a journey filled with many familiar paths and some not yet taken... all leading to the ever-changing destinations just waiting to be discovered.


Friday, October 29, 2010

What be the Words

What be this life succumbed
By the harshness of seasons past,
Beheld in hearts not forgotten.

This day but a distant thought,
Muddled memories in the halls of time,
The stone tributary left.

Times natural erosion
Fractures the stone faced memoirs,
Etched with the counting of days.

But what be the words still
To echo from the heavens in prose,
Laid upon the hearts of babes.

Yet to wonder what meaning dost hold
Within the soul of this one lost,
Brought forth to light the hereafter.

Magpie Tales #38

I have linked this post to Magpie Tales photo prompt #38.  Once again, thank you Willow for this wonderful venue given to us writers to share in.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Romantic Nights

The dark star-filled skies
Moonbeams dancing on the waves
Caressing the shore.

I am linking this post to Jingle Poetry - Monday Poetry Potluck.   Enjoy all.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

An Ode to You, my Readers, my Followers, my Friends

I thought it was time to reflect a little on my journey here in blogland.  When I started my blog, I wasn't even sure that it would be able to provide that unknown something that I had been searching for....   Just a few short months ago, I had found myself in a vast space of creative nothingness, much like canyon depths.  Beautiful though they may be, standing somewhere down along the trail, the entire world an insurmountable canyon wall above as it rose toward the expansiveness of an endless cloud covered sky. The clouds seemed dark, readying themselves for the new season of rain and rebirth, bringing the much needed rest cycle after the bathing away of the summer's heat, the silken black ashes of fires sparked by man's careless squandering of the nature around him.

I felt that the creative area of my mind was rumpled and cluttered with the many things we call life...  stifled by the boxes, the memories, the items new and old that filled the space as I searched for that 'something' that would free my creative energies.  Portions of my everyday world seemed clean and crisp, yet like an unmade bed, memories framed there resting, while sorting out the boxes full of treasures of days past....

Magpie Tales

As I stated, I wasn't sure exactly what I was looking for, I wasn't sure if this path would lead me to a destination that I would be happy with....  I did know this would be a journey I was familiar with portions of, travelled years ago when my mind was less cluttered, less confined by the stresses and responsibilities of my life, my world as it exists today.  I did know that I needed to find something to aid me in freeing my inner self of the constant barrage that was happening.

I approached this new endeavor, this new trail cautiously, and with some reluctance.  In years past, my 'writings' whether they be poetry or stories, have only been sparsely shared with even those people closest to me.  Back when I was young, I found a desire for creating tales, sketched out by the placing of words on the pad, adjusting to fit the picture in my mind.  Though the people around me were encouraging about my ability to create, they were very discouraging about it even being a possibility of filling any portion of my life other than as a hobby.  The 'starving artist' point of view was instilled in me, so strongly, as the only path that could be envisioned because of the many years of hard work this world entailed before one could see any recognition. 

Thus, most of the work I have done over the years, the creations, have blown away in the winds of time, much like loose pages stacked on a table as the cool breeze lifts. The pages rising in the air finding the breeze and wafting off into the vast nothingness of time unrecorded.  The few pieces that I do still have in a collection were mostly written to or for specific people, thereby having more sentimental value than a created picture of doodling.  Or, the few pieces that have been written since I have found an appreciation of holding on to, and then going back later to dabble with.  Those few pieces also came later as life in its overwhelming time-filled glory which allowed for only rare efforts.

