Category Archives: Wordpress Daily Prompt

“Girls” Night Out

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“Girls” Night Out

Mary Tyler Moore, Working Girl and I Love Lucy—
 film nights with the ladies are usually juicy.
Although we’re staying in, all that’s tucked in must be outed.
All those mumbled gripes now brought to light and shouted.
Pulling out the bobby pins to let the chignons flow.
Kicking off the heels to wiggle arch and toe.
Slipping off the panty hose, loosening top buttons.
Gorging on potato chips and dip like teenage gluttons.
Drinking margaritas, martinis and mojitos.
Pepperidge Farm and popcorn, ice cream and Doritos.
When old dames get together, pull out all the stops.
Banish all the dust cloths. Lock up all the mops.
Rip up all the lists and turn them to confetti.
Break out the lasagne. Break out the spaghetti.
Fill the crystal bowls with M&Ms and truffles.
Ban antimacassars, doilies, tucks and ruffles.
Bring out your old 8-tracks and your 45’s.
Forget that you are mothers, grandmothers and wives.
Better shake your booties while they still can shake.
Better come alive while still able to wake.
Time enough for normalcy when you’re ninety-six.
When you’re only seventy, you’ve still got some kicks.
Leave your spouses home staring at their football games—
vicariously living while you’re out being dames.
It’s your secret life, for no one needs to know
everything you do and everywhere you go.
Let the whole world think you’re in there playing bridge
while you are jitterbugging and emptying out the fridge.
It’s more fun when it’s secret, so promise not to tell
when old girls get together and raise a little Hell!!!!

The prompt today was juicy.

Cruel Infinity

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Cruel Infinity

I cannot face the infinite—
that colossal haunted house—
too many rooms seemingly empty
that teem with invisible somethings
that I can’t comprehend.
How could I find myself in such vastness?
What in those giant corridors knows I exist?
Ego, finally, my undoing, as I fear
becoming part of what I find impossible
to grasp.

Everything I am
yearns towards the specific—
fine detail being more or less
how I have spent my life.
How can such a life be reconciled
with the infinite? Everything
cycling up and up from nothing
and, we fear, back down again.
He who says that nature is not ironic
lies or simply refuses to face the truth.

It is a cruel infinity that has included
such a tiny space
for me.

The prompt today was “infinite.”

Reading

The book I’ve chosen for the plane ride
sits open on my lap
as the stranger on the plane
opens himself—
his life pulled leaf by leaf from his family tree.
His words come faltering and sputtering at first,
like water from a tap newly opened,
then rush out cool and even,
telling of a life that is a richness
of jobs held, wives loved, children raised.

He is going back to Mexico for the saints day
of the small pueblo where he was born.
The parade. The effigies. The life-sized santos
standing in their boats to tour the lake like kings.
I’ve been to this celebration; and as he speaks,
I sit like an honored guest beside him,
reading my memory as well

“Come,“ he tells me, giving me directions and a date.
I do not tell him I have been to that fiesta years ago.
“Perhaps,” I say, sliding his instructions to his family’s house
to form a bookmark in the book now closed upon my lap,
then go on, listening.

What were we born for
if it was not to read each other?

In the rush from the plane, that old man falls behind
and it is you I see as I come out into the world of Mexico,
leaving the plane ride, immigration and customs
in its place behind the swinging doors.
This flower that you give me is a mystery book.
I read it—stamen, pistil and corolla—
as well as the hand that holds it out to me
and then the warm embrace that you enfold me in.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: Middle Seat.” It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?

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Devil # 3

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Helpless.” Helplessness: that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins. When did you last feel like that –- and what did you do about it?

Okay, I was going to give this prompt a “miss” and went to the new prompt generator I’ve been using for the past few days.  I hit the button and was served up the two-word prompt: “Ill Devil”.  At first I read this as #3 Devil, and I must admit, I got a chill, because what I immediately thought about when I read the prompt was the third time I was in a near-death situation where I felt totally helpless.  What are the chances, I thought, that these two prompts would line up?  This must be something I’m meant to write about.  But then reason stepped in and I realized this prompt always gave an adjective and a noun.  What they probably meant by the prompt was ill Devil. (Changing the capital to a small “i” clarified the prompt.) But then I realized that ill devil described the occurrence I am trying not to talk about as much as #3 devil did, so I guess, prodded on twice by fate or coincidence or synchronicity, I will try.

