Cat and Mouse

It’s a game of cat and mouse.
You hide.
I seek.
You disappear,
appear,
vanish
and reappear again.
All while I am
one step
behind.

A magical illusion occurs.
I see a rabbit
lifted from a hat.
I fail to see where it goes.
I fail to see where it goes
when the magician releases the long ears.
When you stride off
I fail to see where you go.

I sigh with relief when I see your smile.
I think it is over
but off you go again.
The pattern repeats.
There is no end.
It is a game of perpetual motion
but I do not want to play anymore.
I am tired of chasing you
chasing dreams
chasing hopes for the future.

Rules keep changing to meet your needs.
Your hungry craving
to hide in the shadows
leaves me tip toeing
through muddy streets and
entering places I did not know
anyone could go.
I am scared you will
get lost and forget your way
out of the corner
that draws you
from the light.

I am afraid
that I will only fit
going in
and will not be able to wiggle
and slither
myself
back
to the light of day.

It is exhausting.

I don’t want to play anymore.
You are so engrossed.

The game has taken on
a life of its own.

Addiction

A disease of vampire’s
has struck the nation
skulking shadows of the night
lurking, waiting to pounce on our children
our loved ones, our family
a delectable first bite

It messes with our minds

Death comes slowly
a rot of the heart
drip by drip
blood red
oozing demise
craziness
It can’t get enough
turn our backs
it is there again

Sorrow and loss
annihilation without dying
grieving a body without a soul
Past mistakes loom large
not wanting to miss out
awaiting an opportunity to join
the zombie fest

Hopeless

Waning Gibbous

Phases-of-the-moon

(image credit: http://www.greenprophet.com)

Moon rises over city
a glowing lantern
silent symbol of graceful timelessness

She has not forgotten
her busy children

Quietly following an ancient path
she winks and shines
sees sorrow and joy
trials and tribulations
life passing through ups and downs

She offers a gentle reminder
even dark night
has its time
for glorious light

My Baba with the Babushka

My Baba with Babushka

Comforting aroma of fresh bread
beaten, kneaded, punched down
frustration of monotonous existence
Sticky dough serves as punching bag for emotions
allayer of mood

Metallic tang of well water
dipped from pail on counter
smacks of earthiness and strength
necessary to draw it forth
to sustain others
How many pails have you hauled in your lifetime?
Buckets balanced in each hand
scales of impartiality measuring judgment in your mind?
Sloshing, spilling despite effort to save each precious drop
Water for washing, drinking, cooking
lever pulled and pushed
pumped up and down
brought back and forth
dogs nip at heels
white geese with orange beaks
honk indignantly as you cross their path
oblivious to your resentment with this plodding, repetitious task

Sweat on brow
hard working hands
calloused, hardened from toil in
garden and field
yet soft and welcoming
ready to lift and embrace
a teary tot or boisterous child

Mother Goose apron
fashioned from flour and potato sacks
full of seeds
or hand picked eggs
fresh from chicken coop nest
warm to touch
fodder for family meals
base of nutrition

Surrounded by relatives
Baba quietly goes about her business
stirring pots and pans
on wood burning stove
As she listens to conversations
raucous children
scurry about like
field mice underfoot
dart here and there
rustle her skirts
swishing movement
as little hands grab food
off the table
before dashing back outside
wooden door swinging in their wake

She patches clothes
sews patterns
in a mud chinked room
lit by kerosene lamp
electricity a luxury that she did not enjoy
until late in her life;
labours long after dark
heavy breathing, soft snores of family
nocturnal accompaniments
for this tiresome composition she is
performing

Ukrainian accent held in check
broken English strange on the tip
of her Slavic tongue
hair held in check
by her dark babushka
sombre color
an echo of her
dispirited mood
stray locks of hair
attempting freedom
are pushed back
with weary hands

Her family grows
one by one leaving her behind
to pump water
and knead bread

Returning with their own families on weekends
a growing brood gathers
continue to drink metallic water
continue to eat fresh baked bread
flour dust clouds
hide
Storm gathering behind Baba’s eyes

While the world progresses around her
her environment remains bleak and unevolved
pump and hold
pump and hold
pump
and
hold

Dimly lit
slowly fading
until one day

She leaves

She walks away
Her shift is done

She enters a home
for seniors
for those unable to care for themselves
for those unwilling to care for others

Some say she snapped
call her crazy
cuckoo-nana

She grew tired
this beautiful “Aunt Jemima” Baba of mine
Tired of serving others
Tired of the well
Tired of the back and forth, up and down,
punching and kneading

It was time for her to be served
and that’s how it was
until she passed away
No more time on her primitive farm
Her sentence had been served

 

Easter Eggs

(This story was inspired by my friend, Linda, who shared a mythological story of her own recently. Thank you Linda. You are a great storyteller!)

Once upon a time, long ago, before airplanes and cars, before cell phones and i-pads, in a land far away and beyond, there lived a family of females in a beautiful valley. There was Snowy Owl, the grandmother, Painting Hands, the mother, and three daughters – Shooting Star, Moonbeam and Little Feather.

One day Snowy Owl became very sick and no longer smiled much. Painting Hands called the girls together and made a request. “Dear daughters, your grandmother is unwell and I wish there was a way we could make her smile again. I am sending you out to find items that will make Snowy Owl feel happy once more.”

The girls left the beautiful valley to find items to accomplish this task. Shooting Star found a pretty blue robin’s egg, delicate and fragile. Moonbeam found seeds of the cacao plant. She knew how much her grandmother loved chocolate and this would surely make her smile. Little Feather saw a field of brightly colored wild flowers. She chose the most brilliant as her gift.

Once the girls had their items they looked for some way to protect them as they carried them back to the valley. They hollowed out a tree branch they found laying on the ground and carefully placed the egg, the seeds and flowers inside. When they returned home each girl wanted to be the first to show Snowy Owl and Painting Hands what they had chosen. As they scrambled to be first the branch went flying into the air, spinning end over end until finally landing – splat! – in front of Snowy Owl. Shooting Star, Moonbeam and Little Feather felt awful. Snowy Owl began to laugh.
She sat up and waved her hand over the fallen branch. She told the girls not to worry. She felt their kind thoughts and generous action is what really mattered.

Snowy Owl picked up the branch. Gently moved it side to side, then opened it up and out spilled brightly colored chocolate eggs where once were the robin’s egg, cacao and wild flowers! And that is how Easter eggs came to be.