Darling Henry – Theme Friday

Henry was a darling

a quiet, gentle man

Who never rose his voice

and always lent a hand

He worked his job

for thirty years

Never missed a day

Always with a smile

and a kind word to say

He paid his taxes every year

and glady did his ‘part’

And let his son go off to war

although it broke his heart

He mowed his lawn

and swept his walk

with great care and pride

Never grumbling about grafitti

he used the whitewash to hide

He voted in elections

ever faithful to his party

Believing that the promised change

would make his country hearty

And then the pinkslip came

Henry was no longer needed

Outsourcing – the solution

to which his bosses heeded

And oh yes, by the way

the pension plan was bleeded

And in the dark his son returned

from the ravages of war

But Henry didn’t recognize

the boy he once adored

The market crashed -housing fell

bail outs left and right

And in his heart he wondered

When he’d lost his sight

But suddenly his eyes were opened

and shock rang through and through

and no one had to tell him

what suddenly he knew

And Henry’s still a darling

a lovely gentle man

who raises his voice proudly

to get a better plan

For Henry won’t surrender

his country without a fight

because my dear friends

our Henry’s seen the light

copyright 2010

Christine and Henry

Clancy Jane and Henry

Walking – Theme Friday

I’m walking. Pushing past protesting muscles that beg me to stop. Breathing labored and proving my sedentary tendencies.

But the sky is blue and the sun sinks into the cold place that lives inside me.

Walking hurts. Blisters form. Hamstrings shriek like sad violins out of tune. The dog drags me along—a little ox of industry, anxious to see the world as the ever exciting place it is. The hill rises slowly but challenges me still.

But walking keeps me alive. And proves that there is life beyond my four walls. And that the world is filled with freedom-seeking creatures. Birds streak across the horizon. Butterflies and bees dart in a nectar-crazed dance. Black-eyed Susans sway and nod with the breeze and smile good morning.

There is space. Life does go on despite hurt or pain. Joy is fleeting but can be known. Happiness sows its seeds and when tended can grow. I could make it grow and live. I could. I have the will…. Only a promise and not a certainty.

The calm spreads slowly and warmly like good cognac in quiet moments. So I walk…and keep walking. Eschewing thought. Worry. Sadness.

It is hard to be bitter in the sunshine. Hard to hate the world when you see it through unjudging eyes. Hard to surrender hope when your body is moving. So…I walk and keep moving. And follow the peace that lives out there.

copyright 2010

Where is Christine walking?

California – Theme Friday

It was the land of milk and honey—dreamt of often in the still of dark wintry nights. Sunshine, palm trees and movie stars. No need for galoshes or woolen caps. Where gardens thrived and lemons grew in your backyard.

“When I grow up, I’m living in California,” Jill told her mother.

“But what about Christmas?” her mother asked.

Jill shrugged. “Santa will wear his summer suit then.” Her pudgy fingers swiped at the remains of brownie batter in the bowl. The chocolatey goodness exploded on her tongue with each scoop.

“But you won’t be able to make a snow man,” her mother reminded her.

“I don’t care, I’ll go swimming instead,” Jill’s smile was chocolate covered and it made her mother laugh…

The low roar of the surf roused Jill from sleep. She turned over on her back, lest her tan be uneven but the sun blazed and she sat up, hot in the noon day dazzle. The dream or memory of she and her mother in the kitchen hugged her conscious thoughts. “When I grow up…” she said barely audible.

“Are you talking to me?” Joe asked and nestled closer to her on the sandy towels.

“Go back to sleep,” Jill hushed and looked out at the vastness of the Pacific ocean. Endless blue and sparkling. Dolphin fins sliced through the water and played tag with the sailboats bobbing and swaying against the horizon.

California was the land of summer she’d always dreamed about. Sunshine. Palm trees. And even an occasional movie star siting. Maybe not movie stars but definitely familiar faces that she’d seen on television. And the homeless who happily pushed carts and panhandled for ‘spare change’ as they hovered outside Starbuck’s. High taxes and strange politics. Lifestyles from benign to bizarre. Something for everyone. But her heart longed for home.

Today, Jill missed the crisp air and swirling leaves. And the smell of her mother’s kitchen swathed in the aroma of home-baked goods. Brightly colored scarves flapping in the wind. Corner diners serving bad coffee and good soup. Neighbors who all knew your business before you did. But more than anything her mom. The best person she knew and would ever know. A woman of infinite patience and profound kindness. Jill was missing her mom more than usual she guessed because they had missed their weekly call. In fact, now that she thought of it, her mother hadn’t returned any of the several calls Jill had made to her.
Jill fished her cell phone out of the crimson beach bag and and flipped it open. No signal. She sighed, lay down on her back, resolving to try mom later and she fell into a beachy daytime nap.

