Sunday, July 23, 2017

Writing Byte #19: Rain

When you hear the rain, pattering on your roof, tapping on your window…
When you feel the rain, cooling the air and poking you on the nose…
When you see the rain, reflecting and refracting the surrounding light all in a single drop…
It’s telling you its story… the stories of a thousand raindrops, the stories of where each have fallen in solitary moments as the world spins and spins.

A friend laughs.
A parent gets sicker.
A dream is realized.
A heart is broken.
A baby is born.
A car crashes.
A home is made.
A child’s innocence is lost.


I turn my face up to the sky, eyes wide and smile bright, waiting and ready to drink in the stories of the rain.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Writing Byte #18: Hello and Goodbye

Look. Stop. Breathe.
That air was swirling in front of you, waiting to go in through the nostrils and out through the mouth.
What do you see?
This minute, this second, this moment, you will never meet again.
What do you see?
Maybe a haunting turbulence reflected back through the black pupil of an iris?
Maybe defiant fireworks as they slice the night sky with their knives of color and fire?
What do you hear?
Maybe a symphony of notes cradling you in its swells and drops?
Maybe the familiar rhythm of crickets croaking out their goodnight greetings?
What are you touching, breathing, observing?
What do you feel?
Time is stopping, just for you, to say
But it can’t wait for long, so by the time you notice it’s saying


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Writing Byte #17: The Arena

I always hated boxing. How could someone enjoy the violent, mutual mutilation of two unique individuals? The drench of sweat, the clenching of fists, the iron smell of blood… I much preferred tennis, where the players remain a good distance from each other, holding rackets for a last defense.
I never liked boxing; I never understood it.
In many ways I’m always the careful one, the wary one, the conscious one… I’m aware of the frailness of our human bodies… minds… souls… how just one tap in the right place can send someone reeling, falling, lost…

But sometimes…
Sometimes the stakes are raised, sometimes winning that fight becomes just too important to ignore. 
Maybe a friend is in danger… or an opportunity comes just within reach… or that challenge just needs to be taken down.
My jaw sets, and the screaming warnings of risk and danger fade out of consciousness. They become merely that indistinct rumbling in the background.
My breathing steadies, my body tenses, and my eyes focus on the opponent. My fists clench.
With the single-mindedness of a hawk diving in pursuit of its prey I attack.
I fight, and I fight, ignoring the sweat on my back, the pain in my muscles…
Victory is necessary; surrender is inconceivable.
I will never give up until that friend is safe, or that opportunity harnessed, or that challenge annihilated.
It is not until I finish that I check my body for injuries… my heart for holes…
But hopefully, if I have chosen my fight well, the hurt will not be able to outshine the joy in my smile.
The sweetness of my triumph was well worth it.

What’s that? Me? A boxer at heart? Ridiculous!

Okay… I’ll concede that one.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Writing Byte #16: Sisyphus

Boulder on a hill, tumbling down,
With stubborn resolution, coming back around,
Letting loose a cry, a frustrated sound,
As the boulder kept on, tumbling down.

Sisyphus gave chase, landing with a bound,
Stopping the boulder just as it reached the ground,
Shoulder set, teeth gritted and head down and bowed,
He roared with the effort, clearly and loud.

Inch by inch, climbing up the mound,
As the boulder gained weight pound by pound,
Never giving up, staying strong and proud,
He struggled to the top, reaching for a cloud,

But anyone knows a cloud’s not a sound-
foundation for rest, and so he found,
the boulder, fell, turning round and round,
As the boulder kept on, tumbling down.

I reached out to him, as he came towards me,
wanting to show him, make him see,
he didn’t need his boulder, didn’t need to succeed,
If he just let go, he could hold on to me.

So for a while he did, intimately,
Arms around me, holding so very tightly,
But while he stayed, embracing closely,
He thought he saw an invitation to be-

Something more, to move further than him and me,
But as he leaned in, thinking me alone, lonely,
I pushed him back, disillusioned, angry,
I needed space, and indeed so did he.

But when I was gone, he looked around to see,
that boulder, by the hill, sitting against a tree,
I wasn’t there to focus on, to distract or be-
a reason to not push that boulder free.

So he turned to the boulder, looking up to the sky,
And he left, not even stopping to say goodbye.
I cried when he left, not knowing why:
he kept pushing that boulder, ever one more try,

‘Cause I knew that boulder could never make him happy.

But I also knew the truth was neither could I,
Knowing he’d never find peace, I thought with a sigh,
Till he learned to let go, and let that boulder lie.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Writing Byte #15: Flying High

The air rises where black tar and yellow meet,
Though still, Atmosphere rages with oppressive heat,
A hazy glare looking up at clouds and blue arches,
Reflected light projecting wet to dry desert ditches.

The space is silent, not a caw or bray,
Anticipated breath, held trapped to say,
Whoosh! as the car whizzes wildly by,
Smothered moment let out, one relieved sigh,

The child laughs, holding tight, as the car steers away,
From home, responsibility and childhood play,
With the rules, the chores, the parents that tie,
on seat belts and knee pads, all kept risk-shy.

Freedom is found, with a key and front seat,
As birds fly up high and planes ascend feet,
A child, a student, an adult not yet grown,

Finds wings and flies off with the roots that were sown…

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Writing Byte #14: Staggered Thought

There’s something… there.
Behind the pressure and the noise and the muffled input,
behind the headache and the too bright lights and all this.. 
There’s… something
It’s coming… so…. slow.
Where is it?
The lights they flash.
People moving… too fast… speaking… silence.
Machines and straps… let me out!
Help. Please.
I just want…
Can’t… think…
Maybe it’s… right over there.
In the quiet black, inviting.
I think I’ll just… rest now.
In black.

I breathe in… and remember…
This is the same hospital… the same room where she…
The accident, the screaming people, the machines that suddenly stopped beeping.
It isn’t like that for me.
I’m an old man… everyone’s gone now. She was the first, though.
I miss… everything about her.
It’s funny… I don’t remember yesterday…
But I remember her.
I breathe out.
I still remember.
I breathe in.
The machine beeps… and beeps…
It’s so annoying, really…
End of my life and that’s all that’s left: that dang beeping…
Oh how nice. It stopped.
Did I breathe out? Can’t remember…
I remember her though… it hurts…
Rest now.. maybe over there.
In the black… maybe she’s there.
In between thoughts… in the pause… in the black…
She’s there.

I’ll just… rest now.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Writing Byte #13: The Siege of the Storm

Hi there! I had pneumonia over Christmas, but all better now, thank God.
Basically... I'm back... again ;-D

The Siege of the Storm

People come to this lake to see serene scenery,
Ducks and geese that sail silently,
Smooth and quiet, still surface,
The water reflecting the sky.

How boring.

When I turn the last corner, I park and go still.
To see the action.
I'm here for a rock concert, a cage match and the Lord of the Flies' playground all in one.

The clouds rumble their way in, above, pushing and shoving their way to the front, blocking the view of the sun.
The waves form and clap in time.
The current starts out calm, but finds its beat and runs strong and deep... deep.
Birds battle while the the rain pelts the ground in a drumroll, like the drummer boys marching before the troops.

The war is on.
It's a battle of wills; it's a battle of nature... versus nature.
The geese, the ducks, coots and pelicans.
They're all assembled on the battlefield.

The water roars and the geese kick back.
Those fish never stood a chance.
Rain grabs on to drag them all down.
But a shake of the tail feathers sprays it off without a sound.

The birds grow confident; they are winning this battle.
A duck good-naturedly jumps at his friend.
The rush of battle is strong; victory is nigh.

A goose raises its neck high, over a broad white chest.
Shaking his wings, he honks to the sky.
Victory is nigh.

But the storm has another card to play.
The birds never saw it coming.
The water increases its beat: faster and faster.
The sky grows black and the water surges... surges.

The birds rush to their homes, to the bushes and trees,
Retreat! Retreat!
to the strongholds that protect those who flee.

All night, the Storm rages, angry and fearsome.
The insolence! The ignorance!
Those creatures thought they could fight my wrath.
Again and again, the Storm plays its song.
Shrieking its rage to the skies.

But now it is growing tired... tired.
It can rage no longer.
Slowly, slowly, it retreats into the ether.
No more to be found, used up in its fury.

The sun lifts its head, sending rippled reflections to light the water and sky.
A duck wanders out, shaking its tail feathers.
The geese spread their wings, and enter the skies.
Shrieking out to the morning.
Victory is here!

The storm never stood a chance.