Time for Time-Out

timeoutimg002

Time for time-out it’ll end soon.

Dug in the yard with mom’s good spoon.

She’s had it since her wedding day.

Used just for holidays, not play.

*

I said that it was shaped just right,

to dig a trench where armies can fight.

Needs to be deep but not too wide.

Had to dig fast so they can hide.

*

Buried far down just like a tomb.

Guarding treasure found in your room.

Found in a box high on a chest.

It’s the booty pirates like best.

*

I must protect those shiny things:

chains, charms, bracelets, baubles and rings.

Hid them good, remembered the map.

But then forgot after my nap.

*

To help me dig I found a pet.

The best digger there is I’ll bet.

Finished our yard then went next door.

Found nothing, ran off to dig more.

*

Chased our cat high up in the tree.

Grandma called the police for me.

Her nurse had to help make the call.

The police came, that isn’t all.

*

While chasing his dog that I found,

the man fell from holes in the ground.

He said he’ll sue, just wait and see.

I said it was his dog, not me.

*

His face was red, limping away.

But grandma’s heart will be okay.

And I have some more good news.

While digging today, I wore no shoes.

*

They’re nice and clean and tucked away.

I’ll try no pants some other day.

Though mess was made with my bare feet,

I cleaned it up with hose and sheet.

*

Pushed all the water out the door.

Then to your room, I cleaned some more.

Too bad the hose didn’t quite reach.

I luckily then found the bleach.

*

You’ll smile when you turn on the light.

I know you like things clean and white,

with spots of color here and there.

You’ll surely hug your little dear.

*

I’m glad you’re home early today.

Don’t believe what the neighbors say.

The rescue came, Dad’s all right.

Not much pain, he’ll wake by tonight.

*

Go to the doctor, I’ll just wait.

I’ll be good and won’t stay up late.

I missed lunch; I’ll make us a snack.

Fix the chair dad broke with his back.

*

He climbed too high to find his keys,

lost his balance from wobbly knees.

I found some socks to wrap dad’s head.

Then found soldiers under my bed.

*

Recalled the mission to be done.

Ran downstairs to start the fun.

Found no spoons not already bent.

But then found yours and out I went.

*

And that’s where my story began.

Now come sit close mom, hold my hand.

I know that time-outs hurt you too.

But when it’s done I’ll still love you.

*

The End

sck2014

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/468259

In the Shadow of Windmill Cottage

Behold this welcome image.
Where a hill rises from a bay.
There a tiny sheltered village lay.
All in the shadow of Windmill Cottage.
Steady breeze most every day.
~
Sails from afar spill their goodwill.
From their nets sea treasure abound.
Farms thrive above on fertile ground.
Good fortune trickles down the hill.
Sea birds fill the air with sound.
~
Ancient timbers shade from lofty stage.
Labored grain grows upward at the season’s rate.
Winds howl, warmth’s aglow on the hill top grate.
Flour flows freely down from Windmill Cottage.
Where nature’s breath spins the wheel of a poets estate.
~
He attends happily to familiar chores.
Quarterly ledgers bulge beneath waistcoat fair.
His quarterly journey to the bankers’ lair.
His shadow alone opens Main Street doors.
Harvest moon will guide homeward the fortunate heir.
~
Dusk creeps up as day slips by.
Modest and ordered with nothing ablaze.
Must avoid the many scrupulous gaze.
In the shadows inhibitions die.
A visit with strangers, heads all a daze.
~
Journey’s end in darkness where hill meets bay.
Tufted coaches dash the posh up to their inns.
Others huddle by fire pits drinking homemade gins.
The trades of the night swap those of day.
Church bells echo, atoning for their sins.
~
Just another blurry face on the wooden shores.
Where the day’s death lingers and ships bells ring.
Taverns fill, ale flows and drunken sailors sing.
Fiddles play and jigs are had on the dirty floors.
Habitual killers all, Oh what joy they bring

~

Few will stay, most homeward bound.
Some laugh loudly while others cry.
Some will fight, some will die.
In search of peace to be found –
In the deep or endless sky.
~
Faceless comfort fills empty space.
Men with silver are sick for a day.
Boys with gold suffer years away.
Moonlit romance lingers on perfumed lace.
Then life’s anew beyond the tiny bay.
~
Sharing much common thread,
In this moment “ brothers all.
Whale lamps flicker on sooty wall
Making friends while breaking bread.
All await the Bosun’s call.
~
In a corner where shadows overlap.
The poet searches for his light,
Where the day’s brew flows all night.
Safe, for now from his hilltop trap,
Layers of darkness, out of sight.
~
Behold this most unwelcome image.
The seat no more where the poet presides.
Now in his shadow a filthy little demon hides.
Return not quenched to Windmill Cottage –
And wait again for the new moon tides?
~
Lonely candle spews depth on a lonely face.
Unseen pests sing their unwanted song,
The scent of time ticking long.
His travels must be many, all left a trace.
In the darkness our senses strong.
~
Hat brim low to hide his shame.
The poet stutters with utter surprise.
The traveler snickers, doesn’t rise.
With sideways glance he asks the poets name.
Honestly answered by the fear in his eyes.
~
When after long hesitation a hasty reply ”
“A traveler like you” was all that he said.
But after some ale the silence was dead.
Yard by yard many distant words fly.
Palettes grow when faces shade red.
~
Cider was next and followed by rum.
The traveler’s tales all told in prose.
The wetter the lips the faster it flows.
Hated by most, loved by some.
That’s how a traveler’s life often goes.

~

The poet a rather tall fellow.
The traveler a poet by name.
So many ports traveled they all looked the same.
His heart pumped blue, the poet gay and mellow.
Opposite sides of a coin, no one is to blame.
~
“With little time to hone a craft –
With a draft from an open door.
To close then return no-more.
To open then evermore – the draft.
Spirits gone, gone the craft – nevermore.”
~
What dribble do you speak my friend?
The poet inquired in disgusted tone.
“The dribble I think when thirsty and alone.”
The traveler quipped with message to send.
I’ll tell you another, that’s my own.
~
“Silent words are never heard –
The voiceless poet stuttered.
Repeated babble muttered.
His rhymes always sputtered.
More mindless words would be absurd.
~
The air he breathed was glutted.
His helm so poorly ruddered.
His shirts all heavily buttered.
From his many toasts self-uttered.
His mind so free and uncluttered.
~
His weaknesses many and unobserved.
Blinded to the Reaper’s shadow – deserved.
Soon the voiceless poet will be unheard.
Then blissful quiet on his paths wandered.
His welcome silence – forever heard.”
~
Drunken rabble roared with delight.
The poet withered belittled.
The traveler’s attention fizzled.
When laudanum’s sipped out of sight.
The poet escaped most grizzled.
~
Out of the dark into the night.
Bellowing air; cold, wet and starless.
His poisoned lips know no finesse.
His state of mind out of time – not right.
The poet’s mind wanders aimless.
~
The traveler tucked snugly in his bunk.
With help from many new joyous fan.
All loved the howls of this traveled Wild-man.
His tales make perfect sense “ drunk.
The favorite carried and the pompous ass ran.
~
Boot heals clack on cobble slick.
While stallion slumbers atop golden bed.
The poet stumbles upward with achy head.
If only to have his gilt throat-ed stick.
This shadowy path he may be found dead.
~
The wind that is my fortune is slowly killing me.
This hill of heritage too high for me to climb.
With forceful push from the hands of time.
Drawing me back to a frigid sea.
My misery oh-so great ” it is oh-so sublime.
~
Head tucked low, bottom up always slow.
Darkness wanes to purples then red.
Day is born, horrors of the night soon dead.
Hands and knees bloodied and bruised – falls of woe.
Alas the bodies of servants to guide to downy bed.
~
Winter’s behind, graven plans regress.
Fevered sleep past, shadows of death dawdle.
Summer awaits, the poet’s lessons dwindle.
His magnum opus went off to press.
Journey to Main Street, praise to guzzle.
~
Surveying high atop his magnificent mount.
The poet exclaimed “behold this welcome image”
Deceived by the bustle, not he the homage.
But a tome by a worldly traveler – no doubt.
It was “In the Shadow of Windmill Cottage”
~*~
The End

Sck101614

Precious Mettle

Off to the mailbox for my monthly check,
when a crashing blow hit my neck.
I woke in a cell filled with other old guys.
We all laughed to find we’re all old spies.
~
An enemy hacked us and addresses found,
We were all then hostages held underground.
Our brains to be picked for treasure long lost,
the knowledge valuable as noted by their cost.
~
Across the hall were ladies we knew,
agents we recognized, but for a few.
A plan was hatched, arthritis be damned!
When a guard comes by they’ll be slammed.
~
We then waited and rested no need to hurry.
Naps are good and we’ve no need to worry.
The ladies then flirted with mature confidence.
The guard withered by worldly effervescence.
~
The code culled we shuffled to get free,
arm in arm in groups of three.
Footsteps heard then alarm bells rang.
Adrenaline soared and up we sprang.
~
Youth’s no match for the well-seasoned mind.
We hid in the shadows for them to find.
One by one the threats were gone.
And soon I’d be home to cut my lawn.
~
The weeds a bugger and leaves make a mess.
The grandkids expected, sorry to digress.
Now back to the story, before I forget.
We found the exit but the passage was wet.
~
Those rascals in charge too had a plan.
They’d drown us all like the cruelest hit man.
But optimists they are thinking they’d win.
As experts we’re all with the simple hairpin.
~
The water knee high and their lock we’d picked.
And soon they’d see who’d be tricked.
Gray, white and bald we glistened in the sun.
We strode out together, too old to run.
~
The culprits scrambled but soon were caught.
The lesson learned is time has taught.
And sometime silver is better than gold,
a precious reward growing old.

~*~
SCK012221

Easter’s Egging

~*~

The church bell rang and doors flung wide.

We raised our heads and ran outside.

Sitting’s done, now’s time for fun.

Our Easter egg hunt has now begun.

.

It’s a perfect day with bright sunshine.

Our baskets ready we waited in line.

Till all were scattered on the count of three,

in every direction kids ran free.

.

I ran first to my favorite tree.

I found it’s the favorite of not just me.

So off to the hedge where eggs always found,

none’s left there so to the playground.

.

While the others searched I rode the swing.

When they had gone I heard birds sing.

I glanced to the trees and sounds nearby.

Then off jumped I and into the sky.

.

I landed in sand on two feet and one hand,

then a tumble or two and up I stand.

I turned to the fence where tall trees grew-

to search for a prize of an egg or two.

.

The chirps grew louder with each step I took.

Did they tell me to leave or tell me to look?

I kneeled near bushes and peeked below.

I stuck in my hand as far as would go.

.

Feeling around for a tasty surprise,

I pulled out an egg but smaller in size.

Holding tight it felt warm to the touch.

Then I knew why that bird chirped so much.

.

Gently I put the egg down on the ground,

took a few steps back not making a sound.

A whistle blew, the hunt was now done.

But silently I waited in the midday sun.

.

My basket is broken and clothes dirty and torn.

I knew I’d face my mother’s scorn.

But there’s more to life than clothes un-ripped.

There are some events that can’t be skipped.

.

There’s saving the things that you love.

Then a bird swooped down from above

She tapped the shell lightly with her beak.

A tiny head popped out to take a peek.

.

The mom  nudged her chick back into the bush.

Her frightful chirping turned to a shush

Then another whistle blew, louder than ever.

To stay any longer just wouldn’t be clever.

.

I hurried back, joining up with the rest.

Our search was now over finding the best.

My cousin won second, they had four.

I found just one but I think I won more.

~*~

Sck030916

http://www.childrens-stories.net/featured-childrens-story/featured-childrens-story.htm

The Return

Outside my window perched in a tree
Tis a winged demon that caws at me
At me it caws and caws all day
Till darkness consumes then caws go away

Tis then a candle lit, awaiting peace
Creative spark await release
The hourly chime hourly chides
This spark within creatively hides

Searching I pace in this tiny room
From shadow to shadow returning to gloom
Going in circles around in a square
Till wearily I slump back into my chair

Through random lacy limbs I spy the moon
With gentle breezes the patterns I swoon
Patterns swooning dance on dingy walls
The net surrounds and the demon calls

Consciousness concedes, silence relieves
In the dark the dark the mind believes
Rest and wait or rise and scream
Choices few at the edge of a dream

Wax drippings lapping pages bled
Of serpentine spine and heavy head
Blackness cloaks the demons night
Their quills aplenty shade the light

Demon, oh demon please let me be
Yet still they tap, tapping for me
Tap tap tapping on my foggy pane
Tap, tap tapping with no refrain

Without refrain demons tap in kind
Tapping demons tap, tapping my mind
Is this tapping, tapping to remind?
Or is it tapping to seek and find?

Oh demon cloaked with hidden face
To take from you is my disgrace
Your gifts adored left on my sill
Yet to rest on your back I am still

To be only still is reverse
Dive or fall, a lover’s curse
To soar or sink is to immerse
The spirit wishes to guide the verse

This spirit and I of common goal
Each to rise from the hole
One to fly, one to scratch and claw
Each may fall, one to caw, caw, caw

Our bond’s made to find a link
If to trade my soul I wish to think
I wish to think another’s ink
Of golden quills and wine to drink

In gilded glass I wish to wink
Then step away until I shrink
Till all is gone with a blink
But for the ink, I wish to think

I think I think, I think I see
I think I see light shines on me
Sight and sound now distortion free
The path’s clear toward tranquility

If to be a final rest, now’s to be the time
Drifting in an open mind is to be sublime
Or if to rise and most joyfully find
I’ve awakened as a different kind

To be warm of heart and cool of mind
Forward moving and never behind
Of filigree hands to align and chime
Tis then the taps return, tapping in time

Taps on the window from arms of the past
To embrace their grip the future’s cast
When cracks appear in my shield of glazing
The demon swoops for the dawns hazing

With inky beak and beating wings
Caw, caw, caw the demon sings
They dance upon the empty pages
Quills ablaze their fire rages

Then morning breaks the lidded seal
Illuminating all thought real
Am I to be taken or to consume?
Or wake to sunlight returning to gloom

Betwixt the shadows exposed by the light
Tis demons craft conjured last night
With nary a blotch nor stroke askew
Flawless leaf scribed by I know not who

I dare not share these words unknown
Through my window they have flown
The prize of demons cawing in a tree
Thus return I must this gift given me

Sck122315

A Lonely Princess

DSCN7499b

Where rocky cliff meets stormy sea,

a castle perched, forever be.

Where gray stone surrounds little seen sky.

‘Twas this fortress a young princess cry.

.

The princess post birth, her parents delight,

treasured by day, guarded by night.

Feasting with jesters, ponies, puppets and maids,

a gaggle of servants draw bright velvet shades

.

With sentry of knight to share all her dreams,

her eyes shut tight to hide her screams.

Time wasted limitless, she wished for an end.

The princess was lonely without a true friend.

..

One morning awoken by a kiss from a queen,

sleepy eyes opened to a sight seldom seen.

Golden light sparkles in diamond pane rare,

a sapphire morn burns black coal night air.

.

A tasty breakfast served on tray in bed.

Downy pillows fluffed to rest her head.

The king arrived more jolly than ever,

with riddle to solve, if anyone clever.

.

“What may have wings cannot fly.

Holds a heart yet cannot die.

Shaken pitch laughs off rain.

Having one a princess to gain?”

.

The joyous young girl made many a guess.

The kings’ piddling patience grew less and less.

The queen and knights all had a try.

The king muttered “castle!” with a loud sigh.

.

The room bemused by the riddler’s zeal.

Most unconcerned with how others feel.

A castle repeated in more pleasant a tone,

a home for a princess to call her own.

.

But first a short trip outside the wall,

where grass tickles feet and trees grow tall.

There are lessons to learn from tutors wise.

There are truths to see with growing eyes.

.

Now’s time a princess must prepare,

for the eventual call of a prince to be dear.

A someday king awaits his throne,

whence you shall rest upon your own.

.

The princess knew the day would come,

a bartered prize as was her Mum.

No fairy tale endings for spawn of kings.

“Tis a life shackled with heavy gold rings.

.

Adventure awaits, no time for self-pity,

freedom’s short locked in a stone city.

Knowledge abounds beyond heavy gates.

The princess skips past on worn ancient slates.

.

Beneath a fine bonnet of satin and lace,

excitement glowed on her adolescent face.

Her velvet shoes barely touching the dirt,

a merry cyclone a-swirl in silk skirt.

.

Her mentor soon waves from path by wood.

Magical flora beckons, some bad, some good.

Wonders overwhelm in green forest lush.

An ocean of emeralds painted with brush.

.

With each lash a-flutter bursts a new color.

Light and shades multiply them all more.

With the thirst of a sponge she did explore,

where surprises abound when not looked for.

.

A gentle breeze blew, a little leaf flew,

bright sky filled in the space anew

A ray of sunlight kissed a shiny stone.

Atop a bed of dewy leaf it rests alone.

.

With a tiny tap upon its shimmering side,

the distant fates of two collide.

Surface cracking on this egg thought stone,

a heartbeat wakened with thunderous tone.

.

Out popped a plump lump, beneath wings of scale.

A pat on the rump exposed its long tail.

A final stretch thrust shell shards to leaf.

And there lie a creature beyond belief.

.

Warm smiles shared with a new friend.

A precious little pearl, the girl’s to defend.

The gazes shattered by a howl from the trail,

‘twas the elderly teacher, impatient and frail.

.

The princess knew what had to be done.

The babe hid under her bonnet and bun.

Down the path she ran back to the gate.

Yelled to the guards “The teacher was late”

.

Gates barely open she slipped through the crack,

escaping notice of the tail down her back.

Safe in her chamber they shared the night’s meal,

both sharing puckers with fresh lemon peel.

.

Then swathed in plush robes, kissed on the head,

the fledgling was tucked safely under the bed.

Each night passing, more robes to conceal,

this teething tot with big teeth that’s real.

.

Each day growing from the princess’s scraps,

she grew thinner, now padded with straps.

The servants grew nervous at both the sight,

one lie near weightless, one flew in the night.

.

The princess’s secret though soon was known,

when her expanding friend went out alone.

The knights became dazed by armored flight,

their swords no match for the hunger of night.

.

The king and queen where too nearly maimed.

Pawns, bishops and rooks where all to be blamed.

A wizard was called to tame the toddler beast.

His tenure cut short when almost a feast.

.

The creature now huge, truly loved the girl.

She called her Sunshine, the princess’s Pearl.

Together they frolicked on the castle rooftop.

The king spying danger called for a stop.

.

Shouting “time’s come to put childhood behind,

It’s now time to marry, I’ve someone in mind.

He’s brave, sweet, wise and kind, at least I’m told.

There’ll be time to adjust as you both grow old.”

.

Escorted by king to a royal coach and four,

off to be locked behind another gilded door.

Her fate was sealed by a noble families need,

alliances grown with common regal seed.

.

But with a twist, jerk and a naughty giggle,

the squiggly princess was free now to wiggle.

Breaking free, running fast, past all unaware.

She zigged and zagged toward the rooftop stair.

.

Screaming loudly for her only friend Pearl,

who tried to save the much pursued girl.

A guard with a pike held Pearl on a chain.

Blocking the Sunshine’s escape of the reign.

.

Seeing her friend at the top of the stair,

Pearl snapped her links then into the air.

The petrified guard fled from his post,

grabbing for Sunshine he’d surely be toast.

.

The princess ran to the edge of the roof,

yelling to Pearl, she feared aloof.

