Art & Photography

Displaced

schooldoor

I wrote this poem back in May during the “Safer at Home” time.  I was missing being at school with all of the teachers and students.  A virtual meeting with a few teachers brought this “displaced” feeling to the forefront to bring about this poem.  We discussed what really is the heart of the school – the people who come in and out every day. Enjoy!!

Does a school have a heart?
Does it reside without people only in part?

Is it more like a rib cage surrounding the beating muscle?
Or do the teachers pump the energy in and out as they hustle and bustle?

Brick and mortar prolong the life by standing tall.
However, the little ones ignite life by flowing through the halls.

Two months have passed, almost three
Of missing beautiful smiles and minds of wonderment and glee.

Distance will finally come and go,
Holding on to wait until the world says so.

A building is just an empty shell with a face.
Right now, its heart is only temporarily displaced.

Connections

Dominos
In this time of separation,
Remember the intention.
Especially now, there is no time for rejection.
Hold onto your connections!

Connections are now different than before.
They take place behind a closed door.
Away from the maddening crowd of our yore
Voice and virtual command our communication floor.

These times should make you appreciate
Everyone to whom you relate
Whether by blood or fate.
Cling to your connections beyond the expiration date…

Of our locked in world right now and here.
This is only temporary, so please persevere.
Situations are dynamic and eventually move behind us somewhere,
But your connections are static always needing your care.

NYC Sounds

In the early minutes of morning twilight,
There is a certain quiet that lingers.
In the distance, you can just hear
The subway’s wheels screech
Like an owl landing on its prey.

As the dawn breaks,
The hustle and bustle of heartbeats
Move throughout the city –
Getting to coffee shops
Getting to work
Getting to school

Moving to and fro,
Meeting deadlines.
Tourists add to the foot pounding beat on the pavement.
The noises of walking, running, traffic, and talking loiter
Into the twilight of the evening just before dusk.

In places like Times Square,
The buildings come alive
As the lights switch on
Around 42nd Street and Broadway.

Even in Central Park,
The rhythmic patterns exist
With the squirrels frolicking,
Pigeons cooing,
The hot dog vendors selling,
The skaters at the rink swishing,
And organ music of the carousel
Adds a whimsical childlike tune of yesteryear.

The sounds of people never stop,
Repeating over and over,
A similar song from day to day…

Except for that brief period of the morning before dawn.

Ravens of the Ravine

DSC_9062 (2)

Out west, there exists the ravens three,
Scavenging o’er the discarded things from thee.

Hildebrand, Rivi, Utaznemco combine the trio
Who fly high and low searching for their foe.

These juvenile birds call the unsuspecting wolf to a carcass they found.
Through trickery, the wolf serves as their assistant slicing open the lifeless mound.

Once the wolf departs, they attack the carnage left with no care,
Barely allowing each other a small share.

Up and down the ravine they search
For the unwanted leftover edibles thrown out as they stop and perch.

The ravine provides a store to survive as of late
As the ravens three begin a search for their lifelong mate.

They go their separate ways on this date
For staying all three as one was never their fate.

The Sneer of the Illuminous Eyewitness

DSC_9434 (2)
Oh, my dear,
Throughout the years
You caress the night with your tumultuous tears.

As the moon leers
With suspicious eyes and haunting sneers,
She threatens to reveal your sins and fears.

Your prudent pact for which you adhere,
With yourself you try and stay clear,
But she saw your devilish design and aloud she wants to cheer.

Illuminating the night, she jeers,
Keeping the memory of the one you made disappear,
Leaving you continuously avoiding the truth as you steer.

The lies to all you engineer,
Craving the dawn every morning of the year,
Waiting for the instant she can’t interfere.

Madness ensues as you persevere,
Forgotten items become vivid clues being too cavalier.
Hence, insanity rules your atmosphere.

Syntaxia and the Psychiatrist

SyntaxiaClause

In Philosophia, people came from everywhere to conduct research. Philosophia’s libraries contained countless books about every subject ever discovered. A young woman scholar, Syntaxia Clause, had been researching literature, semantics, and linguistics to find her true passion. What she didn’t know was that she was destined for greatness.

Syntaxia quickly exhausted all the books in her interest and felt dissatisfied. She longed for something better. Pondering what to do, she made a doctor’s appointment. The next morning, she glided on the written pathway, a floating road of linen embossed stones of the greatest literature ever written, escalating to any destination a person could choose. Today, her destination was the psychiatrist. When she entered the doctor’s office, she was greeted by the receptionist, “Good morning, appointment Miss?”

“Yes, Syntaxia Clause at 9:00,” answering politely.

The receptionist checked her calendar and replied, “Just one moment and I’ll let Dr. Guideman know you are here.” The receptionist moved into another room while Syntaxia sat down. She was fifteen minutes early. A few moments passed and Dr. Guideman entered the waiting area and motioned her back. They both moved back to his office and sat down adjacent to each other.

