Thursday, February 17, 2011


Elena over at My Quest is hosting Weekword this week, and has chosen the very expressive little word "oh". I used that word quite a bit on my latest trip to Galveston.

"Oh, what a beautiful bird. Hope he stays still long enough for me to get a good shot."

"Oh yea! I got it."

"Oh how sad." We saw a lot of dead things on the beach that day.

"Oh weird. Look how big it's scales are. They look like sea shells."

"Oh cool..." Don't ask me why. My sweetie replied with, "Oh no, next you'll be writing poetry about dead fish, huh?" Hmm... maybe another time ;]

"Oh *shoot! My batteries are dying!" (*not the word I actually used)

No sunset pics this time, due to the dead batteries, but we stayed to watch it over a lovely seafood dinner and a glass of wine, and then headed home.

Friday, February 11, 2011


This week's weekword is brought to us by Junebug's Musings. She mentioned Valentine's Day in connection with the word 'cynosure', and it made me think of these beautifully brilliant orchids I have hanging over my monitor. My sweetie brought them home for me as a surprise last week, so I thought I'd take a picture of them and make a card for him. I searched on the web for the language of flowers, and learned that orchids mean 'refined beauty'. I thought of a mature beauty, like the love shared between two people who have out-lived their first spouses, and have been refined by life's experiences to share a different kind of love. Different from that naive exciting first love of youth, but still brilliant in it's own way.

The poem is an acrostic, which means the first letter of each line spells a word, in this case 'romance'. I'm stepping a little out of my comfort zone writing a love poem, but I guess that's therapeutic, too.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Nature of Identity

nature of identity

mirroring antique anger
at an ontological vanity
elaborately Victorian

tearing tangles from my hair
with silver inlay brush
applying nightmarish
clown-faced foundation
to ancient scars
in my dusty sunbeam room

rituals in preparation for
an anthropological ball

inspired by Moineau en France and Justahumblebee's comments on the previos post

Thursday, February 3, 2011


This week's Weekword is 'therapeutic'. You'll find links to other posts listed here on Domestic Scribbles. The dictionary defines it: of or relating to the treatment of disease; curative. Yet, many of us regularly refer to our hobbies as therapy. Why is that? Is life a disease? The stresses of life can cause disease. Autoimmune diseases are becoming more prevalent today partly because of these stresses.

The dictionary defines hobbies as an activity pursued in spare time for pleasure or relaxation. Yet for me, my hobbies have become a very necessary part of my routine for staying healthy. Like exercise and eating healthy, they have become needed therapy rather than a spare time pursuit.

One of my hobbies is photography. Last Friday, I went to the arboretum to take these pictures. The walk in the woods left me feeling so serene, that the obnoxious rush hour traffic on the way home didn't bother me like it usually does.

Of course not all therapy is pretty. I've got to vent some of the bad stuff too, which is usually the case with most of my poetry.

scolding darkness
pointing cold rigidity
at my chest
as if to blame

I wait numbly trepid for
bony rapping on my chest bone
unknown impact
wafts through memory pillars
and cobweb dreams
stripping reality
from a marble library

concentration dissipates
the blow never comes
just disbelief
gawking at the bloody muscle
ripped from my chest
oozing through frigid phalanges

afraid to breath
afraid to discover
I’m no longer able

outside the library
primal forces compel exhalation
awareness materializes
how am I breathing without a heart?

the pool of blood crackles
but the sound is within
slow and faint
a new one pumps
barely able to catch my breath
fingers and feet still numb
struggling to remain conscious
the only warmth
deep inside me

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Places I Ought Not Go

Several years ago, I helped my sister move back here to Texas from New Jersey. On the second night of the drive, I drove until my nerves began to fray, so my sister took over for a while. Unable to unwind, I just silently stared out the window, and let my mind wander. I noticed that when we’d drive up to an animal like a rabbit or raccoon on the side of the road, it’s eyes would seem to glow even before the headlights would reach it, and then after shining on it, it’s eyes would glow red. Well, my imagination ran away with this, and after about an hour or so of my imaginary travels, my sister asked if I was asleep.

“Nah,” I said, “just daydreaming.

“Tell me about your daydream, so I won’t get sleepy,” she requested, and this was the story I told her:

I’m driving down I-10 at night in Louisiana on that long, flat, boring stretch of highway that cuts straight through Louisiana’s swamp land. It’s a series of bridges connected sporadically by patches of dryer land. By day, this straight line of pavement roams as far as the eye can see, but at night, the infinite blackness of the swamp seems to swallow it up along with the light from my high beams. Visual stimuli is limited to the occasional passing car, the mesmerizing reflective road stripes, and the glowing eyes of local inhabitants of the wet lands I’m passing through. Oh yeah, and speed limit signs, which are easily neglected when the monotony lulls me into a trance, and then recalled after awakening to the excitement of red and blue flashing lights behind me.

