Monthly Archives: July 2019

She’ll Never Make It Over The Mountain

Maisie sat crosslegged on her bed, reading a cherished passage from her favorite Joan of Arc biography. She’d always been entranced by the tale of St Joan. Joan had been her hero since girlhood. Sometimes, reading about her now, Maisie could remember the faith and peace of childhood.

Maisie closed the book. Joan had no doubt and didn’t hesitate. Once St Michael came to her, she was ready and did not look back. Or so, the story had always gone.

Maisie herself was bereft of faith and peace and any sense of hope. There was a church across the mountain in Asheville dedicated to St Joan. Maisie knew if she asked her lover to take her there, they would.

Yet, everyday, Maisie was confronted with the evil and abuse of not just the Catholics, but every part of the church. Everywhere you looked, you saw the falseness of God’s People.

She still loved St Joan, and all she had meant to Maisie, all the ways Joan had guided her. She still thought of Joan even though it recalled the tarnished memories of when Maisie and Hope had been best friends and in on accord. Before Maisie had aloof and cold blooded and arrogant Hope and her father Rev Bradley were.

Maisie looked over at her mermaid lamp, that filled the room with hard, crystalline light. Like a mermaid, half human and half animal, half land and half sea, half mortal and half immortal, she was caught between two worlds.

Maisie wanted faith, but saw so clearly how empty it was. She wanted saints, but could not forget all are corrupt. She wanted a place where all tears were wiped away, but knew there be no such place or time.

Maisie put away the book. She would not ask her lover to take her over the mountain. She could not have the hope of God or Saints. She did have the comfort of one who loved her.

Maisie reached for her phone to call her lover, their voice and their arms all the heaven she would ever find.

Reverb Heavy, and Warm

Maisie was awake again in the middle of the night. She knew she’d be out of sorts of she didn’t get back to sleep, but she was too keyed up and troubled to.

She reached for her phone and earbuds, hoping music would soothe her. She didn’t know what else to do. She had no one to turn to.

She knew she was loved, that people cared about her and adored her, but she still felt isolated. She reached out to others, but they never understood, just hand waved it all away, flippant to the point of cruelty.

So she smiled and acted as if everything was ok, even as she felt herself slipping back into her madness, felt herself losing all the good things she’d fought so hard for.

The music kicked in, reverb heavy and warm. A sweet female, hidden under the wash of guitar distortion, almost heard, half known, like in a dream.

Maisie let the music wash her away from her troubles and into imagination. She looked out the window by her bed out onto the empty street, at the sickly gold of the streetlights, and darkened houses, where people were either sleeping or troubled like her, islands in the dark.

Finally, Maisie fell asleep, and had a time of peace.

She Looked Away From The Sky

Maisie floated in the mountain river, weightless. Her skin was growing numb to the cold. She looked up through the tree branches at a soft blue sky, filled with whit clouds. The chattering of her teeth had subsided. She felt untethered, that she had let go from the flesh.

Her lover had brought her up here. She lived so close to the Smoky Mountains, but had hardly come in all these years. It was overpopular, and filled with people, but still you could find quiet places, hidden places, places of magic.

Her lover had shown up on her doorstep at about midmorning. They’d asked her if she wanted to come with them to the mountains. She’d been laying on her couch when they’d come, not sure of what to do with a Sunday, not sure of where to go. The invitation was most welcome.

They’d brought a bathing suit for her, a blue and white one like an actress wore in one of her favorite movies. They had a cooler full of food and drinks, and they had all day ahead of them.

She floated know in the cold river, looking up at the sky. She felt actually calm of mind in a way she rarely was anymore, the hatred and anger finally drained away. She could finally feel wonder at her world.

Her lover was on the shore, watching her, drinking a cold soda from the cooler. She felt seen by them as she floated in the calm deep waters. Seen for her soul. Seen for something good.

She looked away from the sky, and swam back to shore. She cuddled up to her lover’s side, shivering now she was back out of the water. She savored the content man of love and peace of mind, knowing the demons would be back soon enough.