“Jill?” Mom whispered in her ear.

Jill cracked open one eye against the brightly beaming sun. “What are you doing?” Jill sat up and scooted over to make room on the towell. Her mother sat down and burrowed her pale toes into the warm sand. “I missed you, darling. I always miss you.”

Jill hugged her mother. “I miss you too, Mom. But where’s Dad? Did he come with you? And how the heck did you find me on a beach with hundreds of people?”

Jill’s mother smiled and patted Jill’s hand. “I’ve always been able to find you, no matter where you hid, now haven’t I?”

Jill heard beeping coming from somewhere and looked around. “What is that sound?”

“Honey, I have something to tell you.”

The beeping continued and with each issuance unnerved Jill. “What the…?”

Jill’s mother squeezed her hand. “Jill, you need to listen.”

The beeping grew more rapid and urgent and Jill felt frantic to discover its source. “I know Mom, but that beeping is driving me crazy. Can’t you hear that?”

“Not any more,” her mother said.

“What?” Jill turned back to her mother but could barely see her in the bright light. “God the glare coming off the ocean is unbelievably. I can hardly see you. It must be that blasted beeping, it’s so distracting.”

Jill’s mother leaned in closer and whispered. “I love you darling girl, never forget.”

“Mom?”

“Hey wake up,”Joe shook Jill a little to bring her around.

Jill opened her eyes and saw concerned brown eyes staring into hers. “Where’s my mom?”

Joe handed her some water. “Drink this, you’re dehydrated. Your mom isn’t here, honey. You were dreaming. And pretty loudly too.”

Jill jumped to her feet and looked in every direction for her mother but she was nowhere to be seen. Her heart sank a little. “It was so real. I could swear she was right here. I can still smell her perfume. I was trying to talk to her but there was this beeping sound…”

Jill’s cell phone rang then and she jumped. “Hello?”

“It’s Dad, honey…”

“This is so funny I was just dreaming about Mom…let me talk to her. She won’t believe this…it was like she was just here” The silence from her father was eerie and profound. “Dad? What’s wrong? Dad?” Jill heard that beeping again but it was coming from the phone and then it stopped suddenly.

“Jilll…”

“Oh no!” Jill cried suddenly realizing that it was the last time she would see her mother.

copyright2010

Here, Christine is California dreaming

Murder – Theme Friday

It was called love and it was called friendship—but it was murder. One tiny inch at a time. One indiginity after the other, never ceasing until she was so numb that her spirit was eviscerated and lifelessly listing inside her body.

She wanted nothing more than to curl up in a ball and let them finish the job. Plunge the final dagger so it would be over. Done. So she could feel peace again. But that would be too kind, too merciful and keeping just one frayed thread between them kept the torture coming.

“Why don’t you just kill them?” a voice asked.

She didn’t see the owner of the voice but answered nonetheless. “It’s against the law.” Something rose in her heart akin to hope but she pushed it down, knowing she could never do such a thing.

“But they’re killing you!” the voice hissed.

She nodded and felt a pain in her chest. Not a physical pain, something much worse, more sinister—the pain of slowly going insane. “I know,” she said, “but what can I do?”

With a sudden jolt she was immersed in images of mayhem and murder. Violence. Blood. Screams. Shrieks. It quickened her heart but oddly didn’t frighten her. Rather she was entranced by the images, seduced by them. And she lay down and let the savage images embrace her.

Willingly she submerged into the dark world of revenge and her spirit came back to life. Cruel smiles tugged at the corners of her mouth and she murdered each and every one of them in her mind. With weapons. With fists. With words. Until…a hush came over her world and she slept.

“Mary Anne?” The voice niggled at the edges of her consciousness. “Mary Anne, wake up.”

Mary Anne’s eyes opened to the sunlit room and focused on her mother who stood over her. “Hi Mom,” she sat up slowly, still focusing on the room which was strange but comforting. “What are you doing here?”

“It’s visiting day, dear. I always come on visiting day,” her mother said.

“Ahh,” Mary Anne remembered and smiled. “It wasn’t a dream after all,” she giggled.

copyright 2010

Where is Christine’s murder?

Bruised Ugly – Theme Friday

bruised ugly theme friday, writer chick talks

The bruised, ugly banana sat in the blue bowl on the table and mocked her—mirrored her self-image. A once fresh piece of fruit shriveled and died and her soul felt a kinship to the pathetic fruit. She picked up the banana and squeezed it and the brown, viscous pulp oozed like pus from a wound. “I killed you,” she told the sticky mess in her hands. “You’re dead now.” But maybe it was a prayer she uttered to herself.

