Pandora’s Fires

Hot embers lift feathery sparks
that pop scarlet holes against
Pandora’s inky night.
Our shining cheeks lift with laughter,
oiled by fire’s gentle sway,
polishing summer’s reverie.

No doubt we fit together,
this close circle of faces
watching the young ones
feed flame with branches that burn
until dawn begins to brush the sky,
then wets the grass
shooting from our mother
to tickle morning’s feet.

On our way toward tomorrow,
we create another yesterday
to hold us aloft,
when lost moments
cloak their hungry pall 
over our empty nest.

Brenda Warren 2013

Visit the Sunday Whirl.

Visit the Sunday Whirl.

Process Notes: On the way to DC we spent four days in Pandora, Ohio, our home away from Montana, where we filled time around fire telling family stories until morning came close.

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Visiting Heaven

When I arrive in Virginia, I sing
to the graves of my ancestors
resting in the grasses of Northside Park.
Over hedges, children race in gunnysacks
and sail in swings. The monkeys are gone,
but their castle remains. Its stone moat
protects us from the poo monkey ghosts fling,
screeching their protests sideways through time.

Later, when I stand on 8th Avenue
facing Grandma’s house,
my spirit jumps from my flesh
and spreads itself into the creaks and corners
of that old house whose arms
embrace the early days of me.
Steam pours heat into Virginia’s houses,
filling up wood pores in floors and walls
with its deep wet scent, wafting wisps of
ancient we.

Spirit filled with steam,
I turn toward Wake ‘em Up Bay.

Forsaken through years of dis-connect,
my aging body weeps as it enters the flow
of Lake Vermilion, rejoicing its reunion
with the waters of its womb. A desire to
float into eternity toys with my senses.

I picture heaven as a sauna in the sky
on the shores of an ethereal Vermilion
shimmering early days of me.

In heaven, Grandpa tosses cups
of the lake, dipped from a barrel,
and we watch water
dance its sizzle
on the pearly stove’s rocks.

Everybody’s here.

Len laughs and his eyes mimic the glimmer
in Grandpa’s eyes, two peas in a pod,
hyucking it up in the sauna.

Dave Arnott asks if we’re sure it isn’t hell;
it’s so damn hot in here.

Grandpa chuckles and throws
more water on the rocks.

The waters of Vermillion lap my back
and pull me back to the present moment,
rocking on the surface of my youth,
imagining heaven as a sauna
where everyone I love
jokes while Grandpa throws water on the rocks.

It holds my childhood’s blood,
this water,
this receptacle of story and time.

I pull myself out onto the ladder of the boat
and up into the rest of my life.

Vermilion drips down my skin ‘til it dries.

 

Brenda Warren 2012

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Process Notes:
I wrote this piece for a Trifecta challenge. We were prompted to write 333-3333 words on any theme, in any style. Not counting its title, this piece is precisely 333 words long.

A week from today, I will be on a houseboat on Lake Vermilion with my husband, Len. We will have the boat for four nights. It’s been over 30 years since I’ve been swimming in Lake Vermilion. We’ll visit Virginia before we head to the lake. I have not been there for 17 years. This poem is my imagining of my upcoming trip with my husband. Lucky we!

We are going to a folk music festival close to the Mississippi River following our week on the water. Life is good. Yup.

Notes on heaven: David Arnott is a good friend who has passed already. Len is still living, but I can’t imagine that it would really be heaven if he were not there with me.

we all go sometime

smoke and mirrors don’t change anything
slanted reflections always portray partial truths
cutting flesh a raven screams
and I want to go into hiding
somewhere with no windows
where my carriage spreads beneath trees
nourishing roots
and is not preserved in
satin-lined extravagance
under cemetery granite
where lights fade slowly
for the sleeping dead

bury me deep
beneath a cold night sky
while friends drum the Earth
that forms my body into place

with the children build a cairn
of smooth Montana river stones
and with each balanced rock
place a memory
a little me
a little you
a little we
a little them
laugh and talk about me
like I’m not even there

spill a little whiskey for my soul

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In good health, I wrote this piece and have tweaked at it for a few days to post at One Shot Wednesday.  Thank you for reading at undercaws.