Falling Stars

The child presses her face against the window glass

watching as the sun sinks into the sea

and the first stars appear in the sky.

She makes a wish as one streaks, burns, and falls

vanishing like her neighbors.

(“Poor things,” her mother had said

seeing their yellow stars.)

She wonders if they will send her a postcard

from wherever they are,

and if she can change her wish–

to see them again,

the doctor with the kind eyes

and his daughters with their long, silver hair

who had played with her.

 

The child, older now, presses her face against the window glass

and watches the stars in the sky

the bombs silenced,

she hears a song murmured by the wind

singing to her of hope and dreams,

bittersweet, like chocolate she remembers,

she sees streams of starlight

sowing dreams in sparkling silver waves,

thinks of her long-ago wish

and knows—somehow– it will come true.

Starlight_sower_(1)_by_artist_HAI_KNAFO_2011_inspired_by_Or_Zaruaa

Star Sower by Hai Knafo, Wikipedia Commons

 

This is for Secret Keeper’s Weekly Writing Prompt.  The prompt words were:

| APPEAR | PRESS | POOR | CARD | FALL |

 

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The Scent of Wonder: Quadrille

The child peppered the sky with questions,

Why do my tears and the ocean taste salty?

Why does this plant taste like lemon,

but my cat smells like nutmeg?

A moon-breeze carried the scent of roses and wonder–

she understood then, everything is connected.

 

IMG_0192

This is for dVerse. Kim has asked us to write a quadrille using some form of the word pepper in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

 

 

 

The Beach, a Memory: NaPoWriMo

Dimply in the dapply light,

she danced in joy, my little sprite

the sea breeze tossed her springly hair

while seabirds squawckled in the air

she skipped upon the golden sand

till her father took her by the hand,

together they walked to wavy sea

(tumbling, white-capped, spumey sea)

where in a Jersey summer rite,

she jumped right in, such pure delight

 

Day 18, NaPoWriMo. The prompt was to incorporate neologisms, made-up words.

This poem is based on my memory of the first time our older daughter saw the ocean.

If Only: NaPoWriMo

 

I sometimes write a letter in my head,

“Dear Dad,” I think,

have you heard, did you see, what do you think–

or perhaps a phone call,

like when I called to tell him I was pregnant,

standing in the kitchen of that apartment in Woodbury,

the first floor of a house,

shaded by oak trees,

old enough to have seen

its former glory,

before multiple pairs, young couples

who, like the seasons,

moved in and moved on,

but that day,

door and windows open

the summer

was warm with promise,

(or so I remember it),

nature—and I–bursting with life,

he tried to speak,

but couldn’t,

overcome,

his voice caught,

words tangled in salty threads of joy.

The baby is grown now,

and so is her sister,

they only got to know him for a short while,

he didn’t own a computer,

died before phones were smart,

but I amuse myself imagining him ranting on social media,

calling out the swamp monsters,

and adding heart emojis to photos of children and pets.

“Dear Dad,” I think

I’d love to talk to you again.

 

Day 16 of NaPoWriMo. The prompt was to write a letter.

 

 

 

 

Far Away: Microfiction

 

Theodor_Kittelsen_-_Far,_far_away_Soria_Moria_Palace_shimmered_like_Gold_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

Theodor Kittelsen [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

“Run!” his father shouted, and the boy ran. His small body dodged soldiers and bullets, and he ran. Leaving his father and the occupied city, he ran till he reached the tunnel, crawled through it and ran again. He didn’t know where he was running to, only what he was running from. And so he ran, traveling farther than it seemed possible for a boy of his size to do, until he could run no longer.

Now stopped, panting, he stood on a grassy hillside, and gazed in wonder at the glowing, golden mountains in the distance. They seemed to pulsate with radiance. He had never seen such a sight, and overcome with exhaustion and emotion, he fell to the ground. His eyes closed. He felt the flutter of wings. There was a faint scent of caramel in the air, and he heard a voice of unearthly beauty. It sang like a cello and whispered, “Don’t worry. You’re safe here.”

His eyes opened. He was in a bed. A woman bent over him. “You’re safe now,” she said. She held a bowl of soup for him. A cake with caramel icing sat on a table nearby. He sat up and ate.

 

This is in response to Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge.

The prompt was the painting above, an illustration by Theodor Kittelsen, for a fairy tale with the caption, “Far, far away Soria Moria Palace shimmered like gold.”

 

Lullaby

 

The light is gone, so sleep my child,

dream of visions that shine brightly

in worlds of sunshine, times of joy,

 

of cats and dogs, of nights so mild,

the sun’s set, as it does nightly,

it’s time for rest, so be not coy,

 

no fear of night, all day you smiled

now close your eyes, do so tightly

with bedtime story, hold your toy

 

to comfort you, please don’t be wild,

it won’t do to be so flighty,

night’s fancies, can’t the day’s destroy

 

sleep well, my child, without sorrow

love for you, today, tomorrow

 

This is in response to Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge.  This week’s challenge was to write a trilonnet, a 14-line poem of four, three-line verses. Each line is 8 syllables, with a rhyming couplet at the end.  I used the rhyme scheme abc abc abc abc dd. I did not use Jane’s picture prompt, but I did use her phrase “The light is gone” to start off the poem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Words Remembered

A child’s first words,

delightful dawning

apperception of sounds

communication beyond smiles

and touch.

 

First words

followed by more,

sentence streams.

 

Sister talk,

talk and play,

play creating new worlds

from their imaginations.

The Barbies,

each with her own name

and personality

lined up on bathtub rim

they play there for hours,

creativity more than cleanliness,

whimsy in the water

(I’ll never know what “a cup of Margaret” is

but how marvelous the mystery that lingers.)

listening to them then

listening to them now,

both existing

like an overdubbing in my brain

the babbles turned to words

the words turned into essays

and then to college theses

words spoken and sung

at home

and on stages

(shy little girls becoming confident women with strong voices)

words that both girls now teach to others

and use in caring

words of love

words magical

words memorable

words spoken and unspoken

words lost in time

remembered in my heart

FullSizeRender 21

© Merril D. Smith 2016

 

This is in response to the The Secret Keeper’s Writing Prompt

This week’s words: child/talk/home/time/play

 

 

 

For You: Bok Choy and Kale Chips

How do you make the brisket?
Can I have your recipe for Snickerdoodles?
What do you do with bok choy?

baked kale chips

baked kale chips (Photo credit: eraine)

The calls and messages come.
Sometimes they are frequent;

sometimes not often enough.

My friend calls it “the lost years.”

Those years when we were so caught up with our children,
their activities, and work
that we had little time to connect with each other.
It went by in a flash.
I’m past that time now.
My children are young adults.
They do not need me to take them to rehearsals

or lessons.
We talk companionably,
and sometimes with tears,
but more often with laughter.

I cherish every moment.

Your children are still young.
You chase them, and love them,

and take them here
and there
and here again.

“I love your blog posts,” you say,
“Even when they’re not about me.”
You laugh.
So this is for you.

“Make kale chips, “ I say.
“Bake them at three hundred,
but watch them carefully so
they don’t burn.
Maybe you can use the bok choy.”

I know I will not be lost to you.
We’re both amazing women.
But I’m the one with the recipes.