A Figment

One day I had to work late into the night.  I was very tired, and I was not looking forward to the walk home, which was several miles.  It was almost midnight when I left the office, and luckily I kept a flashlight in my desk for emergencies.  I wouldn’t need the flashlight until I passed through the town proper, though, so I put it in my coat pocket.

As I got to the edge of downtown, I came up to the town cemetery.  I heard a scream, which then was muffled into silence.  At first, I was inclined to believe it was only a figment of my imagination, but even so, I felt more vulnerable every second.  I thought about just ignoring it, but my conscience got the better of me, so I decided to go check it out.

As I passed through the gate, I heard another scream.  My heart was captured by it, and I was drawn to it.  I searched amid the tombstones for a while, thinking some unfortunate victim was trapped somewhere or in the clutches of some monster.  Just when I had made up my mind to retrace my steps, two glowing eyes rose up to meet me.  They were not fearsome, but coaxing.  I hesitated, but then a large hand reached forward and grabbed me by the neck with a grip that was superhuman.

It dragged me back into the cemetery, where the streetlights were blocked by trees.  I started to shake with fear at the thought of what this ghoul might do with me.  I thought about the scream I had heard before, and if that was any example, I was in for it.  He took me back to a big oak tree, where I saw something hideous.  Dangling from the limbs of the tree were many thick ropes, and at the end of the ropes were men, women and children, all with grim faces.  Their emaciated bodies were covered with cuts and bruises.  Their feet were covered with blood, dripping as if freshly drawn.

As I feared, my fate was soon to be the same unless I could somehow escape.  I tried swinging my body behind, kicking my feet and pounding on the ghoul’s hands with all my might, but to no avail.  I was trapped, just like these other poor creatures, and soon I would be joining them as another decoration on this ghoul’s tree.

That’s when I remembered that I had a flashlight in my pocket.  I decided anything was worth a try, so I reached down and grabbed it like a weapon.  I shined it straight into the ghoul’s eyes, and he dropped me.  I ran back to the gate as fast as I could.  I don’t know if the ghoul followed me or not, because I never looked back.  When I got to the gate, I ran through and kept running for a while, just to be on the safe side.  Finally I looked back, and did not see anyone or anything behind me.
Thinking back now, I realize how stupid I was to enter that darkened cemetery.  I should have run away as soon as I saw those glowing eyes, but oh, how they pierced my soul.  I went straight to bed when I got home, and when I woke up, I thought back to what happened the night before, and I thought to myself, “Did I dream it, or was it true?”  It was so unbelievable that I never told anyone until now as I write this entry in my journal.  I know I won’t be walking into any cemeteries at night again, that’s for sure.

Messages from Nowhere (ch. 1)

Fast musical notes on a music sheet
Image by Horia Varlan via Flickr

The notes were repeating in Stephen’s head again. It was a torment he had come to accept. In fact, he had almost been swept away with
pride, picturing himself some kind of strange prophet, communicating with aliens or angels or something. The music did make him feel a little dizzy, though. Stephen went outside to take a short walk and get a little sun. It was still morning, so not too hot. He figured that the fresh air might clear his head some. When he stepped out of his door and onto the warm cement, he looked down and saw ants crawling all over  the place. He hated ants.  He put his hand to his forehead and felt several scars there that reminded him of what his eccentricities had cost him growing up. Teasing, fighting, injuries.  Being a little abnormal could be really inconvenient at times. Stephen remembered one time when he had really gotten his butt kicked after an argument over some strange idea he had. The other boy had repeatedly hit him across the face with a big, rusty can, then shoved his face into an ant pile. Stephen hurt and bled so bad that his mother found him crawling down the sidewalk back to his house.  She took him inside and tenderly nursed his wounds, some of which would become those scars he now felt on his head. It just didn’t seem worth it.  Stephen did have some good ideas at times, but socially, he was a slug.

The Sunday Whirl

Wordle 16

Bloom in Any Weather

Iron sunflower stands tall above all.

Greets the small and greets them

Well.  Metal monster sets the stage.

Not much paint, but who needs

Decoration when you stand in the

Wind and rain, tornados, too!

Creatures can’t invade your walls,

Except the ones that are real small.

A tower of strength sets the stage.

The power of age resides true power.

What it’s seen in all these years,

Older than any tree around here.

 

 

Mag 76

Magpie Tales

 

 

Tricked by Honey

A young cape buffalo was so mesmerized by the ...
Image via Wikipedia

Mesmerized.  Taken in slowly,

Then so fast you can’t stand it.

Room to grow but nothing doin’.