The big eared beast sharply turned about,

hearing her Sunshine’s gloomy shout

.

The king with guards, knights and queen,

Stormed to the roof unprepared for what’s seen.

The princess looked back, blew a kiss to her mother,

and a warm thoughtful wave to all the other.

.

Then with a carefree step she disappeared.

Plunging to her sudden death, or so was feared.

The mortified lookers all lunged for the ledge.

Hoping the princess landed safe in a hedge.

.

The king peeked over, not wanting to see,

when up rose his honey like a big bumble bee.

She hung from the neck of her dear friend Pearl,

now bonded for life, this dragon and girl.

.

Higher she climbed with a dragons eye view,

a view to be viewed by a very small few.

Now all surveyed, now all her realm,

Sunshine’s the captain, Pearl the helm.

.

Over forest and mountains, ocean and stream,

free in a world where she need not dream.

Adrift on her Pearl upon the endless sea,

Alone they now be in their realm of fantasy.

.

The king broken hearted wept in his sleep.

The queen stricken ill with never a peep.

They later agreed to bare a new heir,

whether girl or boy was not a care.

.

The next child’s fate was sure to be better,

born free of mind and trappings that clutter.

With a loving heart nurtured by family and friends,

then given the choices to choose their own ends.

.

The princess returned in time for the birth.

The kingdom was full of merriment and mirth.

The princess enchanted with a friend who flew.

And all ends happily as fairy tales all do.

*

The End

Sck121414

Sleepy Town

Dusk shrouds foggy walks
Whispers heard when no one talks
The old town hall shines felicity
Its library shares the pageantry

Main Street bristles with conspicuous zeal
Spirits roam unseen when unreal
Tales abound of young maidens kissed
Faces unknown for souls unmissed

Yarns be spun of their tiny cove
Time surrounds, the mind does rove
Behind every door lie stories untold
Life in a village three hundred years old

High on the hill sits a Queen Anne alone
She’s peaks of copper and footing of stone
Her windows boarded to hide the view
Abandoned by the town, seen by few

The home once a school for wayward boys
Most had no families, none knew of toys
A cagey couple was completely in charge
Both small in stature yet looming large

The mistress taught letters with pointer or switch
The master kept numbers making them rich
Gruel’s fed to the students, the master’s meat
The boys froze; the pair warmed by their heat

Ablaze was the furnace ahead of each storm
The lads safely locked in their cold attic dorm.
Their sniffles and sneezes all kept at bay
The masters swept all the sickness away

Each year had runaways, never to be found
Searches end at the edge of school ground
Then came a young man sheltered in error
He promptly escaped and reported the terror

Inquires made, investigations were had
The masters left freely, the mayor glad
The school was closed with little fanfare
The boys sent away with little a care

Rumors lost from days long past
Horrors are hidden all too fast
No more’s said of the young boys plight
And another sun sets on a sleepy town’s night

~*~

sck121115

Magic Carpet

~

Full moon’s high in my window pane,

a sleepless night yet again.

I think of what that old moon’s seen,

and the billions of days in-between.

.

Billions of stories it could share.

But few like grandma’s can compare.

Her life began long, long ago.

Raised in places few ever know.

.

In forests, jungles and never-ending plains,

there were exotic cities and quiet country lanes.

Naturalist nurtured traversing the globe,

her parents explorers and professors in robes.

.

She too attended their university,

majoring, of course, in anthropology.

She graduated at the very top of her class.

Then returning to a high mountain pass.

.

A place where dear friends made, one nevermore,

new will be made though not as before.

For the sisterly love they both did share,

her dowry passed from generations with care.

.

Their rug was presented for the mutual esteem,

more cherished than a simple weaving would  seem.

With sheep twists dyed and hands knotting all day,

life’s artful history’s made to give, barter or pray.

.

That winter spent mourning by choice and terrain.

Gram then ventured east with the new spring rain.

Her path soon ended on a long Pacific beach,

her life of the past now far out of reach.

.

She then called upon as never before.

She volunteered proudly as a nurse in the war.

Through years of blood, pain and tears she served,

refusing all the medals and honors deserved.

.

Though her true love was found slumped on a cot,

they soon returned home, where time was forgot.

Gramps got better and a new family sown.

their many shared scars were never to be shown.

.

Her old rug was placed by hearth and chest,

each full of stories though not all are best.

It’s a place we’d sit to hear grandma recall,

sometimes a place to do nothing at all.

.

So I tip-toed downstairs since sleep no option,

I’ll rest on that rug where dreams are begun.

It’s where secrets are shared and magic seen,

then a place for relaxing time in-between.

.

Once sewn as a bag keeping safe, precious things.

It’s been many a blanket with a picnic to bring.

It’s been a shawl in the cold and hood in the rain –

and a comfy pillow on the overnight train.

.

Adventures had in time that’s flown,

together worn from long years grown.

This rug’s grandma’s confidant and oldest friend,

soaring together their wove lives transcend.

.

Though colors now faded, ends torn and frayed,

beauty more timeless cannot be remade.

And when the winds do bellow just right,

we’re drawn up the flue and into the night.

.

Holding fast and climbing high,

we touched the stars in our moonlit sky.

We’d see twinkling lights in our town below,

then off to the hills where roads don’t go.

.

Over the wood, back to the place we all live,

where the door’s always open and love’s to give.

There blissful slumbers had snug as a bug,

whilst wrapped with a hug in grandmas old rug.

.

~*~

sck032116

Within Reach

This story begins where most would end.
It’s not fiction, I won’t pretend.
The moon was high, my energy low.
The night came fast, my thinking slow.
~
I heard a noise come from my shed.
A scream so loud it could wake the dead.
I stepped outside not knowing why.
Should I return or would I die?
~
Each step closer my life’s less long.
My goal uncertain but temptation’s strong.
To turn and run or hide and wait,
the choice is now, if not too late.
~
Between my door and destiny,
lay the light and dark of uncertainty.
Betwixt the abstracts of would, could and should,
in a purgatory I there stood.
~
Clinging to the past and a peace of mind,
scenarios flood to times I’d find.
Reaching out to unlock my fate,
sights envisioned now bears the weight.
~
In the dimming light of one’s existence,
the future seen in our past’s distance.
Fear now a memory, the dragons slain,
tomorrows welcomed with forever’s again.
~
The truth often stretched resilience we test.
For problems to solve persistence is best.
And the shed’s but a metaphor for time unknown.
While the night the place where stars are grown.

~*~
SCK032121

Over the Rainbow

Good morning to my brethren, our time has begun.
Let’s don our garb; share a toast and all have some fun.
It’s finally St. Paddy’s day, cheers to one and all.
Our heritage’s expansive, though our part may be small.
~
Diaspora may dilute our tasty brews of green,
the potency of the day now not clearly seen.
But snakes can’t writhe when we happily parade.
And a festival it is and never will it fade.
~
From Pagan and Druid to the trinity of leaf,
a saint named Patrick triumphed over grief.
His plight heroic and his resilience reinforced,
a feast deserved, though now locally sourced.
~
With homage to our forebears, together we shall stand.
Today I’ll wear my green and gladly shake your hand.
Our faith in worldly friendship unites, dare to be bold.
Good luck to all and may you find your pot of gold.

~*~
SCK031721

A Slap in the Hindsight

When I was just a small boy,
perhaps seven or eight,
I didn’t want to go to bed;
I wanted to stay up late.
~
But when I’d sneak back downstairs,
for some TV and a snack,
my mom would be there waiting.
And boy I’d get a smack.
~
That seems so long ago now,
and my how things progressed.
Slaps have been reconsidered,
now more creatively addressed.
~
The mischief too has waned,
but I still stay up too late.
The TV no longer excites me,
but man the snacks are great.
~
It’s funny what’s remembered,
and how it shapes our thought.
I’ve learned many lessons well;
now glad to be often caught.
~
My mom now long since passed,
her sacrifices never ignored.
I really was a bratty kid,
but at least mom was never bored.

~*~
SCK031521

Forever Brine

Gaslights flicker, but one in three

These harsh fall winds batter thee

Soon the rains will pour and pelt

Yet with heavy heart nothing’s felt

~

Broken brick teeters beneath shoe-less feet

The stench of death fills the street

An island paradise – mine no more

Alas in this city to find a door

~

Thirty years lost at sea

‘Till found rescued, returned free

In search of a life I wish to find

Of futures not had and left behind

~

Now homeward bound to do what’s right

And share my tale of a dreadful night

With freezing sleet and gale, our sails torn

Splintered masts await the morn

~

Screams of mates haunting still

Silence came with the sunsets’ chill

I awoke to a native angel, urged to make a wife

Years of guilty pleasure pass of fertile island life

~

In a search never-ending of a foggy memory

Back to a decrepit city, forever lost to me

A vision of a woman I had no time to know

And a father-less child I never saw grow

~

Now I must roam this morbid place

In the shadows I hide this unknown face

With grizzled hide and toothless grin

Tis I this rotted hull of unforgivable sin

~

First I betrayed a young bride with family

I’ve betrayed my many brothers to a stormy sea

Betrayed my island flowers with my bastard seed

And their many blooms not knowing of their creed

~

In tangled webs of filthy alleys, doors locked tight

Shuttering out the dangers awakened in the night

Seeking boarded diamond pane, broken lintel I recall

My tiny door beckons just down the hall

~

Now steps ahead my future lies, one without a past

Decisions’ pondered long, yet always chosen fast

With a knock a ghost returns to those long at rest

Me thinks a splintered briny deck for all will be best

~*~

sck071615

Way Misunderstood

I once dated a lady from Providence.
She had lots of degrees and I, little sense.
We went on a date and took a stroll.
She walked right into a telephone pole.
~
She fell down and scraped her knee.
Writhing in pain she screamed at me.
“My glasses unworn so I’d look good!”
I helped her get home as I should.
~
We cleaned her wound, it wasn’t that bad.
Our date was ruined and we both were sad.
I asked to see her again real soon.
We both agreed on the next afternoon.
~
I went to her house, she opened the door.
What she had planned I wasn’t sure.
She said come in; you can have your way.
What she said next, I couldn’t say.
~
She left the room and I got undressed,
thinking this better than I had guessed.
When she returned she gasped in shock,
while I was caressing a huge pet rock.
~
She soon started swinging and I ran out.
I stood naked outside, my lunch in doubt.
A misunderstanding ruined that day.
And I never did try her curds and whey.

~*~
SCK031121

Lazy Man

When Steve was but a small boy the signs were becoming clear.
Movement was not forthcoming from that precious little dear.
He stayed there in his tiny crib until he grew too tall.
He laid there day and night just staring at the wall.
~
His parents were much concerned as the young boy slowly grew.
The only activity he seemed to like was when he had to chew.
His cousins would come to visit and they all went out to play.
But not little Stevie, in his bed he chose to stay.
~
Eventually the school days came and Steve was dragged to class.
Fortunately his memory was good and easily he did pass.
The next twelve years were much the same, for him fair’s good enough.
His parents wished him college bound, but Steve didn’t like that sort of stuff.
~
A few more years Steve stayed at home, until he got kicked out.
Poor Steve was confused and hurt his future so much in doubt.
While shuffling slowly to his grandma’s house he saw a big lit-up sign.
Steve read it very carefully and then he felt just fine.
~
Waiters wanted is what it said so Steve sauntered in to see what’s what.
It wasn’t what he was thinking though and got kicked out on his butt.
Steve was deflated as he felt his world come crashing down.
Sitting alone on a park bench he watched darkness fill his town.
~
The sun then newly risen, Steve slumbered peacefully.
Until poked by a cop named Phil, who wouldn’t let Steve be.
Steve then told Phil of his plight and how his life’s a mess.
Phil flung Steve in the backseat as he could care no less.
~
A furious Phil then told Steve he was just a lazy man.
And that he wouldn’t do anything if someone else can.
Arriving at the station Steve was ordered to quietly sit.
Phil came back the next day and said “I found a place you’ll fit.
~
Steve was brought to a room where screens filled every wall.
Phil told Steve what to look for and when to make the call.
Steve loved his new position, his super power he had found.
Soon a suspect spotted and promptly tackled to the ground.
~
If you’re looking for a moral, a lazy story you shouldn’t seek.
Perhaps the lesson’s there so I’m glad you took a peek.
Though the story may be fiction the condition does often show.
And when a cure for lazy is found I’ll be sure to let you know.

