Click on first photo below to enlarge all and read captions.
Click on first photo below to enlarge all and read captions.
I have driven under the huge tree that sits in front of Pasiano’s house thousands of times over the past 18 years and only today did I notice that it is a shaving brush tree! One of my favorite blooms and the only one I’d seen before was in La Ribera in Baja California. I stopped the car, backed up and got out to take a few shots. Amazing what we can overlook so close to home.
Click on photo to enlarge.
For Cee’s Flower of the Day prompt.
Image by Ivan Dodig on Unsplash. Used with permission
Her sequined dress, once fabulous, has lost its shape and glitter.
It lies beneath her window, reduced to roadside litter.
She might have been more charitable—donating the gown.
They would have earned a pretty penny for a dress of such renown.
But she needs its story ended. She could not bear to face
another woman’s body and another woman’s face
pictured in the tabloids in that gown made just for her.
Its memories ran through her mind, quickly, in a blur.
Trips down long red carpets, the flashbulbs and the fuss.
Minding how she sat so its gathers would not muss.
How its beauty cut into the soft mounds of her flesh.
The sharp knives of its edges. The fine silk of its mesh.
How it paralleled her life—the pleasure and the pain.
His gentle kiss and how, at last, he left her life again.
The lovely words once spoken that turned out to be just script.
The dress tugged off in anger. The dress she’d pulled and ripped
to be free of all it brought to mind—the glamour and the pain.
Best it be diminished by harsh sun and rain.
She flung it out the window, not caring where it rested.
Rid of it, would painful memories be bested?
Covered up by road dust, bogged down by stormy weather,
sequins floated gutters, each weightless as a feather.
Threads loosened and seams parted as the garment ceased to be.
And its combined pains and pleasures were consigned to memory.
Loved the fan shape of this little cluster of kalanchoes.
photo by Jordhan Madec on Unsplash. Used with permission
Opening Night at the Theater
with a Famous Screen Legend’s Guest Appearance
There’s an air of raw excitement in the theater tonight.
The ingenues are nervous and the grand dame wants to fight.
Her makeup isn’t done right and her hairdo is a fright.
The set is way too yellow and the stage lights are too bright!
She regales them with stories of when she was at her height.
They wonder just how many great successes she will cite.
It is a frosty evening, yet they brave the cold wind’s bite
to stand out in the alley to escape the much worse plight
of the thirtieth retelling of the star’s first opening night.
The male lead finally gets here, but, alas, high as a kite.
The orchestra begins their opus, hoping to incite
the audience to wild applause as they get their first sight
of the famous lady, surrounded by pink light
that obscures those telltale wrinkles and a costume that’s too tight.
The ingenues are all in place, ready for the fight,
waiting for the star to speak, then exit to the right.
Then all their minor lines they are ready to recite.
It will be a war of words, and they’re ready to fight.
This era, it will be their turn the audience to excite.
Will they outshine the brightest star? Yes, perhaps they might!
Where I am From
I am from Annie-I-Over and London Bridge, the upstairs trunk filled with my mother’s Eastern Star formals and my older sister’s discarded prom dresses.
I am from backyard cherry trees and grain sacks piled in the old cinder block garage. From the lame dog that dad named the arithmetic dog because he put down three and carried one, from that winter when the three little Judd girls perished on the prairie during a snow storm, their gloved hands rising from the snowdrift, their ungloved hands, one each, in opposite pockets of their snow parkas that were not sufficient in the prairie winds and drifting snow.
I am from sounds in the prairie night. That sudden popping noise and choruses of mice families in the walls, my oldest sister in late from the Vivian dance, trying to sneak quietly up the wooden stairs to our upstairs all-girls loft, my middle sister in her purple bedroom, me in my yellow and red with the green linoleum, my oldest in her green and black and white checked refuge whose windows opened up to the front porch roof and sunbathing a story above pesky neighborhood boys with ice water in glasses or simply inquisitive eyes.
I am from the creak of playground swings in the schoolyard across the street. From our neighbor’s cocker spaniel that they let me pretend was mine, me cross-legged in the dirt of their front yard in Levis and a checked shirt with my dog in the triangle of my legs.
I am from Frosty Freezes and Mowell’s Drug Store. Cherry phosphates and chocolate Cokes, Russian Peanuts and love comics I could only buy if they were at the bottom of the stack I bought ten at a time—my entire week’s allowance. My mother’s instructions only countermanded by the cooperation of Jack Mowell, who never looked beyond the top three in the stack. Archie and Veronica, Casper the Ghost, Richie Rich and then—Love for the duration of the stack.
I am from hay rides and watermelon feeds at the Thomas family farm down by the river. Wood ticks and sand bars that sucked you in. I am from White River boys and mean White River girls who said they were their boys and to leave them alone. I am from a sudden stubborn nature that didn’t listen and so had my first kiss standing in the field between two cars––one being my car with Jones County plates, the other the car of a Mellette County boy from White River who would make me dizzy as often as we could arrange it for the next two years.
I am from Job’s Daughters and 4-H, the apron I spent all summer sewing that made it to the State Fair where the judges declared it to look “hastily made.”
I am from a book handed to me at the age of 16 that began, “Listen, Violet, I am going to tell you a wonderful story and it’s all about the birds and the bees.”
I am from choke cherries and meadowlarks, riding in the backs of pickups, picking up pop bottles along the highway ditches, and bouquets of sweet clover and alfalfa and snake grass. Stealing corn from the neighbor’s fields and overnights in our own fields down by the river to switch the irrigation pumps at midnight, my older sisters in a wrestling match, throwing each other in the irrigation ditches and my dad’s ghost story ending in “You’ve got my golden hand” and his hand descending from the pitch black to grab my upper arm.
Screams under the summer stars and the half-full moon. The yip of coyotes and an occasional marauding coon. All the spirits of departed Sioux natives and homesteaders as well as a few ghosts of our own. Perhaps ourselves coming back to investigate our pasts. Haunted by the whole surrounding vast emptiness of rolling plains and empty skies between the vast amount of stars and grass and seeking souls who frequented those spaces that made the emptiness not empty but full of things with space enough to grow and move into whatever we were becoming.
I published this for Mary who asked for more results from the exercises we did at our writing retreat a few week ago. I believe this was a 20 minute timed writing to the prompt, “Where I Am From”. If you’d like to tell us where you’re from, please link your essay in the comments below!
These baby sun roses are so tiny that they are easily overlooked.
For Cee’s FOTD