Wednesday, August 22, 2012

In Lieu of Flowers

I am sorry for your loss she said
And I was unsure of my response
And so nodded as though inconsolable
Lest she see the mirth behind
The watery eyes
And she must have been convinced
Because she touched my arm and left
The casket lid was propped for viewing
A ritual insane in its design
A corpse in maquillage
Lay still while mourners and other guests
Watch for signs of decay
And comment on how good she looks
To hide their embarrassment
And still I want to laugh
I press a hankie to my face
To stem the flow
Hysteria they think
Sympathetic glances cover me in
Hives and I shake my head and sniff
Someone is singing now
Something about redemption
Atonement and that sort of thing
And suddenly I want to scream
Do you really think it matters now?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I am watching
the way the ink bleeds. 
Dripped from a pen
in hesitation.
Held by a shaking hand. 
 The grip is weak,
the words unspoken, 
 held fast in thirsty parchment.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Today I saw someone
Burnt down to embers
Too cold to ignite
And in the empty grayness
Laying in the ash

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Waiting on the platform for the 10:15
She touches a hand to her hair
And checks her lipstick twice
Winds her watch
And looks impatiently down the line.
She tries to read in vain, a novel somewhat comedic.
Words slip past sliding by eyes withdrawn and thoughtful.
So much can be hidden in the act of holding a book.
The pretence frees her mind and a smile plays across her mouth
Lifting the corners slightly.
She removes a compact from the depth of her bag
 and presses powder across her cheeks to dim the pink anticipation.
The time is 10:05.
10 minutes.
Emotions skitter across her frame, chasing each other like puppies.
She turns the page of the book she isn’t reading.
She can hear the rumble in the distance and as she stands she smoothes
the creases from her skirt.
Her shoes are new and she hopes he notices.
A young woman has come out onto the platform.
She is holding the hand of a child who is jumping in place.
“Hush,” the young woman says, “it’s coming.”
Nervous now, she straightens her coat and pats her hair once more. 
And as she does the young woman with the child looks over
and the two exchange a smile.
Others drift out onto the platform, bored or expectant. 
Watches are wound.  Books returned to bags.  Hands are held or let go of.
The train thunders into view, a relief and a disappointment.
Metallic sounds shriek and hiss then stop and huff as though exhausted.
Doors sigh and stairs are lowered.  Places are exchanged with those waiting.
She sees him amidst the clouds and her heart quickens.
He takes long strides down the platform toward her.
He smiles and she responds in spite of herself. 
And as he moves beyond her, pulls the young woman
and child into a firm embrace the smile falters
then withers, then dies.
She lowers her gaze and lifts a hand to her hair,
 looks down at her shoes and boards the train.

I Am a Writer

I am a writer.
I’m a writer because
I put words on paper.
I find joy in blank pages and the
Words that appear like magic
Just because I want them to.
I’m a writer because
the thoughts in my head find relief in running free
Across unlined fields of parchment or kraft
Or sometimes canvas.
I’m writer because I read.
I take comfort in words, letters, vowels and verbs
I swim in them and sometimes they
Swallow me whole.
I’m a writer because I do so.
I write whether it’s correct or incorrect
Or jumbled
Or even very good.
I write because it’s part of who I am.
It’s how I am and because I write
I’m learning to ignore the other voices that yell at me
And scream things like
And just write anyway.
Because really, why wouldn’t I?
I am writer.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Curiosity Chronicles - Excerpt

The Curiosity Chronicles

The Gallery of the Obscure

You will need to prepare for a story like this.  Stories like this one should be read at night, long past your bedtime, preferably during a thunderstorm and by the light of a candle.  But if your parents are the overprotective type a flashlight will do. 
If you look around the room you are in right now and think about it you are probably warm.  You’ve probably had a delicious supper and possibly dessert.  And very likely as you begin this story and huddle beneath your blankets you are in your own room and you pulled this very book from your own bookshelf.  You likely have a parent or two somewhere in your house possibly making your lunch for tomorrow or folding your clothes.  Perhaps they even tucked you into bed and kissed you goodnight.  Now close your eyes for a moment and imagine that it was all gone.  Imagine that all you owned fit in the knapsack that is lounging on the chair in the corner and that your parents aren’t there at all but traipsing through the jungles of Costa Rica or climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro simply because they liked the sound of the word.  And now imagine that they had forgotten you completely.  If you can picture all of this then you might be able to imagine what life was like for the Cornell children and how much they longed for what you have right now.  Pity I wouldn’t give it to them.  I couldn’t could I?  Who would want to read a story about 3 children who had everything they could have wanted and dressed in lovely clothes and had holidays at the beach with their equally lovely parents?  No one.  Not a soul.  And so the story I am about to tell you is about 3 children whose parents didn’t want them at all.  In fact they hadn’t seen their parents in so long that they had forgotten what they looked like.  Almost.   Maybe I should rephrase that.  They tried very hard to forget what their parents looked like because sometimes it is less painful to forget a thing than to remember it. 

Letting Go

Letting go today
Of false friends and
Unfulfilled promises
Of hopeless things
I thought better of
Of an image I don’t possess
Or have access to
Of ugly feelings
Alarm bells
And melancholy
And should have beens
Letting go of nothings
Of poisoned words dripping off
A willing pen
Of cold realizations
And harboured thoughts
Of rejection

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Born Again

Touched her once when she was small
Forced her up against a wall
Did things that he shouldn’t do
Kept her quiet, no one knew
Found the Lord to mend his ways
Absolution, life of praise
Took things that she can’t replace
Hail Mary full of grace
Went to church with other sinners
Said the grace at Sunday dinners
Forgiven now for what he’s done
Isn’t he the lucky one
Softly shuts the door behind them
Safe in knowing Jesus loves him


I saw a man
Waiting to cross the street
I stopped for him
And caught his eye and
He smiled at me
But as he stepped away from the curb
His smile faltered
And I realized that one of his legs
Was far shorter than the other
It seemed he had forgotten
For a moment
His affliction
But as he left the sidewalk
And made his way across the street
In jagged uncooperative steps
He raised his eyes in apology
There was no need to be sorry
I was just happy that
He smiled at me