Monthly Archives: July 2013

Settling Smoke

We were assembled,

all together in that room,

together yet separate.

I could see nothing of the others through the smoke

and the words of so many

different tongues.


I could probably have caught something in their eyes,


even through the smoke,

and across the tongues,

but the eyes were too personal.

The eyes were too deep.

I was kin to each,

yet we were unknowns,

strangers with strange names.

We were kin through our questions,

and through our methods of finding the answers,

answers to questions like,

“Why are we here?”


“where do I belong?”

The smoke settled a bit

and the features started to become recognizable,



the eyes still eluded me,

the eyes were still too personal,

and too far away to touch.

I still avoided those questions,

those deep question I knew we all shared.

I avoided the questions,

but I began to perceive

how each had tried to answer them.

We were still together,

yet separate,

some more together than others,

Some still more separate yet.

Those questions bound us,

but the methods for answering,

the methods began to divide.

I longed to become a part,

a part of this group,

to belong.

I yearned for a place in the group,

and I reached out.

I reached out to take,

but held back

in my giving.

Like so many others,

knew the danger

in giving.

Giving leads to vulnerability,

and that lesson,

oh so painful in the learning.


Apology to my Muse

And now I remember,

my dear,

why we parted ways so long ago.


perhaps ’tis not that I remember,

perhaps it is only now that I comprehend.


And how we shared in that time,

through that darkness you guided me,

and I knew you,

and you me,

though I knew you framed in that darkness,

and along those treacherous paths of pain

and isolation

and self-damning murderousrage!


So please forgive,

if anything exists of that need,

for that association

between you and that pain.

That pain was my own,

my burden and care.


And so,

in this place,

in this nebulous nothing of ether,

we meet again finally,

to embrace in that insanity that is poetry.


I have missed you so,

and I am eager to dance.



Bully – response to seed 903 @

She held her breath for some kind of relief,
her eyes darted left and right,
scanning the crowd of onlooking children,
uninvolved peers,
disinterested faces watching the animal drama play out.

Her jawed ached,
a pain she had never felt,
still ringing from the blow
hammered over from the twisted face,
harsh with such cruel eyes,
and savage intent.

No relief came with her breath,
but rather a sparkling,
dizzying expulsion
as the next blow,
raining in her gut
forced the breath hissing
from her throat.

Time stilled,
waited in anticipation,
birthing thought,
spawning desperation
as the instinct for flight
and sparked,
seeding the drive for fight,
impatience in receipt,
discontent as a victim.

A force welled up
from the depths of her being,
to cast off the glazed eyes of those peers,
to cast out those horrid words,
that sleepless worry,
frustration over culpability
for life choices
not her own.

resolute determination displaced the watery blood
pumping through her heart,
as she transformed
from little girl,
crouching and afraid,
to powerful lioness,
heroine of her own tale.

She lashed out,
made contact,
and bellowed her rage,
pounded out all the pain.


And We smiled the Enitre Time

I had a dream,

just a few nights back,

after an exhausting day

at work.

Through a crumbling French city,

I wandered,


and alone.



cryptic words clouded my sight.

It was early morning,

starts twinkled into rest,

but I could not find the sun,

as he was hidden

by a multitude of heavy,

dark clouds,


and lined with faint traces of orange

and green.

The ground shook slightly

from the bombs

my ears could but faintly detect

through miles of clean,

cool French air.

On I walked,

stumbling over rubble,

amazed at the destruction,

the loss of life,

the loss of beauty.

Pausing atop a fallen wall,

I was amazed to hear music.

Following the sound,

as a dog following a scent,

my stumbling feet brought me to a village

teeming with life,

yet somehow,

I felt no shock,

the impossible rendered expected.

Something in the window of a small silversmith’s shop

caught my eye.

It was not,

as one might imagine,

a piece of jewelry,

nor a silver cup,

but my own reflection,

clean and clear in the unbroken glass.

I watched,

as my dusty,

tattered clothes melted away,

replaced with shirt and tie,

warm as though freshly pressed.