~*~
SCK031021

A Chain of Very Fortunate Events

Homeward bound, a cloudy sky an unfamiliar cobbled street

Silence surrounds the many blank faces guarded by rushing feet

Fading sunlight shaded a forgotten old brick doorway

When a sudden squall and bolt of light brightened that gloomy day

 ~

A twist of fate, strangers meet to escape the pending drench

Glances are avoided, awkward silence used as defense

Then nervous words about weather answered with a smile

Glowing cheeks made me wish for the rain to stay awhile

 ~

We shared stories of our lives, some laughs and some tears

Our hands shared pockets to ward off chill and our many fears

Time flew, the storm had passed yet we noticed none

Matted hair and soggy feet we splashed into the long set sun

 ~

 Awkward silence once again, I truly felt ashamed

Blissful hours past and we never shared our names

Blushing, I asked hers and she responded with mischief in her eyes

“I’d rather not tell you anymore for now, but ask again at sunrise”

 ~

The sun rose on chilly toes long ago, never to forget –

It was a dark cobbled street where once strangers met

 ~

Sck010515

The Wizard of Windham

The wizard of Windham lived on the hill.
His walls of stone are standing there still.
The roof’s now long gone as is the tower,
once a symbol of the wizard’s great power.
~
His age was unknown, a millennium guessed.
The first settlers awed, but some less impressed.
The natives too could never agree.
Were his acts wizardly or wise fakery?
~
The questions delayed with new problems brewing.
The settlers flourished and the natives were stewing.
Agreements were made and boarders were mapped.
The hill was the place where both overlapped.
~
The wizard then asked to choice just one side.
The wizard then answered with a grin, big and wide.
“I’ll choose no side as the hill is my own,
each stone hand-placed, a thousand years grown.”
~
“My family, you see, arose from these grounds.
We speak and we hear all natures’ sounds.
The grasses here grow tall to tickle my feet.
And the berries are delicious because I like sweet.”
~
The chiefs convinced as he spoke of their legends.
Each then agreed it’s best to be friends.
The settlers too thought that was best.
A treaty was signed and they all now could rest.
~
Years then passed with the wizard unseen.
But his tower stood proud on its hill of green.
The settlers now settled and their families grew.
The natives moved on leaving now but a few.
~
A new generation, now triple in size,
gazed at the hill with big greedy eyes.
The treaty forgotten as was the wizard.
They planned to start building after the blizzard.
~
The long winter passed, the spring brought more rain.
That summer was scorching, then autumn again.
Builders were hired that following spring.
A fortress they’d build with a big banquet wing.
~
Wagons were loaded and the horses well fed.
The mayor woke early from his big comfy bed.
A speech he’d planned for that very day.
But storm clouds moved in and the sky turned gray.
~
His speech was canceled but the builders went ahead.
The mayor scurried home then back to bed.
Rain soon started then followed by hail.
The wagons got stuck on the wet slippery trail.
~
The work then delayed until the skies cleared.
Months soon passed, much longer than feared.
Rumors spread of the wizards return;
if magic he has come summer they’ll burn.
~
By early June the sky hinted of blue,
the trail now firm and the grass green and new.
The builders then called to make a new start.
The horses led forward pulling wagon and cart.
~
The trail narrowed at the base of the hill.
Then the horses all stopped and just stood still.
The builders got scared and ran back to town.
The mayor got fired for being a clown.
~
Some say the wizard had gotten his way.
That legend lives on to this very day.
Does the wizard still live, well nobody knows.
But his hill’s still green as the little town grows.

~*~
SCK030421

Hannahbelle’s Folly

Welcome back to Hannahbelle’s folly

where dreams broken yet most stayed jolly.

The factory was shut, tourist didn’t stay,

the impatient grew impatient for a better day.

Most old town folk not wanting to go

agreed to a change in the Hannahbelle show.

Their now was the present, past’s time of old,

the gooey center betwixt is this tale told.

It starts with Charlie, who lacked business sense.

All money made was but half his expense.

Having won the factory therefore the town,

he became a fair leader, albeit a clown.

Yet a kinder soul there could never be.

All hungers fed, anytime, always free.

The workers prospered with newfound wealth,

not only from raises but dental and health.

The village glistened, all gloom washed away.

Their Renaissance grew brighter each passing day.

Charlie married soon after, a remarkable bride,

their love for each other they couldn’t hide.

Hannahbelle followed within that same year.

She’s properly pampered and handled with care.

By noble decree the eldest of elders proclaimed;

In honor of Charlie the towns to be renamed.

A contest was held to find the best name.

Most of the entries were all the same.

The town’s new name was Hannahbelleville,

from miles around people came for the thrill.

With towers of brick placed one at a time

all topped with a bell for the hourly chime.

The windows sparkled, doors welcomed all.

Just step right in and we’ll all have a ball.

Neat lines form long to be part of the show.

There are twists and turns wherever you go.

A bib and bags are given free at the door

to save what’s left for when you want more.

Ponchos welcome but most haven’t a care,

sweet diversions are why they’re all here.

Where chocolate waterfalls splash at their base,

what a tasty surprise to the passerby’s face.

There are also cakes, cookies and candies galore.

There’s shirts and hats at the little gift store.

The shelves always stocked, but not for long,

their prices are good so sales are strong.

On paper everything seemed OK.,

until a new town sprouted across the bay.

This new town was grander, factory too.

They stole Charlie’s recipes, yet he hadn’t a clue.

They built a new park with rides big and small.

It’s better than Hannahbelles that had none at all.

The competition soon became bold and brutal.

The rivals charged half for twice the strudel!

Though Charlie’s reluctant to change his way,

he worked all the harder without any pay.

Then Hannahbelle’s tuition became overdue,

not just one term but quite a few.

She’d have to go home without a degree.

The long spring stretched, she worked as three.

Side by side the little family all toiled.

Cooking and cleaning and keeping things oiled.

Summer arrived and thoughts were blooming.

She had to think fast, payday was looming.

Then a plan was hatched to save the day.

She called her classmates to all have a say.

Her idea was shared to change their fates.

The chefs and chemists mixed heated debates.

Mathematicians integrated their permutations.

The statisticians juggled interpolations.

The engineers tinkered to make all precise.

Artist’s flourished to make all look nice.

A manager’s needed to book weekend bands.

Then there’s the overhead and two hired hands.

There are taxes, tariffs and hidden fees.

We’ve a lawyer’s retained to shoot the breeze.

Bankers were safe with their calculations.

The accountants left to balance frustrations.

Our writers wrote slogans, jingles and ads.

Their pieces placed in papers for new I.T. grads.

A final test given for last minute tweaks.

Then code was input by computer geeks.

The output emerged and everyone’s thrilled.

Soon teeth and tummies both less filled.

It’ll be safe to consume whenever you please.

They’ll never melt and cannot freeze.

There’s no a messy wrappers or sticky streets.

When enjoying the new Hannahbelle binary treats.

Though you will need a dongle for a spare port,

to call up our server of cheese mocha torte.

You can try any flavor you think to choose,

try them all, there’s nothing to loose

We’ve green apple slush and warm fuzzy peach.

There’s seven billion in all, that’s one for each.

Just fill in the form and enter your pin.

Sit back, relax and let the digiconfection begin.

Pay what you can, take what you need.

The business is sweet without any greed.