The small collection has only been shared with a select few people, until more recent years in which several have been 'published' in a variety of venues... anthologies, newsletters, plaques on friends walls... Probably due to the influences when I was young, all also 'publicly' shared in the hopes of being done so as 'anonymous'....  I have always, in so many areas of my life, chosen to have my efforts stand for the effort, and its importance, rather than as something I needed to be acknowledged for.  Needless to say, this venture in blogland, this journey that I have chosen to participate in, well, posed a variety of conflicts.  I wanted to relight the embers that burn deep within my being, deep within my mind, allowing the flames of creation to burn again, creating a light, a warmth within my world.  I was hoping that this venue would give me a place to do that.  But I honestly had many doubts as to whether this venue could provide that for me.  I wasn't sure if I would be writing the post-experience tale of my everyday life, poetry, short stories...  I wasn't sure if I would be writing just for myself and an anonymous world of technology, or if I would eventually share any of this with those people in my day to day world.

What I have found along this short journey... was encouragement.  What I found was people, other writers, fellow bloggers, interested in taking a moment of their day, to stop and visit with me by reading, commenting, following the posts that fill these pages.  What I found were people inquisitive of the next verse, the next installment in a tale.  What I found was the embers becoming flames of my passion.  What I found were free-flowing thoughts, phrases, sparks blending together into tales.  What I found was the vast space of creative nothingness was filling with thoughts, tales, prose just as the dry riverbed of the canyon would fill with the flow of water after the autumn rains that moisten and replenish the arid land around it.  What I found was the emergence of that passion deep within my soul that yearns for a venue to share my words with the world, with my friends, and now with my fellow bloggers who read, comment, and sometimes follow.  What I found was an endless flow of thoughts yearning to be penned, sometimes even coming in the most stressful of moments when before I could only focus on the stress of the immediate moment. 

Over the years of my life, I have endured many losses, many trials, many times when I needed guidance, support, someone to believe in me.  I have been fortunate enough to know some really special people who have a way of touching those around them in a very profound manner.  These few people I have considered 'mentors' guiding my world, my being by example of who they are.  Here in blogland, I also found that these anonymous people who cross my path - also can be mentors, guiding, challenging my passion with their skills, with their way with words, with their support, and by simply taking the time to stop by and acknowledging that I am here, believing that my writing is sometimes worth coming back to for a second look.

Simply stated, to you my readers, my commenters, my followers, especially my first follower (you know who you are)...  My heartfelt thanks to all of you for taking the time to stop, for taking the time and effort to get to know a little of this passion, for getting to know a little of me.  I truly appreciate your support and encouragement in making this journey a positive one for me.    And to you my friends from my everyday life who have responded and followed me here, thank you for getting to know this other side of me that sat dormant for such a long time.

Thank you all for taking time to visit here.

I am linking this post to both Magpie Tales photo prompt #37 and to Writer's Island prompt #26 for 2010: Emerge.  Again, thank you all for stopping by to visit.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Reflections and Sillhoettes

The following poem was prompted by both the photo prompt #37 of Willow at her Magpie Tales and by the Sunday Scribblings prompt #237 Harvest...   I hope you enjoy my interpretation of these.  To read others click on the links.

Soaking and sloshing, the essence of a new day.
As white and crisp as a child's innocence.
Forming reflections of the latest of seasons.

Magpie Tales #37

The rain rinses the branches bare of its leaves.
Harvested, the stark nakedness in silhouettes.
Settling delicately into the winter bed.

Youthful Tales

Magpie Tales #37

Snowlike mountain peaks
Mirrored tales reflect wishes
Youthful innocence

I have linked this post to Magpie Tales inspired by the above photo prompt.  You can go there to see other writers' take on the same prompt.  Some of the best I have seen.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Jack's Gremlins.... Part 5

I am again linking this post to several sites, the first being Magpie Tales photo prompt #36 by Willow and the second being Writer's Island #25 for 2010: Unleash.  I have also included the picture from the Writer's Island prompt by the Spanish artist, Silvia.  (You can click here to see her other works.)  Lastly, I have also linked to Sunday Scribblings for prompt #237: Harvest.   I hope you enjoy this next installment.  For those of you new to my blog, you can go back and find the prior parts of this story.