“Miss Clause, it is nice to meet you. I’m Dr. Guideman, how can I help you?” he asked.

“Well, my entire impression of my life is unsettled. My existence remains in a manner of disconcertedness and unfulfillment.” she responded uneasily.

“Why?” he asked.

“There is nothing left to research. I possess all the knowledge of the English language in terms of grammar and proper writing. I can teach, but I’m not sure if that profession would be suited for me. If I don’t teach though, I could become a writer or even study different languages. I don’t know if any of these occupations would make me feel fulfilled. What should I do?” she pleaded.

“You have your whole life ahead. Let’s do a series of tests and figure things out,” Dr. Guideman responded. He gave her some written tests first, followed by some verbal tests. They also discussed more about her life and experiences. After leaving her for thirty minutes to score her tests, he came back.

“Miss Clause, I can’t find anything wrong with you. You have one of the healthiest minds I know.” Dr. Guideman explained.

“Dr. Guideman, that is great to hear, but I still feel lost. Please help me, I need to have a purpose.” Syntaxia exclaimed.

Dr. Guideman looked at her with sincerity. He took out a set of glasses and slid them on his face. The glasses had square purple lenses with antique gold wire frames. Syntaxia eyed him cautiously as he looked deep into her eyes, reaching into her soul. As he delved deep, a laser like beam connected her eyes with his through the lenses. As their souls were connected, he had a vision of what Syntaxia’s true calling might be to fulfill her destiny. With his realization, he yelled, “Be right back! I think I have the answer you are seeking!” He ran out the back door leaving Syntaxia waiting again. This time for two hours.

She studied the small office memorizing every inch of it before Dr. Guideman came running back in with another gentleman carrying a small container. “Miss Clause, I am so sorry to keep you waiting, but I consulted with my apothecary, Dr. Pharma.”

“Good afternoon, Miss Clause. Dr. Guideman told me your dilemma and we cannot let you leave without providing something to help you. You have so much potential. Here is what we are going to do,” pausing to hold out a small container jeweled in rubies sparkling as the gems hit the lights, “please try the contents in this container here in the office first. We will test and if everything works properly, you may take this home.”

Syntaxia asked, “What’s in it, and what do I have to do?”

Dr. Guideman took the oval red box from Dr. Pharma and unlatched the lock with a tiny key revealing what looked like a creamy, light yellowy substance. “Miss Clause, I need you to take a spoonful and eat it. It is a special kind of butter prepared specially by Dr. Pharma. We think this is all you need to fulfill your destiny.” Dr. Guideman expanded.

“I’m not sure. Butter? It does look like butter, but…butter?” she quizzically responded.

“Yes ma’am. I have been working on this formula for years. The cream comes from top bred cows and the churn comes from an ancient family of churners. It is said to have magical powers.” Dr. Pharma said.

“I guess I’ll try anything.” Syntaxia replied as she spooned out the butter.
“Here is some toast to spread it on.” Guideman added.

She buttered the toast and ate it all. “Doctors, I feel a little woozy. Uhm, I hope I don’t…” saying as she vanished.

Dr. Guideman and Dr. Pharma both screamed as Dr. Guideman exclaimed, “Dru, I told you we shouldn’t experiment like this! We might have killed her or banished her somewhere horrible! I’m not letting you talk me into this again.”

“Usher, I’m sorry. I thought it would be full proof. It worked on my former assistant, Blaz the Giant, he grew from 7 to 9 feet and is now leading the army. Not sure why she disappeared. Back to the mixing table.” Pharma replied.

A week later, a young woman entered Dr. Guideman’s office and asked the receptionist to see him. The receptionist showed her into his office where he was working at his desk. Startled, he looked up to see a woman dressed in red from head to toe, wearing a pair of nerdy glasses, and a cape standing with the might of a god. “Miss Clause! I am so happy to see you! I was afraid we’d killed you. Eureka, the butter WAS a success!”

“Yes doctor! The butter you gave me changed my life! It fulfilled my destiny. I was enchanted with special powers and transported to the land of Grammarcy where I am now The Grammarian, correcting all bad writing for mankind. I have you and Dr. Pharma to thank for it. I’m sorry it took me a week to let you know, but I have been very busy.” she said proudly.

The Christmas Mystery of the Golden Lasso

Mysterious Golden Lasso
The Mysterious Golden Lasso

During the Christmas season of 1977, I was obsessed with all things Wonder Woman. The tv show of the same name was televised each week where I was glued to the picture tube waiting to see what adventures Lynda Carter as Diana Prince would go on to help save the world. My friends and I would play outside pretending to be superheroes all the time. I would switch between Wonder Woman and Super Girl, but I always came back to being Wonder Woman if my older friend didn’t try to overrule me.

