Carry on Tuesday: Hero's Journey

FIRE on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Hero's Journey

This is what I wanted: a hero

someone to help me
put out the little fires
that crop up around a life

I got: you

teaching me arson
fueling flames that licked my skin
singed my ideals
consumed and scattered them
like glowing embers across a sooty sky

This is what I wanted: a warrior

someone on my side
someone at my back through life's battles

I got: you

teaching me to sow conflict
to beat the plowshare to sword
to embrace its glittering blade
like a woman sheathes her lover
turning submission to power

This is what I wanted: a savior

someone to pull me up
when life overwhelmed
someone to keep me afloat
when I was too tired to go on

I got: abandoned

dropped in the blackest sea
sucked into the depths of depression
left to sink or swim in my own tears
to claw my way back from the shipwreck
of all I dreamed you'd be

This is what I wanted: you to be my hero

I got: the hero in me

I wrote this in response to the Carry On Tuesday prompt:

"Welcome to Carry On Tuesday. Our prompt this week is the opening lines of the Charles Dickens tale David Copperfield.

Whether I shall turn out to be
the hero of my own life......

Visit Carry on Tuesday to see what others wrote.


Poetry Train: Simmering

Simmer Down on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Silver mists drape the oaks
in a gauzy morning wrapper.
The sun peeks between the folds.
Mourning doves coo seductive approval.

My eyes open into yours.
Heat, a moist blanket unfolding, settles over me,
weights my limbs with a peaceful presence
that could so easily be stirred to passion.
And stir you do, one finger, dipping in, languid circles.

My gaze takes a slow journey to your lips,
watching you lick and suckle,
your eyelids drifting down to savor,
like a chef over a delicate sauce,
a wicked grin as you invite me to taste.
I catch the scent and flavor of my own desire,
wriggling closer, inviting your pleasure.

You withdraw leaving me with
your unswayable smile,
the one that promises,
that despite a bit of simmering,
waiting will be worth it.

On the back burner
dreams and fantasies bubble together
blending, melding, merging
creating something bolder,
more developed, exotic.

Heat clings as the sun sinks
behind blue mountains
and you rise ready above me.
This moment has sizzled in us all day.
A feast awaits.

We smile together at the brink, knowing.
This won't be polite.
This won't be civilized
This won't be proper
It will be worth the wait.

Visit the other passengers on the Monday Poetry Train Revisited.


One Single Impression: Inner Voice


Translation Needed

She doesn't speak in words,
this inner voice of mine.
She takes the long way 'round,
the scenic route.

She leads me through forests dressed in moonlight,
and past fields of dark-eyed flowers.
She comes from a land of feathered trees
and heart-shaped butterflies.

I speak to her in the simplest sentences,
She answers in riddled landscapes.
I don't know what we mean,
but I bet she does.

See other impressions on Inner Voice.

Sunday Scribblings: The Plan

I am hopelessly plan proof. The best way to insure a plan won't get follow through is to write it down and plan on it. But if I keep a secret from myself, hide it in my subconscious and let it find an organic path to fruition, I can realize a goal. I don't understand this side of myself, but I am learning to live with it. I wrote the following scribbling right around the time I decided to make peace with my planlessness.

Siletz Bay wildflowers montage with a beautiful Oregon sunset by ComputerMiracle

I envy the beauty of a formal garden.
I imagine appearing neatly clipped, colors coordinated.
What a wonderful thing it would be to think in tidy paths
that take me past each important element.

All my blooms would open at the proper time,
in proper order, and in their proper place.
All would arrange themselves around an exquisite centerpiece
of good sense and logic.

I'm more like a tangled wood,
honeysuckle vines and thorned blackberries marking my borders,
tiny violets hiding in my shadows.

I'm a web of branches and green growth,
reaching for sun and sky by day,
moon and stars by night.
My roots burrow into a rich carpet,
hidden things that feed the growth.

At my center -- a twisting, babbling stream of moods,
ideas, desires, and dreams.
I envy the order of a formal garden, but my soul knows it could never grow there.

You can see other Sunday Scribblings here, or join us by
adding your own thoughts on: "The Plan" to the list of contributions.


Poetry Train: Widow's Waltz

Mist the Oak Tree by wabberjocky

I heard a chuck-will call
through the dark of morning,
his song never failing
even as the first light
made ghosts from last night's rain.

So rare, the chuck-will's call.
I'd mourned him years ago and given up hope
of hearing his bright flute pierce the predawn,
summoning misty dancers
to a solo waltz through the oaks.

Their luminous gowns swirled in perfect time to his ominous song:

Chuck- Will's- Widow

Catch the Poetry Train and see what other passengers are


One Single Impression: Recursive Logic

This is my impression for this week's prompt on thinking. There's a loop hidden in my loops.

Argument: Recursive by Librarian Avenger

Logic bends back on itself, the way day bends back into night. Night yawns into darkness as infinite as cyberspace, where my words spread out in lines that loop back on themselves, rerunning thoughts through the human processors of life's infinitely looping program.

Program a mantra, a ritual, a fearless loop that will march words from my brain to my fingers without the worry that the prose isn't perfect. Perfect my imperfection until no flaws inhabit my lines, until there is no risk the lines mirror back a personal flaw reflected in the third word of the fourth paragraph's fifth sentence.

Sentence me to soulless loops that curve around my deviations, that line me up and fill my pages with clear, impenetrable logic.

See other bloggers' impressions on Thinking.


LITTLE ORANGE MEN by Jackson Boyle

I attack thick rind,
Pierce rubbery armor with my nails.
It parts on a ripping sigh.
Droplets sprinkle my nose and cheeks,
Sting my eyes.

My tongue can taste him.
I swallow the craving,
Patiently pulling him apart.
I line the sections up
In analytical rows
On white paper.

The fruit weeps,
Big tears that pool and spread,
Darkening the toweling.

I select a slice,
Bend it till it breaks.
Teardrop bits shiver
Between thin membranes.
I bite down.
Pulp explodes.

I crush the marrow,
The core I labored to find.
Sweetness bleeds out on my tongue.
I won't cry.

Check in on the indulgences of other Sunday Scribblers.


Human Scribbles

Flickr Photo by tim.perdue

I never feel so humble,
or so human,
as when I toss my message-in-a-bottle
into the vast sea of words that is the Internet.

It must be something basic, human,
this need to scribble,
like long ago humans leaving messages on cave walls.

It binds me to past and future,
these thoughts I scribble and add to the volume,
like a voice to a choir,
like a glass of water to the sea,
merging into something bigger than my own small self.

I scribbled on this Sunday but lost my Internet to rain until Monday. You can visit other Sunday Scribblers here.

Poetry Train: The Last Layer

Flickr Photo by TLA8

The last layer frustrates
He wants to tear it away like wrapping from a present
I want to weld it in place like so much armor

The best is saved for last
Translucent silk
Peek-a-boo lace
Ribbons and garters
Do the contents ever live up to the wrapping?

I surf through naked photos of strangers
All the pale flesh, moles, scars, rolls hanging out
I respect the boldness
I don't envy it
I shrink from it

I think of wet cats
All that power and arrogance
To gray skin and bone

I want to wrap them back up
In a persona
Give them back their
Hiss and Bristle
Watch that expressive fur
Ripple and fluff with their moods

Do I need to be naked
The last layer stripped away
Like the Lone Ranger's mask
Would I be bland as cardboard
Without the wrapping
Does the last layer stand
Between me
And who I am
Is it me?

Visit other poets riding the Monday Poetry Train.


One Single Impression: The Stranger

This is my first impression for the One Single Impression poetry prompt. This week poets are blogging their impressions of: The Stranger. I've used a narrative poetry form I like to play with. Three parts, 69 words each, not counting the titles.

Flickr Photo Download: Good morning Mr. Toad

The Stranger

1. Wanted: One Toad

I know, right where I lost him,
the exact moment he slipped from my fingers,
landed on his head, and shattered our lives.

He didn’t want the hospital.
I should have listened.
They wheeled him away on a stretcher
and gave a stranger back.

I told the doctor I had someone else's pet.
She pointed at the wristband,
as if that plastic label could make him who he isn’t.

2. Not Wanted: One Puppy

My toad had a whiskey-spiked smile
that always got him his way.

He drove like a demon,
sneaking a hand up under my skirt,
as the cornfields sped by.

The stranger huddles in the passenger seat,
shivering like a puppy from the pound,
his eyes squeezed shut,
hands clasped white-knuckle tight,
while I drive slow.

In case you’re wondering: kissing a puppy won’t turn him back to a toad.

3. Living with a Stranger

He’s house trained, now.
He picks up his underwear,
puts the seat down,
eats with a spoon.

His smile is like a tail wag;
he offers it when he doesn’t know what I want.

I guess he will grow on me.
I will somehow learn to love
this obedient child.

But, what I really want
is my old green toad of a husband back.
This wasn’t a fair trade.

View other poets and their impressions here.


Four Miles to Enlightenment


It wasn't something I planned out, or had even mentally committed myself to. I had clipped a notice from the paper about a women's running program that promised to teach non-athletes to run four miles -- and love it -- by the end of the summer.

Now I was never the athletic type. When we ran laps in gym class, I wasn't just at the back of the group, they could lap me once or twice. I never found a sport I was good at.

So, I didn't launch into running with the idea that I would win races. Quite the opposite, I started running as an anti-perfectionism project. Becoming a perfect runner was not an option, so this was one project that couldn't go from being about journey to being about product. I would reach that four-mile goal, one step at a time, one week at a time. All that mattered was that I finish what I started.

I did finish, but I was wrong about one thing; product did wind up mattering. In learning to run 4, then 6, then 10, then 13, then 26 miles, I discovered a product that wasn't about medals or trophies. I was the product, and the new me that came out of all those miles was an improved version.

This summer as I celebrate ten years of running, I've started a new anti-perfectionism project. It's not something I planned out, not something I was entirely committed to at first.  I launched a summer-long, interactive story on my blog. I have to update almost daily, so I can't spend a week obsessing about getting a scene just right. I'll log the miles of this cross-country journey one word at a time and the goal is to get to the destination by Labor Day.

Some days the writing comes as easily as two-mile run on a spring morning. Other days, I feel like I'm trying to run naked and barefoot through the Death Valley Trail Marathon. I know it's those hard mornings that will shape the writer who emerges on the other side of this summer.

On my office wall I have two bulletin boards displaying the record of every major event in my running. I look at them now and see evidence of a journey that has had monumental impact on my life and I wonder if the accumulation of words in this fiction blogging journey will change my life as much. Will I look back in ten years through the eyes of a new and improved me, and will the scrapbook of the writing journey record as many milestones?