Teacups and Time

As I whirled, colors flew. White, grey, black, so many shades I lost count. Laughing with exhilaration, I hooked falling teacups with my finger, caught them on my elbow, hooped them to a standstill with my tongue, and juggled them with my elbows before tossing them perfectly to the counter where they stacked up, seemingly of their own accord. It was beautiful. There was always time to do what you wanted here. You could be free, as I was. No one to tell you no, no one to steer you by the arm the wrong way. Always the wrong way.

The last time I’d seen him,we’d stood side by side, not touching; looking down on the rapids. It was dark, of course, to make sure we could lie with impunity; when I told him I loved him; probably when he told me he loved me. But we said it just the same. For the elusive security of security. And it worked – that is to say, it did what I wanted it to do. The clock struck the twelve of midnight terrors, but also of the new day. I didn’t know which one was more frightening. Just as we left, I took one last photograph of him, without him seeing. It captured him perfectly, the way I always saw him.

I saw him next the day I first caught teacups. He smiled at me. He smiled at me as I shined the teacups furiously, whispering, “Shining isn’t an art, it’s artifice.” After that day, I stopped cleaning them, I just caught them as they fell. I never catch all of them though. I leave some of them on purpose so he has to come again. I like this. I like this very much. I like him very much. Always did. And now he’ll always be here when I want him.

Picture by Ayla87 on rgbstock.com

I stood on the bridge at midnight as the clocks were striking the hour 

– Longfellow


Light and Shade Challenge 🙂

 

 

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Travel Plans

So this is my first Light and Shade challenge, brought to you by two very enterprising Trifectans, The basic idea is to take the picture and quote provided, and do an entry in under 500 words. The prompts are included below. Here goes!

 

A dream has power to poison sleep 

– Mutability, Percy Bysshe Shelley

 

I paused and turned my head surreptitiously over my shoulder to check whether anyone was following me. Satisfied, I let out my breath before rushing towards the edge of the woods, just behind the outhouse.

He was waiting for me, forehead wrinkled just between his eyebrows, sweat pooling in the little crevice just above his goatee – just as I remembered him. I rushed into his arms. Smiling, he led me over to the old wooden picnic bench.

“How’s Amsterdam?” Gary asked as soon as I’d sat down, his smile touching his eyes. “It’s been so long; I’ve missed you.”

“Amsterdam’s great,” I enthused. “Work’s picking up too. ‘Soon as I put enough by, I booked tickets for home. It feels like forever since I’ve seen my parents and my little sister. And you. How’ve you been?”

“Eh, same as always,” he replied nonchalantly. “How long are you home? No one told me you were coming.”

I grinned despite myself. “I kinda wanted it to be a surprise.”

“Well it worked,” he grinned back. “Hey, listen, I just…,” Gary began. I looked up at him and saw his anxious expression before he continued, “I just wanted to know if you and me….if we’re still…you know…” his voice trailed off, unsure.

“Of course!” I exclaimed. “Why would you -”

“You’re still hiding it from your dad and all – I mean, I can appreciate how hard this is for you, but, it’s been awhile. I need to know we’re on the same page.”

“We are,” I said resolutely. “Tomorrow. I’ll talk to him tomorrow. Him and my mom too.”

“Baby, that’s so great to hear. I was afraid…,” he stopped midsentence, his face solemn. Kneeling down, he took my hands in his and said, “Baby, I love you so much. More than anyone in the world. I want to love you all my life,” he paused, opening a little velvet box. My heart was a million butterflies. “Alexander Murphy, will you marry me?”

My heart leapt into my throat full-force. I’d face my family later. I loved him. “Yes,” I whispered. “Yes, I will.” My eyes welled up.

“No, baby, don’t cry, we’re together now,” he started, but before he could go any further, my lips were on his, and we were kissing passionately, endlessly. And then I heard the gunshot.

I could feel Gary’s hands loosening their hold on mine, yet I couldn’t understand, wouldn’t understand. I spun, stumbling, as if in slow motion and saw my father holding his rifle, eyes filled with something I couldn’t fathom. Minutes later, I felt my father’s fingers prising apart my own and leading me back inside. Half-walking, half-stumbling behind him, I slid a little gold band onto my ring finger.


