Tuesday, September 30, 2014

come true

For Honeybee

Mella’d always wished for an adventure.  Her childhood had been full of wooden swords and dress-up capes.  She’d daydreamed about finding a genie’s lamp and wishing on it-I want a friend, I want a million dollars, I want an adventure like the ones in my books. It was funny, really, that so often she’d put a box of matches or a mirror or an old tape recorder in her backpack, thinking, just in case. She’d stopped doing that in seventh grade, but she’d never stopped hoping. Dreaming. Wishing.

And now it was happening, really happening. Not the way she’d thought, but details didn’t matter. Yes, it hurt that she wasn’t the Hero, wasn’t the one Chosen by Fate to save the world. But who was she to complain? Magic was real. Unicorns were real, other worlds and prophecies and magic swords were all real, even if she didn’t truly have a place there. Even if it was only luck that she had been dragged along.


Years of wishing and reading and dreaming had led to this. She would make the most of it.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cabin

for Honeybee

The Summer sunlight
gleamed on the water
like a sheet of beaten gold
emerald in the shadow of the pines.

Breathe in the smell of the forest,
the smoke from wildfires
that color the night sky
too far away for evacuation
and the dust of dried pine needles
and the crisp winter of juniper berries
breathe in, and in, and in

You will have to leave someday
but the birds still sing,
the stream glitters and gurgles
the little cabin in the woods
my retreat from the world
still stands secluded
waiting for a return


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Home

For Honeybee

It started as a rainy day attic raid, years after the last one.
As a little girl, Reina loved to look through the boxes and trunks with old fashioned locks that lay in her attic, covered in dust. They’d belonged to Gran, who had died when she was six. The whole house had, but when Mom and Daddy had divorced the next year, Daddy had moved into the sprawling house with the huge attic, and Mom hadn’t been there to tell Reina that playing in dusty attics would get her dresses dirty. Reina knew that anyway, but she’d found a costume her first trip up, a long red shirt that she belted at the waist. It was soft and warm, and felt like an embrace.  So she wore that and got dust in her hair and eyes, searching out small treasures.
Once, she found old books, but the writing was in strange marks she couldn’t read. They weren’t Japanese, like how Daddy’s dad had used to write, but they weren’t in English either. So Reina put them aside. Books were boring, anyway. She loved the dresses in cloth wrappings, silks and velvets in different colors. She loved the jewelry, but after dad caught her wearing a shiny gold necklace that looked like the sun, he said she should wait till she was older.
She loved the paintings best, little ones, big ones, on wood and on canvas. The colors were faded, and blurred, and all felt—odd. Like someone painting from a faded memory, the colors blurring at the edges.
There were forests, mountains, a lake that shone with sunlight on the surface. There was a castle.
Reina remembered the castle, tall and proud, and carrying with it the feeling of home.
She remembered it when Dad’s work started taking him on long trips around the world, and she’s had to start living full time with mom.
It because her focus when the attacks started, the despair taking root in her heart. She focused on the serenity, the longing, that the painter had captured. When she was Manic, she drew it, over and over until the image was gouged into her desk and her mind.
When she was 17, she found herself on the quest of a lifetime, something out of fairy tales and the fantasy stories she’d never liked reading. She’d gone to another world, another life. She’d gotten dust in her eyes and hair, had fought bandits and wicked kings, had worn a red dress melted at the waist. But it had not been in her attic, a daydream of a bored child. This had been real. She had been someone, more than just a disappointing daughter, more than just herself. And that—that had felt right. She had felt home in the trees of Celravoc. Returning had not felt like returning. It had felt like leaving something behind.
She’d been grounded after that—disappearing for a month has consequences, above nightmares. And the rain had cut the power, so she’d gone back to the attic. She did not need a flashlight, not with a globe of light in her hand.
The castle was dimmer than she remembered, as if the painter had seen it through glass fogged over by rain. She had forgotten that turret, the color of the roof tiles, the way it sat over the lake. And seeing it reminded her again of home. She knew the castle now. She would not let if fade in her mind again.
She was a year older when she returned. They had Promised, and kept their word, not like mom, not like dad. She’d gone back, her glaive in her hand, her friends at her side.
And on this quest, this journey, she had finally understood.
Because just beyond the Linagard mountains, past the forests of Stars and standing watch over the town of Linina, Reina saw a stone house, like a mother watching over her children.
It was her Castle.

