Archive for the ‘ Shorts ’ Category

To Me on my Birthday

I heard a knock knock knocking on my door
where I sat alone, (for I’m such a bore)
and I yelled, “Who’s there so very late?”
“It’s Death, come to celebrate
you being one year closer to your ending Fate!”
“Come in, dear friend, I don’t lock my door!”
In he walked, and muttered “You’re such a bore!
I come with gifts of drink, let’s go
and rid you of this pointless sorrow!”
‎”But Death, what if Fate finds me tonight!
The very thought gives me quite the fright!”
“Silly boy, you can’t hide behind this door!
Fearing Fate but makes you a terrible bore!
Let us go and brave the night!
And if Fate arrives, we’ll put up a fight!”
So Death and I walked out that door,
I, one year older, and less the bore.

An Ode to Soren

The statue sat in thinking pose
long fingers stretched up past his nose
pondering the worlds every woe
as burning sun gave to blustery snow
that affected not his train of thought
no matter how hard the wind did blow.

Across the twisting graveled path
sat a boy, engrossed in thoughtful task
of what the marbled form did spend
so much time lost in mental math
considering or seriously solving
though stuck on the pedestal in the grass.

Was he remembering some love long lost?
Or how creation came with fallen cost?
Or had death covered his closest friend
with blackened breath like creeping moss?
Did he think of the burdened poor
who died from hunger by the score?
Or was he sending prayers to heavens gates
past the fabled golden shores?

But the statue (who is you, Soren, my good man!)
sat untouched by natures chilling fan
to only challenge the mind of passer-bys,
who, on seeing his brow-furled guise
would stop to think and, thinking, stand
with a thousand thoughts passing ‘neath their eyes
engaged with sorting truth from lies.

For when one man thinks,
others join, minds a’brew;
and thinking men, my friend,
is what will always please you.

An Ode to Kristin

A happy sparrow claimed the sky
and all the twinkling stars set high,
called them children, sang them lullabies,
then tucked them to bed at the end of the night.

But one little star would rise so early
and rub its eyes in an avid hurry,
for sleep made the bright, bright sun so blurry
and it wished to wave goodbye.

The sparrow (who’s you, dear Kristen!)
saw the evening star’s soft glisten
as a teared rolled down its pointed chin
and, ever caring for her children,
asked

“Why cry, why cry, little evening star?”
“For the sun waves not to me from afar!
I wake while she still sits low in her yard,
but I burn too low to be seen!”

The sweet sparrow, ever caring, ever loving,
waited till the next evening,
then, in flute-like voice, began singing
to the clouds that lounged on the mountains.

Her voice carried such mournful tones
that the clouds could not rest on their stoney thrones
so swiftly they flew before the coming gloam
and reached the soon-setting sun.

Thus as the sun settled quietly down,
the clouds covered her light like an evening gown
and the early-bird star shined like an emperor’s crown
as he waved ever excitedly.

Now able to see the farewell wave,
for the clouds had softened the light of day,
the sun happily in kind repaid
and bid goodnight to the evening star.

The star, so excited, kissed the sparrows cheek,
and the little bird’s heart reached its peak,
nearly bursting with a happy squeak,
for the love of children to any ends,
no matter if she must sing to clouds in the faroff mountains
or cart a little boy around on blessed weekends,
was all the happy sparrow wished to do.

An Ode to Jennifer

The rising moon said to the setting sun:
“You must trim your brilliant bangs,
their flaring length dims my ivory face
and keeps the world watching you,
for my soft-lit lamp can’t keep up the pace.”

But the sun, (who is you, sweet Jennifer!),
laughed, and let loose her shining hair,
“Silly moon! Were I to carelessly cut
my fiery-scarlet locks,
weaved quilt-like ’round the world and ‘neath doors long shut,
your own ivory-hued light,
though comforting ’tis true, would fade to black,
for it is I who lends the lamp to you!

So as night rolls over the oceans-blue
and sips up the cities sprawled,
be not jealous nor feel too much ignored,
but remember my bright rays
will, like a flute well played, fade (still adored!)
and leave an ever-haunting chord
that will echo from your dusty face
and return back to this earthy place,
so that those who hear the reverberations
will shower you with un-earned praise:
for though you are loved when I have slipped to bed,
it is I who make you great
with my long-stretched brilliant bangs!”

