she came to me: I cried.
This poem was born of sadness and disappointment. Once upon a time, many, many years ago, I was sent outside to do a job. It was raining. Not pouring, or even a heavy rain, but just a little more than just a sprinkle. Not enough to have fun splashing in puddles if you wanted to get wet, but enough to make it annoying if you’re trying to avoid getting wet. The clouds were gray, but not dark gray, and they covered most of the sky. Every once in a while, the sun would peek through a gap in those clouds. Whenever that happened, I would look around, hoping to see a rainbow. I kept thinking about how cool it would be to see one that day, and kept scanning the gray for any hint of color, no matter how faint.
No rainbow for me, not that day. But the experience did inspire the above poem. And the internet has inspired me to put that poem on the above picture, which my wife took several years ago. Because my wife is awesome and the universe gives her rainbows.Double rainbows, even, if you look closely between the lines.
A poem is just a poem. Words strung together in vague and mysterious ways. Unless you put it with a picture. Now it’s fancy. Trendy. Exciting. Like those “inspirational quotes” people share on Facebook and shit. Except this is about dying a horrible death in a desert. Not exactly feel-good motivational material. Of course, it might motivate people to avoid deserts. Or at least bring lots of water with them. So this isn’t just a poem on a picture, or motivational, it’s also educational. A life saver. I am saving lives. I might as well wear a mask and a cape, ’cause I’m a goddamned superhero, saving people from doom by dehydration.
Like and Share if you want to be a superhero and save people’s live too.
Ignore and keep scrolling if you drown baby chinchillas.
That’s what I’m supposed to say, right? Like all those other inspirational pictures with words out there on what was supposed to be the information superhighway? I think there’s a traffic jam. It seems to have turned into a parking lot for click-baity faux news sites (“You WON’T believe what happened next!”), pictures of cats (which, admittedly, most of which are cute…) and DIY projects that 99% of the people sharing will likely never do.
I think my superpowers are sarcasm and cynicism. Especially when I’m tired. Cause this isn’t going to save anybody’s life. It’s not educational, motivational, or trendy. It’s just words on a picture. Words on a picture, people. Nothing remarkable to see here.
Standing still. All others
moving forward, laughing at
me falling behind.
Standing still. All others
moving past. Leave me behind.
Standing still. All others
rush past. Leave me behind
on top of the cliff.
Standing still. All others
have fallen far below, while
I am standing still.
Standing still is not
doing nothing. Standing still,
until I can see.
Standing still I still
cannot see past the next turn.
No one can see all.
Standing still no more.
I have waited long enough.
I choose. I move. I-
So I have this notebook I keep by my bed.
Sometimes I write out thoughts before going to sleep. Other times I write things after I wake up – dreams, or just things that have taken residence in my brain overnight.
And then there are times I wake up in the middle of the night with some burning idea that has to be written down RIGHT NOW!
As I look at the things I’ve written down later, sometimes I see thoughtful philosophy, or witty poetry, or something that at least has potential to be something cool or interesting. Other times I see unintelligible gibberish, or random scratches on the paper (I have attempted to write things down in complete darkness on more than one occasion. Sometimes I can actually decipher what I wrote. I think…)
And then there are the times you end up with gems like the one I apparently wrote on February 19, 2013:
goes for a jog
around the bog
in the morning fog
thinking about his blog
as he passes the hog
Yep. That happened. There are also some crossed out lines about a turtle leaping hurdles and a fly zipping by. Or something. Gotta love some of the things that happen in your brain when it should be sleeping. Or maybe still is sleeping…
I’ve been wanting to write more the past few days. Feeling that restlessness in my brain and my fingers. I had several bits and pieces I’ve written down in various places that I wanted to organize and save with the rest of my stuff, and maybe even flesh out a few of them into actual finished (or closer to finished) projects. I had some larger ideas I had in notebooks I wanted to add to the even larger projects they related to, and I was hopeful that I could continue working on those as well.
Last night, I had the opportunity to do just that.
I had emailed several notes I had on my phone to myself, and I started by saving those as documents on my laptop. One of the notes was a couple of ideas for titles for an idea that I had a long time ago. Except now I couldn’t find where I had saved that idea…
I looked in all the likely and most of the unlikely folders and files on my hard drive. I went through years worth of emails between me and a friend of mine because we often bounce ideas back and forth and I thought I had sent him my idea. I went through two notebooks of mine in case I had written there, but never typed it out.
So, I wrote out a few things I remembered from my idea, and saved the titles, but I know there are a lot of details I wasn’t remembering right then.
And now it was hours later. The larger ideas I had for my writing time now seemed too big for how tired I felt. So what to do? I didn’t want to not write at all. I sat there staring at my desktop for a while…
Recently, I set my desktop background to cycle through several of my favorite pictures and images, changing every minute.
I was staring at one, birds flying away from a tree, and a few lines popped into my head. “the bird flies, you think it free” I hurriedly opened a new document and typed it out, along with a few other lines that seemed to fit, then went back to my desktop. By this time, the image had changed.
With each image, I tried to find something about it that inspired me to write. I tried to think about the story behind the image, or look at it from a different angle. And I tried to do it all in the sixty seconds the image was on my screen.
It didn’t always work. Some images I didn’t think of anything. Other times I took too long writing, and I would miss the next picture.
But after the second cycle through all the images, I had sixteen or so documents, all with some bits and/or pieces of something that could possibly be worked into something that might be good. And through one of those bits and pieces, I ended up with a idea for what could be a much larger story.
(Sometimes I think too many ideas and not enough working on (and finishing) these projects is going to be the death of me…)
Overall, it was fun impromptu game, overloading myself with prompts and limiting the time I have with each one. I might have to try it again sometime. But for now, I’m going to go work on some of the projects I’ve already started…
late at night, laying
awake, thinking of a dawn
devoid of nightmares
you run from monsters
if my nightmares came to life
you would run from me
hiding in shadows
sneaking in darkness. silent
and patient nightmares.
hiding under my
skin, disguised from all around
monsters and nightmares
some may find it hard
to worry about nightmares
while the sun is bright
but not so for me
mid-day is when my nightmares
come out to haunt me
burned by two fires
one no one could see
tied and surrounded by enemies
they thought they caught her
they thought to end her
but as the flames grew hotter at her feet
the secret inside her burned brighter
she must not tell
they couldn’t know
the heat in her heart filled her head to toe
she’d rather die than let it out
but she had no control
the fire charring her knees
fed the one raging in her soul
the crackling cords rough against her feet
the choking smoke rough inside her throat
the flames leapt higher
and seared her bones
her clothes fell away like so much ash
her skin felt tight
her blood boiled in her veins
she could no longer take the heat
her secret she could no longer keep
she drew in one last breath
and the fire poured out
as she screamed at the sky
the fire storm raged and burned the whole town
no building left standing
enemies and innocents all fallen
burned as she was to burn
one set of foot prints in the ashes
leading away from her would be pyre
she walks away crying
her soul still on fire
loneliness is my
constant companion in my
hollow broken heart
all alone and far away
no one and nothing
loyal and friendly
keeping me from loneliness
they are my best friends
alone in the dark
alone but never lonely
surrounded by stars
soft and sad and sweet
in the space between my thoughts
darkness is my soul
blind to beauty and kindness
soul of loneliness