Friday, January 6

Falling in Love

Image result for tainos

She was the daughter of a caquique. Her hair, dark and flowing against her smooth bronze skin, smelled of honey and cassava. He had no hope of catching her eye as a naboria, a member of the working class, and yet, as sure as the ocean beat the sandy shores of their island, his heart beat for Ayita alone.


He had first seen her in the light of the morning sun. He was bent down, retrieving a smooth stone he had dropped, when she appeared, illuminated by a ray of light cutting through the thick canopy of branches. Her body was stark, yet she stood confidently, inhaling deep the scent of the woods. She was to him the first woman created and his heart whispered a pledge to her. From today until the end of time, I will be yours.


Kaiman picked up a gourd and brought it to his mouth. What could he do to improve his lot? He felt shame for his desires. God would punish him for his greed. Everyone was at peace except him. He could have any woman for a wife, but he wanted what he could not have.

**********


Ayita rose from her hammock. It was early enough that most of her family still slept silently in the comfort of their large caneye. Her father had 30 wives. He was a great caquiqui, wise and handsome. No one suffered lack in their village and his astuteness had protected them from raids from the neighboring Caribs on more than one occasion. She raised her arms up in a gentle stretch before making her way through the maze of sleeping bodies and woven mats laid out on the earthen floor.


On stepping outside of the caneye, she heard her mother call to her, "Ayita, come help me make this bread." Her smile was wide and her eyes shone with joy as she regarded her only daughter. Ayita knelt beside her mother and embraced her warmly. "Good morning, Bibi."


"What plans do you have for today?"


"I wanted to play batey with my brothers. Naniki said she wanted to play too,” she added, mentioning her younger half-sister.


"But won't you get in the way, my butterfly?"


Ayita hugged her mother once more, laughing as she nodded her head. "Of course we'll be in the way!"


"Ah! You mischievous child! Here, you better take some of this cassava  bread with you then," she said, wrapping the bread in a bundle.

"Thank you, Bibi." Ayita smiled, taking the bread.


Tuesday, November 8

Election Day

Ok. So I think I am falling into a pattern this month... one day I write fiction, the next day I write truth. I can work with that. Now, I should state that this is simply an observation and that I make no promises. I might write a shitty haiku tomorrow. I. Don't. Know. Whatever.

Today was election day. I woke up early, selected a dress which I deemed patriotic, and went to exercise my freedom to vote. I found the whole experience to be exciting and a little nerve wrecking. Walking around with brown skin sometimes feels like a hazard. It went well. Nobody harassed me, unless you count the woman who was practically on my heels, behind me in line, or a snobby look here and there. Microaggressions like that don't really count, since you don't really know whether you're just being extra sensitive and if maybe its all in your head. But even if they did exist, I voted regardless. Take that!


Monday, November 7

Secrets

I usually don't go for a second cup of coffee. The first one is necessary, but the second goes straight to my nerves. Yet, here I sat, nursing a tall caramel macchiato at the Starbucks near my house. I tried hard to concentrate on what he was telling me.

"Your fiance, his family had money, no? I believe this is the reason they took him."

"Wait, what? Liam and I were not engaged. And what do you mean they took him?" I asked.

Anthony chewed on his knuckle, eyes red, looking like he was going to cry.

"They took him. They had to. I didn't want to believe it, but now I know it is true."

I tried to make sense of the situation. The truth is, while the time Liam and I were together had accounted for the most blissful and romance filled 8 months of my life so far, we had lived in this sort of alternate universe. A place where no one interfered in our love, our romance, our euphoric seclusion.

We had met in the most unconventional way-our orders had gotten mixed up at a taco truck and rather than get pissed at the owner, we sorted it out ourselves and had an impromptu first date. We exchanged numbers and started a thing-a good thing which may have blinded me of the number 1 reason for dating: getting to know someone.

What did I know about Liam? Handsome. Well-spoken. Romantic. Thoughtful.There wasn't a single police-report worthy fact I could jot down. What an idiot! I smacked my palm up against my forehead.

"Miss, I know you are upset, but please, you must be strong. I know we can get him back."