As I approached the top of the stairs leading to the area we now called the attic, the space was dark except for the light from the hallway at the bottom of the stairs.   This was the area we used to store things; many of Mom's special possessions, here in her space that Pops had designed for her to be 'creative'.  This used to be her office, if you will, where she could write, paint, sew, or do whatever creative project struck her fancy for that week.... Or as it became, just her quiet space to go unwind, delving into the latest novel or autobiography that she happened to be reading.   We all knew not to interrupt, just give her a little time and she would return downstairs to our world.  Sometimes, when she was creating, rather than reading or writing, she would let Jack and/or I come up with her, as long as we were quiet, being careful not to interrupt her ‘focus’ so the finished project would be exactly what she wanted it to be.  And sometimes, she would find a simple project that we could help her with, like when she created pages for the albums, her ‘memory books’ that would forever hold the stories of our family.  I knew she had been creating the ‘memory books’ since she was about my age, and that I should be able to find some with Uncle Jack in them, at least from when they were all kids.

I paused at the top of the stairs, my hand resting on the hand-carved wooden rail that separated the space from the stairwell, giving my eyes a chance to adjust to the dim lighting. Searching my mind for the layout of the room, I remembered her desk space off to the left, the low shelves of her books along the wall beyond the desk and her big comfy brown leather chair. If I turned and followed the rail to the wall, I would bump into the many boxes of stuff that we have since stacked here, before the soft leather couch, along the wall, I needed to maneuver through the small area in the middle, careful not trip over any stray boxes that might be pulled down, careful not to bump into the expansive wooden coffee table that sat in front of the couch. If I did this, I should be able to make it over to the window, then search the carved wood of the panel to find the key… so I could ‘unleash’ the light from the morning sun into the space. As I got close to the far wall, I veered slightly to the left, smelling the scents of her perfume still lingering on the leather coat hanging there, the hanger dangling from the coat hooks along the upper part of the wall. I could feel the soft leather caress my arm as I passed, brushing gently against its space, then feeling the panel, finding the glass, moving to the right from there to the ribbed edge of the wood, and then drifting slightly upward to find the key in the lock, turning it gently until I heard the click. Then following the edge downward to the corner and tracing to the left to the ring used to pull open the window… As I stepped back, letting the window swing to my left, the light unleashed itself and filled the small space, creating a picture of its own, under the eaves, welcoming the day into the space, the daylight gently finding its way into the creative energy of the room.

Magpie Tales #36 photo prompt

Now if I moved along the wall to the right, I could find the other window, matching but in opposite form.  As I moved along the wooden paneling of the wall, I again came to the ribbed edge of the window panel, and in reverse traced to where the key was, gently turned until I heard the click, then again finding the ring at the bottom of the panel and pulled it open as well, letting it swing to the right.  Again the days sunlight unleashed itself into the other part of the room, gently making its way into the creative energy of the space, and coming to a rest on the brown leather couch along the other wall.  Now I could make out the tall shelves along the wall between this window and the couch.  The shelves where she kept the many ‘memory books’ all lined up in order as her life unfolded over the years.  I reached over, letting my fingers trace the spines of the albums, counting, skipping over the first couple of years.  I knew those were the ones she experimented with, and then finding the first of the ones she would pull to sit with Jack and I on the couch, laying them out on the wooden coffee table.  She would slowly go through the pages, letting us explore the pictures, the small papers filled with the words of her poems, the crafty little ‘art projects’ of paper, glitter, string… whatever items she felt would bring back the memory of events, days gone by, as she told us the stories of her childhood, her high school years, and how she met Pops when she was away at college. 

I set the album I had pulled from the shelves down on the wooden coffee table as Mom used to do, and glanced up to the painting on the wall above the couch… This experienced by me,  I drew from my own memories, a smile spreading across my face as I drifted to the day when Mom told me that her and I would be going to my first ‘Art Exhibit’ at a gallery.  There was a new Spanish artist, Silvia, whom had just unleashed a burning within Mom's heart, a love of her paintings, so much so, that Mom just had to have this one, entitled 'Lost Boat' for the wall here above the couch in her office.  Mom had said, ‘This artist, this painting unleashes so much creativity for me.’

