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A chair at the window
A trunk full of dreams
A bed with a sag in it
And holes in the screens
Yarn all a tatter
Clothes in a box
Books in a corner
Doors without locks
Life is a moment
It’s raw and it’s pungent
It’s bitingly brutal
And tender as teardrops
We’re strong as the mistral
We’re soft as a sigh
Our dreams are our treasures
Our fears are our lies
So look to the dawn
In her pinks and her gold’s
This is all for our taking
So let it unfold
Shirley Jean and Gramp were sitting at the kitchen table in the early morning, eating oatmeal, topped with Gramp’s clover honey and wild blueberries.
“Gramp?” Shirley Jean said thru a mouthful of oatmeal.
“Yes?” He turned to look at her sweet face.
“Is today the day we go to the river for the rainbow trout?”
“Today is the very day. We will get our chores done, wrap our fly hooks, pack our gear, walk down to the river, and canoe to our fishing spot.”
Shirley Jean had a hard time keeping her mouth closed as she was chewing, because the smile on her face wouldn’t quit smiling.
Shirley cleaned the bowls and wiped the table, while Gramp set his wool slippers aside and pulled on his work boots.
The autumn wind was taking a stand and declaring summer to be over. She put on her best face, scudding thin clouds across the moon, baring trees of their coats, relieving folks of their hats and most of all whipping skirts and dresses around the legs of women daring to disregard her prophetic power of bitter sweetness.
On such a night, one lone figure, thick-knotted scarf, thin jacket, mid-calf skirt and tall leather boots, walking strong, knew where she was going and intending to get there. When she finally arrived she was breathless, heightened. Without speaking everyone knew something had happened. She refused to say but they insisted. “It was the Highway Man.” She gave in. “I saw him.” Trembling, saying no more, she poured red wine and sat at the fire.
They knew she was in love but they couldn’t understand how it came to be so.
One afternoon Little Shirley Jean watched as a car turned up the old road to Gramp’s farm. The car through up dust on both sides as it wound it’s way up towards Gramp’s house. Not many people came calling in the middle of the day so everyone stood watching and wondering if this was a good visit or bad. read more…
Standing at the forefront grinning
The dust a disembodied beast
I heard his thundering wagon approach
His grin like one diseased
I fell behind an ancient oak
His whip and laughter rang
The wind tore with sharpened claws
The trees bent in twisted pain read more…
There’s a county clerk that praises You for getting her out of jail. She won’t sign gay marriage documents for people who want to marry and she says You’re the one that condones it. Don’t mix You up in her falderal? But she’s pretty sure You’re leading the pack in the gay abomination thing. Wow! Did You just smack a table or something? That was seriously loud!
I’m just saying, You have a big reputation for being angry and turning it into a hurricane or something. Well, that’s the feed on Facebook. Feed. You know, what everyone is talking about. read more…
Shirley Jean opened her eyes. Still fighting sleep, she turned over to watch Gramp walk across the yard, carrying the sliver milk bucket to milk their two cows. Her white iron bed was low enough to look out the wooden framed window next to her bed. She thought her Gramp was the handsomest man she’d ever seen. He was wearing his green pants with the cuff turned up, his faded blue overalls and his dapper straw hat. He walked straight with his shoulders back as though he had no debt. He skimmed the grass, walking as though he were a dancer.
Shirley Jean and Gramp lived on a farm in northern Michigan, where the North Wind blows and the animals are wild.
Gramp was a sheep farmer but also, he had two hefty workhorses, two lovely brown cows for milk, barn cats to chase mice, and a very nice bunch of chickens. read more…
God, are you there? This might be a delicate topic for You but I was wondering about some things. For one, why are we here while You live in Paradise somewhere. I mean, from the time we get up, we have a boatload of chores to do and by the time we go to bed we are exhausted from all the chores we have to do. It’s a lot to handle and I wondered if You might think about giving us some kind of reprieve so we could enjoy our lives a little more. Sundays? We can’t give up that day. I mean, Sunday’s are the days we really scramble to prepare for the rest of the week. Well, like grocery shopping, laundry, it doesn’t fold itself, you know, the bathroom, kitchen and front room need cleaning. It’s usually a day to mow the lawn and I make lunches for the week. Well, thank you. Yes, they are healthy as well as delicious. You see how hard it is to catch up? What do You mean, time is a concept? I watch that clock all day long just so I can get to a place where I can relax! Breathe? read more…
Hello, God. I’ve got a problem. I hate my co-worker. No, I know that’s not what you expect of me but the fact is I hate her. I’ve twisted every way about it but it’s still there. How do I unhate someone? Don’t we have enough to think about? Well, if You must know, she thinks she’s above me and in every way and that makes me feel like an idiot. No, of course I’m not an idiot. Well, only when she’s around. I don’t think that I’m intimidated. What do You mean it’s about me? read more…
Here you will find the latest entries of Shirley’s musings, poems, songs, stories and photos. Click on the links to the right if you want to see all entries in one category.