By the Dumpsters

For Susie’s prompt at Real Toads http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2019/07/bits-of-inspiration-you-write-color.html
She gives us some pictures to color with our words. I picked the picture I did because I volunteer at a Food Bank/Soup Kitchen. We feed a lot of hungry people and children there. This time of year, kids walk to the soup kitchen to get food, lunch. We put more time into worrying about the environment than we do into feeding hungry children.

By the Dumpsters
“One in four kids in the U.S. faces hunger.” Jeff Bridges

she dreams in colors of food –
red ripe tomatoes
and creamy yellow pasta,
salad greens
and yellow cheese
and marbled rye of bread.
she waits for the people to take out their trash.
she hunkers invisible behind the dumpsters.
she closes her eyes
and dreams –
brown of chocolate
pink of peaches –
oranges and juicy red apples
she curls tighter in on herself.
the yellow moons smiles down at her.
she raises her arms and rises to meet it
in the wine colored sky.

 

Atlantic Beach

For Merrill’s prompt for dVerse Poets Pub – Haibun Monday – Nature, lost and found

Atlantic Beach
“Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.” Anthony Bourdain

The ocean waves go in and out with a soft shushing sound. It is just after sunrise and the tide is out. I walk along the strip of shells and seaweed left behind as the tide went out. I look down carefully, trying to spy the rare shell or sand dollar that floated in over the top of the detritus. Gulls wheel overhead and dive down occasionally catching a fish. Into my bucket it put a couple of Atlantic boats, some pencil shells, a rare whole scots bonnet, and a moon shell. On top of the pile, I gently place three sand dollars, whole. After half a mile I sit down to take a rest and drink from my water bottle. I am proud of it because it is a vacuum bottle, bright purple, and not plastic.

Watching the tide come in is exciting. The waves thunder in and the soon the water line is at the bottom of my feet. The line of shells and other items become caught in the waves and washed out to sea. I move farther up on the beach. The sand is golden and cool from the night and the sea oats wave in the breeze. I think about things sitting there. The sky is purest blue and the water deep green. I finally stand walk back the way I came. This is truly magic, this ocean. No one is around to disrupt the not-silence. No houses, no hotels, no piers. I stop and pour my shells back into the ocean. Who am I to keep these gifts that I am so unworthy of? Let them be gifted to one more worthy than I.
early morning –
gifts returned gratefully –
ocean accepts them

 

The Last Worshipper

For Kerry’s prompt at Real Toads, Art/Flash 55.  Featuring the art of Tomasz Zaczeniuk, surreal artist and photographer from Poland.


The Last Worshipper

“Some things are more precious because they don’t last long.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Dorian Gray heaved a deep rattling sigh –
He stood at the door of the temple. He was the last
person on earth he reckoned.
First the oceans flooded from all of the melted arctic ice.
Then the heat of the sun burned the seas to sand.
What good is living forever if one is alone?
He remembered this beach’s name – Whitby.
He called to mind the brightly colored bath houses.
Now all was silent.
He might as well go inside and go to sleep.
Hopefully he would sleep forever.

Tomasz Zaczeniuk, The Temple
used by permission from the artist

雨氷

Fuyu no tsuki (winter moon)
freezing rain, winter begins
the night is too long.

November 6, 1987 The Braid

The night we stood on the walkway of the bridge
Looking up at the full moon.
You looked down at its reflection on the river,
And said to me, Do you want the moon?
I’ll go down, get, and bring it to you,
A double handful at a time.
I looked up into your eyes
And saw you were speaking truth.
You are all I want. You are enough.
One year ago to the day
You had looked through your men
At me and said, your hair smells of Mitsouko.
And gently touched the long braid of my hair.

Seven years later, I stand at the same place
On the walkway of the bridge, alone.
You left a year ago.

You loved my hair – thick and wavy with occasional threads of
White. Soft and fine as a silk thread you told me.
You’d bury your face in it
After you had taken off the silly
Rubber band I used to hold the end of the braid,
Or after you had pulled out one of the kanzashi
You brought me back, watching
As my hair flowed down.
“nagareochiru taki” You would whisper.
“Sono taki wa kirei desu.”

I stand now in the same place you stood.
I try to reach back to
Those years ago you offered me the moon.
I try to pull together the essence of you
Tight around me like a cocoon.
My heart seeks the smell of you:
Bee and flower sandalwood soap, surgical scrub,
The heady musk of your skin.

Only the moonless night and the green cold
Smell of the river are with me on the bridge.
I pull scissors from my bag and begin to
Cut my braid at my nape.
It still smells of Mitsouko.
I throw it down into the river.
The river swallows it and keeps
Its secrets.

December: Thursday 3:00 a.m.

The snow started Wednesday afternoon. I drove home from work in a flurry of clustered white flakes. By the time I was home, the roads were white and the grass was covered.  The clusters turned into a mini-blizzard of individual flakes that obscured the view from my living room window.  By bedtime, several inches snow had fallen.

Excited as a child, I turned on the front porch light to watch the steadily falling snow.  I grinned and told my cat….no school tomorrow!  He yawned.  Snow days are rare in the south and knowing work would be cancelled the next day caused glee to explode in my heart.  I awoke several times and checked – still snowing.  Fast and furious with no letup in sight.  I finally settled to sleep – warm and snug with Sam at my feet.

Out of a sound sleep, I awoke with memory of snow.  I sat up and went to look out the front window.  Still snowing!  Deep snow was up to a foot against my storm door window.  I couldn’t resist the call of the snow.

I changed into a sweatshirt and sweatpants and tucked the pants into high snow boots. On went my down jacket, gloves and a muffler wound around my head, face and throat.  I opened the door and escaped into the night.

The snow was light and fluffy and was easily moved by my feet.  I looked around at the snowy nightscape.  I was in a different world – no flashlight was needed.  The snow reflected ambient light and I walked out into my yard.  All was silent except for the hissing of the snow as it fell and the scrunch of my boots in the snow.

I was in a world of silence, of calm, of peace.  I looked  up into the trees – lines of black against the grey of the sky and the white of the snow.  A sumi drawing of a different reality – a chiaroscuro of light and shadows.  I caught my breath and then breathed in the cold – a sweet smell, clear and clean.  I spread my arms wide and began to turn circles – waltzing with the snow to music only I could hear.

I took a journey around my house – stopping to eat some snow or look at how the azaleas caught the snow on their branchy fingers.  Three does and a buck regally walked through the opposite end of my yard, saw me, stopped, and continued on their royal progress with slow motion majesty.  I stood in respect to watch them pass and made a mental note to put corn out for them and other critters in the morning.

I finally went back into the house, going in through the garage, stamping my feet and shaking snow from my clothing.  I took off my wrappings to leave outside.  I put water on to boil and brought out my special large white mug.  A healthy pinch of jasmine tea, with a few extra flowers went into the bottom.  As the water hit the tea, a smell of green and flowers wafted and fragranced the air.  I looked into the mug – white flowers slowly spinning.  I walked to the window and looked – white snow flowers slowly spinning.  I turned on the TV…….ha! My office was closed.  I finished my tea and went back to bed – at peace in warmth…at peace in the night snow of my dreams.

Sunday 1:00 a.m.

 
Quiet and alone
I sit and gaze at the moon.
Clouds of gauze drift across
Its face.
Brilliant light reflects on
the surrounding clouds.
I long to put my arms around you
Like a circle around the moon.
Indigo night sky
Starless and dark
Except for the moon.
The only bit of brightness
In the darkness.
You – the light in
My indigo soul
Starless and dark.
A small wild rabbit
Grazes in a patch of clover and
Never sees me at all.
I am so still, he does not
Perceive my presence.
The rabbit and I strangers,
Yet companions under the August moon.
The silent moon gazes at me
And keeps my secrets.
 

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