'Lost Boat'  by Silvia

I too, found myself drawn in by the artist, unleashing a desire to add color to my simple drawings that I had been working on with Mom’s guidance, teaching if you will, and how to create depth to my one-dimensional pictures that I brought home from art class.  My teacher had always been happy with my work, but Mom knew, inside me there was always a feeling of something missing from them.  So we would then work together, here in her office, her showing me how to add that missing color, or depth or…  All of the things I still needed to learn about art, but that my ‘grade level’ hadn’t yet covered in my classes.

I sat down on the couch and gently opened the album that rest on the expansive wooden table, slowly flipping through the first few pages of memories. These were still the pages fairly early, of the fun times Mom, Jack and Howard had during there summers here in this house. In the album were pictures of them playing on the banks of the creek, stickers from the high school carnival and parties with them celebrating birthdays with their friends and family. As I glanced through, it struck me that all the photos of Uncle Jack, even though they were at parties, or the carnival, he looked so serious. His face drawn, his eyes seemed dull… Until I reached the page entitled ‘Harvest’. Various colored leaves, including the Princeton Sentry and the Maple, were scattered around the page. Just under the bright orange title at the top of the page, was a picture of Uncle Jack holding his ‘harvest’ of a very large pumpkin, both arms bowed at full length wrapped around cradling it, and a huge smile stretched across his face, almost ear to ear. Then just below it on a small piece of cream colored parchment paper, the following poem scrawled in rough, handwriting,

Harvest Time

Autumn full color,
Orange pumpkins, fields of wheat,
Season of my heart.

Sitting there for a moment, I tried to digest the words, the picture, looking for some understanding of this gruff, anxious man whom Uncle Howard had brought with to see Jack at the hospital yesterday.  I tried to grasp, understand… why had we seen, heard, so little of him if he was our other uncle?  Uncle Howard had always been such a big part of our lives, always over to see us, spending time playing games, watching movies, picnicking with us in the back yard.  I wondered, if at the very least, why had we never really heard Mom or Pops, or Uncle Howard even, speak of him in their stories.  I thought I remembered seeing him at the hospital after the accident, his head and face wrapped in the white gauze… I thought I remembered them going to the airport to pick him up and the accident happening on the way back to our house.  I thought I remembered being told that he was going to live with Grandma and Grandpa so they could take care of him, just as we had Uncle Howard, so they both could get better, get strong enough to take care of themselves.  I looked back down at the page and again read the poem and looked at the smile stretching across the picture. 

My thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the sounds of voices coming from the yard. I got up from the couch and moved over to the open window near the leather coat hanging by the wall. Looking out, I could see that it was Pops, standing near the edge of the forest, talking with Uncle Jack. I could see Jack sitting on the ground beyond Uncle Jack playing with a small long-haired dog, its fur black covering its head, then going to white over the rest of its body. And then I heard Uncle Jack tell Pops, ‘His name is Lyn… he’s a Shih-Tzu, Lyn being short for Lyndon B. Johnson. I named him for the thirty-sixth president who completed Kennedy’s term of office after his assassination, and then was re-elected in 1964.’

Toby popped over the tall grasses out from the darkness of the forest, followed by Gremby and Uncle Howard. Gremby is short for Grembolait, just as Uncle Howard had called his mom’s Crème Brulee. Being a Lhasa Apso, as is typical, his fur is the creamy light brown with the reddish brown splotches of tufts poking through, the same creamy light brown of the custard his mom always served over peaches when he was young. Grembolait was his favorite desert, she would specially make it for him on days when he did particularly well on a book report or on his spelling test when he was little, maybe around Jack’s age.

