Category Archives: After Midnight

Interlopers

Click on first photo to enlarge all.

“I don’t know that there are real ghosts and goblins, but there are always more trick-or-treaters than neighborhood kids.”     —Robert Brault

Interlopers

They watch the clock, waiting for dark,
impatient for their All-souls lark.
Small ghosts and goblins screech and moan,
their ghastly act to finely hone.
“Eye of newt and toe of frog,”
Mother prompts, as off they jog—
little witches in Walmart capes
with itchy tags upon their napes.

Meanwhile, other ghastly things
soar in on brooms, flap in on wings.
They’ve found that yearly secret door
under the earth, under the floor,
and creaked it open. Joining the flood
who lust for treats, they lust for blood.
Who among us might ace the task
of sorting countenance from mask?

That little vampire, newly gone—
was his blood real or painted on?
“Double double toil and trouble,
cauldron boil and cauldron bubble.”
Were those lines recently rehearsed
or are these witches instead well-versed
in brewing up a recipe
of wing of gnat and eye of bee?

Which ghoulies real and which ones playing?
Which ones begging? Which ones preying?
What other night of any year
do we open doors, devoid of fear
for such strange beings? Who thinks of this—
Hershey’s kisses or vampire’s kiss?
A silly poem. When small ghosts boo, they
offer no real threat. Or do they?

 

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Prompts for today are the secret door, adage, screech, treat and clock. Since one of the prompt words was “adage,” rather than use the actual word in the poem, I used a quote (an adage of sorts) by Robert Brault as inspiration for this poem.

Some Nights

Some Nights

When waking hours grow too late,
ideas begin to percolate.
Chords we’ve found euphonious
may somehow seem erroneous
when we hear their altered streams
filtered through erratic dreams.

Life is made of dreams, we’re told,
but when the dark turns drear and cold,
however oft we’re told we’re chosen,
our potential may be frozen—
all our day-lit grand achievements
turned by night into bereavements.

We lie abandoned in our beds
with nightmares caught within our heads.
What a relief is dawning day
that relieves our need to pay
those ransoms that some dreams demand—
cast not in concrete but in sand.

https://fivedotoh.com/2019/03/06/fowc-with-fandango-percolate/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/03/06/your-daily-word-prompt-achievement-march-6-2019/
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/03/06/rdp-wednesday-euphonious/

Patterning Sunset

jdbphoto

Patterning Sunset

Nights out I once found glorious,
exciting and uproarious,
I now just find laborious.

Without a doubt,


it is more fun

when day is done
to mime the way the sun

goes out.

Instead of donning dancing gown
and going to light up the town,
to drink and dance, to get it down

’til I perspire,

I brush my teeth, gargle and cough.
My clothes I shed, my shoes I doff.
I find the light switch, turn it off,

and just retire.

 

For a bit of a contrast to this poem you may want to go here:
https://judydykstrabrown.com/2017/02/10/first-steps/

The prompt today was glorious.

My Day So Far

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My day started with a visit from Ellie, who came to do her weekly cleaning.  While I made us coffee, she washed windows, and just as I sat down with my cup and my computer, she held up this little fellow.   He was so tiny.  Also, unfortunately, he was not alive.  I hope by natural causes and not by Ellie’s hand!

Next on my agenda was my Saturday writing group.  There was a huge group this time–23 by my count.  We’re planning a reading for next week.  Here are two shots of the group.

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Next was a party at a new friend’s house on the mountain directly above the bull ring where the rodeo will be held for the next three days.  I met Jan when she came to my house to see my work at the end of the day right after the art walk. She brought pictures of her own work which is fabulous.  She, too, uses found objects.  As you can see by these photos, both her home and her work is unique.  We are planning a materials-gathering expedition together.

(Please click on first photo to view enlarged gallery.)

 

 

 

 

 

The Moon is Full and Waiting

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The Moon is Full and Waiting

The moon is full and waiting,
but the night is full of chill,
though my true love expects me
over yonder hill.
His ardent calls invite me
to join him for the night,
and yet I dread the cold cold wind
and the night air’s bite.
If I were only twenty
I’d have no choice to make,
but I have guests arriving
and sweet bites yet to bake.

My true love lies waiting
over yonder hill,
but he’ll return another night.
I’m confident he will.
For he has no other
to overlook his flaws:
the roughness of his ardor,
the power of his jaws.
His embrace often bruises,
though this is not his intent.
In the excess of his ardor,
only tenderness is meant.

