55 Reasons to Believe

Taken by Pedro Yorcliffe at Sandbox Plaza II (BulletSim)

On the night before
The night before Christmas
I met some folks virtually
Friends I knew only from their creative work
They were awesome!

We may never meet
But 52 times a year
You give me 55 reasons a week
[More or less ;-)]
To believe
You are awesome too

Wishing you a creative 2014.

~Nara  Malone

The first draft of this was 69 words. But hey, even I can follow the rules once a year. Happy Holidays! This is my contribution to G-Man's Friday 55. Drop by after 8 pm ET Thursday nights or anytime Friday to see what others wrote or to join the fun yourself. Special thanks to +Avia Bonne (in snow up front) and +Joe Builder (on the horse) at OSGrid for making that beautiful photo shoot happen.




Back Then

when my vocabulary was about six words long
even ahead of Outside, Kitty, NaNa, No, NoWay
BluCanny was my favorite word
delivering anticipation
of unwrapping
crackly cellophane
hard lozenge
going liquid on my tongue
mentholated tingle zings
like snowflakes landing
vanishing in a spark
going viral
tongue to throat
in breath
in heart

through veins
toes and hair

You are my blue candy.

~Nara Malone

dVerse Meeting the Bar challenge tonight is to go home to the roots of our voice and language to write something that is "...uniquely you -- using the words you might say to a neighbor or friend, keeping it familiar and seeking to make it distinctly you, about you, in your vernacular." This is also my contribution to G-Man's Friday 55. Drop by to see what others wrote or to join the fun yourself.


Blessing the Hounds

Foxy Eyes
The red fox has gone to ground,
leaving two old dogs,
gray muzzle and gray beard,
prowling the parlor rug
for scent gilded memories.

They have no thanks to give this year,
sit out hunting season dozing by her picture.
Awaiting hunt master's final horn,
the only blessing they seek--
answering his home call together.

~Nara Malone

Some shades of gray in here for dVerse Poets Form for All and 55 words for the G-Man's Friday 55. Drop by to see what others wrote or to join the fun yourself.


Silent Love Song

Santa Fe Trail 28 Mar 2010 by Brokentaco, on Flickr

I never was the queen of chat.
Monthly minutes used on my phone tend toward single digits.

I never minded your silence.
I think you're quiet because you're listening.
Listening intently,
with more than your ears.

I've seen you on a summer night,
rocking in time to crickets and katydids,
each beat of breath in rhythm,
as if  your cells breathe sound rather than air.

I've seen you transfixed by the swoosh of waves,
arms spread wide like a bird poised for take-off,
as if you can catch the vibrations in hollow-flute bones,
let the boom of surf against rock lift you like song into the clouds

I've seen you tune your guitar,
head tipped back, mouth open.
Like a cook sampling sauce
you know when it's right,
can taste sharps and flats.

I've grown so tuned to you
we don't need words.

I know,
with a touch,
a look,
some tremor in the air around you.
I know
what you need.

I didn't know your secret.

standing close but not touching,
enthralled by whispered symphony--
snowflakes touching down around us--
you shattered three years of silence.

you stammered out my name
followed by
"luv you."

Then a bluebird started to sing
in the heart of December.

Then the Summer Falls boomed to life in winter,
rocketing me skyward on an aquatic roar.

Then joy went viral,
humming from cell to cell,
until I was vibrating like strings
under the deft fingers of a slack-key master.

Now I get it.
Now I see, feel, touch, taste, hear
the magic inside silence.
Now I get
the magic of you.

~Nara Malone

This is my contribution to dVerse Poets Open Link Night. Stop by to see what others wrote or to join the fun yourself.