Upon seeing my own face,

scarred with lines of age

and care,

marked by emotion

and trials,

by life,

I seemed to take leave of my body,

and saw my reflection as one sees fine portrait.

I noted every detail of my features,

saw despair and confusion glimmering in my eyes.

Tearing myself from this deep,


I continued onward in the direction

of a small,

roadside cafe.

I sat at a table on the terrace,

your bright shining eyes

and warm smile

confirmed my hopes,

you had been waiting for me.

You arose,

greeted me,

Though not a word was spoken between us,

we heard

and understood,

the unspoken apologies after years of silence.

The whole time we smiled.

A waitress,

in perfect French,

proper intonation,

you placed our order,

coffee and pastries.

Small talk.

Words reunite,

progress and develop,.

We moved on to speak of truth,

and of love.

The waitress,

our coffee,


stark as loss,

bitter as pain.

Imported from Hungary,

it was rich and full,.

I felt it flow

like sap through my veins,

the taste lingered on my lips

as I reached for an artwork

of cream and sugar,

light like your laughter.

We smiled as we struggled

to devour our treats

without wearing them as well.

Hunger satisfied,

we sat together,

knowing each other,

loving each other,

we smiled the entire time.

I took hold of my cup,

prepared to finish the last


precious drops.

I stopped,

inches from my face,.

I saw once again my reflection,

now in my drink.

Lined with shadow,

painted on a canvas of jet,

seen in the light of your company,

I scarcely recognized my own face.

No longer sad,

weariness departed,

my face was joy,


my eyes held only love for you.

My head snapped up to see once again

the treasure I held.

Startled at first,

you paused your laughter,

and let your smile  slide.

Staring into my eyes,

deep into my eyes,

you told me what I wanted to hear,

“I love you, David”

I knew.

I continued to stare,

a hot tear ran down my cheek,

a broke my reflection

as it collided with the mirror of my cup.

You reached out your hand,

grasping my own,

and the world disappeared.

You smiled again.


A blanket of darkness covered the sky,

a million shimmering candles

twinkled one by one

to light the heavens.

One bore your name.

Perhaps one was mine.

I turned to you,

to see my thoughts echoed in your face,

remembered how alike we are.

I slipped my arms around you,

and pulled you close,

held you tight,

knowing you smiled.

Hours later,

we both understood.

Time to depart.

I stood and you followed suit,

with head bent low,

hiding a tear.

Once more,

I drew you near,

an embrace of closest friends.

We turned our separate ways,

each to our own,

and smiled secret smiles as we walked away.

They can never take away that road-side cafe.

We smiled the entire time.


I think she waited all day for the mail to come — in response to seed #510

I think she waited all day for the mail to come,
her heart so full,
her mind not yet able to grasp
the triviality of her desire,
though it was her all.

I think she waited all day for the mail to come,
and though my heart was rent
at the sound of each passing footfall
her hope never diminished,
never faltered.

I think she waited all day for the mail to come,
she waited all day on a fantasy,
and reality tore her down,
man is broken,
and continues to break.

I think she waited all day for the mail to come,
and the sunset
painting those pained eyes,
stung me to tears,
as she questioned,


July 26, 2013

Alunia and the White – Intro

And chief among these were Flanst, Inyot, Alunia, and he who is called The White, for his true name has been lost in the records.

Flanst was a builder of great things, and loved wood and stone for his constructions.  His works echoed the beauty of darkness, and e spoke often of theories of Form and Function and Symmetry.  Flanst held mysteries behind his brow, and these were not often brought to light.  Yet when ascribed in word or image, even the coldest wept at the beauty.  The soul of Flanst however, was cruel and manipulative.  He enjoyed tears on the faces of others, either due to the poetry of his tongue, the beauty of his art, of the cruelty of his acts.  Some say he had traded his soul for his art, and felt the desire for pain, if only to say that he felt at all.

Inyot the Bold was a fierce general, though his troops served out of fearful resentment, rather than from respect.  Rarely was Inyot to be seen without uniform, nor without some device of war.  Though not often in the front lines of battle, Inyot was a brilliant strategist, and had long studied the art of war, and of war magics.  Few enemies, either on the field or off, who could long endure his wrath.  For Inyot understood nothing of honor, and assassination in the dark to him was equal to honorable death in battle — means to justify their ends.