 

Gasping for breath, I woke up to find myself tangled in sheets, tears streaming from my eyes, the silhouette of a kiss imprinted behind my eyelids.

“Hello, this is Alexander Murphy.  Yes. I would like to cancel my flight tickets. Flight number…”

Shadow of love: Sadow of a couple kissing

While I Cry

                                                                                                                                 ~

I know I love you

But, dear, when it comes to you

I’m never sure why.

~

Nor, it seems, are you.

But, dear, when it comes to that,

I’m too scared to push.

~

You love me, you say

But, dear, it scares me so much

Hearing what I need.

~

I try explaining

But, dear, when it’s said to you,

Words always fall short.

~

I take time to trust

But, dear, when it came to you,

I forgot briefly.

~

My voice stumbles, falls,

And, dear, I fear it happens,

You misunderstand.

~

Meant as confession,

You take offense, but that was

Not ever what I meant.

~

You are everything

I prayed for all those long years

When I had nothing.

~

You, my dear, all that

Never seemed possessable

But, dear, I was wrong.

~

I have told you this

But, dear, so have too many more.

I’m too weak to shout.

~

You first, you tell me.

Belief comes harder than trust

So I fear to call

~

In fear of the day

I rely to no reply

So please forgive me.

~

I want to share all

But I’m not half who you are –

I cannot lose you.

~

You’re leaving too soon

What will I do without you?

No one else loves me.

~

My sweet, sweet heart, love,

You’ve restored crushed hope, I thought

But now I wonder

~

Was it therapy

Or an anti-depressant?

I will find out soon.

~

I want to beg you

And elicit promises

But bondage breeds fight.

~

Repression always,

Now I see regression too.

Old cures come to mind.

~

It is a dark road

One I’ll make sure you won’t see

For whose good, can’t say.

~

Don’t fault my brusqueness

I use it like lavender

Or as reminders.

~

I want you to know

With absolute assuredness

That, dear, you are loved;

~

If even you take

A thing from me, from our years,

That it be just this.

~

You are loved, my dear.

You are my role model, dear.

You are beautiful.

Held by Cement

Trifextra: Week 102

This week we’re asking for exactly 33 of your own words about love gone wrong.  But we’re asking that you not use any of the following words:

love
sad
tears
wept
heart
pain

 

I made you known; you helped me grow

We gave new hope; gave off a glow

Of shy beauty, resilience;

We attracted life and lens

Until, dear Wall, you crumbled

And I tumbled.

-Sunflower

Fear

Trifextra: Week Ninety

Katherine Paterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia, wrote, “It’s like the smarter you are, the more things can scare you.”  We are looking for a 33-word explanation of what scares you (or your character).

We sit together, my best friend and I, in comfortable silence.

Then she walks in, my other best friend; suddenly his jokes are only for her.

Et tu?

I know what comes next.

Solace

Monday, September 9, 2013

1
a (1) : a cover or partial cover for the face used for disguise(2) : a person wearing a mask : masker

b (1) : a figure of a head worn on the stage in antiquity to identify the character and project the voice (2) : a grotesque false face worn at carnivals or in rituals

: an often grotesque carved head or face used as an ornament (as on a keystone)

: a sculptured face or a copy of a face made by means of a mold

2
: something that serves to conceal or disguise : pretense,cloak <aware of the masks, facades and defenses people erect to protect themselves — Kenneth Keniston>

: something that conceals from view

: a translucent or opaque screen to cover part of the sensitive surface in taking or printing a photograph

: a pattern of opaque material used to shield selected areas of a surface (as of a semiconductor) in deposition or etching (as in producing an integrated circuit)

He cannot sit still

In his mind

He cannot sit;

Iron spikes of restlessness

Shoot spasms

From their bed, frustration.

Several ropes dangle

At the edge of his

Peripheral vision –

Escape a reach away.

But it’s night now.

Tomorrow.

His soul is an old couch;

His strained smile is the water

Drawn from his well.

 

The answer

To beaten circles

Of paralyzing frustration,

My dear,

Is catharsis.

Now, here is the secret:

This is your gift:

From the world

And to it.

 

He wants self-worth,

But in the arenas he lays down

As important.

His nearest instigate,

But place a load

He can’t bear –

Not with those shoes.

