The day after tomorrow, this will all be over. He stood, still in body if not in mind. The wind that brushed past him seemed to pause, as if considering this new obstacle, before gathering the leaves that hunched against the curb and whirling them off in a wild reel. With his head tilted as if listening to a far-off conversation, he tried to pin down the source of his unease. Raising a hand in the dim twilight, he ignored the fine tremor that shook it and re-settled the case strapped across his back. Nerves, then, and nothing to do...
Half a life lived
within four walls
the once unthinkable
with endless routine
a strange comfort
a life reset every day to run
the same sweep of hours
One small act
stealing from my future
thinking to be happy
realizing too late
to my good behavior
Moments of quiet
hours of noise
time in the yard
in the dark
one more small act
now here I am
outside those walls
a life lived as half a whole
now to be lived
Absent. The roots were absent but you could still see them. When you burn a stump, you often end up with a chunk of its heart that doesn't turn to ash. The interesting thing is how the fire always seems to follow the roots, no matter how deep they go, burning away every trace of them. Sometimes, even a year later, a fire can rekindle from deep in the earth where it was banked in some hidden location. Looking down from above, you can see the faithful reproduction of the root system only it's just air. Hollows that disappear into...
Ridiculous. This whole argument was absurd but we were going to have it anyway.
"If you heard it, why didn't you pick it up?"
She looked honestly confused but it seemed obvious to me. I scowled at her. "Why is this such a big deal? Yeah, I heard you drop it but I didn't know it was meant for me."
"Did you think it was trash?" Exasperation now threaded her voice and her arched eyebrow told me there was no way I was going to win this one.
"Well, I certainly didn't think it was some super-secret message that I...
The hillsides have been finger-painted
with Larch trees turning yellow
like smears from a child's hand
that Mother Nature will bleach away within the month
I stare, thinking there must be a pattern to it.
Birds eating seeds from cones and dropping them in flight?
Early colonizers after a fire?
Unwilling to believe in beauty without structure and reason
Dusk arrives with its gift of quiet
As if hosting it here in this small moment of time required recompense.
A perfect moment of stillness
before I turn to go inside and life's motions begin again
The body is the lie. The woman who speaks to you face-to-face
with a carefully controlled flex of muscles around the eyes
and the upward curve of just one side of her mouth
that tells you "I'm amused at whatevever joke you just told"
The polite look of interest that cleverly morphs into concern
with a downward press of eyebrows
and a slight lean forward accompanied by a sympathetic noise
they are all walls that look like doors
You would know it for the avatar it is
if you realized she never reaches out a hand,
never bridges that social...
"If you don't stop humming 'Leaving on a Jet Plane', I'm going to strangle you!"
Our first vacation in 5 years and already we were at each others' throats. I continued to hum as she dug through her carry-on for a book.
She sighed and in a wistful voice said "The beach, some sun, a palm tree. What could be better?" Reaching out, she patted my knee and turned to look anxiously a the departure board.
I put my hand on top of hers and squeezed. "Relax, they'll be fine by themselves. They're old enough to keep out of trouble."...
I once tried a six minute story
As a cure for a tapped-out mental quarry
Writer's block was the snare
"Toujours ici" filled the air
And I floundered like a carp in a dory
She followed the footsteps that wound through the snow; the clouds that brushed across the moon's face alternately limning and hiding them. A shudder rippled through her as the wind bit deep and the faint trail of her steady breath formed and faded behind her. At the edge of the trees, she halted and focused intently on the figure crouched in the center of the clearing. Arms wrapped tightly around his knees and his head bent, not a flicker of movement betrayed him.
She unzipped her jacked and tugged off her gloves, letting them fall to the ground. The soft...
I lay siege to it. This was war and a fast and furious assault seemed the surest course. There was a front to push forward, barriers to overcome, landmines to be defused. I was young and relentless and eager; I couldn't lose. After every foray I watched the scaffolding rise again, higher and higher and each time I tore it down, waiting for the walls to fall. Eventually I tired of the advance and retreat. New orders came. I couldn't win this battle and there were other wars to fight.
Years later I returned to that once fragile country. A...