Paeonia

 

I disagreed.

 

The legends and the myths

Whispered tales of romance and honour

Apparitions in the mystic

Saw Apollo hand the flower to Paeon

While Asclepius, in a flash of rage threatened murder

It’s said that Zeus saved the mortal Paeon, turned him into an exquisite flower

That mischievous nymphs hid in petals

Of Moon Goddess magic which charmed Peony

Who in turn, reflected moonbeams into darkness

 

And you said, “Darlin. Don’t believe in inexplicable things.”

 

The Dream Room

It’s All Temporary

Close your eyes, darlin’

Rest your weary head

Choose the slow lane to the middle of night

Collect your stars and far away things

Linger in the moments

Til I edge you back to dawn

~ Grace Writes

A Moment

Their moments were fleeting; at times, raw. This, was that moment.

“Annie?”

She giggled. A child’s head popped up from beneath the table. His daughter, a sprite of girl straightened and met his stare. A paper doll dangled from her fingertips. The style of  doll was familiar; he knew Jacqueline had sketched it, had painted in the model like features and cut it to form.

“I didn’t see you,” he laughed. “How long have you been here?”

Annie shrugged.

She was his light beam; her smile tamed darkness.

In that moment she charmed him. Feet planted, Annie straightened and dared: stay. Her ruffled blonde hair, wide bangs cut short, and one off- centered, green eye, opened wide; he had noticed her tricks.

Instantly, Annie lowered her head and the spell was broken.

He crouched beside her. Gently, his fingertips smoothed the tussled strands of her hair into place. He cupped her dimpled chin and waited for her to look up. When she did, he traced the freckled path along her cheekbone. Surgical tape stuck to the skin above her left eyebrow. One edge of the tape had lifted. Carefully, his fingertip pressed the errant corner into place. He knew she hated the eye patch, always picked at the edges to get free of the gauze covering.

He lingered in that moment. She was his black cat bone, his good luck charm.

 

 

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 Softened Moment

flocked in snow
flocked in snow

in a softened moment

under a veil of grey

snowflakes tumble

tipping my world

each flake, a scattered memory

a reach across time

you, always choosing december

to withdraw and return, to withhold and offer up

the spoils and riches of a life

yet within this silent moment

envisioning you near

choosing to believe

in everlasting love

 

my footsteps circle, pause

eyes cast toward the heavens

palms lifted to receive

your gift

 

between worlds we stand

witnesses

to never-ending love

 

 

 

 

 

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.