Mindful Writing Challenge 2014 Small stones

Bat – #smallstone – Day 5

one last glow-in-the-dark cling film
bat, still holding onto the
glass pane. Halloweens gone by neither
here nor there.

I’m writing “small stones” as past of Mindful Writing Challenge 2014.  If you care to participate, here’s the link. Feel free to read and enjoy more wonderful mindful posts from across the world on Twitter at #smallstone.Read on…Bat – #smallstone – Day 5

Easter Morning Undone

The choir moved like
Cattle from the pews to their
The risers, Easter morning.
Two arms raised and one intake of breath.

That morning however

A soprano stood alone at her
Bathroom mirror, pushing her
Fingers through still-warm
Grey strands. Hot plastic
Beast on the counter top
Lay slowly cooling down
Waiting to be put away. The
Woman tugged her green
Jacket lapel, touched the golden hoop earring
And gazed at the jagged and
Ever-unfamiliar face surrounding
The shock of green eyes
Pooling with memory.

A tenor himself listening to
The Beatles on the way to service
Strokes and strokes his beard again
Like totem. He’s not singing a
Hard days night in this Camry but in a
Beetle that burned out 28 summers ago
And left him stranded on a New Hampshire
Highway, so that he had to walk into
The town with his guitar and his
Duffle found himself in bed that night with the
Stranger who stopped and offered
Him a ride.

The alto shakes. She prefers to think she
Vibrates, but the hand she once used for
Simple tasks — drying a wineglass, sewing skin —
Has broken away from her body’s grasp and gone on out
Its own. She won’t answer you if you ask.
She has not consulted anyone. She
Cares not to know why. She wears
Deep purple today, remembering
Mary Magdalene and her set aside grief.

The bass forgot his reading glasses today. He is
Singing from memory, and seeing the glasses on his
Bedside table, on top of his iPad, next to his
Empty beer bottle. He walks back through the
Room and sees he forgot, too, to make
The bed. The phone rang while he was
Tying the pink tie his dead partner gave him
Three years ago. His mother calling to
Say hello and make sure he is
OK. Yes mom. Love you. Call you later. Click.
He finished tying the tie and lost in
Walked out.

Two arms circle. The choir finishes the breath in
G. In steady stream they leave the
Risers, Easter morning undone,
Each gone to find one seat again.
Read on…Easter Morning Undone

Where I Do Not Know

I heard their hooves on the street where my parents live.
I heard it inside a corner of my dream and before
I even knew I was awake and climbing off the
Futon mattress and squinting night eyes through the
Blinds. And the parade of does and their
Fawn proceeded up the street as if they were
On a way to who knows maybe Lincoln Road then
Down the hill for an early start gambling
On the riverboat. I was their only
Company, me and the neighbor’s misdirected
Motion-sensing garage light that shouldn’t
Switch on just for passing traffic.

I’d been here before. Not with misplaced
Deer on my parents’ doorstep, but hearing
Footsteps on a road. Early enough before
Black cabs got to running over speed humps,
I heard metal on stone coming on and
Stumbled in the grey to spy the pair of
Equestrians chatting easily as they
Cantered down the London road at
5:30 a.m. It was summer: it must be summer
Because no snow in any direction
Muffled their hooves, and the weight of
The dreams in both cases made me
Unsure of what I’d seen. Made me
Pack the animals and their passing
By into memory recall carefully for

Now I stand on any partially lit
Street differently, in a doorway
Eyeballing any Toyota go by or
Pale neighbor pass and feel an
Anxious sweetening in the way I want to see:
Hooves on cobbles, night feet on
Pavement, and us all animal shadows like questions
Come along;
Deer or love, from
A place I can’t explain and
Where I do not know. … Read on…Where I Do Not Know




The boy kept grabbing, kept putting his
Hands all over me and saying — one way or
Another: “mine,” and I didn’t have the
Words at first, nor then the steel, then
The will to stop him. I let it all
Roll downhill, the both of us
Tumbling over the earth and
Each other and he still grasping at
Whatever he could with I unable to
See the sense in it. And we skidded
Like Buttercup and Wesley
Over course dry grass into the
Last fold of the hillside, and that
Was the end of it all, the end of
Moving in any direction, of needing
Anything but to
Lie on our bruises, and
Gaze at clouds made
Whole by the wind until our
Breaths returned and I noticed the
Feel of his fingertips just barely
Against my own and I could then
Move toward him just enough
So he could hear me agree:

photo “mine” by Grevel, on FlickrRead on…Mine

The Children Are Singing

They’ve got the chairs unfolded and
Planted at the end of the driveway, facing
The world parade, and the children are
Singing say say oh playmate come out
And play with me
which Granny taught
Them on our last visit home. Inside the
Voices that dust the empty rural
Route is all of the tomorrows:
His girlfriend who chooses
A different college; Her
Roommate who fucks the guy
She loved; The panel of heartache they
Disappear behind:
Blindness to beauty,
Most of all, that comes
When desire dresses as love and
Hides them from themselves
Until they feel safe, get older,
Come out and in age, again, feel
Fine just fine with
Sitting and staring at
An empty road and
Singing into tomorrow. … Read on…The Children Are Singing


If you are looking for space by E. Howard on Hipstamatic

Ursula laughed at me.
She said: “Ha ha, people from
Iowa eat carp straight out
Of the Mississippi. And they
Like it!” The long wooden
Bench rolled like the river
Under her as she chuckled
And smoked and shoved
Around her blonde wings.

Part of my job was clearing
The Folgers cans of their
Butts, fingers moving through
Sand, which is what I was
Doing the day Phil told me
Some motel manager found
Ursula dead in her vomit.

Another day, while Steven and I
Pulled day-old donuts from
A trash bag, he gave me her story:
Chicago and pastry chef and hotel
Kitchens and dejected parents who
Sent her away to
Get some space.

And alcohol and shame.
That last bit
I’d seen already
In the hex of scars on her arms.
But I remember the damage
Second after I hear again
That garbled laugh
Over Iowans eating carp.

This post is part of a month-long series of #smallstones found here and on the web. Thanks to Fiona Robyn and Kaspalita from Writing Our Way Home for supporting a wonderful writing community.

Read on…Ursula

Clouds at Main Stratford CT

Clouds at Main

Clouds at Main Stratford CT


Clouds at
Main stuttered
Into dusk.
Showed me
A memory:

Thanksgiving 2007.

Suzannah, the dog and
A Zip car. My
Brother, alone–

We walked low
Tide sunset
Over sodden
Rippled sand.


This post is from my poetry series for January, “What Details Know” — daily small stones and photos, as part of The River of Stones.

Read more small stones on Twitter at the #smallstone hashtag.

Read on…Clouds at Main