The warm cave of our meeting
still carves out yonder hill,
but tonight I will not join him.
It may be I never will.
Tomorrow night the full moon
will partially be spent,
and perhaps by next month’s equal,
I will once more not relent.
Perhaps I’ll find another
closer to my kind,
though an equal to his passion
I’m unlikely to find.

A mild wind blows the clouds away
to clear the shrouded moon.
My guests will be arriving.
I know it will be soon.
I stir in leavening powder.
I stir in heavy cream.
Across the hand I stir with
falls the moon’s broad beam.
I drop the spoon and go again
to open up the door.
I hear the gentle song of wind,
my lover’s beckoning roar.

I answer with a beat of blood.
A spasm in my thigh
invites me to be climbing
over distant hill and high.
The crumbs fall from my fingers
as I run into the night.
I do not feel the bruising stones
or the wind’s cold bite.
My lover calls me onward,
and once again I go.
For when the full moon calls me,
not once have I said no.

 

 

IMG_0562Both of these photos were taken on Christmas Eve, 2015, from my sister’s back terrace in Peoria, Arizona.

The Prompt: Earworm––Write whatever you normally write about, and weave in a book quote, film quote, or song lyric that’s been sticking with you this week. (The song lyric I was inspired by was “Baby it’s cold outside,” but when I finished, it had no actual place in the poem other than to be its inspiration.) https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/earworm-2/

Freudian Slip

Freudian Slip

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Caught in the tangles of last year’s castoff wreaths in our local cemetery, I found the following words. They were scrawled in  a frenzied adult handwriting in fading purple ink on a curled yellowing slip of lined  paper with one jagged edge, as though it had been ripped from a journal:

Behind the door of my dream, I heard a knocking. I walked down a tree-lined corridor to the door at the end. As I drew nearer, the knocking grew louder and more frenzied. I struggled with the bolt, which would not open, but as I finally drew it back, there was an explosion of sound—organ music playing a dirge in such a joyful manner that it sounded like a celebration instead of the reflection of death.

As the door creaked open, I heard the crash of glass breaking and then the tinkle and scrape of this glass being ground down to shards and powder as the door opened over it. There was such a bright light shining from behind the figure standing on the other side of the door that I could make out only her silhouette—a woman with an elderly stance wearing a long skirt. She was large of bosom and had thin wisps of hair piled untidily on top of her head. In one hand, held down to her side, was a basket. In the other hand was a jar.

I drew closer to the woman, to try to get her body between my eyes and the source of the bright glare—to try to see who she was. When I was but six inches from her, I finally recognized her as my grandmother. She was wearing the same navy dress with pearl buttons and gravy stains down the front that she had been wearing the last time I remember seeing her. In the basket was a mother cat with three kittens nursing. In the jar was chokecherry jelly, if its handwritten label was to be believed.

As I drew up to hug her and kiss her cheek, she started humming a song—some church hymn, perhaps “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” It was hard to recognize because she hummed it under her breath—with little inward gasps at times that made it sound like she was eating the song and then regurgitating it.

Her eyes were vacant as she looked over my shoulder. “Grandma, it’s me!” I said, but she still didn’t look at or acknowledge me.

“Do you want to play Chinese Checkers?” I asked. It was the one activity I could remember that both my grandma and I enjoyed.

She expressed a long intake of breath, shook her head no and held out the basket to me.

“Is this a gift?” I asked.

“No, it is an obligation,” she hissed, and as the basket passed from her hand to mine, she seemed to deflate—whooshing backwards out of sight—until only the basket of cat and kittens and the jar of chokecherry jelly lying sideways on the trail she had vanished down gave testimony to her presence.

“Bye, Grandma,” I called wistfully down the trail she had vanished down. “I love you.”

But I didn’t love her. I had this memory of sleeping with her in her feather bed and almost smothering trapped between the thick feather pillow and comforter. I have an explicit memory of holding the pillow over her face and her struggling to get free. It was a joke and I hadn’t meant to smother her, really, but there was such power in the fact that she could not fight off an 8-year-old girl that it made me hold the pillow over her face for a few seconds longer than I wanted to or should have. She was all right. Just frightened as I had been frightened so often by her stories of poor little Ella and all the wrongs done to her in her lifetime. It was as though I had to choose sides—her side or the side of the people who had done mean things to her. And like the little devil she always made me out to be—I chose the other side.

 

The Prompt: Everything Changes––You encounter a folded slip of paper. You pick it up and read it and immediately, your life has changed. Describe this experience.https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/everything-changes/

After Dark: Shannon’s Creative Photo Challenge, Nighttime

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To see an accompanying poem to go with these photos, go HERE.

http://abstractlucidity.com/2015/10/28/shannons-creative-photo-challenge-nighttime/