Yellow Buds


Souls steeped in shadows, mourn ashen spirits lost, bidding farewell.  Seedlings of youths best… tempted, tested, and tortured.  Groomed from adolescent lives of ideology.  Trained, tempered and hardened for glory.  

Bulbs of dissimilitude, sown in a fertile soil of uniformity.  Tended, trimmed, nourished… ripened with fortitude, confidence, and virtue.  Fertilized with doctrine, faith, conviction, and philosophy. 

Youthful buds sent into the misty darkness of warring worlds.  Friendships bloom, form of adversity shared.  Sleeping, living, surviving… in shared commiseration.  Battling for comrades who stand beside them. 

Like yellow bouquets of commitment, stout and strong.  Sacrificing stem, leaf and petal for one another.  Torn asunder… petals scared and hidden.  Wilted, wane, weakened by immutable sacrifice. 

Combats darkness, steals a final essence.  With nary a leaf, petal, or stem left… final atonement.  Yellow flowers of companionship, now sown in gardens of stone.  Granit and marble markers, straight and uniform, conceal the scars, mark the passing… stand in homage.

This is a Magpie Tails post. 
I was at a loss for something to write.  The stimulus was such a beautiful yellow daffodil.  I could only associate the yellow flower with friendship.  What stronger friendship is there than that shared by men and women in combat.  So I tried this tribute to their sacrifices.

Campfire Contentment

Alignment of Jupiter, Venus and Moon
Image by Lucas Janin via Flickr

The scent of mesquite wood smoke draws my conscious thoughts from the precarious precipice of restful slumber.  An obsidian night sky, flecked with brightly sparkling stars.  Feathery clouds spread in web-like, silvery glow, reflected of a nearly full moon.  The glimmer of celestial entities, flicker and dim as they hide surreptitiously behind nebulous clouds. Then sparkle with renewed fervor as the glowing cotton slides smoothly, as if carried by currents, revealing them once more. 

Wispy tendrils of smoke, swirl and weave their way upward, carrying crimson embers flitting skyward to slowly dim then die.  A decidedly campestral bouquet permeates the night sky on imperceptible currents of amorphous, smoky trails winding their way upward.  

The satisfying comfort of relaxed, rested, contentment I feel emanating from this blazing glory of a simple campfire, wed to an illustrious night sky.  One of those unambiguous, seldom described, ever desired, muse freeing, pleasures, that spur such wondrous rumination. The soulful solace lends itself to the spirited wanderings of a curiously creatively imagination.  A silent interrogatory, posed to myself.  Hundreds of abstract possibilities, some philosophical, others fictional… mulled over, contemplated, reasoned out.

The plaintive howl of a lonesome coyote sounds hauntingly in the distance.  Answered quickly with the harmonious melody of a pack far closer than appreciated.  Ripping my percipient thoughts from the unknown concepts of a frigid, intriguing outer space.    Feuding instincts send contradictory messages along a vast network of nerves.  A chill ripples down my spine, causing the hair on the back of my neck to stand on end.  Fight or flight dumps a slight load of adrenaline, then reason quickly calms with unknown endorphins.  The haunting, hungry sounds of nature fuel the internal conflict, stimulating fictional ideas. 

Cognizant speculation of numerous theoretical possibilities.  The conceivable and plausible, evaluated, questioned, formulated.  The incomprehensible, discarded, set aside to make room for more realistic potential.  Such, inspiring, impressively, fertile breeding grounds for conjecture… breathtaking, revitalizing.  The abundance of possible content, overwhelming with its promise.  

This is what I love so much about getting out of the city.  Back to the simplicity of nature.

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Misty Morning Dew

Spider web early in the morning

Waking early to the annoying sound of a troubling alarm clock.   One of those that sounds like a back up alarm on a piece of construction equipment traversing  a distant excavation site.  The daily routine starts anew, repetitive in nature by necessity.  Stumbling around the darkened room, feeling my way to the door, attempting to be as silent as possible.  All is memory movement until that first satisfying sip of fresh coffee, to stimulate the senses.

