Unscrutable

I don’t understand the folks who rant this time of year,

angry at the way some choose to wish them love and cheer.

How did “Happy Holidays!” become a hated phrase?

It’s a whole damned season that goes on for MANY days!

We still count Thanksgiving and the new year coming in.

Don’t say “Merry Christmas,” and some act like it’s a sin.

I want happy wishes spread, involving god(s), or not.

It’s not the words I care ’bout, but the warmth behind the thought.

It’s a Christmas Miracle!

It’s only eight days until Christmas arrives,

and I, wanting so bring cheer to friends’ lives,

did go to the post office closest to me,

walked straight to the counter, no line I could see …

Weird. Had they just closed? Could it now be past five?

No, 4:29! Lucky time to arrive!

To make sure my eyes weren’t just playing a joke …

to prove I’m not dreaming and hadn’t awoke,

I looked at the thrilled postal worker, who smiled,

and asked, ‘Please Sir, tell me, has my mind gone wild?’

He lifted his finger to make a “shhh” sound.

He liked the place empty, and looked all around.

He said, “Please don’t jinx me. I want this to last.

See, it’s never happened, in all Christmas’ past.”

TGIO!

Whew! Thank god it’s over! It seems I’ve survived.

Six days past November, and winter’s arrived.

The waters were rocky, the rapids full blast,

with my raft behind, set to come in dead last.

Implosion was forecast. I wanted to quit.

But, not before adding that last little bit …

and just one more thing I’d forgotten to say ….

Such blabbering on! Filled up pages that way!

And I was reminded how wordy I am,

a great superpower to have in this jam!

 Ooh! Here comes Verbose Chick to ramble and rant,

to boost my word count when it’s shockingly scant!

My writing persona, complete with a cape,

sat typing her thoughts as my story took shape,

clack-clacking away with a cat in her lap,

who’d settled down there for his afternoon nap.

And so, she returned everyday till I won,

my passion renewed, like I’d barely begun.

If I had just quit, ’t’would have been a mistake.

Yet … thank god it’s over. I needed a break.

Blitzkrieg!

Some marathon writing will take place tonight …

so brew some fresh coffee and buckle up tight!

I vow to play catch up, perhaps get ahead

(I promise I won’t go to Facebook instead).

Long gone are distractions that plagued me last week

which caused my word count to remain rather bleak.

I’m back here at home with my blinders attached.

Production today has been thus far unmatched!

My knuckles are cracked and my fingers are hot.

This time, I am giving it all that I’ve got.

Click-cllickety-clack: the one sound in this room.

My sweet story bud is beginning to bloom.

It’s full-speed ahead as the pages fly by.

I aim to win NaNo, not to give it a try,

for I’m the white rabbit, who cannot be caught.

So, 50K, here I come, ready or not!

Diversions

It’s only three days in, and yet I’m behind.

I want to clear all but my book from my mind.

Instead come distractions that flood my poor brain.

And not one of them is remotely germane.

I try hard to focus and block out all noise,

resist interference my cell phone deploys,

to keep to the subjects that boost my word count,

a problem I promised, this year, to surmount.

But here I am pausing to dally in rhyme,

a thing which, on most days, is sweetly sublime.

Yet, now, on this day, it’s an unwelcome path.

The goal that I’ve set? I have reached only half.

So now I must go and push on for the day …

just me, my computer, and cheap Chardonnay,

skipping through NaNo Land all through the night,

to share with the world my main character’s plight.

I’ll bust out my blinders! Hole up in this room!

Draw in a deep breath. Let my story resume.

A NaNoWriMo How-To

You’re taking part in NaNoWriMo? Want to find success?

Get settled in, resigned to live November under stress.

So, first things, first, you’ve got to start, or else you can’t complete,

for if one doesn’t start, one faces guaranteed defeat.

Just pick a plot and go with it, or else be left behind.

And do not stop to edit, yet, although you’ll be inclined.

Tell all your friends and family. Let Facebook know it, too.

You’ll feel much more beholden and be apt to carry through.

 Put stickers on your calendar; mark days you reach your goal.

You’ll want to keep momentum once you see you’re on a roll.

You’ll write it out so quickly, you will have a great excuse

for why it’s kind of cheesy (you can put that fact to use).

Continue writing, even if you’ve nothing else to say,

as sometimes brilliance happens when one plows on through that way.

The most important thing is to remember, this is fun!

