Archive for nature

The Girl Waking Up

Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2018 by beautifulimposter

The eyes looked at her, looked through her, seemed to see everything there was in her to see, stripped through layers of pretense, the little fictions everyone maintains to stay whole, to stay sane. Two eyes glimmering in the dark, deep, as deep as the night sky in the spaces between the stars, rings of amber and gold circling wells of black just staring, seeing, knowing. Then the waves of it, falling down and down into them, the gravity of them pulling, smothering, the terrifying feeling of being alone, suffocating in its pure emptiness, it was too much, too alien and all on its own, singular and empty, oh so empty, not even air, no air, no…

Abby gasped awake, lids slamming open, taking in air with deep gulps. A trembling hand pressed against her forehead, slick with a thin sheen of sweat, fingers pushing the few stands of her hair back and up as she rose up from the dream. The room was still dark, still coming into focus, but it wasn’t the full velvet dark of true night, it had silver about the edges of it hinting at morning. Her head turned, hand fumbling now for her phone, thumbing the home key, the thin white numbers declaring at to be a bit after six am.

“Fuck me” the words hissed out into the thick, muggy air of her dim room. She closed her eyes again and found the dark behind them mercifully empty. The eyes had disappeared once more. She had no idea why she dreamed them, why a dream of eyes was so very frightening, but it was and they were just the same. The room was hot as hell but her skin was nothing but goosebumps and she shivered. “Get it together” a deep breath, then another. Abby sat up, throwing her legs over the side of her bed, kicking free from the twisted sheet. Daylight filtered in from behind the curtains, outlining the familiar clutter of her room. The dream faded away, being forgotten with each breath.

Time to get up I guess she thought to herself, pushing away from the bed, stumbling through the blanket of clothes, feet shuffling, eyes in that half open not quite awake squint as she wandered into the bathroom. Flicking on the light, cursing it’s brightness Abby fumbled her way through the usual ritual. She swore again as she stepped into the shower, the water turned full cold to wash off the stickiness, settling into the cool relief of it after a while. She hummed a bit, the remains of the night swirling down the drain.

On to the kitchen/living room, pulling on the old Murmurs t-shirt that had used to be her big sister’s, the fabric dragging on her still damp skin. Standing in front of the sink, water filling up the carafe, looking out the window but not really seeing anything, the usual line of flat, grey buildings crawling beneath the sky. Once the coffee was on, the machine gurgling to itself in a warm, fragrant steam, Abby untwisted the plastic bag, pulling out an English muffin, carefully plunging a fork into the soft, squidgy sides of it, pulling it apart just so that it came away in two halves of jagged deliciousness. Toaster, butter, jam, mug of coffee, sit.

Abby scrunched herself up small on the kitchen chair, taking a big, ungainly bite out of her toasted muffin, fully awake now. The light grew brighter and whatever bad dreams she’d had melted. A bit of buttery jam dripped down her chin and she wiped it up into her mouth. This was always her best time, sitting alone, watching the morning growing, eating breakfast, the only sound the rattling clank of the nearly useless air conditioner wheezing from her bedroom window. She absent mindedly pushed around the ripped envelopes and scraps of paper on the battered tabletop. The sight of a bill nagged at her but she pushed the thought back. It was her day off and she just didn’t feel like dealing with it now. She would eventually, of course, just not now.

The appearance of the bird nearly gave her a heart attack. Wings battered the air outside the kitchen window, muffled by the glass but the flurry of movement and sudden sound was magnified by the silence. A black, bullet head above a white collar stared at her from the fire escape railing, cocked at a curious angle.

“What’re you looking at?” Her heart was still hammering as she got up and walked over to the counter for a closer look. The bird, a magpie she thought, just kept looking at her, it’s eyes two tiny drops of ink. “Enjoying the view?” Abby chuckled softly, shrugged, then went to get dressed. It wasn’t too unusual, birds gathered outside all the time, but mostly pigeons. She couldn’t shake the feeling that it was actually watching her either, but she shrugged the idea off. Just a dumb bird.

A few moments later and Abby was out the door, stuffing keys into her jeans pocket, grabbing her camera from the hook in the hall, hanging the strap around her neck. It was still early and there probably wouldn’t be that many people out and about which suited her just fine. Maybe she could get some nice shots in by the river, catch the light on the water just right. The outside air hit her cheeks, already warm, promising to be unbearable as the sun rose. She moved along quickly, eyes alert, the few vague people shapes catalogued in her head as she walked to the end of her street, took a left into the park. It was just early enough that the breeze was still able to rustle the leaves above, the sound of it so soothing. Why can’t it just always be like this Abby thought, just quite and soft. She never once looked up though, didn’t notice the narrow, sleek, dark shapes fluttering from branch to branch.

The water slipped by the low, grassy banks, it’s surface ribbons of current breaking up the sunlight. The big willow overhung the river, slender branches trailing in the flow of it. Abby squatted down, pulling the camera up, focusing it on the shifting patterns of light and dark. These were going to turn out well, she could feel it, almost see the images forming on the film as she clicked away. The second thunderous fluttering of the day had her stumbling back, landing on her ass.

“Jesus fucking christ, what is it with you today?!?” This time it was a large crow, his wings settling along his back like a schoolmasters hands. He cocked his head to one side, then the other, croaking softly. Abby gave a crooked grin, watching him hop-step in front of her. Without quite knowing why, she brought her camera to bear once more. “Want your picture taken, that it?” She clicked away, muttering under her breath, “that’s it, oh yeah, fierce, work it, oooooh, right there, a bit more pout, lemme see those bedroom eyes.” In spite of herself Abby laughed as the crow strutted back and forth, occasionally giving the thick grass a vicious pecking. “You know a pervy magpie by any chance?”

“Crawk!” It was almost, but not quite a response. A strange feeling prickled at the base of Abby’s neck, the fine hairs standing up. “What’s got into these fucking birds today?” She stood, taking a step back. Whatever peace she’d felt, the satisfaction of doing a thing she loved, how she saw the world through the camera lense fled. “Seriously, go fuck yourself Mr. Crow” Brow crinkled, Abby turned away, walking back the way she’d come. She’d need to stop by work, get her check, then the bank. Her mind wandered back on to normal thoughts, trying to push away the sudden oddness. Were there really more birds than usual? No, just her vicious mind toying with he again. “Get a fucking grip”

Abby left the park, her feet finding the familiar grooves, the growing sounds of cars and people washing over her, walking off the unease behind her. Just another day, one more in a long line of them, same as before, same as the next. She let out a sigh and went over her list, the things that needed done. As she let herself get carried out into the city, Abby didn’t once look up, didn’t see the flock of crows and magpies trailing behind her like autumn leaves, didn’t feel the eyes on her, black ringed with amber gold watching from their perch upon the blank streetlight as she passed beneath. They followed her until she walked out of sight, another girl fading into the crowd.

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Dead and Dreaming

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2018 by beautifulimposter

There are dreams under the earth,
The dead sleep soundly, covers pulled up
Roots tangled around fingers
Cat’s cradling intricacies, woven beneath stilled tongue,
Telegraph wires mumbling from deep dark upwards
Speaking now in blades of grass, punctuated
By worms, just imagine what tales might unravel
If you dipped ant’s feet in ink,
What poems would march across the parchment?

Tales are never finished simply because you write “The End”
The stories unfold as lungs unraveling nerve endings
Twitch magnetic erratic to magnetic pulse
Things forgotten remembered, retold, dot dash dotting
Clay becomes pot, seed becomes root and branch
Woven up in fistfuls of sky and cloud
The turning of restless bodies, of waking dreams
Fitful dreamers fidget kick the dirt
Reading brand new Braille scripts in whorls,
Fingerprints that remember to forget to remember again.

All beneath as above, revolving
The worm turns, digging through earth but
Dreaming of clouds, circling iris, tail biting
Round and round ellipsis tumbling cartwheels
Merry go round about again the dreamers dream the living
Dream the dead to life rising, upwards branching
Towards the light from the dark to light again and again,
Beneath the earth, so as above.

The Birds Will Still Sing

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2018 by beautifulimposter

Birds sing because they want to
While I am sure there are other
More scientific reasons,
Purposes of biology and evolution
I see no better reason,
After all, wouldn’t you sing so
If you could?

Therein lies the beauty I think
Song for the singing
Joy and revelry for simple being
Hymns of sun and wind beneath wing,
A chorus for bright bead eye
Turned skyward and flying dizzy.

