Short stories, poetry, haiku, expository and technical non-fiction. Report Cards and observations on writing. This began as my repository of exercises from the "What If?" self-help writers group at AOL. It has become more and less, since leaving AOL.

Monday, April 17

Poem for Pamela

April 16, 2006

She was lying on the floor

where he lay her down in panic

calling frantic for help,

“9-1-1, what is your emergency?”

They stood in clusters.

Paramedics dressed in blue polos,

stethoscopes around their necks,

looking down at her in pity.

Former family, another bunch,

a fine, strapping young man,

guilt-ridden, sobbing quietly,

step-mother holding him in his grief.

Her ex-husband, cold, uncomfortable

addressing the medics as brothers in toil,

thanking them for coming, for nothing,

The son did it all.

CPR, two by fifteen,

breathing, beating, her soul's sole link to life

as sirens scream from down the road,

death gurgling back at him.

Black fear had gripped his heart

as she broke under his loving weight,

ribs cracking, lungs crackling wrongness

where once was right.

She was well and truly dead,

my dear, suffering friend.

No amount of wishing or weeping

will bring her back again.

Meanwhile, I sat on the sofa,

talking with my wife,

commenting on her prolonged silence,

indications of the end so near.

Little did I know, even less could I understand,

She'd come to me, said good-bye,

as she shut down, circuit by circuit,

Despite the efforts of love to save her...

In loving memory of Pamela Hilger, April 10, 1956 ~ April 16, 2006.

With sincere condolences and respect to her son and daughter and those who loved her well.

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Saturday, April 8

Der Windvinder

Photo of The Wind Finder (Der Windvinder)

Der Windvinder

Set off on the sea of dreams,

Me at the helm,

You, in your swimming togs,

leaning against the mast,

ducking the giant blade aiming for your skull,

thrice with every revolution of Der Windvinder.

The wind in your hair,

streaming out like seaweed on the tide,

kelpish fronds waving to me as they beat about your eyes;

Taut nipples straining against the fabric of your top,

I feel a fire down below, slowly rising and falling

with the beat of my heart.

Light as a feather, we windmill our way,

beating to eastward, into the waves,

spray drenching you now,

huddled in the cockpit

Yellow slicker grasped tightly for warmth,

As thrill turns to chill.

But squalls are short-lived,

And rain goes away,

As Der Windvinder makes haste

around the mark and begins her downwind leg,

blades spinning gaily in the returning sun,

pushing us home to hearth and hearts aglow.

Home again, home from the Zuiderzee, now the Ijsselmeer,

as the triumphant sailors wend their way from from the sea,

hot blood flowing in their veins, enervated, horny, exhilarated.

There's going to be a hot time in the Old Port tonight,

home again to hot cider and hot toddies and hot lust, my hot Momma and me.

Home again, home again, home from the sea.

Der Windvinder, and me.

This is a work in progress and subject to revision as the mood strikes. I blame the inspiration for this piece on my friend Gerrit Bosman and this entry on his poetry blog, Rhyme, poetry, limericks, haiku and more word stuff. It is NOT a translation. Trust me on that. His lovely Helen may have "taut nipples" but he isn't allowed to talk about it. She'd beat him to a pulp for even mentioning it. The photograph and the information on Der Windvinder are available here.

Saturday, April 1

Poetry Meme: Where I'm From

Where I'm From

I am from the crumbs of Wonder Bread (“Builds Strong Bodies Twelve Ways”), from Smucker's Strawberry Jam and Chunky peanut butter.

I'm from fish sticks, tuna wiggle, hamburgers and hot dogs and raw milk on my oatmeal.

I am from the one bedroom, third story apartment near the Watergate Hotel, love nest of a May-December marriage.

I'm from the “gruesome twosome” then the “terrifying threesome.” Sunday mornings were reserved for “Fight to The Finish” in my father's bed – a hard way to be roused from a much needed rest.

I am from the hemlocks blowing in the breeze, the home of a coven of crows intent on murder. I have granite in my head and cedars in my heart. “Hidebound” is most often transliterated to “rockbound” in my presence.

I come from stern forbears with big noses, from Stuarts and Holts, from Frickes and Dorothy and Samuel B. Morse.

I am from the sailors and artists conjoined in the snow. Welsh men and Irish women, English and French. American Indian and French Canadian.

From an eight years old chef and a hot mama pilot on Capitol Airlines.

I am from Methodist Deacons and lapsed Anglicans. I shun deities and spit religion out on the ground for good with my pacifier.

I'm from Irish mothers, Anglo-Saxons, Alsatians, and Beserkers from Annapolis; I eat the cockroaches of the sea and ooze whiskey from my pores.

I am partly of the man whose shorts filled with petrol. Descendant of Aunt Townsend, who spent a winter in the Maine woods with two small children, burning whole trees for warmth and hacking away at the frozen moose in the shed until May when the maggots got too thick; the nephew of the robber baron of plastic Mouse Houses™ stealing his mother blind in one eye, and the grandson of the saddest nice man in town (“Why can't you be more like HIM?”).

I am from the frozen north, abandoned, if only temporarily, by all who grew here to adulthood; failed steward of the farm, subject to the adoration of Willow the Wunderhund and a dozen cats, give or take the road kill.

I am a survivor ... of strange men with knives in their teeth and guns in their hands, of stranger men in white coats with knives in their hands carving my heartbreak in my open chest, broken and breathless, of dead progenitors and their mates, orphaned late but hating it the same.

I am secure in the love of a Southern Belle with a fiery temper and sharp-toothed tongue who's fond of cuddles. April Fools are we.

I am from a long line who stop with me.

I am ... but I won't be before so long, but not too soon.

I learned about this from Junebugg. She got it from Donna, who swiped it from Cowpie Patty. It started here and that is where you can find the template with instructions on how to do this. And you are most welcome to play along. Please do, and let me know where I can find out where you're from.

About Me

My photo
Well past (by at least a decade) the half century mark. One foot in the grave, the other on a banana peel at the rim of the abyss and the view from here is disconcerting. I am a former student, pearl diver, cook, truck driver, firefighter, EMT, CEO, Town Fire Warden, mechanic, oiler, marine engineer and computer whiz bang. Mostly I sleep these days in an aluminum tube. And So It Goes... I waste my time reading blogs and kvetching about the weather, playing with our Schipperke sidekick, Ignatz McGraw and waiting hand by foot upon my wife, the Queen of our Hovel, She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO).