Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Season`s Greetings: a poem for the winter season.

Season`s Greetings by Susan E. Harris-Gamard

As the earthy night stretches deep and black

And the clangy sound of engines and brakes

Is silenced under the frozen muffle

Of crystalline randomness,

Billions of lost souls are deposited onto a wasteland,

Without warning

Or imprint.

They just fall.

Huddled together like angels evicted from paradise.

As I rise, my own body anew

In the diurnal sunrise.

I am mirrored on the outside

By presences

Themselves asleep

As I had been.

The prodigal winter raged and gained strength


Of who was watching.

I walk out the door to find that the ground

That I knew yesterday

Was made anew, covered with tiny virgins

Purified and caressed by the night and moon`s full light.

A sole set of tracks has vanquished the smooth landscape

Intruder, caught by its own traces.

Like a detective I search for intent

Caution Do Not Cross

The Boundary for fear

Of contaminating the scene

That remains.

I walk forward to mindlessly tread
Onto the horizontal plane of the perfect glittering surface

With my own boot prints

(Held within a database somewhere

Black Sorels Size 8)

Charged with only negligence

And so I deposit my own little angel

Onto the large yellow vehicle

Directed towards his own enlightenment

At the small school

Nestled within the hill.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hands of Clay

Hands of Clay

Labyrinthine hollows swirling freely through unformed clay

Slithering, slipping , moving down

And tossed away.

Tunneling blindly through the darkness

Searching for that perfect state

Hands against the warm fluid

Disappearing, releasing fate.

Water, an intermediary between this organic bond

This terra incognita slowly folding into a tight mound

I am the alchemist of my own single vision of today

Like an injured pigeon, hands cup clay.

Night comes, the wheel is placed away

Covered neatly to sleep

As your own body`s quiet firmness

Moves against my own vulnerable, moldable form

The complex folds of your languid eyelids relax and drift down

Tears overthrown, shaken away by loving breath, 
blowing warm.

I am quickly reminded that we are but two wholes becoming one

Not like the clay nestled in a potter`s hands

But like the ocean, two rivers 
flowing away from the land.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

And I Hear: my latest poem.

And I Hear

A swaying above.
The dank black form of the musty chandelier
Gives off its empty, flickering brilliance.
A blue ghost sweeps into my periphery
Discarding its turbulent vacuum through the din gloom.
I seem to catch it. My mind says yes
As time swallows me whole.

It moves with my heart, and like it, my heart
Carries on without you.
The shadow of your own lengthy form sways against me
As it and time passes.
Your skin burned into my neuronic template
Locked away. Precious.
Lost love plated, inscripted.

Savor your essence on my rough tongue,
Lingering sweetness seeps into me
Like some still remains to be dug up and lifted from the earth
Semi-intact, waiting to be revived.
Through the particles of dust and dirt,
Forgotten pages, and gifts, and glass,
Sounds stolen, possessed, passed.

And I, a grave robber,
Thief of the heart`s lost but hollow beauty
I possess a memory of hair as if washed by strawberry rain
It softly rests upon my shoulder as I observe
Watch it. Embrace it.
But still press through greedily to another moment pillaged.
And move away to crave only the ugliness
Found in a twisted, uncharted future.

Time is
A bleak, faded non-presence
Slipping through gnarled hands
The sweeping of their curling nails
Against the battered old wooden board of time`s fortress
Moving relentlessly, moving away
From moments so frantically captured
Swallowed inside my craving wanton self.

Your and my own verses jut out
Just out of reach but still
There as its own heavy presence between us.
Your verses in timed rhythm with my restless limbs
Longing to push forward
Moving ahead into this gloom
Running from time and its nightmares and desolate visions
Of the fallacy it is.

