do when my grandfather lost his fingers to the bite of a band saw and how to cut my father’s hair when his feet couldn’t even touch the kitchen floor and the shape of my tiny hand wrapped around hers, my lungs like the wing beats of a hummingbird on fire, long before I should have seen the light of day.

She remembers family. She remembers work. She remembers a time when her hands held things together better than the rusty ones she has now.

She remembers putting my father in the ground. His ashes are caught in her tear ducts. I see them every time she looks at me and sees his nose on my face, and the waste of his life in my eyes.

She remembers all of it. Stories fall from her lips like spun gold.

But today I said, “I’m your granddaughter.”

And you love my dark.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Stay tuned for our Special Guest, Tori’s, No Rules Friday next week.

Anne’s No Rules Friday 11

Poem inspired by Jen’s The Flight.

Take-off

We race into the wind
It twists my loose hair into raven knots.
My sciathán‘s hooves beat a rhythm
Against the packed earth.
Thump-thump
Thump-thump
Freedom is a heartbeat.

My mount’s warm and sturdy
Her muscles bunch under my thighs.
Heather and clover dance
Through the air.
Snap-snap
Snap-snap
Kyanite’s feathers unfurl.

We leap into the sky
I twine fingers through her ivory mane.
Mist cools my face in a caress
As we rise higher.
Thump-thump
Thump-thump
Our hearts beat as one.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Stay tuned for Julie’s No Rules Friday in two weeks.

“The Song of the Wandering Aengus” By WB Yeats Inspires Audrey

The Song of Wandering Aengus © Copyright William Butler Yeats, 1899. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the Creative Commons License.

The Song of Wandering Aengus © Copyright William Butler Yeats, 1899. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the Creative Commons License.

Maidens of the Sea

Summer break should be devoted to something big. Not like photographing every sunset, finding the perfect shade of nail polish, or seeing how many times you can watch The Fault in Our Stars and still cry big, but something really important. Like finding out what happened to Vanity Harrison.

I was two weeks into break and no closer to the truth, halfheartedly studying her house with my grandfather’s faded binoculars through a break in my curtains, my feet dangling off my bed, Fatty Fred happily purring on my back as he cut my lung capacity in half, when Mrs. Harrison drove up her circular driveway in the red convertible looking more like a Hollywood ingenue than a grieving mother had any right to. She parked in front of the elaborate Greek columns lining the exterior of the entryway and went inside. Just like normal. Just like she had everyday since she woke up and found Vanity gone.

“Gah! This is pointless, Fred.” I rested my chin on the edge of the bed, my arms hanging like weeping willow branches to the floor, and dropped the binoculars on the ground. I wanted to turn over and stare dejectedly at the ceiling, but I was at Fred’s mercy and he seemed pretty comfortable for the moment.

There was a soft knocking on my door before my dad pushed it open. I rolled my eyes. Luckily, he could only see my feet and Fatty Fred.

“Hey, honey.”

“Dad, you’re supposed to wait after you knock. What if I was naked?”

“It’s 10:30 in the morning. Why would you be naked?”

continue reading …

Jen’s No Rules Friday

This poem is inspired by Audrey’s Nymphs and Satyrs

Water is nothing and everything.

Rain falls for gravity only, and how it loves the fall,

waves crash at the mercy of the moon, over and over and over again.

Love slipped through my fingers

like nothing

and everything.

He rests at the bottom of my waterlogged heart.

There is no moon to pull him back,

no gravity to steady my hands,

and I am trapped here

in nothing

and everything.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Stay tuned for Anne’s No Rules Friday next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Human” by Ethel Veva King Inspires Audrey

HumanEthelVevaKingThe Comet

Part 1

“Mama?” His small voice tip-toed out of the darkness.

“Yes, Jackson?” Her response was pillow-muffled and crackly.

“Mama, I saw something outside.” Georgia sat-up and looked toward the window, a cold fear roping around her spine.

“Come here, baby,” she said slow and hushed, reaching for Jackson and sliding off her bed. The young boy eagerly curled into his mama’s embrace and pressed a drippy nose into her neck. “What did you see?”

Jackson turned his head and held a chubby palm up to the window, “In the sky, Mama.”

Georgia creaked along the aged hardwoods in the attic room they rented from Mrs. Press. It was a large room, big enough for two beds, a dresser, and trunk. The walls were white-washed, but in the night only a thin crust of light came in through the only window. Georgia traced the light to keep from stumbling in the obsidian shadows.

She stretched out a thin, tanned finger to peek out the polyester lace. Georgia studied the stretching lawn below first, just until her heart quit hiccuping against her ribs. Two years had passed since she escaped her husband with Jackson, but that kinda haunting is hard to banish. Jackson swiped drool-coated fingers down her cheek to get her attention. Georgia peered into his heavily lashed eyes, all glassy and dark.

“What did you see, Jackson?”

continue reading …

Jen’s Book Club

Last Thursday I had the opportunity (aka time off work) to go listen to Andrea Gibson spin poems at the University of Virginia. Let me tell you that it was in the most archaic church I’ve ever seen, all stained glass and heavy dark wood and busts of important religious folk who were probably judging all the queers stuffed into the pews.

University of Virginia has bells that chime every hour. Loudly and with feeling. So, during the performance Gibson paused to let the bells chime. They never did, though, and it was almost a poem when she looked at us and said, “They turned off the bells for the gays.”

One of Andrea’s books, The Madness Vase, is all about the irony of turning off church bells, among other pretty and hazardous things.

From Amazon.com:812+21mSbYL

“The poems’ topics range from hate crimes to playgrounds, from international conflict to hometowns, from falling in love to the desperation of loneliness.  Gibson’s work seizes us by the collar and hauls us inside some of her darkest moments, then releases out the other side.  Moments later, we find ourselves inhaling words that fill us with light.   Her luminous imagery is a buoy that allows us to resurface from her world clutching new possibilities of our own.   Throughout her career, Gibson’s poems have always been a call to social justice.  But this collection goes beyond awareness. Her images linger in our psyches and entreat us to action.  They challenge us to grow into our own skin.  The journey may be raw at times but we are continuously left inspired, held, and certain we are not alone.”

This book is small in stature but big in meaning, and it’s more than just gay literature. It’s church and state. It’s falling and getting back up with bloody knees and a good laugh. It’s that pinpoint of light in the darkness. It’s raw like silk can be raw, but also raw like nerves exposed. It’s loss and fear and hate, and love in spite of all of it.