Alone, so very alone.  Keeping one’s

Secrets close to home. Shame, shallow,

Around and around you go,

It’s all the same.  Nothing changes

Until you get sick of it all.  You can’t

Stand it anymore and you want to be free.

Outside influences aren’t worth much.

It is a personal, visceral decision.

To cut out one’s heart and throw it

Into the ocean!  To separate oneself

From everything—everything that

Brings you closer.  You must sever

That bond, all ties, or else you will be

Pulled right back under.  It’s not a

Journey, it’s not a path.  It’s a scream

In the dark of desperation.  You are trapped.

You are suffocating.  And you must be free.

 

 

Free Write Friday; Addiction

Pro-Choice Battles

March for Women's Lives, 2004
Image via Wikipedia

One day I joined up with some ultra religious

types like myself to join a demonstration in

hopes of “glorifying God” and “witnessing to some

sinners”. The pastors signs said “God is Love.”

” Most of our signs said “Abortion Kills”.  It was

these signs, along with our very self-righteous

presence that brought upon the angry looks,

shouts and screams, and vicious insults from the

members of the pro-choice parade to which we

were protesting.  I held up my sign because i

believed that abortion was wrong, but I was

watching and listening to the message beimg

given by the other side.  They were more

passionate, more painful, more desperate. I

walked away from that protest a changed man.

I still felt strongly about the right-to-life, but my

lot lay with those suffering women. I would go on

to refer to myself as “pro-choice”, and those are

fightin’ words in the Bible Belt.

Tuesday Tryouts: Epiphany Poems

Rewind and Undo

Divorce symbol in genogram
Image via Wikipedia

In my head I paint a picture

Of some day walking free.

All my hang-ups and delusions

Laying in a pile behind me.

 

In my head I paint a picture

Of no more medication.

No more need to medicate

No more side-effects.

 

In my head I paint a picture

Of family bonds and closeness

No more driving forever to get there.

No more procrastinating that phone call.

 

In my head I paint a picture

Of what my family might have been

Had love and understanding been the rule

Instead of fear and loathing.

 

In my head I paint a picture

Of foolish decisions unmade.

Broken relationships mended.

Hurtful words unsaid.

 

In my head I paint a picture

Of all the things that I regret

Somehow never happening

And I can sleep better after that.

 

 

 

Carry on Tuesday #115

Can I Please, Please, Please Borrow a Dollar?”

Probable photograph of William Shakespeare, ci...
Image via Wikipedia

  “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.”

 William Shakespeare

 

This is a cynical philosophy, and yet it is based on a truth that we call can learn from life experience.  The act of borrowing compromises our integrity because we loan out our reputation and dignity to another person by, first, admitting that we need something enough to promise to return it, thus establishing an attachment to the lender which is potentially unhappy, since there is a good chance, life being what it is, that we will not be able to make good on our promise, thus allowing our reputation and dignity to sink even lower.

 

Being a lender is the flip side of this situation, but with a twist.  A lender is someone who gives, but expects back.  He might put a timetable on the return, and he might charge a fee or interest.  This inevitably makes the borrower resentful, even if everything is on the up and up.  It might be honest on both sides, but the situation itself creates the tension.  No matter which side you’re on, the results cannot be good.

 

Carry on Tuesday #114

 

Alone Time

By myself, I am reminded

Who I am, inside and out.

Not who I appear to be,

Not who I want to be,

But deep down,

Who I really am.

It takes some honest looking.

Even criticism.

And sometimes it hurts.

But it is good to know

Who we really are.

And when we’re alone,

Calm, sincere, open,

We can learn things

About ourselves

That we might never

Have realized before.

Sometimes it takes a crisis.

It does if you never reflect.

Something pushes you

To try to figure things out.

Why am I the way that I am?

And what am I going to do about it?

Sometimes you realize something

Very good about yourself.

And sometimes it is something

Not so good that concerns you.

Taking time alone to think

Can bring some startling surprises.

 

 

Poets United

Thursday Think Tank #57

 

Little I Ask

The Idiot

Prince Mueschken,

In Dostoyevky’s The Idiot,

Was so humble,

He never presumed to ask

For anything, even what

He desperately needed.

 

The poem, “Contentment”,

By Oliver Wendell Holmes,

Says, “Little I ask, my wants are few.”

 

Sometimes I’m that way.

I do and do for others,

And never think of myself.

I don’t think of my needs,

 

No matter how important.

This goes past humility

Into self-hatred, I think.

Into stupidity, such a shame.

 

 

Carry on Tuesday plus #113