Book Run

Maisie biked to the used bookstore after work. Somehow, it was a cool, almost fallish day this July afternoon, and it felt good to be out riding in a forgiving sun. She used to ride this part of East Maryville all the time; to the used bookstore at Little Five Points, to the Public Library by the Greenbelt, to the fast food joint by the shopping center to get a cheapo burger and an iced tea. She was feeling sentimental, and feeling something sweet, in a dark time, as the world was burning, and she felt her mental illness threatening to swallow her up once again.

Maisie leaned her back against the door and went inside. As always she made a bee line to the science fiction and fantasy stacks. The dusty and somewhat musty smell, the creaking floorboards, the dim and somewhat sickly light of the too long of this world lights. It all seemed the same, even though she was not the wide eyed young girl who devoured books of impossible worlds, who collected the ancient Daw yellow spine paperbacks or anything with a Michael Whelan cover.

She sat upon a plastic step stool, her eyeline about midway up the shelf, and just looked at the books she could see. Trying to find something that would either take her somewhere between the cracks, or something that would soothe her mind with adventure and romance.

Maisie pawed through the books, looking out cover gloriously out of fashion, at novels by writers long forgotten, at what was left behind after the world moved on. She realized, that so much of her life had been tied up in media; books, TV shows and movies, comics, novels of franchises from TV and movies. She was always looking outward to find and fill herself. What was it that remained dormant within?

She found a story of dragons, with one of her beloved Michael Whelan covers. Ancient beasts and ancient times, so far away from her world.

Her book bought, Maisie then rode on her bike to her little apartment in the complex behind the Jamaican restaurant, eager to devour her new find, to slip away from a world on fire, her mind closing in and swallowing it’s own tail.

Goodnight, Angel :)

Maisie lay curled under a comforter in her bed, waiting for her lover to text her goodnight, as she watched music videos on YouTube with her earbuds in.

It’d been a long day, and all the things she didn’t know how to deal with it, all the people whom she couldn’t make understand her world, all the people she felt talked over her or down to her or just dismissed her, the anger at them was always simmering, threatening to come to a boil.

She’d find herself cursing silently when she thought no one was around as she went about delivering the mail at work, or rolled things people had done to upset her in her head over and over, changing it so she lashed out at them like she never could in the waking world.

It was poisoning her heart. Even the sorrowfulness and alienation she had always felt better than constant burning hatred at what was supposed to be her friends. It took the moments of wonder and sweetness she had managed to find in her life before. Like riding her bike to work in the early morning, the sun only half risen and sky soft and warm reds and yellows, the birds singing and the feeling that the world was still asleep and therefore belonged to her.

She was laying in her bed, in the soft, ocean blue light of her porcelain mermaid lamp, where the light shone through the diamond shaped holes in the tail and maid a veil over the room. She was listening to soft, melancholy music that had always soothed her before, had always giving her the paradoxical comfort of a sad voice in the night, trying to not let the hate win, the anger poison everything, to not let the frustration lead her to saying something she couldn’t take back.

A beep come thru her earbuds, over the music. Her lover had texted her as they promised they would.

Goodnight, Angel. 🙂

She felt herself melt, and she hoped she could hang on to this sweet moment, this warm feeling, this good thing in life.

 

Angels/Millstone

Maisie was at her favorite restaurant again, on a Friday Night, getting her club sandwich. It was slow and quiet for a Friday Night, and she was glad for it. She’d been on edge all day at work, one of those days were she tried to keep smiling even though she felt as if her brain was on fire. But she was here now, and Lauren was here to greet her, and Kiernan had ran up to her and given her a big hug, and had talked her ear off with her latest enthusiasm, with all the joy and freedom a young child has.

Kiernan adored Maisie, always giving her hugs and talking to her and wanting her attention, to the point Lauren would shoo her away when Maisie’s food came. Maisie wouldn’t have minded eating her food while listening to Kiernan, as mystified as she was about why Kiernan was so attached to her, so loving, so quick to seek her out.