I pull over, and the officer pulls up behind me, sitting in his patrol car for a few minutes before approaching me. I put my car in park, but leave the engine running, even though I’ll be sitting here for a little while. I’m a bit spooked about being in the middle of nowhere alone, and probably a little tired from the hypnotic drive. He asks for my license and insurance, and as I reach over to get it, I’m suddenly overwhelmed by an irrational fear of some lurking evil in the swamp. Trembling, I hand him the requested documents, and try to compose myself. “It’s just my overactive imagination,” I say, hopefully to myself, but the officer is looking at me oddly, and the feeling persists.

“Are you ok, ma’am?”
“Yes sir.”
“Have you had anything to drink tonight?”
“No sir.”

Now, I’m only vaguely aware of his presence, distracted like a B movie horror flick when there is foreboding music playing in the background, but in reality everything is eerily quiet. The feeling grows stronger, as if the evil is moving closer. I can hear my pulse as I struggle to maintain composure. Then I notice the officer staring off into the farthest reach of the high beams. I strain to see past them, hoping to find what has caught his eye, when finally I find the glowing eyes.

“Get in the car!” I blurt out abruptly.
“What?” His voice cracked with surprise.
“Get in the car! It’s heading toward us!”
“What are you talking about?!”

“Don’t you feel it?!” I’m yelling now, but I’m not sure he hears me, because I’m rolling up my window, and throwing my car into gear without thinking about the legal ramifications of what I’m doing. To my surprise though, he jumps in the back seat.

“Lock all the doors!” I scream even though I’ve already hit the main control button for the electric locks. He reaches across the car anyway, and slaps his hand down on them just to make sure. At this point, the headlights are highlighting a shadowy outline of a figure running toward us, and it’s eyes are turning red. I slam my foot down on the gas pedal, but it's blocking my only escape route, so I steer straight for it. I never really get a good look at it; just hear the thud as it bounces off the hood of my car.

“Did you see it?!… Did you see that?!” I turn around to look back. “What was that?! Did you get a good look at it?!”

Glancing back to my rearview mirror, I’m praying he has answers to my questions, but he just stares blankly and shrugs. Feeling that my paranoia has just been justified, I’m hysterical now. No more trying to hide it. I’m white knuckling the steering wheel, and repeatedly muttering, “oh my God.” He, however, was in a very different frame of mind.

“We’ve got to go back,” he mumbled.

“What! Are you insane?! I am not going back there!” I could not get far enough away fast enough. The little four cylinder engine of mine whines as I drive at speeds faster than my speedometer can register.

“Ma’am, you really need to calm down.”

I begin to wonder if this lunatic in my back seat is having delusions of being a hero.

“Shouldn’t you be radioing in for help or something?”

“And tell them what?!” His calm demeanor snapped. “That I left my squad car on the side of the highway with the keys still in it, jumped into a car with a crazy woman who thinks she can ‘feel’ a monster’s presence, and then runs over God knows what?” He pauses for a second, “Probably some poor motorist who was stranded and looking for help… I’m gonna lose my job over this one.”

“There’s no way in hell I’m going back there!” I just could not bring myself to see where he was coming from. “Besides, you felt it too. I could tell.”

He didn’t argue; just sat there thinking for a moment, and then quietly asked, “Will you please slow down?”

He radioed in, while I replayed the events over and over again in my head. Was there really something evil out there, or was I having some kind of night driving delusion? If it was just some poor stranded guy, why the awful dread before we saw him? And, why was the officer scared, as well? I tried desperately to remember what it looked like, searching my memory for a clue. In the background, I could hear dispatch ask for a description.

“It was wet and slimy, like the swamp,” I pipe in, trying to make the whole horrifying event sound real, and failing miserably.

“I thought you didn’t see it?”
“It?” A voice on the radio inquired.
“I mean him,” is his flustered reply.

“There’s green slime on the hood of my car.” I offer as proof, hoping to make him realize that we weren’t crazy, but the sound of my words makes me question my own sanity. Really, it was too dark to see what color the wet substance on the hood was or if it was indeed slimy.

“Just have someone pick me up at Al’s Kountry Korner.” He says to his radio, trying to ignore me.

After finishing his conversation with dispatch, he starts giving me instructions on where to take him. The last thing I want to do is leave the main interstate to drive down some dark winding exit ramp into the swamp. I want to keep going until we hit civilization, not some backwoods convenience store whose name is spelled with K’s. Pulling into the parking lot, there is a patrol car waiting for him. He tells me to wait while he speaks to the other officer. I can see that the other officer is annoyed.

He returns, and says, “Look, I’m not going to be issuing any speeding tickets tonight. Really, I’d like to just forget the whole thing happened. You’re free to go.”

Free to go where? Baton Rouge was probably another hour or so away, …and I’ll be alone again on a dark haunted highway in the middle of the swamp. As I watch him get into the patrol car, I realize that I will never know for sure what happened back there. Did I really run over somebody, or are those two cops on their way to be gutted and gored by some hideous creature that I thought only existed in Sci-Fy movies? How could I live with the possibility that I might have injured someone innocent?

What would you do? Would you go back, like all those stupid people in the horror movies do?

There was a long pause, and then my sister answered, “ Wow. You really need to write that one down.”