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To Daughters of the Western Shore

The colors run, an ocher sun,

Makes paces from an eastern sea.

The flower and the thistle both,

Arise to greet the lady's hand.

The skies alight, with joy and fright,

As all new seasons we first see.

The lover and the mother both,

Arise to track the eastern sands.

The brothers and their fathers run,

A race to summer, shame, and proof.

Their lovers and their mothers both,

Arise to cheers or grief-wrung hands.

The ponies run, the girls are young,

The odds are there to beat the frost.

Grown kin, mothers, fathers both,

Arise from knees to tend swelled lands.

Yet first snow falls, chill winds yet run, 

The western moon alights, aglow.

Arise to meet the sun again,

To feed the suns and season's sands.

What's young, now old. What's old, to seed.

What's said, bound into songs we know.

And diamond snows hide colors past,

And steps swallowed from eastern sands.

 

 

Prompt: An equestrian anonymous asked me:

"The ponies run, the girls are young, the odds are there to beat."


Ah, for youth again... it was this or My Little Pony fanfic. Dash > you.

(C) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins

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The Six Year Old Explains Sci Fi

I haven't really seen that many movies, but I do know which ones I like

and which ones I don't

 

And I don't really like the Titanic, and I'm not sure why that girl wasn't wearing any clothes, and the guy had to die at the end, or why my mom seems to like the movie so much, and my dad tells me we'll watch a real movie later next and he says sorry to me and my brother for bringing us along, but my younger brother is just learning to talk and I don't mind too much because of the popcorn and the soda because we never have popcorn at home and I never get to drink soda after it gets dark except for movie night.

 

Besides, whenever I got bored I just started thinking about Apollo 13 and I start thinking if they can fix a ship crashing in space, you'd think they'd be able to stop a ship sinking in the water and maybe I don't know too much about science, but I know that fixing things is a good thing and that both my mom and dad fix things, although my mom fixes people and my dad fixes ships, and my mom talks about the Titantic, she says words like 'broken hearts' and I ask her if she can fix them, and she smiles and says yes and when my dad talks about Apollo 13, he says words like differential equations and fluid dynamics, and I'm not really sure what any of that means, but dad says that one day, if I want to, I might learn.

 

So next week, we're going to see Jurassic Park with our new video tape player and dad says it's a pain in the word mom won't let him say to install, but we can watch movies on our little tv and I think that's really cool that we don't have to go out to see movies and that our tv doesn't just play cartoons. And when I see the dinosaurs on the screen and people getting hurt, I ask mom if she can fix them and I ask dad if he could stop the dinosaurs, but there's also this part of me that doesn't want to stop the dinosaur because they're really cool.

 

And when mom and dad realize this, they go on a computer and they use something called the internet and find a place that has real dinosaurs, except their not real, just moving models, but it's still the coolest thing and they take my picture with all of the cool dinosaurs.

 

And the week after that, my dad's away on a ship and he will be for a while, but he gives us a gift and says it was one of his favorite movies and it's called Star Wars and I'm hoping that there's more space, and more dinosaurs, and my mom works in the morning while we're in school, but the weekend is coming up and I show her my good grades in math and science and reading and she smiles and says okay, we'll watch one more.

 

And dad's going to be back soon. He has to fix things with science, like mom does only different. And I can't wait till I fix things.

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Sunshine

     I awake groggily from a dream, a fragment of something that so quickly slips from memory. I roll over onto my back and stretch my legs from the fetal position I sleep in. To my right, I catch sight of two sleeping beauties curled up back to back. My oldest daughter, 6 years old, cuddles her stuffed kitty as her back meets the back of my youngest, 13 months, who is facing me. Dawn's sunlight brushes their skin with a golden coat of warmth. Marie's long dark hair fans out above her head, some strands laying across the baby's arms. I chuckled at the thought of Adelaide awaking to find such a discovery and in instant mischievousness tugs at it. Adelaide herself has a few auburnish strands laying across her face. No matter how I try, I can not keep those strands from finding their place in her face.

     I see golden skin of the baby's contrast against Marie's dark tan. I often wonder how to describe the beauty in different skin tones, one so easily displayed before my eyes. The contrast of their difference is just lovely. I think people would rather one not point out the difference in skin tones, but how can you not when there are so many, lovely, creamy, rich colors. I like to think that these are different colors of the Earth's ground and the skin tones of each region can be found there. So perhaps in Korea, there is a yellowish clay that would describe my skin tone.

     I gaze upon my children, taking in their sight, so sweet and silent in the early morning sun rays. This will be the only moment I have such an opportunity, because upon their awakening it will be a whirlwind of cries out to mommy, tears and laughter, and chores. Sitting up I look at Marie's face. I remember all the moments that I gather throughout each day, as I realize how much she's grown. She's becoming a real beauty. Oh how I hope the boys don't notice. It's a tenuous time for her. Wanting to be babied like her younger sister, but at the same time growing up so maturely and quickly. It's a balance of guiding her as she grows, and still giving her the love and affection she wants. Some moments I have to wonder if perhaps I'm a bit too hard on her, treating her older than what she really is. 

      My mind drifts lazily into random thoughts when I realize how early Marie climbed into bed last night. I wonder if she had a bad dream? She usually doesn't get into bed with us until the break of dawn. Oh joys of co-sleeping. I guess they never really do get out of bed do they? I think back to last night as my husband and I curl into bed with Adelaide between us. "When will we have our bed back?", is the question of the night. Every night.

      Perhaps one night Adelaide will be sleeping in her own bed and Marie will be too old to climb into bed with us. But not after we have other children, who will also, probably get into the habit of finding comfort with us at night. It will be awhile before we have our bed back. Or at least I hope.

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Lost

Popcorn.
the smell wafts amid cotton candy
and balloons floating
tethered by ribbon to 
the wrist of a five-year-old
girl who's other hand,
though sticky, is clutched
by her mother
navigating through crowds
summer sun warming an
open-concrete area
someone drops a piece of kettle corn
immediately it its trampled
by the never-ending flood of feet

a little girl, who's hands are not sticky
are not held by an overcautious mother
with wide eyes searches
the crowd, trying to process
to absorb all the people
she walks forward, unfocused
but for the sights and sounds
all that surround her.
A break in the crowd.
she turns around.
She is alone.
The crowd is still there
the thousands flow past
unconcerned
But the people she looks for
her people, where she belongs
have vanished.
She trusted they would be
just one step behind her
but on of the faces in the sea
of people comforted her
she looked left and right
for the meeting place
now occupied by a bounce house.
anxiety fills her tiny chest
this wasn't like when she
wandered off by the reptiles
just a moments glance to
find her people again
but here--
people just towered over her
hands shaking
she swallows tears and walks forward
following instructions to the letter
to tug on the shirt of the information booth
pronouncing she was in fact
lost.

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She Shines

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Max

Four blank walls
clutch corners
around a young boy
sitting on a clock.

A shard of glass
spins shimmering
in the air above him,
sending light-waves
skipping across
his face,

and each time
he reaches for it,
his hands bleed
on the whirling edges.

A door opens
behind him, blaring
blinding sun into
the room.

The grass-tides
roll in the
blanketing breeze,
and even the
daisies smiled,
and the trees…

The boy returns
to his seat and
waits for another hour.

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Children's poem

 

Never Frighten A Frog

 

Never frighten a frog,

Frighten a frog, frighten a frog

If you’re trying to get up close to one

Move carefully and slowly.

Frogs are very, very wary

And find children awfully scary.

 

To get to see a frog close up

As it’s lying in the sun,

Creep up on it stealthily

And never ever run.

 

You won’t see ears on a frog,

But they can hear all right.

Every snapping twig to them

Sounds like dynamite.

 

There used to be a lot of frogs,

But now there are just a few.

Waiting on their lily pads

To jump away from you!

 

Chris Brockman

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Can I spend it on you?

I'm just a child,
eyes agape and anxious, with
pockets full of hope. 

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Atop this withered hill

that used to be grass and green,

waits the fox

for the prince

to come around

again.