The dismal monotony of repetitiveness, comforting in it’s own way.  I am saddened by the fact I am such a creature of habit.  The same thing every day, over and over again… as if I’m stuck in a never ending cycle of retakes in a low budget movie.   Yet without that pedestrian start to the day, I fear I would be lost to the realities of life.  We all have to start the day in our own way, and I have found my comfort in routine. Luckily, that boring start to each day is at time rewarded with amazing sights.

This morning I was greeted by a spectacular scene as I left the comfort of my house of useful routines.  I stepped outside, and found myself in a mist filled, morning wonderland.   The dew hung heavy on each blade of startlingly green grass.  A nebulous mist hung low over the ground, glinting under the clearness of a blue grey morning sky.  Hanging from a budding tree to the fence row, a spider web sporting glistening droplets of morning dew.  The graceful lines sparkling in exquisite solemnity, projecting the light of breaking dawn though a million prisms with ceremonious finesse. 

Visions like this make the monotony of the days so worth the effort.

Off Kilter

I’m having trouble with my internet.  My high speed connection has disappeared, but they promise me it should be back soon.    Once things get back to normal, I hope to resume regular posting.  Until then, I’m stuck in limbo between page loads that seem to take hours on end.

Willy And His Wooden Hands

Wooden Hand

Image courtesy of  Magpie Tale's

Willy sat hunched over his work bench.  An old bar stool he’d found at the junk yard,  provided his perch.  Willy had cut six inches off the legs, added a higher back to the seat, and replaced the bearings for the seat swivel with those from an old Lazy Susan he didn’t need any longer.  Then he added some cushion to the seat, making it as comfortable as possible.  After all, at his age, he found it difficult to stand for hours while he meticulously shaped the wood for the pose-able wooden dolls he lovingly created.  “Might as well make things easy on myself”, he had reasoned, “after all it’s  just a hobby for me anymore.” 

Willy Zimmermann was 73, and had long since retired from his job at the county building maintenance shop.  He lived alone ever since his wife, Ella, of 50 years had passed five years prior.  His only son, William, had died in a tragic car accident over 30 years ago, and there were no other relatives.  All of  Willy’s friends had passed, one by one over the previous 13 years.  Willy seldom talked to anyone nowadays, leaving the house only to walk to the neighborhood grocery store, or stroll thought the local park.   The clerks at the store were all youngsters who were too busy talking or texting on their cellular phones, to exchange words with an old man.  He didn’t understand them half the time anyway, they spoke so fast and quietly.  He used to talk with Hank, the mail man, everyday.  Unfortunately, Hank had retired some three or four years ago, Willy couldn’t remember exactly.  The new mail man was a young kid, early thirties, nice, polite, respectful… but not very talkative.  As a matter of fact it was like pulling teeth to get him conversing about anything.  Billy, he thought his name was, hell he wasn’t even sure about that.  Billy didn’t make eye contact when he was talking, and seemed to mumble or talk away from him every time.

Willy spent his days, in his work shop, building the dolls.  He used to build them for Ella, then she would make clothes  and dress them up.  Ella  sold them at  one craft store or another, to bring in a little extra money for their yearly vacations.  When she passed on, Willy simply continued doing what he had for years.  He spent every day during the week in his wood shop, creating his masterful works.  Carving each part with exacting detail, shaping, sanding, fitting, then sanding some more.  He put his full attention into trying to make the dolls as life like as possible, being sure to give them movable joints, even on the fingers.  Not one was like any of the others, expressions, carved permanently into the faces, added an extra element of character to each.  Ella used to name them as he was carving them.  She seemed to be able to pick out what the doll was going to be like long before he was finished.  When the dolls were completed, she would say, “Didn’t I tell you that he was going to look just like an Arron.” or “She is the most beautiful Rose I have ever seen”  The names were never the same either, each doll a unique and individual personality.  Willy had to name them now, but he didn’t have the benefit of know what they would wear or who they would be when completed.  Ella had known.

