Tag Archives: ~The Night Before Breakfast~
Years have passed:
when we were young, we could tolerate physical pain,
emotional blizzards, and blinding rain.
We sought recognition, fortune, and sometimes illusions fame.
We chased stars in glittering summer nights keeping sentry for sunrise,
celebrating each dawn with a brand new name.
We could even cry, winning or losing, without forcing a fight.
We could talk, discuss, and compromise.
We recognize the beauty in unsuspected surprise.
We were always able to light a candle in the wind
Finding our way back home on sad dark nights.
We often laughed at ourselves. Believing that pennies
we flipped, fluttering to the bottom of wishing wells
We’d became Peter Pan and Wendy
never growing old. And, totally ignoring Tinkerbell,
we watch our directions flow.
Following our hearts and the work of our hands
we traveled roadways, highways, and paths;
where distance seemed far and time immeasurably fast.
We floated above concrete, soft tar, and beaches with ankle deep sand.
Even paths that were crooked and twisted in shallow water or on solid land.
We were always on each other’s map!
We frolicked in spaces that love only knows
where time, never existed;
along with places, where sadness, was only a short visit.
Eventually, I suppose, age and Peter Pan eclipses
those days, when we are young.
There is only time now:
when we are old. We sit with aches and pain.
Our clothes begin to slip or are frayed or they just don’t fit;
along with our recognition, fortune, and the reality of expected fame.
We wear sweaters and warm cotton hats on cool summer nights,
seeing only darkness as a distant fading light.
We Sleep uneasily on worn, thin but forgiving linen.
We, sometimes, forget ourselves with mixed memories,
stuttering on birthdays, which have evaporated in wishing wells.
We try to avoid being stubborn— guilt ridden for actions mistaken,
poor mathematical intelligence, slips of jealously, pride,
and recognize that we, as we knew, is we that is forgotten.
From steel to rust, from rock to gravel,
from coal to diamond
and back to dust.
The sound of muted bells tick off the clock, like muffled thunder
under the hoofs of deaths’ mercenaries; some from heaven,
and maybe one or two from hell.
We may shed a warm small tear, becoming a prism, to glitter
In the sliver of a waning moon; signaling with joy—
tomorrow’s brand new day,
with its bright sun chasing
A weathered Sundial’s ever-moving shadow
~The Night Before Breakfast~ Vol. I Another Draft Revision
Above urgent toes, pushing small glazed pinecones,
a late December wind was bristling with snow spitting
at heels in a steady pace crunching frozen pine needles.
Owls hoot! Shadows dart! Dead limbs snap!
Moonlight guides them to a glowing rising bend.
Boot soles slide on unseen ice —but, balance is regained.
The remaining sun begins to fade from dusk.
Curling nesting squirrels brightly tick eventide;
finding themselves short of distant village lights.
Snow, now steadily blowing in a whiteout slant
mellowed the glow from the windows
of the houses, steady burning lamps.
The wind tore through their over-coats
threads fluttered and shredded behind them
as they hastened to saved empty seats.
In scented moonlight, they caught the smoke
that waffled thru stone chimneys
—they were welcomed arrivals in houses of warmth;
they were seated in the glow at table side,
where they lit the center white candle —awaiting Christmastide,
along with the joyful hearts of expectant families.
I’m back from Ashland, the small town’s only laundry mat. I haven’t been to one of those since I was single. Now, older as things get ignored, I wait until I run out of socks and underwear. Oh, and tee shirts they’re always along side two or three more.
Two pillow cases in and only one with all folded, coming out. Sometimes, it’s both being carried out when I take the sheets, towels, a couple of dress shirts, and a few blue jeans, at the heel with frayed threads falling out. But today its tee shirts, socks, and underwear; one pillow case, the other carried inside out.
I have been in my robe all week, tee shirts and underwear underneath. Yesterday I was remembering a place with a washer and a dryer. Where it was my turn to do the laundry, a turn I would keep. I would turn on a blaring rock and roll radio station, sorting whites from colors. Sometimes I would inject a little shuffle and dance as I measured softener and twenty-mule team borax, half a cup or more singing out loud almost in a holler.
From gentle to hard-core, as the cycles went. Washing, drying, and folding. Picking up the kitchen in-between the squashing and swirling I would sweep the floor. With things sorted from white, colors and who knows what. I did two maybe even three loads. But, ah, back to my rented room in its ultimate bore.
On my inherited mother’s nicked kitchen table, on a lace doily gathering dust, sits a blue antique bottle and this summer’s dried flowers. I laid my car keys and emptied my pockets making them lighter of contents, putting them on her table.
Two straight-backed chairs next to yesterdays mail, the morning sun struck the table, breaking through the windows hazed of last night’s cigarette smoke, I heard a voice from my past, as my mother spoke, telling me to at least, “keep yourself clean, don’t live precariously, do your laundry, every week, listen to me, please!”
I’m back from Ashland, the small town’s only laundry mat. I haven’t been to one of those since I was single or with my mother as a child; since my divorce.