Write 50,000 words within November, and you’ve won! 🙂

Don’t Die, Halloween!

Every year’s more quiet. Halloween might disappear.

If only I could prove my pumpkin patch is quite sincere ….

When I grew up, dressing out in costumes was such fun!

By now, alarmist worry-warts have very nearly won.

Guess who poisons children? Usually someone that they know.

That fact doesn’t matter, as the dwindling numbers show.

Come back, Halloween, and bring some lady bugs in tights.

Send me tiny cowboys on the most fun of all nights!

Vampires, witches, werewolves, or a salesman in a suit …

I just love to see them all and hand out chocolate loot.

Babes in arms in pea pods? Welcome! Please knock on my door.

My kids are too big now; they don’t dress up anymore.

So few children ring our bell, we may not even try.

Plus, I overestimate the candy bowl supply;

on top of wishing more kids would be trick-or-treating bound,

I wind up eating unclaimed treats, and gain another pound!

I’d love, instead, to put them in a mummy’s candy sack.

But I guess times are changing and there’s just no going back.

Playing God

To have this kind of power is a rush.

It’s far more satisfying than a game.

Their lives and dreams are mine to build or crush.

I say exactly what is in a name.

I’d give them what they want, but that’s a bore.

The conflict is what drives the story on.

Just when they almost bust, I pile on more,

then drag them through a dazzling denouement.

At times they beg and plead, but I won’t bend.

They’ll suffer if they must to tell the tale.

I’ll work them right until the bitter end.

I love to orchestrate each last detail!

The thrill of playing god intoxicates.

I coast high on the wave that it creates.

Dear Plot Bunny …

         Dear Plot Bunny …

                Hop away and leave me here in peace.

         You’re usurping precious time. Your antics have to cease.

         You can wait till next year, or adoption is a choice.

         Either way, I don’t have time to give your cause a voice.

         Nano’s hard enough without distractions such as you.

         It’s an order, not a question. Go ahead, now. Shoo!

NaNoWriMo Approacheth

Yes, NaNoWriMo comes again in just a short few days.

I’ll stay up long nights typing in a caffeine-powered craze.

We will not have clean laundry and our supper comes in bags,

as long as I can say my target word count never lags.

The trash will pile and wait a while for me to take it out.

What’s left inside the fridge will turn to green and start to sprout.

Our cats become proactive or they may not get their food.

They must meow to shake me from my focused writing mood.

At our Thanksgiving dinner, I’ll inhale my meal and dart;

for when the month’s end nears, I reach the most intensive part.

Sweet pumpkin pie will fuel me for the climax of my book,

it being the one thing I’ll stop to do my part and cook.

For now, I work my outline so I’ll know how it will end.

Or, maybe I’ll find out that it won’t go as I intend.

My research time is winding down and drawing to a close.

There shall be great technology in what I will compose.

A world like none have never known is in my brain this year.

So, welcome back, November! I’m excited you are near!

October Lives!

Autumn’s in the air! October leaves crunch ’neath my feet.

There’re tasty things like pecan pie and candy corn to eat.

Decorations burst forth from the boxes where they’re stored.

I practice fancy footwork (to evade the zombie hoard).

Sweater weather makes me smile, no matter how I feel,

as do the leaves a’fallin’ and the branches they reveal.

I love the way my kitty cats grow in their winter coats,

and how they purr to taste a bit of egg nog on their throats,

sculpting pumpkins all night long and roasting up the seeds,

nostalgic, jostling hayrides pulled by chestnut, frothing steeds.

Not too cold or hot, October breeze blows through my screen,

as I count the moments till the night of Halloween!

Birthday Story

On my birthday, every year, my mom would tell the tale,

the story of the day that I was born,

when first I tasted air and belted out my premier wail.

It happened on a pleasant Friday morn.

I know what was in the bag she packed to take along,

and how they passed an orchard on the way,

the smell of blossoms from the orange trees wafting, sweet and strong,

their favorite song the radio would play.

I know the cast of characters who helped in my breach birth.

Dr. Annie Lamb would see me first,

a great role model, who would bring me forth to greet this earth,

as from my mother’s womb, my rear end burst.

It’s a great tradition I looked forward to each year,

hearing all about my grand debut.

When she’d tell my sister’s story, I would always hear,

catching, each time, something that seemed new.

 Now that Mom’s been gone some years, we slowly lose some parts,

grasping at the bits we both have left.