She washed her hands at the kitchen sink and threw the banana carcass in the trash. The pathetic remains heaved its final breath atop the egg shells and milk carton and she laughed, hard and sudden. But the laughter hurt and her hand flew up to the swollen cheek to see if it was dead. She was dead. She winced at her own touch and with disappointment, realized she still lived. Still felt hurt.  Still uglied and bruised by heartless fists and ruthless jealousy. Still waiting for her moment atop the garbage heap and final, eternal sleep.

copyright 2010

Christine’s bruised ugly awaits you.

Christmas Eve – Theme Friday

“There is no Santa Claus!”

Marlie felt the words slap her cold face and they stung. Her eyes grew large and liquid – lower lip quivered. “Is so,” she whispered.

Ricky Marks, a neighborhood menace and proud of it, rolled his eyes and smirked. He strutted through the powdered snow like the destructive little rooster he was. “Is so,” he mimicked Marlie. “Grow up!” he yelled as he towered over her.

The other little kids huddled around Marlie, crying and shaking. “You’re just a mean old boy, Ricky Marks. Santa won’t bring you anything tonight. Just you wait and see.”

Ricky bent and scooped up a good handful of snow and crafted an icy launch but before he could raise his arm the little ones scattered. They likened a sea of confetti against the white snow, in their pink, green and purple coats – their little feet leaving the tiniest trace of their presence.

No matter, Ricky had the neighborhood skating rink to himself and he could spin and glide to his heart’s content. Soon, skating alone became a bore. A boy with no friends and whose parents are rarely home finds little satisfaction in being alone. The sun descended quickly across the silver sky and he watched the Christmas lights pop on, porch light threw cozy yellow haloes over steps and smoke lazed out chimneys and Ricky felt an ache kick his insides. He grunted against his troubled heart and changed out of his skates for boots. For a moment he stood still, no reason to go home to an empty house, no money to buy anything. “Now what?” and his mutter came out like smoke from his mouth.

“What are you doing out by yourself on Christmas Eve?” Mrs. Hanson appeared before him, weighted down with packages, all bright wrapping and spilling bows. Her face was rosy and her grin was wide – deftly she closed the car door with her foot. Trudging up the walk, the packages teetered then spilled across the lawn, like jewels scattered across white velvet.

Without thinking, Ricky scurried to help Mrs. Hanson gather the packages and helped her to her front door. “Oh, you’re a life-saver, Ricky,” she grinned, “but don’t tell Mr. Hanson, he’ll never let me live it down.”

Ricky shrugged. “Nah, I won’t tell him.”

“So, what are you doing out on your own on Christmas Eve?” she asked again but more gently.

“What’s the difference? Not like Santa is coming,” he guffawed.

Mrs. Hanson gave him sad eyes. “Where are your folks? I mean, it’s Christmas…”
Ricky didn’t like the way he felt when she looked into him with her pretty blue eyes – soft and vulnerable, scared and lonely. He swatted her concern away. “I don’t know. None of your business. I’ve got to go.”

“Oh Ricky, don’t be that way.”

He started off muttering, needing distance from the nice Mrs. Hanson.

“If you get hungry, stop by. Lots of food, we’re having a party.” Her voice was like a song, sweet and lilting and it made Ricky’s legs pump harder as he trudged through the snow. He had to get away from her sympathy and the eyes that seem to know everything. “Stupid nosey woman. Why don’t she just mind her own business?”

Ricky didn’t want to think about Christmas. He didn’t want people to know his parents had left him alone so they could go ski with their friends. Or eat his t.v. dinner alone in front of the television again this year. Ricky just wanted to get away and so he walked. And he walked. And he didn’t notice the snow that started so slowly and softly like a whisper – Ricky only knew the need to go. To get away. And Ricky walked some more.

And winter enveloped him and made the world white – Ricky turned in all directions and saw only a colorless world that was frigid and domineering. “Where am I?” Ricky cried and like a little boy he wanted his mother. He wanted to feel safe but there was no safety from the brutal wind and no sign post to safe ground. And in that moment Ricky knew it was over. He would die alone, on Christmas Eve in a snow storm and no one would know or care. So, he lay down in the snow and gave up.

The wind howled like a wolf and Ricky was the prey but there was another sound. A sweet sound, faint but there. His head felt heavy and sleep fought to overtake him but that sound, that sweet little sound wouldn’t let him rest.

Ricky opened his eyes and against the world of nothing but white a red smudge moved. A deep, deep red against the artic blind and the sweet sound grew louder and clearer. “Bells,” Ricky thought and his mind couldn’t fathom how bells could be red and moving toward him.

“Easy does it, son,” the red smudge said and face with a beard appeared next to his.

“Santa?” Ricky mumbled and knew he was dreaming the final dream of his life. “Is there a Santa?” Then the world went black.

