Day 29 – Widow’s Bay at Sunset

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Image source: Google

Widow’s Bay at Sunset

“Turn back, dear heart,”

said the young spear-wielder

to her warrior lover.

The setting sun bathed her in ethereal pastels,

giving her the air of a beautiful archangel,

standing on the path

between the warrior and the bay below.

She continued carefully,

perfectly articulating each of her next words,

hoping to drive them home for effect.

“I must confess; I have deceived you.

I’m no bodyguard; I am an assassin.”

 

“I know,” the warrior replied,

slowly reaching for the hilt to his sword,

sunset enveloping his

tormented countenance in silhouette.

“And I hoped it wouldn’t come to this.

But across the bay lies my lost father,

and answers to questions

that have driven my lifelong ambitions.

You and I have fought side-by-side

and shared much until now.

You’ve seen my heart,

and you know I cannot turn back.

Why betray us now?”

 

“Oh, how I’ve dreaded this moment,

my love,” said the spear-wielder

with a mild quiver in her voice,

deliberately lowering the tip of her weapon

to bear-down on the warrior,

widening her stance for balance. “And yes,

I’ve seen your heart and offered you mine

in quieter moments.

I know you cannot turn back.

But I have a sworn duty to eliminate

anyone who gets too close to the truth.”

 

“Sworn duty?” The warrior’s voice rose

and shook incredulously. “To whom?

Who sent you?”

 

“If you set foot on that cove,

the Syndicate will find out,

and it will be over for you, me,

and everyone else close to me.”

The spear-wielder spat those words

like rancid milk.

“Please,” she hissed,

almost in a shout-whisper. “Turn back.

We can run away together,

start a new life.

No one else has to die,

no one would know- “

 

“I would know!” yelled the outraged warrior,

now in mid-crouch. “Now please! Stand aside!

Forget your bounty, your duty

and I will forget your betrayal!

I promise I will protect you and your family

when this is over.”

 

“You know you cannot!”

the spear-wielder shouted back,

gathering better footing.

Then, much softer,

“You know I cannot.”

 

The air between them slowly faded

from sepia to soft fuchsia as

blackbirds returned to tree lines

to roost for the night.

Even the evening breeze paused to contemplate

the star-crossed combatants’ predicament.

 

“I am most regretful

that it must come to this,

dear heart,”

conceded the warrior,

the grip on his hilt now firm, resolute,

the fire of outrage in his eyes giving way

to misplaced compassion

and the near-perfect serenity

of pre-combat Zen.

 

“As am I, my beloved,”

the spear-wielder wearily replied,

twirling her weapon, brandishing it,

coiling into an attack stance,

she, a reluctant cobra,

preparing to battle the only man

she ever loved enough to die for

to the death.

“Don’t hold back.”

 

“Oh, how I loved you so,”

the warrior lamented,

drawing his sword.

 

“That is a lie,”

the spear-wielder said

with a morbidly-amused sneer.

“You still do.”

 

The calamity of their weapons meeting at near-dusk

roused roosting birds from surrounding tree lines.

** *

Written for imaginary garden with real toads Penultimatums: Voyages’ End (Almost), imagined by Brendan.

Day 28 – Lies of the Boogeyman

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Image source: Unsplash.com

Lies of the Boogeyman

The Boogeyman’s a liar

he taps at windowpanes

the fear that he inspires

are but tree-limbed shadow-veins

 

His thunder rattles senses

his lightning shows me ghosts

his wind-howl rattles fences

but his silence scares the most

 

He waits for me to slumber

pacing my bed at night

at first birdsong of wonder

he vanishes from sight

 

Sunlight breaks his dominion

quite childish, as I look back

for its my adult opinion

he’s with me, in light or black

 

The Boogeyman is real, it seems

the liars, my own eyes,

I find grown-up peace in sleep-filled dreams

the birdsong terrifies

 

The Boogeyman that I despise

indeed, the very light I see

the darkness I surmise, I see

embedded inside me.

** *

Written for imaginary garden with real toads Boogeyman prompt, imagined By Rommy.

Day 20 – Midwatch Apology

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Midwatch Apology

Sir, so sorry for my outburst.

Unprofessional, no excuses.

But with good reason, you see…

 

I was training the new transfer on radar.

I explained weapons-lock on primary…

He told me his spirit-guide was the wolf.

 

I dunno, sir. Seemed like personal shit to me.

But I moved on, described secondary lock…

And crows tell him when his lady wants to talk.

 

Now that’s just damned peculiar, sir, isn’t it?

I’m not one to poo-poo First Nation Mystics…

But a lady usually wants to holla at her man, right?

 

I mean, isn’t that true, like ninety-percent or so?

If someone needs a crow reminding him to-

I’m sorry, sir. Way off topic. Not my concern.

 

So I showed him how to use track-while-scan

to keep tabs on surface contacts to take with guns…

He told me he had a six-and-a-half-inch long penis.

 

Hell fuckin’ naw I didn’t ask about his schlong!

