Monthly Archives: March 2015

celestina dances

inside the tree trunks, bleached white and spotted with age, kneel old men. Even though they are creaky, their limbs are sinewy and well defined. They genuflect inside the trunks, feet rooted into the earth, toenails tangled with roots until one is not discernible from the other, heads bent. They have beards, knotted and dread-locked, that dangle between their knees, clumps dancing forward and back with each inhale and exhale. The old men are tired, and wish to retire.

from a distance, a reedy and melodious whistle floats along the breeze, teasing ears and quickening minds long passed into a meditative state. The dawn comes, and spring breaks. The whistling dances closer, and becomes a song. The old men do not move, except for their faces, where smiles spread and break through wrinkled cheeks. Celestina comes.

she pirouettes through the dappled light on the muddy ground, arms extended in graceful arches, gliding as fluidly as water around a rock. The dirt does not bother her; she revels in spinning on tiptoes in the mud, the soft and loving squelch and the smell of good, clean earth drifting up. In her wake, trailing in the notes of her music as surely as the rats enthralled by the Piper, are the children.

Their voices remain hushed and reverential, but within those boundaries of respect bordering on awe, is the joyful shriek and commotion of children everywhere, the ecstasy of being alive. Now that they are in sight of the trees, they are freed from their restraints and run towards them, somersaulting and leaping over each other, good natured shoving and tumbling, laughter everywhere. They dive into the soft ground at the trees bases, wiggling and squiggling until they pop up in between the feet of the old men.

Dirty hands on old cheeks, the children place kisses on each eyelid of each old man, bidding them to open and to see again. The old men smile wider as they welcome the youth to their new homes, returning the kisses with gentle, scratchy bearded pecks before rising slowly to their full heights. Arms elongate and fingers stretch as they lift their hands towards the sky, gnarled knuckles inhabiting branches and twigs, mixing and merging until all is one and the same.

In the heady rush of becoming temporary guardians, the children go wild. They sing and scream and holler back and forth as they dance around their tree’s trunk, inside and out, to the edges of the smallest, barren twig and back. Budding and growth, color seeping into leaves until a riot of color blooms across the forest like a rolling wave crashing across the horizon.

Celestina dance. Spring comes.

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the last cigarette

Yesterday, I smoked my last cigarette. I told myself that, out loud, when I lit it, while I was smoking it, and after I was done with it, lest my brain try to make the excuse, well, but sure I didn’t know that it was my last one, and so I must have one more, just one more, so as to savor the moment. That’s what brains do, when they belong to me. They manipulate excuses like a saucy saboteur, creating a framework that allows for failure before the mission has even begun. Brains. What egotistical assholes.

There have been a few times over the twenty-four years that I have smoked where I felt ready to quit. I hated it, I was tired of the smell and the taste and the coughing, and the plethora of other shit side effects that everyone on the damn planet already knows about. For whatever reason, with a desperate immediacy, I would be smoking again and more often that not at a faster pace and larger quantity, within a day, two at most.

This time? Not so much. I feel the habit lurking, the habit of the act of rolling a cigarette, of smoking one after eating, or with my morning cup of coffee, but not the desire to act on it. My psyche isn’t offering compromises or cheats, it’s not screaming at me or taunting me, it’s just there; like a ghost in the background, it’s floating around, kind of confused and not able to affect the matter around it.

I even told my kid I was quitting, and as he is the person in the world that I am most loathe to disappoint, that’s holding myself to a level of accountability I haven’t previously subjected myself to.

I have high hopes that for the first time in my adult life, I will not be a smoker.

Categories: Non-Fiction Nonsense | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Shine a light


Shine a light,
a penlight, a flashlight, a torch,
over all your jaggedy edges and ugly corners,

Let them have their moment in the sun.

Illuminate, illumine,
give weight to the scrawny and underdeveloped,
stretch your muscles
and test your resolve,

widen the cracks of consumption.

Categories: Poetry | Tags: , | 2 Comments


there are things worth saving, if

you scrabble through the rubble. Stones, strong stones, upon which to rebuild the foundation, cracked stones,

for fissures make interesting ornamentation, and add character where flaws once were. 

Categories: Poetry | Tags: | 2 Comments

blurred boundaries

slip-slide into dreams
roughshod into the light,
popping stitches and bursting seams.

one doesn’t end, one doesn’t begin,
Ouroboros waking,
rising, consuming, without to within.

edges blending into light,
particles dancing,
panicked with delight.

one moment to ponder,
if meaning, then life,
if not, to wander.

Categories: Fiction, Poetry | Tags: | 2 Comments

Curled up

Waking on an island, more aptly called a person sized pebble, they feel smooth stone underneath their cheek. Their knees are pulled up under their chin and their strong arms are wrapped protectively around their middle. There is a light without source to illuminate their space and they are grateful. They do not mind being alone, but they would prefer not to be so in the dark.

The dreams and cries of billions make up their roof overhead, a featureless dome of sound and thought. They think at first their dreams are up there too, until they feel them still inside their skull, papery moth wings beating gently against the walls of their cage. They find that they have not yet found the key to releasing those dreams into the wild, letting them fly free, and this they regret, just a little. They know that once those dreams are given the freedom to take flight, to flock within the turbulent masses overhead, that those dreams, their dreams, will be subsumed by the whole, either to take root and sprout their own little daydream babies or to dissipate into the cacophony.

They discern that perhaps the key they have yet to turn is hidden within acceptance, that they will never know the fate of their dreams until they are allowed to roam and explore the corners of their world; that to let dreams outgrow their fishbowl is to allow them to mutate, to give blessing the influence of yet more dreams. They are not quite ready for this yet.

As the dreams beat ever more incessantly, insistently, demandingly, to be given fresh sights to see, they smile quietly and tighten their arms around their middle, pull their knees up just a little bit closer to the chin. They will hold them close, just this little while longer, on this island, alone.

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