Vast legs so warm compared to this cold marble
That I caress now.
Like the carvings of the ancients:
Cold, lifeless, dead to all.
Like you:  a vision long lost.
My blue lips nipping the tips of your slender fingers
My teeth ripping your fingerprints away from you
Kept close and safe: your essence.
It is mine for a while.
So I drift
Time cannot consume what I have gained
It utters your name as it passes
And I hear.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I Am Back

photo credit:
I am back.  What else does one write after being away from their poor, neglected  blog for almost 6 months?  It seems that I come back here during times of turbulent emotions: those times when I do not feel as if I am floating on tranquil waters.  When the waves start to crash on my shores, and I struggle to find footing again, but realize that I should just let go, let the waves take me away somewhere new and uncharted.  A place to call my own, gained through both struggle and self-defeat, from being faced with feelings of sadness and the kind reactions of reassurance of so many beautiful others in my life. I have quite a few poems written now and am thinking about publishing them.  I will write maybe two more and will then be ready. I believe that this is where these waves are taking me. A fresh start is in the distance.  A new sort of me. Six months of self-assessment and self discovery have brought me back to myself, if that is possible.  My ever-changing, evolving self anyway.  From my sensing of a misplaced fear of solitude to the realization that I have not been allowing myself to find true solace from within, I have escaped from life`s grasp and have returned. A bit bruised, but never shaken, and never beaten.

There is no need to adjust my sails any more.  I have come home.  I am free to release and just let go. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Clarissa and Rino--the story continues

The party pad is holding things together well. Richard sees me and screams, “The sculptor is here! Woot woot!”  He calls me “the sculptor” even though he knows full well that I am just a mason.  Richard refuses to accept that people can be so mundane and ordinary. The way I see it, I put the pieces together, instead of taking them apart.  Unlike Richard, who insists on rummaging through one’s life like a child looking for his lost stuffed dog.  His own life has been coming apart at the seams for years.  He remains on the fence of alcoholism, tempting fate, while all the while Clarissa spends her life trying to fix what he has dismantled.  I fear that he has started to unhinge her to the point where she is losing herself, but I will make my best attempt at talking to her further in order to foresee the truth.  I am glad that they never married, but, on the other hand, at least she would then be heir to his “kingdom” when he inevitably fades away.  Clarissa is in the kitchen, so I pass through the crowd politely, accepting the requisite introductions, and head there to help out if I can.

“May I help you at all, Clarissa?”  She is frantically trying to put together a plate of olives, when I come upon her from behind.  She is evidently nervous about something.  Her shoulders seem tense, and her hands are just not steady.  “Oh Rino, thank you. I can always count on you.  But, if I have to explain to you what I need to do, it could already be done.  You can keep me company though. And give me something to look at.”  She giggles that adorable little laugh that I clearly remember. I notice the bouquet I had given her has already been arranged caringly in a porcelain vase.  It does not surprise me.  Clarissa always had a way with sentiment. “Clarissa, you said you wanted to ask me something.  What was it?  Or did you decide against it.”  She stops momentarily, and a frown dims her face. "I spoke hastily." She carries the tray to the living room and returns.  She looks exhausted already.  "How about we share a nice glass of wine.  You look like you could use one."  I find an impressive bottle on the counter and proceed to open it.
"Clarissa, you should know that you could never speak hastily to me.  If you are feeling something, anything, you know you can confide in me.  Truth is never spoken in haste, don't you agree?"  She starts to say something, but it comes out in a jumble of words. Even with my strong accent, I feel easier to understand at this point. She composes herself, "I'm sorry.  I just miss you.  How long has it been? Three years?  No, I think it has been four. I've had so much to tell you for so long, the words are not even recognizable any more.   I feel them , but cannot express them.  I am so sorry for everything.  Things became so confused.  I needed to separate myself.  When I first saw you coming up the steps outside, it all came back.  The times we had, the talks, the intense, yet comfortable connection.  It was simply you.  No masks.  I felt happy again, free .  Now, I realize it was just a mirage." I hand her a glass of wine, and we toast lightly, reluctantly.  Is it the best time to toast?  I am intent to make it a perfect time.  At the very least, I will try.
"I can stay, you know. For good. I shouldn't have let you be by yourself.  I see now I should have been stronger. For you. Someone should."  As I speak, Richard is heard guffawing and jumping around.  Soon, there is a loud crash and a rush of people. Our stolen moment has now passed into Richard's solipsistic oblivion. And Clarissa and I look at each other with the longing and sadness that two people are only capable of feeling when held prisoner by fate for much too long.     