 

Sorry, I mean. No sir. I didn’t wanna know.

I never wanted to know about any man’s tackle-box.

He just volunteered that shit, like it was normal.

 

Like he was proud of his little bishop or somethin’.

Like that’s some shit you tell a shipmate

who’s trying to train you to help defend the ship.

 

Anyway, I guess that was my breaking point, sir.

That’s why I shouted, “Aw HELLLLL naw!”

and asked to be relieved of watch for a few minutes.

 

Sir, so sorry for my outburst.

Unprofessional, no excuses.

But with all respect, sir,

 

please instruct the first-class petty officer

to refrain from discussing his girlfriend,

his spirit animals, or his sad little rudder

 

while the second-class petty officer trains him

to operate the weapons control console

so the Lone Wolf can qualify for the midwatch.

** *

Written for imaginary garden with real toads prompt involving a crow, or crows. I’m not sharing it there though, as this poem-a-day thing is really kicking my ass and I don’t have time to enjoy others’ poems as much as I’d like.  

I’m sad to say, this was inspired by actual events. I… should probably see a therapist.

 

Day 9 – Fear and Longing in Darkness

darkness

Image source: Unsplash.com

Fear and Longing in Darkness

Night comes

again.

I welcome and fear it

for its embrace

protects me not

from unknown specters

and she will

leave me barren

at sunrise

again.

 

Night, day;

irrelevant.

Terror slinks in gloom

but agony bites blindly,

my heart

seized by dark claws

till I plead for night’s

sweet release.

 

Yeah but

with a flick of my finger

billions of subatomic particles

will rush to banish the dark

maybe it is the night

who should fear me.

** *

Written for imaginary garden with real toads Twitter Me a Gothic Poem, imagined By Magaly Guerrero. We were challenged to write a poem with three stanzas, each stanza not to exceed 140 characters (a basic tweet, if you will). The first two stanzas, or “tweets” would be in the voice of one of the thirteen selected gothic writers, as if they’re having a twitter conversation. The third stanza was to be my reply or commentary to thr first two. The catch is that the whole thing is supposed to read as one piece.

I chose Edgar Allen Poe (1st stanza) because his work influences me quite a bit, and I chose Sylvia Plath (2nd stanza) because I identify with how she described her lifelong battle with depression.

I gotta say, this was one heck of a prompt! It was more challenging than I anticipated, but I greatly enjoyed this one. Real Toads is quietly becoming the front page of my window to the internet. Thanks for all the wonderful prompts, and keep em coming!

Day 8 – Perfectly Imperfect

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Perfectly Imperfect

Her old, lovely bones breathe

warped and creaking

with visions of what she could be

and past pitter-patters of

Saturday morning cartoons,

sleepovers, and birthdays.

 

She shelters me,

never passing judgement

should I sleep in on a Saturday.

 

Within her old, lovely bones,

I carved out a space for myself,

panting it in blues

impressed upon nostalgia from

the bluest oceans, coves, and depths;

when sunbeams enter on perfect angles,

my lungs fill with briny air of days long gone.

 

Her galley is a patchwork antiquated mess;

shams shimmied together in muddled nonsense

resembling the before photos of a makeover

that hasn’t happened yet, and

probably won’t for some time.

 

It gives her old bones character,

like an endearingly gapped-tooth

or the slurring lisp of a loved one.

 

Her living room, where I do

my least amount of living,

ties everything together.

 

Her redone floorboards

are coming undone

at some of the seams,

 

I can’t put too-positive a spin on floor damage

because they were expensive to redo,

though I do I blame the ghosts

of rambunctious children I’ve never met

pounding her hapless floors

running through their home,

before it became mine,

their laughter I’ve never heard

reverbing off the not-yet-blue walls.

 

This old girl shifts and creaks weirdly at times,

but she also whispers me to sleep

when rain pours onto her roof.

 

She is drafty and scantily insulated, but

she’s also a cool respite in sweltering summers.

 

She is unfortunately imperfect

and I’m perfectly lucky to have her.

 

Just beyond her walls though, I hear

there is a garden full of dead or dying foliage

that desperately needs tending,

but I don’t entertain such baseless rumors.

** *

Written for imaginary garden with real toads Hope and the Places That Heal You, hosted by  Sherry Blue Sky. Drop by and visit the other toads contributing to the pond!

Day 6 – Two Cats for One Hat (Or Snitches Get Snitches)

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Image source: Google

Two Cats for One Hat (Or Snitches Get Snitches)

The sun did not shine.

It was nighttime, you see.

So I sat with my book

Just as bored as can be.

 

I sat there with Daddy.

Mom slept and I sat

I hoped I could read her

The Cat in the Hat.

 

We were almost done!

My treat was on track!

For next we would read

How the Cat would come back!

 

I saw where she hid my new

Treat!

Treat!

Treat!

Treat!

If I could sneak a peak

That would be cool and neat!

 

I would not make a BUMP!

That would make Mommy jump!

I snuck!

In the bottom drawer it sat!

I snuck!

