Returning Time… #Poetry

I’m always fascinated with the imagery poetry can reflect…

anita dawes and jaye marie

New_1_DSCF3003.JPG Image by jenanita01.com

Returning Time

The dead do not lie still.

Their long shadows

search those secret places, pulling your mind apart.

They hide behind damp patches on the wall

waiting for you to scrape through the layers of time.

Old newspapers beneath carpets

Lost photographs at the back of the drawer

A box full of records you can no longer play

Love letters you find.

That distant whisper lets you know

they have come back…

AAAAA

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Stringers – Third Wave

Death by misadventure was the official cause. Nine point-three inches of rainfall find the Chihuahuan Desert each year.  That same nine point-three inches of rainfall is also enough to drown a collared lizard when its path leads to an open oil drum used to trap rainwater. Caspar found the unfortunate reptile at the bottom of the drum on his way to the ship where routine maintenance and a swabbing of the deck awaited. What made him look he’d never recall and how the lizard got there he’d never know. But there it was, floating on the surface, several feet from safety, still, silent, bloated, dead. Vibrant colors now dingy shades of pasty chalk. He poked the poor fellow with a stick forcing it below the surface and held it there for a few seconds and then withdrew the stick allowing the lizard to bob unencumbered back to the surface establishing it was quite dead.

What Caspar did recall with absolute certainty though, was the day of his discovery, for it was July 3rd his birthday; and only moments before he had heard about the death of a Brian Jones on the store radio, dead at the bottom of an outdoor pool on some farm in England and something or other to do with Winnie-the-Pooh. So on this celebratory day, Caspar wore a sort of weighted dread, a sense of his own destiny. Water, life-giving, life taking. Death by misadventure.

Complete with gangplank, metal anchor and hand-carved steering wheel, the Osberg ship in all it’s glory captured the imagination of even the most uninspired of weary road warrior. Prow bursting skyward navigating the shimmering golden sands of endless wasteland, the full-scale replica portrayed an incredible vision of Viking craftsmanship and window into the shadow-side of Scandinavian dreams. Sails rippling with early morning zephyr, so realistic, it was easy to imagine the vessel crashing through bitter cold icy chop at some nautical pace on way to do battle in the Norwegian Sea.

to be continued…

Stringers – Second Wave

Tatoosh Island, once a whaling and fishing camp now long abandoned, beckoned with whispers of the ancients, interrupted the horizon. In the shape of a crescent laying diagonally northwest to southeast, the island protected and sheltered a secluded bay known as the Cat’s Paw. Named so not for any particular land formations, but due to the glassine palette of cobalt sea whose surface reflected a pattern of tinfoil creases and blackening shadow on occasion of the breeze preceding a violent storm. A safe haven for those needing it during high seas or sudden marine anomalies.  Private home to puffin, sea otter, seal and grey whale.

Using the island as a compass, continuing one-quarter mile or so due west, a number of subsurface rock formations created an artifact known as the Boneyard. Appropriately named, for at this location death was as likely to occur as fog and the wreckage on the ocean floor spoke clearly of this. Given the right conditions this deadly reef would generate a perfectly formed wave known as Canoes. Breaking left to right, this manifestation would rise and fall with the pulse of the fickle Pacific, an indicator of her heartbeat. And so, flanked by colonnades of tortured Sitka Spruce, watchmen, telling a story of the harsh winds that often battered the coast, Caspar sat, his mind overwhelmed with the images of what he proposed to do.

Twenty-four hundred miles to the north, winds approaching hurricane-force toppled trees and assaulted the Alaskan coast from Anchorage to Sitka. Winds measuring seventy-nine miles per hour were measured at a private Sitka airfield where small planes were being tossed about with the chaos of a toddler’s toys. Power-lines dropped haphazardly across homes and cars throughout the city, fishing boats were torn violently from their moorings, tethers of rope and cable snapping with the tension as if they were low-test monofilament. Energy from the fluke summer storm bled to the sea sending a heavy tidal surge southward. High surf warnings were being issued down the continental coast, the most significant pulses to be felt as tremendous swells from British Columbia to Northern Oregon at some point the following day.

to be continued…

The Hat Rack

Sentient poetic prose…

William Michaelian

After the grapes were all in and the raisins were picked up, boxed, and hauled away, my father’s attention turned to fall cleanup and house-painting chores. Always busy, everything in its right time and season. Oil-based, lead-based work. Paint thinner. Fumes. Open windows. Worried flies. The kitchen walls, the washroom — they stand out, as does the hat rack his older brother built before he was killed in the war. The hat rack was painted each time the walls were. All through my growing up years, it was by our back door. We still use it. It’s in our washroom now, near the door that leads out to the garage. We also have my uncle’s photo albums. Here he is at the old home place on Road 66 on the farm outside Dinuba, California, posing with one of his hot rods.

My Uncle Before the War

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Crocus

pixabay image by Natan Vance

Written with Spring in mind for D. Wallace Peach-Myths of the Mirror, March Speculative Fiction Prompt.

Final decomp term in 30,” vacuous voice of the program.

Static.

