The Abyss

Dear Jaydan,

Your mother prepared a wonderful tribute
to her beloved son:

I ‘ve enclosed a note to you––

You didn’t know how much
you would be missed.
You didn’t know of our unfailing love for you.
Your mother, your father,
Your brothers and your sisters,
Your Gram and many others, too.

This abyss.

Every day
We think of you––
Of what could have,
What should have,
What would have,
Been.

This abyss.

I flew in a jet plane to see you
The day you were born.
Your sweet, tiny face shadowed
With my father’s image.

You were three weeks old
When you took your first jet ride
1,000 miles to your Gram’s house.
You were the tiniest of visitors.

They called you Jay-Jay the Jet Plane.
I called you Cricket.

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The Cricket and the Frog (photo credit: Jessica Martinusen)

I could not see you, but I could hear your teeny voice.

It was in a stupid moment, a cursed choice.
that will not allow us your face to see.
Let us hear you.

Many thoughts are of you this day––
Of what could have,
What should have,
What would have,
Been.

Your 18thbirthday.

With much love,

Gram-Gram,
from the abyss.

Excerpts from 1000 Deaths

I am posting an excerpt from writings I began several months ago. It is a true story, written in the present tense, of life after burns, yet the story in its entirety does tells of the accident,  subsequent hospitalization and such. The title 1000 Deaths is a temporary, working title at this point.

 

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Dr. Greenhalgh, my burn doctor next to me in August 2102 at UCDavis Medical Center, Sacramento, California.

            1000 Deaths

I stand proudly before the oven in our newly constructed house. We’ve moved into it three days ago and this is our first home-cooked meal––roast beef with roasted carrots and red potatoes. I secretly gloat at the memory that as a licensed Real Estate agent, I earned a commission for buying my own home.

I open the door for a peek at the goods and I wheeze from the heat-blast, and I’m shaken and tossed. Like a soldier with PTSD, I am standing in the blaze screaming for Frank.* He tells me my hair is smoldering, but it is my hand I notice, melted and deformed.

Someone yells, and I about-face to find off-duty firefighters suiting-up––but they stop, frozen. The fuel tanker explodes, and they shed their gear. They tell me to lie down on the sizzling asphalt.

Once there, they douse me with saline. I am howling, animal-like for more. They say they are out and I plead for water. But they say they can’t because water might cause the burns to become infected.  I yell that I don’t care.

I see the treetops burning as I lie on the asphalt, waiting for my seven-winged bird.   I’m reassured the Medi-Vac helicopter is on its way and I hope. Black smoke floats higher and higher above the flames.

I see Frank on the ground to my right. He has arms in the air and my stomach churns at the sight of the skin falling from his forearms. Rows of vehicles line the road, watching, waiting for the danger to clear, gawking at the unlucky ones. I turn my face to the left and a camera is inches away.  Behind the camera, a woman is crouching and flashes light the air. I yell for her to stop. How dare she?

And I begin to yowl.

The sound of Frank’s footsteps on the hardwood floor and his worried cry catapults me into my world of roast beef, carrots and potatoes.

“What happened?” he demands, “Are you alright?’

It’s nothing dear, wash up, and please, set the table. Dinner is almost ready.”  I turn to smile at him then turn away and wipe the tears away with a dish towel.

*This character’s name has been changed.

 

 

My Little Town––My Earworm

My father, 81, still lives on the property he acquired from his father in the mid 1950s. I visit him on a weekly basis, typically Sunday afternoons.

On my most recent Sunday visit, I decided to listen to some oldies, via Pandora, on the Simon & Garfunkel station.  My current town is about 20 miles from my childhood home, so I was enjoying quite a few oldies and the pleasant memories associated with each song.  As I turned into the long drive way, “My Little Town” (Simon & Garfunkel) began to play. That song has earwormed its way into my head for the past week.

A midweek visit was necessitated–– Dad needed my help with some banking back in my little town. Coincidentally, “My Little Town” repeated in splendid reverie, as I turned onto his little lane.  As I wailed the lyrics of the chorus, “nothing but the dead of night back in my little town,” my curiosity compelled me to Google the lyrics to the full song. (I’m a lyrics kind of girl.)

I was stupefied to learn that for the past 43 years, I’ve been belting out incorrect words. According to lyrics.com, the correct lyrics read “nothing but the dead and dying back in my little town.”

My bad.

Dead and dying seems to be more appropriate of late, as in the past two years my little town has lost my mother and three aunties, two of whom I was especially close to.

The lyrics of the song seems to imply nothing productive comes from their little town: whereas, my little town has lost four bastions of strength, grace, faith and character.

I prefer to keep my version. Maybe its born from habit of 43 years. Maybe it’s plain stubbornness.  So, I’ll keep on keening “nothing but the dead of night” safely within the confines of my little black car on my way to my little town.

This Old House

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This Old House

This old house rests in

obscurity at the elbow,

on the narrow dusty road,

battle-scarred and war-weary,

shutters dangle at the windows,

flesh-colored paint peeling, contorting,

indifferent, detached curiosity,

dismissed, not worth a second glance

glimpses of the occupant, a rarity.

A second glance is warranted,

Oh, look past the pummeled shell

that once housed a celebrated belle.

Old Robert’s road diverged I’m told

my travel does not have the pleasure,

but a path, straight and narrow,

briar-patched, imperfect measure.

The beautiful ones, a club I’m expelled,

I long to be reunited––really, do I?

Battle-scarred, war-weary, dilapidated,

houses one who Stands Above, yet nigh.

My Maker sees what lies beneath,

that’s his name-–Moon Maker.

Will my humanity be pondered?

Look past the pummeled shell,

for what exists within the crust.

I am human.

I am pummeled.

To some, it doesn’t matter.

What I Like About You

I stumbled across this short piece while putting together a portfolio of my writing at Simpson University, as required for my Senior Seminar course.

I penned this after my husband and I parted ways, as a  self-soothing, count-your-blessings, find the positive, excerise.

 

What I Like About You
Good News! I like you again
And here are a few reasons why.

I loved the sound of the slamming door
As you theatrically stormed through;
Oh, what a wonderful sight!

The empty space where shirts hung a’ fore
The remote has my name on it,
And the DVR has quality shows,
The Passat rests neatly in the garage

Reflecting quietly  with my morning joe,
And reading pages uninterrupted,
Singing and dancing to Pandora,
Your silence is more than golden,
It is all jewels wrapped together.

Re-decorating walls and so much more,
Premium air quality control,
Cooking and eating for one,
Going where, when, and how long.
Life, I must say is good as it is,
I like you again
Now that you’re gone.

It’s Saturday Morning–in Honolulu, USA

I didn’t make my Saturday morning blogging goal by Pacific Time, but hey, it’s Saturday morning in Honolulu. I’ll console myself with that.

I’m not really the sort to be happy coming in second place, but I am elated to learn I placed second in our university writing contest. Am I maturing? Maybe, maybe not. I was up against some pretty stiff competition, so I wasn’t sure I would even place.

The first-place winner is one I am positive will continue to be an award winning and prolific writer. I look forward to reading her books in that seemingly never-land of after graduation.

Write on bleeps, as Mike Senczyszak writes, write on

Manic Monday

I missed my Saturday morning blog reminder again.  I’ve been buried in geometry (gulp) communication ethics, and starting my book for my English course.

I’m making headway on that book: title and one paragraph of two sentences.  I console my self that it’s a start.

On a side note, I accidentally omitted the “o” in courses—turns out I wrote curses at Simpson University.  Oopsie daisy.

 

 

 

Font Nerds

One of the things I enjoy about Brick on the television comedy, “The Middle,” is his love and knowledge about fonts. On “The Goldbergs,” Adam had a font showdown recently.   I don’t know why I chuckle at the idea every time, but I do. I’ve concluded that I’m a closet Font Nerd. Surmise this admission as my coming out.

While I am not nearly as knowledgeable as Brick, I do enjoy an occasional migration from the typical Times New Roman required by most professors.  I applaud unabashedly when instructed to use a font of my own choosing.

However, I quickly become overwhelmed with the plethora of font choices listed, and then there is the dilemma of what font transfers between programs and applications best, if at all.  Audience should be considered ––I want to provide the smoothest reading experience as possible for my audience, especially a professor.

 

FYI­–On Microsoft Word 2016 for Mac –– this is Adobe Arabic (10)

 

Saturday Mornings

I’m here.

I’m on pins and needles: reading over syllabuses and textbooks 📚 for the upcoming semester.img_2487<<<<

On the plus side, only three more semester remaining until I will have completed requirements necessary for that coveted Bachelor’s in English and a minor degree in journalism (provided I survive a full four months of Math.)

So here I am on pins and needles while biting my nails at the daunting task ahead. I’m thinking of playing a Scarlett O’Hara and putting off these thought for another day .

It’s time for a Saturday morning walk in the sunshine. And contemplate my future.