Too many envy birds thier freedom
Hence cages, it sooths bitter heart
To see such wildness cloistered
As if we too locked up song and blue heaven,
Unaware or perhaps just denying
That they will sing and dream regardless.

I for one take comfort
For as rock crumbles, pride falls
Ash and smoke rise in choaking cloud
They will be there, mad charlatans,
Ragged finery ruffled, still pinwheel turning
Still singing, above it all
In the forever blue.

The Imposter Feeds The Birds

Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2017 by beautifulimposter

One moment there’s an empty bench, the next there I am. It’s easy when you exist between the cracks of things, you’re always just everywhere. The daylight is weak, watery, thin gold hammered to transparency by winter’s hardness. My breath is the smoke of dragons, or at least that’s the fiction I’m maintaining today.
I rummage through the deep pockets of my great, black coat, picking through the contents, the bits of dreams, lost keys, remnants and fragments until my fingers find the bag of seed. Taking it out, I hold it in my left palm while my right hand dips in, feeling the cool slither of the grains slip sliding. A cast handful glitters briefly, suspended in air that shouldn’t be able to hold the weight of a feather, an arch shimmering bright before bounce scattering across pavement washed in slipshod wisps of snow.
They come slowly, in ones and twos, little, beetle black iridescent, wings fingering strands of cold air before alighting, heads curious tilt, ink drop eyes suspicious yet hunger overrides caution. Starlings, sparrows, little ragged pieces of fugitive night hop between the avenues of seed, needle beaks dipping, peck peck peck.
I watch them, hop and flutter, a moving mandala. Within the blue-purple-green-black feathers the faces surface slowly, rising up from deep, deep waters trapped in jeweled wings. Each feather is a screen, a frame showing the motion picture of a whole life. The stories are endless, myriad, woe and joy, smiles, tears, the rending of garments and spilling of ash, homemade pies, kisses and salt, spinning and whirling, almost more than the eye can hold, or at least more than most eyes. After a while you get used to it. I’ve often thought it’s a wonder they can fly at all, with the weight of all the souls glued to them, caught on honey sticky feathers.
The few passers by are chased by the wicked teeth of the cold, no one looks. Even if they did, they wouldn’t see, it takes a knack that most forget beyond the borders of childhood. A shame really, but that’s is the way, always forgetting, always wondering on to the the next. That’s why I make it a point to sit and feed the birds and watch the lives in the dark mirrors. For the remembering. I scatter another handful and sit back to enjoy the show.

Flight

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2017 by beautifulimposter

Skyline punctured by silhouettes
Tiny holes of nothing wheeling, diving
Carving strange and wonderful curves
Patches of night in bird shapes
Defying the rising sun
Left behind are the weight of thought or memory
Wingtips trailing feathery clouds
Inky fingering postscripts along the horizon
Treatises upon the marvel and freedom
Of bodies suspended upon oceans of clear air.

Flow

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2015 by beautifulimposter

Breathe
In, out, simple
Clean
Toes dug in sand
White foam
Wash, cold
Tidal
Blood rush
Push pull
No resistance
Open, clouds pour through
Arms outstretched
Holding in all skies
Raw nerve trembling
Shoreline reed
Cries of gulls
Echoes, presence of
Far off thunder
Green power
Deep roots
Black earth
Chlorophyll respiration
Sunlight food for
Deep thought
Indrawn
Lungs swallow
Hurricanes
Beautiful destruction
Sound and fury
Yawning forked lightning
Fire and sky
Earth and sea
Flesh and bone
Indrawn
All the love
All the hate
All the pain
All the everything
Washing through
Washing bright new clear
Take, hold, release
Breathe
Out

The Nature of Water

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2015 by beautifulimposter

I used to build dams
In the little creek out back
Of my grandparents house
In a forest I was sure held
Hobbit houses within the hills
Fairies and dryads
Even the little stream
I knew, was a water nymph
Singing chirrupy burbling songs.

I’d spend hours beneath
Waiving green, watching light and shadow
Write out spells upon the clear rills
My hands black with mud
Stacking stones reverently
My own little monolith
An inuksuk, to show that I was here
Leaving my mark as the water pooled
A little glistening fingerprint.

I know now that water
Bears no marks
Has no memory
Unlike skin, unlike hearts
Or the raw earth
I wish I could go back there
Be the stream
With no memory.

But I can’t,
As they say
You can never cross the same waters twice.