Uncle Jack asked his voice still gruff, ‘Jack has your dad here, taught you anything yet about our great Presidents?’ ‘No sir,’ I heard Jack say as he stood up and moved over behind Pops, grabbing on to his pant leg. Uncle Jack continued, ‘It’s important that you learn about history. You should ask him to tell you some of the stories, some of the history of our great country…’

My thoughts searched my social studies lessons, trying to remember what I had learned of this Lyndon B. Johnson. I remembered learning about the assassination of Kennedy, and learning he was one of the best presidents we have ever had, but all that I could remember about Johnson was the Vietnam War. I remembered Mom and Pops telling me how horrible war was and that many innocent people died or are injured and it forever changes their lives. I looked back down to the yard, again listening, now seeing only Pops and Uncle Jack there. Uncle Jack was moving around, pacing with those same jerking movements I saw when we were at the hospital. Pacing, cigarette in hand, smoke billowing from his nostrils as it had at the hospital. Then I heard Pops, his voice angry, telling him, ‘I told you, you are only welcome here if an adult is here. I don’t want you around the kids by yourself. If you can’t follow this, then stay away from my kids, or so help me…’ Pops turned, shaking his head as he walked toward the house and then out of my view. Uncle Jack stood there seeming to talk to himself for a few minutes, then I heard him whistle and saw Lyn and him disappear into the forest.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


This post is to share a poem I thought fit the Writer's Island #24 for 2010: Envision.  I thought my poem Dreams  would be fitting to share.  Hope you all enjoy.


My life has been a life of dreams,
Dreams that could never, ever be,
Yet you've brought my dreams to reality.

My life has been a life of dreams,
Of a love filled with understanding,
Of a love that is true and undemanding.

My life has been a life of dreams,
Of a love that comforts when in pain,
Of a love that is looking for no gain.

My life has been a life of dreams,
Of a love which gives an encouraging word,
Of a love where trust and honesty are assured.

My life has been a life of dreams,
Of a love that is giving and forgiving,
Of a love which shows the joy in living.

My life has been a life of dreams,
Of a love that is there when the going gets rough,
Of a love for which there could never be thanks enough.

My life has been a life of dreams,
Thank you for helping my dreams to come true,
It's because of the little things, I love you.

"Mom," thanks and I love you!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Journey Awaits

This post will be linked to Olive O'Brien's Creative Writing Ink given the following photo prompt for October 11, 2010.  Hope you enjoy this short endeaver....

Creative Writing Ink photo prompt

Luggage at the track,
Journey awaits err I go,
World is mine today.

Monday, October 11, 2010

#236 - Essential.... Living Ghost

Today I am experimenting with a couple of ideas and a site that is new to me, Sunday Scribblings which offers a weekly prompt.  This weeks prompt  #236 - Essential  seemed to hit a chord with something I wrote several years ago.

In the prompt, it quotes from the book, Walking on Alligators by Susan Shaughnessy. In it she quotes Voltaire: "The secret of being tiresome is to tell everything."  Sunday Scribblings  goes on to say...  In writing and in life, the secret is sometimes in what you leave out.

The following is a short piece I wrote several years ago, it echos through many memories, but also what is not said eludes to so much more.

Living Ghost

You walked in, immediately I knew what you would pull from the shelf. You'd take the V-8, then put it back. You wanted tomato juice, only Campbell's would do, your "lunch" in a can. And of course a Budweiser, but what size. I also knew when you came to the counter you'd ask for salt and you did.

As afraid of the memories as I was, I had to ask, "Do I know you?" "Not unless you know my little girl, I'm not from here...," you replied. "I'm trying to find my girl. The vibes told me she was to be hurt with the mudslides... those Nina Rains. California will slide into the water."

I gave you the total for your items and saw the blank stare in your eyes... "Where's my salt, I need salt, it's no damn good without salt!"

I should probably add as an Essential part of this post, the memories were of a man who had died 16  years prior under suspicious circumstances... and there was evidence of the sale actually taking place.