Photo by RKG
~ Baked beans in the pot resting with salt pork, hot dogs browning in a small amount of butter on the stove top, brown bread, peeking’ from wrapped aluminum foil nested by the bean pot steaming, drifting, filling the house with a familiar Saturday night smell. Grandma, the matriarch, while straightening and re-arranging Christmas decorations is shuffled off as the children and their families drop in with hugs and greetings. They shed coats for memories of new years past, recognizing the dining room table and the familiar plates, glass salt and pepper shakers, bread and real butter to toast merriment of a seasons’ joy and the ever-present beginning of a new year.~
All proclaiming it
That true nature within us
Is the prophecy.
In the foothills of New Hampshire, on the threshold of the White Mountains, the sun began to warm the valley. The warm spring morning sprayed glistening frost into fog. Another growing up season had passed. The children were getting dressed with some apprehension.
I looked out the kitchen window and I could smell, feel spring, and see it lightly, loftily, taking its place. The morning greeted me with multiple shadows getting more confident and larger behind cereal bowls and warm buttered coffee cake.
Budding on branches
Spring’s new born generation
Peaks beyond shadow
dVerse~ Haibun Monday: The Shadow Knows 4/3/2017
[Many scenes of consciousness with eight characters; One narrator, a Table of six Judges, (three Cyclops, three Angels) and one defendant.]
I Will Have The Last Word
In equal seats at the round table, each with a voice on the scale of justice,
Sat three Cyclops in disguise; wearing sunglass monocle and
Red tinted bald head rubber caps.
On the opposite side, three Angels sat with pleated wings of sea-gull feathers,
Waiting to argue for him but feeling queasy and unable.
All speaking in unison, “You have only a few words before the ultimate gavel
Echoes you, to a sentence of silence.”
“Do you understand? You only have a few words”,
Repeated one of them, Under their breath
With a voice of compassion.
Everything that was bad or good,
Smiles and cries, and all those moments in-between,
Became reams of litigation suspended in litter.
Bound for this uncomfortable meeting,
I showed up wearing only a t-shirt,
Unshaven and a few items in a half empty paper bag.
I took my seat on a steel-gray folding chair
Without the cushion of a good history;
Braced with the events that allowed this chance, to convene.
Then, they began to strip-mine my life, looking and digging
Into the ground of my relatives, mentioning buried outlaws;
Ancestors still connected to my bones.
All my errors descended into a million pieces of recycled confetti.
They dismissed every excuse to free me.
They found nothing of value, stating, they were unable to release me.
They discounted everything I had borrowed,
Insisting on their uselessness when I returned them.
I shouted above my ignorance:
“Dance, dance, dance you Cyclops, around my mistakes.
Fuel your caldron with distasteful acknowledgement,
Envy the situation that is not present.
And you! Preen your Angel feathers without dissent
With the oil of penance.”
Peering across the table, with silver cups in front of everyone
Except in front of him, he noticed in the center of the table,
A scarred brown plastic tray, sat one tin cup.
He grabbed it, banging the empty cup for their same drink
Insisting for a better portion and perhaps
forget this nightmare and let him go.
Let him go home.
“What is it now, that everything is drunk?” Spoke one Angel.
“What is it now that you can savor?” Said one Cyclops,
Sipping his cup, on the opposite side of the table.
They all replied, in a confident anthem:
“We are all of the same dust. We are unbound, released from gravity
Without offense. Unlike you, sitting, fidgeting, now bound guilty
From this agenda, this torture
I squealed, I rat-ed out and rolled on my ego.
Confessing to be, in mind, an accomplice without heart.
I pleaded “mercy” to the table exclaiming, “guilty!”
I swooned, I almost fainted. I felt the floor roll beneath me
Like silt in a receding tide.
Standing, grasping what became actually visible.
I kicked my chair from the table, sent it flying behind me.
I swept my space clean.
An empty cup pinged to the floor spilling fear where it belonged.
The echo, stretched, crawling unsuccessfully to find the exit door.
Who am I now, as I try to rise above this table,
Trying to escape the infinite loop that leaves the measure of me to others?
Where swearing and praying becomes a side bar for approval or complaint.
They sit across from each other, saying the same things in redundancy;
Syllable after syllable, arriving at the same conclusion, using different words.
He quietly sat down across wingless angels and puffy black-eyed Cyclops.
Humbly took his assigned seat at a long aluminum rectangular table,
In the State, prison dining hall.
He placed his scarred brown plastic tray carrying a milk carton
And his scooped up meal.
Today is his first day; his first spoon towards a year and a day.
(One thousand and ninety-seven left).
Saturday night: he eats folded white bread dipped in beans
Savoring the franks. He will probably eat smelt on Fridays.
I see the end recoiling back, hiding in this cosmic dust
Of breath and conscience death, .Each moment for me is mine
Within a circle without chairs of decision or indecision,
Where forgiveness, atonement and contentment has to begin.
“I am not afraid.”
Those were his last words
Before the gavel burst into unconsciousness.