The Thinker's Cure

red lips isolated in white

When you're eaten up with things to do
When elegant brilliance leaves
hungers unfilled
When your heart has a head cold

I want to be a naughty smile

Sneaking up on you
getting wedged between
contemplations of
immaculately empty dreams
risk-analysis of ascending trusts

making you
lose your lists
of logistical etceteras
get lost
in the sway of hips
beating like a rhythmic sea
against reality's shores

Unraveling dark-knit ponderings
one lick at a time
erecting a problem-solution
to clear your head
in the sweep of saucy tide
swallowing sorrow

And then I want to be...

that last drop
on the corner
naughty and Your smile

~Nara Malone

This post is a contribution to Sunday Scribblings and dVerse Poets. Drop by to see what others wrote or to join the fun yourself.


Rock Me

Rock me outta here
Rock me from crazy to sane

Put me in a summer night
watching fireflies play tag
while moonbeams wash the willow's hair

Rock me outta here
Rock me from kettle drums to kettle on the stove

Put me in the mountains
where summer nights are sweater nights
where the wind chime's notes knit a sweater for my soul

Rock me outta reality
Rock me from crazy to sane
Rock me home

~Nara Malone

This is my contribution to G-Man's rockin' Friday 55. Drop by to see what others wrote or to join the fun yourself. G, I hear you're in my neck of the woods this week. You picked the best weekend of the year to visit.


"Real" Friends

Virtual Christine's Zombies in Monte Gordo
It's easy to get cornered by this over-booked life
It's easy to let reality get too real
Easy to do nothing but To-Dos
To be too busy to be a friend

Shawn K Maloney in Monte Gordo

Lucky for me friends don't let me stay real long
 Dropping by my place with a gift of  pet Zombies
Turns into Star Wars drag racing
Turns into Harleys cross country
and a dare to jump the lake.
The Lake?
Yes we did.

Siobhan Muir in Greyville

Some days smiles are hard to come by
Until a friend drops by
No I've never "really" met most of them
Most I never will
The bonds
The shared time
Experiences, laughter, tears, stories, poems...
Getting to know each other from the inside out
Make these cyber friends, "real" friends to me.

~Nara Malone

We're remembering fellow poet Dave King and celebrating friendship at dVerse poets tonight. This is my contribution to that discussion and to the weekly gathering of friends at G-Man's Friday 55. Drop by to see what others wrote or to contribute something yourself.


The Goddess Mere


Lady of the deep blue,
Medusa hair,
sigils etched into her skin.
Child of the sea,
guardian of creative feminine.

Break a woman,
and be broken,
cursed to spend eternity
crawling belly to the ground.

Worship her.

Fear her,
body devouring lovers,
shield for a virgin heart.

~Nara Malone

This is my contribution to G-Man's Friday 55. Drop by to join the fun yourself and to see what others wrote.



To A Muse


How do we do it amid hissing,
teeth gnashing,

I lead.
They run away.


When last comma finds a place,
when final scene takes stage,
words have caged them.
Trained me.

Truce struck.
Contract signed.
We smile for the crowd.

a new story outlines itself.
Battle lines drawn,
claws twitch in their sheaths.


~Nara Malone

 I have edits to turn in next week and the new book is about to take the stage. The muses and I have called a truce in the next word war  to pen another 55 for the G-Man. Drop by to see what others wrote or to join the fun yourself.


Going Down Blues (jazz poetry)

Spilled milk

Count me in
we're going

Down into red blues
down where
nightmares can't dream

Pitch the canned heat
keep the beat
slick licks
burning through
jelly rolls

Tangle in my dark
black cat bone
drumming skin

We rain harmony
dusting your broom
wash it
simmer down jam
you free

Rhythm going liquid
milk spilling
going down

~Nara Malone

This is my contribution to G-man's Friday 55 and dVersePoets Meeting the Bar.

I'll confess. I tried and tried to beat this down to 55. The best I could do was 69. I tried to beat it down to jazz, but it came out blues.


Butterfly Tale

 I dreamed a magic song and wrote it down when I woke up.

I sang it out loud. Big magic there. Don't try it.

It turned me blonde. And...