Lonely Is the Night

The following is a simple attempt at haiku, written to participate in One Single Impression Prompt #137:  Lonely.   Hope you all enjoy...

Lonely is the night,
Solitary star so bright,
Darkness round your light.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jack's Gremlins... Part 4

I hope you all don't mind, but once again I have linked this post to two sites, both providing the photo prompts included here.  I have linked to Magpie Tales by Willow and to Olive O'Brien's Creative Writing Ink writing exercises.

As we opened the door of the chapel where Uncle Howard had entered, sitting in a chair in the lobby area was an older scruffy looking man. He was sitting forward, looking down to the floor, holding his face in his hands, his graying beard poking from between his fingers. Uncle Howard told me, ‘I’ll catch up with you at the hospital. I need a few minutes to talk to him,’ pointing to the man in the chair. I walked out the front doors of the church and started up the sidewalk toward the hospital, wondering who the man could have been, that Uncle Howard would need to talk to him right then. I looked ahead of where I was walking up the sidewalk, and there sitting in the shade below a very large oak tree was Angelica. She stood up as I approached her and we hugged. I could feel myself beginning to tremble, the tears again welling up in my eyes. She whispered in my ear, ‘Jack’s okay, I told you I would see that he gets home for you.’ Angelica took my hand in hers, turned and we walked up to the hospital together. We went into the front doors, walked down the long wide hallway and found Pops sitting in the family waiting area with the lady in the dark blue suit. They both stood as we approached, and Pops asked, ‘Are you ready to go see your brother? You did get the chocolate donut for him, right?’ I raised the small white bag showing it to him, and he took my hand and we walked the rest of the hallway to Jack’s room.

Jack was sitting up in the bed as we entered his room, a clear tube running up under his nose and into either nostril.  He was looking at the ‘ouwglass’ that he was holding high in the air toward the window. He turned his head, his grin stretched across his face almost ear to ear, ‘You have my donut?’ he asked. Angelica was sitting over in the corner, near the window, in the big, ugly green chair, her sky blue dress draped over her knees, hiding the pale skin of her legs that were tucked up under her. She smiled at me, then turned and looked out the window. Jack again asked, his voice more excited, ‘Did you bring my donut?’ I heard Pops answer, ‘Yes Jack, she brought you your chocolate donut.’ I handed the bag to Pops, he reached into it, handed Jack his chocolate donut, and then handed me one of the others. In front of Jack, on the table slanted across his bed, was a tray with lunch, or at least the little bit left that he hadn’t eaten. The plate had the crusts of his sandwich and some green beans. His glass had about half of his milk left in it. Off to the right side were an empty bowl and an open soda can. Jokingly, I reached for his soda, lifting it only to find it empty. Jack laughed, ‘I drank it… I knew you would try to take it so I drank it all.’ We all laughed as I put the empty can back down on the tray. He was still holding the hourglass up toward the window, looking at it, watching the white sand fall to the lower section, and then periodically he would take a bite of his chocolate donut, until the last bite slipped from his small hand into his mouth.

I heard voices coming from the hallway, Pops turned, saying, ‘I’ll be right back.’ Then Pops was gone from the room, turning down the hallway in the direction of the voices. Angelica slipped down from the chair and walked over to the other side of Jack’s bed near the foot. She climbed up, sitting beyond the bottom of his feet, her pale hand resting on the white sheet covering Jack’s legs. Her sky blue dress draped over the side of the bed between the silver bars of the rail. Jack jerked his head in my direction, looking beyond where I was standing toward the door. He fumbled the ‘ouwglass’ almost dropping it, and then brought his hand that held the hourglass down and placed it under the sheet. His face looked serious now, his body tense as he slid toward the other side closer to the rail. He leaned in that direction looking toward the window. I noticed he winced as his body leaned against the rail.