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


come and go with me out of me 
and along the bank of catch and release
searching the searchlight amongst this swallow of sound
in fact and deed no greed just need
bleed in throughout to hunt and shout
my name today and pray someway
for a day out
and into this

tiny seed


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Clarissa and Rino's Story

Bright lights from the villa lie reaching across the hills like tendrils as I approach from below. Voices heard, a rippling of laughter, a swift flash of flesh, my party-ready footsteps on the pavers sound more reminiscent of slippers on grass. A door opens to release the roar of the party, an unquiet guest or, could it be the inhabitant?  My sensibility flutters, as I observe that it is she. There on the terrace. Clarissa.  In a flowing red dress, she is even more stunning than I remember. And, even better, more unassuming than anyone I have ever known.  She, the “she” inside of her, is a phenomenon, magical.  If she weren’t so real to me, I would think she had escaped from a different realm.  I wave to her, she responds excitedly coming towards me as I walk up the steps armed with an immensely satisfying hug and some wildflowers to give to one of the people I most cherish in all the universe.

“Rino.”  She pauses to observe me and what I think is my expression.  “How good it is to finally see you.” She brushes my cheek softly with her lips as I touch her full, essential hip with my hand. A modicum of restraint allows me to pull away as I again hear the terrace door burst open to let out the chaos upstairs.  I momentarily reflect on this unsuitable commotion among the quiet repose outside as Richard leans over the wall to greet me, only partially concealed by a grey silk shirt unbuttoned down to his navel.  “Rino!! What are you waiting for? Come up, come up.  Clarissa, get him a drink would ya’? Pronto.  Hahaha” His basic, booming voice echoes against the rocky earth in the distance as he rushes back inside to close the door, sealing the silence, leaving us once again to ourselves.  There is a silence, but it is not at all uncomfortable.  She smiles, and I reflect with my own.  We quickly complete the ascent arm-in-arm, with one state of mind, one sense of being.  “It was a long time ago.” “Yes, it was.” Some more silence as we stand to face each other on the final terrace.

“I’m different now, in some sense, you know,” she says.  “I’m not sure if you will recognize me from the lady that you once knew so well.  But I am a better version of myself.  Stronger and, more able to take a joke. More at ease with my life, and my decisions. You look beautiful by the way.  You simply glow in this lighting, Rino.  I’ve missed you.” She hugs me again.  This time closer and harder.  I almost lose my balance on the vicarious step I am on.  “We better head in and face everyone at last.  Richard has been looking forward to seeing you again as well.  From what I understand, he has some things to tell you.  But that’s Richard.  It might just be a new cocktail recipe.  Or his latest ideas on curing hangovers, which I’m not sure will work.  His life is one long, everlasting hangover.  Different story entirely though.” She laughs.  “Wait.” I stop, still hanging onto the step for dear life. “Before we go in, I want to ask you something.” “OK, no problem. Go ahead,” with a questionable tone to my voice.  I quickly remember that whenever we are together she somehow manages to speak much more than me, rendering my usual swift and streaming eloquence mute.  I find this strange because she always appeared to me as someone who preferred to be left alone.  I am privileged to know that this is far from the truth.

“Rino.”  We are in shadow now, so it is hard for me to see her face precisely.  She may think I glow, but in the dim shadows of her villa, she exudes a sinuous sort of darkness.  A curious sense of unknowingness.  I see exactly what she means.  She is not the same woman.
“I still think of you.” She grabs my hand. “Still so rough.  Unlike your insides.”  She brings my hand up to kiss it, and says, “You are still a part of me." She places my hand on her heart, pauses, then quickly regains composure.  "But, let us proceed, shall we?”  I realize that she did not ask me anything, as she proposed.  She sprains the door handle, as she reluctantly allows us access to her home.  A home that I can see is not and will never be her haven, her nest.  Not at all.  Not in the least.

For more of Clarissa's story, click here

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

“He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced--or seemed to face--the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald,
The Great Gatsby

Monday, March 11, 2013

Bright Star--very loosely inspired my poem written earlier today...


Bright Star

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art--
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors--
No--yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever--or else swoon to death.

A Quickening

"I've found my line-from now on this comes first.  This is my immediate duty-without this I am nothing."

"Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us.  It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther...And one fine morning---"
F. Scott Fitzgerald


That if I am as lonely 
as steadfast as thou
fighting for a name
and a voice to carry
this slow appearance of quickening
has been forestalled
but still...called.

a breath drawn 
into quarters
dancing with words flowing
like a slow and pensive heartbeat
or mythic brook in penance
to be broken

relishing the fine rustling
of subtlety and truth be known
as a tree knows
without thought
bark, brown
his home. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

An Epistolary Poem: An Experiment---directly from one of my characters to you

letter from a narcissist

My own dear
My mirror
My second self
If only you had known
How much
I wanted to be able to
Fit in
to blend
to live with the masses
I would not let myself disintegrate
Like that
Needed love to be noticed to
Have someone give themselves up
To me
Over and
Over and
Over again this way
My way
The only way
I knew how
She was my face in the mirror….She my echo…. She my second self
Only she could not have me she was me and she was all mine
There is no me to have they are me
All me
She and I, but there is no I. 
There is only me.
I only want to see me, feel me touch, me
She and me
Once you are not me
You have become dust
No thing No me Never
Such a thing as you
You were never you
With me, you are me.
Without me, so help 
Lone daffodil 
Hidden inside crinkled sheets
Blown to  pieces
And bits
My I 
will never hope 
     to exist
Without you
My Me.

Next Installment: Sonya's Story

It all began with a kiss.  Seemingly out of nowhere, Guido descended into my life like a grenade, willfully deposited right next to me, to go off some time in the future.  He must have been watching me for a while.  Everyday, my route was the same:  head down to the local café to drink in a cappuccino, restoring my senses, before greeting the sunshine in the park next door.  I would throw a journal into my bag for the small glimmer of hope that I might be inspired to write something.  I am in Rome, the eternal city.  Something could happen worth writing about, couldn’t it?  Well, something did happen, but I was much too busy to even remember to write, let alone continue to pack my journal.

I was sitting on the edge of the fountain.  It was one of those days when the only way to even be able to sit outside is to do it before 11 in the morning.  Otherwise, your skin will blister in the heat, your clothes will be drenched, and as if in a rain storm, you charge for shelter inside your shady home, closing the shutters upon yourself like a locked away treasure.

I should have done this that day; locked myself away.  But, I continued to sit, the sun shining directly on my face as I closed my eyes, lost in thought.

I feel a presence next to me, and open my eyes to see a smiling figure sitting on the fountain beside me.  It took me a few moments to compose myself, as he said “Buon Giorno”.  I smile and give my best sounding Italian response, “Buon Giorno”.  “Oh, an American?  Are you American?”  Athough spoken in a thick Italian accent, I knew immediately that he was accustomed to speaking English.  I also knew that he probably had done this before:  approached a young woman in the park on an ordinary afternoon.  I try to get back to reality and compose myself.  He is a pleasant looking man, impeccably dressed, almost out of place in the steamy park.  For all I know this is an Italian pastime.  I have heard and seen for myself the Italian habit of catcalling, but this was new to me. Oh well, I will play his game.

“Ciao. Mi chiamo Guido.”  He holds out his hand.  It was surprisingly fresh and clean.  “I am Guido.”  “Hello.  My name is Sonya.”  I make sure my handshake is strong, to let him know that I am not some unsuspecting American tourist.  I’ve been here a while.  I notice his teeth as he laughs.  Perfect, white, almost movie star stunning.  Kind of surprising for an Italian.  “Well, it is so nice to meet you Sonya. I work here, just two streets away.  I sell, how do you say in English…real estate… in Rome.  I have sold to a very few Americans who come here for an apartment, but mostly Europeans.  Do you live nearby?” “Yes, very close.” I respond, hesitant to share with him.  He had pointed in the direction of my apartment when he said he worked nearby.  Not sure if I can trust him, just yet.  “Well, I will let you get back to the sun. It will be strong today.”  His button-down shirt is bright and clean, as if he just stepped out of air conditioning, but, in Italy, air conditioning is an anomaly.  He lightly touches my upper arm, and I notice that he makes it a point to look me in the eyes.  “Ciao Bella.  I will see you soon, OK?”  He walks away.  And I watch him.  He is kind of self assuredly sweet. He left me with a good feeling, and I admit to thinking about him for a long, long while.  He was hard to resist and very nice to look at.  A good looking Italian.  I love those.

