The sultry voice of a woman filled the small room. Notes rose, hit the ceiling, dropped. Words teased and enchanted as they wrapped humanity. “The High Priestess of Soul” punched the tiny kitchen with passion and spirit, nestled herself into every corner, tucked inside each drawer.

Absorbed in the magic, he forgot last night, forgot time. The notes brought dignity into the room. He bowed, gripped the counter and let his troubles slip off bone.

~ Maybe Love Will Save Us

The corners of the Diamond Club were lit up by the glow of cigar embers. He saw the familiar high rollers mingling in the shadows, highballs sloshing in cut glass. Sexy women wearing rich silks and party attire slipped through the hazy layers of smoke or clung to the arm of a wealthy, married man. Everyone was high on vice.

 

All Knowing

It’s been awhile since I’ve sat down to “free” write much of anything worthy of eyes and time. So, here goes a draft of something that has little relation to anything, other than a fledgling writer’s recommitment to practice her craft~

Perched upon a twisted branch, nestled deep within the tree top’s canopy, a raven hid. Beneath its view, a woman lay sprawled upon the mossy floor. Tousled locks, the colour of spun gold, fanned over the green that bedded her body. She was covered in tapestry, its richness deeper and bluer than the ocean that smashed beneath the hillside cliffs at the forest’s edge.

It was the glint of diamond pinned at her neckline that caught the Raven’s eye.

A woman’s body, once an empty vessel, was filling. Was she drowning? One hand slid over her heart. The steady rhythm, a comfort. She stirred, grateful to be alive.

What all knowing presence had snuck beneath her skin? Its comforting warmth now surging through her veins; its wisdom trickling down in whispers, “seek and you shall  find.”

Full lips parted and she drank the words as quenching to her hollow as a downpour over parched earth. As a seed unfurls, she felt herself transforming back to life.

Once again, the voice spoke. This time the words were audible, “You are not alone.”

A flash of black broke through the verdant canopy. Eyes wide, she knew the answer to her question.

This ephiephemy hadn’t come about in easy fashion. Rather, it had been a journey of twists and turns, thorns and roses, darkness and light. Steeped in the brew were moments of glimmering truths.

Beauty is found within shambles. A gritty truth she understood. Glances back through time, a particular poem cut from a Daily, a chipped, floral tea cup, a photograph and an untold story. All small, cracked and torn moments forged to memory.

She stood, a forearm shielding her forehead and faced the dark fury. A lone voice commanded, “Be not afraid.”

She straightened. The others had circled, an army of silent souls. Sentries, they stood guard.  Step for step, they had matched her pace along this journey, only pausing when she had collapsed, to rest her cheek upon the carpeted forest floor.

Layers

~ vintage blanket
~ vintage blanket

 

It snowed this weekend and the world became just a bit more enchanted. Layers of water and ice glistened over the street. Ribbons of snowflakes tumbled and bedecked the boughs beyond my window. Lights twinkled, evermore bright, as darkness dropped a veil atop the blanket of white. A hush settled upon the land. The world was beautiful to behold.

I’ve learned to look closely, to appreciate the layers of a life.

Everything layers. The snow that buries treasure. The cut pine boughs that house an errant spider. The branch of Winterberries that feed the birds. The words we write; the silences we keep.

Look closely.

My eyes scan the room to view a mother’s treasured sideboard. Once it stood stained and polished, waiting for Sunday. On that sacred day, she’d set out the silver and china serving dishes. Her best effort. And we would celebrate family.

Look closely.

A patina of paint and wax covers the oak sideboard. The top sanded, the edges worn. The silver stands in a cast iron urn, a twist on up cycling.  The china serving bowls rarely make an appearance. I see the candle burning down. A daughter’s attempt to hold on, let go, to illuminate the night.

Look closely.

My fingers lift a gilded frame. The sepia photograph is of a woman. I trace her portrait.  She is standing on a deck, leaning against a railing, looking out to sea. Dressed in her finest clothing, her fingertips hold a hat. A lady always wears a hat. She was a believer in proper etiquette. Beyond her rolls the Atlantic.

Look closely.

I recall her eyes, shades of indigo grey. Behind their depth is another layer. Doubt. I imagine her pausing, pondering, “Should I leave England?” I dust off worry and discover bravery. Carefully, I lift another layer to expose joy ~ he is waiting for her to cross an ocean.  On another continent, he goes about his life, planning, constructing, beholden to a dream.

Look closely.

A certain magic fills the room. A whispered breeze kisses my forehead. I see my Grandmother; she is still beautiful. Time has gently taken its toll. Her once bright eyes have paled. They  glimmer, wet pools of faded blue. Her finest dress, threadbare. A pin of pearls is elegantly placed beneath the collar of her blouse.  Beside her armchair a weathered curtain hangs, the faded Irish lace rustles.

Look closely.

Everything is layered, weathered, chipped, cracked and broken. Be still. Pay attention to the forgotten. It is within glorious imperfection that we find beauty. Lift the layers gently, see beyond the cracks. Everything and everyone has a story to tell. The magic of the world works in whispers. You only need a heart that feels to see the wonder that surrounds us.

A Modern Day Fairytale

Fury and force heaved and shattered all that dared defy their presence. With exhaled breath, they battered the stalwart evergreens. Tree- tops spun. Boughs snapped and fell.

I knew it was a matter of time.

In the distance, a low rumble shot like a freight train through the land. The faint thundering of hooves grew louder. Beside me, a squirrel scurried for shelter. Overhead, a raven screamed a spell.

A veil hung, ominous and sheer, separating earth from the heavens. Deafening silence overtook the land. The faintest sound was the pumping of my heart. Even still, I was not afraid.

Leaves spun, suspended in air. Shades of red through orange, shapes of maple and oak teased my outstretched hand. Pinecones scattered and rolled across the mossy carpet beneath my feet.

From a clearing he appeared, lit beneath the hunter’s moon. I watched ringed fingers grip and tug the reins. The stallion reared, muscles taut, its coat damp and shiny, head twitching side to side.

On the charge’s back sat the royal one. A body clothed in leather, eyes the sparks of flint, a rugged face devoid of emotion.

It was then I glimpsed his truth. I saw one hand lift, watched as his fingers stroked the mane. The steed lowered its head and stood like stone.

The Storm King lifted from the saddle. Dark, dangerous, beautiful and mysterious he kneeled before me and bowed.

Autumn Light

Kissed by autumn’s softened light

I sit at my desk

Writing, wondering

The moment simple, quiet

Surrounded by words and thoughts

Tucked away memories

A gentle sadness, softened by time

Rustles

As I cast a spell of silence and peace

 

The wind whispers your name

Rock a bye, rock a bye

Siren’s sing you home

Rock a bye, rock a bye

To a land suspended in time

Rock a bye, rock a bye

Hush your weary mind

Rock a bye, rock a bye

Do not fear the journey

The stars, your compass

 

Memories flutter like cranes

Lifted higher upon the wind

Your love is true

Rock a bye, rock a bye

Our souls shall meet again

On the other side of time

Rock a bye, rock a bye