Snow lays a canvas
Bridge boards covered nimbus white
Trees blooming white ice
I am one of those who stands amazed at how good we Americans are at hating each other. (An article I read in Tablet Magazine sums it up pretty well.) We aren’t completely broken as a nation, but we’re getting there — and fast, thanks to the usual suspects who stand to profit from our wounds.
Doomed with seeds of death
Larvae in the heart of the nation
Infecting as we feed
Tenacious in our sanctimony
Pauciloquent in offering peace
Grandiloquent in stirring discord
Blind worms blindly devouring
Hope, love, understanding,
Inflicting pain in a fractured society
Never as fervent for another’s dignity
As for ourselves, trampling harmony
Freedom to disagree without fear
Never overcoming what we are
Broken by prideful venom
At the core of every human heart.
“Avoid going entirely tree-blind,” writes the author of the article above. “Make a friend and don’t talk politics with them. Do things that generate love and attention from three people you actually know instead of hundreds you don’t.”
What cloistered walls ruminate upon
stirring phantasms where shadows abound
impaled upon pitchforks wrought
by their own sentimental celebrations.
So one shadow lingers restlessly
beyond a lichen-covered gate,
a dewy-eyed dreamer planning her escape
lured by a letter found in a copse.
“Nothing bad but what you make of it,
nothing good but what you sing of it;
from your secluded rooms now venture,
meet me beyond the trees and by water.”
Picking it up, she had clutched the letter
fondly to her breast as if from a lover
that in her mind’s eye she could clearly see,
a handsome Lothario, her knight in armor.
So she skipped lightly down the dark lane
spinning castles-in-air to sounds melodious
and as she emerged from beyond the trees
her Lothario she spied in his dungarees.
From reality she spun about and fled
back to her haunt, her daydreams to recover
and in her hands lay flowers he proffered
a lesson learned from a fanciful endeavor.
Linda's #JusJoJan "letter"; Di's #TTC "planning, sing, bad"; Kristian's #WOTD "picking"; Michelle's #WritingPrompts, "sentimental celebrations"
Twisted is just what I got juggling Linda’s #JusJoJan (“twisted”), Michelle’s #JanuaryWritingPrompt (“cannibalizing airframes”), Melanie’s #WOTD (“jentacular”), and Di’s #Take Seven (“add, all, basic, being, bit, determined, hidden, knew, lean, lurking, measured, more, show, sneer, started, there, tin, tired, treat, wobble, work”). Whew! Here’s what I ended up with.
It was very hush-hush. The servants kept at their WORK, starting with their JENTACULAR* routines, putting on a SHOW for all the houseguests, DETERMINED to keep them away from the HIDDEN runways and hangars where their fancy aircraft were stored. The servants KNEW more than they let on about the TWISTED, seamy affairs among the guests and BEING discreet acted MORE or less ignorant of it ALL. But they were TIRED of being TREATed with that hint of a SNEER that the upper-classes didn’t bother to hide. Once in a while, a guest would express an interest in checking up on their plane, but there was always a butler or an under-butler or housemaid LURKING THERE to sound the alarm, and soon the guest would be diverted with a TIN of something savory or a MEASURED warning by a LEAN threatening native. ADD in a BIT of theatrics, and the guest’s knees would WOBBLE in alarm as they retreated. The servants had STARTED their own enterprise in this neglected corner of the world where so many starved while others jetted in and out of their massive estates. Their enterprise was pretty BASIC. They were cannibalizing airframes off the luxury jets of their guests and selling them to dealers around the world. And thanks to the increasing number of millionaires, it was a thriving business.
*jentacular –“means just about anything related to breakfast.“
A friend’s betrayal. The first crack in the heart. A child’s heart. Swallowing a sob, a gurgle hard against the throat. A nudiustertian heartbeat ago. The storm settles.
That friendship went the way of trains into the sunset, trains with Hercules propellers in a steampunk show, and a suddenly shrunken figure, lean with knowing, stiffening its back against the world.
The heart armored, now slow to trust, still easily betrayed, always anticipates the moment of departure, inexorable in its movement like the ticking of a clock, yet attuned to distant trumpets ushering in the dawn.
Knew caskets of ice
My Christmas cheer will last the year
Though Santa’s hat fall off my ear
To be picked up and packed away
Or left abandoned, chewed and frayed.
What difference thus to outward fur
When hat on head makes not the cur
But hope in heart is what gives cheer
To puppy barks of “Happy New Year!”
For Sadje's What Do You See #62
and Melanie's Word of the Day Challenge "HOPE"