Monday, March 23, 2015

The Name of This Garden

I have chosen to call this garden The Island of Trees. I can feel you sloping backward already. Am I going to be poked and scraped by branches and bark until all that's left of me is red pulp and puddles of bitter tears?

But it is not so. There are more flowers than trees here, and the name of a garden is only what it is—a harmless name. All day I've been hemmed in by rose bushes, searching for a way to forget that place, the island, and all I keep turning up are old shoelaces and pebbles.

They say time is the revelator. There's an art to waiting. You can do it in such a way that it doesn't feel like waiting. You can see opportunity in the now to create something or nurture someone or maybe even nurture yourself, especially if you're stressed or weary.

Still. In and amongst all that, I don't feel I'm on the up and up. I'm the butt of the joke, but I don't want to be. I try to laugh along with the rest of them but my laugh is nervous, tight, somehow limited. By what? This is what my search entails—finding just enough forgetfulness to loosen my laugh, to murder the ghosts that bind me.

I giggle often when I'm around people. It's because my body is like an elastic band stretched as far as it can go. A chortle or high pitched giggle releases tension, though not nearly enough.

How and where do I find the way to forget, ever so slightly? What am I missing? The Christians keep telling me it is the Christ, but it doesn't make sense. I don't think it's supposed to. Christ, apparently, is what gets me to let go and it's only a matter of when.

So I search and do stuff while I wait. Maybe I'll call out to the silver-haired dish woman if her cohorts quit judging me. Don't try to convince me they're not.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

composition 30

Go with the flow of the foot traffic on the street
Watch out for oncoming children and elderly
Or turn around and face it all again

Because I know that you will do just as you'll do
Also not what you want to, what you want to do

Mercy, compassion, and comfort—these things we seek
Water to quench us and honey sweet on our lips
Spirit of Life to fill our weary souls

Because I know that we will do just as we'll do
Also not what we want to, what we want to do

I want to tell you, my friend,
This prayer I pray for you
That your heart will sing freely
As it's meant to do
People might call me naive
But I believe all will be restored
La la la

Pick up the papers and read the sad, baddest news
All of the fights and the bombs and the broken glass
Then fix your gaze on the everlasting Christ

Because the world needs loving-kindness
Yes, it does. We can do it. We believe, we believe

I don't understand this Mystery I proclaim
Temptation is to explain, explain, explain, explain
Forgive me, oh, the nuisance that I am

Because I know that I will do just as I'll do
Also not what I want to, what I want to do

Monday, March 2, 2015

Rusty's Workbench

Rusty Cowichan hid his wife's tulips, vase and all, under the workbench in his garage. Then, wearing his freshly ironed golf shirt, he made his way through the house and onto the veranda where, large and in charge, he ordered the squirrels to bring him their offerings of nuts and berries.

Evelyn, his pregnant wife, didn't notice her tulips were missing until two weeks later when Freda Cadmium came to visit. Freda's nose twitched something awful as soon as her foot touched the Cowichans' driveway. She tried to ignore it for the sake of grace and politeness but Evelyn's dog, Levitt, who seemed more wolf than dog, lunged at her bearing his teeth and growling. She put up her knee, finally found her voice, and let out some shrieking.

Evelyn, meanwhile, peered out her front window with a smug smile on her face like she had just won the lottery.

All Freda could see was fur and menacing teeth. Snuffles, growls, and ear-splitting barks pierced the cool autumn air.

A stick and some rocks distracted the pooch. It was the neighbor behind the hedge who heard the commotion and decided to take action. Freda stumbled the driveway's width to fetch the stick and began waving it about and motioning to Evelyn who did nothing but offer a vacant expression through panes of glass while the neighbor continued to throw rocks and bits of moss over the hedge, whatever he could find.

Freda rushed up the front steps as soon as she got the chance, and knocked on the window. "Evelyn, I'm having problems with your dog! I need your help!" she yelled. "Say something!"

There came a curt reply. "You shouldn't have gotten out of your car, then."

"Is this how you treat all of your guests?!"

"You are welcome here, but at our household it is wrong to get out of your car."

Freda's nose twitched. It was a putrid odor and she tried to figure out where it was coming from, but she couldn't think due to all the barking. And what was worse, Levitt was coming for her again. She side-shuffled to the door and banged on it. 

Then a gun shot sounded. And a whiny yelp, quick as a staccato.


Evelyn opened the door and gingerly stepped onto the veranda with her mouth dropped open and a hand placed gently over her swollen belly.

Freda's nose twitched. "That rotten smell!"

"What smell?"

"My nose is sensitive. It's both a blessing and a curse," she said. "The smell's coming from your garage."