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Celeste’s Dark Lighthouse

(Celeste parts 1 through 5)

the disappearance of

light was never

discouraging to the family in

the lighthouse. celeste could

see quite clearly the rocks in

the sea looked like men

carrying dangerous things and

worried only over the hem of

the dress she made, her first, and

certainly norman the cat wasn’t afraid of

birds, white or otherwise, nor

dark crashing waves.

so at night they went to the shore

***

they say cats see quite well

in dark, though norman couldn’t.

night seeing is necessary

by the ocean because waves

take up all of the sound

ears can see so of course

celeste walked carefully and

was especially observant of things

that washed up and glowed while

norman the cat pretended to be more

brave than he thought he could.

for instance, when celeste knelt his ears pricked

and swiveled and then he stepped in

her footprints while listening for clams

sniffing once, just once, at an

old jellyfish when suddenly she

presented him with several puzzling pieces

of shiny white sand dollars, and waves

crashed amongst the flexing

rocks and she squinted

“maybe i can put them together,” she

said to norman, right up close

she whispered, “maybe they are parts of the same one.”

***

celeste carefully placed them

in a shape in the sand

as she approached

the cave. the entrance was guarded by

blue glazed shells deep

as a hand and pincers armoured every

split in the rocks, colourful

weeds grew where water

dripped down and the

cave was shorter than celeste

herself so she stooped, carrying norman the cat

like thorny hand muffs above the

sudsy tide pools filled with

fractured pieces of

dark starfish which

wet the hem of her plain

white dress and seemed

to pull her feet

***

within the cave water wooshed

everywhere and was so cold

it scalded celeste’s

hands as it dripped and

her ankles were red

as radishes

“i may die someday

this may be the

end!” norman the cat

said as he squirmed

in celeste’s arms but

he purred as she leaned

to guard him from

the dripping chill.

“no you won’t,” she said.

the entrance

to the cave was

far behind them and

the sound of rushing

sea and wind from

the belly of the stones

hot and steam quieted

everything but them.

she set him down.

“see?”

norman the cat

scrunched up his body

on the balls of his claws and looked

at the cavern first

with one eye, then

both.

“what do you see?” celeste

asked her wet friend.

he shivered and stood fast

and looked clearly into

the cavern which

was full of gas and

fog and depth and 

gathered his answer:

“i don’t know,”

norman the cat said with one eye 

again closed, “what are

those?” he asked, “where does that go?”

celeste frowned and

scooped him up. a voice stopped them,

shaking celeste’s heart even

more than her radishy feet

and it boomed:

“I See Something.” 

the voice sounded like a great

groggy, gassy and angry

belly. celeste’s arms froze still

while norman the cat

crouched into her, hiding

his head as she clutched him, splashing

away backwards as best she could

“i see something.”

the cavern groaned again. softer this time

as though it didn’t know how

loud it could be with a low

moan

***

the cavern began shuddering

and shaking and celeste

couldn’t tell if it were her trembling or her eyes,

the colors and dark became

a moosh and norman the cat jumped so high

he didn’t know when to run until he saw celeste,

momentarily caught on a rock by the dress

she made herself now ripped at the hem!

it was then norman stopped.

the great mouth of the hallway to

the cavern was lined with two vast curves of yellow

and white tusks of teeth the size of which

he couldn’t see and wouldn’t believe. it yawned

while one giant eye drooped

down sadly, a bulbous dark orb and

iris which squinted next to them and the cavern

spoke. “you’ll surely drown,” the

cavern yawned, “go before me. go before

i leave. go.” it hushed, “go or go not.

or drown.” and the cave shook

as the droopy eye shut and disappeared

and things fell with great echoes

like rocks as norman the cat

turned about and stood up

on four legs

firmly, two eyes open

while celeste trembled and

worried the torn hem of

the dress she made

and became brave:

“we’ll be shortly out

of your way, mister cave,” he

chattered in his best bravest way in

the way animals say, “you never ever

hurt celeste or her dress again.”

and he meant it, though the

cavern was never

angry at celeste and norman the cat

anyway. but norman the cat

was so very brave and celeste

swooped him up and hugged him

then started to run

***

the old cavern waited for them flee

as fast as they could

out the way the came:

out the throat past

the teeth and tusks,

the mouth and

the shapes celeste

had made like ships and up the beach

past the rocks like men

carrying dangerous things

celeste and norman the

cat watched from the cliff

beneath the dark

lighthouse as the creature

crawled from the cavern and

slid into the sea with a spout

which was lit, by now, by the

sun above the waves.