Monday, September 20, 2010

Doll Face

You leave me sitting
on the shelf
a China doll
You're afraid to break

And yet, the only fragile part
Is my living, beating heart

You leave me packed up
in a box
A plastic Barbie
So I won't become a mess

And yet the messed up part of me
Is my lack of reality

You leave me lying
on the floor
A stuffed ragdoll
So I won't have to think

And yet the best thing inside my head
Is the brain you didn't see

Put my parts together
Watch me work
You'll see that I'm more
Than a pretty face
perfect hair and vacant eyes

I'm a living doll
A work of art
Living, breathing, imperfect parts
Most likely to be
A danger to your heart

So take me down, dust me off
I'll be a surprise
You didn't expect
Just please don't leave me
On the shelf

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Story With An End


Once upon a time
never seems to come

Sometimes I get so close
but it always slips away

A fairy tale come true
is what I'd like to have

But the mysteries of life
are what my life's about

Will I ever find a prince
upon a big white horse

The thriller that I seek
is hidden in blank pages

Yet my biography I hope
will tell a simple story

That happily ever after
came at the end of my life's tale

Monday, August 16, 2010

Steampunk Princess

There's a steampunk princess
with her regal airs

You'll see her head in the clouds,
her feet in her boots

She's got romantic notions
and a technical streak

She won't fall for a knight
but a chivalrous geek

Her heart's in the details
while her head's in the game

Everyone loves her
they just can't stay away

There's no one quite like her
which is all for the best

Since all princesses are special
with their own unique gifts

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Fine Line

There's a fine line
between love and hate
when someone dear
has thrust the blade.

There are a thousand shades
between black and white
with infinite greys
grading wrong and right.

There are a million pieces
between big and small
in the puzzle of life
we all try to fit in.

There are infinite worlds
between here and there
in the concept of friendship
when one doesn't care.

Yet it takes only one word
between two people
for one to understand
or for another to walk away.

You never know which way it falls
between your words
and another's ears
unless they cross the line as well.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Vivid Colors


Traipsing through the tall green grass
Our afternoon did slowly pass

Beneath the sky of rolling blue
I spent the most wonderful time with you

As we frolicked beneath the sun of yellow
Our feelings were relaxed and mellow

If I could just stop the shifting sands
Or stop the movement of time's hands

As the sun fades into pink
It made me stop to really think

How perfect moments come to pass
When we wish they'd always last

And someday when my sky is grey
I'll look back fondly on this day

I'll see it in a hue of red
The details vivid in my head

Time passes quickly and colors fade
But that's why portraits must be made

To keep in life the vivid hues
Of days spent gaily with my muse

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Way With Words

It's true, you have a way with words
It's something I admire

You paint a picture with some of them
That you call poetry

Others you conduct effortlessly
Into lyrics that I love

Some words you pluck right from the air
And create a killer tale

But the word that you use best is when
You simply call me friend!

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Seed of Joy

I met a man on the street one day
Everyone he met tried to get out of his way
Not one kind word did he have to say

As he passed by me, he dropped a seed
I picked it up and called him heed
He glared at me, said he had no need

So in my pocket it did go
At home in the garden I'd gladly sow
And wait to see if it would grow

I'd ne'er seen one like that seed before
How I should tend it -- I was unsure
Yet I continued with my little chore

The little seed every day I'd tend
I spoke to it like a sunny friend
And soon little shoots began to unbend

It's leaves were reaching for the sky
The bush was growing rather high
I saw that buds were growing nigh

Finally the bush burst into bloom
Each flower was a wispy plume
Waving away any trace of gloom

One day I saw that man so sour
From whom I'd gotten my lovely flower
Across his angry face a glower

I asked him to come along with me
The plant I wanted him to see
And when he did, he was filled with glee

His reaction made my own heart sing
At the thought of one small simple thing
Over what shared joy can truly bring

And the next time I saw him on the street
I saw every person he did meet
Walk away with a smile most sweet

Monday, June 28, 2010

An Unexpected Find

The stone steps led to a cave that was lit eerily with blue light and the explorers entered cautiously. They had come seeking artifacts initially, but what lay before them exceeded what any of them could have imagined. Of the group of four, each imagined something different.


Jack imagined the fame that this discovery would bring him. Maria began to imagine ways they could profit from it. Ben was filled with horror at way lay before him. Joan was awestruck by the beauty in front of her. Tenderly, she reached out and touched the small, glowing alien baby that lay nestled within the wreckage of what appeared to be a wrecked space craft. Slowly, she reached out and lifted her up, smiling at the beautiful baby as she cooed and reached up to her face.

“Wait! Don’t touch it,” Ben shouted. “You don’t know what it’s capable of!”

“She’s just a baby,” Joan scoffed. “She’s alone. We can’t just abandon her here.”

“Let me see it,” Jack demanded.

“No, give it to me,” Maria insisted.

Joan clutched the baby a little tighter to her chest, suddenly uneasy about the strong interest they had in the small alien. She felt her own emotions surge and wondered if the baby herself were causing their feelings to be intensified. The baby cuddled closer to her. Joan took a step back.

