creative ramblings & reverie

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Writing Spaces

image:  Gregory the Great dictating to his scribe Peter, from the 12th Century Moralium of St. Gregory


To be still
without being inert,
without being greedy—
the excesses I would love
to tame, to temper,
the unruly Gemini twins
of my nature, always
leading me a breathless dance
between the two polarities.
I vow to breathe, to find
the pivot point, the quiet
wooden spindle, spool,
from which the thread
can play out
without snagging or tangling,
graceful, steady, temperate.
Torn though I am,
and scattered easily
as a bright carnival of confetti,
I'll make an honest effort.


Writing News

I'm pleased that my short-short story "Italian Hand Gestures" was published earlier this month by Dime Show Review.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Writing Spaces

image:  vintage photos, women writers


storm hanging all day in abeyance
still hung, as night comes on,
sky lowering,
canny old rooster wind vane mute,
black trees in silhouette against
the smudge of gray, cedar or sage,
uneasily portentous
like the witches in Macbeth,
the weird sisters,
or koshare, sacred Pueblo clowns—
the black-striped spirit-possessed
mud clowns, Thunderbeings,
innocent and wise, who tease
to their climax the quickening dances
of spring,
who usher in the Cloud Beings
and through their necessary mischief
fed with melons and tortillas
mediate for rain


February Inklings

a flooded field
planted with white egrets

the Pescadero market
with artichoke sausages,
olallieberry jam,
a carton of duck eggs

ragged huddles of Christmas trees
in February coastal fields
like highschool students
hanging out together after school
awkward and yet to find themselves

a visit to the tea and rug shop
with smoky garnet kilims
to buy a paper packet of
Ancient Beauty oolong

a white horse
in a winter field

Nebbio winery,
grapes ghosted with fog

the sign for carnivorous plants
at one of the roadside nurseries
snapping up customers

hand-lettered signs
for local honeycomb,
strawberries, artichokes

driving up the coast from Pescadero
to Pomponio to Half Moon Bay
the fields are all impossibly yellow
between ocean and highway,
highway and distant sky, Van Gogh
let loose with an enormous paintbrush

the little market at the bottom
of the winding road to Half Moon Bay
offers as it has all the years I can remember
fresh sandwiches and bait & tackle (though
I see the roasted peanuts are now gone),
and today in addition, laid out by the open door,
bright-striped sarapes and a painting of Jesus


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Two Postcards

DĂ©jeuner sous les arbres

They'd buried her that morning, Briony, but Paul above all wouldn't let it rest—reviling the man who'd had the gall to show up at the cemetery, dove gray hat in hand, floozy sent back to the hotel in a taxi, and make a show of being sorry she'd 'misunderstood.'  Guillaume chain-smoked the bad Italian cigarettes his friend Puccini gave him when they hunted ducks at Torre del Lago, not responding to Paul's rant.  Virginie had eaten nothing of the omelet or salad.  She stirred and stirred her cold coffee, knowing that any minute her mischievous tart-tongued Bri would come towards them through the diamond-dapple of midday under the late October trees, just like her entrance in Giselle in diamond-dappled tulle, or her emergence from the river naked that dazzle of summer mornings at Fontaine de Vaucluse, grousing "you're all so stupid—could you really think I'd die for such a one as him?"

Stealing Away

She'd slipped out of the city, the apartment in the Fens, the thirty-year familiar room of maps and antique globes, to this place off all maps—Tucumcari?  Tumacácori?  There was, she'd read, a spice shop, a mission.  But having come this far she found she couldn't make herself go out, go any further.  She couldn't leave the little tin trailer, sardine can without key; could only sit in the revelatory August heat and contemplate the stolen pot, imagine her bare arms shaping a hug around its pregnant belly, the old Apache pot she'd taken from the conservation lab without anyone noticing, thinking maybe (if she had stopped to think) it would somehow make up for the daughter not for the taking.  Or the baby, whose name she'd never know, though in time she would learn the names of stars, tribes, roads away, and twelve varieties of turquoise, riddled with imperfections.

—Christie (originally published in First Class Lit)