Nepenthe

“One swallow.”

“Are you sure about this?”

“Absolutely.”

Leda held the opaque vial filled with milky white potion up to her eyes, examining the contents warily.

“I’m tired Rue,” she murmured softly, almost inaudibly.

“Drink Leda.”

Leda’s eyes flashed away from the vial and found Rue’s pale blue ones, making a desperate plea. Rue was calmer than ever.

“Trust me,” Rue commanded.

Hesitantly at first, and then suddenly boldly Leda lifted the vial to her lips and sipped. Continue reading

How Often Turns Into Dream

She stared at the setting sun. It was like a beach ball at day break, all bright and round and red. Sometimes hard to tell if it was rising or setting.

“Help,” she said quietly, almost to herself, or to the setting sun. What would have helped at that moment was a broom, she decided. She could ride off into the sunset and ask the sun herself.

She had transformed since her last visit to the shore. More crabby. She wanted to belong on that beach. She knelt beside a particularly slow and grumpy looking crab.

“It’s nighttime,” he said.

“Not yet,” she said.

“It will be,” he said, ever the pessimist. “I’m a realist.”

Continue reading

Rebirth

A sprinkle of dust flutters to rest
There is no heart beating in that old chest
The photographs sit still, fading to grey
Framing dying people, memories, decay
Seal the coffin beneath
Close the crooked, cracked teeth
Take a hammer to its rotted frame
Until the wooden bones have lost their name
Build a crib from the debris
As done with the original tree
Declutter those ancient drawers
To hold an infant within its stores
This old chest will be born again
emptying the burden of what it had been
And life anew will grow inside
Now that this old broken past has died.

 

Happy National Poetry Month!!!

Smoke and Mirrors, an L.A. Tour Guide

I see a man outside civilization.

I smile at him and he rushes out the words like he himself is surprised at them, or maybe just surprised that I looked, and smiled.

“Can I have some change, ma’am?”

I smile silently and walk on, least I can do.

Very least. 

Think nothing of it.

I go in and buy my groceries. 

A good deal later, I come out the back of the store, and there he is, on the steps, a rag to his nose. 

At first I think he is crying.

He looks up as I pass.

“Can I have some change, ma’am?”

I nod and smile sadly. “It’s inevitable.”

L.A. twinkles brighter tonight than I’ve ever seen her—

A good rain can clear even the most malignant feelings.

Benevolence and glittering lights.

Smiles and ghost-rain.

Ah, how pretty you look from here

But please, don’t come any closer.

Purpose

Thus it is to be man:

to desire in life some greater plan,

to be afflicted by that single want,

for not the birds, nor the trees,

are discontent to simply be,

but man alone it seems to haunt,

that little thought: is there a purpose for me?