And after all the bills are paid,

what’s left is ours; it’s what we’ve made.

What was made is what we make.

What Hannahbelle makes icing on her cake.

Hannahbelles treats now second to none,

without competition you’ve already won.

And as the creator of all that’s digiconfectionary,

she’s thought now to be a true visionary.

A university was founded, tuition’s free.

Hannahbelle was first to earn a degree.

Soon she was mayor of Hannahbelleville.

She could serve for life and probably will.

The company grew large, built in its niche.

Everyone did well, though no one got rich.

Hannahbelle shares all her profits and good will.

So all ends happily in Hannahbelleville.

sck011816dft

Empty Lot

Our empty lot’s not empty at all.
There’s a tree that’s big and tall.
It’s a place that kids love to share.
It’s on my street so mom needn’t care.

We spend sunny days in the shade.
There’s lots of dreaming in forts we made.
There’s bunches of dirt to dig deep holes.
Rainy puddles for toy fishing poles.

Our empty lot really has it all,
We hide and seek and sometimes play ball.
It’s the place where adventures begin.
A fence to keep the city out and us in.

We’ve bugs and spiders, squirrels and cats.
There’s soft grass to sit for quiet chats.
We see dogs on leashes and birds in the sky,
Some tweet, sing sweet, bark, run and fly.

There’s rope jumping girls and running boys.
Everyone brings their favorite toys.
Weeds make jungles for our tiny men.
Tiny cars get lost, then are found again.

A place on Sundays for dads to mow.
A place anytime where friendships grow.
When the days fun is done, we all say goodnight.
To our good old friend, under the street light.

SCK102814

Sick Day

~

Bright sunny day, nothing to do.
Stuck at home in bed with the flu.
Watched TV as long as I could.
And did some homework, like I should.

.

I tossed and I turned, sipped some tea.
The warm fall day was mocking me.
Temperature stable, chills no more.
Then a knock on my bedroom door.

.

It was mom come to check my head.
Not hot or cold, then out of bed.
I passed her test, done with my rest.
Going outside will be the best.

.

But that is not to be the way.
Had to stay in another day.
Picked at supper, slept through TV.
Dad tucked me in then read to me.

.

Just to make sure that I’m all right.
Mom checked on me all the long night.
Slept Okay, woke ready to go.
But to do what I didn’t know.

.

Was really bored by midday.
Ran out of things alone to play.
Then found a key looking for more.
I tried every single door.

.

I checked and checked every lock.
I even tried the grandfather clock.
Every drawer, box and chest,
I checked them all, I did my best.

.

Found no treasure, just this old key.
At least it was something to amuse me.
With just minutes before my show,
Thought of another place to go.

.

The dusty, dark, spooky attic,
No place to be, when you are sick.
Turning the knob ever so slow,
Not sure if I wanted to go.

.

I’ve never been up there alone.
Then opened the door to the unknown.
Creaky stairs beneath my cold feet.
Dangers unknown that I might meet.

.

Darkness at the top of the stair.
Felt for the switch, I hoped was near.
With a flick my fear gone away.
More to explore on my sick day!

.

Much the same as when last here,
Boxes and cobwebs everywhere.
But not a lock to be found.
I searched and searched all around.

.

But in a dark corner never seen,
A little door painted green.
It had no slot for any key.
Opening it was up to me.

.

I admit I was very scared.
I stood for minutes and just stared.
Then lifting the latch, my hands shake.
Could this be another mistake?

.

Opened the door, hinges squeak.
Stuck in my head to take a peek.
The room’s empty, nothing at all,
Except a shelf high on a wall.

.

Found an old wobbly chair nearby.
Standing worried, reaching too high.
Pulled down the box hidden on shelf.
More than ever proud of myself.

.

I put in my key and it fit.
But wasn’t ready to open it.
I brought the box back to my room.
Into the light and out of the gloom.

.

Box on desk, took key from pocket.
Put it in slot, turned to unlock it.
Opened the lid ever so slow.
Not sure if I wanted to know.

.

What treasures lie hidden from view?
Something good or a pile of goo.
Lid half-open, footsteps I hear.
Then closed the lid when mom came near.

.

Mom opened it up, said to me;
“That’s no place for a dragon to be.
I’ve looked high and low, all over,
For the dragon Gramp’s called Rover.

.

He wasn’t a creative guy.
But could pluck dragons from the sky.
But only when they’re very small,
Safe in hand and curled in a ball.

.

Then hid for a terrible day,
When there are demons to chase away.
You can visit, never at night,
That’s when dragons grow, in moonlight.

.

So keep it tiny in its box –
Or they get huge and tough as rocks.
Some are sweet, most others mean.
That’s why it best to keep unseen.”

.

Closed the lid before I could see.
She turned the lock and kept my key.
“You don’t need to go by yourself.
Attic’s safe with dragon on shelf.

.

Put the box back and close the door.
And try not to think of it anymore.”
Back downstairs, ready for bed.
But now there’s a dragon in my head.

.

They can be all colors or shapes,
Some are purple and round like grapes.
Some are short, some tall as a tree,
Some are small and cute just like me.

.

I’m glad there’s a dragon upstairs.
Now I can sleep without nightmares.
Not such a bad sick day at all.
I got better and had a ball.

.

Now when nothing to do or see.
I don’t have to search for a key.
You don’t need keys to unlock a door.
That’s what imagination’s for.

~*~

The End

sck092414

Figmented

In a little town not far from here,
there lived a star, a puppeteer.
She entertained children near and far.
While her husband played his old guitar.
~
The puppets danced and the kids all giggled.
The guitarist sang and everyone wiggled.
But behind the show’s curtain of green,
the puppeteer performs, always unseen.
~
But she’s not sad, she’s quite content,
the shows always fun and it pays the rent.
Their home life is great with two cats and a dog.
And in a pond nearby they had a pet frog.
~
Their children, now grown and moved far away,
but they all get together for Christmas day.
The tree lit up bright and gifts piled high.
They await the sunrise in the cold winter sky.
~
First up’s the grandkids, it’s time to explore.
Next was the dog that sleeps by the door.
The children were silent peaking at the gifts.
Each on lookout in five minute shifts.
~
Tape’s gently pulled and corners peeled back,
they had to work fast to get through the stack.
The children were careful to not make a mess,
because if caught, next year there’d be less.
~
It didn’t take long for them to realize,
the presents were fake and the pets were spies.
The children panicked and ran back to their beds,
to dream once more of dolls, blocks and sleds.
~
But the parents sat waiting at the top of the stairs.
The kids now caught broke down in tears.
They ruined Christmas and the parents were mad.
The grandparents were disappointed and that was sad.
~
A lecture was given while breakfast they ate.
Grandma’s lesson was that good things are worth the wait.
And that things are not always as they appear,
you can take it from her, she’s a puppeteer.
~
Breakfast was finished at a leisurely pace.
Anticipation beamed from everyone’s face.
Then a puppet appeared dressed as Santa Claus,
who passed out presents to much applause.

~*~
SCK022321

Snakes in the Grass

black and red snake on green grass

My story began on the fifth of May.
The day was chilly with a sky of gray.
In my tent, cozy, I woke to a scream.
Was it a person or was it a dream?
~
Morning dew thick, I stood there alone.
The sun newly risen, I reached for my phone.
No urgent messages or a soul in sight.
No reason at all to cause such a fright.
~
The bikes were still leaning on a nearby tree.
They’re the only way home for my pal and me.
I then ran to the tent of my snoring friend,
who’s along for the ride this spring weekend.
~
But the roar from within made it quite clear,
my old friend’s just fine, no need to fear.
I then glanced down the path to a campsite nearby.
Something felt wrong but I didn’t know why.
~
I tiptoed closer when another scream was heard.
It was the voice of a child, but that seemed absurd.
I then ran to the shrieking and what did I find?
Kids with a snake and they weren’t being kind.
~
I said hey kids “what’s with the noise?
And why do you think that snakes are toys?”
One little girl about seven or eight,
said she wanted a pet and snakes are great.
~
Her brother the screamer cried at the thought.
He’s afraid of snakes or anything caught.
The other two children stood quiet and surprised,
their naughty ways they now realized.
~
I said all life should be treated as if it’s your own.
A lesson you should have already known.
Soon the kid’s parents arrived on the scene.
Their mother was angry, their father, big and mean.
~
He yelled loudly at his children and then at me.
Saying stay away from my kids or trouble you’ll see.
I knew not to argue or make a big fuss.
But there was something I hoped to discuss.
~
I said “no problem, it’s not what it seems.”
I then told them my story of snakes and screams.
Their mom, disgusted, took the kids back to camp.
The dad growled asking “do you think I’m damp?”
~
Puzzled, I asked “what do you mean,
I’ve only told you what I’ve seen.”
“I saw no snake, just my kids and you.”
The dad replied, “What would you do?”
~
I know what I thought, but I couldn’t say.
I felt it best to live through the day.
I could’ve run, but to where?
I could’ve fought him, but I didn’t dare.
~
He then picked up a very big stick.
Then he charged at me like a lunatic.
I stood frozen awaiting my demise,
when the little snake caught the big man’s eyes.
~
He stopped on a dime and screamed in fear.
His reptilian angst now was clear.
So I slowly bent over and picked up the snake.
The big man then started to tremble and shake.
~
“This is the culprit,” I loudly said.
As I waved it gently near his clammy head.
Sobbing, he begged, “Please take it away.
I now believe everything you say.”
~
I took a step back, surprised and relieved.
The turn of events was hardly believed.
I thanked that snake and said goodbye to the dad.
He just waved, whimpering and sad.
~
I then put the snake down and walked quietly away.
I was relieved we survived this fine spring day.
I went back to my tent then fell back to sleep,
never to tell who a snake made weep.


~*~
SCK022021

Left Behind

Lost in a wandering state of mind,
returning to memories I thought left behind.
A campground awaits from decades of yore,
There’s a lake nearby and nature galore.

Summers there filled with family and friends,
as the specter of youth unknowingly ends.
The journey’s now short to a time long past.
My cabin soon appears while the sun fades fast.

The sky was clear, blues deepened to black.
The stars shone bright, they welcomed me back.
I relaxed on the porch and sipped iced tea,
my friends due tomorrow the night was for me.

With waning moon the damp mist rose,
crickets serenaded, eyes started to close.
Blissful sensations then the start of dreams,
when startled was I by familiar screams.

Dolly, Dolly, Dolly! was all she ever said,
her childhood taunts now flooding my head.
She’s the ghostly remains of horrors we’d share.
The truth is haunting when better a nightmare.

She would scratch at the screen above my bed.
I’d shriek and shiver and cower with dread.
Mornings would come, I’d report of my fright,
“that little girl’s ghost came to take me last night”.

My brothers would tease and mom consoled,
dad says they’re figments of tales I’ve been told.
But when evenings cool and crescent moon high,
dense fog rose and that child would cry.

Dolly, dolly, dolly is all she would say,
Her bony hand summoned and pointed the way.
Never dared I answer her mournful request.
Silently I’d wait, ignoring my guest.

It’s been many years since last we met.
Time I’ve tried hard, but to never forget.
Now I’ve matured and conscience will decide.
Am I to seek or again shall I hide?

I know not what of this phantoms despair.
Yet together there’s grief we seemingly share.
Her woe is death while mine’s the living.
Each is assured though neither forgiving.

Our paths have crossed, all have an end.
My choice is made by this spirited friend.
With eyes open wide follow I must,
forsaking not, that lost child’s trust.

I rose and leaned forward, held out my hand.
Our fate’s to obey and to command.
We dashed through the field and into the woods.
A moment imagined of pleasant childhoods.

Each step echoes with brittle twig snap.
Till the shadows of trees soon overlap.
To guide my way mere slivers of light,
pursuing my phantom into the night.

Thicket and bramble claw at my skin,
bleeding the courage from deep within.
The worn paths end at fresh fallen leaf,
this forest beyond, beyond my belief.

Spirits roam free where the living don’t tread.
My friend had returned to her life of the dead.
I wished again to hide safe behind closed eyes,
trading this vision for dreams of blue skies.

The girl then pointed at boulders stacked high,
interwoven with brush to hide from the eye.
All layers of shadow, grays deepened to black,
foretelling the depth of crevice and crack.

Her hazy glow grew brighter, eyes more intense,
repeated cries for dolly now making sense.
She’s lost a dear friend and I’m chosen to find.
To abandon now this child was beyond unkind.

Exited are we, our quest’s nearly done.
‘Twas a test of persistence, both surely won.
My mind’s now a flutter, heart beating proud,
grasping in darkness through thick thorny shroud.

Our search going well till that last step was taken,
the ground then vanished, I was tumbled and shaken.
I awoke sometime later to whispers, mumbles and cries.
My new friend stood close as I opened my eyes.

I saw Dolly held tightly and a bustle nearby.
Mourners had grouped where a still body lie.
A lifeless figure with a familiar shape and size.
The live too are familiar, all saying goodbyes.

The little girl thanked me for my many good deeds.
As slowly she faded having found what she needs.
I begged to be taken for I’ve been truly kind.
When last she said “You need first find needs left behind.”

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