Micropoetry Monday: The Faultlessness of their Stars

When the learned astronomer went blind,
he hired a foundling—
a lost soul hovering between heaven & hell.
A wealthy intellectual
(which was an oxymoron, for some),
he asked the boy to be his eyes,
to describe everything he saw.
And it was through the eyes of the blind,
that the learned astronomer’s apprentice,
through service to another,
reached his potential.
When the learned astronomer closed his eyes
for the final time in earth-space,
the boy’s eyes had been opened,
for there’d been nothing he’d ever had
that had been of value to anyone,
except to the learned astronomer
whose last sight was feel of the boys’ wet face
in his hands.

She bicycled, upcycled, & recycled,
burning calories,
not waste.
Her collar had faded from blue to white,
only to deepen into green.
She planted herself where she would grow the most–
an environment where she could be her most creative.
And with every ripening
& every reaping,
there would not be an uprooting,
but a replanting,
for she would leave a seed in her place–
ready to help the next person grow
in that place.

As Angel & Demon walked side by side in a parallel universe,
they came upon an impressionable human being
hitchhiking their way through the galaxy–
now standing before that split in the wishbone.
These 2 otherworldly beings were on a mission:
the former,
to gain a soul,
the latter,
a lost one.
The Demon told this being
that all their senses would be heightened
to anything they had ever experienced on Earth;
the Angel said that what they would experience
beyond the mythical pearly gates
would transcend all senses.
When the human being chose the planet
of the sun rays & the moon beams
over the one of candlelight & firelight,
they realized that they’d been to this place before,
& that the life they’d known had been a scavenger hunt–
where only a minority had figured out
that it was not themselves they were looking for,
but the Ticketmaster with the unlimited tickets
that had already been paid for.

One More Memory

Betty Slide 13

If I had just one more memory–
one more moment stretched into years
(with light years between the seconds)–
I would have so much to show-and-tell you.
Does that not sound like a little child?

Your presence
in the absence
of space and time
as you observe Hannah’s progression,
listen to my stories,
and see this, your daughter,
in the collegiate green cap and gown,
having remade herself into the ungraven image
she’s always wanted to be.

We share memories of you at the table;
I like to imagine you hear us
every time we speak your name.
We have no complaints.

Dad still carries your driver’s license in his wallet;
there are never enough pictures.
We say, “That’s a Mom joke!”
(when the joke is truly terrible)
or “Remember when Mom ..?”

Dad still calls you Mom;
I call you Grandma.
“Say ‘Good-night, Grandma,’”
I tell my daughter,
“blow her a kiss to heaven.”
It’s a kiss strong enough
to shatter
to defy
I catch the one you send back
and plant it on her cheek.

We call you what our children call you.
You wanted Dad to call you Betty more.
Your mother always called you Betty Ann.
You liked the names Carolyn and Elise.
You dug up the roots of the family tree
to give me mine.

She is…she was…
it is just “Grandpa’s house” now,
but the contact still reads “Mom and Dad’s”
in my phone.
I will never change it.

We remember your goulash–
the only thing you knew how to make–
even though we weren’t even Hungarian.
Still aren’t.

We just are.

25 Things of Little Importancethat Make My Day Perfect

1. Waking early, to everyone else still sleeping
2. Recalling an old memory, & being able to hold onto it
3. Remembering a new word I learned, for it is another color to add to my literary palette
4. Writing a new piece that seemed to come from nothing
5. Drinking a cuppa java while sharing my writing with new friends
6. Reading a handwritten letter from an old friend
7. Getting good news in the mail, & sharing it with whoever will listen
8. Running into someone who remembers me from years past, for it meant I’d made an impression
9. Realizing I accomplished a goal I’d never made, for it was inside me all along
10. Parting with something that meant little to me, but means a great deal to someone else
11. Discovering a Brady Bunch episode I haven’t seen
12. Listening to old Christmas music while a fire on the television crackles
13. Having all the ingredients for a new recipe, & deliciousness ensues
14. Remembering to pull my Mexican Coca-Cola from the freezer at just the right time
15. Enjoying dark chocolate with hazelnuts or marzipan
16. Driving to the beach when it’s 82 degrees with a breeze
17. Finding the perfect seashell—a tiny glimpse of the celestial kingdom
18. Burning calories while playing outside in the shade—MOMents that Heaven are made of
19. When twilight lasts as long as the day
20. Stopping to breathe in the scent of the gardenias
21. Capturing a butterfly with my camera
22. Climbing into bed & falling asleep to the sound of rain
23. When I see my husband as he sees me, & know, I chose the right one for me
24. When I make my daughter laugh & know that yes, I was meant to be her mom
25. When I see something old in a new way, & it’s like the first time I’ve seen it