The White, for there are none who recall his name, was skilled in magic.  He clad himself in loose robes, and bore both staff and sword, though can speak of the blade every unsheathed.  It was whispered that the blade had long ago been broken, in a tale that is recorded elsewhere.  The White posses a talent for magic that none before him, nor since, had ever displayed.  It is also told the he had bartered his soul for his art, yet fought and finally reclaimed it.  Before the reclamation however, his soul traveled dark and mysterious roads.  For this reason, the depths of his eyes could be damningly profound, and at times it appeared that he had lost himself in the chasms within.  Few know the fact, but to the White had also been granted the gift of flight.

Alunia was the beauty of the moon in its full, the sound of a slow brook thawed in deepest winter, and the warmth of the southern summer nights.  She resembled the high elves, yet loved the night as any shadow elf.  Alunia was high born, and proud.  She carried the strength of her ancestors, and a fierce magic, a magic that was both light and darkness – a marriage in rain, a funeral in summer, the moon in the night fog on the ocean.  She was called the dreamer, the fire, the light, and she who feared not the dawn.

As it was, these four were bound together through fate.  This is their tale.

Caving – pt1

Scott had gotten it into his head to go explore some of the more promising of the many West Virginia caves that he had seen in an old book.  I was not sure how he found the book with maps, locations, and surveys of so many local caves.  It was apparently buried somewhere in the vastness of Newman Library.  The GPS location of each of the caves was listen, along with a brief description of the prominent features of each cave, and a caricatured sketch of the layout.

To me, GPS coordinates would have been as useful as a bicycle to a fish.  In the days before the internet and cell phones, I had no earthly idea as to how one would navigate the wilderness of the Unmarked Interstate,  Scott had no problem with navigation, and both Kevin and Ian shared a complete trust in Scott’s ability.  Of course,we all trusted Scott’s dumb luck.  Not a one of us had been even the least bit surprised when, almost from thin air, Scott produced a detailed topographical map of the West Virginia mountains, complete with full GPS coordinates.

Showing all the bravado and foresight of second-year college students, we pile into Scott’s unwieldy maroon boat of an Oldsmobile at dusk on a cold winter’s day.  We headed for the limestone hills of eastern West Virginia with a complete lack of provision, and without so much as a not of explanation, should we all go missing.

I got sick.  Under the best circumstances, for example a calm driver on flat roads, I could handle short trips by car.  Scott had never been a calm driver, and anyone who has traveled West Virginia knows that the roads snaking up and down those mountains are as crooked as the Devil’s own heart.  The tires of the Olds squealed as we flew around the switchbacks at a full twenty mile per hour over the posted speed limit.  I alternated between terror of careening to my death in a ravine, and the most sincere hope that an oncoming pickup would end my tortuous journey with a compassionate head-on collision.  Oblivious to my obscene discomfort, and with no though to consult his maps, Scott thrust on adventurously to our destination.

In hindsight, Kevin and Ian were slightly generous in their estimation of Scott’s navigational prowess.  It was well after dark, and snowing steadily as we made our third pass through the small mountaintop collection of homesteads in search of any sight remotely like a limestone sinkhole.

“Let’s stop fo directions,” Scott said and swerved into the first driveway he saw.

Kevin voiced his dissent, his cheek twitching with a tick characteristic of his mood.  Ian was utterly silent, as usual, belying no sign of his true thoughts but radiating a simple bemused contention with the whole situation.  I was riding shotgun, and so I was quickly and silently volunteered as a member of the two-man informational expedition.  I was only too happy for any excuse to quit the rolling maroon death machine.

Scott dropped his keys into his pocket as I followed him along a snow-dusted concrete walkway to the house.  The fat snowflakes floated gently through the night air to rest on the dropping branches of the yews lining the walk.  Thew full moon painted everything a deep purplish blue when it happened to glance out from behind the drifting, gray clouds.  Everything was so silent and peaceful, as if the world on that mountain-top community had just stopped for a while to rest, taking time to ponder life under an early-season snow.