Video proof -- now when the moon rises I turn into a butterfly.

I think the moral is: Don't copy song-writing homework in your creative programming notebook.

~Nara Malone

An alternative moral could be, don't miss a week of writing a Friday 55 for G-man.  I suggest you hurry over and join the fun or drop in to see what others wrote. If you see a lesson in this butterfly tale that I have missed, please share it in the comments.

Credits: I learned the magic code for a butterfly shape-shifting transmogrifier over at Fred Beckhusen's blog.

A couple of magic words from that song are from Disney, Cinderella. Whenever I read code tutorials that fling around words like Boolean, conditionals, floats, strings-- that song starts playing in my brain. I knew you all would recognize that reference.

The programming form for the song came from an explanation of complex if/else blocks (/me rolls eyes)  example on the Second Life Wiki.

Put them together and what do you get...


Widow's Waltz Revisited

Chuck Will's call through mourning
singing up
a slow dance
waiting death, no dawdling

Chuck Will-ill's
Chuck Will-ill's
widow will
but Chuck won't

Mourn limp limbs, sluggish mind,
solo waltz
years lost too
broken man death couldn't find

Chuck will
Chuck did
Chuck Will's
widow won't

secret stash pills swallowed
no regret
bright flute leads
Chuck dances, she follows

Chuck Will-ill's
Chuck Will-ill's
widow will
but Chuck won't

Chuck's widow waltzes slow
nightgown swirls
shrouding grief letting go

Chuck will
Chuck did
Chuck Will's
widow won't

~Nara Malone

For those who don't know, a chuck-will is a bird, much like a whip-poor-will, that sings at night. The first time you hear one you can recognize it by its call: chuck-will's-widow.  A call that replays through the night. A few years back I wrote this poem about chuck-wills . This is a reworking for a class I'm taking and my contribution to dVersePoets.com OpenLinkNight. Drop by to see what others wrote or to join the fun yourself.


Fractaled Mind

Nara turns herself into a butterfly...

Last night, as the sun slid down to the horizon, reality and fantasy were still firmly encamped on opposite shores. Clinging to middle ground,  I resisted choosing sides. Until the stars--guides to mathematicians and dreamers--filled in the darkening canvas with a Van Gogh painting. Logic went fuzzy. Purple bled black.

Last night, as moon rode steeds of violet fluff, differences downsized. Ones and zeroes courted similes and metaphors. Code entwined with prose, an unholy entanglement shattered physical laws. Paradox collided with coastline, tossing ragged lines of poetry ashore. I gathered them like shells, stuffing pockets with syllables to be arranged tomorrow, when reason dawned.

Last night, I surfed. Dove into infinitely recursive fractal waves. Color so bright it burned my skin. Snatched up by an algorithm into glittering heaven. Arms morphed into wings that beat the air. Percussive beats launched chaotic collisions, gathered starlight into bouquets of photon flowers. Midnight's butterfly guzzled electric nectar.

Today, gritty-eyed and cotton-brained, recapturing that magic is like trying to snap a picture of  a rainbow in black and white. I promise myself I'll kick this code habit before it has its teeth in me.

I lie.

~Nara Malone

This bit of verse is salvaged from the mists of an adventure in playing at writing computer game scripts and is offered up as my contribution to dVerse Poets OpenLinkNight. Drop by to see what others wrote or to join the fun yourself.


Friday 55: Stalker

There's a tiger in my house.
I don't know where he came from.
He looks at me like I know what he wants.
I gave him my Cheerios.
He doesn't look satisfied.

The dog is no help.

I liked it better when my muse was a leopard--
more hider than chaser.
This tiger's story wants writing!

~Nara Malone

This post is a contribution to G-Man's Friday 55. Drop by to see what others wrote or to join the fun yourself.


Wing Walker

Wing Walker 

loved flash
eye-candy men
lickable lollipops of bronzed muscle
hot piston bodies pumping pleasure through the night
innocence exploring the childhood of her womanhood, sweet couplings that soothed without satisfying.


He whispered, bodiless voice thrumming "The best sex happens from the neck up."
Commands launched her, walking wings of his desire.
Mind game, word fuck, captured
her, imagination unbound.
Mind candy

~Nara Malone

That last line of the first stanza won't fit on one line but it should be one line. Fibonacci and I are are both out of our comfort zones on this one. This is my contribution to dVerse Poets OpenLinkNight. Stop by to see what others wrote or to join in the fun yourself.


Friday 55: On Missing

My first stab at giving grief a face three years ago. Not pretty. Ragged feelings on the page.  It gave voice to that raw, empty ache I had in my middle, that something missing. I could barely form sentences and needed a picture to take up the slack. Making poetry and art helped me through.

~Nara Malone

This post is for my running buddy Violet who just buried her mother.
For +Mera Kranfel who just lost a friend.
For my dad--still missing you Daddy but most days the memories have smiles attached instead of tears.
And for G-Man and the Friday 55 gang--missing you all is something I can fix.
Drop buy G-Man's site on Friday to join the fun to see what others wrote.


Stalking the Undefinable Me

I usually avoid filling out web profiles. I supply vague answers where I must and skip the rest. Even my profile pictures tend toward, vague, misty, barely there.

Once I took one of those personality tests that is supposed to define who you are. It was part of an on-the-job workshop, something to teach us to understand customers better. The workshop leader grabbed my form from the stack of results and held it up for the group to see.

 "Look," she said, "I've never seen one like this before. It's almost a perfect flat line. This is just what we want to strive for."

She went on to explain that the flat line indicated that I had no particularly dominant personality traits, my preferences spread evenly across the spectrum between dreamers, doers, thinkers and so on.

"That's a good thing," she promised, "rare, but just what we want. It means you get along with all sorts of people."

Hmm. I think my boss might have had a contradictory opinion about how easy I was to get along with. He and I didn't get along at all. He might have pointed out that indecisiveness probably had more to do with the result than anything. But that test was my first glimpse of my lack of definition. 

It's been a few years. Not much has changed. I realized this week that my avatar for Nara Malone  has remained a cloud for the entire year or so I've had it. I never bothered to download a shape, or skin, or even eyes. I felt no particular need to define myself in all that time. When I was Nara Malone, I was an orange cloud, a spirit.

Ironically, my virtual world alter ego, Nara Mistwood (a name I acquired back when Second Life insisted all members use a last name from a list) has more avatar identities than I can count. A friend teased, there's something wrong here--''Shouldn't Ms. Mistwood be the misty one?''


I'm a writer.  I should be able to define myself with a few words. So I put on my romance writer hat and wrote to the following prompt:

This is what i am

i am a canvas,
waiting on a story,
waiting like the bare winter ground,
waiting to be covered.

Will it come to me
chillingly soft, like a snow fall
send a shiver skimming over my nooks and hollows?
Or, will it settle gently over me like a down blanket?

Will it pour words on me like a shower,
fill the nooks and trickle into the hollows?
Or, will it turn hard and bind me tight like an ice storm
holding me captive in the cyrstal clarity of the plot's will?
Okay, so far I am blank canvas waiting to be filled with words. I tried turning my muse loose on the same prompt from her viewpoint.

This is what i am
today i am a should
a duty that clings
to Your conscience

i have fallen into the void
at the bottom
of your to-do list

the place where all Your passions land
your writing, your art, your desires
the things that strip you naked, make you feel

you are turning this should into trouble
trouble waiting to happen
trouble that knows how to get attention

i could wait quietly like a proper should
like dessert waiting
for you to finish your peas

or you could strike the match
we could become a flame
give that to-do list a long hot kiss

leave it in cinders

the question becomes
what do You desire
what makes you burn or not burn
that is who you are

Muses, like dreams, tend to talk in code. Unlike me she is allowed to head hop from her viewpoint to mine. Then again, we're both me... Things are still looking a bit misty.

