Oddments

In search of story


19 Comments

March 22.22: Coping, but barely

Twilight curtains parted

and in grand purple theater

arose a ponderous butterscotch moon.

“Catch me if you can!”

it stage-whispered to my camera,

which sighed in my hands,

and tried, oh, so many times,

noble machine,

but in the end could only stand with me,

groundlings both,

in awed suspension of disbelief.

You may ask, dear reader, if there is anything

that doesn’t remind me of dessert.

I’ve asked that too.


14 Comments

December 29.21: Coping

Last night I flipped the light switch in an upstairs bedroom and the whole house went dark. I asked every homeowner’s favorite question: now what? Then lights back on. Then off. On. Off. Off…off…

I found myself in a world of India ink. Not a glimmer, not the tiniest shard of light. Groping is a graceless ballet, but just so did I find the stairs, the banister, and warily make my way down. Why, you may ask, did I not think to grab the flashlight that’s upstairs? Because it’s me.

Bumping along, I looked out the front windows. A world without light. Disorienting, unsettling. As I inched through the house, a timid glow startled me. My battery candles! Beacons! My feet steadied immediately, and I made it to the back door, next to my shadowy Christmas tree. The houses across the pond were black. Not a light anywhere. It was as though every person in the world was gone but me.

A lightless world is an empty world.

The power company did me the courtesy of calling to tell me there was a power outage. Really?

Why are the robots never programmed to tell the customer what happened? So far as I could tell, I flipped the switch in an upstairs bedroom and shut down a small city.

How oppressive that solid, unforgiving darkness. What a slamming shut of life. Our fears are never far from us, are they?

 

 


9 Comments

December 7.21: Coping

Who said the moon is cheese?

Why, anyone can see

the moon is made of paper,

thick and cottony.

Someone tore it gently

in swooping deckled arc,

sculpting it to give me

a wink against the dark.

 

Dear reader,

This is not the perfect photo

about which I can boast;

the window I took aim through

added flourish of moon ghost.

But nighttime in the winter

I prefer being warm to bold;

it isn’t only dark out there,

it’s finger-nipping cold!

 

This is another one that, despite its length, makes me want to append “Burma-Shave!”

 

 


12 Comments

August 22.21: Coping

In the time of two breaths

there’s the twilight sweet spot

when everything hovers

between color and not.

White becomes silver

as shadows unfurl,

or maybe it’s pewter

or mother-of-pearl;

reds turn to velvet

with lavender nap,

blues, cupric sulfate,

with diamond wrap.

Yellows to brass

with gold overlays,

burnished in hot coal,

smoldering blaze.

And a palette is born

each day at its end

that no words can capture

but only pretend.

 

 


11 Comments

January 30.21: Coping

Grandma’s kitchen clock

ticked crisply like a snare drum,

by day blended in the rhythm of work,

by night echoed

through the bedded house

while the rite of springs squeaked under me,

percussive, brassy,

objecting, it seemed,

to my child’s weight.

A bare light bulb

dangling on thick black cord

hovered

over the bed,

beyond my reach

even when I stood

jiggle-kneed

on the jello mattress.

Grandma reached up

and turned it off herself,

then slipper-padded out.

Her bedroom a whole dining room

and kitchen away,

sly-eyed shadows deepened

around me

in borrowed bed

where once my aunts were little girls.

In the sleep breath of her house,

Ivory soap.

Now, as COVID blurs days into nights,

and nights into days,

my clock ticks crisply like a snare drum.

 

 


9 Comments

January 6.21: Coping

Comes now night’s black broom,

sweeping citric glow

over earth’s long arc

into some tomorrow.

Two planets meet the while

in astronomical collusion,

appearing in a oneness

of ballyhooed illusion.

It isn’t the conjunction but

the difference that’s grand

between what we can see

and what we understand.

 

Thanks and congratulations on capturing the Conjunction to S.W. Berg.

My apologies, dear reader:

the Conjunction faded in the transfer

to my blog. I hope you can see it!

Although this post is coincidence,

I cannot help noting this is Little Christmas.

The tradition of the star may not be universal

but human searching surely is.