 

Run in those shoes,

Darling,

Until your feet fit them;

Until the sheer joy of running

Outweighs all else.

 

He wears a mask

As a virtual, facial, hardhat,

Used to shield from sticks and stones and words.

He thinks we like him

For the eyes his mask

Reveal.

He doesn’t realize that a mask only covers

The front of his face.

 

You are loved.

And empathized with.

And supported,

If you will just blink

In recognition.

Not everyone becomes something.

But those who give back

The gift they are given

Many times over

Are always gifted.

My Day(s)

Failed whistles,

Birmingham Sunday

And humidity breed

Disillusionment in the best of us.

Can you feel the crackling frustration emanating from my chest?

Can you feel the punch,

The swung fist,

Aimed at your head

In my head?

Do you feel how fake this all is?

Or is it

Just fake for me?

I hadn’t thought of that till now.

Maybe it’s just me.

Again.

But it was fun to sing today.

That was the highlight of the day –

Singing “Before He Cheats”

In my real voice –

It’s always good to speak

From my heart

And not from my heart>head>lips

That’s exactly why

It’s good to be high:

To get to talk

And not speak.

The soundtrack of 300,

Message for the Queen,

Fits my heart –

Strangled yodels

Why?

I know why.

Again.

Always again.

“Never again.”

Of course again.

And again.

And again.

What’s the point?

I know there is one. A good one.

I feel it in myself.

Life is preparation?

No.

It’s a depressing joke.

It’s a diorama

Where the grass tells the tree

I’m happy

And the tree blushes

With delight.

Darkness and solitude cloud my judgement;

Should I celebrate

Introversion to Extroversion

Or feel entirely keenly

The depression that depresses me?

Suddenly I hear

A happy word

Vocabulary reminiscent of childhood

And everything is

Uncontrollably,

Excitingly,

Filled-with-life-edly

Amazing

And exciting

And beautiful again.

Good.

I could live for that.

I could live for the breathtaking peaks.

And the love.

And the happiness.

I do live for it.

Connection

Daily Prompt: The Stat Connection

July 22, 2013

Go to your Stats page and check your top 3-5 posts. Why do you think they’ve been successful? Find the connection between them, and write about it.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us CONNECTIONS.

First A then B

That’s a leaf, that’s a tree

Where does this piece fit?

Put your hand inside the mitt

Join the dots together

Clouds mean rainy weather

If it frowns, it might cry –

If you step on it, it’ll die.

Do you like Pokemon?

So do I! Hey, c’mon

Let’s go see

The Batman trilogy

So yeah, I’m into philosophy

Yes! I miss the ol’ CD

No way! You like sci-fi too?

This is too good to be true!

Wanna go out, coffee maybe?

…Ahem, uh, I mean, would you marry me?

I support them, their ideas seem to be

The closest we’ll get to fairness and liberty.

No, don’t call Squirt – I don’t think he’ll come

It never pays to depend on anyone, ho hum.

I miss her. A lot. Never another again.

I told her she was a 7, but she was my only ten.

Jeremy, Squirt…hmm, I’ve heard that before

When you leave, would you mind shutting the door?

It’s been a long haul. I’m glad I’m done.

Lay me next to your mother. I’m proud of you, Son.

Gold and Glitter

Friday, July 19, 2013

On now to this weekend’s Trifextra challenge.  This weekend we are giving you three words and asking for you to give us back another thirty of your own, making a grand total of thirty-three words. Your words to work with are:

ring

water

stage

   

Common metal,

Simple ring;

Eyes water and speak,

Volumes more

Than libraries offer;

Spotlight and center stage

Unnecessary now,

Because all that glitters

Isn’t gold;

But gold, rubbed clean,

Always glitters.

I do.

 

Three Things Inexplicable About Love

Friday, June 28, 2013

Trifextra: Week Seventy-Four

This weekend we are asking you to play around with the following quote:

Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.
–Henry JamesWe want you to follow the same general structure of the above quote.  Feel free to change the subject–tell us what’s important about coffee or houseplants or whatever you’d like.  Or else change up the modifier–instead of telling us what’s important, tell us what’s sexy or overrated or pernicious.  Your last three lines should closely echo James’s, giving us the same answer three times.

 

Three things are inexplicable about my love for him. First, that I love him. Second, that I love him. Third, that I love him.