I just this week completed the first draft of my first novel, tentatively called That Time the Earth Almost Melted: A land-based space comedy. If you hate that title, well there’s plenty more to hate after that. And that’s where you come in: I need volunteers to help me out by beta reading this tome before I even think about publishing it.
The match lights.
The newspaper sparks immediately — the flame matching the intensity of the ink passionately spread through a dozen stories — and dissolves into ash.
The infant flame crawls onto twigs.
I stand mesmerized by this transmutation: words once poured over by anxious writers now spilled into a fire as kindling, sweat burning into memories I’ve already forgotten.
The winds shift.
I rearrange the sticks to assist their demise, wondering how many revisions — how many editors’ notes — were born before the news fanned out to a half awake audience.
The flames leap from twigs to logs.
I stare transfixed at the graceful movement of the blaze (so gorgeous as it spasms on this log, then another) effortlessly transforming timber into trifling confetti.
I find it poetic.
My stomach screams an idea, an ephemeral epiphany I must immediately share for art’s sake, enthusiastically published on pulp and eventually catalyst for another fire.
Is that really my face, framedby white hair like a cabinstanding alone in the too-earlywinter snow, lazily gazing back at
The day fades to amber.
A sailor scampers toward shore,
fearful of being lost on the billowy blanket
where warmth in wet ripples
soothes an otherwise fierce soul,
longing to be three
sails to the wind.
But pause, the sailor.
She called to him from behind,
crying calm waters whose
deep bold blue blended with the sky,
shades of blue amid specks of red
Or maybe he merely wanted
to touch the sky
and turning upside-down,
adrift among the waves
and the clouds, stretched his sails
The night grows black.
The perfect metaphor
authorizes its signal, a whimsical
harmony sung in four parts
blended to elation, one message
in many voices. Insight
can delight from any perspective,
though I may strain
for a note just out of
reach – or
out of time.
When can a defeated shout
reside, a revelation weighed
down by a poet’s talent, or,
worse, fancy? We are both
best equipped and worst
suited to edit
in a fervor just out of
control – or
out of time.
We saw the beacon, if such
things exist, standing defiantly to
the horizon, offensively colorful
as the sun gophers, marking
Morning has a way of seeping
into those dark spaces we, reluctant to
reveal ourselves, place in the shadows,
tucked away in rabbit holes
And still we aim higher, above
the lighthouse, above even the horizon,
as we, inspired by the beacon
beckoning through it all, aspire –
ourselves – to rise.