*****
It was warm and the air smelled good, of pine and cookies, cocoa and laughter. Ricky opened his eyes thinking a mistake had been made because surely he was in heaven.

“I told you there was a Santa,” little Marlie stood over him.

“Huh?” Ricky struggled to sit up but tangled in blankets on a soft, comfy couch. “Where am I? What are you…?”

“Oh good!” Mrs. Hanson rushed over and was at his side pushing a cup of cocoa in his hands. “Thank goodness you’re allright!”

But Ricky couldn’t see her, he could only see the fat man in the red suit, laughing on the other side of the room. Pulling toys from a sack and giving them to the little ones, gleeful and squealing. “Santa?”

copyright 2009

What’s happening on Christine’s Christmas Eve?

Miscellaneous – Theme Friday

 


File me under ‘miscellaneous’ – a vast assortment of burps and hiccups – grace and gawk. Neither here nor there. Neither this nor that. Gossamer wings paired with path-worn sneakers. Part Mother Earth and part Blogging Whore.

New Age. Old fashioned. Free thinker. Conservative voter. No category. No mold. A cacophony of contradictions. A long list of mistakes. A short list of accomplishments. A grocery sack filled with lists of things to do; scratched like chicken tracks on anything that would hold ink, lead and words.

No tab ready made for my file folder – bulging with ideas, half-executed plans and what ifs. No signature fashion statement, nor scent nor hairstyle.

Yeah – file me under miscellaneous.

copyright 2009

What does Christine have filed under miscellaneous?

November Moon – Theme Friday

november moon aura

November Moon has stolen Summer’s kiss and cast it into the abyss. I watch from frosty windows as she covers the sky with black velvet robes and adjusts her crown of artic icy sparkle.

My cheek feels her chill and brings the light of her last escapade and offense. Heart stops and aches a little – tears freeze halfway down, throat catches breath before it fogs the pane. I do not welcome the snow but I miss it now. I am a child of the Sun but the Moon brings dark winter into my embrace and I hold steadfast. Stubborn.

To forgive and forget is a lovely cliche – but it has no use in the real world. To forgive is divine, but I am not a god – just a mere human, frail and volatile, confused and conflicted, sad and regretful.

I want to forgive you. I try to forgive you. But I can’t forgive you. Why? I ask the November Moon but she only smiles her sly, albeit radiant smile and eases further across the sky. Making me want to follow her but I am too weary.

It’s true. Love is not for me – the magic and joy will always elude. Pass by my door and dance after more deserving souls.

themefrilogo

Where has the November Moon taken Christine?

One Dark Night – Theme Friday

one dark night

One dark night I lost a dear friend. Around a fire, amid laughter and drink. The air held a chill and denied summer stars – the moon remained hidden and watched from the window. Snickering.

The knife ever stealth and glinted so faint that the breath which caught in my throat sang mirthful and gay. But the creature that traveled my spine and whispered warning made my eyes turn in search of the culprit. And I saw. And I denied. And I knew. But could not say. Words would not help me. My voice would not reach.

The deed was done. My fall was complete. I was over. Shattered to ruins. So much dust dancing on air. Vanquished from memory. Relegated to trash on the curbside, waiting for pick up. Betrayal complete.

copyright 2009

What dark night is Christine in?

themefrilogo

 

Judgment – Theme Friday

purple day

The judgment in your eyes surprised because I thought I would find love there. I thought I would find kindred and hope but most of all – future. But the color was doubt – the promise, betrayal.

And I gave up my mountains and eternal sunshine for you. I surrendered my worldly, my material – all that I owned and all that owned me. All that I knew. To learn the geography of you.

And you gave me your stormy days and flinty sky – your shadow and hooded eyes. Your trust hid and lurked among the fortress of books you kept with care. Unlike my heart – which you stuffed in a drawer with the other junk you couldn’t part with.

I was the trophy you kept in the attic of some yonder day, some nether dream of what could never be. A victory won in your dream of dreams. Too good for the real. Yet the real wasn’t good enough for the now.

And when you slept your flight was solo – always. Your back, a closed door to my eager and hopeful embrace. Always time for details but never time for me, or us. Mocking danced in your blues and derision smiled in the silence that I could never pierce, never find ingress.

And you judge me still for daring to see you. For uttering the words that tell my truth. For opening the wound and letting it bleed all over your dotted i’s and crossed t’s. For making it messy and spilling out of the box you call home.

But let the moon and the stars and the open fields judge me. The sky, the night air, the jasmine whose tendrils stand watch at my window. The sun and the trees, the eyes that beam kindness, the hearts that know love. Yes, there I will be judged in the purple glory of dusk.

themefrilogo

What judges Christine?