Warm yellow light spilled out from chinks in the curtains inside the windows.  The air smelled cold, but the scent of wood smoke hinted at a hidden warmth within.  Without slowing, without a thought as to what lay on the other side of that door, Scott reached up a gloved hand and rapped out a quick, muffled knock.  After just enough time had passed for me to begin to imagine the Friday night habits of the homeowner, the door opened.

A warm drought of air and an even warmer “good evening!” rushed out over the threshold and caressed out cheeks.

“Hello,” began Scott, “we’re looking for the Old Bent Tooth cave.  We know it’s around here, and we were wondering if you could tell us how to find it.”

“Oh, do come in,” said the forty-something year-old woman.  Opening the door fully to a pair of complete strangers, “come in out of the cold.”

The doorway opened into a cozy living room.  A beige sofa rested along the front wall of the house, just below the window through which the tiny sliver of light streaked onto the porch.  A plush easy chair sat opposite the sofa, with a commanding view of the front door and an 80’s model, 20 inch color TV.  Between the sofa and the chaise was an off-white shag rug, protecting the hardwood floor from the rough feet of an old coffee table.

“Please, sit down,” our hostess said.  She seemed to have nothing better to do at 9 pm on a Friday night than to accommodate the chill and thirst of a couple of disoriented young men.

Familiar Voices

Familiar voices echo in unlistening ears —


both the ears,

and the mindless chatter to fill time.

Do you ask,

why do I ask,

questions I won’t answer

unless it is done in a riddle,

for in truth,

I do not understand



Vacant eyes,



unrecognizable in the mirage of my joy

clouds of deep purple happiness

cover my soul like the storm covers the sun

then you ask yourself,

the quiet voice of doubt,

“Is there a sun,

and so a soul?”

I will not answer,

I no longer care for anything I once did.

I am now self-centered,

the sun of my world of imagination

and closed whispery daydreams,

noting of the old life remains

save those familiar voices,

tombstone worthless,

only a faint memory.


March 15, 1998


My father is the pilot of this vessel,

yet it is foreign to me.

At terrible speed

we embark.


I search for my brother

among a multitude of strangers

or faces I memorized in ages past.

I see one I did not wish to see,

and I avoid her,

Always I avoid her.


I wait in my room when she knocks.

Reminds me of a celebration,

I exit to find her,

but she has left cash,

an age-old tradition,

a symbol.


She consults the seers,

the enchantress,

“one will ask for love,

and he will not offer,

the the other will be presented,

thus he is yours.”


The the cock crows.

Friday Morning

The sky was beautiful today,

the clouds slept together,

flaoting in currents of cool air,

huge boats in an endless river.

The sun shone trhough,

at times,

and burned a little hotter,

it was obvious he cared.

The wind rushed to my face

and into my lungs,”taste this morning,”

it whispered playfully in my ears.

Even my dreams were honest,


fashioned memories of warm belonging.

Today I am glad to live.

Jan 30, 1998

Baking Blowup

Our Baking Will Blow Your Mind

The Dinner

A Space for Fellowship

Mick On Everything

Just a regular guy who is interested in everything

Wherever you go, there you are.

And here I am, Judith Clarke, writer.


Turning Tears and Laughter into Words

A Word From The Raven's Beak

Or whatever I came up with whilst eating cereal this morning

Syl65's Blog

Poetry, music, creative writing and a desire to inspire....Isaiah 45:2-7 I will go before you and will level the mountains[a]; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. 3 I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord

Words are mighty

poems, and poems again

Itty Bitty Journeys

Epic Tales of Tiny Adventures


literary fictions, flashes, fiascos


The heart has to be able to act against itself. (m.m.)

A Holistic Journey

Finding my way back out of motherhood -- while mothering

Experimental Fiction

"Come with me, and you'll be, in a world of pure imagination" Willy Wonka, 1971

Just breathe.

Life is beautiful. And there is so much to be grateful for.


A work in progress

Nathan Blixt

Art, Text, Code, Design