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

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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

A Remembrance of Winter

The snow is falling now, and I am happy to walk through the village and let it cover me like a cloak. The flakes tickle my eyelashes and for once I am okay with giggling to myself and smiling, even though passers by can see no reason for a grin or a smirk on such a grey day.

Grey days hardly bother me. I like the stoic feel of the sky, to find the peeking light in other places when the sun is not shining amuses me and brings me much pleasure. And how amplified the little pleasures seem on days when there appears to be no light. The want or need for them is much greater.

I do not want the winter to end. I really do not. I like the way it makes me feel. I love the coziness of coming indoors from a frosty walk and warming my cheeks by the fire. I like how hot chocolate is smooth and how quilts are heavy warmth wrapped around my legs.

I like the woods when it is snowing. How the birch looks behind a sheet of falling snow. How the evergreens become white monuments with green needles poking through. How tracks outline a walkway of otherwise white roads and guide me anyway and every way. And if I find a lonely path, I would hope that my own tracks would not be covered by the ceaseless snowfall, though beautiful and silent, that I might, when I desire, be able to find my way back.

T. DM

Nostalgia

I thought it was about time I posted something, so here is a poem I wrote that was published in “Hearing Voices,” an anthology of poetry released by Bareback Press.

When we were young

we scraped our knees

and it felt good.

We looked to the street

lamps like golden lanterns

to light our way home,

as luminaries with promises

of warm blankets

and sweet delights,

and for that, we knew

when the day had ended,

when our breath finally

caught up with us,

for we were certainly

more inclined to hold

warm hands and

turn over our beds

while our hair clung

to sheets of perfumed lilac,

the last trace of warm weather,

and covering our eyes to

hide from the harvest moon,

we laughed ourselves

to sleep through thin walls

of in-jokes and outcomes.

T. DM

Indirect

This piece is written a little differently from my usual banter. I suppose I am trying something on for a while.

I missed you today

especially

when I could hear the wind

whipping wildly outside my window

where you would hear the wind

against the ocean swells

where you would be kissed

by the spray and mist

and serenaded by gentle noise

when I listen to folk

and banjos

and fiddlers

like Oliver

I think of

Echo

Alpha

Sierra

Tango.

I miss you whenever

I read lush

Prose. You always spoke with

Soothing eloquence. Your words were

Butter and chocolate, so rich

In verbose you were

Where I was not.

In speech I fumbled always

In script I was a little less dizzy

You were certainly

Poised in both.

T.DM

A Window With A View

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.

 

T. DM

The TLC on Sherbourne and Nowhere

The True Love Café stood out. Though I had never been inside, it seemed to capture my attention. It was not particularly attractive on the outside, painted a deep shade of purple, with a giant heart scaling the front of its building. The inside, which I could only gather from looking through the windows, was just the same. Unattractive under dim lights (and probably more so amidst bright lights), chairs and tables could be seen in the presence of tall plants, sad looking palm leaves and house shrubbery. Not as appealing to the eye as one would think or hope for a place with “love” in its name. Only the outlines of figures could be seen, like shadows blurred in the background. A man behind a counter, a few people spread among eight or so tables, moving slowly, making their time last in beats. It seemed quiet to me, as though anyone on the inside could be sheltered from the city sounds, from the noises of streetcars rolling along the tracks, people trudging down sidewalks, bikes, cars, trucks, horns honking, dogs barking, hollering for apologies and yelling for the sake of yelling. It just seemed as though time stood still here, and that it stood quietly with a grin of contentment. I had never seen anyone enter the café, nor had I ever seen anyone exit. Yet whenever I passed by there were always people inside, perhaps just a coincidence of timing, or perhaps not. Though I admired the pace that seemed to be present among them, the folks inside always seemed quite unwell from where I stood. Why were they able to be so still, so present in their moment? Were they not flooded with the commotion on the outside? How could they not see or hear the masses that passed them by beyond the walls of the café? What content they must have. T. DM