Jack reached out and tried to grab the small alien from her. Maria was coming at her from the other side. Ben looked on in horror. Joan turned and began running into the cavern, Jack and Maria in hot pursuit. As she ran around a bend in the cavern the baby began to wail. Joan tried to comfort her as she ran and looked for a hiding place or escape.

“Shhh! It’s alright,” she assured the baby, hoping her tone meant something to the alien child.

She ran through the cave and tripped over a tree root, instinctively turning to take the brunt of the fall in her shoulder and protect her charge from her weight. Joan fought back a sob as she tried to stay focused on getting them to safety. She got up and began trying to run, but her ankle wouldn’t support her. Maria and Jack were closing in on her.

Suddenly, they both stopped short and their eyes went wide. Joan tried to comfort the crying child, who made the only sound in the room. She realized they weren’t staring at her and slowly she turned to look behind her. A tall, fierce-looking alien with blue skin, wide eyes and black hair stood behind her. Despite his fierceness, she thought to herself how beautiful and exotic he looked. She looked into his eyes and tried to produce a friendly smile.
She offered the crying baby up to him. Then, suddenly, he’d picked her up and was carrying her and the alien child off. They walked up the ramp to a second sleek ship and the door closed behind them.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Love Letter

Words written down that are just for me
wrapped up in their secrecy

Sentiments bound from pen to impart
drawing the picture from your heart

I never thought I'd ever see
words expressed so eloquently

It's more than enough to make me smile
to know you thought I was worth the while

So thank you for stopping to take the time
To write for me a simple rhyme

Pressed in a book from long ago
So when I opened it up, I would know

Whatever may come you're always there
In this life that we have shared

Monday, June 7, 2010

Slow Days Of Summer

The grass is green
The sun is high
The flowers bloom
Birds fly by

Long days are here
Life's slowing down
There's time to spare
For a dandelion crown

I've not a care
Besides this book
Bees buzz by
This babbling brook

If something needs done
I'll do it sometime
But I'm not in a hurry
It's summertime!

Monday, May 31, 2010

One Little Body


A soft fawn head
against my leg

A gentle paw
to tap my hand

The softest fur
beneath my hand

A graceful tail
greeting me home

A cold wet nose
in early morn

A warm little tongue
that licks my foot

And two golden eyes
to see my heart

All in one perfect body
that I call my dog

Monday, May 24, 2010

I Believe In Fairy Tales

As a little girl
I believed in knights in shining armor
magic in the water
and happily ever after

Then I grew up
I had to slay my own dragons
look at the grass beneath my feet
and the realities of the world

But I believe
that my feet can be on the ground
while my head's in the clouds
and my heart beats free

Because of you
I have a knight in rusty armor
A dragon in my pocket
and a mermaid's song

Life is a fairy tale
as long as you see beyond
the once upon a time
to the happily ever after

So dream your dreams
see the world
live in both
and find your balance

Monday, May 17, 2010

Just For Me

Birthday wrapping
lots of cake
streamers hanging
songs sung loudly
just for me

But that's not what
I really want
It's just a minute
of your time
just for me

You seem so busy
you never call
the rest of the year
you have no time
just for me

What I'd give
to hear your voice
out of the blue
reaching out
just for me

My birthday party
would mean so much
if I felt you knew who I am
and if you'd come
just for me

Is there hope
if I reach out
will you have a minute
that you can spare
just for me

It's all I really wanted
not cake
or gifts
just to know you're out there
just for me

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Gift

A hand to hold
when times are tough

A word to help
get my courage up

A heart to love
when I need it most

A dream to share
when I give up hope

A laugh to delight
as we share a joke

Then wings to fly
when the time is right

A mother's gift
is beyond compare

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tiny Bubbles

If I could keep
      this perfect moment with you
                                   wrapped in a bubble

I would keep it
      carefully wrapped
                       like the world's greatest treasure should be

I wish I had kept
        all of our moments
                              treasured every one
                                              and could take each one out
                                                                    to look at again and again

We're no longer together
         but those moments in my heart
                              are greater treasure
                                                  than the finest gold or trinkets
                                                                              because I loved you

And you loved me

Monday, April 26, 2010

Warts And All

I want you to see me
flawless, perfect, unblemished

To show the very best
that I know I have inside

And yet...

You find me in my mistakes
dirty, scarred, uncharitable

And the surprise is
You love me for those things

The miracle in being
That those things I wish most to hide

Are the endearments that draw you
And cause you to be perfect in my eyes

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lilac

I am old.
I am not the puppy I once was.

But I can still run
In dreams full of endless meadows and rabbits.

There are many things I will not do.
I won't go for walks.
I won't listen to the word no.
I won't go back to sleep early in the morning.
I won't volunteer for rides in the car.

But I will love you
With all my heart.

And I will also always steal from the trash when I can.
I hope you understand.



Monday, April 12, 2010

Blueberry

I  was born to be the companion of a king
or a queen

But I'm happy to be a companion
to you

Let's just sit here together
for a while

And then later, I'll let you wait on me
hand and foot

Just remember when you'e sad
I'll be the one

To lick away your tears and listen
To all that's on your heart

This is the real reason you wait on me
and treat me like a queen

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bunny


The world is my oyster
Full of people just waiting
to pet me
to give me treats
to adore me
to take me places
to love me...

Just for being sweet little me

Let me always be with you
And I'll be infinitely happy

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Walks In

There's a bounce in my step
I smell an early bloom
That's cracked through the frost
Of Winter's spectral gloom

I walk down the path
I hear the robin's sweet song
Sung from his red breast
That Winter's almost gone

My feet move along
I see green blades of grass
Tiny banners of victory
That Spring's won at last

Now I've traveled this far
I feel sun on my face
The radiant beams
Breaking through Winter's space

Finally I've arrived
I taste fresh sweet delights
Brought into the world
By the Spring's early light

I'm so glad I'm here
And that Winter's at end
Let's make the most of it all
As springtime begins

Monday, March 22, 2010

Art Lessons

You see the world in black and white
But I'm a shade of grey
I think that makes me invisible
Even in the light of your day

You draw the world in lines most straight
But I'm a curlicue
I fear that makes me a bad fit
In your stark world view

You hear the world in symphonies
But I'm a singing bowl
I guess that I don't resonate
A chord within your soul

That world of yours seems rather dull
I say that from my heart
I wish for you that you could see
I am a work of art

I'd paint your world in vivid shades
So you might learn to see
That differences are beautiful
Just like you and me

Monday, March 15, 2010

Your Song

You have a song, I’ve heard you sing
The beauty of your heart
It comes from you, I know it does
I love that song, I listen close
To hear it when it starts

Sometimes you sing a sad lament
Of love lost and never found
One that’s full of wails and tears
And makes my heart respond

Sometimes you sing a happy tune
That spreads your internal joy
A song that’s made to make me laugh
And shares your light with all

Sometimes you sing a requiem
A solemn, rending cry
One that brings those lost to mind
As we all say good bye

Sometimes you sing a lullaby
With quiet gentle strains
That lulls your loved one off to sleep
At the quiet end of the day

Sometimes you sing an anthem
That always draws a crowd
You state your case in quite a way
And you sing it really loud

The song I know is part of you
As surely as your eyes
It’s who you are, it’s what you do
No instrument compares to you
I hope you realize

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Star

I know that you think of me as a satellite circling your brilliant sun.
You call me into your orbit when you want others to see your twinkling star.
And then you can dismiss me to return to your eclipse, blocked from the light
left in the dark space where you don’t think of me.

What you don’t know is that behind you, in that black space, I am part of a constellation
you never even knew existed.
Others can actually be drawn to the flickering light inside of me that shines out
creating a prism of color from all the facets I possess.

Even the surfaces that you have cracked and dirtied
when you threw your hidden ugliness
at me that you didn’t want others to see can be transformed by the right play
of light that others have been willing to share with me from themselves.

You can’t see that inside me because all you want to see is yourself
reflected back from my surface.
It’s all you want others to see as well.

It’s okay, but oh, if you could only see…

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Closer Look

I wish you really knew me
And not what you wished I’d be
I wish I knew what it is
People really want to see

It seems I’m never quite enough
To make people look again
I feel like I’m invisible
Erased before I e’er begin

Or else it seems I’m hideous
Beauty hidden deep inside
My flaws exposed and ridiculed
Soft spots concealed in my hide

I wish sometimes they’d look again
To see what’s really me
I’m more than just that outer skin
But I can’t let them see

The parts I keep most hidden
Are the true bits of my self
They really are the best of me
But they’ll sit here on the shelf

I might have shared them with the world
But they tossed away the rest
They wouldn’t give a second look
Thinking they’re the best

They’re the ones who are missing out
I know that in my heart
And still I wish they’d have looked again
For my really special part

Beauty isn’t the same to all
It’s the really shallow kind
Who only take one look and part
Never looking at what’s behind

For those who take a closer look
They might find I’m a work of art
Special ones with eyes to see
The whole and not just part

Monday, February 22, 2010

Daughter of Janus

Your child you brought into the world
A girl with smiles and hair that curled
“Almost perfect” is what you said
If she’d been born a boy instead

Never perfect could this girl be
That was your vow and your decree
You wouldn’t spare a smile for her
Your ire for her was quite secure

Other people had not a clue
To them you gave another view
For them you were all laughs and smiles
They could not see through all your wiles

When you came home at end of day
For every insult she would pay
You’d knock her down upon the ground
Keeping your dignity still sound

Did it never occur to you
The love she felt for you was true
You weren’t worthy of that pearl
Because you couldn’t love that girl

Your big mistake did come to pass
It was in how you raised the lass
You taught her to think like a boy
She grew wise to selfish ploy

She grew old enough to think
And then her heart began to sink
She saw that in her father’s eyes
Was where her imperfection lies

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Flight of Fancy

As a child I had the most vivid dreams of flying. I seemed to be drawn to the idea of flight on many subconscious levels. My drawings were of birds, butterflies and angels. The outside games I most loved were climbing high in the trees and pretending to be a pilot or a fairy queen.

When I suddenly became able to fly it was nothing like my dreams. In my dreams I had wings instead of arms. (It’s funny how I never had to eat in my dreams.) In reality, I seem to fly with just the thought to do so. At the age of fifteen I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The doctors did surgery, but something went wrong. They used some new technology to save me. A few days later as I lay recovering, I had one of my flying dreams. I woke up to doctors and nurses trying to get me down from the ceiling. It wasn’t long before I could fly while I was awake. I can’t tell you how exhilarating it felt. This big blue marble we live on gets more and more beautiful the higher up you get.

The doctors tried to figure out what they’d done that made me able to fly. They even tried it on a bunch of people who asked them to who had the same kind of tumor I had. Nobody else ever could. Finally some laws were passed that made it illegal for the doctors to try it anymore after some of the people died or went insane. The people who survived became depressed because they couldn’t fly – even though they were cured and could go back to their happy lives.

As you can imagine, my life changed drastically. It wasn’t long before everyone knew my name and what I could do. People started to have a lot of expectations about what I should and shouldn’t do. The doctors tried to get custody of me from my parents because they wanted to do surgery on me again and tests to see what they’d done to my brain. Even though we won, my parents took me away and we went into hiding.

Our new home was a whole new experience for me. We’d lived in the city, but we moved across the country to the most rural place you can imagine. My parents grounded me from flying and that was torture. I know they wanted to protect me, but once you’ve been in the air, it’s hard to go back to the ground. I wanted so badly to fly across the landscape and feel the clean wind whip through my hair that I ached with it. The people there knew who I was, but they accepted me when they saw that I was pretty normal. Once in a while, when I was pretty sure no one could see me, I did fly for a bit. Sometimes it was just to remember how to do it and other times I just needed to be alone with my thoughts and the wind.

I guess I’ll never know why this happened to me. I’d have been the world’s most normal person if I’d never been able to fly. Its funny how sometimes getting what you thought you wanted the most turns out to be really different from what you’d thought it would be. In my dreams it was always just me flying above the Earth feeling happy and carefree. I never dreamed that it would cause so many people to have bad feelings toward me or that it would make me feel so isolated. If I could share this glorious gift with everyone I would. To see the stars glittering above you and feel that you can reach out and touch them is so beautiful. I think that if more people could see it like I can; there’d be less fighting and selfishness. There’s enough for us all to share and it’s so magnificent. From up in the sky you can’t see the dirt and ugliness of some places. You also can’t see all the people. It all just looks so peaceful and majestic.

Sometimes I’m not sure if it’s worth it to keep my feet on the ground. When I see people fighting and arguing I want to fly off into the sky sometimes and never come back. Walking around seems so slow and boring – it takes so long for the scenery to change. Sure, it’s kept me safe and it’s allowed me to go back to living a pretty much private life, but there’s no exhilaration in it.

Now I sit here trying to decide what the next phase in my life will be. It’s time for me to go away to college and to decide how I’ll live the rest of my life. Will I keep my feet on the ground and plot out a safe, happy future or will I take flight again and reach for dreams that may be beyond my grasp? What would anyone else do in my place, I wonder?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Perfect Imperfection

I’m the ray of sunshine
That got lost behind a cloud
I’m the quiet melody
That was drowned out by the crowd

I have the best intentions
They just seem to go awry
Things don’t go as I planned
But I couldn’t tell you why

You’ll say that I’m the sunbeam
Who chased away the rain
You’ll say that I’m the music
Inside your heart’s refrain

You say that I’m the compass
That gives your life direction
And in your wise opinion
I’m the perfect imperfection

So happily we go along
Through any kind of weather
It doesn’t matter where we go
As long as we’re together

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Gift For A Friend

Please don’t rain on my parade
When I give you lemonade

Please do not be all gloom and doom
As I hand to you a rose in bloom

Please do not just reject my gift
When I offer you a lift

Please do not tear it all apart
As I give you a gift from my heart

Don’t you know when you are down
All that I can do is frown

I’ll sit beside you while you mope
Inside I’ll still be full of hope

I’ll be waiting ‘til I see you grin
So our fun can begin again

So do not push my gifts away
Let’s go and start our happy day

I can’t go forward without you
While you sit here feeling blue

You have at least one special friend
Who’ll be here with you to the end

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Magic In The Water

Elaine waded deeper into the loch when she cocked her head and heard a lyrical sound, almost too beautiful to be singing. She turned and looked to locate the source of the music, but she couldn’t find it. It seemed to come from nowhere and everywhere. Her imagination conjured up images of mermaids crooning as they combed out their hair with combs made of seashells.

She shook her head. It was silly nonsense. Her mind told her that there was some logical explanation while her heart begged for it to be magic of some kind. Reality wasn’t something she wanted to think about at the moment. She was alone, a widow at the age of twenty five. Her white knighted husband had been killed in the war a month ago. Going on vacation to Ireland was supposed to be a distraction, but her heart wasn’t distracted. A lump formed in her throat.

Then she took a deep breath and looked around. The lilting sound still filled the air. It would drive her nuts until she found it. She became more determined to find the source. Somehow she felt that the music would haunt her if she didn’t find it.

As she crawled around a large outcropped rock, her hands dug into the stone, trying to hold her balance. When she spied the source of the song, she gasped and her heart fluttered. There in a cave just above the water’s edge, a dragon sat singing. Her eyes went wide and she gasped. The orange dragon stopped in the midst of the tune and stared back at her, his emerald eyes fixing on her with a strange intensity.

Elaine took a step back, intending to flee, but the dragon’s expression softened and he beckoned her in, leaning his head down in a gesture of calmness. Transfixed, she climbed inside, bound by her curiosity to see what was going on.

“Are you a mermaid,” the dragon asked her.

“N-n-no,” Elaine stammered. “I’m just me.”

“I knew that witch was lying to me,” he growled, sitting back as a puff of smoke escaped his dignified-looking nose.

“What witch,” she asked, completely bewildered.

“The one who told me if I sang in this cave a mermaid would appear to ease my loneliness,” he sighed.

“Sorry, I can’t help much with loneliness,” Elaine told him sympathetically. “I’m pretty lonely myself. What’s your name?”

“Egan,” he told her. “What is your name, fair damsel?”

“Elaine,” she answered. “How odd – my husband’s name was Egan!”

“He exists no more,” Egan asked.

“No, he died last month,” she replied sadly.

“I am most sorry,” the dragon said.

She smiled at him weakly. She had heard “sorry” a lot in the past month. She was tired of hearing it.

“I wish the last month was all just a bad dream,” she admitted.

She sat down. The dragon moved over and sat beside her, resting his arm about her possessively. He leaned down and whispered in her ear.

“I felt that I was here in a bad dream myself until now. What if we were both meant to find each other to lead the way out of our own bad dreams? What if my mermaid princess was named Elaine?”

She turned to him with wide eyes. Perhaps there was magic in the world. “I’d be happy to be your mermaid if you’d like to become my knight!”

With that, a puff of smoke appeared around them and suddenly she stood gazing back at her husband and reflecting back from the water, a dragon embraced a mermaid.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Heart Medicine

A sad heart
A heavy heart
A wounded heart
A broken heart

Sometimes it feels it can’t beat on
The pain squeezes like a vice

A cold heart
A bitter heart
A poisoned heart
A jaded heart

At times it seems so damaged
It’s a wonder it lives at all

An untamed heart
A divided heart
A guarded heart
A restless heart

Other times it feels restrained
When it wants to just break free

A light heart
A joyous heart
A singing heart
A laughing heart

Any time it feels happiness
It’s like a soothing balm

A leaping heart
A beating heart
A wild heart
A heart attack

Every time that you are near
It feels like it will soar

A contented heart
A full heart
A peaceful heart
A whole heart

It takes away all the pain
Encountered from before

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Witches' Ball -- A Different Kind of Fairy Tale

I based this story off a poem I wrote a while ago.  It was supposed to be for a project where an artist was going to draw images for me and it would be set on a background.  The artist sort of flaked out on me and I couldn't find someone else interested in doing pictures for it, so I thought I'd just post it and let people somewhere read it.  I hope it's enjoyable.  It morphed quite a bit from the original poem.




Come one, come all!

The annual Witches’ Ball will be held upon the final Friday of Fall
Please wear your best finery
And join us with your company

Gertrude sighed as she read the invitation that had arrived by spider post and sat down in her favorite chair. Just the thought of the annual ball was depressing enough. Remembering the ball of the previous year was enough to make her cringe in embarrassment. If that weren’t bad enough, the scrying glass that sat upon the table beside her reflected the entire mortifying events right before her eyes.

She’d arrived, dressed in her finest gown. Her friend Minerva had been with her and they’d been commenting on the usual things one noticed at the ball – what the others were wearing, the stuck up fairy godmothers in attendance, the handsome warlocks who stood on the sidelines drinking newt punch, and who might dance with whom. Things had been off to a wickedly delightful start.

Unfortunately, things began to take a turn for the worse when Phineas of Rothskill arrived. Every female eye turned to admire the handsome warlock. It made no difference if the female was a witch, fairy godmother, siren or sorceress. One and all set up a soft sigh as he strode past. He stopped at the table for some eye of newt juice and asked Gertrude, who just happened to be standing near the table, if it was any good. She’d smiled at him most winningly, and the other female eyes in the room turned green as they gazed upon her.

When Phineas asked her to dance, a group of fairy godmothers concocted a plan. While Gertrude was whirling about the dance floor, the fairy godmothers hastily hatched a plot to get the handsome warlock to themselves. They mixed a little potion and waited for their chance. As Gertrude was led from the dance floor by Phineas, one of them slid the drink into her hand. After the heated whirl and crush of the dance floor, Gertrude was only too happy to take the frothy drink. She took a long draught and began to feel a bit light-headed, but she thought it was only the heat and excitement.

She saw her friend Minerva from the sidelines. Minerva was probably the only one there at the ball that was happy for Gertrude. She had her eye on someone else, a shy wizard, so there was no competition from her. Phineas had led her outside and the cool air had helped a bit, but that was a brief respite.

As they’d reentered the festivities, someone had “accidentally” stepped on the hem of her gown. The black silk had ripped all the way up to her waist. Gertrude’s face had been mix of horror and embarrassment. Minerva had swooped in to assist her and they’d swept off to a private room. After several attempts, the dress had been magically mended and they went back down to the ball.

