Archive for the ‘Put Pen to Paper’ Category

Attacks of Color

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

The quilt’s pattern is no longer distinct as the colors bleed over the bed onto the floor. Its patches blur at the edges and the colors begin swimming. These colors are the only remarkable part of the stark white room. The only red, the only green, the only yellow, the only art in a space crowded by monitors and tubes.


The room had been too white. This nothing color needed to be banished and the quilt was the only weapon available. Its color had helped disguise the now silent monitors. It had brought a bit of life to this room.


Never before had White been such a detestable color. White took no prisoners creeping across the room infecting his inhabitant with an awful blankness. He perfectly complemented the sterility of this room. He wouldn’t even let the weak rest in peace. The villain spread across their countenance helped by his minions.


Lying across his victim were coarse sheets. They were the first of his soldiers to attack, making their victim pray for warmth. The nurses piled them on, but it didn’t help. They provided no comfort; they deprived the occupant of sleep so they must always look at the white walls. They did not shield the victim from the icy touch of the doctor as he poked and prodded. The recycled air was suffocating. There was no relief from the burning smell of disinfectant. It carried with it the sounds of the hospital; telephone’s ringing, voices chattering, shoes smacking the tile, distorted screams, crying.


Even the sight of the various machines and tubes did not relieve the monotony of the white walls. They merely reminded the victim that this was not home. The plastic plant in the corner was White’s secret weapon. It swayed to the steady beep of the heart monitor as it pulled the life from this sanitary room.


This was White’s favorite room. Windows were usually nuisances to combat in his quest for emptiness. In this room White had no need to fight the view. He rejoiced in the view of the gray roof in the window. Occasionally the blue sky and yellow sun valiantly attempted to confront the gray and white lines, but the rain was a vengeful friend during this battle.


White was a brilliant foe. He believed he had won. His victim’s always succumbed to his colorless sword. They had tried flowers, those children of the yellow sun. Flowers wilted. Glossy photos mocked the victim from the side table, a reminder of the things that were missing. The walls taunted and teased. No color could touch them. No art would penetrate them.


The quilt was given to his victim as a gift. It was the last line of defense. White did not tremble in fear at the blanket. No, he was amused. Surely this too would fade in time and join his ranks.


The colors were pale and worn, but his opponent smiled. White paused in his game watching as his soldier sheets were tossed across the room. They toppled the plastic plant to the tune of his enemy’s laughter. The colors attacked immediately. They slashed through the weakened defenses of the villain. The red warmed their bones. The green gave them dreams of pleasant days: days unmarred by the gray and white, the wet and cold. The pattern streaked across White’s walls and reflected off the window, obscuring the morose view. All power White had wielded must submit to this threadbare work of patches. White was merely the absence of color… he had no influence against such a weapon.


His foe did not close blank eyes. Those lucky enough to be defended by the colors did not become shells for white to dance on in victory. They left the room cold and white in appearance, but White had not captured them.


Sunday, July 14th, 2013

Where is the road without brake lights?

The red and white ribbons

unravel before me.

A steady rhythm of stop and

go, greets me.


This is not what I wanted.

Where is the road without brake lights?

The one that offers freedom;

where I can let the wind

and the tinny notes of the radio

weave through my hair.


Where is the road that shows me an empty black top

instead of lines of painted boxes?

I have this urge to wander aimlessly,

take a left here, follow straight



Can I get to a speed that leaves my head

behind and I don’t seem to mind that

I’m wasting time?


Sunday, July 14th, 2013

The minivan creeps along 4th street; the only relief from the sweltering heat coming from the ocean. The taunting breeze slips in through the open windows. It mixes in with the sounds of the radio: the latest country star wailing about her lost love or a good night at the bar. But my mind is on the shore line and the salt air.

Loaded down arms with coolers, and chairs, and towels, and umbrellas… we trudge up the hill. I shuck off my flip-flops as I make my way over the dune, following the crashing sound of the Atlantic.

I stand at the top surveying the beach. My eyes scan across the umbrella spotted sand looking for a bare space. I shed the beach tools and the constricting t-shirt, race my brother to the surf. The foam washes over my toes making me gasp. The sparkling liquid that looked so inviting from above delights in freezing my limbs. The ocean is not for the timid though so I plunge into the next broken wave.

Up, up, and over the crest. Immersed in the green sea I smile at the receding shore.

On my towel after my swim I close my eyes. Relishing the feel of my salt-crusted skin, the sun painting my body, the burn and grit of the sand under my toes. This place is home.

A Bed of Grass

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

The prickly grass accepts me

the sun shines brightly, its rays

warming my bed of green.


My winter bleached skin welcomes this bath of light.

I could be easy here,

but the cool, damp earth underneath the hot blades

reminds me that the frost has only recently



I stretch myself  long

pointing my toes towards his bed

I don’t have time for you today

and then

my fingers brush the smooth stone.


I roll towards your resting place,

Elbows planted, feet in the air, fingers tracing

the gilted numbers of your days.



the only place that reminds me that you were once alive.

Twelve years is long enough to forget that I ever called you daddy.

I come to your grave,

I stare at your name,

and I force myself to remember.


Six feet below me

lying just as I am,

there you are.


An ant nudges my arm.

He tests me, weighs me as he calls to his army.

Tickling my skin he takes his measurements.


Can he carry me away?

Will he march me down into their deep, dark hole?


I watch his progress

mesmerized by his movements.

He runs suddenly from the water dripping off my hand.

I am distracted by the tears gathering at my chin.


I rise disturbing the circling black body.

I brush the dirt, the tears, and the pain away.