“I think your going to be a Teddy.”  Willy told the doll he was working on today.  He had no idea where the name came from, it just popped into his head, as if Ella had been looking over his shoulder and whispered it in his ear,  just like she used to do.  “Well Teddy, what kind of a look are you going to have?  Are you going to share that little bit of information with me?”  Willy paused his sanding, and massaged his hands together.  They were so sore these days, gnarled and bent with arthritis. Willy’s wrinkled, craggy face looked down at his aged hands.  Calloused with years of shaping wood.  They were rough and leathered as if he had spent his whole life in the out doors exposing them to the rigors of treacherous weather.  “Well Teddy, I wish I had your wooden hands, with joint that can be taken apart, sanded, lubricated, and put back together with ease.  That obviously is not going to happen so I supposed I’ll just have to keep working them lest they curl into useless claws.”  Willy sighed as he went back to sanding the little finger parts, and checking the fit until they were just right.  “Teddy, my boy, it’s late, and I think, about dinner time.  I’ll just have to give you a little color tomorrow and get  everything ready to put you together.  I’ll see you in the morning my friend.  Keep an eye on things in here.  Don’t let any of those little hoodlums sneak in and desecrate our things, okay.”

Willy picked up all his tools, and put them in their respective places.  “Everything in it’s place and a place for everything ehh Teddy.”  Meticulously cleaning up the work bench, Willy swept all the dust into a pan and dumped it in a bucket set aside for sawdust and wood chips.  Then swept the floor, carefully gathering all the mess, and dumping it in the bucket also.  “Nothing like a clean workplace my friend.”  With a final look to be sure things were proper, Willy glanced once more at Teddy.  “Teddy my boy, Tomorrow is Friday, we’ll get all your pieces painted and ready to be put together.  Saturday is yard work you know, and Sunday is house cleaning and a little rest, my boy.  So Monday I’ll start putting you together, I wonder how that will come out.  You never can tell my friend.  You kids never seem to emerge just the way I think you will, usually much more fitting to your personality.  Strange how that happens huh.”

Willy turned and walked for the door, pausing at the drying shelf to gingerly touch the finish on the completed doll setting on a special stand.  “Well Bethany, it seems the last couple of days has done wonders for your complexion.  I think you’re ready to go in the house with me.  What do you think about that little girl, you want to move into the house with the rest of us?”  Willy picked Bethany up by the hand made stand, and examined her rosy checks, the coloration of her body, and appendages.  Looking closely to be sure everything was just right, with the appropriate shine.  “Well aren't you a gorgeous little girl.  A becoming glow, not too glossy, and not too muted.  You are a prize my little princess, a prize indeed.”

Willy turned out the light, locked the door, and walked to the house cradling Bethany and her stand in his arms.  Once inside, he went straight to Ella’s craft room.  Locating a vacant space on the shelves occupied by hundreds of  perfectly shaped and colored miniature people, awaiting clothing.  He gently placed Bethany among them.  “Okay kids,  this is your new sister Bethany.  You’ll all have to introduce yourselves though, I have to get myself some dinner.  You know it’s a good thing all of you don’t have to eat, I would go broke with the grocery bills…  It would be nice to have a little conversation at the table though.”  Willy turned and walked out, closing the door behind him.

Fixing himself some hot beef stew and a salad for diner, Willy sat at the table.  He glanced over at the place setting, vacant as usual, but ready… as if waiting for Ella to come and join him for supper.  “Ella my dear, I miss you soo, you just can’t believe how lonely it is.”  Willy ate his diner in silence, finishing everything, as always, not leaving a thing in the bowl or on the plate.  Willy set about studiously cleaning the kitchen.  “I know Ella, I’m cleaning up my own mess, you won’t have to worry about it dear.”

Willy watched the evening news, then turned off the television.  There was never anything worth watching in the evenings any more.  He picked up his book and read a few more chapters, the clock tick-tocking rhythmically in the background.  The silence… miserably deafening. 

After a short while, Willy got up and headed off to his bedroom.  The nightly routine consistent, never varying from a pattern set long before.  “  Ella dear, I sure hope your having more conversation than I am these days.  Good night love, I’ll talk to you in the morning.”  With that, he turned out the light and crawled into bed for a nights disconsolate sleep. 

