August 4, 2019

I read this in a poetry anthology so many years ago that I can’t remember which one.  It has stayed with me, literally.  I typed a copy and have carried it for all these years.  Today, it seems appropriate to publicize it and extend gratitude to the unknown author for capturing in words what is, unfortunately, still occurring in a different state of war.  May your day be blessed with loving solutions to the world’s anguish and our government’s refusal to do the right thing.I've Got Eyes

Namaste’

green not hazel
©jacqualine-marie 2019

July 22, 2019

My front windows look out across the main street to the edge of the community park. The trees are like giants and the sky is a thin blue (often grey) line at the top of my view.  It’s a good day to sit in the park. eyes closed, head pointed upward, cross-legged and palms down in the grass.  I like that, although lately, my hip hasn’t been cooperative.  There isn’t a beach nearby to lay down near the water, feel my body melt into sand and lose my dreams to the sand gypsies (a childhood story my mother told me about tiny people who live beneath the sand and stole children’s sandwiches when they didn’t eat their lunch. You see the possible beginning of my food issues). I always loved waking from that secret place as if the ocean had carried me to a magic land and returned me unscathed. My mother’s interpretation of the sun blisters on my legs was always different than mine.  I called them “tan poppers”.  She called them “crisp blisters” as she lovingly reapplied lotion to my pink parts. I winced with every touch and continued to insist she was wrong. My way of seeing the world was usually different than hers.  It never really mattered.  We don’t know another’s truth.  We barely know our own.

These are quiet days of finishing my tiny paintings and taking notes for my manuscript revisions.  I can’t decide whether I want to finish the story or begin again with a different idea.  Focusing becomes a goal on the same list as groceries, laundry and “send them a card” and, frankly, there are times when all I can think of is locking the door on my way out, hopping on a plane to Scotland – maybe even Australia – and coming back to everything in the pending file being completed.  I live alone, so that will never happen.

Two of my neighbors have cancer. They both smoke cigarettes.  One of them hasn’t been seen by anyone in over a month and her windows are bare.  I see the other neighbor on my way to and from errands, spending a few minutes each time catching up with her, discussing cancer treatments, her extreme weight loss and stomach upset. We’ve discussed her prognosis as well as new ways to tie a scarf around a bald head, although she has abandoned the scarf lately.  I stand at a slight distance from her cigarette smoke, watching it leap across passing cars toward the park trees on the current created by her hand as she attempts to wave the smoke away from me. In her way, she tries to be considerate and in my way I resist the inclination to shake her and explain that I see her life in the smoke, going to the park where it is loved, leaving her without ever intending to return.

I am an ex-smoker and familiar with the soothing, almost sweet seduction of it and like with all addictions, I am familiar with the pain it covers and hides from us, whatever that secret is that we are trying to forget, whatever the fear we are experiencing.  I told myself once that I’d start smoking again when I was 60.  I didn’t.  Now I’m post-70 and I say maybe when I’m 80.  Hopefully, I’ll have the opportunity to say it for 90. I don’t think she’ll live that long but I’m not her and I don’t know what she knows, fears, doesn’t want to acknowledge and so I just smile and add her to the list of people for whom I would wave a magic wand, perhaps summon the sand gypsies to steal her cigarettes when she isn’t looking and help her stay alive because there’s no coming back from that as far as I know.  I remember seeing a sand gypsy once when I was in and out of that blistering sleep of my youth.  It was dressed in silvery blue, had long pink hair adorned by a crystal crown.  Its wings were translucent green. I wouldn’t wear the outfit and I don’t need the crown.  The wings, however, would be nice. I’d know exactly what to do with them now.

Namaste’

green not hazel
©jacqualine-marie 2019

July 19, 2019

I’ve been working on an art project, have been for a while and not blogging.  It’s July 19th and it seems like Fall outside, wind whipping through the trees like an army of dragon’s tails against the castle gates.  The street is lined with golden leaves that continue to drop and scatter along the road and sidewalk like escapees, rushing, rushing everywhere.  The sun has abandoned us all.

 

I’m waiting for a UPS delivery. Shower curtains. Soft blush pink.  Two.  I hang them like window curtains. I’m not a girly girl but I love a certain blush pink, that soft color like the beginning of something grand, something in the early stages – before it’s born. Ideas are pink once that initial spark of blinding white appears.  They grow steadily into the color they are going to be, vibrating into themselves as we do, taking their place in the universe.

 

Everything today reminds me of romance, first crushes, that giddy phase of discovery prior to an experience. Listening to the rush of wind outside I’m reminded of my first crush.  There was nothing pink about it, really.  It was deep velvet red from the beginning as the blood rushed in my veins that way the very first time, and then again with the leaking of blood from my heart when it ended.  I was crushed. I’d been in love for the first time and then it ended.  Like the popping open of a pomegranate, all the seeds falling forth, a parade smashing them as they marched over them, my insides cavernous and dark.  Sweet. Painful.  Over so soon.  I thought it was the end of the world.  Bill O’Hara.  I can say his name here. He’ll never read this. You wouldn’t know him anyway.  You don’t really know me.

 

We were teenagers.  He was two years older.  We had a few official dates.  Dates in those days meant picking me up at home, meeting my parents, promising to bring me home on time and untouched.  I was untouched for many years after him. It was the curse of the good girl. Maybe we held hands.  I know we kissed after the first date.  I don’t remember other details, how we met, his height, his favorite things.  But I remember his deep blue eyes and light brown hair, that he smelled like a mixture of cinnamon and beer whenever he hugged me. And I remember the goodbye kiss on my right cheek, the moist feel of his lips as he kissed my face then slowly lifted them again leaving a mark as if he’d implanted an invisible sign of pain on me.  I was so dramatic.  I remember my heart being broken when he went out with someone else who he eventually fell in real love with and later married.  I’d been invited to the wedding. But dramatic youth isn’t always gracious, so I didn’t attend.

 

Fast forward 10 years or so I was getting on a bus, on my way to the subway to my new job in Manhattan in an advertising agency – think Mad Men – and he was getting off the bus through the back exit apparently returning from the night shift somewhere.  He didn’t see me.  I was wearing a dark brown coat, matching leather gloves, knee-high boots and a paisley scarf around my neck.  I watched him step down to the curb and as the bus slowly pulled back into traffic he walked down the main street, a lunch container in one hand, the other hand in his pocket, snow beginning to fall along the sidewalk’s broken surface, dotting the cracks and missing concrete in white.  The sun was setting into deep purple bands that hung along the lower sky hovering over the old neighborhood near the park where we’d grown up. His head was lowered like a boxer leaving the ring after a loss.  I never saw him again.

 

UPS just delivered.  The wind has died down.  I might open a bottle of wine.

 

Namaste’

green not hazel
©jacqualine-marie 2019

April 30 #NaPoWriMo

It’s the last day of National Poetry Writing Month.  I slacked off a bit, some haiku, other brief writing.  As always, I’m both sad and relieved at this point.  While I write most of the time I like mulling over the words, playing with them until I feel them dancing as I read them out loud like a dance director.  NaPoWriMo requires quicker thinking than I’m accustomed to and that’s exactly why it’s so much fun – as well as instrumental in inspiring me to grow. I’ve loved everyone’s work…so many talented writers.

April 30

Namaste’

green not hazel
©jacqualine-marie 2019