Voices

voices
yelling in my head
whispering in my ears
digging up all my worst fears

voices
screaming at the top of their lungs
hissing in the shadows
reminding me of all the things I’ve never done

voices
scrambled
coming in unclear
but there’s only one I cannot hear

voices
shouting with every breath
always putting me to the test
while my voice is the one I hold dear

My Graveyard (A 500 Word Story)

She wiped the sweat from her brow, never imagining it’d be this difficult.

But she had come too far to go back now.

Her heart thumped rhythmically against her chest as a cloud of fog rolled in around her feet. It rose like wisps of smoke, twisting around her legs. She kicked the air, willing the fog to disappear.

“I’m not a part of that life anymore,” she whispered. “I’m not going back.”

The fog receded, but stayed close, watching. It slowly crept across the place she stood. It thickened, until there was nothing but a dense, gray cloud surrounding her – but she was used to it.

Row after row of gray headstones lined the ground. Each one was marked with a number – proof of her past mistakes.

Since she was a child people told her to never go back to the place where the past was buried. Like the dead, it was meant to stay that way for eternity. Only trouble could come from exhuming the past, but she’d come here with the intent of doing just that – unearthing the things she’d done. She wanted to set them right, to make amends. As her feet carried her through the rows of headstones, a shovel slung over her shoulder, something in her head told her to let the past sleep.

Now, her eyes shifted from the pile of dirt beside her to the half-covered hole in front of her. They slid up the face of the headstone that saved her from making another mistake. She’d almost passed it, but it called to her in its own way, offering a second chance. Taking a deep breath, she rested her hands on the tip of the shovel’s wooden handle.

“I’m not going back,” she whispered, a thick strand of fog coiling around her ankle. Without taking her eyes off the headstone she yanked herself free from the darkness.

In one fluid motion she drove the rounded point of the shovel into the dirt, hoisted it up and threw it in the half-filled hole. She continued working until it was full, then, she patted the dirt down with the back of the shovel.

“No.” She twisted around in time to see the fog closing in around her, one last effort to keep her in this place forever. “I told you I’m not part of that life anymore. I’m not going back.”

The gray mass froze. She stared it down. Slowly, it thinned, revealing the light.

She turned back to the grave where she’d been working. With the last bit of her strength, she raised the shovel as high as she could and slammed it down on the pile of dirt. It broke in two and fell from her hands. She wiped her brow again, heart still pounding. For once in her life she felt proud of what she’d done, knowing this was the beginning of a new life.

With a smile on her face, she took one final look at the headstone. It read: Past Self.

Butterflies and Flowers

Every year the yard is full of flowers. They draw bumblebees and hummingbirds who come to suck the sweet nectar. Every summer I look forward to their arrival, as they’re a pleasure to see.

This year there have been few bumblebees and no hummingbirds.

But there has been a butterfly, the same butterfly sine the first day the flowers bloomed.

The flowers usually don’t draw butterflies, at least not that I’ve seen. So I was surprised when one briefly landed on the petals, stretched its wings in the sun and flew away.

Over the weekend, I was tending to the flowers when the butterfly returned. It perched itself directly in front of me. My first thought was…I wish I had my camera.’ My mind was thinking photographically, not fully appreciating what was in front of me, but I knew as soon as I left it would fly away.

So, instead, I pushed that idea aside and appreciated this rare sight.

It had a chocolate brown body, which appeared fuzzy. I could see each hair. I could see its eyes and antenna. Its wings were also chocolate brown with white and orange markings.

The butterfly was beautiful.

I studied the butterfly closely, having never seen one this close before. It poked its head into the center of the flower, sucking the sweet nectar, and spread its wings as it basked in the sun. It stayed for a long time before flying away.

So what is the point in telling this story? Well…appreciate the beauty in life, the things you have, the things right in front of you. You never know how long they’ll last.

Film

There’s something beautiful and nostalgic about film. Maybe it’s the developing process – a process that most see as obsolete, but many strive to keep alive. Maybe it’s the smell of the darkroom, the chemicals, or the way the photo slowly appears on the paper once placed in the developer (as if by magic). Maybe it’s the graininess of the photo and the possible imperfections. Maybe it’s something I haven’t mentioned here. For all these reasons, and many more, I love film.

Stone Stairs

Lake Placid

 

Lake George

Lake George

 

Driftwood

Lake George

 

Docks

Lake George

 

To see more film photography please visit my site here.

To see a variety of photos please visit my site here. 

The Beauty of Nature

Spring.

It’s the season of rebirth.

It’s that time of year when trees wake from their winter slumber. Buds explode into lush green leaves. Long awaited flowers poke through the thawed earth to unfold their pedals, blooming in magnificent colors. Bears rise from months of hibernation. Birds as red as rubies and as blue as sapphires appear and begin building their nests. Hummingbirds flutter their wings. Red-breasted robins rest in trees and front laws. Bees buzz, landing on flowers to collect honey.

Nature is teeming with life.

That alone is beautiful.

Bird Songs

sing to me
at the first light of dawn
as my eyelids flutter open
to your song

sing to me
as I slowly rise
keep my heart light
and my spirits bright

sing to me
of warmer days
as the ice thaws
and the snow melts away

sing to me
of a soft, gently breeze
as it rustles the leaves
and bends the grass beneath my feet

sing to me
as the sun lights the sky
sets it ablaze
before the incoming night

sing to me
at the first sight of stars
when the sky is a map
of places near and far

sing to me
as I lay down to sleep
a sweet lullaby
only you could ever sing

Timeless (A 500 Word Story)

The two of them sat near a small stream. It was mid-day and the young man had been walking through the woods, as he usually did each day, when he heard a woman ask if he wanted to hear a story. He was never one to resist a good story, so he stopped to listen. As the woman told her tale, he found himself sitting in the grass with anticipation.

“No one knows her age. No one knows much about her at all, but legend has it she fell in love as a young woman. She believed the young man loved her too and so she gave him her heart and soul. One day, with her heart in his hands and her soul draped around him like a cape, he betrayed her. The young woman became ill and no doctor could make a diagnosis.

One night, while in bed tossing and turning, she caught a fever. The fever raged and by dawn she burst into flames. When the fire died it revealed a piled of ash and in the ash stood a colorful bird. Some people say this bird was actually the young woman, born again. And so, the story goes, she has died a thousand deaths, using each life to search for the young man who possesses her heart.”

“Impossible,” said the young man.

“Nothing is impossible.” said the storyteller. “Only the things you don’t want to believe.”

“So if the woman spends her life dying, what does the young man do?” he asked.

“Ah, the young man,” she said. “He fell in love as a young man and was hurt terribly. There had been a drought in his heart, but then she entered his life. He knew she loved him. He loved her too. His love was so strong that he began to give her his heart and soul, but he never did completely. A dark past stopped him and in the end he took her heart and betrayed her.”

“What did he do?” Curiosity flooded his face.

“There are different stories, but no one’s quite sure which one’s true.”

“So what happened to him?”

The storyteller smiled and when she did her deep green eyes shone like emeralds. “He stopped aging and forgot the woman he loved, but his heart would always recognize her.”

For a moment, the young man sat in silence. His eyes shifted between the woman and the grass. He listened to the water babble and rush downstream as the story sunk in, but he couldn’t help thinking how the storyteller’s eyes practically matched the grass beneath them.

“So?”

“So what?” she said. “That’s the end. At least that’s the end of what’s been told.”

“Oh,” he said rising with disappointment. “I suppose I’ll be on my way then.”

The storyteller flashed him one of her smiles and he found himself smiling back. As he turned to leave, he was overcome by the familiar feeling in his heart that he’d met her before.