Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Just a Weed

Today's muse: Pictures, Poetry & Prose

* * *

Just a Weed

When I was but a wee young thing—
no more than five or six—
to mother I would often bring
a bouquet that I’d picked.

I offered weeds with heads all bent;
a wide smile on my face.
She always knew how much it meant,
and placed them in a vase.

Now she’s gone and every day
I pray that I’ll be brave.
And every week I stop to lay
dandelions on her grave.

* * *


let me say that this is a work of fiction ...
i am lucky to say i still have my mom

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Exceeding Expectations

Today's muse: Daily Writing Practice

* * *

Exceeding Expectations

“What are you doing?”

The question was redundant, as it was clear that my kid brother was doing absolutely nothing. This was further evidenced by his shrugged response and caveman grunt. He wore his usual tattered track pants paired with a sleeveless undershirt that bore stains from at least a week ago. His socked feet rested on the coffee table. The largest digit, bearing an overgrown toenail, poked out.

“Mom’s gonna freak if she sees you like this.” Again, he shrugged.

I rolled my eyes, but sat down on the opposite end of the sofa. If the Golden Child was going to get in trouble, I wanted to be a witness.

Why is it, I wondered, that the youngest child always gets away with the proverbial murder? In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he was acquitted should he actually commit such a crime. I sat next to him, fuming, my arms folded tightly across my chest. My jaw began to ache as I clenched and unclenched my teeth. He, conversely, sat and mindlessly flipped through the channels on the television, pausing occasionally to snigger at some childish cartoon.

I could hear the march of my mother’s footsteps. Given it was Saturday morning, she would be in Cleaning Mode and barking orders at everyone in site. I smirked as I envisioned the scenario that I knew was about to unfold.

She strode into the living room, a laundry basket brimming with freshly folded clothes under one arm. She glanced over as she crossed the room, never breaking her stride.

She stopped abruptly when she reached the threshold to the kitchen, turned smartly and gaped at my brother.

“Well!” she said. “This is a surprise.”

I did my best to cover the smile that spread across my face. It occurred to me that I was far too excited about this.

“I really didn’t expect you to be up until after noon. Let me make you something to eat.” And off she went, laundry hamper under her arm, humming quietly to herself.

I turned and gawked at my brother. He grinned back and shrugged.

“You see,” he began, before I could even start my tirade, “if you keep your standards low, it really takes no effort to exceed expectations.”

He leaned back in the sofa, pressed the forward button on the channel selector.

I nodded slowly, as comprehension began to fill me.


He turned and looked at me.

“I have a few people I wouldn’t mind getting rid of.”

He grinned back at me and shrugged.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Today's muse: Pictures, Poetry & Prose

* * *


I was nobody.
Never noticed, never remembered.
Easily forgotten.
Often shrugged aside.

I was beautiful.
Everyone wanted to know me.
Wanted a piece of me.
I was never left alone.

I knew myself.
When I was loved, it was real.
Friendship was true.
Truth was pure.

I am lost.
Nothing is real anymore.
Friends only want to share the light.
I know nothing but lies.

I want what I was before,
not what they made me after.
Take me back to then—
I don’t want it now.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Dentist ~ two haikus

Today's muse: Daily Writing Practice

Two Haiku Tuesday topic this week: at the dentist's office.

* * *

The Dentist

both hands thrust in mouth
plus umpteen tools and gadgets—
and he wants to talk

lecture on brushing,
finger-wag about fillings—
then hand out suckers

Monday, September 21, 2009

Come Home

Come Home

The house is so quiet without you.
My hand wanders over in the night
and caresses your pillow.
It smells like you.

The dog misses you too.
He continually wanders to the door,
checking for you.
He won’t eat.

I made dinner last night.
I cooked too much and now
have leftovers for a week.
I hate eating alone.

Come home safely.
I can’t imagine
the rest of my life without you.
I want you back.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Writer's Block

Today's muse: Daily Writing Practice
Prompt for the four line poem this week: the process


I've been on vacation this week. My husband is out of town and I have the entire house to myself. No interruptions, no noise, no expectations.

What a horrible time to get writer's block!!

Sadly, this wee ditty did nothing to break the cycle.

* * *

Writer's Block

Seven days alone to do nothing but write,
yet I stare at the screen; wish with all my might.
A large white square is all I see,
simply mocking, goading, laughing at me.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Narrator

Today's muse: Daily Writing Practice
Start your prose with The streets were thick with fog

* * *

The Narrator

The streets were thick with fog. Minute tornadoes swirled around her feet as she walked purposefully, her hands crammed into her coat, the collar turned up against the chill. Straight, raven-black hair, seemed to sparkle as the streetlight reflected off the tiny drops of moisture. Impatiently pushing a few stringy strands away, she shot an annoyed glance at …

“Cut it out!” Anger shot off her in waves. “You’re pissing me off!”

He glanced away, shrugging. “I’m just doing my job.”

“Well it’s annoying.” She walked faster and he lengthened his stride to keep up with her.

If he didn’t accomplish the mission, he would certainly be punished. And eternal damnation was not something he wanted to experience. He was unsure what the gods expected him to learn from this mission, but he was determined to succeed. No matter how irrational it seemed.

They arrived at the tall building she called home.

She fumbled in her bag, looking for ...

“That’s it!” She shoved at him hard so that he stumbled back two steps. “I’ve had it. Go back to wherever you came from.”

“I told you already...”

“Yeah, I know.” She dragged a hand through her wet hair. “You’re being tested, the gods sent you to be my Narrator, yadda yadda yadda.” She looked up at him, into those deep grey eyes that seemed to reach right into her soul. If he wasn’t so annoying, she could actually let herself get lost in those eyes. “I don’t care,” she whispered. “You’ve been following me around all day. Aren’t you done yet? I have a boring life. There’s not much to Narrate.”

He slipped into the elevator with her just as it closed and followed her to the penthouse unit. At the door, she turned to him, a bemused look on her face. “You can’t come in.”

“Oh, but it says so in the Decree.” He pulled a piece of tightly rolled parchment from his cloak and unfurled it. She snatched it from his hands and scanned the paper, her eyes growing wide as she read.

“You idiot!” Dropping the parchment on the floor, she opened the door to her unit and slammed it resolutely in his face. He picked up the scroll and read it through once again.

“Oh my.”

There, clearly written in the Lord’s intricate penmanship was the Decree that he should be her Navigator.

Not Narrator.

“Oh my,” he repeated.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Nine, Nine, Nein

Today's muse: Daily Writing Practice

* * *

Nine, Nine, Nein

We promised
Many years
I gave:

Never again,
you said.
Another chance,
you begged.
I gave:

Pictures they
asked me.
Proving what
they see.
I gave:

Charges have
been laid
Mercy’s all
you prayed.
I gave:

Friday, September 4, 2009

Slow Learner

Today's muse: Daily Writing Practice

The topic for this week's Four Line Friday Prose: slow learner.

* * *

Slow Learner

Sunshine ripped through the window, bored through the thin shield of eyelid. The cacophony of noise in my head played a steady rhythm, coaxed my stomach upwards with promises of freedom from my body. That’s the last time, I vowed—yet again—that I would indulge in the glorious nectar of the fermented grape.

Yeah right, I snorted.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Last Supper

Today's muse: Pictures, Poetry & Prose

* * *

The Last Supper

He sat alone at the table, his calloused hands folded in his lap. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had such a fine meal. Perhaps never.

Footsteps echoed off the walls and he sat up straighter, fidgeted a bit. He closed his eyes to heighten his senses, wanting to savour this moment, burn the memory in his mind.

The smell assaulted him first. His mouth watered in Pavlovian reflex and he swallowed thickly, greedily licking his chapped lips. Aroma wrapped around him, caressed him like a familiar lover who promised to fulfill every perverted desire. The plate gently touched the table before him and he waited until the footsteps faded away.

Alone again, though he knew he was watched, he slowly opened his eyes and stared at the feast before him: an enormous piece of prime rib—rare—garnished with a large dollop of strong horse radish. Arranged around it in homage to the succulent meat were parisienne potatoes, crisp asparagus and fried mushrooms.

He slowly cut into the tender meat then placed a small sliver on his tongue, relished the juices as they filled his mouth. The small morsel all but melted. The crisp outer shell of the potatoes housed a tender white interior. A mushroom cloud of steam erupted when he split them open. The asparagus, steamed to perfection, lay in a pool of melted butter next to over-sized seasoned portabellas.

His contented sighs punctuated the silence as he steadily ate through the meal, laying down his utensils after each mouthful, delaying the end as long as possible.

Crème brullée was the final indulgence. He tapped the crust gently, watched as the fault undulated across the golden scab, exposing the vulnerable richness beneath. Each spoonful was sheer joy.

The utensils now lay across the empty plate, meticulously lined up. He wiped his mouth carefully with the napkin and gently lay it atop the china. His eyes closed briefly as he sent silent thanks to the god he was convinced had long since turned away. He would remember that banquet as long as he lived.

He smirked as, once again, the footsteps approached, confirmation that he was watched. How else would they know he was done?

“Ready?” The question was asked, as though he had a choice. He merely nodded in reply, rose awkwardly and shuffled towards the door. With one final glance at the barren room, he followed the uniformed fellow out the door.

As he hobbled down the long corridor, the chains around his ankles clinked ominously, barely heard above the bellowed “Dead man walking!”