I let my eyes see the man in front of me. Who is this Anthony? The only time Liam had talked about him was on his way to the bus stop. "I hope Anthony's on the bus today," he'd say. "Gotta talk to Anthony," he'd mutter. And yet, I felt compelled to trust him. For Liam. Yes. For Liam, a man who I wasn't even completely sure I really knew anymore.

"How can I help?" I heard myself say.


Sunday, November 6

Push

I'm pushing myself to write today. There's a feeling of dread. Does what I write matter? Am I just repeating myself? Am I just repeating myself? Is there anything worth writing about? All my inspiration seems mundane and monotonous, but I promised myself to write every day for the month of November, and so I will. Yesterday I wrote a short scene. It was fun to write and easy. But today? Today I'm pushing. I don't know what I want or what I need to get over this hump. I just know "this too shall pass."

Saturday, November 5

Gone

She could hear the police sirens in the distance. A sound of alarm and warning, but it did not disturb her. It was just one track of sound in the symphony of cacophonous noise which was her daily playlist. Children shrieking, dogs howling, blaring car horns-nothing out of the norm. And so she poured her coffee and began to review what tasks lay ahead of her that day. Pick up the dry-cleaning, call Hong Kong, get her eyebrows waxed. If there was time-drop by the post office to see if the package had arrived. In one fluid movement, she swept up her mug, hung her purse squarely on her shoulder and stood to leave. There was no sense in lingering in an empty apartment.

The apartment hadn't always been an empty burrow for a thirty-something woman to come rest her head each night. Three months ago, it was a sanctum of peace and love. A place where two lovers united daily to comfort and assuage themselves from the terror of life. But now that was gone.

Tock. Tock. Tock. Marielle clicked her heels on the concrete and checked the time. 9:13 am. Her heart skipped a beat and she quickened her steps. The bus arrived at 9:15 am. Maybe he would be on it today. She had always seen him on the route 40 bus this time of day. Maybe he would know something about Liam. She pretended not to care, but Liam's absence was driving her mad.

They had argued one night about nothing in particular and everything in general. Vague accusations of heartbreak and neglect were made and after reaching emotional gridlock, the words, "just leave!" escaped her mouth, in direct opposition to the clamor in her heart.

The bus came to a stop, just as she turned the corner. A tall, thin man wearing an over-sized black hoodie bolted out. It was him. "Hey!" she called. The man looked her way and widened his eyes in surprise. "You!" he shouted. "Where is Liam?!"

"I-I don't know," she stammered. "I was hoping you could tell me!"

"It's worse than I thought then," the man said. "Come with me, miss."


Friday, November 4

Pushing the Envelope

Never try to think when you are tired. Your mind will deceive you and you'll conclude the most preposterous things. It's like being drunk-I think. I've never been drunk before.

Anyways, avoid trying to delve into anything deep, important, or noteworthy when you are half asleep. It's like there's a little devil inside you trying to trick you into picking the wrong answer while you are convinced that it is right. Make sure you go to sleep and get a good night's rest.

This probably all sounds like nonsense, and maybe it's because it is Friday night. I'm writing nonsense at the end of a long week, and at the end of a long day. But it's not. I give you solid advice not to push the envelope when you're so tired you're not even sure if it's an envelope you have in hand.

Thursday, November 3

The Cat

It was late at night and my husband and I had been asleep for some time when he wakes me asking, "do you hear that?"

"Hear what?"

"I think there is a cat inside our room."

I sat up, confused, but craned my ears to listen. We don't own a cat, but there are several strays in our neighborhood. I pondered the possibility of one of the strays slipping in to our home some how.

Meow.

"There it is!" he shouted.

"Where?"

"The meow, I meant. I didn't see a cat."

"Well, turn on the lights," I directed.

My husband moved to turn on the bedside lamp, but the room remained dark. "The bulb must have burnt out."

"I'll turn on the bathroom light then," I offered and swung my feet to the floor. When I went to stand, however, I did not feel the cool of the ceramic floor. My feet grazed upon something soft.

"Ah!" I shouted, taken by surprise. "I think it went under the bed!

By this time, my husband had reached the bathroom and was attempting to turn on the light.

"Jess, the bathroom lights are out too. There must be something wrong with the fuse."

Meow. 

"Ugh, let's go look at it then. We'll never find the cat with the lights out like this."