The very next day, I go through my normal routine with a different intent in mind.  I am hoping to see him again.  I only wish I could say there were alarm bells ringing in my head, but the only things I was thinking about were how good looking that he was and how intently he looked into my eyes.  It felt like he knew me somehow, and I felt good in this nameless city.  I spent a good amount of time à la toilette making sure I looked just perfect and put on my best outfit:  a slim fitting black pencil skirt with a blue top to show off my figure.  I thought if only I could control the heat to make it look like my best outfit, if I am lucky enough to run into him again.  Fat chance though.  I was drenched before I even went out the door for my cappuccino. I slide on my sandals with heels and close the door after me, leaving my journal behind.

This time, when I arrive at my usual café, I notice him immediately sitting at a table out front, facing the street.  I try to pretend I don’t notice him and take a table closer inside.  The shade is much cooler anyway.  I’m not sure how he can sit in the sun.  Could it be acclimation?  When I look at him again, he is talking on his cell phone.  Funny, he isn’t using his hands like most Italians.  He is so calm and composed. He is glancing my way as he speaks.  He does not smile, but gives me a look of recognition.  My cappuccino arrives, and I start to drink.  I wish I had brought my journal today.  I’d have something to occupy myself with.  I should be doing some work on my research as well, but my mind has admittedly been too distracted for serious thought ever since yesterday morning.  The cappuccino doesn’t seem to be giving me back my senses this morning.  In fact, I think I’ve lost them permanently.  I am feeling a little disarmed, but in a good way. Feeling full of freedom and lightness, and I value this feeling.  It is as if life could go on forever indefinitely.

I notice him smiling at me while on the phone.  He is now looking at me intently, and I start to feel slightly exposed, uncomfortable.  I look down and contemplate leaving my cappuccino half finished, when he gets up and starts walking toward me.  “Ciao..uh, Sonya, is that right?” He takes my hand and he kisses me lightly on the cheek. I offer the other and notice his scent as I breathe in, almost sighing anxiously.  This really is not like me at all.  To be nervous.  Not sure where this is coming from.  “You are going to the park today?  I will take you there.”  I hesitantly respond ok, as he reassures me, taking my hand, “Don’t worry. I am  a
buon uomo, a good man.” And he laughs.



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

This Year---an old poem made new.

The buds of the magnolia have browned
All at once
Like a half-charged memory growing ill
And withered in the new light

By Sir Frost’s shocking freeze
And the latent echoing
Of his sonorous footfalls
Crushing gestures from Size 12 steel-toe boots

This mere shadow of a bloom heals me
With its smothered vow of surety
And the soft cry of hope within
Its withered frame

As the brown petals meet
The earthy ground
 My own sun-touched arms unfurl 
To greet

The spirited Master Spring as he
Leaps silently forward
Within grassy slippers as delicate
As my own lusty breath.

The Struggles of a Writer

I've just read a piece of advice this afternoon that was incredibly timely.  And it goes like this:

      Right here is your story. Your manuscript. Your career. So why the [heck] are you running in the other direction? Your writing will never chase you — you need to chase your writing. If it’s what you want, then pursue it. This isn’t just true of your overall writing career, either. It’s true of individual components. You want one thing but then constantly work to achieve its opposite. You say you want to write a novel but then go and write a bunch of short stories. You say you’re going to write This script but then try to write That script instead. Pick a thing and work toward that thing.

Click here for the original source.

I am incredibly, astoundingly guilty of this.  Running away.  I thought I was facing my biggest fear in writing a novel (that is, my profound fear of being alone), but I am still running from it in what I have learned is the best way possible:  by seeking the company of others.  One cannot write a novel, go about the active physical and introspective motion of pounding a keyboard with all one's got, by engaging with others.  It is just not possible. So, therefore, I must, after 44 years, learn how to comfortably be alone-- utterly and completely alone.

This will be hard for me, I must tell you.  Maybe the hardest thing I have ever done.  Close to needing the  amount of strength that I can only assume would be required to overcome addiction to cigarettes. I have only lived alone for a total of less than 2 years, but in those meager two years, I managed to stay engaged with others most of the time.  In fact, I probably managed to be with people for almost all of my waking hours (and even many of my non-waking hours to be blunt). I would wake up, get dressed, go to school, then to work, then out after work somewhere or invite others over to my apartment.  I was never lonely and if I was, it never lasted long.  I would always manage to find someone to be with (the quality of the other person sometimes had to be brushed aside, but no matter).  I was afraid to be alone then, more than 10 years ago, and, sadly, I still am today.

But, and this is a whopping BUT, I never let my fears go on forever.  I have simply been dealing with other fears in my life.  For instance, I, at one time, had intense and debilitating social phobia (ironically it would seem).  So, what did I do to get over it?  Traveled to Europe for the first time--alone, and had a crazy, wonderful, liberating time doing it--meeting people I would have never dreamed of meeting if I had stayed at home.  So, in other words, I was never really alone (once again).  Just left my home by myself.  Another fear of mine---giving presentations.  So, what else did I do? I went through a grueling Masters program that required complete surrender of my own isolation by being put on the spot for every minute of every seminar that I attended, giving many of my own 20-30 minute presentations along the way.  I think I am finally cured of that fear now, too.  And thank goodness for that.

So, now the time has come to work on my stubborn fear of solitude, once and for all.  I know it will be hard.  I know that I will probably keep giving up, over and over again, finding myself back where I started.  But, one thing I do know absolutely.  Something good will come out of it:  my writing. My cherished, soul-wrenching, profound, uniquely raw and unspoiled, and, I hope one day, brilliant writing.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Just a Note

Since I have a few followers (although I am not sure you are all still with me), I figured I'd write a post just to check in and keep you abreast on what is going on in my life.  I have finally finished my Masters degree.  I handed in my masters thesis 3 weeks ago and will be graduating at last on May 10th.  I will absolutely not miss attending the ceremony.  Many years and an enormous amount of work were put into my degree, from work in an art history program, a short stint in architecture school, to a very intense English program.  I wrote my master thesis on Jane Austen and the picturesque landscape within the novel Sense and Sensibility. It certainly was an interesting thesis to write, and, even better, it somehow managed to incorporate many of my interests within a mere 70 pages.  

If you are still following me, you may have noticed that I have been posting only portions of my creative writing and no more book reviews etc.  I am not attempting to point my blog in a different direction, but merely focusing, at the moment, on attempting to write creatively and mainly fiction.  I have a good general plan right now for a potential novel, or what I would call "a semi-gothic psychological romance flipped on its head".  I am having a bit of difficulty with time management and of course trying to understand how to access my fiction muse, so I am trying to get a good routine going as well as the practical aspects of being self-employed with an office within the home i.e. keeping accurate records, receipts etc. for tax purposes.  I have found that when it comes to poetry, the ideas have no choice but to come out and get written, but fiction is a bit more subtle.  The ideas are in the mind, and it is up to the writer to process them into something more concrete.  This can be frustrating at times, but it is my hope that it will be rewarding in the end.

Please keep with me on my journey.  I will be around more now;  perhaps with more book reviews, non-fiction pieces, or more of my writing.  It is always hard to know in advance where my mind may take me, but it is always a surprise, even to me.  So, take care, and be assured in knowing that I will be with you again shortly.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My Red Velvet Cloak (written Fall 2003-a year before the birth of my son)

This is a re-post of an old poem written almost 10 years ago.  If anything, it shows how far I've come with my writing (it took all I had not to edit it).  The basic premise is still meaningful and close to my heart.  That is, remembering the feeling of being in the womb:

Mother, Mother, where have you been?
I miss that red velvet cloak
You held within.
I miss its soft caress
full of smiles and warmth,
and the love of a kindred soul
long lost, but never forgotten.

Mother, Mother
please put it on...
It isn't worn, or full of dust,
not yet, if ever it was.
Ah, but you have given it to me, for keeps
and I have put it away in safety,
so that I too may unfurl
It's red river of comfort
to the next bright star, who waits, in the wings.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Airport


“The moving walkway is now ending, please look down.”  “The moving walkway is now ending, please look down.”  I walk amidst the noise of motion and conveyor belts.  I see feet all for as far as my eyes can see in this moving crowd of people.  Feet of all ages, reckless, restless feet, walking, running, strutting, clicking fast towards their destination.  Where is that destination?  It seems we are all constantly running, but never reaching a place to call home.  Life today needs a destination.  Cell phones ringing, people speaking, suitcases rolling and reeling.  The conveyor belt lurching—everyone pushing, shoving, screeching to be at the forefront. Airports speak volumes about us, don’t they?