Out with the next book

Of the Cat in the Hat!

Half done with the first

Why did I skip it like that?

 

I knew I was wrong

Breaking rules was not funny.

But I wanted to peek

Before the sun was sunny!

 

“I knew I could get away with my prize,”

I thought with a smile

“And Mommy will not wake or stir

Not for a while.

 

I will take a quick peek

Like a bad little sneak

And once my sneaking has peaked

With not even a squeak

I will un-sneak my sneak

Oh how Momma would freak!

But my sneak-game’s on-fleek!

She will never know

Of her son’s geeky streak!”

 

I climbed up the couch

By Daddy I sat

With my major awards

Two cats in one hat!

Dad looked and said “Hey!

How did you get that?

How did you get two cats?

You did not read the first hat!”

 

But I whispered, “No! No!

Please speak softly, OK?

Or you will wake up my Mom

She would take it away!”

Then I heard Mom yell loud,

“Bring that book back, B.J.!”

 

I scowled at my dad

Who laughed with a wink

I was so very mad

At that foul Father fink

As my sneak was un-snuck

I thought isn’t this rich?

Never would I have thunk

Dad was a punk-ass snitch!

** *

Written for imaginary garden with real toads Celebrating Children’s Poetry – Dreaming with Stacie, and shared on dVerse’s OpenLinkNight # 193. The prompt was for us to write a poem that draws upon our childhood imagination.

When I closed my eyes to speak to my younger self, I was instantly transported back to the 70’s. True story! I was about four, or as I liked to call it, “Four-and-a-half”. Mom was teaching me to read, and I took to it like a duck to water. This is where my nerdery began.

I was nowhere near emotionally developed enough to deal with a cliffhanger, and Mom was too tired to let me read the first book to her so I could get to the second one. I took matters into my own hands, and Dad ratted me out real sneaky like and laughed in my face after I got in trouble with Mom. I swear, if I had been big enough to kick an ass, his ass would’ve been the first one I kicked that night. It’s like dude never heard the old “Snitches get Stitches” nursery rhyme, Knaamean?

So yeah, I wanted to kick my dad’s ass that night. Dirty snitch! May his soul rest in peace.

Read other dVerse poets’ OLN poems here.

 

 

 

 

Day 5 – Next Time

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Image source: Google

Next Time

Every day

at the same time

she catches him.

 

Back of the bus,

eyes fixated

on his handheld

luminous rectangle,

corners of his eyes

softly, sadly yielding

to gravity.

 

Every day

at the same time,

she catches him

 

surreptitiously

studying her

from behind the

safety of his

luminous rectangle

as her blush-brush

burnishes

her best face.

 

Every day at the same time,

for the beat of a hummingbird’s wing,

they are locked within the same space-time,

with her smirking a silent challenge;

 

is today the day?

 

Am I stunning enough for you

to break the ice and say

good morning?

 

Every day

at the same time,

the answer is always yes

she is indeed stunning enough,

 

and

every

day

 

at that same time,

he stubbornly ignores

this obvious answer.

 

Every day at the same time,

before the hummingbird

flaps wing for a second time,

his eyes retreat to his rectangle,

 

only to feel her eyes

burning him from behind

her bronzing brush.

 

Every day, like clockwork,

within the third flap

of a hummingbird’s wing,

he returns her hidden gaze

wondering if this woman

was willing to breach his

technological barriers

 

to lift the corners of his eyes

with a peacock-feather-brushed

good morning.

 

Every day,

at the same time,

the answer is always yes,

but not today.

 

Today,

unlike every day,

after their daily ritual,

both resolved to take action.

 

Next time,

the burnished,

blushing lady said to herself,

if he doesn’t greet me,

I will move closer to him and ask

if he sees anything he likes.

 

That should break the ice.

 

Next time,

the sad-eyed man said to himself,

I’ll just take an earlier bus.

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Image source: Google

** *

Posted to imaginary garden with real toads for Physics with Björn: Space time and the special theory of relativity. Björn has us writing poems about space time! I know! So dope, right? I like to think that I would’ve made a pretty rad astrophysisit if I hadn’t wasted all those formative years hating myself and whatnot. Ah well.

(I left astrophysicist intentionally misspelled just so that everyone could have a clear idea of how far away I am from becoming an astrophysicist.)

Anyway, head on over and check out all the wonderful poetry about space time.

Day 2 – Stray

straycat

Stray

Patrolling her territory,

my world,

never coming when called,

always checking in

distant and affectionate,

refusing my offerings

until just beyond my reach,

owned by no one,

she is mine and I am hers.

 

This nebulous non-arrangement

somehow evolves

my capacity to love

and accept love

without labels, trinkets,

tags, or attachment.

 

Then she’s gone.

** *

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I followed imaginary garden with real toads’ Flash 55 PLUS! Prompt, complete with optional “Worlds Apart” vs “Extremely Close” themed challenge. This was a fun one. I feel like it’s been too long since I hopped on the lily pads and played a bit.

Go here to read other contributions to this prompt.

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