We share what we remember of our humble, messy starts

and of our mother, whose death rendered us bereft.

summertime

singing in the floor fan in my room

organizing rocks that I have found

ice cream in our freezer to consume

bare and calloused feet upon the ground

whistling with a single blade of grass

catching fireflies in a mayonnaise jar

sleeping late, attending not one class

trampolining closer to a star

wearing Off! and sunscreen everyday

playing in each rainy summer storm

taking rides in wagons full of hay

drinking from the hose, its water warm

iced tea, watermelon, lemonade

picking figs and peaches for my mom

crickets sing their nightly serenade

rollie pollies tickling on my palm

food: I’ve all a growing girl could eat

bills: like magic, all of them get paid

hardest task: to keep my bedroom neat

enemies: in games at the arcade

someday I would be a girl no more

someday I would lose my innocence

someday I would be the guarantor

someday deeds would earn no recompense

that day came and I’m a woman now

that day came and I know grown up things

that day came to leave lines on my brow

that day came and I have sprouted wings

though I have to buy my food myself

though there’s lots of money that I owe

though there’s crazy clutter on my shelf

though I face transgressions of a foe

summertime’s a bastion of relief

summertime’s contentment on a tray

summertime’s forever, although brief

summertime’s import eludes decay

 

 

 

Clueless

 How dare you disobey by skipping town!

How dare you threaten suicide this week!

As far as jerkwads go, you take the crown!

I’m so damned mad, I almost cannot speak.

Who told you you could act like you’re a star?

Who told you those were okay things to say?

Who told you you could go and steal a car …

who taught you how to do that, anyway???

So figure out a way to get back home.

And come up with a good excuse (this time).

That ego that you’re using’s just a loan,

with which you perpetrate outrageous crimes.

I’ve never met a man as cheap as you.

I can’t believe the liberties you took.

When I say I’m surprised, it’s ’cause it’s true–

This wasn’t in the outline of my book.

 

By The Gate

We stood there waiting for our boarding call,

the flight before not fully deplaned yet,

when something happened that would make me bawl,

a moment that I never will forget.

We heard the thick applause from near the gate.

It spread, all heads directed toward its source.

Six soldiers marched, returning from Kuwait,

their uniforms: Untied States Air Force.

A little girl stepped up, who’s maybe five,

and all at once a hush fell on the crowd.

She said, “Please Sir, my daddy’s not alive.”

And down to her, the gentle soldier bowed.

“Can I please have a hug before you go?

You look like him. I miss him really bad.

I wish he could be here to see me grow,

and with a hug, I wouldn’t be so sad.”

No eye within the crowded gate was dry.

The soldier swooped her up and held her tight,

as even he, too, would begin to cry,

along with all the men who fought the fight.

Saluting to the mother and the girl,

the soldiers left our gate with hard-earned tears,

the men who fought for freedom ’round the world,

immersed in grateful, patriotic cheers.

Before the men would disappear from sight,

they turned to find the girl and give a wave,

a gesture that would fill her with new light,

which she returned in kind back to the brave.

The Saga of Fergus mac Léti

Once upon a time, off in a kingdom far away,

three races battled fiercely for a crown.

The chieftain of the third went to his ally’s land to stay,

an intrepid warrior king of great renown,

forcing brethren left to fight a war of his design,

after wreaking havoc, he would run.

Toasting with his tribe, he drank the last of supper’s wine,

and by next day, his journey had begun.

Protected by King Fergus, who does rule adjacent lands,

the chieftain watched his soldiers, brave and strong,

such soldiers, who respond whene’er their leader shouts commands,

who fought all day, and through the nights so long.

In Fergus’ strong protection, he returned to ask for peace,

calling on his own to back him up.

Reaching out, he asked his tribesmen for the fight to cease,

asked of those with whom he used to sup.

Five among his kindred folk decided he should pay,

and for such havoc, they, there, took his life.

Fergus heard the story, to his ears it made its way,

’twas his protected…murdered with a knife!

Taking an affront like this was more than he could bear,

and for his due revenge, he came to call.

He unleashed his armies and the blood gushed everywhere,

as all around him, enemies did fall.

As a further payment, he did take a servant maid,

and with her to his kingdom, he returned.

Now in his possession, he dismissed the debt as paid,

knowing that the lesson had been learned.

One bright day by chariot, King Fergus met the sea,

and there beside he laid and fell asleep.

Unknown to him, some leprechauns, whose sum amounts to three,

attempted dragging Fergus to the deep.

As his feet touched water, though, King Fergus did awake,

and soon he had the leprechauns in hand.

In return for those three lives that Fergus didn’t take

(he set them gently down upon the sand),

they, to him, did give some wishes, anything he’d like,

and so he chose to breathe beneath the sea.

With exception, only one, he swam henceforth with pike.

In one near loch, they warned it couldn’t be.

He was told to stay away, that this charm won’t apply,

to keep to any other and be fine.

The matter of this fact they did not dare attempt belie,

but consequences, they did not outline.

He could breathe in water with but herbs stuffed in his ears.

Full of pride, he swam where they forbade.

Unbeknownst to him, his face would soon be set for years,

a frozen, tortured mask his muscles made.

’Neath the huge, verboten loch he faced a savage beast,

a monster so horrendous to behold

that his look of terror could not ever be released;

his creases, caused by hubris, won’t unfold.

Once ashore, King Fergus knew. He felt his face was wrong.

He asked the driver, who confirmed it’s true.

The driver said that hopefully it wouldn’t last for long.

Perhaps sound rest would make the face undo.

But as Fergus slept, the driver took himself to town,

gathered an assembly of the wise,

told them all the story of the king’s unsightly frown,

of the tortured look of terror in his eyes.

With no kingly countenance, he could be thus deposed,

but his subjects liked their king so much…

removed were fools who may reveal how his face was composed;

they banished looking glasses and the such.

Blissfully he lived on unaware for several years,

till one day, he whipped that servant maid.

In revenge, she validated Fergus’ worst fears,

spoke the words of which he’s most afraid.

Flaring up, enraged, King Fergus slashed her with his sword,

splitting up the servant maid in two.

Confirmation– now he had the truth that he’d abhorred,

revenge upon that creature long past due.

To the loch King Fergus went to wage a fearsome fight.

Locked in battle, they fought on and on.

They continued dueling underwater through the night,

clashing still when light announced the dawn.

Waves so violent beat the coast, relentlessly they came,

till at last all settled down once more.

Withered up and spent, the king emerged, his face the same,

limping slowly on the soggy shore.

Water red and bloody, he’d become a mangled mess.

I am the survivor’s all he said.

Then King Fergus died, no intact frame to repossess,

dangling in his hand, the monster’s head.

Scarlet did the water run till thirty days went past,

evidence that heralded their fight.

Beyond that epic battle, neither beast nor man would last.

Only the retelling of it might…

***Note: This is the oldest story in which leprechauns can be identified…an Irish tale, no doubt. The earliest mentions aren’t like the leprechauns we think of today; they were more like sprites or fairies. I tried to find a version written in English that is readily accessible without looking up lots of old Gaelic and couldn’t find one, so this is my attempt. In truth, I think I may have some of the details off…because as I said, it was difficult to find a version I could understand. Hope you enjoy it anyway.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from this Irish lass!

Evergreen Clovers

black-32006_150

Tried and true friends are like four-leafed clovers,

lucky to find and so rare.

Only a few will you find on this earth

though you may feel you’ve looked everywhere.

Treat them with care and they’ll stay evergreen,

not just alive in the spring.

It’s worth the effort to tend to their health

for the benefits that friendship brings.

Tell all the ones whose lives matter to you.

If lucky, they feel the same way.

Though they may know you can make it a habit

to tell them again everyday.

What Santa Doesn’t Know

It’s time for Christmas! Ho-Ho-Ho! I hope that Santa doesn’t know

my indiscretions here and there, like how (inside my head) I swear…

’cause other drivers make me mad. On Santa’s List, they’d count as bad.

In fact, it really is quite best he doesn’t know. He hasn’t guessed.

It’s also fine he doesn’t know that if a cookie’s not just so…

I can’t expect to serve it, right? And since it’s more or less a “bite…”

I go ahead and eat it. So? I’m just saying…he can’t know.

And since I don’t mind telling you, there has been something else I do…

From time to time I hit some sales to buy things for my family’s males,

but find that I am fixed upon some darling thing I then try on.

And if it doesn’t look too bad, and if the price won’t make me sad,

I take it home and show it love. Does Santa Claus, who lives above,

the one who’s at the old North Pole, who’s taking on his jolly role…

does he know that I do these things? And would that change the stuff he brings?

So we shouldn’t tell him now. He’s way too busy, anyhow.

He really doesn’t have to know. So, Merry Christmas! Ho-Ho-Ho!

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