Feb 17

The Curse of the House of Chimes

The house of chimes stood
up on the top of the hill behind the church.
It perched over the valley,
looming over the townhouses
like a falcon stalking prey.
The front stoop stood with its great jaws open
inviting travelers to step inside
to quench their curiosity.
The wind chimes hung like teeth,
pointing down in straight daggers,
rattling at the slightest breeze.
Oh! How the townspeople dreaded that sound!
That relentless jingling, clanging sound!
On windy nights, they barred their doors,
shut the blinds, and put pillows over their ears
not to block out the wind, but to block out the chimes.
Those chimes are cursed, they whispered to their children.
The curse of the chimes sang like a hushed song
through the streets.
It struck upon a house and the house would shake,
trembling in fear of the chimes.
The family would breathe in the noise of the chimes,
Feb 10

Domestic Flowers

A row of terracotta flower pots,
filled to the brim with dirt,
sat on your windowsill.

There were seeds planted in those flower pots,
marigold seeds,
waiting for water to poke through the dirt.

But it doesn’t rain inside! I yelled.
But then I watched
as your poured water from a watering can.

The leftover water drained down,
down to the bottom of the flower pot
and out through the tiny hole in the bottom.

There must be grass to soak up the rain! I yelled.
But then I watched you placed the flowerpots on plates,
and watched you sponge up the spilled water.

Overtime, the roots began to spread,
and sneak out of the tiny hole in the bottom,
because there was no more room in the pot.

No flower can grow like that! I yelled.
But then I watched as the seed sprouted
and an grew and grew and grew.

An orange flower burst open,
Feb 03

To The Pen, From The Brown Leather Journal

My Dearest Pen,    

How I long for your sweet touch once more. It has been days, weeks, years, since I have been cracked open, since I have felt words fall from the mind and onto my pages through you. I see you. Everyday I see you sitting on the desk, closed. And everyday I hope for you to be picked up and opened, and I hope the same for myself. I am surrounded by others: an photo album, The Catcher in the Rye, The Book of Poems, and more beyond that. But I have never felt so alone. I can feel my blank pages drying, withering in the absence of you.
Jan 27

Lucy

Everything changed when Lily brought the dog home. The police were there when she marched in the front door, a proud look on her face, stopping in the kitchen doorway to face my mom, worry and days of no sleep creased across her face, and my dad, whose eyes were filled with an ocean of tears, and my brother, James, who sat with his yogurt spoon still in his mouth, eyes wide open. To the side, three officers stood in crisp uniforms, looking ridiculous and out of place in our old wooden kitchen, with dishes stacked high beside the sink, and fruit flies swarming around the rotten peaches. They stood awkwardly, not knowing whether to leave or to stay. I was peeking in the window. I  had seen Lily coming up the drive, and hid up in the tall maple in the front yard.
Jan 20

The Change

The change, it came like rain.
It flooded the streets and
swept the empty bags and
cigarette butts away.

Some woke up at to the sound.
Opening their eyes, their arms, their mouths.

And others, defeated,
turned there backs on the rain,
bolted their doors against wind,
and latched the blinds tight.

For years and years, they wept.
Staying inside, watching
as the rain dripped from the
roofs and pooled in the walk.

But the others, they danced.
They heard the rhythm of the rain,
and their feet stomped in time

until the day the rains
stopped. And the people looked
up towards the moon and stars,
and they began to sing.

The sleeping people woke.
They heard the singing and came out,
and they, too saw the moon and stars.
And they, too, began to sing.
 
Jan 06

The Day the Balloons Were Tied Down

The day the balloons were tied down,
was the same day the clouds came in to stay.
They needn’t part to let any balloons into the heavens
on the day the balloons were tied to the earth.

The day the balloons were tied down,
the rains fell hard and long.
They didn’t stop when the rivers spilled over their banks
because the clouds had no reason to part
on the day the balloons were tied to the earth.

The day the balloons were tied down,
the fields flooded and the crops were washed away.
Their roots couldn’t hold against the raging floodwaters
when the rivers spilled over their banks
because the clouds had no reason to part
on the day the balloons were tied to the earth.

The day the balloons were tied down,
the people grew no food,
The crops hadn’t grown fruit for them
because they had washed away in the raging flood
when the river spilled over their banks
Dec 16

The Not-So-Silent Cat

A silent cat sits atop the dining room table
and listens to his family sleep.

The house creaks and hums
and the woodstove snaps.

The cat sits and watches the snow
and the wind and the dead fall leaves.

He sits on the dining room table
(where cats are NOT allowed)

His tail hangs over the edge of the table
and swishes back and forth

in time with the pendulum
on the grandfather clock, two rooms away.

His view is partially blocked by a tall vase,
full of lilies and water and pollen.

They must have come from some far-off place.
Not even a greenhouse can grow these this time of year.

The lilies are beautiful
and the cat is silent.

But the moon is full, just behind those lilies,
and the cat well knows it.

So he rises and creeps around the inside of the lilies,
between the tall vase and the salt grinder.
Dec 09

Look Closer

“Look closely,” he urged. “What do you see?”

“I still see a woman, sir. She is in a street, and she is storming past the camera. She looks angry, sir.”

“Angry?” he asked. “What kind of anger?”

“Maybe it’s not so much anger. She looks upset and maybe...worried?”

“Look closer child, and tell me what else you see.”

“I see a narrow street with two small cars on it. I see a person standing just behind the marching woman. But their face is in a shadow. I can’t make out who it is.”

“I also see a small clothes drying rack. The clothespins have been placed a good deal closer than necessary. Mother would not approve I’m quite sure.”

There is a short laugh at that. “Where, do you make out, the woman to be coming from, child?” the man pressed.
Dec 02

The Purple Shoe

I was a stubborn child. And I’d like to say I’ve I loathed being told what to do, and was ready to make my own decisions and have my own adventures by myself. Not only did this cause me to take charge, even at a young age, but it also caused me to, on occasion, exhibit just a hint of stubbornness. In very small quantities, of course. Now, often, this worked to my advantage. But other times, my stubbornness and desire to be independent would come right back around and bite me in the tush, much to my beat-red humiliation.
Nov 18

If the Window Had Eyes

If the window, at the front of the house, trimmed with cherry,
had eyes.
Imagine the stories she could tell.

Maybe she would tell of the fat yellow cat that would sit
and watch the birds flit by.
Or of the big white dog with the sweet face,
who lies in the sun all day.

Or perhaps she would tell of the old concrete driveway
and how the pothole by the corner has grown
and grown and grown.

Or of the time that the wind storm took down the grand old maple tree.
It would tell how the girl sat on the couch and cried,
looking out at the wasteland of broken branches and leaves
strewn across the lawn.

The window would tell you about the snowball that splatted
across her panes,
sticking, and causing the window to tremble in her sills,
and how fast the boys ran to hide from their mother.

She’ll tell you about the tractor that died in the driveway,
Audio download:
If The Window Had Eyes.m4a

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