The next thing she knew, someone had tripped her and Gertie had not only broken the heel off her shoe, she’d also spilled a drink on another handsome warlock as well as a sultry siren. She mumbled an embarrassed apology and looked for the source of her humiliation, but there was nobody to be found. Minerva led her off to a corner where they spent another half hour trying to fix her shoe.

Twelve chimes sounded from a large clock, and Gertrude began to feel unwell. She found Phineas, surrounded by a bevy of fairy godmothers, and offered her apologies for leaving early. He smiled at her and promised to call on her soon. After that, she left with Minerva.

The next morning, she’d awoken to find that she’d been turned into a hag overnight. No longer did her raven tresses gleam. A giant wart had popped up on her nose. Hairy warts covered her hands and her skin had taken on a green tint.

Gertrude was horrified when she saw what she’d become. Even worse, Phineas came to call before he departed for home and she had to tell him she was indisposed. She wept bitter tears as she hid behind the curtains of her room and watched him depart. He lived far away and she knew it would be some time before she saw him again. As soon as he was gone, she sent for Minerva.

When Minerva arrived, she clucked and tutted over her friend. She inspected Gertie’s maladies and consulted her magical books. Finally, late that afternoon, she declared that Gertrude was the victim of fairy godmother magic. However, with time and careful spells, she believed it could be reversed.

Minerva mixed potions and creams and her instructions were followed to the letter. Gertrude’s recovery was slow, but it continued. Still, word of her malady soon traveled across the land. It was certainly helped to that end by the group of fairy godmothers who had given her the curse.

When word reached Phineas’ ear that Gertrude had fallen ill, he wrote her a letter and sent it to her, tied to the leg of his favorite hawk. Gertie’s heart soared when she read his words of concern. She penned a reply and sent it back.

Soon Gertrude was enjoying weekly correspondence with the warlock. The arrival of his letter was always the bright spot of her week. Slowly, Minerva’s potions and creams were doing their magic as well, although Gertie worried that they wouldn’t give her a full recovery. She worried that when Phineas saw her again, he would be disappointed.

Still, as the winter months drug by, a small kernel of hope sprouted in her heart and wouldn’t die. Phineas’ letters were constant and he seemed convinced of her beauty. Gertie was uncertain of her charm, but his letters were very ardent and persistent. He sent gifts and never mentioned the dastardly acts of the godmothers.

As spring solstice grew near, Phineas sent her a letter with a question. Would she be attending the sirens’ Spring Cotillion? He was hoping to make his way near the sea at that time and he had hopes of dancing with her if she was attending. Gertie’s stomach felt full of butterflies and bats. She desperately wanted to see him, but she was unsure about whether she’d be cured in a month.

Minerva waved a hand at her. She promised to do her best to make the potions do their work. Still, she reminded Gertrude that anyone who only cared about her looks was not worth so much fuss over. Gertie sighed and agreed. After brewing some potions, the two witches began plotting the dresses they would wear. Later that eve, Gertrude penned a reply to Phineas and told him that she’d be there.

A month later, Gertrude fretted the night before the dance. She paced her room and stared at her gown, made of violet silk and covered with gossamer spider webs. Her shoes were black with diamond buckles and pointy heels. Without a doubt, it was a dress finer than anything a fairy godmother had ever dreamed up. The dress alone would catch every wizard and warlock’s eye and still she worried that she wouldn’t be as fetching as Phineas of Rothskill remembered.

Still, the next day, she donned her gown and slipped on her shoes. She pulled out her broom and when Minerva arrived they set off to the festivities by the sea shore. The sirens were known for putting on a fĂȘte that rivaled the witches’ ball and most of the young people who practiced any sort of magic attended. As they arrived, it was easy to see that the soiree would prove to be memorable.

When they walked into the glittering cave of the siren’s dance hall a group of fairy godmothers gasped. They hadn’t expected to see Gertrude there and certainly not looking as rosy as she did instead of having a greenish tint. Many of the guests turned and gazed at her, surprised to see her looking so beautiful when they’d heard rumors that she’d been transformed for the worse.

Before she knew what was happening, Phineas appeared at her elbow, smiling a devilish smile and handing her a black rose. He offered his hand and led her to the dance floor. Minerva sighed and drifted off to find a dance partner of her own. The fairy godmothers began to whisper amongst themselves heatedly. Many turned and watched the couple glide across the floor.

As the party ended, Gertrude finally reluctantly went home, feeling as if the soles of her shoes might have worn off. She’d danced and laughed and feasted to her heart’s content. Phineas had spent most of his time with her and she felt giddy with relief. She felt silly that she’d worried at all, truth be told. As they parted, he promised that she’d hear from him very soon.

The spring bloomed into summer and Phineas continued to send her letters and come to visit her. Romance quickly blossomed between them and at Beltane he asked her to be his bride. Wedding plans were soon underway and they planned to have the nuptials on the day of the Witches’ Ball, to make the celebration more special.

Of course, when the fairy godmothers heard of the upcoming union, they became a bit green themselves and they began to plot. If they couldn’t have Phineas, they weren’t going to make it easy on Gertrude. However, Gertie and Minerva were on to them. They enchanted the punch and hors d’oeuvres so that anyone who spoke ill of the new bride would suffer a nasty surprise.