Maisie hoped she was a good example, always giving Kiernan her undivided attention when Kiernan came to her, trying to never let herself become impatient or short tempered no matter what she was feeling or what she’d been through before coming through the door. And she hoped to not impart any bad habits, or do anything to dim Kiernan’s light and innocence.

Maisie was perhaps not the bible believer she’d been raised to become, but she remembered Jesus’ words that it was better to be thrown into the ocean with a millstone around one’s neck than to cause a little one to stumble. She took a warning seriously, for she never wanted to cause a child to stumble or become corrupt, or doing anything to dim that pure love and kindness that so easily was lost, and so quickly was lost.

Maisie ate her meal, and felt her mind calming, and the grip of her demon loosen and drop away. She belonged her. She was family here. And she hoped she could be an angel for Kiernan, like the ones who’d be angels for her, when she was still innocent.

Maybe Angel

Caitlyn, I find her in the stacks of the used book store.

We are smiling, but we are heavy, knowing of the war.

I came looking for her, to talk of the falling night, loss.

She wears a golden crucifix, I ambivalent of the cross.

 

Words of many people, lined up in these shelves, waiting.

Words of hope and desire and loss, of loving and of hating.

Caitlyn tells me they are spells into certain hearts, or to God.

She says she found the footprints in them of where He trod.

 

My friend, a maybe angel, as I feel light and trembling here.

The war, the cruel words of so many faithful, fill me with fear.

She takes my hand, and says, it has always been like this on Earth.

Choose love, choose kindness, choose words, redeem your birth.

 

It’s Friday, and the empty hours are to be filled alone, at my home.

She tells me it’s a night to maybe gaze at stars, and forget of Rome.

More wars are promised, more cruelty promised to spill forth again.

She squeezes my hand, and says we can choose to stand against sin.

 

Babylon Is The World

A full tank of gas. The highway heading west. The plains of the winds.

Can we get out of Babylon tonight? Can we hide away as it falls forever?

What will be left for the remnant when the fires of judgement comes?

 

Barely more than the clothes on our backs. Essentials packed in the car.

Will all the world burn down with Babylon? Will we have a place for us?

I hold your hand. We drive into the night. Headed to the plains of the winds.

 

The houses are dark. The night is quiet. I’ll feel safer when it’s open land.

Babylon is everywhere. Babylon is the world. The corruption of our hearts.

You might be with child. Will he wrestle with God? If he lives, will it start again?

Salt On My Doorstep

I walk alone at night. In the park. One empty streets.

I know demons of spirit or flesh might find me here.

I know even the salt on my doorstep won’t stop them.

 

I walk alone at night. The city finally quiet, mostly.

Barking of dogs. Shouts from parties. Distant music.

I know this stillness is the closest I can find to peace.

 

The stars are few above me. The moon sometimes

turns her face away, sometimes shows me all her grace.

And I remember, as a child, wishing on her light for love.

 

I sit on a bridge over a little creek, by the public pool.

Graffitied, and crumbling, the water suspends a world.

I walk alone at night, as nowhere now is safe for me.

Eye Of The Storm

Her picture. A girl from high school. I loved her at a distance.

Short brown hair, unkempt. Petulant face that ached to open.

Distant. Dark eyes, that did not reveal. But fire might consume them.

 

Navy blue. Her jacket was navy blue. She cherished it. It was her armor.

Her mother bought it for her. She loved her mother. I pushed my own away.

Navy blue. Locked in my mind as safe and strong. Latch onto that color forever.

 

That one day. Just her and I. The fat and wet snowflakes in her brown hair.

We talked. I saw that petulant face finally open, like the eye of a hurricane.

The eye of the hurricane is a moment’s peace, and then it passes back to storm.

 

The last time I saw her. November. She was moving out west with her new man.

She said it gets so cold in New Mexico. The snows are more bitter in all that nothing.

Navy blue jacket. She hugged me tight and close. I’ve never seen her again.