I have written to a similar prompt twice in 2015, so probably most of you who read my blog have chanced upon one of those posts, but when I wrote to a similar prompt in June of 2014, I wrote a different piece and since I had few of my present-day readers then, I’ll mention that THIS is what I wrote.  It may not be obvious that the topic given in today’s prompt was what I was really talking about then, however, because it was a poem where I actually stood to one side of what I was really remembering and wrote about the subject as an onlooker rather than a participant.  I only alluded to the real subject, which is what I’m going to attempt to write about today. That real subject is Ted Bundy and how otherwise respectable women sometimes fall prey to such predators.  Okay, deep breath. I’m going to tell to the world something I have actually told to very few people. Yes, this is a true story.

Devil # 3

Nineteen seventy-something. In the bar with friends.
When you are in your twenties, the partying never ends.
It was rodeo season  and the big one was in town.
As one by one they ordered drinks, I couldn’t turn them down.
We were a rather rowdy bunch of teachers in our prime
Devoted in the classroom, but wild on our own time.

The bar was crowded hip to hip, the music barely heard
over the loud cacophony of laugh and shouted word.
It was my turn to buy a round. I struggled towards the bar.
My polite “Excuse me’s!” really hadn’t gotten me too far
when a guy appeared in front of me and moved the crowd aside
as though he had appointed himself to be my guide.

As I returned with eight full drinks, again he stemmed the tide
by walking close in front of  me and spreading elbows wide.
He smiled and then departed, back to the teeming mass.
Impressive that he had not even tried to make a pass!
My friends all wondered who he was. I said I had no clue.
Tall and dark and ivy-league, he vanished from our view.

This story happened long ago. Some details I’ve forgotten,
and any memories he retains, you’ll learn were ill-begotten.
I think we danced a dance or two. I know we talked awhile.
I liked his fine intelligence, his low-key polite style.
At three o’clock the barman’s bell commenced it’s clanging chime
and I made off to find my friends, for it was closing time.

Two lines of men had split the bar, lined up back to back.
Their hands locked and their arms spread wide–they moved into the pack.
One line moved east, the other west, forcing one and all
Either out the front door or towards the back door hall.
I was forced out the back way–out into the alley.
My friends and I had made no plans of where we were to rally

and so I walked around the block, sure that was where they waited,
but there was no one there at all–the crowd had soon abated.
I went back to the alleyway to see if they were there.
but all was dark and still, and soon I began to fear
that both carloads of friends had thought I was with the other.
I had no recourse but to walk, though I prayed for another.

I combed my mind to try to think of anyone at all
living in this part of town where I could go to call
a friend to come and get me and furnish me a ride
for 3 a.m. was not a time to be alone outside.
There were no outside phone booths and I lived so far away
I simply had to rouse someone, but what was I to say?

But since I had no other choice I thought I’d check once more
if any single soul was waiting at the bar’s front door.
And as I left the alley to be off to see,
I saw a new familiar face looking back at me.
It was my dancing partner, his face split in a grin.
It seems that he was going to save me once again.

He had asked me earlier if needed a ride,
but I had told him wisely that I had friends inside
and so I thought he’d left, but I could see he was still there.
Yet, ride home with a stranger?  Did I really dare?
And yet I had no other choice, abandoned as I was.
And so I said I guess that yes, I would, simply because

I knew there was just one of him and I was young and strong.
And he seemed kind, polite and gentle.  What could go so wrong?
His car was just a block away. Our walk was short and brief.
And when he pointed out his car, I felt a great relief.
For it was a convertible–and easy to escape
If I detected the first signs of robbery or rape!

He opened up the door for me. I got in the front seat.
But as he started up the car, my heart skipped a beat.
For from the bushes, two more men emerged and jumped inside–
one man in the backseat, the other at my side!
He pulled out into the street, though I protested so.
I didn’t really want a ride, so please, just let me go!

