Skipping Rocks

I would skip

rocks

with my feet plunged into moss

curl my toes underneath mud

grip myself

turning a stone over in my hand

weighing it with every rotation

to make sure it wouldn’t just

plunk

to the bottom of the brook

though if it did

it would not be lonely

because there are plenty of others

who have

sunk

to the

bottom

and nestled themselves

even after they’ve skidded the rapids.

 

TDM

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A Little Nature

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

that way

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.

 

TDM

Wings And Tied

It has been a long time

Since I have listened to chirping or

A flutter

A far cry from usual territory

Out of range by a long

Shot

 

Beats

Like a propeller, where there is a chill

In the air

Retreat

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

Formidable

On solid ground

You are canvass and backdrop

All in one

Swoop

 

Glide

In a most translucent way

That there may be less chance

Of foul and etched irritants

From gilded feathers

Plucked

Of a nuisance

 

TDM

Polite Love

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

of everything,

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.

 

TDM

A Tale

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.

TDM

Wings and Tied

It has been a long time

Since I have listened to chirping or

A flutter

A far cry from usual territory

Out of range by a long

Shot

 

Beats

Like a propeller, where there is a chill

In the air

Retreat

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

Formidable

On solid ground

You are canvass and backdrop

All in one

Swoop

 

And glide

In a most translucent way

That there may be less chance

Of foul and etched irritants

From gilded feathers

Plucked

Of a nuisance.

 

TDM

Lush and Green

I could tell it was storming, but not for the sound of thunder or rain. The window frame was plastered so well that I could hear no sounds from the outside, but I could see the drops falling and the trees whipping in the wind. Flashes of light struck the dark room and made Caroline visible. She seemed so much smaller underneath all those covers. I didn’t think there was anything that could make her petite frame look any frailer than it already did. When insomnia took me, and it so often did, I sat on the end of Caroline’s bed and rubbed her legs. So far, she hadn’t been woken by this, but I swear I could hear her sigh when I started massaging. When the snoring came, I knew she had drifted off properly and I could stop rubbing her little legs. Caroline would fight with anyone who mentioned the fact that she snored. No way did she snore. Snoring was for boys and old grandpas with bad breath and white hair.

Sometimes I imagined what it would be like if Caroline and I lived in the country. The grass would be lush and green wherever we could see it, and the wheat fields would be golden like the stars that hung above them at night. I pictured the two of us lying in the grass with the moon over our heads and fireflies dancing around like fairies. We would probably swap stories and rhymes and point out the Milky Way. Maybe we would lie like this forever.

I moved to the window, my bare feet patting against the cold grey floor, and saw that the rain had stopped; something to look forward to, a clear day, made it easier to rest when I returned to my bed. I kept my hands on the bed, trying not to touch myself, as the hours drifted away and the sun finally came up. By eight o’clock the entire room had been filled with the morning light.

I left the hospital that morning having not slept more than three hours. I couldn’t help but think about the look Caroline gave me as I bent over to kiss her sweet little forehead. Her eyes were wide, black and piercing, like eagle eyes that began to well up with tears. She smelled of jasmine and roses and cool summer nights, a mixture of scents that seemed to stick on her body and never leave.

I was glad to be home, certainly for the freedom of having windows that could open and the busy city as background noise instead of beeping machines and “paging doctor what’s his name.” I opened the window that faced Queen’s Park, and stood in front of it so that I could examine the trees. Most of the leaves had fallen, but those that remained on the branches were rusty coloured, red, orange and yellow. The breeze felt nice on my face, familiar and cozy like an old sweater. The air was frosty on the tip of my nose reminding me that the winter winds would soon be here to greet the city, as they always did.

That night I dreamt I was on a boat, rolling and bouncing along with the tide. I drifted farther and farther away from the coast, until the shore was no longer visible. The gulls in the sky were screeching so loudly that I covered my ears, and when I did, I lost control of the helm. The boat turned round and round, spinning faster with every turn, until the sea beneath me opened up into a whirlpool and swallowed my boat and I whole. And suddenly, it had stopped. The whirlpool turned into calm salt water, and I floated down down to the bottom, until I hit the ocean floor. I was not short of breath but instead fully capable of breathing under water. On the sides of my neck were slits that flapped with every breath I drew. In an instant, I had gills, scales and fins. I was a fish, and not one of those exotic, colourful fish either. I was a tuna.

I woke up in a sweat. I was very angry at my subconscious for turning me into a fish, and a tuna at that. I knew I was plain, but that was a little too modest, even for me.

TDM