Friday started with the same routine as every day of the last few years.  Willy had woken at 7:00 AM everyday of his life for the at least 50 plus years.  Then it was off to the morning ritual of  bathroom duties, breakfast, and out to the shop.  This morning thought, Willy noticed he had no pain in his hands.  It had been years since he had awoken with no pain.  When he got to the restroom and turned on the light, he glanced down at his hands.  They were like finely carved and shaped wood.  Visibly smooth and soft, all the joints working just like the dolls he made.  A smile crept across his craggy face, and the reflection in the mirror seemed to shine like lacquer. 

Willy went to the kitchen and set about making breakfast.  Grabbing the coffee cup for that first sip of the morning, he tried to lift it to his mouth, and it shattered under his grasp.  “Hmm, I’m going to have to figure this out.  I don’t feel anything so I can’t judge how much pressure to use.  This may take some getting used to.  At least I don’t have any pain, thank heaven.”  Willy struggle through breakfast, and set about cleaning up.  After breaking the plate, and bending a fork, he finally finished. 

As Willy headed out the back door, his new hand brushed the shelf holding Ella’s collection of  Little Boy Blue figurines, knocking one off.  Willy tried to catch it, yet as he did so, he squeezed just a little too hard.  The fragile piece of porcelain crumbled into shards and dust before his eyes.  The kitchen light blew out at the same time.  “Ella honey, I’m so sorry, It was you favorite figurine.  Sweetheart, I’ll find another one for you I promise.”  Willy said as he walked out the back door, shaking his head in disgust. 

After considerable difficulty unlocking the door to the wood shop Willy went in and set to work at the bench.  “Teddy, you won’t believe it my boy, but my wish was granted last night.  Look, I have hands of wood, just like yours, a little bigger though.  Guess what?  No pain, not a single bit!  Can you believe it?”  Willy tried to pick up the paint brush, sliding it to the edge of the bench before he could pick it up.  Then with more trouble than he could ever remember having before, he opened the paint cans.  When he tried to actually paint, it just would not flow like normal.  Nothing was working right! 

Suddenly, a terrible thought crossed Willy’s mind.  How was he going to put Teddy together with all those tiny bolts and pins.  He couldn’t pick them up.  Pushing the paints to the side he reached for the bin that organized all the minuscule little parts.  Picking it up he move it close to him.  He nervously reached into a compartment and tried to get a knuckle pin out.  Ending up knocking the whole parts bin over scattering hundreds of tiny pins and bolts all over the floor. 

Appalled, Willy realized he would never be able to do that which had given him so much pleasure in the past.   laying his forehead on his crossed arms atop the workbench, he began to sob, like he hadn’t since Ella died.  Realizing he would rather have the pain of his arthritic hands back than to suffer the emptiness of his remaining life, without the last love he had available.  With this final loss, the only friend he had left to give himself solace, was gone!  Lost to a foolish, whimsical wish made out of the frustrations of an old man.

Three weeks later when a neighbor reported that something must be wrong because Mr. Zimmermann’s yard had not been mowed and was getting overgrown with tall grass.  Mr. Benson told the police, it simply was not like Mr. Zimmermann to ignore his yard, and he hadn’t seen him in a very long time.  They found Willy Zimmermann’s body in his shop, head resting on crossed arms atop the workbench.  His hands frighteningly deformed, curled up like useless claws by arthritic disfigurement.   A beautifully carved doll sitting on the workbench in pieces, patiently waiting to be finished.

A Summer To Live For! (Friday Fiction)

Lovers at the Grand Canal, Versailles, France
Image by Grufnik via Flickr

I sit watching her sleep.  Entranced by an exquisite beauty.  Enjoying the vision before my gluttonous eyes.  Mesmerized by every detail of voluptuous symmetry, so softly seductive, inviting and sensual.  She lay face down with one arm cradling her head, keeping the cool, slender tendrils of grass from brushing her face.  Luscious, velvety smooth, chestnut hair, shimmering nearly golden in the sunset glow.  Flows gracefully, trickling down over a naked shoulder, along the nubile curves of the most flawless body I have ever seen.

absorbing every aspect of the scene arranged, seemingly for my infinite personal pleasure.  Just the two of us, laying contentedly sated on the banks of a quiet azure pond.  The mystical sounds of an enchanting waterfall in the distance.  The warm spring breeze in the grasses cause a rippling wavelike effect.  A songbird, trilling it’s melody, adding to the magic of the moment.  The horizon ablaze with the  fierce incandescent embers of a springtime eventide.

Watching her breath, so simply and comfortably.  I guide my fingers softly, gently along her neck.  Sliding them appreciatively over the silken shoulder, to navigate ever so slowly.  Exploring  the contours of her back, playing along a supple spine.  Witnessing her involuntary pleasure as the skin ripples with the sensation of my pausing deftness.  A hushed, delicate groan escapes her lips, as she rolls slightly, divulging her side to my tactile reconnaissance.  My disciplined hovering touch glides back to the nape of her slender, lissome, neck.  Running speculative fingers along her delicate shoulder, to journey down a  slender soft arm.  Unable to resist, I play my compassionate touch along her ribcage, with the flair and confidence of a pianist playing the ivory.  

In reward, I receive a delightful sigh of awakening, as she stirs, and rolls toward me.  Gazing into her sparkling emerald eyes, effusing intelligence, tenderness, and adoration.  Realizing the depth of my own feelings for this manifestation of  feminine perfection.  I lean closer to sample the sweetness of her supple, pliant lips.  My wandering hands exploring the soft yet firm curves of pure  feminine perfection.  Tenderly caressing her taught belly, they adventure further, searching for a soft warmth…

A violent rumble of sound awakens me as the airplanes wheels chirp with contact from the hard paved runway.  Vibrations traveling along the airframe drag me succinctly from my personal reprieve.  I stir with the realization that soon, very soon, The memories will be all I have to sustain me.  The unbelievably loud sound from the engines, and lessening vibration of the runway, brutally force my conscious mind back to the reality of the moment. 

Glancing at the familiar faces of my compatriots, I collect my trinkets and tools of war.  Standing we all move ever so slowly to the lowering ramp to be greeted by the dry dusty heat of our newly found environs.  marching off the plane, I glance around to be welcomed by the sight of distant mountains, sharp and craggy in appearance, topped with a sprinkling of white.  

At least I’ll have the mountains, and those unbelievable memories of a summer so wondrously magical, filled with passion and pleasures untold.  Truly a summer to live for!
This is purely a work of fiction, no association or comparison with real people is intended in any way.

A Wistful Wednesday

Thoughts of times long past, an era of dusty dirt streets with the smell of wood smoke drifting from the chimneys of fireplaces and cast iron cook stoves.
A Ghost of South Park

An era of simple, infinitely more basic concerns, yet far more difficult and laborious.  

Echo’s of boots on board walks.   Pining melodies from a forgotten player piano.  A shrill whistle, posed by steam, from a distanced past.  The ghostly stillness of abandonment… saturating, investing itself in every structure. 

I do so love the ghosts of mountains past. 

Shrugging Off the Clamorous Shroud of Silence

Misty Sunrise #2

Image by tricky ™ via Flickr

The emancipating deliverance of choice is exhilarating and thirst quenching, yet intimidating at the same time.  What undiscovered harmonic illumination resides on the distant un-approached horizon is obscure and mysterious.  Mystery though has always been intriguing, inspiring, and provocative.

This self induced silence has been deafening in its thunderous clamor.  A cloak of indifference, suffocating, blindingly debilitating to my intellectuality and contentment.   Stepping out of the bewildering darkness and shrugging off this suppressing cloak is relative to escaping the garrote. 

A shinning dawn rising through the misty morn, delivers a cleansing ablution of colors accompanied by a soft symphony of  harmony.   Long have I waited this pleasurable, scintillating orchestra of wonderment.  Little did I know, all that was required of me was an effortless novation.

My obvious course now,  is to advance forward, looking toward that hazy horizon for direction.  The warm embracing glow of the dayspring sun, lending comfort, compassion and sincerity.  The encouragement I receive is more bountiful and nourishing than an elaborate, flavorful feast. 

For those who don’t know, my dayspring sun is you, my valued and loyal readers.  Thank you ever so much for the loyalty and support, it is more valued and appreciated than I could ever illustrate.


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