(And here I have to beg off and say I’ll finish this story tomorrow.  Right now my heart is pumping and my head throbbing as though I’m re-enacting this whole tale physically as well as mentally.  I’m totally exhausted.  Why I decided to write this in rhyme I don’t know. Perhaps I thought it would be easier, or more fun or more lighthearted, but there is simply no way to write this from any other frame of mind but the terror I felt that night. So, sorry, but I will resume tomorrow. You all know that I’m here telling the story, so be assured that the worst didn’t happen…but the story is by no means over, so join me tomorrow for the rest.  I, for one, could really use a drink, but it is only 1:40 in the afternoon so I’ll find some other means of escape.)

To see the conclusion of this poem, go HERE.

If you’d like to try out Jennifer’s new prompt generator, go HERE.

 

At Fourteen

There is a whole world out there and you’ll see it soon enough.
It is the world inside of you you’ll find especially rough.
Try to write about it, and try to tell the truth
about the things that happen that you find uncouth.

Write about what hurts you, and hurts that you have done–
all those shadows in you brought into the sun.
Ask those around you why they act in ways that might seem cruel
and try to live your own life by the golden rule.

Take chances and do not be cowed when you achieve less
than what you might have hoped for, and when you’re wrong, confess.
Don’t just do what your friends do. Don’t act before you think.
However strange the ones around you, try to find a link.

The world has enough meanness. Try not to add to it.
Try harder in environments where you seem not to fit.
People who are petty will cut you like a knife,
but the chances that you take will be what will make your life.

Other people’s rules pinch like a too-small shoe,
so don’t let other people dictate what you do.
Do not fear to step aside and go out on your own.
The fields that yield the sweetest crop are those that you have sown.

Post this advice up on your wall and read it now and then.
Use it as a means to reassess where you have been.
Then when you are older, and your life grows thin,
do what I am doing now. Consider it again.

 

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “From You to You.” Write a letter to your 14-year-old self. Tomorrow, write a letter to yourself in 20 years.

Biographical Mixed Tape Play List, Now with Links!!!

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A Testimonial from Morrie (Pictured) the newest in the pack around here:  “Wouldn’t you believe a face like this? I have this to say about Judy’s music mix.  There’s not a dog in the bunch! Go ahead–give them a listen!!! Her taste in music is as good as her taste in dogs. “

First of all, I want to thank Morrie for his endorsement of my musical taste.  When he first came to live here, just a few short weeks ago, his musical taste was no more refined than a fondness for”How Much is That Doggie in the Window” and an ability to sing along on the chorus with “The Singing Dogs.” But he seems to be a clever little dog.  He learned to sit and stay very quickly.  Also how to break into my bedroom through the bars on the grill work at the door.  But it never occurred to me that he was absorbing the culture of the house as well.  So thanks, Morrie, for your vote of confidence.

Now, on to the matter at hand. When I published my list of songs for my mixed tape yesterday, I didn’t have the links attached.  I now have links for all but one, so if you’d like an easy way to listen to a lot of good music, please go back to yesterday’s post  HERE.

While you are waiting, or if you aren’t interested in backtracking EVEN FOR THE REWARD OF SOME REALLY GOOD MUSIC, here’s a song I love (with link)  that didn’t exactly suit my biography. The dog mentioned at the beginning is Morrie, though!!!

Silent All These Years
Tori Amos

 

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/mix-tape-masterpiece/
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/the-golden-hour/

                                                                         Re-tired

“That” bird raps down the scale hysterically–not appropriate music for 6  a.m. Just three hours ago, I was listening to Janis, who needed a Mercedez Benz, a man to love and fast transport out of Baton Rouge, in that order according to my play list. Now, when I’ve finally rid her angst from my dreams and I’m on a smooth course, here is nature’s alarm clock trying to convince me that 6 a.m.is a sane hour to rise. No, I answer silently, tucking one  hand under the pillow my head is resting upon and using the other to pull the spare pillow over my exposed ear.

By isolating myself from  this cheerful world of morning, I choose delay.  The puppy, who has snubbed the comfortable new bed I have bought for him in favor of being two feet closer to me,  jumps up next to me from his resting place beneath my bed and burrows against my spine, complicit in my choice of the best way to spend a morning.

To read more about night owl activities that lead to sleeping in in the morning, go HERE.
And HERE is another poem about what happens when I do wake up and decide to stay that way–usually closer to 8 o’clock.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Golden Hour.” 6:00AM: the best hour of the day, or too close to your 3:00AM bedtime?