Archive for the ‘What Pegman Saw’ Category

I Love You

Posted: September 28, 2019 in What Pegman Saw

Before your heart turned
break-your-back mean
you were giving
softer than a goblet of deep red Bordeaux.

For two years you and I followed the same path
making love between clean cotton sheets at sunrise
or
perhaps
many hours before

And at noon
in grape fields
littered with angular stones
that scratched divets in our backs
divets we laughed about while lathering one another in our open-air shower
kissing, wishing
hoping
for a child

Or at midnight, underneath moss-covered cliffs
my favorite
if the rain held

But the rain didn’t hold
Squall followed squall for 106 days
conjuring your anger and my angst

You declared you wanted freedom
Another life

The air I breathed smothered you
How could that be?
My fault?
Your fault?
No one’s?

Now, even as I leave you
hoping you find the man you want
all I can say is:

I love you.
I love you.
I love you.

Pain Relief

Posted: August 24, 2019 in What Pegman Saw
Tags: , , ,

Boy-o-boy! Don’t know what me and the boys drank last night but it must’ve been good.
Must’ve been plenty.
Nothing’s in focus. Buildings are all wonky and, at this end of the street, there’s a giant caterpillar face.
Do you see it? Just there?
Oh, never mind.

Džons. That’s what we drank! That’s what the clean-up crew always drinks.
Me, Juris, Edgars, even Ilze drink when we’re done digging through rubble looking for the remains of our families.
Ilze. So beautiful! I hope we’ll marry when this ugly war is over.

Džons is the only way to relieve the discomfort of concrete dust that dries our nostrils,
and clear the stench of moldering flesh.
Džons. Džons. Džons.
Džons runs through my veins day and night.
Džons keeps me sane.

“Come with me, Love.” Ilze gently steers her husband’s wheelchair out of the garden and into the asylum’s foyer.

The Remodel

Posted: August 17, 2019 in What Pegman Saw

Today Pegman took us to Middle Torch Key, Florida. I had fun researching flora and fauna and bugs. I hope you enjoy the result.

When Roger drug me to Middle Torch I figgered I’d died and gone straight to hell without even sniffin the boundaries of purgatory.
Our slapped-together house on stilts was so far offshore we rowed through a mile of skeeters just to climb a ladder into what served for a kitchen.
Not sayin nothin bout the bedroom.
Screw worms, ants and love bugs that didn’t show love to no one but theirselves tormented me like the devil hisself.

Days brightened when Calusa Injuns showed me a few things.
Best thing? Torchwood.
Roger bout peed his pants laughin when I done told him to use lit-up Torchwood to attract shrimps at night.
Later he claimed he’d conjured the idea hisself. Kept the profits in his raggedy pockets.

So, when he got cut up fightin, I kept the knowledge bout the antibiotic nature of Torchwood to myself.
Yessirree, now I’m redoin the kitchen.

The People’s Stand

Posted: August 3, 2019 in What Pegman Saw
Tags: , ,

Today Pegman took us to Black Hills, South Dakota. I immediately went to the history part. Hello! Custer. My husband and I visited the site of Custer’s Last Stand several years ago. When one looks over that field of slaughter, it is truly amazing. But Custer’s backstory brings chills. He was one self-centered guy.

 

Call me Lean Bear or Bloody Knife or Dancing Wolf
it does not matter.
My true name is Man Who Killed Custer.
When Yellow Hair came to The People’s land
we guided him through our valleys.
Let him kill our bears.
We did not stop his military band from playing unrecognizable tunes
that broke the silence of our mornings.
No one flinched when his troops leaned across saddles to pick flowers,
tearing the plants from the ground.
Plants needed to feed our women and children in winter.

We should have stopped the telegraph announcing gold was discovered
but The People were unaware of gold’s lure.
The gleaming rock had always been with us. Its glitter meant nothing.
We signed treaties proclaiming our sacred lands would be protected.
Still, men tore up our mountains.

Two years later Yellow Hair returned to make a forest of mistakes.
This time I was ready.

You offered a kaleidoscope of promises strung on a golden thread of words.

Gardens brimming with succulent greens to guarantee comfort on steamy summer nights.
Brightly snapping fires composed of red flames and blue,
blending excitedly with tendrils of crackling yellow.
Fires built strictly to keep me warm while snow floats like pale sapphire feathers
across the grey rock face supporting your cliffside palace.
Madagascan oils, infused with the scent of juniper and colored with tiny flecks of gold.
And women, or men, to massage the oils into my hair and over my skin.

Now, here I sit, captured within a tower built of white-washed stone.
Alone. No way out.
I should be pleased. I have all you offered and more.
The one thing you did not offer and I neglected to request? Freedom.
My mistake, for I thought your heart knew that liberty is what I require above all else.

This Saturday, Pegman took us to Great Yarmouth, UK. What a marvelous place. The more I write Pegman stories, the more I want to travel. Thanks to Karen Rawson and J. Hardy for being our writerly tour guides, and to Crispina for suggesting this area.