At over seven kilometres beneath the surface of the Laurentian Ocean an oyster gave up its pearl. It had always been a legend and of course there were the believers, the seekers and the nay-sayers. For thousands of years, but never proof. In the end it was a simple logarithm, an amplification.

Return all secure one, descent in 30.”

Static.

We’re about to enter the abyss,” tour guide interrupting the rote transcript.

The earthquake itself was memorable: the rift in the ocean floor revealed so much more. Not only the Lost City, but there was life. A form of life. Human was the ancient term. Once a year they burst from the seabed pushing through the accumulations of silt, sand and chemical deposits, the water warmed by volcanic thermals and black smokers.

Power up ring lighting, set now 1-7-7.”

A shudder seized the vessel making the clients uneasy.

Vents, hydrotherms, nothing to worry about,” eyes wide.

Static.

So the studies began, the adventurous with their bucket-lists and the barium poachers and the regulations and the inevitable tourism: all mountains climbed. They worshipped the sun, the Human. Blooming once a year and to flail at stars. Twenty-four hours of life and then wait another cycle. Face open to the possibility, limbs wide and hopeful, hair luminescent in the purple darkness, thick and flowing under the artificial rings of light.

Dimming int shell, atmos purge and refresh.”

Static.

Can I have one if we see one can I keep it can I have one,” a child on her fourth birthday.

Shhhhh, be still, watch.”

Static.

“And no, they’re protected now,” child’s mother, eyes rolling.

There there there…,” Pointing. “See her? …the first of the season.”

The Lighthouse

Prose, prose, prose…

The Number 26

The last stop along the Number 26 bus line lies just on the edge of town, near a cliff ledge looking out over the ocean. If you happen to want to get off here, you have to ring the bell not to stop the bus, but to tell the driver to keep going on. The bus usually doesn’t get this far, as most drivers turn back early, for it’s a stop that hardly even exists at all, and passengers seldom get off.

However, this is where I’m getting off today. As I rang the bell and directed the driver onward to the last stop, looks of confusion or annoyment gaze back at me from the regular commuters of the Number 26 bus, for I’m wasting precious seconds of their days by forcing them along this little detour with me.

As hardly anyone ever takes the bus to or from this…

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Slow Dance

A pleasant surprise…

William Michaelian

And what of school? I remember our sturdy little desks in rows, bright, flat crayons, and how their taste resembled their smell, jars of glue, the heavy-paper mess, girls with long straight hair and curls, their fragrant dress, the playground, races, marble games and spinning tops, climbing bars and tractor tires stood up in the ground. And, not far off, in a cloud of dragonflies and dust, a country graveyard with a twisted cypress by the road, waiting for the bus, waiting for us, waiting for Van Gogh.

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Stringers – First Wave

Buttercup rolled onto the rugged cliffs of Cape Flattery having never exceeded her top-end of sixty-eight miles per hour on the nineteen hundred mile epic. Christened Buttercup, the 1979 T2 Volkswagen Camper presented a mid-summer bloom of orangey-yellow from moon-round headlights to the access cover of her air-cooled rear engine. Battered California license plates waving hello and good-bye, ubiquitous surfboard adorning the roof, spare tire replacing the left rear seven-hundred and fourteen miles back. She was a traveller, as was the man at her helm. Purchased four years ago, one-hundred eighty-five thousand miles old, the black and white numerals on the German clock now read just shy of two hundred thousand.

Reaching the northwestern most point of the Evergreen State had been both a triumphant journey and a saintly exercise of enduring patience for both the ageing camper and at times, for those that shared the road. Each elevation change presented its own challenges only to become yet another milestone celebrated through the hazy effect of a cracked rear-view mirror. Crossing the final mountain passage had been the worst, three-thousand feet above sea level, on hands and knees drowning in fog and rain, backing up traffic three times beyond the legal limit. Summiting at noon, another two hundred forty miles to go, six hours on the outside to the cape.

Hunched above the front road-wheels, wrists relaxed and resting atop the hard cold plastic of Buttercup’s steering wheel, Caspar now sat motionless, observing the explosion of whitecaps breaking on the confusion of basalt sculptures that sprung from the green-grey sea. Directly below the wheels, hidden from sight due to the sheer steepness of the rock face, a beach sloped towards more delicate waves licking at the coarse black and tan sand as old as the earth itself. Only a passing cloud of common sense warned Caspar from inching any closer to the edge.

to be continued…

I’m Getting Too Old for This II

Don’t ask the question if you are not ready for the answer…

The Stories People Tell

This is a continuation of the story I’m Getting Too Old For This. I’ve tried to make this a stand alone so I hope you’ll find it satisfying even if you haven’t read that part.


“You know, I remember when all this was corn field, dotted with farm houses and silos,” Ray nodded towards the window. They were now passing by a suburban maze that sprawled out for miles before merging into a cluster of skyscrapers in the horizon. Ah, so he is a clinger, Chang thought. He’d have to be, to remember that far back.

“That so?” Chang said, unfolding his VR Specs to put them on.

“I understand,” Ray said. “Avoid the clinger.”

That caught Chang off guard. But he realized right away that it really shouldn’t have. Ray had had plenty of time to develop that kind of ease with being plain-spoken. Chang decided that his best tack…

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