My husband and I ventured downstairs to where the fuse box is, but when we got there, there were obvious signs of obtrusion and tampering. Concerned for our safety, we exited our house and called the police.

When the police arrived, they went in the house and searched the premise. While it appeared nothing had been touched, in the bedroom they made the most unusual discovery. Beneath our bed was a bearded dead man. In his paltry, stone-cold hands lay a knife and the police identified him as the beard-face burglar who had been terrorizing the local community in recent news. Most unusual of all was his cause of death-it appeared as if a small, cat-like creature had mauled the man to death.

Wednesday, November 2

I didn't think I'd get on here tonight. While some might consider it still early, starting to blog at 8:47 pm is cutting it close for me. I am not much of a night owl. It is the morning sun that I live for, much to the chagrin of many of my coworkers. I practically bounce into work each morning, no matter what the day promises or threatens. I love mornings-they are full of hope. 

Hope. That's something we are all a little short of these days, isn't it? Without it, we are filled with dread. You can either hope for the best or dread the worst. I choose hope. I hope tomorrow is an "easy" day-little worries, no friction. I hope our next president doesn't bring on World War III or something worse. I hope my life will mean something to someone. 

Well, that's enough for today. I think I'm building stamina. Maybe tomorrow I'll write a bit more. Tschüss!  

Tuesday, November 1

Secret Inspiration

It takes a certain amount of bravery to just start typing away, carefully crafting a story to share. So, I suppose I fancy myself brave for embarking on this journey. Today is November 1st, the first day of NanoWrimo (National Novel Writing Month), and while I do not venture to write an entire novel, or even a novella, I will attempt 30 days of dirty writing. That means, no hours of endless editing, or beating myself up if the words don't flow. I'm not even going to give myself a daily word count. I am just promising myself to write. Every day. For 30 days. Kind of like a reverse fast, where instead of abstaining, I give in and hopefully rediscover the writer who I thought I was.

I think that's enough writing for today. But I can't end this post without a thank you to my secret inspiration. Your words were the catalyst to this all.  

Sunday, April 17



Wild like an animal
Tame like the sea
Does anyone know what's going on with me?

Fire is pumping
Through the air I breathe 
Stretch out and touch your destiny

To the one who's dancing
To the one who needs
Come join the forest of fantasy. 

Shared at Magpie Tales


Sunday, January 10

Runaway

Charing Cross Road, 1937 by Wolfgang Suschitzky

Run away
Run away from all your fears
Run away
Leave behind your trail of tears

Where're you going, runaway?
Can you really leave?
What's that shadow creeping?
Will it pounce suddenly?

I'm running home to safety
I'm running to reprieve
There're second chances somewhere
To find them, I must seek

Shared at Magpie Tales

Wednesday, November 25

Thanksgiving Poem



More than a long weekend
or the kickoff to Christmas
More than turkey and pumpkin pie
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday
not because of the Macy's parade
or football on TV
That's all great,
the relatives too
all gathered together from near and far
and the music playing in the kitchen
as the mashed potatoes get beaten
and the feeling of satisfaction
passing over you like a wave
after that last bite
These are not the reasons why I love Thanksgiving
They're only the beginning
of explaining the privilege of
saying Thank You.

Sunday, November 15



Its all there...waiting for me
I stand at the threshold of despair
But they're just dishes!
Yeah, right
Just the dishes
Just the laundry
Just the groceries to be bought and put away
Just the toilets to be scrubbed and shined
Just chores
Just my life
Squandered away
in a routine of tasks
better delegated to robots

Shared at Magpie Tales

Monday, November 9

I never thought
I'd get this far
not by traveling by foot or car

But here I am
today I stand
where yesterday it seemed so grand

And now I know
It's not so great
it's simply life-without debate


Monday, October 26

photo: Daniel Murtagh

She finds solace in her sleep
biding time 
like a bulb in the ground
hidden below a crust of ice

Today she dreams of happiness
the joy of receiving a sweet
unexpected from a stranger
unaware of all the danger

Trapped in her slumber
she escapes the somber
notes of a world gone mad 
grating at full speed ahead

This is her sleep
which she clutches to like life
let her sleep
let her sleep.

Shared at Magpie Tales.