The Faery’s Last Song

I woke to her last song fluttering in my ear, through the cracks in my window-sill that kept no warm air in. She sung in mourning of her own death, and it contained all she ever was. It floated on that crisp wind that cuts through sheets and souls alike, and rested on my pillow, by my head, and it closed its eyes along with me.

It called to me, through my dreams, or better yet, despite my dreams, and I could not resist it. It was a story of death, and of emptiness, yet there was no struggle in it. There was loneliness, yes; but acceptance as well, and the song floated as a feather, and would not be weighed down by all that pulled at its barbs.

So I rose and went to her. Outside, into the forest, down along the streambed now frozen to a trickle, to a thicket of rosebushes at the trunk of a near-dead oak, blackening and snarled and twisted about itself. She lay among the roots, unmoving limbs and unblowing hair, though the cold wind blew hard from the North. Only her pale pink lips shimmered with life, and still her song went, so I listened.

It was a song of yesteryears, of time long spent in places worth spending it, of great heroes and towering cowards, of myth and of reality. They used to listen to her songs, dance to her songs, sing them to their children; and she would breathe in their hearing, and it fed her, sustained her. Like a strong liqueur she would feel it in her throat, in her blood, and from its boiling strength new songs would flow.

Their children would come to the towering tree with its twisted roots and hold hands, running in circles about her, shouting the stories she had told, and their words would drift up into the leaves, and she would draw them deep into her and need no more. From the children she drew such life, and from her they drew knowledge, and all was good.

Then men came with quill and ink and hardened hearts, and though they heard the stories, they listened not, but wrote them down on rough skins and strips of dried grass. They would hear the stories and frown to those who listened, and shush the children who sang, and they would write all they heard and saw, but would with sad eyes go their way.

Soon, they who used to listen too only heard, and though they would stand about her trunk as she sang her new songs, they would not tell them to their children, but would with sad eyes go their way.

Their children began to come and dance about the tree, but they did not sing, for they knew not the words, but would with sad eyes go their way.

So the tree withered, and her skin grew old and her leaves would crumble and fall earlier every year, and those who saw the tree saw not her underneath it, and they would with sad eyes go their way.

Thus her song ended, and I bent down to pick up her frail body, but I rose with only a flower as pink as her lips, and a gust of wind shaking me to my bones.

I lay down to bed, and rested the flower beside me, and slept. In my dream, I heard her voice, and she told me fragments of stories told in ancient times, in ancient voices, in ancient ways, but like the fragrance from the flower they drifted with the wind, and I could not see, only feel them. And though I still slept, I was awakened by all she said, and my spirit stirred and chased and grasped and slipped and gathered, and I collected the parts, and like a puzzle I pieced them together, though I knew not how they should look.

So, dear Muse, let loose your songs in my dreams. Tell tales of high import, though these days they are ignored. May all that you once were be revived, and I will listen and I will sing at the roots of your tree and I will leave with happy eyes.

If you enjoy this, please take a moment to read

The Boy Who Drew In The Mud and other parables

The Boy Who Drew in the Mud

There once was a boy who drew in the mud. Now, this was quite an ordinary boy, and his drawings were of nothing in particular, and of no significant artistry. Nonetheless, the boy would, as often as he could escape from the various chores and homework everyone seemed to enjoy giving him, spend hours with a stick, or maybe just his fingers, or occasionally a carrot or bit of celery he had smuggled into his pocket to avoid eating, drawing and drawing in the big patch of mud on the edge of his backyard, near the garden his neighbor had.

Now, this neighbor was quite an ordinary neighbor, and like all quite ordinary neighbors, was particularly nosy in matters he had no business being nosy in, and not nearly nosy enough in matters he well should have been nosy about. So this neighbor would watch the young boy drawing in the mud all afternoon long as the sky was starting to darken and the clouds were starting to build and blacken like a cloud of ash in a small room, and he would yell from his porch where he sat, “Boy! Why do you draw in the mud? It will just be washed away when the rain comes in, and you will be left with nothing!” But the boy would just look at him with those big brown child-eyes, give a half-hearted shrug, and return to his scribbling. And when the rain came, the boy would sit and watch as it washed away, and the neighbor would shout “Boy! What did I tell you! Now you must start from the beginning!” But the boy would just look at him with those big brown child-eyes, and give a big grin, and return to his watching.