The Last Will and Testament of Mary Andrews

I hesitate to write what I will someday no longer be able to say.
A writer always wishes to live on through their words,
for even though their lives and loves will pass away,
their words will not pass away.
Like Poe, Frost, or Dickinson,
they seek to achieve everlasting life through their good works.
Faith will help me move on,
even while all the inspiration that has yet to be revealed
tries to get me to hold on.

I write to my husband John, a letter—
trying to tell him a lifetime’s worth in a thousand words—
the length of flash fiction;
for when I got the diagnosis,
it was like my life was over in a flash.

I ask him to take care of golden Katja,
who was one of the best parts of myself
I brought into the marriage.

Read to our daughter every day that I am not with her:
the stories I loved,
the stories I have written,
the stories that have yet to be written.

Teach Lara how to make cabbage rolls,
fill the house with the smell of them,
for it will be then that you can close your eyes
and just imagine.
Give her the list of the books I loved,
for through them,
perhaps even loving what I loved,
she will come to know me.

There is a box containing ten books—
a book for each for my closest friends.
Send them,
for I hope that the words of others’
I pass on…

Whatever loose ends there are,
tie them up in a pretty little bow.

Keep up my blog for me:
Every week, post one of my thousand and one poems,
in the sequence I describe.
By doing that, you will have extended my life on this earth
another twenty years.
By then, I will have grown vague in your mind,
but my words will be fresh as daisies in the springtime.

Publish all of my books online for the price of a coffee,
so that they may never wither away,
so that they have a chance someday
to become known as something great.

Leave my Facebook page open,
for someday, I may leave a message for you,
and it will be as if I am alive.

In a safe deposit box,
paid up for eighteen years,
there is a batch of letters tied with a lavender ribbon—
a letter for Lara,
every year on her birthday.
A P.S., I Love You type of thing.
Every year, every letter,
will reveal a new memory
she didn’t know we shared.
There will be a DVD for each one,
and just maybe,
she will remember for real.
I would spread them out forever if I could.
I would have recorded more memories had I known.

Because of you,
people will someday know my name.
You are my hands, my eyes,
my heart, my voice,
my intercessor on Earth.

I ask all of this from you because I am not ready to let go of this life,
for the day will come that all those who remembered me
will be gone,
and all that will be left are my words on a page,
on a screen,
floating like stars across the blogosphere—
tiny pinpricks of light shining across the virtual globe.

When the summer rains come down,
think of them as my tears,
baptizing you with my blessing to live—
to finish what we started together:
our Lara.

When it is lightning,
think of me playing with fireworks
with the sister I never got to know.

When it thunders,
think of me atop my old horse, Seccy—
of the happy reunion we must have had,
the winds of Heaven blowing through our manes
as we jump over the rainbows and
race through the crowds—
a fantastic chariot race,
an exhilarating steeplechase.

When the sun shines on you,
think of my warmth,
and the shade,
my shadow—
both covering you completely.

When you smell the gardenias,
and taste the strawberries that grow
around the white arbor in our garden,
know that I have just been there.
You couldn’t quite catch me,
but I will be near,
just beyond the trellis,
to that place where the woodbine twineth.

And if you ever do fall in love again,
and I so hesitate to say,
for I am not losing you,
you are losing me…
Put my picture away
for only you to see.
The flowers on my grave
need only be freshened once a year,
for even the most important deaths,
like Easter,
are remembered but once a year,
and am I not so much lesser than that?

