Differences [poetry]

You are full brazen;
Your swollen tan lies crisp on sunbaked sand;
You call attention to her snug rounded smooth firm thighs,
But you take her breasts in hand instead.

Seductive anticipation,
You promise her the taste of fried chicken skin;
And so her mouth waters all woman—
Course and raspy pudding under foot.

But she is short on your mind,
She is the shadow of a soporiferous color;
You set her aside for a long look at naked dancing girls—
Their bold vees fit well for the Valencia republic.

Your lamentations bay to the one who will take your grasp;
Your espousals become the smell of arid nicotine;
You promise motherhood to girls offering views of their paunches,
But your oaths tumble over ecstasy stains on fingers rolling dry leaves.

You go your separate ways:
You to a pretty face with unpainted lips.
She makes no promises;
She is only hungry now to know the heart.

Halcyon Days [poetry]

A gentle breeze caresses leaves,
swirls past children playing in meadows,
and whispers ancient language
on a beautiful warm summer eve.

The setting sun brings her special kiss:
a fiery burst across the hems of satin blue dresses
of angel-looking clouds,
A mist falls from the east.

A woman laughs. She loves. She watches rain sprinkle her lawn in a soft caress.

Long shadows dance and grow longer
around blue-eyed Mary dropping off to sleep.
A noble thunder quickens some to retreat indoors
where windows shine as whitest gold.

The increasing darkness stirs the lonely to reach out to friends.
Lovers hold each other close,
sharing an ancient communication
while the pattering rain adds a gentle nocturne to their world.

Rain on us, they say, and the woman agrees: Rain on us all.

Homecoming [fiction]

Sarah had difficulty dealing with the fact that she would be home soon, seeing her mother for the first time in almost four years. What would they talk about? Past discussions always turned into parental power struggles. Mom was “Mom, Authority Figure,” always right, always knowing best. Even last month when Sarah turned 26, she should have known Daryl was not the right guy to end up in bed with.

“When will you settle down?”

“When will you listen to your mother?”

“If only your father were still alive.”

Sarah hated that last statement most. Daddy had died when she was nineteen. It was heartbreaking without his love and encouragement, but she had managed her life well, had moved to New York, graduated college, and landed a good paying job at a bank.

“I am not talking about those things, young lady!”

Yes. Those other things. Some of them flew in the face of Mom’s Catholic beliefs.

Sarah stepped from the airliner, crossed the gray tarmac, and entered the airport. Mom would be waiting at the front door.

Wanting Bob [fiction]

Sarah met Bob in ’92; she was a Goth seventh grader like one of those kids from South Park. She read Kerouac and Roethke and Ginsberg and Plath; not really understanding their works, but making a connection to their words: music to her soul. Abstract expressionist art had grabbed her attention, too, and she became a 12-year-old “hippie chick” born during the era of Reaganomics and discomfiture: vague disorientation and cynicism that  followed her and her colleagues into their adult lives where heads of state have no backbones and heroes are felled by corporations and money.

Feeling bruised from surrounded by the wall (to steal a title from Pink Floyd), the Internet became Sarah’s escape: the road that Kerouac may have hitchhiked had he been a product of Reaganomics and discomfiture. She traveled daily, mostly at night, reading everything, looking at everything she could conjure on her little PC. Bob’s artwork caught her eye. He was Roberto, and he painted spiritual Don Quixotes battling windmills of all colors, shapes, and sizes. These were images from her dreams. She was a Don Quixote. She had a place in this world after all.

Then with a click of the mouse, she found his poetry and fell in love. She liked and followed everything he added to his blog. She was his number one fan, and she told him so in a comment at his blog. They became instant friends. Their conversations became lengthy, so they traded emails, then partook in lengthy online chats. And all that time, while she grew from a disoriented seventh-grader to a spiritual college woman, she knew he was old enough to be her father, that he was married and had a family, and considered her no more than an adoring fan. But she was more than that. Even now, she is in love with Bob in the truest, signified sense of the word.

How wrong of her to want to break up his marriage and have him all for herself, to align her life with his.

Sages have cautioned men about women like her since humans first set words into motion. They have given her horrible names to shackle her in shame. But she has done nothing so far as to fall in love with him, this guy named Bob … the man she spies on outside his home, inside her car, watching, waiting to have all her own.