For as long as the neighbor could remember, this would happen every time it would rain. Yet never did the boy tire of the game; he would draw, and watch as it would wash away. And the neighbor thought, “This boy must be mad! There is no reason why he should so enjoy all his work and all his effort wasting away into the ground. Why, it is quite unnatural! Next time, I will go right up to the boy and drag him away from his mud, and I will explain to him exactly how these things should be done! With a pencil and clean sheet of paper, or maybe a scrap of charcoal from my fireplace! Yes, I will teach him how to draw properly, on proper things!”

So the next time he walked out on his porch and saw the boy drawing in the mud, he marched his way to where the boy stood, puffed out his chest, and looked straight down his nose, saying “Boy! You come with me right now! This is quite unnatural. Let us go get a pencil and a clean sheet of paper, or maybe a scrap of charcoal from my fireplace, and I will teach you how to draw properly, on proper things!” But the boy just looked at him with those big brown child-eyes, and shook his head. The neighbor, being, like all ordinary neighbors, quite stubborn, stomped his little dress shoe on the grass and said, “You must be mad! There is no reason for you to enjoy all your work and effort wasting away into the ground!” But the boy just looked at him with those big brown child-eyes, and gave a big smile, and said, “Wait one moment.”

The boy pointed down to the patch of mud where had been busy drawing an immense battle, with giants on one side with massive raised clubs, and knights on stick-horses with big pointed lances guarding little stick-princesses wearing pointy stick-hats. And a dragon with a long, curly neck was busy breathing fire on a bunch of little stick-peasants, while a bunch of stick-centaurs surrounded it from all sides, pointy bows and pointy arrows flying all about. As a big clap of thunder resounded about the yard, the neighbor said, “I am too late! This will be ruined, and you must start from the beginning!”

Then it began to rain.

The entire drawing seemed to stir to life as the water ran across it in sheets, and the trickles and streams of rain through the fluid mud breathed movement into all the figures. The knights were suddenly charging and the giants swinging their clubs down as the princesses swooned and fell to the floor. The dragons fire jetted about, and the peasants collapsed in terror, as the centaurs rode in circles, wildly shooting. Armies clashed and lovers met, and some men ran away like cowards, while others rode forth into death and fame. The scene swayed about, and, like a play, all the figures did their part. And the boy and the neighbor watched together, wordless, with big grins on their faces.

 

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The Pig, the Horse, and the Dog

The Fable of the Pig, the Horse, and the Dog


On a comfortable farm surrounded by acres of rolling hills and gently swaying trees, there lived a Pig, a Horse, and a Dog. The Dog guarded the farm, scaring off the wolves and the foxes that tried to steal into the pens in the dark of night; the Horse pulled the plows through the fields and the carts into town; the Pig ate and ate, in hopes of bringing a good price at market. Every morning, after the rooster was roused by the sun, the farmer would bring out their meals; the Dog would get a large bowl of diced lamb and carrots, the Horse a trough with sweet feed and hay, while the Pig would get a bucket of slop, filled to the brim.

Now, one day, the Pig looked over at the Dog’s bowl, and looked over at the Horses trough, and became jealous. “Why should they have such choice foods while I have only this slop?” So he began to plot. When a clever idea came to him, he called the Horse over.

“Friend Horse, look at how wonderful the Dog’s meal is. There is lamb, sweet and succulent, and carrots, which I know you have a tooth for. Every day he feasts on these, while you have only your grain and molasses and I nothing but my slop! Is it not unfair that we never get to taste such delicacies? Let us divide all of our food in three parts, and each share our food so that we do not tire of our mundane meals. You can share of the Dogs carrots, and I will take some the Lamb, and together we will grow strong!”

So the Horse, who did indeed have a tooth for carrots, heartily agreed. The next morning, when the rooster greeted the sun and the farmer brought out the daily lunch, the Horse and the Pig approached the Dog and took his bowl, and each ate a portion of his food, and each left the Dog with a portion of theirs.

But though the Pig could eat the lamb, and the Horse could eat the carrots, the Dog could not eat either the sweetened grains of the Horse, nor the dirty slop of the Pig. And as the days wore on, the Dog weakened, and eventually died.

The next night, a Wolf crept into the farm, vicious and hungry, but the Dog was not there to alert the farmer. So the Wolf stalked into the Pigs cage and ate the Pig, and as he left, the Horse saw the Wolf and reared, so the Wolf bit the Horses leg before running off, full and satisfied. The next morning, the farmer saw the Horse could no longer work, for the bite was deep. His heart torn with sadness, the farmer took the Horse behind the barn and shot him.