So turning this around, I look at Nara Mistwood and her virtual inventory of possibilities. In the last week she has been a tiger, a lizard, a male selkie and a female selkie.  In her defense--or my defense--all that shape-shifting is work related. Still, that doesn't help clear up the fuzzy identity.

As much as I admire and envy people who know who they are and what they want, I'm not one. I can't give up all the possible Naras lurking inside. Once I trade pencil for pen, start inking in permanent details, I let go of other options. Virtual worlds give me the chance to explore all the options, let me be anything I can imagine.

So who Is Nara Malone?

I had to answer this same question for a writing class several years ago. The night before I had to turn in the essay I was still staring at blank page. When I finally gave up and went to bed I dreamed I was a forest and bulldozers came to carve me up, tame me into something more civilized. I wound up as a subdivision of rectangles, white houses surrounded by hedges. In the morning I had an answer for the essay. I don't think the answer has changed with time.


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
taking 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,
exploring depths that feed 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.
~Nara Malone


Turning Tide



Surf's almost up Sugar
Let's catch these last curls
Toes to nose

Schwack-pumping juicy waves
Tubed in tandem
Banging the backside of life

Carve-ripping the caves
Into acid-drop nose dives
No worries for the future

Let's cruise it 'til we lose it
Get hell-munched
Peeled and shredded, until...

Nothing matters but us
Going frothy
Two rag dolls pasted to the shore

~~Nara Malone

This was originally written for Sunday Scribblings and then later tweaked because the theme that day just didn't quite fit where I wanted this to go. Tonight I'm sharing with dVerse Poets Pub. Go here to see what others wrote or to join the fun yourself.


Exiled #miniflash #romance #naramalone

IMG_5625 Paper Boats~

 A piece of you is still in me
Still here and it can't be lost
The peace of you is still in me
Still here still with you gone

When loneliness swamped me
Caught out in a paper boat
Still here, your peace bailed with me
That piece we could not drown

When fortune's hunt yields pyrite veins 
When frost collides with hope
It's your peace that keeps me sane
Still here still with you gone

I've been exiled from paradise
Soul's pockets emptied of all that shines
But there's a well worn path to where peace lies
I'm waiting there for you

A piece of you is still in me
I'll wait there for you

~ Nara Malone

This post is a contribution to Sunday Scribblings. Click through to see what others wrote or to join the fun yourself.


Slack-key Apostle

guitar fingers

A guitar in his hands
is an acoustic Pentecost.
Ten fingers turn to fifty
riding steel strings
riding harmonic glory train
through souls
on thrum of hammer-on
pull-off slides.

His fingers spit
cloven-tongued flames
anointing chords
igniting crowd
taking them on a journey
to an absence
a free-falling bliss
into an angelic orgy of notes.

~Nara Malone

Hmm...I can write about something that has nothing to do with sex ;) This post is a contribution to G-Man's Friday Flash 55. Click through to see what others wrote or to join the fun yourself.


Gun Control #erotic #poetry #NaraMalone

Sexy sexy sexy

Some are flashers
waving their loaded weapon
wide-eyed attention
makes it stand proud

Some prefer concealment
secret power
dramatic reveal
the rush of new respect

But all guns
a holster
a tight embrace

leather, latex, silky heat
whether they ease in
or slam home...

once holstered
velvet squeeze
fingering hair-trigger

yes, then
every gun craves
prays for

gun control

~Nara Malone

On April 16, 2007 a mentally ill boy came within a few seconds of blowing a hole in my life that I would never have recovered from. He came within seconds not once, but twice. I don't have the heart to write about that. If I've crossed a line here, I apologize. I needed to shoot back.

This post is a contribution to dVerse poetics. Click through to see what others wrote or add something of your own.