The day of the wedding and ball finally arrived and Gertrude was a radiant sight. She donned a white silk gown trimmed with white owl feathers and a veil spun from pixie dust. Their union was blessed and then the ball started. Magical folk from near and far had all arrived to attend the wedding and ball and no one wanted to miss it.
As the ball began, the godmothers gathered together, whispering to themselves and casting dark looks about. They began to spread gossip and soon many began to gaze at them in surprise. With every lie they told, their skin grew greener and hairy warts began to pop up on their arms. Wizards and warlocks began to give them a wide berth. Their tongues wagged for hours before they began to realize that something was amiss.

Gertrude and Phineas left at the witching hour, happy to share their lives together. Just as they departed, fairy godmothers began to gasp in shock. The Witches’ Ball had been fun for almost one and all, but those who tried to make trouble paid the price. It was spoken of for years to come as Gertrude and Phineas went on to live happily ever after.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Imbalance

I lived a happy life without you
In shades of grey

I was content on my own
With quiet silence

I kept to my own pace
Safe and slow

I had what I needed to survive
Bread and water

You came and disrupted my life
And I saw red

You interrupted my solitude
With your crazy songs

You drug me out on the track
To join the race

You added zest to things
I learned to taste

Could I go back to before
Without you here

There’s not a chance of that now
You’re much too dear

I didn’t know what I’d missed
Yet now I do

So I think I’ll stick to the fun
And stay with you


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Turkey Day

Opening the front door of my mother’s home, the smell of something burning assaulted my nostrils and made my eyes tear up. I wondered to myself what disaster the relatives had concocted this time as I coughed on my way into the kitchen. The exciting sight I saw there will come back to me every time I go home. It was our first feast as a blended family and it was memorable.


What I saw was a turkey coming out of the oven with flames shooting out. My stepbrother grabbed a fire extinguisher and before anyone could protest, he’d sprayed the bird with foam. I guess it didn’t occur to him that the bird might still be edible after the fire, but it certainly wasn’t after he attacked it with the extinguisher.

Pandemonium broke out. My uncle was there with his new camcorder and he gleefully recorded all the goings on. My mother began beating my stepbrother about the head and shoulders with the towel she’d grabbed to put out the fire. My aunt was screeching like a chicken with its head cut off. The smoke detector was blaring. I began to cough and wheeze, my asthma protesting against the smoke and the foam. Our young cousin began to cry. Mother’s face was a mask of shock, anger and disbelief. It didn’t take long for my cousins to begin teasing my mother and the jokes went on and on.

Eventually the clean up took place and the kitchen was restored to order. As the bird carcass was tossed in the trash, the jokesters realized that there was no main dish. There was no turkey, ham or roast beast. Worried looks began to be cast about the kitchen. It was a holiday and it wasn’t as if there would be a store open, and even if another turkey could be found, it would never be cooked in time. There would be no tight waistbands without a main course.

That’s when my stepdad came to the rescue. He descended into the basement and soon reemerged with a smile. I wondered what he’d done, but I had no clue. He announced that dinner would be served in half an hour.

Twenty minutes later, I was beginning to worry. My mother was trying to put on a brave face as she got the rest of the food ready and on the table. I knew how important it was to her to make a good impression on everyone with the meal, however. I saw no sign of whatever my stepfather’s plan was.

Five minutes later, he asked me to help him in the garage. I went out and was surprised to see that he’d set up his deep fryer and was cooking a wild turkey he’d shot that fall. He smiled as he entered the house carrying the golden bird. Then my cousin ran in front of him and the bird hit the floor. The pizza we ended up having turned out to be delicious.

Monday, January 18, 2010

In The Pink

I spied a flock of singing birds
And thought I’d join in
They were all canaries
I was a flamingo

I spied a bowl of citrus fruit
And thought I’d join in
They were all lemons
I was a raspberry

I spied a band of gleaming horns
And thought I’d join in
They were all trumpets
I was a pink guitar

I spied a bunch of pretty blooms
And thought I’d join in
They were all daffodils
I was a climbing rose

I sat alone and wondered why
I never quite fit in
Then you found me
We were alike

And I was tickled pink


Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Matter Of Perspective

Inside the mouse hole, the conversation was going something like this…

“What do you mean you shrank us,” Brian hissed.

“It was a simple mistake,” Alduous replied. “If I can just recalibrate the parameters, we should be able to return to normal in just minutes.”

“Oh sure,” Brian sighed. “Perhaps you forgot that Mrs. Greenbaum’s cat wants to exterminate us before we can get back to the lab!”

“Well, if you hadn’t tormented the poor feline for the last year, I doubt she’d be so keen on dining on you,” Alduous retorted.

“Tormented,” Brian huffed.

“Yes, for example when you tied that lollipop to her tail,” Alduous reminded him.

“That was just in fun,” Brian retorted. “She understood that!”

“Of course she did,” Alduous agreed. “That’s why she’s out side that hole waiting to make an impeccable meal of you…”

Brian glowered at his friend. Alduous was full of great ideas, and if this one had worked the right way, they would have been too big for the local bullies to pick on them and Laura Miller would have noticed him. However, as it now stood, he was about to be a feline morsel instead of the apple of Laura’s eye. He hated it when things didn’t go according to plan.

