Monday, December 10, 2012

Night of Nights

            Night Of Nights

            On this night of nights
            Snow squeaks under my boots
            Sounds like little Christmas mice
            Fighting over cookies and milk
            I remove one glove, then the other
            Loosen the girth, slide the saddle off
            Give my chestnut mare a quick brush
            Several pats on her warm thick coated neck
            A blue glow from a bright star
            Forges a path across the winter landscape
            Reveals neat hoof prints that mark the way
            From whence we have come
            Yes, we
            Though I traveled undetected
            Upon the broad back of my companion
            Could I prove I was there
            Perhaps not
            Take it on faith I will say if challenged
            The place journeyed to
            Found several years ago
            When I dropped the reins
            Gave my mare her head
            Feels close to Heaven
            Tonight, this night, I left prayers
            She trimmed around the tombstone
            Upon which the light always shines brightest
            Infant boy-A child of God- the inscription reads
            Each year it is the same and each year
            I marvel at the sight
            My mare moves so unerringly to
            Animals in the stable talk at midnight
            Or so it is said
            In honor of a birth long ago
            Does my mare speak of the wonders we have seen
            I do not know
            Will have to take it on faith
            Our yearly trek complete
            I lead my mare into the barn
            Settle her in with sweet feed and carrots
            Gloves back on, I give her one last pat
            Pull the heavy wooden door closed
            Shut in the incense of horses, hay and miracles
            Snow squeaks under my boots
            On this night of nights

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Home Invasion

My husband comes home tomorrow. He retired this spring and I've grown used to his presence. His two week absence nibbled at the corners of my mind, taking bits of pleasure from the days of doing exactly what I wanted, when I wanted. Funny, how I see this now, after years of his being gone for work, and me, always full of independence, knowing I could survive without him, filling my days and nights with me things.
These resent months of having him here, every day, learning bits about him that forty years hadn't revealed, made me realize I'm not quite as independent as I thought. Sure, I could, would survive if he were gone, but... My husband comes home tomorrow and I can't sleep tonight because I am happy he will be here, robbing me of time alone.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Writer's Tag

Beautiful writer, Linda Simoni-Wastila tagged me in a fun lucky seven post. Here are the rules, which I copied from Linda's post:

1. Go to page 77 in your current manuscript

2. Go to line 7

3. Copy down the next seven lines as they are - no cheating

4. Tag 7 other authors (Done on Facebook)

Below are the seven lines from my manuscript "Painted Black".

Maddie would keep an eye on Mr. Green while I investigated once he was home. That is if he got to come back home. And, if I learned anything more, anything that looked like a real threat, I’d tell Beth Ann and Mike.

The grade grew steep and I pushed in the clutch to downshift. The gears made a grinding noise, the stick frozen in place. I pumped the brake, smelled rubber, prayed they held. Faster and faster I sped. These roads and this car were now on my hate list. A semi loomed ahead. I jammed the clutch in, jerked frantically at the shift knob.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Let The Good Times Roll

A trickle of irritation ran beneath the hair on his scalp. He hadn’t come here to chit chat. He gulped from his glass, and glanced at the gold watch he wore on his right wrist. Then, as often happened, his mood shifted. His mind slithered in another direction. He felt an enjoyable stir deep below his navel. He relaxed, licked his lips.

“Laissez les bon temps roulez. Know what that means?” he said.

“Let the good times roll. I understood your bastardized Cajun French. I might be a North Carolina good old boy, but I’m not ignorant like some.” The old man raised his eyebrows, stared at his son. “If you’d spent more time working while in New Orleans, instead of partying, we wouldn’t be having this meeting.”

The good heat in the younger man’s belly turned to fire and he seethed as his father flipped open another ledger, pondered the numbers. He visualized a crack in that egg-shaped dome of a head. He began to move, wound across the elegant study, his dancing Cobra’s mind masked by a lazy smile. Large brown spots aged the back of his father’s hands, reminded him of the skin of a horny toad. The muscle along his jaw jumped.

“Wonder if young women like fairytales?” he said with a pleasant uplift to the last word. His tongue flicked in and out tasting the smell of the old man in the air.

“Fairytales?” His father drew his brows together, quirked his head to one side.

“Yes, I wonder if one’d kiss an old frog?” He watched his prey flinch from the sting of the bite. A rush surged through his veins from the inflicted pain. A broad smile loosened his jaw.

His father’s face deepened to the color of a ripe plum. He stared out the window, thumbed the ledger. The rapid flutter of the pages sounded like a quail flushed from tall grass.

The younger man’s chest expanded as he uncoiled his spine, stretched tall. He took a pleased breath, felt in control, pointed to a scatter of blank paper lying on the desk. Time to set things in motion. It was growing dark.

The old man scowled, shuffled the pages, tapped them into a neat stack, and laid it aside. He dragged a four inch thick ledger toward himself, paused, patted the saddle brown leather cover. Gnarled arthritic fingers fumbled it open.

“These old books talk to me.”

“Write the codicil.” The younger man flexed, admired the thickness of his forearms. The muscles rippled beneath the tawny skin of his jacket. He made fists of his hands. He wouldn’t mind a little physical persuasion exercise. It would relieve the tension.

His father frowned, straightened, shook his head. “No, we need to straighten things out. Point of honor. Need to give you a chance to right your wrongs.” He leaned back in his leather chair, swiveled, shoved the ledger onto a shelf. “Been doing some research.”

The younger man tensed as his father picked up a folder and drummed his fingers on its top. Ba-du-rum, ba-da-rum.

The sound hammered against the younger man’s brain. He gulped from his drink. Surely, the folder contents didn’t concern him. The old geezer didn’t have the tools or the brains to follow his trail. Blood pulsed up his neck, heated his face. He jumped from foot to foot.

“Watch out.” The old man moved a porcelain horse. “You’re restless as a hound after a bitch. Come back when you’re under control.”

“Sure thing Pop.” His glass hit the desk with a bang. Liquor sloshed out, spilled upon the polished mahogany surface. He felt a slight ease in the invisible hands around his throat, coiled his arm around his briefcase, and pulled it to his side. His father narrowed his eyes, lowered his chin, scowled.

Control. It was becoming his mantra. Ironic, since it’s what his father had always lectured about. Hold it together and his father would cave and fix the will. He always did. Time to leave.

He pushed through the door, let the screen slam behind him. The sound of ice rattling in a glass chased him outside. He pictured the old man wiping up the mess he’d left behind. It was a father’s job to clean up after his children. And, a son’s job to take care of his father. Anger pounded in his head, snaked through his control with the abandon of a Mardi Gras dancer. He whirled and re-entered the house. Laissez les bon temps roulez.

He shouldn’t have slammed the glass down. It was a mistake, and mistakes could be dangerous. Fury heated his face. He backed away, pivoted on his heel.
The old man was right. He needed to leave before he lost control, blew the whole deal.
“I apologized. There was no need for you to change your will. Write down what I told you before you forget.” He stroked his upper lip, waited.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Horse Of A Lifetime

Artist’s Image


If, you are lucky and a horse lover, you have a dream and perhaps the joy of experiencing a once in a lifetime equine. I was one of those lucky people. In 1985, a six year old thoroughbred, housed in a shed in a backyard in Indiana poked his head out the window, and I fell in love. He was lame, had rain rot and an engine so big that I, a novice rider, couldn’t control him. My trainer said walk away, the vet said walk-away, friends said, run, but I couldn’t. The handsome fellow had snatched a piece of my heart and if I left it would stay with him.

I named him Artist’s Image. He never refused a fence and carried me as high as I dared go in the eventing world. Image then carried our daughter to the upper Three Day levels. The horse loved to gallop and jump. He was bigger than any dream I ever dreamed and gave me years of joy.

Today, at the age of thirty-three, in a pasture showing a promise of spring, beneath the warmth of the sun, I couldn’t refuse him one last fence into a pain free tomorrow. I wish I could have been on his back when he took it, experiencing the power and courage beneath me one more time. I knew he’d gallop it fearlessly, as only he could without my help. He’d never needed my guidance, I’d only been a passenger. This time, I said a reluctant good-bye and walked away. That piece of my heart he’d snatched so many years ago? It stayed behind and went with him.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February 14th $$

I say Happy Valentine's Day with mixed feelings. The unrealistic expectations created by the "Buy" industry has turned 2/14 into almost a certain guarantee of disappointment. The wish for a happy day can never match the fantasies of floating on air, showered with jewels and kissed by roses. What I wish is for everyone to find happiness in their connections with others today, with friends, work buddies, strangers, to realize that that smile you share means something to the one receiving it. If I see you, send me a smile. That's what will make February 14th special. Happy Valentine's Day for real.
Tulips instead of roses to make you smile.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Weather or Not

Heavy rain, hail, tonado touchdown
Carolina blue and candy pink sky
Nature's lesson for today
Somewhere out there
Is the answer
Or not