            People are struggling and striving to lift those few precious belongings thought to be most important—those material objects that we cannot leave without: important enough to drag and lug across the world.  I find my own anonymous black bag that evidently needs some sort of marking like a ribbon…next time, I think.  I continue on, suitcase trailing reluctantly behind, through the roped off labyrinth that is the modern day airport, our own long awaited futuristic fantasy.  This spiraling path has energy enough within itself to move people like a gigantic herd of cattle across the Western plains—such a modern day invention: the spring-back crowd divider.  What else does human ingenuity have in store for us?

            I am wearing a skirt today, something that my grandmother always did.  Always.  She had one pair of pants hanging in her closet for years, left untouched, virginal.  Wearing a skirt is not really conducive to the heave-ho of lifting incredibly weighty luggage and hopping off and on conveyor belts that tell you what to do or where to go so that you avoid killing yourself upon propulsion across the terminal.

            Finally, I’m outside.  I breathe in deeply in order to greedily engulf more fresh air than my body has seen for the past 30 hours.  My windpipe freezes in surprise as the cold inhabits my body.  It’s been a good long while since I have felt this kind of cold.  It is trying to welcome me home, but I am having a hard time trying to feel the “open arms” part of the deal, unless those arms are made of ice.  No messages on my cell phone.  What the hell.

            I see him.  He’s one lucky bastard.  Correct me if I am wrong, but is a ride home from the airport not one of the perks of a romantic relationship?  Isn’t this one of the few roles a boyfriend is required to take on?  Gabe rolls up quickly, pops open the trunk, and I once again lug my large case into the back most inelegantly in my skirt and jump into the passenger seat next to him.  The only reward that awaits me is a peck on the cheek.  Oh forgive me! I should be appreciative that he has gallantly come to transport me home.  On the contrary.  A man should be honored to feel the grace of a lady’s presence inside his humble carriage.  “Hey.  I was wondering why you hadn’t called.  My plane was on time for once.”  We roll off into the sunset.

            Sometimes, I really wish I could go back in time, both in my own life and history.  A time when I was still innocent, like a freshly tanned farm girl, and the world was just a little less insane, apathetic, and engulfing.


She bends down to pick up her purse as she hears her boarding call.  She looks up to meet my eyes; a look of disgust infects her face as she quickly understands the motive behind my gaze, then looks away without a thought.  There is a certain art in the graceful movement of a woman.  The way she holds herself, aware of the eyes around her, then shies away as if those eyes were seeing something they should not.  Only an ankle is revealed from below the cuff of her pant leg.  An ankle in this day and age is seemingly nothing significant at all.  Yet her ankle is so vulnerable, so telling.  It redeems the coldness and hostility of her stare.  I could, almost, see inside her soul through that undulation of skin and bone beneath her calf.

I know she sees me.  I can tell by the way she purses her lips, with a slight bitter gleam in her eye, aware of and enjoying my admiration.  I’ve often wondered whether women require this silent praise in order to survive and get through life in our world of generic nameless faces.  Maybe just people in general need the validation that they exist and are noticed:  just the knowledge that someone else appreciates the truth of their own uniqueness in the world.  How does it feel to be her?  This woman, presumably in her 30’s, has the fate of the world before her.  She wears no rings, therefore she is not tied down.  Well, at least not too much.  One can only hope that she does not take her freedom for granted.  She is wearing pants, though.  A telling sign.  I prefer women in skirts. 

Nolan Returns

It isn’t like he pleaded with me not to go to Italy.  In his own little way, he worked his way under my skin, daily, persistently, until it became my own idea, from my own mind, not his insidious method to seduce me to stay put within his arm’s reach.  
            Even so, I was able to persuade myself away from the idea of staying.  My independence and will were too strong, even for Nolan.  He may have been my rock, for a while, but I needed to be free in order to test my own limits and take care of myself for a change. I needed to understand the reason I had spent three marvelous years with him and now must leave.  I not only felt the urge to leave (the same urge I had felt with past loves), but I felt myself parting from him, the inevitable insidious boredom taking over.  I wasn’t the same Sonya I had been on this day 3 years ago.  I was different:  yes, older, but more knowledgeable about human nature and the way the world worked.  I knew that, in order to grow and become stronger, I needed to test my very own faith in myself.  He would not allow me to do that on his watch.
            As I watched the proverbial door close on his lovely, familiar face, I felt unfettered and finally content.  It needed to be done, but to this day I feel guilty for leaving him.  And I am sure he will always blame me and never, ever, forgive me.