“Well, if that’s all there is to it, then you go! I’m sure that old flea bag will love you,” Brian reasoned.

Alduous arched an eyebrow. “You’re forgetting that I have to get to the machine and recalibrate it, or we’re both going to be mouse-sized forever, for as long as that lasts.”

Brian sat down with a huff.

“Think of it this way,” Alduous explained. “When we get out of this and back to well, better than normal, you’ll be able to tell Laura about how you were the one who saved us.”

Brian puffed up at the thought. He stood up and went to look out. The tabby looked huge. His Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed. He wiped sweat from his brow and then he was off.

“Here, kitty, kitty, kitty,” he called as he ran.

The cat was after him. Brian ran under the table and dodged between the chair legs with the cat in hot pursuit. Alduous ran the other way and into the other room. Brian hoped he was working fast. The cat ran around, watching him with her eyes.

Before he knew it, the cat had him pinned between her paws. He felt his throat tighten and his heart thumped in his chest. The cat’s nose came close to his head as she sniffed him.

“Be a nice kitty and just let me go,” Brian pleaded. “I promise I’ll treat you much better!”

The cat looked at him and then, to his surprise, let go.

“I’ve got it,” Aldous crowed.

The sound of the machine working carried to Brian’s ears. He breathed a sigh of relief. He’d already learned his lesson, though. You never know when you’ll be on the other side.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Behind Your Mask

You show the world a somber face

At times when you hold back
You don’t let them see the laughter
That I know you really have

You keep everyone at your arm’s length
Because you’re a little shy
You don’t see that if you let them close
They’d know your reasons why

Sometimes I wish you’d let them in
So they’d see how great you are
But other times I must admit
I like to keep you to myself

Don’t hide behind that mask you use
Show the world your face
Let them in on all your jokes
And they’ll like you for who you are

Don’t keep them all behind a wall
Let them come up close
Give it a try and let them know
How warm your embraces are

Remember when they strike at you
They’ll never cut you down
You stand above them all you see
Because you stand by me

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Love Fits In A Teacup

Mariel had a fleeting thought – I was duped -- as she walked down the aisle at the animal shelter. She’d gotten a postcard with a picture of two adorable kittens sleeping in tea cups at a fortuitous moment. Her long-time beau had moved out and after a week that felt like months she’d realized that he wouldn’t be coming back. It was really for the best, but coming home had become something she’d dreaded.


That postcard had come in the mail and it brought a realization with it. She loved animals but Pete had been allergic to them, so she’d lived without, even though her heart swelled when she’d get to hold a cute little kitten. This would be something that she could have that she’d denied herself for a long time.

Now she was having misgivings. There were no cute kittens in tea cups here. The woman at the front desk had informed her that there were several adult cats. Kittens would be abundant in the next few months but there were none there at the moment. Mariel didn’t want to wait, though. She needed a reason to come home every night now. So, they’d headed off to the cat barn.

She hadn’t been prepared for the walk though the dog kennel however. The racket when they’d stepped in had been deafening. After a few moments the din had died down and they started their walk through. Mariel told herself not to look. It was an impossible command to follow. She heard a soft whine and turned to see a speckled border collie gazing at her with eyes seemed too keen. She slowed her pace. Then she made eye contact with a dog that didn’t bother to get up. His black coat was dull and his eyes looked infinitely tired. It struck a chord with her. She couldn’t walk past. Before she knew what she was doing, she’d stopped and knelt in front of his cage. Her fingers wrapped through the wire. He thumped his tail on the floor once for her and he let out a sigh.

“The cats are just around the corner,” the woman told her. “Unless you’d like me to take him out for you…"

“Oh, of course,” Mariel answered as she straightened up.
They walked into the cat room. Surprisingly, there weren’t many cats there. Every one of them seemed completely indifferent to her. For some reason, the rejection brought stinging tears to her eyes. Was she that unlovable? She tried to swallow the lump in her throat. She couldn’t burst into tears here in front of a stranger. Her face grew hot with mortification.

“You know,” the woman suggested. “A lot of people these days find the right person at the dog park.”

Mariel blinked at the woman as she was startled out of her self-pity. Hearing the woman say it was almost like being given permission. She nodded at the woman and stood up.

She paused looking at the two dogs. She swallowed hard. How could she choose one? Words tumbled out of her mouth before she realized it.

“Do you think they would get along?” Her mouth formed the words without her permission.
“Actually, they were turned in together. The couple who had them divorced,” the woman told her.

The irony wasn’t lost on Mariel. It had to be meant to be. She signed the paperwork and walked out the door with two new reasons to come home, even if they didn’t fit into teacups.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Phoenix

I went up in flames
Scorched by my shames
Left a pile of ash
As my soul did dash

My life wasn't done
I returned to the sun
Had time to reflect
Upon my defect
Mistakes that I made
Would begin to fade
From most others' minds
Not so far from mine

Lessons I learned
I wouldn't be burned
Again from the past
This time it will last

I'll fly over Earth
Just watch my rebirth
I will rise again
From here I begin

So no looking back
Except to reflect
On what will be right
And now -- I take flight