Do you know elephants?12006127_1103243059705752_4166992915962856763_n
The deep bonds they form,
matriarchal, led by the largest,
all caring for the youngest together.

Do you know elephants?
Memories span years, not to be forgotten.
And compassion, they grieve, cry tears,
play and paint if given the freedom.

Not what you would expect from
something so grey.

We came to your door, my elephant
and me, because we heard you welcome all.
You see, my elephant and I don’t fit most
places, don’t meet traditional demands.

We took a chance, my elephant and me,
stood at your door, suitcase in hand,
ready to share with abandon, finally be
fully received, me and my elephant.

We waited and watched, but discerned
your sign slyly drawn. Not lettered large,
but your splatter rang clear,
“Strictly No Elephants” allowed.

You made up rules
set down by what should be
only because it has always been,
without a thought to elephants.

You mustn’t know elephants,
or me.
I am sorry.


Zuraw bowed deep and low.

It was the honored way to begin his daily meditation with Marilyn. Every morning before the sun rose, Zuraw would gently lift his recorder off the shelf. He had a fine stand to hold it.

Zuraw walked around the neighborhood on trash days and picked up what he called his “lonely lost ones,” things that didn’t matter any longer to some but were precious to him.

This “lonely lost one,” the stand, was small and gold, a perfect fit for his green plastic recorder with tape wrapped three times around to hold the mouthpiece on. It always had to be three. Three was the perfect number, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as he was taught in his youth. The stand cradled the recorder with loving arms.

Zuraw imagined the stand once propped up a photo of a passionate and deep love. When that love broke, Zuraw pictured in his mind the photo being gently removed from the stand with one hand, a match lit with the other, and the tip of the fire kissing one corner of the photo.

In his mind Zuraw could see the blue flames licking up the face of the photo turning it to ash. Then the same hand that once held the fire, lifted the stand, not wanting to leave any bit of memory of the sourness of love gone bad, and placing it in the paper bag stained with grease from that night’s Chinese take out.

Recorder in hand, Zuraw slipped out the window, going through the door would make too much noise and might wake the others. He met Marilyn in their usual place, across the street, in the park, under the tree.

The city street was still quiet. The buzz would begin in an hour or so, just enough time for Zuraw and Marilyn to complete their daily ceremony.

Zuraw found Marilyn waiting. Marilyn was a fire sprit.

Now, one would assume a fire sprite to be small and quick and a bit mischievous. Some days that was true. Today, however, Marilyn was sleepy and decided that an elephant was much more to her pleasure.

Zuraw loved Marilyn and always wanted to share her with others, but no one could ever seem to see her. He would point out exactly where she was, the tracks she made, whether it was moose tracks or ash trail. Using his finger, he would outline her exact shape and ask people to step more closely and give her a sniff. Of course Zuraw would only ask people to sniff Marilyn when she took the shape of a grape flavored iris or cup of rainwater.

But no one but Zuraw could ever experience Marilyn. That was all right with Zuraw. It made her much like one of his “lonely lost ones,” but one he would never throw in the trash.

Zuraw bowed.

Marilyn lifted her foot and tapped the ground in acceptance.

Then Zuraw began to play.

When Zuraw first moved to the city from Costa Rica and began his morning concerts, some residents complained. So he moved from the apartment to the front steps. Then from the front steps of the apartment to across the street, in the park, under the tree.

Not everyone complained. Even three years later, a few residents would still grab their morning brew, open their windows and sit on their ledges waiting for the sunrise to be welcomed by Zuraw’s melodies. Not one of Zuraw’s audience would ever start their day blue listening to his music.

Marilyn’s eyes closed and Zuraw smiled. He knew he chose the right song this morning. When Marilyn was big and lumbering he knew she needed to sleep, so he chose a simple tune, a lullaby to ease Marilyn’s mind. The day would proceed much better that way.

Swaying to the music, Marilyn eased herself down bending first her hind legs and then the front, gracefully lowering her silver wrinkled body into the sweetly dewed grass.

Zuraw swayed with the wind curling through the trees branches. And Moe, leaning back against the window ledge from across the street, watched the steam from his coffee rise and sway into the new dawn.

From all accounts, it would be a good day.




Author’s Note:

We meet Sunday to write.

I started a group for writers at my church, A Church of the Holy Family, ECC. We meet every Sunday afternoon from 4:00 – 5:30. Hence the name, Sunday Afternoon Writers.

Everyone is welcome. Sometimes it’s easier to explain what we don’t do. We don’t come to critique our writing, red pens in hand.

We come to write – whatever we want. I supply a prompt. Writers choose to use it all, part of it, or none. We write for half an hour and then we share. If writers prefer not to share, it is honored.

There is a presence when everyone writes in the quiet, without noise, without talking. There is an energy and a vitality that feeds the soul. And when we share, we are sharing a part of our hearts and our lives and that is deeply honored.

This is what writing is all about.




My piece above is from last Sunday’s prompt. I supplied the photo below. Unfortunately there was not artist given on the Facebook page where I found it. If you know, please comment below and I will add gladly add the attribution for this lovely work.

We each started with a small piece of paper without seeing the photo. The first thing we wrote was the name of a color. Then we passed the slip of paper to our left. Next we wrote a name from our childhood and passed the paper again. We repeated the process writing down a place, an ice cream flavor, and a feeling/emotion. One last pass to the left and we turned the paper over to find this photo:


We then wrote for half an hour.

These were my words: blue, Marilyn Zuraw, Costa Rica, Moose Tracks, blue