She was Home.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Spring


After a winter of snow,
Grey and white and brown,
Silver skies high with clouds
The sun bursts free, and with it
Life, Colour.
Buds on bare branches gleam gold
And flowers push up, scarlet, carmine,
Heliotrope, azure, the orange of a sunset
The pink of a rabbit’s inner ear,
The world is an oil painting blaze,
Welcome after a life-time
of watercolors through my window.
White skirt, the cotton sun-spun and sun-dried
Silver leaves braided into brittle hair
The sun warms my too pale skin,
As, giddy with the smell of melting snow and growing things
I dance through the mud and soil
Putting down roots and titling my face up

Like a flower reaching for the sky.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

the Hike

For Honeybee

It was a long hike.
Dust and sweat turned our legs grey
And our clothes were stiff
From drying in the sun
But it was—worth that.
Worth the blisters and the sun burn
In the part of my hair.
The ache of my left foot
The pain in my right knee
To see the Falls—

The force of wind and water
working as one to deafen us
The mist rising up from where the rush
met stillness
gleaming like liquid diamond dust
the green and the white,
the blue and the grey
one wash of color through blurred glasses
It was worth every aching step.

And for one moment, captured forever in memory
Mine and a camera’s
More colors glow-gleamed,
A rainbow in the spray.

It was only one of thousands of waterfalls, and I know
There are longer ones, grander ones--
But that .
does not feel right.
This one sits on my heart like a pumice stone, present
But light as mist
Born away by the wind
It was beautiful,
More than any I have only seen in pictures,
Because I felt the wind, the mist, heard
The Roar.

And, of course, because I walked every step,
Surrounded by chattering friends, but I stood there
On the lip, looking down
On my own two feet, even if only one

Is flesh.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Fog: Three Haiku


From where I stand
The world is gone, a vast sea
Of endless white fog

Nothing remains here
All is still -- and silently
Watching the sun rise

I look out and see
White covering the earth

But—oh!—not the sky.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Childhood Smells

For Honeybee Open Prompt
My Childhood smelled like Dirt.

My childhood smelled like
Dirt, not grit or dust, but
half rotted oak leaves and moist redwood
decay and jungle.

My childhood smelled like
the orange  plastic bat that warped in the sun
and hit the fuzz off tennis balls
 over the fence.

My childhood  smelled like
grandma’s chocolate chip cookies
that came from rolls of dough
and tasted better than Mom’s anyway.

My childhood smelled like
broccoli, cooked long in oil
till we said it smelled like brownies
and loved every tree of it.

My childhood smelled like
hamsters- fur, bedding, seeds
always escaping to roam the house
and having babies under the stove.


My childhood smelled like
cheap serial novel
sthat came in sets of thirty
and 80 pages long I read them all.


My childhood smelled like
Daddy’s TR4Triumph
that belched more gas
than my brother after tacos.


My childhood smelled like
tin bandaid boxes
because you can only explore so many trails
before you scrape your knee.


My childhood smelled like
chlorine and bromine and water
before I saw Jaws, at least
and vowed away from swimming pools.


My childhood smelled like
hamburgers and shake-it salads
and the mill valley Mcdonalds
where dad told stories on the way home.


My childhood smelled like
vinegar, and wood polish
when we’d skate around in our socks
and clean all the floors wrong.


My childhood smelled like
the mothballs that lived
in the closet where I made a nest
and hid from dinosaurs.


My childhood smelled like
brightly colored poster paints
that came in all the colors, even pink
and I painted a thousand rainbows.


My childhood smelled like
reed shavings and violin rosin
and sounded like  an orchestra of two
Mom and dad playing different melodies.


My childhood smelled like
Grandpa’s pink roses
that bloomed into crowns of color
and didn’t have thorns.


My childhood smelled like
Cherry poptarts and hot chocolate
covered with pink glaze and creamed froth
eaten at the window ledge.


My childhood smelled like
grass cuttings we threw like snowballs
and snapped off bamboo
used like hero’s blades.


My childhood smelled like
sidewalk chalk
even though Cragmont avenue
doesn’t have sidewalks to color.


My childhood smelled like
the astroturf field
where I learned to ride a bik
and crashed into the soccer net- goal.