Journeying through the days, weeks, months, and years, I see now why I did it.  Why I hurt him in my quest for freedom.  His world was too small to hold me.  I was suffocating within the small confines of him and his society.  He was suffocating me with his very presence.  He wanted to be my whole world, at the expense of my own identity.  The years have been both good and bad to me.  I’ve been through tragedy and celebration, elation and depression, but never regret.  I may not have found my soul mate, if there is such a thing, but I am grateful for finding my own soul. When I saw Nolan for the first time in 7 years, my heart did not stop the way it did the first time I saw him that first night, his confidence overtaking my composure.  It merely kept beating, curiously hypnotic yet stable.  His first look was utter shock, almost like he was seeing a ghost.  It surprised me with its emotion because he had never been the emotional sort, but he regained composure after a few brief moments and approached me. 
“Sonya, how are you? You look better than ever. If that’s possible.” He expressed it as if we had never parted that day in June and with the same voice I find I have a hard time resisting.
“Fine, Nolan.  And you?”  I replied, trying to keep the same nonchalant familiarity in my own voice.
“Oh, just sold my boat.  The same boat.  Lots of memories below that deck.  I am moving on to dryer land.  I finally got that old Porsche I always wanted.  A ’66. You want to come see it some time?”
“Sure.  That would be cool.  I do miss that boat, but don’t miss the storms.”  (both literal and figurative, I thought)
“Yeah, the storms.  Can’t live with ‘em.  Can’t live without ‘em.” He laughed, that familiar crazed laugh of his.  Funny, I seem to remember being the only one affected by or even noticing the storms.
 I then caught a faint look in his eye.  Could it be nostalgia or longing for the past?  I never could know with Nolan.  He was always solid and cold as ice.  If you would get too close for his comfort, you were stung by his freezer burn.  I still felt unsettled and undone by the solid wall of stone he would put up when any sign of intimacy was forthcoming.  Any closure I had hoped to gain by this inevitable, yet fateful meeting was nowhere in sight.  But I was absolutely fine with that, and move on, I must and will.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Quick

Painful memories of reckless abandon,

Haunt my soul,

Enabling my regret to flourish,

And my rapture,

Softly creeping,

As if sleeping.

A bit smashed.

A blur.

My own quiet surrender would lead me back,

To that timeless cavern,

Carving out a bench of moss,

Sanding countless shells of loss,

Grotto resting within my fixed heart,

With secret staircase for quick


To part.

Though a painful cutting,

This quick much too close to

My undressed core.

Endless hours of solitude

Have escaped my grasp,

Attempts to recover them fail,


And Bore.

Still born.

As my body writhes and wrenches

Towards new shiny steel benches,

Endless Hurricanes,

Blindlessly striving

To become


Sans Pain,

Who I am, Who I was,

My Who.


But, those painful memories of abandon,

Continue to haunt,

As time, at once, asserts itself.

So quick to let go,

To swoon,

So quick to relinquish every thing

To the moon.

I bring.

The life blood,

The source of my own coursing,

Diverted, restless river.

Too quick to shake off this cloak I have gained,

And spread myself thin.

Too quick to drown in strange new sorrows laid out

By a fantastic deceptive dance,

Held captive,



A specter of my own deluded vision.

Shrugging off wisdom,

Time-worn consciousness,

Too quick like a butterfly discarding its own cocoon.

Looks back in grief,


Or merely moving,


With hope

Brushing the pain away,

Clearing away the precious shrugged-off dust

Of a life lived with presence,

Armed with a mind

That knows

Its own


And so night passes,

Illuminating the unseen:

The mystery, the unknown,

The soft grey halls of my inner sanctum,

Wandering on the outside

Of the endless labyrinth,

Striving towards the place without scar,

Or passed  


Losing my own wings to obtain transcendence

In disguise.

I soar above the dance,

Standing still.

My humbled heart has been hidden

Inside my sleeve,


Too long:

Too ardent,

Too breathless,


Tightly lacing.

My only request

That you care for

My stifled heart,

Delicately peel open,

Layers of tough and fibrous jade plaque

That surround its softly pliant and sanguine being,

Enabled seeing,

Unearthed for me by-and-by,

My Who,

My What,

My unborn evasive Why.