Saturday, October 31, 2009

Death Goes Trick-or-Treating

Today's muse: Daily Writing Practice
Prompt: "Your four line poem prompt this week: death goes trick-or-treating."
And Marc was generous enough to allow more lines if we wanted.
Give me an inch, I'll take a mile!

* * *

Death Goes Trick-or-Treating

Five and a half bags of candy,
And even some money, to boot.
I wonder why they were frightened.
I did wear a bunny suit.

What do you mean it's still scary?
How can that possibly fit?
Oh, I see what you mean ...
the scythe doesn't go with it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Suburban Warfare

Today's muse: Daily Writing Practice

* * *

Suburban Warfare

Birds trill well wishes to one another, leaves rustle as they tumble down the street—a Saturday morning symphony. It is a peaceful prelude to the battle that will soon begin.

The atmosphere shifts as warriors begin to gather at the battleground. Each one is filled with anticipation, charging the air with energy. They appear in twos and threes—some arrive alone.

The difference in class is apparent: those with means are outfitted with the best protection; some wear second-hand pieces, weathered by countless others in this age-old dance; a few wear nothing but the simple clothes they own, prepared to risk flesh and bone.

But it is not about the gear or the equipment; it is not about wealth. This ancient tradition transcends all classes, all ages, all boundaries. Singing to the passionate spirit, it equalizes the masses to build a cohesive unit and forge alliances that will survive evermore.

As the bright orange ball is dropped and L-shaped sticks slap in combat, a young voice peals the battle cry:

“Game on!”

And the war begins.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Today's muse: Sunday Scribblings

* * *


Although I no longer think of you every day, I do think of you often. And wonder.

If I had made another decision, 27 years ago, would things be different? Better or worse? Over the years, I have convinced myself that my life is much better than it would have been, but I'm not always sure.

My life was just beginning. I had so many dreams and you were going to change everything—be in the way. As much as I wanted to, I couldn't hold onto you. And yet, I couldn't let you be with anyone else. Perhaps that was selfish. Someone else would have loved you just as much...maybe more.

I am not shamed by what I have done. That's not what keeps me awake at night and what wakes me from restless dreams. I do not apologize for my actions—for ending your life before it even began.

I do not regret my choice. And for that, I am shameful.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lost in Time

Today's muse: Daily Writing Practice

* * *

Lost in Time

Blades of sunlight slashed through the trees; brilliant swords that lit our way as we strolled in the woods behind our house. Though our conversation was rather mundane—work, kids—there was an inexplicable intimacy.

My breath caught when you reached over to brush my hair back; cupped a hand behind my neck and rubbed your thumb along my cheek. My eyes tried to tell you how much I miss you.

I know I can’t see you every day. And I know I won’t see you forever, but I will visit our woods and hope that I see you again.

Until then, I will visit you here. I’ll lay flowers by your stone and tell you I miss you.

Every day.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Today's muse: Pictures, Poetry & Prose

* * *


"Are you lost, little one?"

"I feel like I am."

"You haven't lost your way, in as much as you simply haven't read the map."

"The directions are confusing. I don't understand them."

"Perhaps you would be better served to focus on the scenery, rather than the map."

"I did that, but now I'm afraid I took a wrong turn."

"There is no wrong turn."

"Are you sure?"

"Have you not seen that which you would have otherwise ignored?"

"I have seen love and hope."

"And have you learned nothing?"

"I have learned to trust and forgive."

"Then you are on the right path."

"Will you guide me when it's dark?"

"Always. And I will light a candle so you will find your way Home."


Today's muse: Sunday Scribblings

* * *


"Do you need to keep this?" The exasperation in her voice was obvious as she held up a metal toy truck. Only one wheel remained and most of the red paint had been replaced with rust. Phil glanced over and sighed.

"No." The word was dragged out—a mournful surrender.

"Look," she began, "you can't keep everything. Our old junk is starting to take over the house. We need to purge." Jennifer tossed the truck into a nearby box designated as garbage.

Marrying a fellow pack rat had finally taken its toll. The basement had begun to look like a small-town flea market that sold only tattered out-of-date clothing, broken toys and worn furniture. Jennifer had already filled several boxes with her own memories. Dolls, stuffed animals; even her high school cheerleader uniform. Phil had argued the merits of keeping the uniform but—rolling her eyes—Jennifer had added it to the trash pile.