As Pops entered the room, he said, ‘Jack, look who came to see you, your Uncle Howard is here and he brought someone to see you…’ Jack and I both looked toward the door; following behind Pops was Uncle Howard and the older scruffy looking man from the church.  Immediately, I noticed the scar that ran across his forehead and down the side of his face and disappeared into his graying beard. Pops asked, ‘Do you two remember your Uncle Jack? Remember, you met him here in the hospital after the accident. He was in the car with your Mom and Uncle Howard.’ I looked over to Jack; he had turned back toward the window again. Pops was now standing next to his bed, his hand rested on Jack’s back as he leaned against the other rail. Pops asked, ‘Jack… are you okay? Your uncles are here to see you, to make sure you are alright.’ Jack continued to look out the window, not answering Pops. Uncle Howard stepped over closer to the bed, saying, ‘Jack, I heard you found a real special treasure yesterday. Your Pops said that you would not let anyone hold it for you. Must be pretty special, can I see what you found?’ Jack turned back towards all of us, and slowly pulled his hand from under the sheet. A small smile crept across his face as he held up his relic, ‘Uncle Ouwd, I found an ouwglass, see…’ Uncle Howard looked the hourglass over, ‘Boy Jack, I think that is the best either of us has found yet. No wonder you wouldn’t let anyone keep it for you.’ Uncle Jack, leaning forward to see what the two were admiring, said, ‘That looks like a pretty important treasure you got there Little Jack.’ Jack reluctantly looked up from his prized possession, ‘Thank you Olger Jack.’ I moved around Uncle Jack, the strong pungent smell of smoke hitting me as I passed him, and then stepped around to the other side of the bed near where Angelica had climbed up.

We all continued to visit for a while, waiting for the doctor to come in to speak with Pops, to let us know when he could go home. Jack seemed to become more and more anxious as the day progressed, more and more bored, I supposed. He never did like just laying in bed, even when he would stay home from school with the flu or a fever, he always was playing with his toys, climbing out of bed, and needing to be told of the importance of resting to get over whatever ailment he might have. Sometime, mid-afternoon, Uncle Howard suggested that he and I go find some coffee for the adults and something for Jack and I to drink.

As Uncle Howard and I walked up the wide hallway, I heard quick heavy steps coming up the hall behind us. When we reached the cafeteria door, Uncle Jack said, ‘I’m going outside for some air…’ We walked through the sitting area with all the tables into the small area of food coolers and counters, and found the coffee. Uncle Howard began filling three large cups, while I searched and found the sodas for me and Jack. I walked back over to him as he was pouring the dark warm coffee into the third cup. He said, ‘Looks pretty strong today, why don’t you grab some of the creamer for us?’ I grasped the two sodas in one hand, trying to balance them, and then reached into the container picking up a handful of the small creamer cups. We walked over to the cashier and Uncle Howard handed her the money while I went into the sitting room and found a table near the window. Beyond the glass, I could see Uncle Jack pacing under the trees, smoke billowing from his nose, then small rings of the white smoke rising in the air from his mouth. His arms were stiff, his movements jerky as he paced back and forth, and then he would raise the white stick to his mouth, the end turning a deep red. And again the smoke would billow from his nose drifting up through the leaves of the trees.

Uncle Howard walked over to the table carefully balancing the three cups between his hands, careful not to spill the hot coffee. He set two cups on the table and picked up a couple of the creamers, pulled a napkin from the holder and continued outside where Uncle Jack was pacing. He held the cup out toward Jack who was flailing his hand in the air, smoke wafting to the trees. I could see that they were talking, Uncle Jack now pointing somewhere further down the hospital wall. I could then hear a gruff mumbled speech through the window pane, but could not make out the words. Uncle Howard then placed the napkin on the bench near Uncle Jack, placed the cup and creamers on top of it and turned shaking his head as he walked back toward the door and then came over to the table where I was still waiting. ‘Sorry sweetie, your Uncle Jack gets a bit anxious sometimes… He just needs a little time to himself.’ He then asked if I was ready to go back to the room. We collected our drinks and the creamers and walked back to see Jack, to see if the doctor had come in yet.

Jack was resting on the bed, his eyes closed until he heard us come into the room. He again sat up, looking anxious, and asked, ‘Did Pops find the doctor yet? He went to see if I can go home yet. I really want to go home, there is nothing to do here…’ Uncle Howard told him that it shouldn’t be too much longer before we find out something, but you could see the disappointment on Jack’s little face. He was really getting tired of having to stay in bed. Uncle Jack then meandered into the room, his footsteps quieter, more relaxed as he entered the room. ‘Hey Little Man Jack, I found some more treasures for you while I was out getting some air.’ Jack’s face looked inquisitive now, and he sat up more in the bed, pushing the cleared off table out of the way, exposing the white of the sheet covering him, as if to create a display area. Uncle Jack then began to lay out on the bed some wet leaves and a little clear plastic bag of acorns, seeds, and pinecones. As he laid the first larger leaf on the white sheet, Uncle Jack told him, ‘This is a maple leaf, I found it down by the corner by the church. And this is a….’ Jack interrupted him saying, ‘I know what that one is, it’s the guard one.’ ‘What do you mean the guard one?’ inquired Uncle Jack with a very gentle soothing voice. ‘The sentry one, umm… the Princeton Sentry, yeah, the Princeton Sentry,’ answered Jack with a beaming smile across his face. ‘Very good Jack. I see someone has taught you well about plants,’ encouraged Uncle Jack.

Magpie Tales  photo prompt #35

Just then Pops walked back into the room with a smile on his face, scanning the room with his dark eyes. I think he was probably checking to see that I was there too. ‘Guess what Jack… I just talked to your doctor and he says you are doing really well today, much better than they expected. You still need to get lots of rest so you can finish getting well…’ Pops was talking directly to Jack, as if none of the rest of us were in the room, but I could still see Jack’s color drain from his face when Pops said the part about getting rest to finish getting well. Pops paused, letting Jack feel sad for just a brief moment, then continued, ‘But… you get to do your resting at home.’ Jack’s face lit up like a flash of lightning. Smiling ear to ear, he started to climb off of the bed. ‘Slow down there Little Man,’ said Uncle Jack reaching for the clear plastic tube still taped to Jack’s arm . ‘You still need to wait just a few more minutes while the nurse comes and unhooks you from all your techno gadgets…’ continued Pops. Uncle Howard was already reaching into the small cabinet near the other side of the bed, pulling Jack’s clothing out. He handed Pops the clothes and suggested that Uncle Jack, he and I go take another walk while Pops helped Jack get ready. The three of us left the room, pulling the big brown door closed as we left. I looked up to my right, and then to my left, both Uncle Jack and Uncle Howard had the biggest smiles on their faces, almost as big as Jack’s was.

We walked down to the cafeteria again, this time the three of us sitting down at the table together while we waited for Pops and Jack to be ready.  This time we were sitting near the end, by the windows facing the back of the hospital.  I looked out the window, and to my surprise, I realized it was dark... and in the short time while Uncle Jack was showing Jack the display of leaves and other finds...  a beautiful white fluffy blanket covered the ground, the first snow of the season.  There beyond the driveway, were tall reedlike sticks lined up on either side of a small opening, standing tall as the sentries would have for the prince...  with a single set of footprints cresting over the small mound , up and between the guardsmen, as if they were leading the way and welcoming us all home.

Creative Writing Ink photo prompt

I hope you all have enjoyed part 4 of my tale... I am really enjoying the challenge of bringing it all together through the use of the photo prompts.  Until next time and more clues as to Jack's gremlins...       Hope everyone has a wonderful week. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

No Light

This would be my 2nd entry for Magpie Tales #34 this week.  I hope you enjoy this short poem.

Magpie Tales

Ah, but what a spark would ignite,
The oil fills your bowels this night,
No wick to reach the oil so slight,
Alas, with this there is no light.