One Friday night in December, probably December 16th, 1977, we went over to the neighbors’ house around the corner to eat dinner. They always had fish on Fridays, fish they caught that is, and would invite us over periodically. The couple were my parents’ best friends and their back yard, catty cornered, backed up to one of the corners of ours where just a fence separated us. Each day after school, the two matriarchs would have coffee together, switching up houses every other day. To make it easier a few years later, my father built a ladder that draped over the fence they used to go back and forth as the coffee connection. This particular night, we walked around the corner.

Dinner was had by all and very tasty because I was picky, but I loved fried fish. One of the ways my father tricked me into eating it was telling me I needed to eat fish because it would make me smarter; it was brain food. Well, it worked, and I have loved fish ever since. All I could talk about during this Christmas season was what I had asked for from Santa, which was Wonder Woman everything: a costume, a lunchbox, a coloring book, a doll, her tiara, her cuff bracelets, and her golden lasso. My neighbor friend was crazy about Superman, so he understood. He really hoped I would get my wish to receive all these things, especially the golden lasso so we could catch imaginary bad guys and make them tell the truth.

I remember after we ate, we hung around, my friend and I played, and we watched a little tv, and then we walked back around the corner to home. We entered through the front door as we always did. When I came into the living room, something seemed different. The Christmas tree was there on the table and no decorations had been moved, but there was a new item placed on the ground close to the tree. I ran over to see what it was, and I couldn’t believe it. It was a golden lasso and a pair of Wonder Woman’s cuff bracelets. I was so excited I could hardly speak with wonder in my eyes and a smile so big it was like a beacon of happy lights. My father and my mother were also amazed in wonderment of where these mysterious items had come from and who had placed them there while we were gone. I responded to them, “It must be Santa,” but then I questioned myself as soon as I said it, “but why would he come here this early to bring me these? Why not wait until Christmas?” They explained maybe he thought I had been so good, I deserved them early, but then we found a note on the ground that we didn’t see when I first noticed the cuffs and lasso. The note simply said, “For Carmen.” It wasn’t signed; that was all the words written on it.

Immediately, I went into detective mode questioning everyone. Was it really Santa? Or, was it someone trying to be sneaky to surprise me? My parents and my brothers all denied leaving those under the tree. I called my friend and he denied it as well, but was so excited for me. I took the note and compared the writing to each of my parent’s and my brother’s handwriting with no luck. I remember wishing I had a fingerprinting kit to find the culprit. Or a video camera in the house to catch them red-handed. No one would admit to it, so I concluded it must be Santa.

Christmas came and went that year, not really talking about who left the lasso and cuffs. My friends and I would continue to play superheroes, and with those items, I would always be Wonder Woman, feeling strong ready to catch those who were plotting evil courses towards humanity.

Forty-two years later, I still don’t know who left my Wonder Woman treasures that December eve so long ago. We truly never talked about it ever again. It was the acceptance of Santa or someone special left those there for me, and that was that. It was a Christmas I will never forget, and I will always treasure because it made me feel so special. It gave me wonderful memories of my father and mother who most likely were behind the antics of that mysterious night. One never knows what magic Christmas can bring.

The Memory Tree

All year long,
Photo albums and scrapbooks provide keepsakes like a family song.

They can be opened at any time
To fill our hearts with treasures so sublime.

However, one time a year,
In a December so near

We bring out a dusty old box from the attic
Containing trinkets of the past so dynamic

To display on a tree –
Live, flocked, green, white, sparkling – one full of glee.

The branches remain as picture hangers like nails,
Always collaged through many years of family tales.

The tourist style from a family vacation
To theme parks or to the capitol of our nation.

The hand painted angel made by a five-year-old daughter with eyes full of spark
In ceramics, while on back, leaving her name as a mark.

That special Santa collectible
Mama couldn’t wait to find obtainable.

The very first one given as a gift after marriage
Always hanging as the first one placed from a special box like a carriage.

Whatever the name – Christmas or Holiday – one calls it so.
This tree is a gift each year as the nostalgia continues to grow.

Traditions are passed down to each generation to share
Continuing the Memory tree with love and care.

A Dream within a Christmas Dream Holiday Cards

A Dream within a Christmas Dream Holiday Cards

“A Dream within a Christmas Dream” holiday cards. If you know someone who loves Edgar Allan Poe, this is the card to send this season. This 5×7 print is on linen stationery on the front. The back is left blank for notes to family or friends. Envelopes included. These are sold in a pack of 5. Shipping is included.

$15.00

Have a Purrfect Holiday Cards

Have a Purrfect Holiday Cards

“Have a Purrfect Holiday” holiday cards. If you know someone who loves cats, this is the card to send this season. This 5×7 print is on linen stationery on the front. The back is left blank for notes to family or friends. Envelopes included. These are sold in a pack of 5. Shipping is included.

$15.00

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