Millwrights demolished the old windmill, claimin the canvas sails too tattery to catch wind.
They built a new one that accommodates a fancy turbine pump and patent sails.

Lack of wind ain’t the reason they tore down the mill.
We all knows there’s wind a-plenty long the river.

Twas the ghost.

Laugh. I won’t blame you. Some say ghosts don’t exist.
For others, they’re as much a part of everyday life as eatin mutton or patchin a tear in your shift.

Differing reasons brings them people back. Too much love. Not enough. Unimaginable violence. Left-behind wives. Or husbands.
They all gots excuses.

There’s little comfort inside the new mill. The old one sounded with rhythm wrought by the wind.
But I’ll sit here, sewing the rips Patrick McCrory tore in my shift,
biding my time til Patrick’s great-grandson arrives to oil the turbine.

Then he’ll get his come-uppins for the sins of his ancestor.

Today Pegman took us to Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK. Having never heard of it I zipped over to Google and found the HMS Victory and this gazebo. 149-words later I present Cuthbert-the-Cad.

Cuthbert and I were to be wed within this gazebo. Standing tall in my gold-trimmed dress, breathing in a mixture of wax from one-hundred candles and the scent of seawater, I noted him waving his hat from the deck of the HMS Victory. The jingle of the small silver bells hanging above my head turned to a cacophonious clang.

Surprise overwhelmed me, for although he mentioned Lord Nelson readying the ship for war, Cuthbert never broached the subject of joining the Battle of Trafalgar. My fiance was a physician, not a soldier.

Mother cried when I destroyed my dress. Father stormed when I threw my silk slippers into the sea.

I expected to be grateful upon Cuthbert’s return. Unhurt he swaggered down the plank to whisper, “It was I who thought to preserve Nelson’s body in a barrel of brandy.”

“Pour yourself a toast,” I replied before turning away.

cape disappointment

February 9, 1883

Dearest Mother,
     Although you warned me against wedding James Anderson, suggesting the hardships of a light keeper’s wife not worthy of our family, I find I quite enjoy living 250-feet above the high water mark of ocean waves.
    Yes, howling winds and the clang of the fog bell (imagine 1600 pounds of metal striking nine consecutive times every minute after fog rolls in) drive me mad, but, the songs of sea birds and the trill of thrushes counter-balance all discomfort.
     Between the times I cook, do the washing, take care of our darling Marie, all of 4 months now, I find solace in cleaning the Fresnel lenses knowing, wishing, hoping that if those 1,000 glass prisms are clean enough to direct lamplight to the central reflector, many sailors will survive the tumultuous waters churned up by the meeting of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean.
     I believe I  chose well.
     Henrietta

 

Today Pegman took us to London. Thanks, Karen and Josh for another wonderful place to spark our imaginations to create a 150-word story.

“Jordy, it’s true. As a child, I used that very box to phone your mum.”

“That’s dry, Grandpa. No one in their right mind would shut himself inside a greenhouse to chat someone up.”

“Look here, smart mouth, we all did. Nothing else for it. No cell phone, no wiffy.”

“Wi-Fi, old fool, Wi-Fi.” 

“It says Telephone right above the door.”

“Hype.” The young man’s cell phone bleeps. His attention refocuses.

“Maybe, maybe not.” The old man checks the clock tower. 4:20 p.m. He refocuses on the green tentacles behind the phone booth. “Jordy, give it a go. Step inside.”

“Not happening.”

“Please.”

“Reh-teh-teh.”

The young man jerks open the door. Steps inside. Tentacles wrap, wrap, wrap around the booth; squeeze. An enormous squeal of metal pierces the air. Glass shatters. The phone booth disappears in a puff of reddish-green smoke.

Smiling, the old man turns on a heel.

  • * * *

Dry– dull, boring, unfunny. A bad joke might be described as “dry”.

Hype – Over the top

Reh teh teh – Etc, etc

 

 

 

 

Before and Now

Posted: May 25, 2019 in What Pegman Saw
Tags: , , ,

Today Pegman took us to beautiful Varanasi, India. Typical of me, I found the most depressing picture in a collection of beauties and wrote a down-hearted 151-word story. (Sorry I went over my 150-word limit.)

Before the wars. Before the waters rose. Before the children and elders died. Before. Before. Before.
Before now, our city was full of laughter, the scent of herbs and exotic spices, music and life’s noisy clatter.

Our buildings were colorful. Deep pinks, brilliant oranges, gentle greens.
Women wore dresses sewn from gossamer silk and finely woven cotton. And smelled of Jasmine tea.
Wisemen grew long white beards and dispensed knowledge collected throughout the ages.
For three-hundred-years, there was no turmoil.

Then the storms came. Storms filled with lightning, thunder and too much rain. Storms between husbands, wives, and children.
Storms of unwanted people arriving from all over the world to flood our city with discontent for it is built on the last piece of land remaining above water.

There is nowhere to put them. They take what they want, especially our happiness, and give nothing in return.
So, this is now.