Chocolate Rain

Chocolate Rain.jpg

Chocolate Rain

He had chocolate rain in his hat.
From where it came, he did not know.
It should have dribbled down his face
when once he put it on.
But it stayed inside
on top of his head
awaiting rains return.

She made chocolate footprints through the kitchen
from stomping in the rain out of doors.
It shouldn’t have been that way,
But in the end, chocolate rain
is much better than mud any day.

The chocolate bar was torn in two
so both could share.
Chocolate was late in arriving on the train.
They thought they missed their chance.
But it came.

She held the chocolate tightly in her fist.
It warmed and ran through cracks
that could not be sealed.
Some was lost.
No, all.
She refused to release her grasp.

……….

Leave your hat on the chair so it can be seen but not heard heard you coming through the grove when all was want and tired tired eyes closed against the light light rolling into the pond frightening the ducks ducks who have an auspicious way remaining afloat on waves waves holding you up so you can see past the shore up the hillside to where we stood stood still in moonlight waiting to dance wildly under the sun sun laughing at the genius of our tricks tricks raining down the hill chasing away while calling us back back to you and me standing in chocolate rain

……….

A drone soared above open space
chasing the lady with her dog.
She didn’t see it.
He knew it was there.
A sounding swarm of bees chasing.
So she crossed the street to get away.
The street where teenagers
ran in front of them one night
to light a firecracker
timed perfectly.
She always held his leash tightly
so as not to lose him.
And she didn’t.
But she cursed them,
two teenagers
who laughed at their trick and her and her dog.
She cursed.
Neighbors turned on lights.
Opened doors.
Shrugged their shoulders
to the cursing old woman and her dog
and two teens running away.
When she returned home, she cried.
What would have happened
if she held held the leash lightly. 

But a leash was a noose for, oh, so very long,
keeping her in step.
Making sure she was following rules.
A leash is a harness keeping her from falling,
keeping her safe from mistakes.
The leash makes it all okay….

Loosening the leash,
dropping the leash,
gives freedom that comes with fear.
Discovery can be painful if you let it.
giving over,
dropping the leash,
cutting it away,
the only way to be.

And the dog,
well, the dog was a good boy.
And he, too, made his own decisions.
He had always been happy to be who he was.
Now more happy that she was who she was
after dropping her leash.
Cutting it away. 

Oh, she still walked him with a leash because,
well, because, there was still a bit of fear
in losing something she loved,
even though she knew, in the end,
she could not control that either. 

Sun came home and left once more.
Moon sailed over them at night
and pillows tucked in their heads
with dreams and snores. 

The two lived,
walked side by side
knowing the precious gift
each one gave to the other,
knew that it was this
that mattered most.

Memories will always be there,
if you want them.
So will those you love
because time is not a real thing.
Only some thing we imagined. 

And when we walk on
to where we will next be,
we will find another leash,
or maybe not.
Choose to pick it up.
Or maybe not
and remember to just be,
see who we are
and be. 

And maybe there will be firecrackers,
teens who like to play tricks,
hats filled with chocolate rain,
neighbors who shrug,
and lights that flicker. 

But there will always be you.
For energy is neither created
nor destroyed.
It just changes form.
And how can one argue with that
in this glorious present moment
that is eternity.

……….

And she chose the time of the sun rising to leave. Just as the star of night began its descent behind the trees, she turned and there sun’s arc claimed the horizon. It was time. Before her sat six bags. She would choose three to place into her basket.

She knew of her journey beforehand, although there was no decided beginning or end point. It was six cycles prior that she would gather and arrange the al that was gathered on squares of paper made from bark that she beat with a stone to soften the fibers. Under each new moon she would hold each item for that particular square and invite it to the journey. Then she would fold the ends over and around so none of the precious cargo would slip away before its time. Then she would tie with with with a cord woven from grass cut from the bank of the trickling stream. She continued this way each new moon until there were six packages. And it was time to depart.

Under the final new moon before Sun began its rise, she chose three of the six bundles and placed them Into her basked, leaving three behind for her return. If she did return. 

She would follow the stream until it coursed into a river which led her to the sea and there would be two boats from which she would choose one.  

She was no good at this. Her time was spent alone since her beginning. Her mother
passed as she was born. Her father she never knew. She lived as the women before her lived. Away from people in discovery of her ancestors. 

And because of this, she was never really alone by the stream in the trees. She always found companionship, if she looked and waited, asked permission or invited, and listened.But here by the sea, where everything was new and asking to be discovered, she felt very alone. She knew it was for the best and she was determined to move ahead without too much worry or sadness for what she left behind as the women before her did.

She could always return if she wished. But what would be the point of that? The decision was made. 

At the shore she look to the boats. The one on the left it would be. She was left handed as much as she could be, although many things called to her right. Today it would be the left. 

She reached into her basket and removed one package. She gifted it to the man in the boat who would row her to the left sailing ship. It was then she realized she wouldn’t have enough packages to pay for her return. One for the rower. One for the captain. One for the new rower on the other end. And nothing left for the return.

That was how it was supposed to be. Nothing to fear. She would know what to do as truth would reveal itself.

She had never stepped onto a boat. It rocked more than she thought. Just as she felt herself leaning too far over the end, he reached out his hand and she grabbed it to steady herself. 

A stranger to help. Imagine that. 

She didn’t have to do this all alone. 

His hand was large and chocolate brown with lines deeply modeled into his skin. Some would say wrinkles. She saw roads to many journeys and much experience. 

He hand was firm and safe. All would be well.

……….

How could you lose it?

I didn’t. It was there. And then, it wasn’t.

It was her lilypod. How will we ever find another?

We don’t need to find another.

What will we tell her?

Exactly what I just said. It was there. And then. It wasn’t.

She’s not going to believe you you know. She thinks you hate her and that you would do anything to anger her. And this will definitely anger her.

No it won’t.

What?

It won’t make her mad.

Yes, it will. 

No. It won’t.

How can you say that? It was her lilypod. She loves it more than chocolate rain. She is going to be furious.

It was there. And then, it wasn’t.

Her lilypod. Her precious lilypod that appeared one day when she was so very sad.

It made her happy.

I know. 

Say it again. It appeared one day when she was sad.

It appeared one day when she was sad.

And.

And what?
And it made her happy.
And that’s all that was needed.

 

 

Author’s Note:

We had a visitor in town and I had the honor to write with her! Cj Prince took us through her writing practice. 

First, we each wrote one word on a slip of paper. These would be used for each delve into words.  

For five minutes we wrote using the first drawn word “chocolate” and in only short sentences. Then we shared.

Another word, “grove,”  was pulled from the pile and this time we wrote for ten minutes “chaining.” The word we ended with, we would begin the next sentence. We shared.

Next, we wrote for twenty minutes stream of conscious writing. This is not stopping your pen or fingers from moving. If you can’t think of anything to write, you just write anything until it begins to flow again. You don’t stop no matter what! The word was “my drone.”

Our next long write – 15 minutes – we pulled tarot cards. We used these in the writing. We could use the meaning of the cards, the images, and/or any mix. They were the Hermit, the six of rods, and the three of rods.

Our finale was a five minute quick write of dialogue with no attribution – meaning we didn’t delineate between the two speakers. Our word was “lilypod.”

Today I took some time going back and editing and coming up with this piece. I delight in it as I do Cj. I am blessed.

And all on the full moon.

Watermelon Mallow

Watermelon Mallow

Watermelon Mallow© Lex Leonard, collage done in PicMonkey

 

 

The coal train meandered by.

Wheels clicked. 

Locking her eyes on the rail she could see an occasional spark. 

It was hot.

Mallow grew alongside the route. Yellow orbs too delicate to be there opening their souls to the sun. Yet, there they were.

She leaned back against the tree that also somehow survived surrounded by dry brittle grass and weeds. Curling ends beggared of water from the last spring rain.

The train continued on.

Closing her eyes to barely a squint she was able to merge the spinning wheels until it looked as if the train was floating on some kind of magic heat rising above its rails, making it stand still. All that iron and power just floating motionless.

In each window was a face looking at her, just staring as if they had something to tell her. A wistful look. A veneer of gloom. There was fear. Anger. Each mask holding their story that somehow was hers now.

The alarm on her phone buzzed. 

The end of the train passed and she watched the last face, gentle and perfectly framed in the back window, fade away.

The walk back to the abandoned house was through the old fields that once held crops to feed hungry bellies. About an hour’s walk from the tree would find her feet planted on the porch. The paint, if there ever was any, was long faded away. Only an ashen grey lingered.

This was all hers now. The house. The land of anecdotal crops. 

The railroad held the only easement between her and the next homestead, also abandoned.

She didn’t want it. 

She was of water and ocean and floating. She was of horizon that met sky where sun and moon each in their own time would rise and fall. She was of sea wind that carried story.

She was not of this place. Or at least she didn’t think so.

The man at the gas station had given her a watermelon. She had no idea why or where he had gotten it. But she was glad it was waiting for her on the table. 

The inside of the house was decorated with spider webs, dust, and time. 

The table wobbled but she was sure it wasn’t from neglect. It had been made that way. She propped it up with a flat stone she found near the fireplace. She traced her finger around a small indentation. It was a perfect fit. 

She was hungry and tired. And thirsty. 

There was only one way into that globe of pleasure. On the ledge under the once glazed window that looked out to the railroad tracks was another stone. It was slightly larger than her hand with a carved point on one edge. It had to have been carefully chipped and formed for its purpose. There was a swirl with a line that would sit next to her palm. This, too, was intentional.

Raising the rock above her head and holding it with both hands, she brought it down with all her might into the center of the watermelon. 

It cracked……

The sidewalk. The burning asphalt. The push. The crash. The blood spatter across her jacket. There were screams and everything blurred, sounds, people, hands pulling her back in slow motion like the wheels of the train. Only she was the motionless object, floating above him. 

Or rather, what was left of him…

 

. . . . .

 

Author’s Note:

It is always sacred time when our writing group meets. There were nine of us today at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Our warmup write morphed from a practice I learned in a class at the Denver Lighthouse Writers Workshop.

We each started with a small blank piece of paper. We were to write one quick sentence on it describing something we experienced that morning. The trick is not to think too much. Not to try to be cleaver or descriptive. Just write. We passed the paper to our right and wrote one word that came to us about the gardens. Passed again – one verb. Passed again – another word. Passed a last time – an emotion. As we gathered our drinks and settled, we could chose which prompt paper we wanted to write from. It is our rule that you may use a prompt or not. Let it inspire you. Or not. I took the one that was left:

They waited as the coal train meandered sleepily through the crossing.

mallow     locking     watermelon     wistful

Thank you, dear friends. You are AMAZING!

Resurrection Fern

Resurrection Fern.jpg

Pleopeltis polypodioides (syn. Polypodium polypodioides),
also known as the resurrection fern, is a species of creeping,
coarse-textured fern native to Africa.

They braided seeds into their hair
not for show, but hidden,
not to be discovered,
bringing homeland with them
boarding ships they knew nothing of
crossing oceans never to return to their Africa.

Memories survive long periods
with just a little telling
to resurrect their life
to grow again through word spoken
to those who never knew

They arrived, some with star maps
from desert skies where once their feet
planted onto homeland
never to return, but remembered
through lines and dots, remembered
through scanning the night
for something familiar.

There is a wisdom,
a knowing in action
a way to preserve that which
would be lost, an honoring
for those to come connecting
those to the past.

I reach back to learn from where
my ancestors came, their
customs, their stories,
ritual, a part of my DNA
not realized

I know of
violas and sweet alyssum
bees tended and golden nectar
caravan travel spreading words to heal
salt thrown over a shoulder

My mother heard voices, saw ghosts
they said she was crazy
she didn’t know her homeland
she didn’t know her stories

I wish I could ask her now
I wish I could resurrect her
from the box
inside the marbled floor mausoleum
and our homeland

The resurrection fern gets its name because it can survive long
periods of drought…However, when just a little water is present,
the fern will uncurl and reopen, appearing to “resurrect.”

 

Author’s Note:

This is my poem from Hour #7 which was to listen to a song and write from it. Resurrection Fern by Iron and Wine.

I am honored that this poem was selected to appear in the 2019 Poetry Marathon Journal to be published later this year.

Gentle Landing

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Gentle landing

Water hardly detected it presence,
only a perceived pressure.         

Natural to its course
it integrated the ever so tender caress
in artistry, replica of peaceful agreement.

Voracious search for ownership, purpose,
to examine only if one chose.

It wasn’t a brick of clay dropped into the day,
just an existence deeply rooted, without roots.

Not a temporal smirk flirting
but a seeing through the glass.

mute

unencumbered

float

Author’s Note:

This from Systhesis/A Collage Journey with Jenafer Joy at http://www.inspiriediquiries.com – Lesson Four – Word Spelunking

awakening

Awakening

aroma rose from the white china cup


balanced on the palm of her hand sans saucer
the porcelain was thin thin
enough to almost see through
definitely enough to know the level of liquid

 

ah yes coffee
the most important meal of the day

 

the ethereal rose through the kitchen carried on morning birdsong up the stairs curling round the corner into the bedroom where his head just his head emerged from an avalanche of white down covers and pillows almost as see through as the china cup only softer not as smooth the cotton had its eccentricities small bumps along each thread that made it interesting unique different yet altogether the same

 

it’s all in the game

 

she would arise ridiculously early in the dark
she posed her body still in front of the opened window waiting waiting
for bird far away calling her to alarm
before sun rose
before moon faded gaunt then thinned into blue sky brightening

 

when she heard the purling it meant the end of another day a day to put in the books as one more tumbled open the elapsed cracked broken crumbled into delicate shards of what was that exact moment bird announced the dawning

 

they knew
stupid deaths
the frightfully funny game

 

fog of coffee
settled into his nostrils
a smelling salts awakening him from stillness
he would be startled breathe deeply
eyes cracking open one at a time
one gift to keep him from
over reaching over reacting over doing anything

 

it’s not hard when you’re smart and beautiful

 

as cup balanced more birds joined until a chorus loud she felt protected circled by so many mamas and papas organizing their day around their babies she was the baby of her family and this was her deepening into day

 

it’s all in the game

 

bounding run down stairs
a grab of the backpack with one hand
a catch with the other the apple that had been perfectly balanced on top
he was gone with the slam of the door

 

no problem
have fun

 

and
she
bent
down
down
to pick up fragile shards of the china cup
that was once filled with aroma of awakening

 

no problem
have fun

. . . . .

Author’s Note:

Wednesday brought our writing group together once more. Our prompt challenge was to bring anything for a prompt. So these were the lines shared to use as we wished. Happy writing.

Ah yes, coffee. The most important meal of the day.
They knew. Stupid deaths. The frightfully funny game.
No problem. Have fun.
It’s not hard when you’re smart and beautiful.
It’s all in the game.

 

For the child before STEM who will be forgotten

STEM

 

If you think it only happens in schools
It happens outside, too
After almost all the children have gone home
Near the playground
A gun in the hand of a teen

For the child who will be forgotten
For many reasons
For the child who doesn’t have the press
A life still lost
A life still mourned by a family who does not
Know why it happened
The night before more mourning

It happens so many times a day and we
Look the other way
Words of sorrow flow
Prayers are offered
Condolences given

And it continues
And life goes on
And no one will do anything
But sigh
Shed a few tears
Offer a few sweet words of hope
And then forget until
Tomorrow
When it happens again

Forgotten
in less than twenty-four hours
The other child who died
At the hand of a gun

Author’s Note:
A teen’s life was lost last night near Independence Elementary, less than 24 hours before the STEM shooting. Another teen with a gun. Just 21 miles away. A world away.

And for all the others we will never hear about…

 

Red

Red

Sisters Sun and Moon, detail by Lex Leonard

 

You’ll look pretty as a picture in this, Red.
Sun hides behind clouds longing to shine through,
except that she wouldn’t.

Unable to warm soil, words hinder
poppy sprouts anew.
You’ll look pretty as a picture in this, Red.

Memories held inside her frame injure.
She longs to break the glass of that view,
except that she wouldn’t.

A spark of flame leaves but only a cinder,
too dark to see what she really knew.
You’ll look pretty as a picture in this, Red.

His words she gathers unhindered
and places them carefully to later pursue,
except that she wouldn’t.

New moon gives rise for her to surrender
to stillness within safe solitude.
You’ll look pretty as a picture in this, Red.
Except that she wouldn’t.

 

 

Author’s Note:

Oh, the poetic form! It’s always worth a try.

From today’s NaPoWriMo challenge…

The classic villanelle has five three-line stanzas followed by a final, four-line stanza. The first and third lines of the first stanza alternately repeat as the last lines of the following three-line stanzas, before being used as the last two lines of the final quatrain. And to make it an even more virtuoso performance, Dargan’s alternating lines, besides being taken from songs, express “opposing” ideas, with one being about sleeping, and the other waking.

Following Dargan’s lead, today we’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates at least one of the following: (1) the villanelle form, (2) lines taken from an outside text, and/or (3) phrases that oppose each other in some way. If you can use two elements, great – and if you can do all three, wow!

My lines are taken from a book I am currently reading. I picked it up, opened to a random page and pointed. There were the two lines side by side from The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah that just happened to be “opposing” ideas. I kid you not: You’ll look pretty as a picture in this, Red. Except that she wouldn’t.