eyes have seen the light

eyes have seen the light, charcoal, 2015 (original photographed and edited)

paths to follow
exertion
against blindness
she chose
resistance and solitude
forged her way
into realities unknown
wandered
in landscapes lit
by strangers
kindness too great
to let go

If I ran the zoo

“Can I get a cat?” scrolling through the Craigslist feed, Anna looks up at her father. Switches her glance to me. Investigative journalism, smart. Interrogation, even wiser. She was feeling us out.

I adamantly said no. For 23 years I’ve been running a zoo. Every animal imaginable, small and sweet, has been a member of the family.

First it was Leo. For Emily. A rather cute guinea pig bought in Brooklyn. We took the subway there, from Manhattan. It was quite an adventure for a girl raised in the country.

A menagerie followed. I erected a wall at rats and snakes. I never gave in to Emily’s barrage of pleas and tears, which calmed my fears, but never her willingness to ask. The toughest I have ever been.

I once bought a pod of praying mantis to eat the “bad” bugs in the garden. My long days spent in the backyard had paid off. I was fortunate to witness their hatch. Whoever was the first one out, well, he was lucky. The charge afterwards was furious, each climbing over the brother. And sister. I believe I read they eat each other. I didn’t stay for lunch.

By August there were a few mature mantis stationed in the yard. I felt their eyes wherever I walked. It began to feel quite anxious in my other wise peaceful garden.

One summer evening, a mantis had climbed up to Luke’s bedroom window. I asked if he would like to invite him in, give Mr. Mantis a staycation in a bug cage. Luke agreed.

“Mom!” rang out. He was a frenzied mess. He couldn’t sleep. Those eyes. Now he knew how I felt, ever cautious, playing in my garden. Mantis can fly. And eat Hummingbirds. Oh my!

Anna had been struggling. Teenagitis was the worst for her. So it was to be, my husband agreed to another cat. We came back home with two.

Up next, how to choose a pet name.

More than ordinary

all this blue-sits indoors-meaning to hide-the brighter doors…lift your eyes-another soul resides-smiles, says hi.

Norm’s Doors 2.0

Silently whispering

I have been hard pressed- trying to be my best. And in the process, lost all rest. 

Broken, storms erect a wall. Weak, utterly confused. Silent. The drums ever louder, marching to the beats, painful echoes I repeat. What is heard?

Look up! vultures. Masses circle, tease desires. Grotesque in cue. Addressed invitations to the vile.

Quiet! Please be still, my heart. Stop and play with me?

No, sings the chorus. Feeling satisfaction, cloaked with power.  Cuts deep. Power turns me on my head. Destroys what life remains, up ahead. Drains the blood.

Dead.

The world drives me insane. I attempt to love it back. Erect it, place it back in orbit. Black. Not one person hears. Silently whispering. We fade.

Ideally

Remembering childhood days

running home for dinner

playing legos with your brother,

Why’d it have to end?

What shadows crept behind the sun

washed out memories,

lurk, no amount of fight

breaks their will,

rushing to and fro,

cause your world to explode -no

running home for dinner or reading Ranger Rick -no

your running for your life.

I told my daughter, today, she was a tornado. And she answered. Your worse.

Me?

Yes. You. Your a hurricane, tsunami, earthquake, all rolled into one. One some thing. A thunderstorm that never ends.

Life Purpose

I look with purpose toward the second half of my life.  I am moving forward.

Charles Angrand Mother and Child

Charles Angrand, Mother and Child, French

I love kids.  They possess everything that is stripped away by age.  As I get older, I rather feel a spent bloom and then as sure as I smell coffee, I perk up.  Those roasted beans are buried dreams, brown fertilizer. I find myself spurred on to make solid decisions regarding my mission.

Granted, I have been at this precipice before gazing at the world atop the metaphoric mountain peak (a cloud of whipped cream on my coffee).  I have set multiple goals, become discouraged, encountered set-backs and even given up.  It has been 6 years of college with a gap of 2 years working with preschoolers. That particular job showed me how much I like teaching, but discovered how much more I love counseling and social work.  I enjoy forming relationships with the disadvantaged and particularly homeless youth.

I tutor with School on Wheels and the impact those children leave with me is beyond compare.  When they smile, I swoon, and when they cry, I am right beside them.  I am a part of their invisible community and feel familiar with their wanting to speak.  As I speak for them I speak for me, albeit on different planes of experience.

Recently, awareness of the number of people in Indianapolis who cannot read, through IndyReads, brought a new endeavor. Eventually I want to incorporate all three of my loves into one.  Homelessness, reading and writing, to reach the creative soul we each embody.  We need a purpose in life.

To be continued…