Isolation

as distances lay immeasurable 

as silence sounds deafening

turn down the noise 

that muffles the feel

our hearts beating 

wishing it different

but the pulse is off

paths remain uncharted

is your fear 

in turning the page

or reading

what has been written

take hold of the pen

alone together

lets author our tomorrow

we will not disappear

where strength allows

sow your seeds

time will make wine 

from these tears

set hope within your palm 

let it flow through 

no grand farewells 

are needed now

Nathan v. 2

Writer’s Workshop – Week 2. The assignment was to cut 1st draft (posted 3.11.20) by 10%. Some cutting and reworking and I was able to get from 435 to 391 word count.

“When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.” John Gould to Stephen King, quoted from On Writing

One more quote from Stephen King:

“In the Spring of my senior year at Lisbon High—1966, this would’ve been—I got a scribbled generated signature of the editor that was this mot: ‘Not bad, but PUFFY. You need to revise for length. Formula: 2nd Draft = 1st Draft – 10%. Good luck.’” Stephen King, On Writing

—— Here is my 2nd draft —–

Countless stars hung peacefully in the black night. Thin linen curtains danced gently in the spring air as it rushed through demolished windows. Lyn shivered, sitting among shattered glass strewn upon the wide pine floor. The quorum of police had left. The evening’s frantic pace had slowed. Lyn replayed the events hoping for understanding. 

The violent crack of the front door as it split from force. Elvis wildly barking as he charged from the kitchen. Chaotic screams filling the house, some were her own. Two, possibly three men, charging their way into her home. Out of nowhere, Nathan appeared. His sizeable frame corralling the uninvited. Arms and legs intertwined. Smacking of fists meeting skin cut the night like lightning. Elvis tearing at pant legs as he defended,  side by side with Nathan. Then, almost as quickly as it began, they retreated. Fleeing into the night, sending rocks hurtling through the porch windows.

Nathan’s presence wrapped Lyn with comfort as she trembled with a cup of chamomile between both hands. At arm’s length, Nathan was crouched stroking the neck of the graying labrador leaning into him. Faithfully he protected her and her home. Courageously, he turned back the invasion. Breathing gently now, Elvis’s years and achy hips did nothing to slow his loyalty and rage a few hours earlier. Lyn’s thoughts drifted to last winter… without Nathan, what would have happened.

Last October, following years of consideration Lyn decided to rent the 3rd floor room. There were dozens of interested would-be tenants. It would have been easy to choose the young corporate professional, reliable for the rent and wouldn’t be around much. Or the hard working graduate student, whose affluent parents offered to pay a year’s rent up front. It would have been easy to choose from the bevy of other desirables. Nathan was a non obvious choice. Immediately, Lyn had felt a deep calm eminante from him. Elvis, always discerning, felt the same. After quick inspection, he sat and gently wagged. Nathan spoke openly of his tortured past. A journey filled with struggle and piled with rash decisions. He had paid his dues, learned and earned another chance. Now on a healthier path and dedicated to keep moving forward. Despite friends and family advising her to choose any number of other options, after thoughtful deliberation, Nathan moved in just after Thanksgiving. 

Rare Souls

inside my heart

you sit with another

side by side

intertwined

two, not one

there is no one like you

or her

yesterday I never 

thought there was room for another

today I could not 

imagine it any other way

“the free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it – basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them” – Charles Bukowski

Oceans of Sense

it stopped making sense when

your glitter and grace didn’t shadow the halls

your smooth supple skin was no longer in reach

your bracelets and bands no longer chimed in my ears

your familiar fragrance fell from the air 

your embrace escaped what stood to be real

I started to wake with

determined dawns that draw my dreams to a close

radiant rays that wrap me in hope

the rounds of robins that sing with the psithurism 

the wafts of clipped green grass floating like monarchs

familiar flavors returning to feed my soul

my breath became easy when

browned feet met the summer terrain

waves washed towards dynamic shores

rounded rocks rumbled back to the sea

grey-green seaweed teased my nose

the ocean brine upon your neck called for my kiss

Nathan

The black night carried countless stars that hung peacefully high above. The thin linen curtains danced gently in the early spring air as it pushed through the demolished windows. Lyn shivered, as she sat among the shattered glass strewn upon the wide pine floor. The quorum of police had left. The evening’s frantic pace had begun to slow.

Lyn replayed the scene, each time hoping for clarity and understanding. 

The sound of the front door splitting as it opened with force. Elvis wildly barking while he charged from the kitchen. Chaotic screams filled the house, some were hers. There were two, possibly three of them, forcing their way into her home. Out of nowhere, Nathan was there. His sizable frame corralling the uninvited group. Arms and legs intertwined. The smacking of fists meeting skin cut the night like lightning. Elvis tearing at pant legs as he defended,  side by side with Nathan. Then, almost as quickly as it began, they retreated. Fleeing into the night, sending rocks hurtling through the porch windows.

Within an arms length Nathan was crouched stroking the neck of the elderly labrador leaning into him. Breathing gently now, Elvis’s years and achy hips did nothing to slow his rage a few hours earlier. Nathan’s presence wrapped Lyn with comfort as she trembled with a cup of tea between both hands. Faithfully he had protected her and her home. Courageously, he had turned back the invasion. Her thoughts drifted back to last winter… Without him, what would have happened.

Last October, following years of consideration Lyn decided to rent the room on the 3rd floor. There were dozens of interested would-be tenants. It would have been easy to choose the first applicant, a young corporate professional who wouldn’t be around much and had reliability with the rent. It would have been easy to select the beautiful graduate student, whose affluent parents were willing to pay a year’s rent up front. It would have been easy to choose from the bevy of other desirables. Nathan was a non obvious choice. Lyn had felt a deep calm emanating from him. Elvis, always discerning, was taken with him instantly. After quick inspection, he sat and gently wagged. He spoke openly of his past. Tortured at times, filled with struggle and piled with rash decisions. He had paid his dues, learned and earned another chance. He was on a better path and was dedicated to keep moving forward. Despite friends and family advising her to choose any number of other options, after thoughtful deliberation, Nathan moved in just after Thanksgiving. 

This is my first pass at a submission for the Writer’s Workshop in response to the prompt

“measure twice, cut once”

Beats of Spring

she moved effortlessly among the droplets

bone dry 

dripping 

with attraction 

that magnetized the soul

the steadiest of beats 

inside

held the motion smooth

there was no need to run 

the chase was over

snow sat upon the headstone

delicate

tears fell endlessly

frozen ground thawed

catching their warmth

well past brokenhearted

unexpected weight

in what has been received 

spring is coming

thunder doesn’t scare me now