Someday, Lara will be grown,
and I will become real to you all over again.
She will be standing under the lattice,
the sunlight reflecting off of her strawberry blond head,
so like mine.
Her face will be shadowed.
She will be at the very age I was when I passed away,
and you will be struck with the awe and wonder
that is my greatest legacy.
For that second,
you will be given a glimpse back in time.
I have seen in my dream what it will take you years to see.
It was the last gift God gave me.

She will not remember,
but she will see
through our lovely technology,
how much I did love her.
She will know that she brought us back together,
that we tried for her,
and stayed for ourselves.

I am so happy now,
when I think I won’t ever really be gone—
just simply somewhere else
in another dimension,
where time flows in a different direction.

Eyes Wide Open

I pass the mirror without even looking,
for I know I haven’t changed:
black hair, blue eyes,
both a little grayer, I am sure.
I need not see to know who I am.

I find my way to the kitchen,
where everything is just so-so.
I cannot function if it is not.
Those that believe I am OCD,
do not know me.
My house is orderly,
so that my life may be,
for I am not The Finder of Lost Things;
after all, I lost my sense.

Night is nigh,
but I fear it not.
The dark is familiar to me,
like a friend almost.
They say one picture is worth 1000 words—
but words paint a picture for me.

I hear rain patter my roof;
I press my hand to the glass
and feel the raindrops,
leaving a trail like a snail,
or is it my imagination?
Do memories fill in the blanks
of what I no longer know?
Have my senses become in sync
with the synchrony and cacophony of Nature?

I walk outside and stand on my porch,
feeling the thunder rumble in my core,
tasting the chemicals in the rain,
smelling the honeysuckle from Mrs. O’Brien’s porch plot.
I’ve known her for twenty years,
and she hasn’t changed—
at least to me.
Everything is as wonderful as I remember it.

I feel the mist freckle my warm cheeks,
the smell of burnt fudge lingers in the air,
pregnant with that pause before the storm;
Katie Gray is cooking again—
I can almost taste the charred chocolate.
Just a step from the air-conditioned house,
to the sauna outside,
is like a sensory overload.
Simple things have become magnified.

I slip off my flip-flops—
a funny word that is,
like bellybutton and elbow.
The soft rain on the rough concrete
is an interesting juxtaposition,
for one is unyielding,
the other is not.

I hear the wooden windchimes next door,
clanging like the sound of someone clucking their tongue.
The thunder is like horses in Heaven having a race,
the lighting like chariots of fire,
like feathers brushing across my face.
The rain is like the sprinklers that go off next door,
or Missy Hanley’s dog shaking himself off after a bath.
The whole of Summer,
encapsulated in droplets.

I bend to my roses,
to nuzzle my nose in their centers,
rubbing their petals between my fingers,
petals that are like the skin of a gracefully-aging woman.
The dirt beneath is like cake crumbs.
I touch my face,
not realizing I am dirtying it,
and in my own mind,
I have never aged.
I saw myself once for the last time,
a long time ago,
and, like Marilyn Monroe,
I am forever young in my own mind,
if not the eyes of others.

A part of me died after that last time I saw myself,
and a new Tabitha Fenmore was born—
I no longer saw things as they really were,
but I heard, it seemed,
for the very first time.

I now hear the light—
a twinkle in someone’s voice,

The light is something I feel—
the warm sunshine,
my husband’s hands,
whose scars I cannot see,
the tongue of Mr. Baker’s dog on my hand.

The light is something I taste—
a warm peach in summertime,
a frosted glass of lemonade,
the ice tinkling the sides like a windchime.

The light is something I smell—
a new baby after a bath,
mint leaves that have been chopped finely,
and fresh cut grass after a rain.

The light is something I touch—
cotton and see-through lace,
fresh sketch paper from the art store,
and the gold of my wedding band.

It is when sleep comes that see I periwinkle—
the color that divides day from night,
the color of lavender and blue,
the color of twilight.
I am told that my art is extraordinary;
I use scented paints to tell the red from the blue,
the intensity of the scent a way to tell dark from light.

The silver lining of this cloud of blindness,
this velvet darkness,
is that I never will see ugliness.
Because of that,
I can live without fear: