Barefoot steps on dirt paths carried me deeper into the wooded area where I was greeted by hordes of people slithering between and grazing one another. Their sun-baked faces turned blue in the starlight, contrasting the drench of sepia and terra cotta that soaked their cotton, burlap and linen garb draped across their bodies. Sipping whiskey before gulping fresh air I stopped noticing where my steps were, and following the brightest lamppost made of moonlight I took my gaze toward the sky. I stopped in my tracks and settled, cross-legged, on the mossy mess of dirt and grass, to draw a line connecting all of the silver specks in the sky. Being under Big Sky meant the changing of gratitude swept in overwhelmingly with the changing of the seasons. The rows of trees were not just trees, but homes for little life, simple life, or companions to the dazed people weaving in and out of them looking for the path. People were not just people under Big Sky either, but friends and gentle faces to stop and hug and wish a happy harvest too. In the short distance beyond the clusters of tent cities was a bon fire whose flames stretched upward, so tall they could have reached over the heads of giants.
I would skip
with my feet plunged into moss
curl my toes underneath mud
turning a stone over in my hand
weighing it with every rotation
to make sure it wouldn’t just
to the bottom of the brook
though if it did
it would not be lonely
because there are plenty of others
and nestled themselves
even after they’ve skidded the rapids.
If only i could lie
in the grass for more
than just a little while
I could graze the atmosphere
with my drifting eyes
turning my head this way and
I’d twitch my ears
to tune them to the sound
of daffodils being kissed
by tiny insects
I could wipe my nose clean and
inhale perfumed stardust
that would shake itself off
and hitch a ride on currents
golden flecks falling through my hair
hovering first like a halo
and I would not mind nibbles
from creatures polite enough
to make their presence known
take what they need and then leave.
the trees are polite
they bow to the wind
whenever it pushes through clouds
and knocks upon their cracked bark,
their aged and writhed skin,
contours of time shaped by the hand
blushes as gusts brush upon them
like the touch of a lover’s face
pressed against a lover’s face,
comfort, sweet and warm
to contrast rough and gritty,
overwhelm these monuments,
make their leaves shake and whisper
to one another, excitedly.
I remember the day a princess floated onto the shore, naked and shivering with seaweed entangled in her hair. I stood with my eyes wide, not for seeing someone wash up on shore, but for seeing a lady with no clothes on. How risqué! How more than risqué! How scandalous! This woman, I thought, is someone I would like very much to get acquainted with. Imagine, having courage to pull off a scandal such as this, to scurry out of strange waters alone bearing all. What an interesting life this woman must lead. Was she escaping a ship full of pirates who tied her to the bow? Maybe they had made her walk the plank. Six paces with her eyes shut tight! Or perhaps she fled a loveless marriage and magnificent dowry. A throne in an enormous castle with servants and subjects. A tiara made of pure silver and crystal. Ballrooms filled to capacity with twirling gowns. Long white gloves being held by their gentleman suitors. And at night, soft beds and pillows stuffed with feathers to lay a tired princess head upon, who dreams with starlight pouring in from the open window, the light of the moon in her sight.
I hurried over to her, pulling off my shawl to spread over her shivering body. As she gasped for air I examined her face. Porcelain skin, the bluest eyes and a head of golden hair. She was the story book princess I read every night. The one who kept me company and softened my gaze right before I could no longer keep myself awake. A real story book princess here, wrapped in my shawl. How lucky of me to be walking here today.
She coughed and coughed until it grew tiresome and wiped her face dry with the end of my shawl. I led her away from the water, up toward the hill where the grass was high enough to hide what the shawl could not.
I stared at her, like I was not supposed to. Everyone told me that staring was not polite, but they had never been this close to a princess before, so obviously their judgment was skewed.
The princess caught her breath and looked back at me with as much amazement as I had when I first saw her.
To be continued.
It has been a long time
Since I have listened to chirping or
A far cry from usual territory
Out of range by a long
Like a propeller, where there is a chill
In the air
Or do not if your bones permit
If your fragility
Has not caught up with you
And your garb is puffed and fluffed
In flight you are
On solid ground
You are canvass and backdrop
All in one
In a most translucent way
That there may be less chance
Of foul and etched irritants
From gilded feathers
Of a nuisance.
Do I look upon a wintry night?
From a window with a view?
From a frosty ledge with chattering teeth,
All snuggled up in wool, and wear?
Or do I look upon a wintry night
From a rooftop high in the city’s core?
Leaning against a chimney with sniffles
Of ice, dripping from my frosty nose?
Surely I am bound to see more stars
With the sky as my canvasing frame
rather than if I were looking through layers
of glass and window pane,
for what is a perfect night
behind a wall?
Nothing but vicarious meandering
And wishful thinking,
No frosty breaths or rosy cheeks
To conjure the season’s spirits,
What a shame to let the
frost dissipate in that way.