And now they purged Phil's mementos. Half-finished car models, armless action figures, moth-eaten Varsity sweatshirts. Was that a KISS poster?

Jennifer pulled a tackle box from a bookshelf, brushed the dust off. She wondered when Phil had last gone fishing. Before Jennifer could open the box, Phil snatched it away from her.

"I'm keeping this." His tone made it clear that this was not negotiable. Intrigued, Jennifer held her hands out.

"What's in the box, Phil?" She wiggled her fingers in a "hand it over" motion. Phil shook his head.

"This is my personal stuff." He held up a hand, palm facing his wife. "You can't have this."

Jennifer was only more intrigued. What was in the box that he needed to keep? What could possibly be so important? She raised her eyebrows and thrust her hands out.

"Hand it over."

Phil closed his eyes and sighed; knew it was fruitless to argue. Shaking his head, he reluctantly placed the box in her hands. Lifting the lid, she was surprised to find the metal box held nothing but paper. Dozens of squares, worn from repeated folding; cards with faded graphics. Frowning, she pulled a piece of paper from the stash and carefully unfolded it.

Jennifer's eyes filled with tears as she recognized her own handwriting. A letter written some 20 years earlier professed her undying teenage love. She opened cards and unfolded other letters—all written so many years ago and long-forgotten by her.

She looked over at her husband, dazed. Phil shrugged, clearly embarrassed.

"I kept every letter and card you've ever given me." It was said as though he challenged her to laugh at him. Instead, Jennifer wrapped her arms around his waist, overwhelmed by the surge of emotion that had filled her. "It's no big deal," he muttered, but pulled her close to him.

Jennifer lifted her head and met Phil's gaze. The corner of her lip turned up as she gave him a knowing look. "We'll keep the cheerleader outfit."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Super Mario

Today's muse: I recently finished Super Mario 64.

* * *

Super Mario

He boasts no suit of armour, but wears only his blue overalls, red t-shirt and matching red cap. The chosen one is brave. He, alone, can save the Princess from a fate worse than death.

To rescue her, he must conquer villains who thwart his every effort. He must climb icy mountains, sail across seas of lava, and travel across barren lands of desert.

This task will not be easy. But the gods have granted a boon. Our brave hero will be awarded one gold power star each time he is successful in vanquishing a minion. He is also given the supernatural power of reclaiming his life. This is not to be taken lightly. The giving of life comes with consequences. He will die—many, many, many times. But he will be brought back to life.

He will return and try again, over and over, until he rescues the Princess. For she has promised him a great reward when he is done. And he knows that by risking his life for her, she will reward him beyond his wildest dreams.

When he finally defeats all the villains—at last discovers all the worlds, and, in the end, collects all 120 gold power stars—our brave little hero is rewarded.

With a cake.

Mario has been crushed by rocks, sailed off clouds into oblivion and drowned in molten lava—many times over. And the Princess bakes him a lousy cake.

Well … itsa da tot data counts, no?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Comfort Food

Today's muse: Daily Writing Practice

* * *

Comfort Food

The sun penetrates through the blinds; bright stripes dance across our sleeping bodies. The smell of brewing coffee nudges me awake and I send a silent thank you to the gods for inventing automatic coffee makers.

A grunt behind me lets me know that my love is also waking. He turns towards me and wraps a possessive arm around me, drags me closer to nuzzle into my neck. I turn to face him and push his hair from his eyes. He needs a haircut. But we’re newlyweds, and we have better things to do.

I hear the grumble of his stomach—an angry demand for fuel. He opens an eye and I raise an eyebrow in question. We both laugh. I sit up and ask what he wants for breakfast.

I can make pancakes, I offer, or how about French toast with some bacon? Or I could make an omelette with sausage and fried potatoes. Or how about …

He just stares at me and a grin slowly begins to spread across his face. I know that look. I’ve been seeing that look quite a bit lately. But before I can stop him, he wraps an arm around my waist and traps me between him and the bed.

Alright, I concede. Breakfast can wait.